- Future Cars
Radar Detector Reviews 2015
In radar detector reviews 2015 we review some of the best new radar detectors on the market.
Radar detectors come with many different features and different price tags. The most important difference between the expensive ones and the budget radar detectors is that the more expensive ones detect speed traps at a longer range. This means you have more time to slow down. Another import feature of the more expensive detectors is how they manage false positives. With the premium detectors you can mark a source as false and then it won't go off, every time you drive past that specific radar source.
Escort Passport 9500ix Radar/Laser Detector
The Escort Passport 9500ix Radar/Laser Detector scans the X-band radar frequency at 10.53GHz (+/- 25MHz: so from 10.505 to 10.555GHz). It claims to detect K, Ka and Ku-band radar, but does not specify those frequencies.
It also detects laser speed guns, but does not show the wavelength(s).
Perhaps the strongest pair of features involves the GPS database. First, the unit “remembers” where red light cameras and other undetectable speed traps had been logged previously – and warns you upon approach. Second, if you know that you had a false alarm – say, when passing a supermarket with radar-operated doors – and you press “Mute” three times, the unit will memorize that precise radar frequency at that GPS location. In the future, it will ignore that frequency at that location; but still warn you if a new radar frequency is detected there.
The suction cups may not hold this weighty unit securely on the windshield, so applying some glue and (waiting for it to cure before mounting the actual unit) might just be a good idea.
This unit can automatically change the sensitivity between highway and city speeds, using the GPS to measure your speed. You can manually set it to Highway mode for maximum detection at any speed.
It provides as much information as you can handle: different chirps, as well as voice warnings, for different radar sources; source and strength data on the LED; even your speed can be shown during the alert, since that is where your eyes will be.
The 9500ix Is, by far, the most expensive detector reviewed in this article. It is the only one with the GPS and memory features.
Whistler XTR-140 Laser/Radar Detector
The Whistler XTR-140 Radar/Laser Detector scans the X-band radar frequency from 10.50 to 10.55GHz.
It detects laser speed guns at wavelengths of 895-915nm.
There are “city” and “highway” modes. Highway mode may be too sensitive, with alerts for the shopping mall doors. , City mode, however, still gives the first alert at the same distance as Highway mode; but then it remains quiet unless the signal becomes much stronger. The jury is still out as to whether this is a good feature or just trains the driver to ignore the first warning.
The blue LED lights are very bright, to ensure that you notice an alert. It would be nice to have a night/dim option, although they can be forced to remain off at all times.
The XTR-140 has the “bargain-basement” price in this article. It does the job.
Cobra XRS 9345 14-Band Radar/Laser Detector
The Cobra XRS 9345 14-band Radar/Laser Detector scans multiple radar bands:
- X-band 10.475 to 10.575GHz
- K-band 24.000 to 24.250GHz
- Safety Alert 24.060 to 24.080GHz
- Traffic Warning System 24.100 to 24.120GHz; 24.180 to 24.200GHz; 24.220 to 24.240GHz
- Ka-band 33.400 to 36.000GHz
- Ku-band 13.400 to 13.470GHz
- VG-2-band 11.250 to 11.275GHz
- Spectre I-band 13.100 to 13.500GHz
It detects laser speed guns at wavelengths of 860-960nm.
The Cobra obviously has the broadest range of detection options – the most bands and the widest bandwidths – of the units in this article.
It does not have all the bells and whistles of higher-priced units, but certainly does it's stated job – radar and laser detection. And it does this at a very affordable price – not much more than the Whistler XTR-140 detector.
The VG-2 and Spectre features help protect you from being detected as a radar-detector user.
It has two sensitivity settings: City and Highway.
This unit does remember your settings, even across prolonged power-out situations.
Beltronics V940 Vector Radar/Laser Detector
The Beltronics V940 Vector Radar/Laser Detector scans multiple radar bands:
- X-band 10.500 to 10.550GHz
- K-band 24.050 to 24.250GHz
- Ka-band 33.400 to 36.000GHz
It detects laser speed guns at wavelengths of 887-921nm.
It claims to be immune to VG-2 detection; this is tough to verify without cooperation from the authorities.
The V940 receives and displays Safety Alert messages, to warn of highway construction or other hazards.
Beltronics hits the price/performance sweet spot for many other reviewers, who claim that it does the job at a reasonable cost. It is much less expensive than the Escort Passport 9500ix, but performs well as a detector. No, it does not have GPS and cannot memorize location-specific information.
The LED has four brightness settings, from “can’t help seeing it in broad daylight” to “audio-only black-out”.