Expert Reviews on Portable Radar Detectors
How to Find an Affordable & Reliable Portable Radar Detector
You need a radar detector to listen to broadcasts on the X, K, or super wide Ka bands, much like you need a radio to listen to AM and FM stations. Broadcasts from the X, K, or super wide Ka bands could be police radar signals so with a radar detector, you’ll know how close the police radar is, which gives you enough time to adjust your speed accordingly. What separates the best portable radar detector in 2017 from the less stellar devices?
Offers a dependably wide range of detection
For a top rated product in the best radar detector reviews in 2017 to live up to expectations, it will have to provide the widest range of detection possible. Preferably, you want the device to detect not just X, K and Ka but also laser bands. Moreover, the device should provide easily readable indicators for each one of those bands, with a separate light or sound for each so you won’t get unnecessarily overwhelmed.
One thing worth checking out is the new instant-on technology called POP. A POP radar gun emits short bursts of radar at low frequency till it is switched on to determine the driving speed of an oncoming vehicle. This traffic enforcement device renders radar detectors useless since it gives a very small window on which to work on for scanning and detecting a radar signal. New models of radar detectors now come with POP radar detection, with some models requiring the functionality to be switched on via the settings menu. POP radar detection increases the sensitivity of the device so manufacturers choose to disable it by default to reduce false alerts.
Offers ease of use
A good visual display makes the unit easy to use. You can adjust the settings to your preference with a volume or mute button. Varying the device’s sensitivity will be useful for preventing false alarms if there is a city/highway mode. Look for models with at least a 10 decibel rating for a safe sound level.
For trouble-free use in locations that disallow the use of radar detectors, check out units that offer Vg-2 Alert and Vg-2 Non Detection functionality. This will make the device invisible to police radar detector detectors in certain states where such items are considered illegal. Spoken alarms are great for ensuring you always have your eyes on the road and for safety. Overall, the device should deliver audio and visual warnings that are easy to understand.
Offers dependable performance
If you plan to use a radar detector for the long term, better get one that allows easy reprogramming of its operating software. Plenty of models are upgradeable but this capability will cost you some money. Cordless radar detectors offer a clutter-free look in your car but performance tends to be compromised on them.
You can choose between dash mount models featured in portable radar detector reviews. Those types of devices can be mounted as high as the rearview mirror. Remote models come with a higher cost and can be mounted behind the grill of your vehicle, with the controls hidden under the dashboard and shielded from thieves. A remote type needs to be professionally installed and offers good detection capacity. Some high-end units carry dual antennas, one facing forward and the other facing the rear, giving the device the ability to detect radar frequencies from all sides so it can tell you which direction the frequency is emanating from and on which band.
There are a variety of options on the best radar detector for the money so your purchasing decision may get unduly complicated. The above buying guide should help you enjoy a smoother shopping journey. We have also showcased the best products below for even more help.
Top 3 models compared
Escort Passport S55
Offering out-of-the-box functionality, the Escort Passport S55 delivers long-range warning on all radar and laser bands including long-range K and Ka-band as well as instant-on POP mode, for enhanced radar protection. Truly one of the most advanced radar and laser detectors on the market today, this model offers reliable performance, with revolutionary Auto Sensitivity that filters out undesirable false alarms intelligently to distinguish them from real threats.
The Highway, Auto and Auto No X settings reduce false warnings even more. Engineered with Digital Signal Processing, this device delivers maximum range of detection. This model is compatible with ESCORT Live, which is a proprietary real-time ticket protection network that warns you of alerts ahead that have been received and reported by other users in the location you are driving, and also provides access to local speed limit information to augment overspeed alerts.
The exclusive Traffic Signal Rejection (TSR) software weeds out interstate traffic sensors so the device stays quiet when needed.Buy from Amazon.com for ($146.69)
Escort PASSPORT S55 Combo Bundle
Ready to go right out of the package, the Escort PASSPORT S55 Combo Bundle comes with the
Escort PASSPORT S55 Radar/Laser Detector and an Accessories Combo that includes a StickyCup Mount and Deluxe SmartCord (Blue Light). The radar detector is easily the most advanced radar and laser detector that offers high performance. It delivers long-range warning on both radar and laser bands.
The device comes with the exclusive Digital Signal Processing (DSP) that ensures exceptional radar range while reducing false alarms. Even in the most populated areas, the device can be made to stay silent thanks to the patented Mute and AutoMute circuits. Offering long-range K and Ka band radar detection, this device also comes with instant-on POP mode detection to keep all your bases covered.
Annoying false alarms are filtered out thanks to the intelligent Auto Sensitivity feature. This is further augmented by the Highway, Auto, and Auto No X settings. The exclusive Expert Meter monitors and displays up to 4 radar signals at the same time.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The Uniden DFR7 offers super long range radar and laser detection for reliable ultra performance on the road. It comes with GPS built-in with red light camera alert along with speed camera alert that lets you set the device to warn you or not on speed cameras that utilize radar or laser, minimizing false warnings. The onboard MAX Speed Warning System lets you know of allowable speeds in specific locations so you can adjust your driving pace accordingly.
This device makes it easy to view what bands or types of alerts are given thanks to the ultra-bright OLED display that shows the radar band frequency detected, your current speed, the device’s battery voltage, along with the time and driving altitude. The suction mount ensures hassle-free attachment while the DC charging capability ensures consistently dependable performance on the road.
The device offers superb balance of all key components including reduced false alarms, ease of operation, long-range detection, a solid design and pocket-friendly price.Buy from Amazon.com for ($264.01)