To state the obvious, speeding tickets are expensive. The hit to your insurance is even more expensive. It’s easy to say “don’t speed,” and we certainly recommend driving at safe speeds. But oftentimes, the safe driving speed is considerably higher than the posted speed limit. So, what do you do? Drive at the speed limit and force other drivers to go around you? Go a few miles over, and risk a ticket?
One option is to invest in a laser radar detector. They are designed to notify you about the usage of police radar, giving you time to adjust your speed accordingly. It is legal to use a laser radar detector in every US state except Virginia and Washington DC. However, there are some exceptions regarding commercial vehicles and regulations about windshield mounts in some states. We encourage you to do your own research or consult the DMV before purchasing.
One of the main things to look for in a radar detector is one that can filter out bands that aren’t used by police radars. The world is a noisy place, and that’s true of radar signals. Radar signals come from a lot of places, and you don’t want your detector crying wolf from things like other car’s blind-spot monitors. The other thing to know is that while laser detection is nice to have, you won’t get as much warning as you do with radar. In many cases, you may get alerted after it’s too late.
This technology is not particularly cheap, but it’s a whole lot less expensive than the costs associated with a speeding ticket. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best laser and radar detectors on Amazon.
1. Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band Laser/Radar Detector
High-tech yet reasonably priced, the Uniden DFR7 is a good option for the average commuter. The clear and intuitive display makes it easy to see the signal frequency and other metrics at a glance, and you can adjust the volume to reduce distractions or ensure vigilance. Plus, the uses GPS technology, which means you can recognize recurring false signals and adjust the unit to not alert you. The DFR7 also filters out other potential distractions like other car’s blind-spot monitors.
Pros: Long-range. GPS-enabled to recognize common false alerts along your route. Alert filtering reduces distractions from other car’s blind-spot monitors.
Cons: Included mounts could be better.
2. Escort IXC Laser Radar Detector
This device is capable of communicating with your car’s WiFi system for convenient and quick usage. If your car isn’t outfitted with WiFi, you can still connect through your phone’s Bluetooth, or get voice alerts directly from the detector. The Escort IXC comes equipped with the Escort Live app, which helps you know what lies ahead of you on the road.
Pros: Multiple modes of connectivity such as WiFi and Bluetooth. It filters out false alerts through GPS-based memory. In short, it learns from previous false alerts.
Cons: One of the more expensive options on our list.
3. Radenso Pro M Radar Detector
More information, fewer distractions — that’s what the Radenso Pro M offers. It detects Ka, K and X bands, and it offers voice alerts as well as alerts for red-light cameras. GPS allows the Radenso Pro M to learn your route and block out certain signals. Plus, with an extreme range, the Pro M can give you plenty of time to respond to alerts. Software updates are free, so it’s easy to get the best possible performance.
Pros: Free software updates. Voice alerts. GPS allows you to block false signals.
Cons: This option doesn’t have directional arrows.
4. Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range
Uniden makes a variety of radar detectors, and the R7 is a top model from the brand. It has an extremely long range for detection, giving you ample time to adjust your speed as needed. Plus, the R7 has a dual antenna, allowing it to scan signals in four directions. The R7 also has built-in GPS, which can be used to allow the unit to remember false signals along your commute and not alert you to them. The directional arrows on the unit notify you of the direction the signal is coming from, so you can be more alert.
Pros: Premium model. Features directional arrows to notify you of where the signal is coming from. GPS enabled. Comes with a carrying pouch. Red light camera alerts.
5. ESCORT MAX III
The Escort Max III is the more basic model compared with the 360; it doesn’t have multi-directional alerts. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a premium model. The Max III has a long range, and the filtering cuts out signals from other drivers’ blind-spot monitors and other false alerts. Plus, the built-in GPS allows the Escort Max III to learn your route and adjust accordingly, helping to cut out frequent false alerts. You can also connect to the Escort Live app to get even more information.
Pros: Can learn your route to customize to your needs. Filters out false signals. Comes with a handy carrying case. Escort Live app features crowd-sourced information.
Cons: Power cord could be longer.
6. Cobra 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector
This affordable option sacrifices the connectivity of the Escort models, but it still has plenty of useful features. You can configure it to not detect certain bands that often cause false alerts, and it also comes with technology that helps with identifying blind spots and other vehicle avoidance services.
Pros: Affordable, comes with various settings.
Cons: May have to be configured to prevent it from picking up signals that aren’t from police radars.
7. Escort MAX360 Laser Radar Detector
The base model of the Escort MAX360 is a solid pick for cars without built-in WiFi. Like the 360c, It has Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, and it saves data from false alerts to prevent them in the future. The main thing the base model sacrifices is the WiFi and the 360c is more compact and makes minor improvements to buttons.
Pros: Easy installation
Cons: No WiFi, unlike 360c. Somewhat large.