Best Radar Detectors: Buyer’s Guide

Best Radar Detectors for 2017, A Buyer’s Guide

(Updated July 2017)

There’s lots of radar detectors out there, but which one is best to help you avoid expensive speeding tickets?

LRD950 Redline Max360 V1 cropped horiz

Everyone wants to know which radar detector is the “best,” but radar detectors are like cars in that there isn’t one car that’s universally the best choice for every person in every situation. In the same way that a sports car, a prius, and an SUV are all “best” for different people with different needs, where you drive and what your preferences are will determine which radar detector is best for you.

Let’s take a look at the very best radar detectors on the market and help you find which one best suits you.

How to Choose a Radar Detector?

What’s important in a radar detector? Everyone wants long range warning and really good false alert filtering, but what else should you look for to help you choose one detector over another?

City / Highway Driving?

If you drive primarily on the highway, especially in rural areas, a high performance detector offering maximum detection range is the really the main thing you’d need. In that case, the Uniden R1 will be your top pick.

However, if you also drive in the city or urban areas, you’ll want a detector with GPS so that the detector can learn where all the stationary false alerts are located around town including shopping centers and drugstores with radar-based automatic door openers as well as those “your speed is” radar signs. It will remember where those false alerts are located and filter them out when you drive by again in the future. GPS is also super handy to filter out signals when you’re driving around town at low speed. It can also alert you to nearby redlight cameras and speed cameras. Most detectors have a GPS chip built, but a few require pairing to your phone and running an app to use your phone’s GPS. (For complete information about the benefits of GPS in a radar detector, read this article.)

Easy to Use vs. Maximum Control

Some detectors are designed to be easy to use and plug-and-play so you can put it on your windshield and it does everything straight out of the box. The Escort Passport Max and Max360 are perfect examples. Other detectors like the V1 may be able to do the same things, but they’ll require more setup, configuration, and a cell phone to do the same thing, but in return they give you more control, more options, and sometimes even better performance so they’re popular with enthusiasts.

Windshield Mount vs. Remote Mount

Radar detectors come in two different designs: Windshield mount detectors are little boxes that attach to your windshield. Remote mount radar detectors are custom installed in the grill of your car and you put a controller and display somewhere inside your vehicle.

Windshield mount detectors are more affordable, easier to install, and there’s many more options. Remote mount detectors are more expensive and often require professional installation (though you can do it yourself), but in return they offer the very best in performance, you get a cleaner install, and your radar detector is out of sight to police officers and potential thieves. Certain high end cars have windshields that can block radar signals so in those cases a remote mount is your only option. (More info below.)

Are Radar Detectors Legal?

In the US, radar detectors are legal in passenger vehicles in 49 out of the 50 states. They are only illegal in VA and D.C. They are also illegal on all military bases, in commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds, and in all vehicles over 18,000 pounds. Otherwise they are legal all across the USA.

In Canada they are illegal in most provinces, with the exception of BC, AB, & SK.

In areas where radar detectors are illegal, the police often use radar detector detectors (RDD’s) like the VG-2 or Spectre to find drivers who use radar detectors so you’ll want one that’s immune from detection by RDD’s. Most modern radar detectors are immune to being picked up by the ancient VG-2, but it’s the more modern Spectre Elite that you’ll really want to look out for and that’s what I’ll be referencing.

Note: In many states like California, it’s also illegal to mount a radar detector to your windshield so you may want to consider a Blendmount and hang it underneath your rearview mirror.

Budget

Most good windshield mount detectors are in the $300-$600 range. Remote mount detectors range from $500-$3800, depending on options, plus installation. There are many less expensive cheapy ones, especially windshield mounts, but they’re generally a waste of money, give poor range, and do a lousy job at filtering false alerts so you’ll quickly get annoyed with it and want to throw it out the window. Opting for a good quality radar detector is highly recommended. Considering that speeding tickets bring not only the cost of the ticket, but also hikes to your insurance premiums (which can be substantial), potential court costs, lawyer fees, etc., it’s generally recommended to get a quality product that offers you a solid level of protection and helps you avoid the headaches in general.

Radar detectors only help against radar and throughout the country you’ll also see laser. Against laser you’ll need good set of laser jammers. Unfortunately radar detectors don’t help against laser. Laser jammers will generally run you between $750-$2000 (depending on options, size of your vehicle, and if you want front only or front and rear protection) plus installation so that’s something to keep in mind as well when putting together your countermeasure package. Radar detectors and laser jammers go hand in hand as part of a complete kit.

 

Best Windshield Mount Radar Detectors

Uniden R3: High end, long range, high performance radar detector ($399)

The Uniden R3 is an absolute monster and is quickly becoming my go-to pick as the “best” radar detector. It’s the one I personally run on my windshield. I don’t remember the last time people have gotten this excited about a radar detector. It’s the successor to the DFR7 (which I’ll talk about in just a moment), the next generation digital version of it. For you guys looking for the “best” radar detector, this is one of the two radar detectors I’ll point you to. (This and the Max360 I’ll cover next.) This detector has the highest performance and longest range out of any radar detector ever produced, no matter the price, beating out the previous long range King, the Escort Redline, while offering all the same capabilities, more features, better false alert filtering, and a more affordable price. It’s insane. When it comes to picking up radar at a distance to give you time to slow down, even in trickier and more difficult situations, while also giving you the false filtering you need, this is it. If you also need RDD immunity, these detectors are stealth to RDD’s as well.

Now there’s actually two versions of this detector, the Uniden R1 without GPS and the Uniden R3 with GPS. If you drive in urban areas, the R3 is the one to get because it offers GPS lockouts (the ability to learn and filter out stationary false alerts from automatic door openers and speed signs), low speed muting when you’re driving around town slowly, as well as redlight camera alerts. If you drive primarily in rural areas, the R1 would be the way to go. Personally I’d recommend the R3 for most drivers as it’s a more well-rounded detector and the GPS functionality adds a ton of value (more info here), but the R1 is a solid option too and it’s $100 less.

These detectors were released very recently and had some initial bugs (par for the course with new tech products including radar detectors), but many of the bugs have been already addressed and firmware updates continue to be released quickly to both fix any bugs and add yet even more features based on user requests so I must say I’ve been very impressed with how Uniden is responding.

Once you select the R3, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.


Max360: Simple to Use, Plug and Play, Arrows, All the Bells and Whistles ($649)

Max360

The other detector that I’d consider for the title of “best radar detector” for most people would be the Escort Max360. It may not offer quite the range as the Uniden R3, but it offers a number of other benefits making it very easy to use. It’s the one I’d recommend to my brother or my parents, people who would like useful features but are not radar detector experts and have no interest in becoming one. 🙂

I’ve covered the Uniden R3 vs. Max360 in depth in this article, but the primary advantages of the Max360 is that it provides a ton of useful information while being very user friendly and easy to use.

The main benefit of the Max360 is that it adds arrows to help you locate the source of the threat which is quite helpful in practice. The other main benefit is that the GPS lockouts are completely automatic so as you drive around, the detector will automatically start learning and remembering false alerts around town without you having to manually teach it every time so it gets quieter the more you use it, all by itself. These two features alone can make a big difference your day to day user experience.

You can also pair it with your cell phone and connect it to the cloud to share realtime alerts with other Escort drivers so you benefit from their detections too before you even get near the cop while also providing them with advanced warning of what’s ahead. (You can do a similar thing by running Waze on your phone, but that’s again more manual.) The bluetooth capability will also let you change any settings directly from your phone as well as display the speed limit for the road you’re on right on the face of your detector.

BSM filtering of this detector is honestly a bit lacking and it will false to other nearby vehicles more than some other detectors, but Escort has developed a very effective BSM filter for their remote Max Ci 360 (discussed below) and a firmware update is promised for the Max360 to make it comparable to the filtering in the Max Ci 360. Unlike the Max Ci 360 though, if you need RDD immunity, the Max360 is detectable.

Now it’s not the cheapest detector out there. In fact, at a retail price of $650 (though sometimes discounted online), it’s actually the most expensive windshield-mount detector on the market. There are other detectors that offer longer range at a comparable or even lower price. What you’re getting with this detector is not the absolute highest performance on the market, but rather very good all-around performance in the majority of situations as well as all the bells and whistles while still being easy to use and doing everything for you automatically. That’s the main appeal of this detector

If I was to give my brother or parents a radar detector, people who aren’t radar detector experts and don’t want to be, yet they still want something that works well and can do everything for them once it’s up on their windshield, this is the one I’d recommend.

Once you select the Max360, watch this tutorial to learn how to use your Max360.


Uniden DFR7: Best Bang for the Buck, City/Highway Driving ($269)

Uniden DFR7

If you guys are looking for the best bang for the buck, the mid-tier Unidens would be my recommendation. The DFR7 is a good all-around radar detector for both city and highway driving, and it won’t break the bank. It offers a more performance and capability than most anything else in this price range, and very effective BSM filtering, GPS functionality, and it retails for under $300.

Range on the highway is pretty good, especially on the more popular police radar frequencies like 34.7, but it’s a bit weaker on others. The R3 offers insanely good detection range on all bands so you don’t have this trade-off which is the main reason I prefer the R3, but it does cost more.

In terms of filtering out false alerts, the DFR7 great job at filtering out cars with blind spot monitoring systems so you won’t constantly get bombarded with false alerts. It’s actually one of the best filters available at any price. It also has a GPS chip built in which makes it very helpful around town. Thanks to the GPS chip, you can get your GPS lockouts to filter out known stationary false alerts, low speed muting for driving through town, as well as redlight camera alerts. If you need RDD immunity, the DFR7 is stealth.

The DFR7 sells for $269 now. Since prices sometimes fluctuate and there’s two places I’d recommend you look to buy the DFR7, Amazon and BRD.

Once you select the DFR7, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.


Uniden DFR6: Affordable entry level detector on a budget ($179)

Uniden DFR6

For those of you who are looking for the most affordable detector that is still good, you can save some cash by getting the Uniden DFR6. It’s the same thing as the DFR7 with the same level of performance and ability to filter out blind spot falses, except it doesn’t have a GPS chip so you won’t get the GPS functionality for extra filtering and features around town. If you drive mostly in urban areas, are on a tight budget, and/or you don’t mind constantly pressing the mute button on your detector, you can save some cash and go with the DFR6.

Honestly I still think the DFR7 is a better pick because those GPS features are so helpful around town. Personally I don’t want to use a detector without it. It’s mostly useful for around town, but often times even driving down the highway you’ll pass shopping centers or strip malls with automatic door openers nearby so the GPS lockouts are really helpful even on the highway. However, if you’re looking for the lowest up front cost, the DFR6 is the best low priced detector I’d recommend. Prices fluctuate and there’s two places I’d recommend you check for the best price on the DFR6: Amazon and BRD.

Once you select the DFR6, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.


Escort Passport Max & Max2: Plug-and-play, Automatic, City/Highway Driving (~$299-449)

Escort Passport Max

If you want something between the Max360 with its automatic GPS lockouts and plug-and-play capability, but you don’t need the arrows and you like the lower price of the DFR7, take a look at the Escort Passport Max and Max2. They’re actually direct competitors to the DFR7 and they adds automatic lockouts, but they have both since been discontinued. This means they can be tougher to find, but you can find them for a much lower price than they originally sold for ($550 for the Max or $600 for the Max2). If you want the Bluetooth features of the Max360 such as the realtime cloud alerts shared with other drivers, you can get the Max2. If you don’t need that feature and want to save some cash, go for the original Max.

Now while the detectors have been discontinued, they’re still being supported. In fact, the firmware update coming for the Max360 to give it better BSM filtering is coming to the Max and Max2 as well. The Max/Max2 are being replaced in Escort’s lineup by the Escort iX ($499). That detector has all the same features as the Max2, as well as a trick new mount, but it offers reduced performance, less range, worse BSM filtering, and a higher pricetag. Prices of the Max and Max2 fluctuate so you’ll want to check current pricing, but if you want the automatic GPS lockouts and you don’t need the arrows and/or don’t want to pay for the Max360, take a look at the Max and Max2.

You can purchase the Escort Passport Max here.

You can purchase the Escort Passport Max2 here.

Once you select a Max or Max2, watch this tutorial to learn how to set it up.


Radenso XP: Wonderfully Quiet Urban Detector ($399)

If you’d like a detector that is very quiet around town, gives you a lot of control, offers all the helpful GPS functionality, and doesn’t require a cell phone to program or use, check out the Radenso XP. Not only does it offer plenty of performance, but the filtering options are amazing so it doesn’t annoy me or my girlfriend. In fact this is the one that I gave her to run in her car. The blind spot filtering is excellent, the low speed muting keeps the detector nice and quiet around town, and you’ve got GPS lockouts.

The XP also has some fantastic muting options that help make it one of the quietest detectors around. The lockouts are great for teaching the detector to mute the false alerts are in areas I’ve driven before, but what about in new areas? Well besides low speed muting, you also have the ability to tell the detector to audibly mute ALL X and K band alerts and only alert you visually. It will alert you if there’s Ka or Laser which is almost always a legitimate alert. Now muting K band can be risky because your detector won’t beep if police officers are using K band radar guns around you so to address this, the detector provides more visual alert options like blinking at you when it detects an alert or even keeping the screen off and only lighting up when there’s an alert to ensure it gets your attention. This way the detector can still get your attention and tell you what you need to know without constantly beeping and annoying others in the car in the process. One thing I do want to mention, however, is that the frequency display isn’t very accurate and the lockouts don’t always stick over time. You may lock out a signal and yet the next time you drive by, the detector may alert you again anyway. It’s an issue that Radenso is working on and improving upon. The other features are great, but Radenso is still having difficulty getting the lockouts to stick.

Radenso’s customer service is also excellent should any issues arise over time, they’re very active with their users to fix any bugs or add helpful new features, and they’re really dedicated to making an awesome detector. This detector reminds me of an Android or an iPhone in that it’s a great product that continues to receive updates and improvements over time. For example, they’re continuing to update and improve the lockouts, voices, alert presentation styles, ease of access of menu settings, and so on. Oh, it’s RDD immune too. Overall, it’s a great and quiet detector that continues to get better over time.

That said, I think the R3 has kind of stolen its thunder. The R3 offers much better range, the GPS lockouts work properly, and the pricepoint is the same. The Radenso offers you more fine tuned control, more advanced muting capabilities, and is geared towards the enthusiast. If that suits you, pick up an XP. I’d recommend you check Amazon and BRD for the best prices.

Once you select the Radenso XP, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.


V1 & YaV1 or V1Driver: Arrows, Maximum Control, & Customizability for Tech Savvy People ($449)

V1

Finally here’s a detector that I’ve run for a long time and holds a soft spot in my heart. If you want all the bells and whistles like the Max360 like the arrows and GPS lockouts without paying for the full price of a 360, if you’re more technically minded, you don’t mind pairing your detector with a phone, and you’re cool with taking more time to learn the detector and program some advanced features, the V1 is an excellent option. It pretty chatty straight out of the box (many people complain it falses too much before they learn how to program it properly and they’re right), but you can improve it considerably by pairing it with a cell phone and running an app to configure it more and add the GPS-based functionality that other detectors offer on their end.

Once you get it fully set up with your phone, you’ll have an experience very similar to the Max360 (this is what the Max360 is actually designed to directly compete against), except with more control, more advanced lockouts, and all at a lower price. If your phone is in your pocket or the app is running in the background, you won’t be able to quickly and easily see all of the relevant information such as radar band, frequency, and so forth. (All the dots are red and it can be tough to understand what’s going on at a glance, particularly if you have the volume turned down.) It’s a very appealing package that provides a lot of useful information, but it takes more external accessories (bluetooth module, phone, third party apps) and setup and configuration to do what the Max360 can do automatically. For a more info, check out my complete comparison between the Max360 and the V1/YaV1.

If you’re running an Android, you can pair it with an Android phone and run the free app YaV1. There’s definitely a learning curve to setting this app up, but my tutorials will guide you through it. You’ll need the Android bluetooth module (V1Connection) to do this. (Note: There’s been an update to allow Android phones to use the V1C LE which the iPhone uses, but YaV1 still requires the Android only V1C so get that one.)

If you’re running an iPhone, you can purchase V1Driver from the app store for $9.99. You’ll need the iPhone bluetooth module (V1Connection LE) to do this.

If my parents wanted a radar detector, since they’re not very tech savvy and they’d want a simple plug-and-play experience, I’d recommend the Max360 for them. The V1 is great, but it really does require your phone to get all the functionality and information you’d want, plus you need your phone to do some of the more advanced and required programming. The Max360 lets you do all this stuff in one integrated package and it’s far more plug and play which is why I think that for most people, the 360 is a better choice. However, when I want to be on point and understand everything that’s going on around me, the V1 is one solid and trustworthy detector that I feel good counting on. Also, if RDD immunity is important to you, the V1 is detectable.

If you decide on the V1, I’d actually recommend you NOT buy from Amazon. If you do, you’ll pay more than full price and get no warranty. People resell them there at a profit. Buy a V1 directly from Valentine. If you’re considering a used V1, watch this video first. Finally, once you purchase a V1 ($400), Android bluetooth module ($50), and pair it with your Android phone, check out this tutorial to set up your V1 / YaV1. If you go for the iPhone version, get the iPhone version of the bluetooth module (V1C LE) and purchase V1Driver. V1Driver is basically ready to go out of the box, but it does have some options which are all explained within the app itself.

Bluetooth modules: Android, iOS

Apps: YaV1 for Android, V1Driver for iPhone


Best Remote Mount Radar Detectors

Now if you don’t want a radar detector hanging off your windshield that’s visible to police officers, other drivers, and potential thieves, or you prefer a cleaner and more factory look in your cabin, a remote mount radar detector is the way to go. These are also great options if you drive a higher end luxury car like a Mercedes, Porsche, Range Rover, or Tesla that has a heated or metallic windshield because those windshields may prevent electronics like radar detectors, GPS receivers, or even toll passes from working properly. If that applies to your vehicle, you’ll definitely want to opt for a remote detector instead.

Remote mount detectors offer top of the line performance, equal to or better than windshield mount detectors. They will also require professional installation since the radar detector antenna itself is installed in your grill, you’ll install a controller and display somewhere in your cabin, and you’ll have it permanently installed and wired in your car. If you’re handy with electronics and wiring, you can do it yourself instead.

Personally I have multiple remotes installed on my car for testing and comparison purposes. I’m finding there’s a lot of great options, each with their own pros and cons of course, but none of them is far and away the “best” detector. There’s several top contenders, however, so let’s take a closer look at the very best remotes.


Stinger VIP: High Performance, Advanced Hardware, All the Bells and Whistles ($2,500 – $3,800)

Stinger VIP

This is the remote mount radar detector that I run in my vehicle day to day. It’s a high performance radar detector that offers just about everything you could possibly want. It gives you long range performance, pretty effective BSM filtering, low speed muting, automatic GPS lockouts without requiring a phone, red light camera alerts, an optional rear antenna to give directional information, MRCD detection for international usage and better future-proofing here in the US, the only radar detector with in-car radar filtering if your car has radar based collision avoidance system that would trigger false alerts in your own radar detector, RDD immunity, integration with Stinger’s optional and very tiny laser jammer heads… the works.

All-around, this is a pretty good and feature rich remote radar detector. Getting it up to 100% and fixing every single bug, however, is proving a bit difficult for Stinger. Not too long ago they actually rewrote the entire firmware from scratch (between firmware 3.x.x and 4.x.x) and the detector has become significantly better since. Each firmware issue addresses some issues, but unfortunately introduces others. It’s two steps forward and one step back. Currently my autolockouts aren’t working (manual ones are), for others where they do work it will sometimes lock out police officers, the hidden side buttons don’t work with the updated display so you have to use a hidden menu to access them, the bulletproof-ness of the laser jammers can still be a bit hit or miss, and so forth. The platform is incredibly powerful and capable, and Stinger’s engineers are very passionate about their product, but it can be frustrating to deal with some of the issues that are present with the Stinger, especially given its upper end price point, and these frustrations are the primary reason I can’t give this detector a solid recommendation. That and the fact that you can get a Uniden R3 for a fraction of the price and it offers even better range and BSM filtering. Sure that’s a windshield mount and not a remote, it doesn’t detect the MRCD, it doesn’t offer arrows so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but still there’s a massive price differential that’s hard to ignore.

If you’d like the Stinger VIP, you can purchase it directly from Cliff at Stinger USA. Cliff can help you find the ideal antenna placement options for your specific vehicle since that is very important. The standard Stinger VIP retails for $2790. The optional rear antenna is available for an additional $1500. To save some money, use the coupon code “VortexRadar” to save 10% off your purchase of the Stinger VIP. Once you do this, the Stinger costs $2511 for the standard single antenna setup or $3861 for the dual antenna setup.


Net Radar Antenna: Remote Detector with Fantastic Filtering to Integrate with your AntiLaser Priority ($499 – $899)

Net Radar antenna

My favorite bang for the buck remote radar detector is the Net Radar. If you’re running the AntiLaser Priority laser jamming system (currently the best laser jammer on the market), it has the ability to integrate with several different remote radar detectors. You can take the radar detector antenna, plug it into your ALP, and your ALP serves as the “brains” for the radar detector antenna giving you a fully integrated radar detector & laser jammer package.

The Net Radar is designed to be an all-around excellent radar detector giving you ton of performance for the money. In my testing I’ve found that it can hold its own relative to other top end radar detectors on the market. Other detectors may offer a little better all-out range, but the Net Radar is designed to offer you plenty of advanced warning time while also offering outstanding blind spot filtering capabilities, the ability to do GPS lockouts when paired with a phone, optionally add additional antennas to give you arrows or MRCD detection, all while doing this at a reasonable price. It’s designed to be the best bang for the buck.

If there’s something I wish it could change, I wish the alert LED would light up different colors for radar and laser alerts. Laser alerts I need to take action on instantly. With radar, there’s more false alerts in general (true with every radar detector) and so I don’t want to be panic braking and ready to kill my jammers every time the radar detector goes off.

There’s also a few limitations that will be changing with upcoming firmware updates. GPS lockouts require your cell phone running the ALPconnect app and the optional Bluetooth module. When paired via BT, your control pad doesn’t work so you don’t have a dedicated button to mute your radar alerts or kill your jammers. You use your phone to do so, low speed muting and GPS lockouts for radar muting, and a timer to kill your jammers after a few seconds. (An update is coming to allow the control button to mute alerts or kill your jammers while paired to BT.) On Android the app can pop up in the background to make it easy to mute your RD, but on iOS you just get a small notification you have to tap on and then you have to tap on screen a second time to mute your RD. There’s also an issue where lockouts don’t work currently on iOS until the next app update. Finally, I also find an issue with the stereo in my particular car where there’s a brief delay between when the app alerts and when I hear the alert through my car stereo which cuts down into my JTK reaction time. With most cars and stereos this is okay, but it’s an issue for my particular stereo. You can always test this out by downloading the app (Android or iOS) and running the demo to preview how alerts sound with your car. Assuming it works well and given that the updates to lockouts are coming for iOS, I think this is a great option for people.

With the Net Radar, you can run it with one, two, or even up to three antennas simultaneously. Your primary antenna will be facing forward and acting as your traditional radar detector antenna. You can add a second rear facing antenna ($399) to give you directional information (arrows) like the V1, Max360, or Stinger VIP. Finally, you can add a third antenna specifically for MRCD support if you live or drive in Canada, just like the Stinger VIP offers. The MRCD is a specialized low powered radar gun that is very difficult to detect and requires some specialized hardware to pick up. It is primarily used overseas, but in North America we’re seeing it in Canada in Alberta and Quebec. If you need this capability, you can purchase the MRCD antenna for $299.

If you don’t want to pair it with your phone, you can use the HiFi module ($99) which is essentially an external speaker for your ALP. This makes the alerts louder so they’re easier to hear when driving, plus you get voice alerts to tell you what radar band or laser gun you’re detecting. It also makes it much easier to navigate the menus. With the Net Radar, you will want to add either the HiFi module or the Bluetooth module. They are $99 each and are not included. You can run both at the same time too which is what I do. This way you get the GPS lockout functionality and update settings and firmware versions through your phone as needed. When running both, the bluetooth takes priority so the audio will play out of your phone or your car’s stereo if your phone is paired with your stereo. If you don’t have your phone with you or aren’t using it, the system will fall back to using the HiFi module and play through its dedicated speaker. If you run Bluetooth only without the HiFi module, everything will still work, but if you’re not running your phone, the sounds will play through your standard’s control pad and they will sound different so I recommend the HiFi for louder and consistent alerts.

When it comes to RDD immunity, the NR is almost stealth, but not completely. It’s detectable only when the officer is in close proximity. You can watch a video illustrating this here.

So to summarize if you do a lot of driving in urban areas and want a great bang for the buck radar detector, and you’re running the ALP’s or plan on getting them too, the Net Radar is the way to go. You get great performance, very effective BSM filtering, optional arrows, GPS lockouts are available, and while you do have to factor in the cost of laser jammers into the total price, there’s nothing in this price range that offers the features and value that the Net Radar does.

Click here to buy the Bluetooth module.

Click here to buy the HiFi module.


Escort Max Ci & Max Ci 360 ($3000 – $3500 plus installation)

I haven’t had a chance to test this one out yet so I can’t give it my own recommendation based on personal experience, but it’s been tested quite a bit by several other radar detector enthusiasts I trust highly and it’s looking very promising in many ways. This is Escort’s brand new remote radar detector. It’s a modernized version of the M3 used in the high performance Redline and 9500ci so it gives you long range performance like the previous generation detectors, except it now adds more advanced BSM filtering which is proving itself to be quite possibly the very best blind spot filter available which is a big accomplishment.

It also comes with Escort’s new laser jammers called the ShifterMax jammers. You have to buy the radar detector with the jammers and it’s currently unavailable without the jammers. The jammers are looking good against older laser jammers, but they are unable to jam the newest and most difficult lidar guns with sophisticated anti-jamming technology, despite initial claims that it could. We’re currently awaiting a firmware update to add this support to their jammers, but I have some pretty serious doubts about their ability to accomplish it. Time will tell.

The radar detector / laser jammer combo is available in two versions: The front-only Max Ci ($3000) with a front facing radar detector and two laser jammers, or the front and rear Max Ci 360 ($3500) which adds a second rear facing radar detector along with two additional laser jammers to protect you from behind. The 360 also adds arrows to let you know where the radar source (but not laser) is located. Both detectors offer long range performance, great BSM filtering, automatic GPS lockouts with no phone required, Bluetooth support to share realtime cloud-based alerts with other Escort owners, and RDD immunity.

With most remote radar detectors you have the option of either purchasing online or directly from your local installer, but with the Max Ci series detectors, officially you can only purchase them through a local installer. (That said, some people have purchased the detectors on their own and done the installs themselves to save money.) This product was recently released and initial impressions and testing are still rolling in, so complete information is not yet available. Initial supplies are also still limited and the product is on backorder at this time. Nevertheless, it is showing promise as a solid option.

Find a local Escort installer near you.


Best Radar Detector of 2017

So which one is best? Boy I wish there was a simple answer to that because it really depends. They each have their pros and cons, as you can see, but let me give you my top picks from this list to simplify things a bit.

  • Uniden R3

One of my two recommendations for people looking for the “best radar detector” is the Uniden R3. It’s an absolute beast in terms of performance, giving you the best possible ability to detect police radar (arguably the most important job of a radar detector) while also effectively filtering out false alerts both on the highway and around town, making it a top notch all-around detector. Click here to purchase.

  • Escort Max360

Max360 teeny thumbIf you’re the type of person who likes having all the bells and whistles, you want arrows to locate the threat, and you want the detector to do everything for you so you get an easy to use experience, pick the Max360. Click here to purchase.

  • Uniden DFR6

Uniden DFR6 teeny thumbIf you’re looking for more of an inexpensive entry level detector, the DFR6 is your best affordable choice. It offers great performance and blind spot filtering. Without GPS it can’t filter out nearby speed signs and shopping centers, but if you’re constantly doing highway driving in new areas, this is the most inexpensive detector I’d recommend. Click here to purchase.

  • Uniden DFR7

Uniden DFR7 teeny thumbThis is the standard go-to recommendation for your all-around detector with good performance and good false filtering for both city and highway without dropping too much cash. If you’re looking for the best bang for the buck, I’d say the DFR7 is it. Click here to purchase.

  • Valentine One with YaV1 or V1Driver

V1 teeny thumbIf you want a good all around package with arrows and to have a solid understanding of the threats around you, if you’re tech savvy and are cool with a bit of a learning curve, get the V1 with YaV1. If you’re an iPhone user, run V1Driver with your V1. Click here to purchase.

  • Stinger VIP

Stinger VIP teeny thumbIf you want an extremely capable and advanced standalone remote radar detector, the Stinger VIP is a great way to go. It offers all the key features you’d need, it supports multiple antennas for arrows, it can be paired with Stinger’s teeny tiny yet effective laser jammers, it’s continually being updated and improved, and it’s an effective high end option. (Use the coupon code “VortexRadar” for 10% off.) Click here to purchase.

  • Net Radar

Net Radar teeny thumb

If you’re running an AntiLaser Priority laser jammer and you want a remote radar detector too, the Net Radar is a top pick and the best bang for the buck. You get good performance, filtering, and manual GPS lockouts when you add your phone. You also have support for multiple antennas to add arrows to help you locate the threat. Click here to purchase.


Bonus Accessories

Hardwire cables: Radar detectors come with a cigarette lighter power cable. You can optionally upgrade to a hardwire cable for a permanent and clean installation with no unsightly cables hanging down your dash and taking up your cig. lighter port. Click here to see your hardwire cable options and click here to read the installation guide.

Blendmount: Radar detectors come with a suction cup mount to attach to your windshield. In some areas it’s illegal to mount things to your windshield and it’s also nice to not have suction cups on your windshield or even suction cup rings when you remove them, not to mention suction cups sometimes fail which means your radar detector would fall down on your dash, so a nice upgrade is the Blendmount which hangs your detector under your rearview mirror. Click here to learn more about the Blendmount.

Waze: Waze is a free navigation app for your phone like Google Maps that allows drivers to report traffic, accidents, and where police officers are positioned in realtime. When you see an officer on the side of the road looking to give tickets, you can mark him in the app and alert other drivers. You can also see alerts from other drivers in realtime so it’s a great complement to your radar detector to add an additional layer of protection. You can download it for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Laser Jammers: Radar detectors are great against radar but they don’t help against police officers running laser. To combat laser you’ll want a set of laser jammers for your car. Fortunately the choice for jammers is much easier and the best on the market in this case is the AntiLaser Priority. Proper setup and configuration is critical with jammers so you’ll also want to check out my complete ALP setup guide as well.


No matter which detector you choose listed here, you’re going to wind up with an excellent unit. It will do a great job of picking up police radar, it can help you filter out those pesky false alerts, and it can easily pay for itself many times over by helping you avoid speeding tickets from police shooting radar.

I’d also recommend reading about the Top 10 Questions About Radar Detectors to better understand some of the most frequently asked questions about how they work, legalities, where to mount them in your vehicle, and so on.

If you’ve found this guide helpful, please share it online so others can benefit from it too. When you purchase, you can use the links I’ve included which supports me without costing you a dime. If you’d like to support my site personally, you can sign up and contribute as a Patreon member as well.

Happy driving and enjoy. 🙂

-Vortex