GPS-based plug and play radar detectors with autolockouts are one of Escort’s bread and butter style radar detectors. We’re going to be looking at the similarities and differences between the Escort 9500ix, S75G, iX, and Max2 radar detectors. They’re all easy to use and very popular, especially for the everyday driver, because you can mount them on your windshield and they’ll begin learning the false alerts around town automatically. Other detectors may offer lockouts as well, but due to patent limitations the lockouts are either done manually or handled by a phone. Escort’s detectors can do autolockouts automatically, no phone required, and that’s a big selling point.
In this article we’re going to take a look at some very similar detectors, feature-wise, and look at the improvements that have been made across the generations.
Overview of the different Radar Detectors:
(In chronological order of release.)
Escort Passport 9500ix:
Introduced in 2008, the 9500ix was Escort’s first GPS detector with autolockouts. (The 9500i, introduced in 2007, was Escort’s first GPS detector, but its lockouts were manual.) Compared to the 9500i, the 9500ix added autolockouts and redlight camera alerts. Performance wasn’t exactly stellar, range was limited, and it was fairly slow to react to brief signals, but with the new GPS features, it became one of Escort’s best selling detectors of all time. It was never super popular among enthusiasts due to its lackluster performance, but it sold well with general consumers looking for an easy to use plug-and-play detector to use around town. Buy the 9500ix here.
Escort Passport Max2:
In 2013, Escort released their first digital detector called the Escort Passport Max. It had lofty promises and claims, but due to its inability to meet these claims and its terrible quality control, it quickly became one of the most hated detectors of all time among enthusiasts. Range was poor and results were inconsistent, the digital back end didn’t provide any advantages to BSM filtering despite claims of being able to analyze the DNA of the signal, there were Ka falsing issues, detectors were splitting in half, sticky cup mounts were exploding, and so on. Escort began to progressively improve the detector and in 2014 released the Max2, a Max with a Bluetooth chip built into it so you no longer needed a Bluetooth power cable for Escort Live compatibility. Escort has continued to steadily improve and refine the detector in nearly every single way and so now it is a much better choice than it was in the very beginning. Watch my Max2 review or buy the Max2 here.
In 2016, Escort released a new detector called the iX which took many of the modern improvements of the Max2 including the updated OLED display and integrated Bluetooth and rather than using the digital M5 platform of the Max, Escort reused the simpler and less expensive analog M4 platform used in the 9500ix. However, there were some software tweaks made including BS/RDR to help improve the range and reactivity of the M4 platform which were some of its biggest downsides. BSM filtering was also improved, but not to the level that the digital Max’s are now able to achieve. They also added an improved new magnetic mount and an additional K band filtering option (AutoLoK). Escort discontinued the Max and Max2 and so if you want a modernized detector with autolockouts today, instead of the Max2 you’ve got the iX which has pretty much all the same features, reduced performance, worse BSM filtering, and a higher pricetag than the Max2 (which could be easily found on Amazon for ~$350-400ish. When looking at the MSRP though, the iX at $499 is cheaper than the Max at $549 or Max2 at $599.) Seeing Escort refine the Max2 and then discontinue it so they could offer a worse performing detector for more money still doesn’t sit well with me. It’s the primary reason I haven’t been recommending the iX instead of the Max2, but given that it’s getting harder and harder to get a new Max nowadays and the prices on the remaining Max’s and Max2’s have been going up as supply dwindles, I feel it’s time to start looking at the iX instead and reevaluating Escort’s lineup. Read my complete Escort iX review or buy the iX here.
In 2017, after discontinuing the 9500ix and introducing the iX at a higher price point, Escort reintroduced the 9500ix under a new name and at a reduced price point to give customers a more affordable option if they need the autolockouts but not the flashy bells and whistles of the iX. Now called the S75G, it’s being sold for $299 and is the same thing as the 9500ix that was released 9 years ago, except it has a slightly different case, a new name, a few minor changes to the startup sounds and menu navigation, plus they’ve removed SWS, but it’s otherwise the exact same detector with the exact same performance, filtering, and features. They didn’t improve upon the 9500ix in any way or add any new features. They simply repackaged it and released it at a lower price to give people a more basic and affordable option. Buy the S75G here.
Changes & Improvements Between Detectors:
9500ix vs. S75G:
- S75G retails for only $299 instead of $449
- Slightly redesigned case
- S75G only comes in a red display instead of either red or blue
- SWS (a now useless K band feature) has been removed
- Annoying high pitched beeps on startup have been removed
- Changing menu options with the 9500ix is done with the Mute button and on the S75G you use the Volume – and + buttons.
9500iX / S75G vs. iX:
- Improved performance thanks to BS/RDR
- Improved BSM filtering
- New AutoLoK filter to further reduce false alarms on K band
- Multicolor OLED Display
- Bluetooth built-in for Escort Live integration
- Can display speed limit on screen
- Improved new EZ Mag magnetic mount
Max2 vs. iX:
- Comparable range on 34.7 and 35.5, Max is better on 33.8 and K band (test results)
- Max2 has better BSM filtering
- When a false alert punches through the iX, it sounds like a full tilt, panic brake including I/O alert
- Max2 has improved performance and filtering without needing to resort to BS/RDR
- iX has an updated magnetic mount, slightly better than the Max2’s magnetic mount
- iX adds AutoLoK filter to reduce K band sensitivity (and thus false alerts) even further
- Max2 is mostly black and thus less noticeable and reflective while iX is mostly silver
Which One to Buy?
If you’re wondering which one is “best,” I’d say go for the Max2. It’s got the best performance and filtering and has just about all the same features as the iX. The main issue is that it’s since been discontinued (but it’s still supported and continuing to receive software updates) so it’s a better deal while you can still find it, but eventually as remaining inventory dries up, we’ll have to look at the iX instead.
If you’d like the Max2’s improved performance, filtering, and features, but you don’t need to pair it with your phone, you can save some cash and go for the original Max. It’s not much more expensive than the S75G but it’s a big step up from that detector and you can often find it online for around the same price so be sure to check.
If the Max2 and Max aren’t available at a reasonable price, the price of the iX has been falling now that it’s been out for a while. It has a lot of nice features like the Max2 does so as inventory, availability, and reasonable pricing shifts from the Max’s to the iX’s, it’ll become the one to get.
Finally, if you’re looking for the least expensive option and don’t need the bells including a fancy display or bluetooth integration, you can save some cash and get the S75G. Range will be less and the BSM filtering isn’t as capable as what you’ll get from the iX or a Max, but it’s the most affordable detector that gives you autolockouts.
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