Speed! Some may like it, some may be completely against it, and some may agree that there are occasions where it is really needed. Whatever the case may be, no driver wants to be put in a position to pay a huge fine just because he was rushing home to be with a sick child. So, provided the law in your home state is not against it, there are plenty of good reasons to have a radar detector in your car. Of course, the biggest challenge for any radar detector is just how many types of speed traps it can detect, as there are several types of technology in current use. The problem most buyers have is finding that sweet spot between the level of technology they need and the price they are willing to pay for it. That is to say, you may not need to buy the newest type of detector, if you leave in a rural area where the police still use old school detectors. So in our search for the best radar detector, we looked for the best in each class and that is what the following list is all about. In fact you should make sure to scroll past the list itself to find the in depth reviews we have prepared for each radar detector so you will be able to decide which one would fit you best.
1. Beltronics Vector V995 Radar Detector
Although it is not the absolute best on the market, pound for pound, or better yet dollar for dollar, the Beltronics Vector V995 Radar Detector is the best choice you could make. It has scans for X, K, SuperWide Ka ranges, and it has front and rear laser detection. The actual receiver is a long range Varactor system, and when you combine that with the Auto-Scan mode that prevents false alarms, you have a system that will keep you safe on almost any road in the country. What is even better the Beltronics Vector V995 is immune to the standard VG-2 radar detector detection, so although we do not recommend this, you can actually use it in parts of the world where such devices are illegal, as long as you do not keep it in a highly prominent part of the car.
2. Valentine One Radar Detector
The Valentine One Radar Detector is a much more expensive radar detector than the Beltronics, but, then again it has almost double the detection range. It can detect all the bands including X, K, Ka, and Super Wideband Ka, Ku and it has a 360 degrees laser protection. So even if someone tries to stay hidden in a side street and rate your speed as you pass by, they will not be able to get you. The other great thing about the Valentine One is the fact that it has a directional indicator that tells you when you have passed the target, and it has a J indicator that lights up if the detector determines the signal was false. The whole thing can be easily mounted on the windscreen with suction cups, or you can hard wire it straight into the car and place it in a less visible spot on the car.
3. Escort Passport Long Range Radar Detector
If you are willing spend a couple of minutes before you start driving pairing your smartphone to you radar detector than the Escort Passport is your best option. Besides what you would expect by now, that is relatively long range scans of the X, K, Ka and Super Wideband Ka, the Escort Passport also comes with a one year subscription to the Escort Live system. This is the largest speed traps database accessible to radar detectors, and it is constantly updated by other users as they encounter speed traps that the Escort detects or that they decide to report manually. In an ideal world everyone would use such a system and everyone would be safe from all existing speed traps.
4. Beltronics Vector V955
We were so excited by how well the Beltronics Vector V995 worked, that we decided to give its younger brother a change and it really impressed us. It has the same detection capabilities, X, K, Ka, super wide Ka, and KU, plus all the laser systems, and it even has a VG-2 radar detector detection, so you can use it in those parts of the country or of the world where you really are not supposed to. The only difference we could find between the 2 systems is that the Beltronics Vector V955 takes about half a mile to a mile more to detect the same signal that the V995 does. Still, it is a pretty good and reliable system, and it will keep you safe in most situations.
5. Cobra Electronics SPX 7700
There are several reasons why we absolutely love the Cobra Electronics SPX 7700 radar detector, not the least of which being that they are one of the oldest and most reliable on the market. They somewhat dropped the ball on the marketing side of things, hence the small price, but the Cobra Electronics SPX 7700 is one of the best radar detectors we have seen. It scans all the usual bands, and it has a VG-2 anti detection system. Most of its components are military grade and gold plated so, in an area where the radar technology changes very slowly, this is the one detector that you can be sure to use even in 10 years time.
6. Escort Solo S3
There are obvious advantages to using a cordless radar detector and the Escort Solo S3 is one of the best. It has all the detection systems of the other Escort radar we have featured, except that it does not connect to the Escort Live system. The other great disadvantage is that sooner or later those batteries will give out. It uses 2 standard AAA batteries so you could just have a spare on hand all the time, but, unless you have a really big problem with the traditional cable, there is no reason why you should take the chance of being bleeped right when the batteries are about to give out.
7. Whistler CR85
As we go lower and lower in the price range, you are going to start to see that the radar detectors we are talking about will also start to lose some of their more important features. The Whistler CR85 radar detector costs less than half of some of the more expensive detectors on our list, but it can still detect anything in the X, K, Ka and Super Wide Band Ka, plus 4 types of laser signals. The only thing that it does not do, is it does not completely mask itself from radar detector detectors, but it does have an ultra low signature, so you may actually get away with it. So this would be a perfect choice for people driving mostly on secondary roads where the police are very unlikely to have a radar detector detection system.
8. Cobra Electronics SPX 6700
The Cobra Electronics SPX 6700 is slightly more expensive than the Whistler, but it can detect VG-2 radar detector detectors and will automatically shut down any signal signature so it will not be picked up. It still can detect every type of radar currently used by the police so it does make for an excellent balance between price and features. The reason why we would only recommend this to people who drive on highways or equally straight roads is because its detection range is somewhat limited.
9. Escort Passport Max
We decided to leave the Escort Passport Max for one of the last spots on our list because, although it does everything you would expect from a modern radar detector, and a little bit extra, the price is so high that it does not make much sense to buy it, unless money really is no object and you just want to have the very best toy in your car. It has a multi color OLED display, it can detect every type of radar signal there is, and it will tell you where it is coming from, how far it is, and when you have passed it. You also get a year’s subscription to the Defender Data base we mentioned earlier, and that is really something that you should continue paying for after the year’s up.
10. Cobra XRS 9745
Our last product is one that used to be one of the great radar detectors of the past. It still is, but its processor is just not as fast as some of the more modern devices we have featured here. Still, it will give you plenty of warning, and it does have some nice features like immunity from VG-2 and Specter radar detector detectors. So if you do not care that this is almost a decade old tech, than it is a most impressive choice that you can have for an incredibly low price.
Bonus: Cobra IRAD200 iRadar
There is an even better solution for that consummate smartphone user in the form of the Cobra IRAD200 iRadar. It comes in at the lowest possible price you could hope for in a high quality radar detection system, capable of detecting X, K, Ka, laser systems and using even a VG-2 anti detection system. The system is so affordable and yet efficient, because you actually have to pair it with a Android or iOS smartphone in order for it to work. Basically, they have moved a lot of the interior functions of a radar detection, and you need to install an app that will do all the processing right on your phone. You will still be able to make phone calls and use your phone as you usually would, but, in addition, your phone will also warn you of incoming problems, and, just like with the Escort, you will also be able to warn and get warning from other drivers of various speed traps.