NorCal Cars > Articles > Top 3 Tips for choosing the best Radar Detector
Easy Tips for Choosing the Best Radar Detectors
Drivers that are in the market for a radar detector are looking for one thing: reliable performance on the road. Whether it’s being able to detect the police radar guns pointed at you from a quarter mile away or approaching an intersection with a speed camera detector installed; a radar detector is a must-have car accessory. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of what is offered in each model can be overwhelming to the novice, so here are some tips for finding and buying the very best radar detectors.
- Detection range is one of the most important features of a radar detector. If you have purchased a radar detector that simply cannot give you enough time to slow down for a speed trap, then the device is useless. You’ll want a detector that can navigate flat terrain, hills, and even mountainous, curvy roads to offer the very best long-range protection no matter what area you’re traveling in. One of the very best performers includes the Escort Passport 9500ix. This amazing piece of technology has been voted by many magazines and third-party reviewers as the “best overall radar detector” because of its long-range detection capabilities. It consistently outperforms the others in its class for sooner detection of police radar guns as well as speed cameras and red light intersections. This is invaluable for when you cannot see the radar gun pointing at you; this unit sees it and alerts you immediately. Even in the case of a stationary red light detector or speed camera, you’re covered. This device takes detection to a whole new level and gives drivers more time than any other radar detector to know what’s ahead and do something about it before it’s too late. It is worthy to note that the Beltronics RX 65 was also independently voted by users as the “best mid-range detector” and is worth looking at if the Escort Passport 9500ix is out of someone’s price range (though the unit is worth every dollar).
- False alarms are another major headache with some other radar detector models. These alarms can sound with any small interference such as can happen in the case of a garage door opener, automatic door opener or other type of signal interference. This can force drivers to either mute the units out of frustration or to simply tune out the alarms and miss a valid warning by the device. Since neither of these options is a good one, look for a radar detector that has false alarm prevention technology. One such detector is the Escort Passport 9500ix. This unit features AutoLearn, which is basically technology that helps the unit learn about the various false alarms and will mute them as they are encountered…never to be heard again. This feature alone has been one of the main reasons why more users buy these best radar detectors than any other unit. The driver also has the option of muting the device with the touch of a button and the unit remembers that false alarm and adds it to its database. As stated, it will never sound an alarm again for that particular alarm stimulus. It already knows many of the false alarm triggers and has the technology to quell them, but it learns with the driver as well, so this makes it an especially useful and unique feature. The Beltronics GX 65 and the Beltronics Vector 955 also scored well, but not as well as the Escort model.
- GPS is a fairly new feature that has been added to all of the best radar detectors on the road today. If one was purchased today, there would be far more options and detection abilities than units purchased even a year ago. A few of the very best detectors for GPS technology are the Escort Passport 9500ix, the Escort Passport 9500ci, and the Beltronics GX65. All of these GPS detectors feature the ability to detect red light and speed cameras. The difference is in the ease of use for the driver. The Beltronics GX 65 does not have the AutoLearn feature like the Escort Passport 9500ix, but it does have almost as good performance as the Escort models (though a bit slower detection in road tests by reviewers). They all come with a pre-loaded database of known speed camera and red light traps in North America, which helps the driver know, no matter where they are traveling, if a trap is coming up. Though even the best radar detectors require a small yearly fee to update, the Escort 9500ix in particular was the best performer so far and is well worth the small investment of an update subscription. The GPS in these units keeps track of where the vehicle is, how fast it is traveling, and alerts the driver of impending traps so the driver can slow down in time. Another great feature of these GPS detectors is their ability to “learn” with the driver by being able to receive input from the user regarding new trap locations discovered (which it remembers from that point on). The Escort Passport 9500ix by far has the largest database of known speed trap locations.
No matter where you drive, being covered by one of these best radar detectors or GPS detectors is a key part of a great driving experience. For the hobby driver, professional driver, or driving enthusiast, having a well-performing detector mounted in the car means that there will be plenty of warning before a speed trap nabs someone for speeding. We’ve looked at 3 very important features: long-range protection, false alarm prevention technology, and GPS. These three features, when put together, make for the very best performance in radar detection on the market. The detector manufacturers are keeping up with the latest technologies and are ever-evolving with new developments to give users the very best road performance possible. Keeping these 3 features in mind when looking for a detector will help you get the very best out of your radar detector investment and will keep you worry-free for years to come.