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).