Buy a Radar Detector

Top 10 Best Radar Detectors for 2016, Buyer’s Guide

(Updated August 2016)

There’s lots of fantastic radar detectors out there that can all help you avoid speeding tickets and will pay for themselves many times over, but which one is the best and which one is right for you?

LRD950 Redline Max360 V1 cropped horiz

Everyone wants to know which radar detector is the “best,” but radar detectors are like cars or cell phones or anything else in that there isn’t one option that’s universally the best choice for every person in every situation. Which detector you should buy really comes down to your own personal preferences and needs so it’s not so much about which radar detector is “the best” but rather which radar detector is the best for you.

The radar detectors I’ll recommend to you are all the very best on the market. Any one of them will do the job. They’ll generally give you plenty of time to slow down and avoid a speeding ticket while also filter out many false alerts so that you’ll actually pay attention to it when it goes off. (False alerts are one of the biggest complaints with radar detectors so this is very important.) Some detectors may offer longer range or better filtering than others, of course, and every detector has its own specialty, kind of like how a sports car, an SUV, and a hybrid will all get you from A to B, but they offer very different experiences along the way.

Let’s take a look at which detector would suit you based on your personal needs, where you drive, your budget, and even your personality and preferences.

 

How to Choose a Radar Detector?

What should you look for when deciding which radar detector you should buy? What features and options actually matter? Here’s what to consider when selecting a radar detector:

City / Highway Driving?

If you drive primarily on the highway, a high performance detector offering maximum detection range is the most important thing to look for. The Escort Redline and Beltronics Magnum are your classic highway detectors.

If you also drive in the city, you’ll want a detector with GPS so that the detector can learn and filter out all of the sources of non-police radar around town such as automatic door openers from shopping centers and drugstores as well as radar-based speed signs. GPS is also handy for alerting you to redlight cameras and speed cameras in use in your area. (GPS is also helpful on the highway to filter out shopping centers you drive past that are right next to the highway.) Some detectors have a GPS chip built in while others will require your phone running an app to use your phone’s GPS.

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 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 they give you more control, more options, and sometimes even better performance so they’re popular with power users.

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.

Are Radar Detectors Legal?

Radar detectors are legal in 49 out of the 50 states. They are only illegal in Virginia and Washington D.C. (The penalty if caught is usually a small fine and no points, but they no longer confiscate detectors.)

They are also illegal on military bases, in commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds, and in all vehicles over 18,000 pounds. (Penalties if caught include loss of your CDL if you’re a truck driver so this can be very risky.)

In Canada they are illegal in most provinces, with the exception of BC, AB, & SK where they are legal. (Penalties vary in different provinces and can include financial penalties and even confiscation or your car being impounded, even if your radar detector is turned off and tucked away.)

In areas where radar detectors are illegal, the police often use radar detector detectors (RDD’s) to find drivers who use radar detectors. There are two different types of RDD’s, the VG-2 and the Spectre. The VG-2 is an ancient RDD that most RD’s are now immune to detection from. A few police departments still use them, but many have since upgraded to the Spectre. There’s different models of the Spectre, but the Spectre’s can detect most RD’s and is what most officers use these days. Many RD companies will advertise immunity from the VG-2, but that’s virtually irrelevant since it’s the Spectre that we’re concerned with.

There are only a few radar detectors that are undetectable by all RDD’s including the Spectre. These are the Escort Redline, Beltronics Magnum, Beltronics STi-R Plus, and Stinger VIP.

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. Opting for a quality radar detector is recommended. Considering that speeding tickets bring not only the cost of the ticket, but also hikes to your insurance premiums, potential court costs, and lawyer fees, etc., it’s generally recommended to get a quality product that offers you a solid level of protection. You gotta pay to play.

Not to mention that you’ll also want to get a good set of laser jammers as well since officers now use laser all over the country and radar detectors don’t help against laser. Laser jammers will generally run you $1000-2000 for the jammers plus installation so that’s something to keep in mind as well when putting together your countermeasure kit. Radar detectors and laser jammers go hand in hand as part of a complete kit.

If budget is the main thing you’re considering, take a look at this list to see the detectors categorized by price.

 

Best Windshield Mount Radar Detectors

Uniden DFR7: Affordable, Easy to use, Great all-around detector, City/Highway Driving ($299)

Uniden DFR7

This is the standard recommendation for anyone looking for a good all-around radar detector for both city and highway driving, without breaking the bank. It offers a more performance and capability than most anything else in this price range, making it a great bang for the buck.

You’ll get great range on the highway plus it does a 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. The GPS chip will allow you to teach it where the known false alerts are from your grocery stores and shopping centers nearby so that you don’t have to constantly keep pressing the mute button. It can also mute all alerts at low speeds when you’re not driving fast, plus it can alert you to redlight cameras and speedcameras around town so it makes a great detector around town to.

It’s for these reasons that it’s been such a popular detector. This is the updated version of the Uniden LRD950, its popular predecessor.

The DFR7 sells for $299. Since prices sometimes fluctuate, there’s two places I’d recommend you look to buy the DFR7.

Click here to buy the Uniden DFR7 from Amazon.

Click here to buy the Uniden DFR7 from BRD.

 

Uniden DFR6: Affordable detector for highway drivers ($199)

Uniden DFR6

If you drive mostly on the highway and you don’t need the GPS functionality, you can save $100 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, but you won’t get the GPS lockout, low speed muting, or red light camera functionality. If you don’t need those features, the DFR6 is a great choice as well.

Click here to buy the Uniden DFR6 from Amazon.

Click here to buy the Uniden DFR6 from BRD.

 

Escort Passport Max: Affordable, Easy to use, Plug-and-play, City/Highway Driving (~$299+)

Escort Passport Max

If you like the idea of the Uniden DFR7, but you want something that’s totally automatic and plug-and-play, take a look at the Escort Passport Max. This and the DFR7 are direct competitors.

Both the Max and DFR7 offer basically the same features. The Max gives up a little bit of maximum performance in exchange for being the easiest to use and most automatic radar detector. The range is still good enough for most situations, practically speaking, and for people who truly want an easy to use experience, this is what the Max is geared towards.

Other detectors require you to recognize when a false alert is coming from a stationary sources like a speed sign, grocery store, or shopping center, and then press a button to tell the detector that this is a false alert so that it doesn’t alert you to it again. The Max has the ability to figure this out automatically which is great if you want a more hands-off approach. As you drive around with it, it will learn how things look in your area and begin quieting down automatically. This is why I say you don’t have to be a radar detector expert to use it. Just put it on your windshield, drive around for a while, and it’ll do the work for you. If my mom wanted a radar detector, this is the detector I would give her. 🙂

Additionally, the detector has a much nicer display, plus you can change the colors of the display to match the interior of your car. (My car has red lights inside and my brother has blue so we can each change it to match our cars.)

The redlight camera database is also updated more frequently than Unidens so it has an edge in this category as well.

Now the Max is being discontinued which is why it can be found so inexpensively. It used to retail for $550 but can now be found online for about $299 while supplies last, though the price fluctuates quite a bit. Its successor, the Max2, will still be available at a higher price. The Max2 simply adds a bluetooth chip inside the detector so you can pair it with your phone to make it easier to adjust your detector’s settings, use your phone as an additional display, and get realtime alerts to/from the cloud (like Waze). You can add bluetooth functionality to your Max by purchasing an Escort Live smartcord or Escort Live hardwire cord, but if you’re gonna go that route in the end, get the Max2 instead because that’s a cleaner solution.

Once you purchase a Max, you can watch this tutorial to learn how to program it and quiet down many of the false alerts even further.

You can purchase the Escort Passport Max here.

 

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

Max360

If you like the idea of the Max and you’d like to add arrows to help you locate the source of the threat, take a look at the Max360. This is actually one of my favorite detectors and it’s Escort’s best selling radar detector.

This is the detector that basically gives you all the bells and whistles in an easy to use package. It’s the fully loaded model and is very popular if you want all the useful features without having to be a radar detector programming expert. It gives you sufficient performance in most situations and a variety of ways of dealing with annoying false alerts.

It’s physically larger than the Max/Max2 due to the added rear antenna, plus it has some additional improvements such as improved build quality, a darker case which is less reflective in your windshield, and the OLED display is tucked farther back in the shell so it’s less likely to get washed out in the sun. They’ve also made some other small changes like removing some of the annoying high pitched beeps in the Max.

Now it’s not the cheapest detector out there. In fact, at $650, it’s actually the most expensive windshield-mount detector on the market. There’s also other detectors that offer longer range at a lower price. What you’re getting with this detector is not the absolute highest performance on the market, but rather enough performance to protect you in the majority of situations while also being easy to use and doing everything for you automatically. That’s the main appeal of this detector.

For more information, you can check out my complete Max360 review and then once you purchase, you can watch this tutorial to learn how to use your Max360.

You can purchase the Escort Max360 here.

 

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

V1

If you want all the bells and whistles like the Max360 like the arrows and GPS lockouts, but you’re more technically minded, you want more performance and control, and you don’t mind pairing your detector with a phone, the V1 is a great option. It’s fairly limited and chatty out of the box, 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.

Once you get it fully set up, 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, better performance, more advanced lockouts, and all at a lower price. It’s a very appealing package, but it takes more external accessories (bluetooth module, phone, multiple 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.

Personally I prefer the V1 with YaV1 because it gives me the highest level of fine tuned control, plus all the information about every single signal (band, frequency, signal strength, and direction) so I get the highest level of situational awareness and understanding possible so I keep a dedicated Android phone on hand just for the V1/YaV1. However, I’m an iPhone user and now that V1Driver is out, it can also do GPS lockouts and low speed muting like YaV1, and it does it in an easier to use and more automatic package so for day-to-day driving, I find V1Driver to work just fine.

However, 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 important programming. The Max360 lets you do all this stuff in one integrated package. This is where it largely comes down to your personal preferences.

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 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.

You can purchase the Valentine 1 here.

Bluetooth modules: Android, iOS

Apps: YaV1 for Android, V1Driver for iPhone

 

Beltronics Magnum: Long Range Performance for Highway Drivers (~$399)

Beltronics Magnum

If you drive primarily on the highways and don’t need all of the city filtering capabilities or redlight camera alerts, take a good look at the Beltronics Magnum.

The gold standard for long range detection has long been the Escort Redline. That is the radar detector that all other detectors have been compared to when we go to test the performance of a radar detector and so it’s known as the King of long range detection. Because of this, the Redline has actually gone up in price from $499 to $549. Now Escort and Beltronics are the same company and make practically the same detector under both brand names with slight differences between the two, ie. different name, case design, and sounds, but they’re otherwise they’re virtually the same detector with the same internals. The Redline has gone up in price and at the same time, the Beltronics version of the Redline, called the Magnum, has actually gone down in price. Additionally, it turns out the Magnum is better at filtering out false alerts from cars with blind spot monitoring systems and so it’s for these two reasons, the lower price and better blind spot filtering, that the Magnum is now the better detector to get.

Redline and Magnum

The area where the Redline still has a slight advantage is in all out range. The Redline uses a slightly better low noise amplifier (LNA) which boosts the sensitivity to weak signals and thus gives it a slight edge in raw all out performance. That said, given the lower price, and perhaps more importantly, improved blind spot false filtering capability, the Magnum is generally the way to go.

Additionally, both the Redline and Magnum are feature special stealth technology to make them completely immune from detection by all radar detector detectors (RDD’s).

These detectors lack a built-in GPS chip so if you do spend some time in the city and want this level of performance plus the ability to lock out false alerts and/or get alerted to RLC’s, you’ll want to purchase an Escort Live smartcord or Escort Live hardwire cable for $99 which will allow you to pair your detector with your phone and using your phone’s GPS and the Escort Live app (available for Android and iOS), filter out stationary false alerts in town. So it’ll work in town. It just requires more accessories, setup, and you have to do it manually.

You can purchase the Beltronics Magnum here.

Once you get a Magnum, here’s my tutorial on how to set up and configure your Magnum.

You can also purchase the Escort Redline here.

If you get the Redline, here’s my tutorial on how to set up and configure your Redline.

 

Radenso Pro SE: Long Range Performance, City/Highway Driving ($499)

RPSE

If you like the idea of the all out maximum performance of the Redline and the Magnum but you want a GPS chip built into the detector for all the city-based functionality like the GPS lockouts, low speed muting, and redlight camera alerts, take a look at the Radenso Pro SE. This is your well-rounded yet high performing city/highway detector.

This detector offers high end range on par with the Magnum and Redline, but in a much smaller package, its blind spot filtering capability is better, plus it has a GPS chip built in so you get your lockouts and all without depending on a cell phone.

The Magnum costs about $100 less than the Radenso Pro SE, but the improved blind spot filtering of the RPSE makes up for that alone, IMHO, so you’ll get fewer false alerts on the highway. Given that it adds a bunch of useful functionality for the city as well, this makes it a more well-rounded detector rather than a specialist for the highway.

A little quirk to bring up: It doesn’t display an exact frequency when you detect radar with it. Knowing the exact frequency is helpful for telling the difference between different sources of radar, but most people won’t care or use this feature. It will tell you if the signal is around 34.700 or 35.500, for example, but not if it’s exactly 34.726 or 35.493. This is something that many enthusiasts look for, but for most people, a ballpark frequency is good enough.

So as it stands, you get a very compact radar detector (the smallest one here) yet with a ton of performance in that little package. It has a pretty good blind spot filter, has a GPS chip for all your city-based driving needs, not to mention you get free lifetime updates and a warranty that’s twice as long (two years) as most everyone else.

There is also a lower performing version of the Radenso Pro SE, known as the Radenso Pro, and it retails for $349, but I feel that stepping up for the $499 Radenso Pro SE is really the way to go. It will do a better job at helping you detect radar at a distance where it counts.

You can purchase the Radenso Pro SE here.

 

Best Remote Mount Radar Detectors

Now if you don’t want a radar detector hanging off your windshield, visible to police officers, other drivers, and potential thieves, and you prefer a cleaner and more factory look in your cabin, a remote mount radar detector is the way to go.

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.

There are a number of different remote mount radar detectors out there. Depending on your setup and budget, these are the Top 3 Remote Radar Detectors that I’d recommend:

 

Stinger VIP: Top of the Line, Highest Performance, Lots of Features ($2511 – $3861)

Stinger VIP

If you want a long range radar detector with good filtering and all the bells and whistles and don’t mind some bugs and annoyances while the detector is being developed, the Stinger VIP is a good option.

It’s the most advanced detector on the market with long range performance and comes packed with a lot of filtering options without requiring a phone and additional setup and apps. It’s a fully self-contained package. In terms of performance, it’s generally on par with or outperforms every other detector when it comes to long range detection which is arguably the most important feature in a radar detector (see the test results here) while also offering very sophisticated false alert filtering capabilities to filter out false alerts. The blind spot filtering isn’t the best out there and some other detectors are a bit better, but its BSM filtering is pretty good. I would expect better filtering though, especially given the price point and potential of the hardware and I expect this is something Stinger will achieve in time. It has also automatic GPS lockouts and low speed muting without requiring a cell phone so it’s great around town, plus it has a database built in for redlight cameras and speed cameras. It’s even undetectable by radar detector detectors. In short, it basically does everything. It’s by no means perfect, but it has just about every feature you’d want This detector is designed for both city and highway usage.

Now it still has some bugs that need to be addressed. For example, manually locking out a K band signal can lock out a Ka band signal. Whoops. With the most aggressive filtering on K band to quiet down the BSM falses, it also filters out I/O shots coming from radar guns up ahead. Most detectors alert after a short delay as part of the filtering, but this detector may filter them out entirely which is dangerous. The arrows are helpful but are pretty slow to switch and when passing a source, often point sideways instead of backwards. In Stinger land, side arrows often mean behind. Speaking of arrows, sometimes the Stinger will switch which antennas it thinks are front and rear and so the arrows may point the wrong direction entirely. This is especially concerning because the rear antenna’s sensitivity gets automatically reduced to help cut down on falsing and if they switch and the front antenna becomes assigned as the rear, your front facing radar detection range drops considerably. It’s also been known to occasionally mute legitimate Ka encounters when driving down the highway, preventing you from realizing there’s radar up ahead. The LCD screen’s autobrightness doesn’t work so if you turn the screen up during the daytime, it won’t automatically dim at night. The redlight camera database is nice and accurate, but if you pull up to a redlight where there’s an RLC, the detector will keep going bananas beeping at you, even if you’re sitting at a dead stop at an intersection. It doesn’t chill out when you stop the way other detectors do so it can get annoying and you have to manually mute it. It’s got a lot of potential in terms of performance, looks amazing on paper, and the hardware is top of the line, but it’s still pretty buggy in practice and needs some refinement and work on the software side. It’s fine if you want a feature-packed detector, but reliable and stable it is not, at least not quite yet.

Now Stinger’s engineers are improving and updating this detector. Updates have slowed recently for some reason, but so long as the updates keep coming, this platform will continue to improve.

If you live in Edmonton, Canada or in Quebec, there is new very difficult to detect radar gun called the MRCD which came over from Europe where the Stinger was designed. The Stinger is one of the few detectors that does a good job at detecting the MRCD, so it’s a more future-proof option than other detectors as well.

If you want to get a set of laser jammers, Stinger also offers some really small laser jammers that you can install on your vehicle while keeping things as hidden and good looking as possible. They can jam even the newest anti-jamming lidar guns that have come out recently and can integrate fully with your Stinger radar detector system.

You can purchase the VIP 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.

Click here to buy the Stinger VIP.

 

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

Net Radar antenna

This is quickly becoming one of the most popular remote detectors out there. 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 radar detectors. You can take the radar detector antenna, plug it into your ALP, and your ALP now becomes an integrated radar detector and laser jammer package.

The Net Radar was designed specifically to be integrated with the ALP and it offers plenty of warning time in most situations, outstanding blind spot filtering capabilities, as well as the ability to do GPS lockouts when paired with a phone.

With the Net Radar antenna, you have the option of running 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 have the option of adding a second rear facing antenna ($399) to give you directional information (arrows) like the V1, Max360, or Stinger VIP. Note: The directional information does not work yet. That feature is being developed so you can go ahead and purchase and install the rear antenna and once the feature is released, you can install the firmware update and be good to go.

Finally, you can add a third antenna specifically for MRCD support, just like the Stinger VIP offers. This antenna is still being developed and should be released some time this year, but no word yet on how well it works. For people who require this feature, it’s going to be another option to help protect yourself from that radar gun.

This detector is not completely stealth to RDD’s, but it’s only detectable if you’re closer than about 24 feet away so it’s almost completely stealth. If you’re behind the vehicle, you can’t detect it.

Now unlike some of the other antennas out there, this one comes with the Radar/GPS module you need to connect this to your ALP ($99) plus the GPS antenna ($59) so it’s a better deal than your other options where you have to purchase those accessories separately. Additionally, if you also pick up the Bluetooth module ($99), you’ll be able to see the frequency on your phone, update your ALP’s in your car without having to download a file to your computer and bring it out to your car on a USB stick, and you can get GPS lockouts. The lockouts are manual so they’ll require you to press a button on your phone to teach it this is a false alert, but otherwise it works well. (Lockouts are currently only available for Android. They will be developed for iOS as well soon.)

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 laser gun you’re shot with or if you’re picking up radar instead. 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. 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.

So if you do a lot of driving in the city and want lockouts, or if you want to see the radar signal frequency, get the Bluetooth module.

If you don’t want to putz around with your phone, get the HiFi module.

If you want to use the lockouts and phone but want your system to work even if you aren’t using your phone, get both.

Click here to buy the Net Radar antenna.

Click here to buy the Bluetooth module.

Click here to buy the HiFi module.

STi-R Plus: High Performing Custom Installed Radar Detector

STi-R Plus

Like the Stinger VIP, this is a custom-installed remote detector good for the city and highway. It offers the performance of the Redline and Magnum while also including GPS like the Max so you get your automatic GPS lockouts without requiring a phone, low speed muting, and redlight camera alerts. In fact it’s pretty much a remote version of the Redline and Magnum but with a GPS antenna. It’s also a completely standalone radar detector so unlike the Net Radar detector, it doesn’t require a laser jammer to integrate with.

It also features complete immunity from RDD’s and being a remote detector, it’s also more visually stealthy than your windshield mount options.

The biggest differences between the Stinger VIP and the STi-R Plus are that the Stinger offers superior performance and is much better at filtering out annoying blind spot falses alerts. Escort/Beltronics has the technology to do better blind spot filtering like they’re doing in the Max, but they’re not bringing that technology over to the Plus due to hardware limitations. That’s probably its biggest limitation. However at $1300, the STi-R Plus also costs about half the price of the Stinger. The Plus also has a small control pad and LED display while the Stinger has a single larger LCD touchscreen which is its controller and display.

Note: The STi-R Plus is basically the same thing as the Escort 9500ci, except that the 9500ci comes with a blue display and Escort’s inferior laser jammers, the Laser ShifterPro. I’d recommend saving your money on the 9500ci and putting the extra cash towards top end jammers like the AntiLaser Priority.

Compared to the Net Radar, the STi-R Plus offers complete RDD immunity, the lockouts are completely automatic and they don’t require a cell phone, the blind spot filtering isn’t as good, it’s more expensive, it only supports one antenna, and it’s completely standalone so it doesn’t matter which laser jammer you choose to run with it, if you even want to run one at all.

For a standalone remote radar detector, it’s a great option that’s more affordable than the Stinger VIP.

Click here to buy the Beltronics STi-R Plus.

 

So Which Radar Detector Is Best?

Boy I wish there was a simple answer to that. They each have their pros and cons, as you can see, so let’s summarize.

Uniden DFR7

Uniden DFR7 teeny thumbThis is your 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. The DFR7 is a good general pick in the bang for the buck category. Click here to purchase.

Uniden DFR6

Uniden DFR6 teeny thumbIf you want to spend less money than the DFR7 or you drive primarily on the highway, you can save some cash by getting the DFR6. It’s the same thing as the DFR7, just without the GPS functionality. This is the least expensive detector I’d recommend. Click here to purchase.

Escort Passport Max

Max2 teeny thumbIf you like the idea of the DFR7 but you want something more hands off and automatic, if you don’t need arrows, get the Max. It’s a good choice for an affordable and plug-and-play radar detector for both city and highway driving if you don’t want to have to mess with your 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, you don’t want to have to rely on a phone for basic functionality, and you want automation and no complicated setup, get the Max360. 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.

Beltronics Magnum

Beltronics Magnum teeny thumbIf you do mostly highway/rural driving and want to give yourself the best possible opportunity to pick up radar at a distance, the Magnum is your tool of choice. It can work as a city detector if you pair it with your phone using a Live cable and run Escort Live to manually lock out falses. Click here to purchase.

Radenso Pro SE

RPSE teeny thumbIf you want the high end performance of the Magnum with the helpful city features without relying on your phone, the Radenso Pro SE is a great pick. It still needs a bit of fine tuning, but it’s a good high performance detector for both city and highway driving. Click here to purchase.

Stinger VIP

Stinger VIP teeny thumbIf you want the very best performance available, the Stinger VIP is the way to go. It’s also the most future-proof, supports multiple antennas, it’s continually being updated and improved, and it’s the top of the line option out there. (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, the best radar detector to integrate with it is the Net Radar antenna. You get good performance, filtering, and manual GPS lockouts if you add your phone. You also have support for multiple antennas. Click here to purchase.

Beltronics STi-R Plus

STi-R Plus teeny thumbIf you prefer nothing hanging off your windshield, another popular remote detector is the STi-R Plus. You get high end performance similar to the Redline, along with GPS which helps in the city. The blind spot filtering isn’t the greatest, but it’s otherwise a very good product. Click here to purchase.

 

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, when you use the links I’ve included, it directly supports me without costing you a dime. You can also donate directly to me and support me that way as well. Thank you very much!

Happy driving and enjoy. 🙂

-Vortex