Expert Reviews on Radar Detectors for Highway Driving
How to find a top & reliable radar detector for highway driving
If you’ve ever gotten a speeding ticket, you will surely not want to repeat the experience ever again. This is what a radar detector is for: to help you take back the freedom to drive in your preferred style when the itch kicks in. It is not designed to give you the freedom to break the law, but rather to ensure that you drive safely and without causing inconvenience to your fellow motorists. What distinguishes the best radar detectors for highway driving in 2017 from cheap wannabes?
It comes with the essential radar detector features.
The best radar detector on the market comes with City mode that lowers the range of sensitivity so you are not bothered by a lot of false alerts from signal sources that behave similarly to radar guns, such as motion detectors and automatic door openers. This can be useful when driving in urban areas. More importantly, the device should provide full X, K and superwide Ka-band detection, as well as laser detection.
A radar detector with one laser sensor is able to detect laser beams that are emitted to the front of the car but not to the sides or the rear. With the two sensors in 360-degree laser detection, laser pulses are tracked behind you and to your sides. Units that deliver 360-degree laser detection cost more but are more reliable. The shielding technologies in VG-2 and Spectre protection alert you to the use by traffic enforcement officers of radar detector detectors.
With digital voice alerts, the radar detector tells you which band is picked up so you can focus on the road ahead instead of on the display screen. Technically, it is impossible to protect yourself from instant-on POP radar when it is directly aimed at you, but if the tool is directed to the car in front of you and your radar detector has instant-on POP protection, you can still evade a possible traffic citation by slowing down in time.
It is easy to use.
You can choose from corded, cordless and remote-mount units. While corded models provide constant power supply to ensure consistent performance on the road, people who don’t care for clutter in their vehicles will find cordless models appealing. Cordless models also enable transfer from one car to another. You may want the device to be able to store your preferred settings in memory as well, which is useful when sharing the same car with another person. A remote mount model attaches to the grill of your car, with the control panel conveniently hidden underneath the dashboard for safety from thieves.
You want the device to emit warning signals at a comfortable 10-decibel level, if possible. It should also have easy-to-view indicators that can be read even in the dark interior of your vehicle. Some models allow years of use with their upgradeable or reprogrammable settings.
It comes with some extra features.
With the steady evolution of GPS technology, radar detectors have achieved greater functionality with the passage of time. GPS radar detectors are able to calculate their location as well as how fast the vehicle they are installed in are running, all while communicating with the GPS network. Some GPS radar detectors can adjust their sensitivity according to the vehicle speed so you won’t have to manually switch from highway to city mode and vice versa. In addition, they ensure your safety on the road by alerting you when you are driving over the speed limit.
Some models can be made to ‘learn’ which areas are common speed traps, have red-light or speed cameras or elicit false alarms. This allows you to adjust your driving style accordingly. Other units provide access to a downloadable database of established enforcement and camera locations, enabling you to program the radar detector to alert you as you approach those locations.
With the sheer number of brands and models of radar detectors on the market, it can take a tremendous amount of research to find which one will work best for your needs. The buying guide above is designed to facilitate easy decision making for the consumer. We have also featured the best products below to help you make a smoother shopping journey.
Top 3 models compared
Escort Max 360
For unmatched detection capability and unsurpassed precision, you can count on the Escort Max 360 to deliver. Equipped with both front and rear antennas, this top rated model in the best radar detector reviews on 2017 can scan rapidly in all directions while optimizing the onboard Digital Signal Processing to pinpoint threats more quickly and more accurately compared to the competition.
It delivers five levels of filtering so you can enjoy quiet rides without being bothered by annoying false warnings. This unit brings together three driving modes along with speed-based sensitivity so you can drive through a variety of locations worry-free. Get Cruise Alert and seamless connectivity via Bluetooth for access to the Escort Live app. Use the device to preload the exclusive Defender Database that gives you thousands of speed camera and red light locations in North America, thanks to an extensive network community of device users.
This device simplifies the locating and identification of threats, with directional arrows that show which direction the threats are coming from, plus a high-resolution display that tells you the type, intensity and number of signals, along with real-time speed limit data.Buy from Amazon.com for ($599.95)
Escort Max ll
The Escort Max ll builds on the power of the world’s first all-digital radar detector and made it much better. This model is a quantum leap in technology, with active digital signal processing that provides incredible range, three times better than ordinary detectors.
The built-in Bluetooth technology harnesses the power of the cloud. A member of the Escort Live Ready Family, this device lets you sync your smartphone to it so you can be instantly connected and fully protected. Escort Live is the speed trap app that alerts you of radar, laser, speed cameras, red light cameras and speed limits, so you know where the threats are even before you leave the driveway. You also receive weekly updates to keep you abreast with the latest changes.
Offering the ultimate range and accuracy, this radar detector is equipped with the world’s most sophisticated anti-falsing system to make every road trip enjoyable and less stressful. The multi-color graphic display shows critical information in full color. The device even gives crystal clear voice alerts in English and Spanish.Buy from Amazon.com for ($449)
Sure to become your perfect driving companion, this radar detector is a full-featured dash-mount device that provides real voice alerts to give you a crucial extra level of information, verbally alerting you to which band of radar or laser it has detected.
It tells you whether the threat is from the Ka band, which is used by most modern law enforcement, or the X band, which is most often used by non-threatening devices such as automatic door openers and motion detectors. It provides an updateable database of red light and speed cameras across the US and Canada, so the internal GPS of the device knows when you’re approaching one and tells you. The device tells you to mind your speed with its Overspeed Warning capability.
With this cool feature, the device knows when you are going too fast or beyond your set personal speed limit and gives a warning signal. This is teamwork with your dependable co-pilot on the road, the Whistler Cr90.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.44)