If you want to mount your radar detector underneath your rear view mirror (RVM), there’s two main options: The higher end BlendMount or the less expensive Radar Mount Mirror Mount. They both do basically the same thing and I was wondering which one is better and what the differences are so I reached out to both manufacturers and they’ve each sent me products to review and it turns out that while both of them will do the job, there’s quite a few differences between the two in practice. Let’s take a closer look.
Will these mounts work with the radar detector(s) you own? Both have a variety of mounts made for different detectors with different mounting brackets.
Both mounts are compatible with the most popular radar detectors from Valentine, Cobra, and Escort. There’s also two different types of Escort mounts that both companies make, depending on if you have a traditional mount like on the Redline/Magnum or the sticky cup magnetic mount used by the Max series detectors.
If you have an Escort iX, BlendMount makes a third Escort mount compatible with the iX’s unique magnetic mount. Also if you have a detector from Radenso, K40, or Uniden, BlendMount also makes brackets designed specifically for those detectors.
Now it turns out you can still use the Radar Mount with these other detectors too (except the iX), but it requires a bit of a workaround. The trick is to use the suction cup windshield mount the detector comes with, remove the suction cups themselves, and screw the Radar Mount bracket on where the suction cups would normally be. It requires more components to get it to work, but it does the job. Once you set it up, it’ll look like this:
So both mounts can be used with just about any RD on the market right now, but the BlendMount has more options for native compatibility and a cleaner install.
Mounting to your Rear View Mirror:
Attaching the mounts to your rear view mirror is a bit different with each mount.
The BlendMount clamps down from the sides and applies friction all the way around the mount. It also adds some optional padding that you can use if you have a smaller RVM stem. (On my car the RVM stem was too thick so I used it without this extra padding.) BlendMount used to use a foam pad called a bushing strip. Their updated model uses two custom nylon bushings that pop in to either side. Then you simply tighten down the screw at the top of the mount so that it holds on snugly.
The Radar Mount is a little different. Rather than wrapping completely around the stem itself, it has a set of clamps that squeeze down from the tops and bottom. To hold in place, it has little teeth that bite down onto your rear view mirror. You then tighten the screws on either side of the mount so that it squeezes down onto your RVM.
I’m not a fan of this mount design because the teeth on the top and bottom that bite down onto your rear view mirror can wind up scratching your RVM stem. Mine has been permanently scratched both on the top and bottom and I’m not particularly thrilled about it.
The BlendMount offers extra padding and because it wraps all the way around the RVM stem, it also offers a more solid and secure mount so I definitely prefer it.
Mount Adjustment & Detector Placement
Once you get the mount attached to your RVM, how easy is it to adjust the mount?
Well both are pretty straightforward. The design of the mounts are different so that makes adjustment different, but here’s how it works:
The BlendMount is pretty simple. You can tilt the radar detector forward and backwards from the hinge just under the RVM stem and you can slide the detector up and down to adjust how far down it hangs under your RVM. Then you tighten everything down with the included hex key.
The Radar Mount uses a pair of ball and sockets that you can adjust and then tighten down by hand using the included thumb screws.
The thumbscrews are designed to be adjusted by hand, but they include a hex key as well so you can tighten it down even further as needed. I figured I would prefer this solution because I wouldn’t have to keep (and potentially lose) a tool to adjust my RVM, but in practice I didn’t like this design as much. There’s a couple reasons.
- You really do need to use the hex key to tighten the mount down enough so you need to keep the tool on hand either way.
- The rectangular bar that the detector connects to has some really sharp corners and when you go to adjust those thumbscrews by hand, it’s very easy for my fingers to get poked by those sharp corners which can be quite painful. This is another reason why I prefer using the tool and keeping my fingers out of there.
3. The Radar Mount also pushes my radar detector closer towards the driver. Even if I slide the mount all the way back along the rear view mirror stem towards the windshield, the detector tends to stick farther forward into my face. I prefer that the BlendMount allows me to move the detector farther back towards the windshield.
4. The Radar Mount hangs the detector down lower under my rear view mirror. I’ve got a smaller car with limited real estate out my windshield already and would prefer the detector to be closer to my rear view mirror. If you have a larger vehicle, this would be less of an issue.
The BlendMount, on the other hand, allows me to bring my radar detector much closer to the rearview mirror which means it obstructs less of my visibility.
I can have the RD actually touching the RVM if I want, but I hang it just a tiny bit underneath so there’s no vibration and noise from the RD hitting the RVM. If I’m using a RD with buttons on the top of the detector such as the configuration or mute buttons, the BlendMount’s bendable mounting clip allows me to pull the detector down so I can access the buttons that would otherwise be blocked and then when I let go, it pulls the detector back up into position where I want it. I really like this design. Check out this sample video:
Mounting and Unmounting the Detector
What about when you want to mount or unmount your detector? How does that work?
With the BlendMount, they have what’s called a spring clip, which I just hinted at with pulling down the detector to get to the buttons on top. The top of the detector bracket has a piece of metal sticking up for you to push on which drops down the tongue of the connector where the detector slides onto. This makes it easy to mount and unmount the detector.
I’m not as big of a fan of the Radar Mount’s technique. Without that spring clip lever, you have to push the tongue of the mount down with your finger to create some room for the detector to slide onto it. Then once you let go, the clamp will grab onto the detector and hold it in place.
So yeah, overall I like BlendMount’s solution. Now that said, sometimes the edge of that metal lever can get a little sharp too so it might be a good idea to add some padding there yourself if it’s something you do a lot, but I still prefer it over the Radar Mount design.
Now once you get everything all set up and mounted, what about using it in practice? Well in my experience I find a bit more vibration in the detector from the Radar Mount’s design. Both mounts can sometimes lead to detector vibration, particularly on bumper roads, but I find more detector vibrations with the Radar Mount and so I prefer running with the more solid BlendMount.
Rear View Mirror Power Cable
If your rearview mirror is powered (autodimming, built in garage door opener, electronic compass, etc.), you can use a short power cable to tap into your RVM’s wiring harness and use it to power your radar detector. This makes for a clean and super easy way to power your radar detector without having to run and hide a long power cable along the trim of your vehicle and down into your fuse box. (If you don’t have a powered RVM, use a standard hardwire cable instead.)
There’s slightly different versions of the power cables depending on how long you want the cable to be, what kind of power connector you need for your particular radar detector, and how small the metal taps are that plug into your RVM’s wiring harness.
Both companies used to make nearly identical power cables. The Radar Mount one was a few bucks cheaper and the cable itself was a bit thicker, but otherwise they were pretty much the same. Pick the cable length, RD plug, and metal power connector size you want and there you go. Once you get it all set up and plugged in, they’re really the same thing and it didn’t matter which one you used so you might as well opt for Radar Mount’s cable because it’s a few bucks less.
BlendMount has since started offering an updated version of their MirrorTap power cables called the MTX series. See, there’s different size metal tips you could choose from that slide into you RVM’s power connector.
It can sometimes be a little difficult to figure out and guess initially which size power plugs you need. Some mirrors have smaller and tighter spaces than others to slide your new power cables into. If your MirrorTap connector is larger, it’s more durable but less likely to fit into your mirror. If it’s smaller it’s more likely to fit but also more likely to break off (ask me how I know…) 🙂
To make it easier for you to get the right size, the MirrorTap MTX comes with several different removable connectors to make sure you get the one that fits best for you. Additionally, if you happen to break a connector, it’s pretty easy to just grab another one and slide it in place to replace your broken one.
Another benefit I’ve found is that it’s easier to get your wiring figured out initially. To plug this cable in, you need to know which wires in your mirror’s power cable are your 12v power and your ground wires.
It can be a tight squeeze to get your multimeter probes in there to measure things. Mine didn’t fit so I used some thin wires I had laying around to probe inside and measure things. The MTX’s removable connector taps allow you to do the same thing. You can stick one end into your RVM’s power connector and use the other end to connect to your multimeter. This makes it much easier to figure out exactly where you should be inserting your power taps so that your RD is properly connected.
So this updated power cable definitely makes installation easier. Once you get everything all plugged in and set up, you’re not going to need to mess with it so ultimately any rear view mirror power cable will do the job. However, the MTX cables will give you a better experience overall.
This is where the Radar Mount offers its biggest advantage. It’s definitely less expensive than the BlendMount.
The standard BlendMount retails for $98.99 on Amazon.
If you drive a higher end car that requires a more specialized version of the BlendMount, that retails for $129.99 on Amazon.
If you want a Radar Mount Mirror Mount, they have just one universal design (though there’s different brackets depending on your radar detector) and assuming it fits for your car, it retails for $35.99 on Amazon.
So the Radar Mount is definitely the more budget friendly choice.
That said, the best deal on the BlendMount isn’t actually buying from Amazon, but buying direct and using their 12.5% off discount coupon. They also have a link where if you share the product on social media it’s another $5 off. Choose free shipping and the normal BlendMount is $81.62. If you get the specialty one, it’s $108.74. If you want to get a BlendMount, this is the way to do it. Click here to purchase the discounted BlendMount.
Radar Mount’s rear view mirror power cables are also less expensive as well. They retail for $15.99 on Amazon.
BlendMount’s MirrorTap MTX cables retail for $39.99 on Amazon.
Note: If you don’t have a powered RVM, no problem. Just use a standard hardwire cable instead.
So when it comes to price, the Radar Mount is definitely cheaper.
Winner: Radar Mount
Conclusion & Winner?
So which one is best?
For me personally, I like that the BlendMount doesn’t damage my car the way the Radar Mount did, I like it better in terms of adjustability and where it holds my RD, I find it easier to mount and unmount my RD as well as accessing the buttons as needed. I like that it holds the detector in a more solid fashion, you can tell the build quality is better, it’s compatible with more detectors, it doesn’t hurt your fingers if you accidentally poke a sharp edge near the mount, and it’s just a better experience overall.
In short, the BlendMount is definitely the better product. It’s more expensive, yes, but it provides a noticeably better experience too. At the end of the day, either one will do the job and they’ll hold your RD under your RVM for you. If you’re on a tight budget, I think the Radar Mount is alright. It’s not as refined as the BlendMount, but it’s a way to save a little cash and get your RD off your windshield and avoid needing suction cups. However, if you’re the type of person who really enjoys having a great quality experience, I think it’s well worth opting for the BlendMount instead.
If you’re wondering which mount you should get, I’d recommend you purchase the BlendMount.
I reached out to both BlendMount and Radar Mount and asked them to send me samples of their products in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I’m not being paid for my reviews and I get to keep the products once I’m done testing them. The links I posted are affiliate links so I make a percentage when you buy either mount.