Radar Detectors Buyer’s Guide

Radar Detectors Buyer’s Guide

Naturally, abiding by the law is the safest way to drive, but having a radar detector as extra insurance can’t hurt.

With so many different brands of radar detectors on the market, it’s hard to pinpoint which one is the perfect fit for you. AutoGuide.com has compiled a Buyer’s Guide for some of the most popular options available on today’s market, one from each major manufacturer with a range of prices.

Check out our list of radar detectors below.


Cobra SPX 5500 – $139.95

With more than 30 years of experience manufacturing radar detectors, the new Cobra SPX 5500 combines all that expertise into one affordable unit. The company boasts that the SPX 5500 nearly doubles the detection range and warning time of previous models, using the latest technology and military-grade components packed into a compact, sleek detector. Features on the Cobra SPX 5500 include DigiView text display, Voice/Tone Alert, Signal Strength Meter, LaserEye, IntelliMute/IntelliMute Pro, VG-2/Spectre Radar Detector-Detectors, Safety Alert, Auto and Manual Mute, Dim Modes, City and Highway Filtering Mods and Ku-brand detection.


Escort Passport – $349.95

Those who have researched radar detectors will know that the Escort Passport brand and its latest model packs plenty of features in a premium-priced package. The latest Escort Passport has a new multi-color OLED display that has user-selectable backlit colors to match your vehicle’s interior gauges. The unit also has built-in Bluetooth that gives you easy access to the Escort Live! app available on both Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices. Operating bands detected by the Escort Passport include X-band, K-band, Ka-band and Laser.


Beltronics STi Magnum – $499.95

No, the Beltronics STi Magnum radar detector isn’t built specifically for a Subaru WRX STi. But it does feature the company’s TotalShield technology, which makes it “completely invisible” against any type of radar detector detector (yes, that’s a thing). According to Beltronics, the STi Magnum has a patented AutoScan technology that continuously analyzes all incoming signals and automatically rejects unwanted false alarms. It detects all the popular operating bands with clear digital voice alerts, high-definition text display, AutoMute feature, City Mode Filtering and brightness control.


Whistler Z11-R – $79.95

One of the more affordable units on the Radar Detectors Buyer’s Guide is the Whistler Z11-R, but don’t let its price fool you. The unit provides 360-degree coverage with Pop Mode Detection, an advanced speed detection capability that responds to brief bursts of radar. To help reduce the annoyance of false alerts, the Whistler Z11-R has three city modes and one highway mode and also auto quiet audio alerts. There’s also an alert priority that displays the most important signal when more than one is detected.


Uniden LRD950 – $309.99

Featuring a built-in GPS feature, the Uniden LRD950 allows users to mark geographical points where they commonly encounter radar transmissions. When those points are marked, the detector will announce “User mark ahead” when the vehicle approaches them. The Uniden LRD950 also has Red Light Camera Alert and Speed Camera Alert, all bundled into a unit with an easy-to-read OLED display. There’s also a memory feature that saves the user’s last settings (except for mute) when the unit is powered down or disconnected.


Valentine One – $399

Arguably one of the most popular radar detectors in the past decade, the Valentine One has been a staple in the driving community for years. Along with the typical band detection of X, K, Ka and Super Wideband Ka, the Valentine One also offers Ku Band detection and a directional indicator to let the driver know where the signal is coming from. The Valentine One boasts 360-degree protection against all types of laser and has a rear radar antenna to boost detection signal. Considering the Valentine One design has been the same since 1992, it might not be as sleek or modern as you’d like, but the same design allows you to send in the unit to be updated with the latest hardware and software without having to pay the full price for a new one.


Rocky Mountain Radar C495 – $349.95

One of the more compact units on the Buyer’s Guide is the Rocky Mountain Radar C495 that has a new MMIC design, which stands for Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit. The manufacturer guarantees that the C495 is 100 percent undetectable to VG-2, VG-3 and all Specter systems and also has bilingual voice alerts. The C495 detects all radar bands currently used (K, Ka, Super Wide, Pulse, Instant-On, Photo and Pop) as well as all laser radars (Pro-Laser, LTI, Laser-Lite and Stalker).


K40 Electronics RL100 – $469.95

K40 has been manufacturing complex radar detectors since 1981 and the RL100 portable all-band radar is a discrete detector with GPA technology for identifying points. There are a total of 12 customizable settings for the unit, allowing you to setup the unit to match your driving habits. The Quiet Ride feature allows you to set a minimum MPH detection speed, eliminating all audible alerts until the vehicle exceeds the speed you set. As a result, there’s also a built-in Speed Monitor that will give the driver an audible alert whenever a pre-selected speed is exceeded. There are three filter settings for the RL100: Highway, City and Filter and covers all popular operating frequencies (X, K, Ka bands and Laser).

Top Buyers Guide Providers

  • deltainny

    Some “Guide”. More like a sales website. Where’s the TESTING?

  • timothyhood

    Exactly! I kept scrolling, waiting to see the testing that shows which ones work best. Huge price range ($80-$500) over 8 different models. It sure makes sense that an entity like AutoGuide would do some reasonably controlled testing rather than leave it to each individual to try to figure it out on his own. Basically, this article is a nicely-formatted Google search result. 🙂

  • Pete Flynn

    This is a joke . . . it may as well be Google shopping! I guess it takes some effort to do more than cut ‘n paste from the advertisements.

  • Craig Sawyer

    HI in Australia radar detectors are illegal our cops have a device which tells him who’s got a detector and the fine is bigger than most speeding fines, can you get one that blocks them from knowing you have a detector.

  • John Daly

    I agree with the other comments. This non guide is just a waste of time. Not much of a sales pitch either it missed a number of good detectors!

  • Spants

    pffft. Nothing to see here.

  • radioranger

    I have A LOT of fun as I drive as I have two each “intrusion alarm” units installed in my truck. One just happens to be centered on the X band and the other on the Ka band. Both put out about 4 times the power of the respective radar units. Trips fuzz busters about two to 4 miles out. One shows my speed to be 13 miles per hour the other shows it to be 18 MPH (if the enforcement radar is exactly on their assigned frequency).
    Neither have to be licensed as they are covered “by rule” as “intrusion alarms” (got to keep my truck safe , ya understand)

  • Audie Johnsen

    Rocky Mountain Radar has lawsuits against them. Not sure why they are even listed. Someone didn’t do their homework.

  • handymandavebritain

    Laser Lidar is taking over, the Ultralytes in UK have had me 3/3 tickets over the Years but now I lead the fight back, Google Laser Echo, or see Lidarfighteruk on You Tube.

  • Rodd

    Have been using the STi beltronics in Qld australia since 2008 I average 4500klm per week and it works unreal especially with the new digital radar the cops have you know their coming way before you see them and is 100 % undetectable

  • peter kamerman

    what brand i wanna get one!

  • radioranger

    JRC (Japan Radio Corp)

  • Robert Ellis

    Radioranger, trying to reach you how does one contact you?

  • The repoman

    I have a Valentine One have had it for over 15 years I will not drive with any other radar detector I have an escort I have the latest and greatest Cobra I’ll animal up on the dash and the Valentine 1 smoke them all my V1 broke one time in 15 years I sent it in the Valentine One they fix the problem refurbish the whole unit and send it back with all the new updates and it only cost me $100 it’s just like getting a brand new radar detector for a hundred bucks anytime they have an update on the email you you send it in they update it and send it back free of charge sometimes they even cover the shipping which is miniscule compared to having to buy a new radar detector every two years when the other companies come out with something new