Spectre Elite, Maximum Detection Range Test

This weekend I tested out a bunch of radar detectors against the Spectre Elite, the latest and greatest version of the Spectre radar detector detector.

Radar Detectors Tested:

  • Radenso XP
  • Uniden DFR7
  • Escort Max360
  • Escort Passport Max2
  • Radenso Pro
  • Radenso Pro SE
  • Valentine One
  • Cobra DSP9200BT
  • Cobra XRS 9930
  • V8 (Cheap Chinese $10 detector)
  • Escort Redline
  • Beltronics Magnum
  • Whistler CR93

The Spectre Elite was set to the recommended settings as per the manual with the filter off and the sensitivity adjustment knob set to the 3 o’clock position.

Every radar detector was configured the same with X band off, K band on, Ka segmented 2/5/8 as appropriate.

I then drove away, turned back around, and slowly started driving towards the RD, measuring the distance where the Spectre was first able to pick up the detector as well as where it was able to get a good, solid signal. Sometimes the two were the same and other times I could pick up a weak signal farther away before getting a better signal closer up.

I will be doing more testing actually driving past the detectors on the road and not stopping directly in front of the car and that will likely show different results (a detector that requires you to be 10-15 feet away, parked nose to nose, in order to be detected will likely be undetectable by someone driving past the vehicle, for example).

Here’s a look at the results plus videos of all the testing so you can see how things look for yourself, along with any interesting notes as applicable. 🙂

Radenso XP

The Radenso XP is only detectable from about 14-18 feet away.

Purchase a Radenso XP

Uniden DFR7

The Uniden DFR7 is almost undetectable too, requiring the Spectre to be 11-14 feet away.

Interestingly, we found out that when shot with laser, the DFR7 shuts down its radar scanning/detecting and becomes temporarily immune to RDD detection. 🙂

Purchase a Uniden DFR7

Escort Max360

The Max360 was detectable 292 feet away and gave us a solid reading at 285 feet.

Purchase a Max360

Escort Passport Max2

The results of the Max2 testing surprised me. I figured it’d be the same as the Max360 (but less detectable from behind due to the lack of rear antenna.. I’ll test this later), but it was only detectable 101 feet away. It’s certainly not stealth, but it was only detectable from 1/3 as far away as the Max360.

Purchase a Max2

Radenso Pro

The Radenso Pro was detectable 151 feet away.

Purchase a Radenso Pro

Radenso Pro SE

The Radenso Pro SE was detectable just 12 feet away. The low noise amplifier (LNA) inside the RPSE which helps boost the strength of weak signals and give the detector extra sensitivity (this is the difference between the RP and the RPSE) also acts as a one way switching which helps prevent signals from leaking back out of the detector’s horn (antenna). This test is an awesome illustration of the difference the LNA makes in terms of RDD immunity.

Purchase a Radenso Pro SE

Valentine One

The V1 was first detectable 194 feet away, but the signal was pretty sporadic. Once we got closer to 142 feet away, then the signal became consistent and strong. This was with a v3.8945 V1.

Purchase a Valentine One

Cobra DSP9200BT

The Cobra DSP9200BT is practically immune to being detected by the Spectre Elite, only being picked up 15 feet away when parked nose to nose.

Purchase a Cobra DSP9200BT

Cobra XRS 9930

The Cobra XRS could be picked up by the Spectre Elite 825 feet away and the Spectre had a strong signal at 543 feet.

The Cobra advertises that it’s immune to being detected by the older Spectre 1 and I activated the Spectre 1 Alert, but it never alerted to the Spectre Elite and was easily detected by it.


This cheap $10 Chinese radar detector was detectable by the Spectre Elite 840 feet away.

Escort Redline

The Escort Redline features Escort’s patented TotalShield technology and is completely undetectable by the Spectre Elite.

Purchase a Redline here

Beltronics Magnum

The Beltronics Magnum also features Escort’s patented TotalShield technology and is also completely undetectable by the Spectre Elite.

Purchase a Magnum here

Whistler CR93

Last but not least, the most interesting one! When the Whistler CR93 was tested in the flat open roads in Texas, the Spectre Elite could pick it up at well over a mile away at 6,234 feet! Needless to say, I figured this would be interesting. 🙂

On my shorter and hillier course, the Spectre Elite was able to pick up the CR93 not only driving towards it, but also while driving away from it, with the Spectre pointed at its back! It was detectable literally the entire length of the course, maxing out the course… To try and gain more distance, I went down a gravel road full of potholes and yet once I turned back around, as soon as I crested atop a small hill and regained line of sight, BOOM. Strong signal again. I simply didn’t have enough road to adequately test out the Whistler CR93.

Needless to say, unless you’re trying to enter some sort of competition for having the most detectable radar detector, the Whistler CR93 definitely shouldn’t be considered as a pick for a stealthy radar detector.

Purchase a Whistler CR93

Thank You’s

Finally I want to thank everyone who contributed gear for testing purposes!

  • Radenso XP – Both provided by Radenso
  • Uniden DFR7 – Provided by BestRadarDetectors
  • Escort Max360 – Provided by @Vortex
  • Escort Passport Max2 – Provided by Escort
  • Radenso Pro – Provided by Radenso
  • Radenso Pro SE – Provided by Radenso
  • Valentine One – Provided by @Vortex
  • Cobra DSP9200BT – Provided by @Jag42
  • Cobra XRS 9930 – Provided by @fitz4321
  • V8 – Provided by @Jag42
  • Escort Redline – Provided by @Brainstorm69
  • Beltronics Magnum – Provided by @Brainstorm69
  • Whistler CR93 – Provided by Whistler
  • Spectre Elite – Provided by Radenso
  • Thank you to @meismyname for helping me conduct the testing as well!
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.vortexradar.com/2017/04/spectre-elite-maximum-detection-range-test/


Skip to comment form

    • Mottie on April 3, 2017 at 8:39 am
    • Reply

    Hello vortex great job and useful information for us all.
    I would suggest you to switch the euro mode off in the v1 and that will probably reduce the distance that the v1 can be detected by the spectre.
    p.s I wanted to get your opinion on thinkware dash cams what do you think??
    thanks and best wishes

    1. Hey Mottie. I was actually running the V1 with Custom Sweeps enabled which requires Euro Mode to be loaded in to work. I did a previous test with everything running in A mode and all bands disabled and the V1 was still detectable. https://youtu.be/0dWcUedOQ4w I know that’s not the same test as you’re referring to, but it looks like the V1 is detectable at least either way.

      As for Thinkware, I haven’t had a chance to test out their dashcams yet, but I’ve heard great things about them for the most part.

    • Tyler on June 2, 2017 at 10:41 am
    • Reply

    Hey man great videos and information as always. I see on their website the Uniden R3 says Spectre Elite undetectable. Does this mean it is like the redline and not detectable by RDD? Thanks in advance.

    1. Watch this video and see for yourself. 😉 https://youtu.be/qBGVmoECRZM

        • Tyler on June 3, 2017 at 3:17 am
        • Reply

        Wow that is awesome. I would consider that undetectable. Looks like the R3 will be my purchase. I love my redline but the lack of filtering and gps lockouts is annoying. Thanks again. Awesome video.

    • Nathan Canning on September 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm
    • Reply

    Just got a bnib Sti magnum for 200 cad. Happy to see it’s completely undetectable. I live in Ontario.

    1. Congrats!

    • Dave McCabe on January 25, 2019 at 8:01 pm
    • Reply

    Is Stealth Micro systems going to come out with a newer version of the Spectre? The Elite has been around for a while now, hasn’t it? Maybe they have given up on any newer versions because they know more and more detectors are undetectable?

    • victor on May 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm
    • Reply

    I am living in Minnesota but moving to Maryland and may have to drive through Virginia occasionally. I have an older Valentine one but want to get a newer detector.
    I want to make sure my radar is not detected by the police Specter elite or other RDD detectors as I drive through Virginia.
    If was to buy a newer detector, which radar detector would be the best for detecting radar and lasers, but also at not being detected themselves theoretically.
    I have been reading about the escort redline, but I am also reading a lot of bad reviews about it as well.
    Thank you.

    1. Against RDD’s, a stealth detector like the V1 Gen2 or Redline 360c would work great. Against laser, no radar detector is suitable. You need a laser jammer.

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