Update: Please see my updated laser jammer comparison guide. Things have changed since this article was first written.
Are you wondering what’s the best laser jammer? If you’re looking to protect yourself from costly speeding tickets, radar detectors are excellent against radar, but they’re almost useless against laser. In practice radar detectors are little more than ticket notifiers, only going off when the cop is already shooting you and has locked in your speed, and that’s if they even go off at all. Because laser is such a thin beam of light, aimed down at your license plate or headlights/taillights, often time your radar detector may not even alert in the first place.
To protect yourself against laser, you need a laser jammer, and a good laser jammer at that. Unlike a radar detector that has just a laser sensor inside it, a laser jammer will actively fire back at the police officer, preventing his laser gun from obtaining a speed reading whatsoever. Then your task, once the alarms start going off in your car, is to quickly slow down and disable your jammers, allowing him to get a speed reading on your car doing the speed limit, and you keep driving right along while the officer just shoots the next vehicle in line behind you.
Now when it comes to picking a laser jammer, what do you need to know? Are laser jammers legal where you drive? Which laser jammer should you get for your car? Let’s take a look.
(Last updated July 2018)
Laser Jammer Laws
One of the most common questions people ask about laser jammers is whether or not they are legal. Laws vary across the world, but here in the US, laser jammers are legal in most of the country, with the exception of a few states (shown below in yellow and red) including California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, as well as Washington D.C. where they are illegal.
Now with that said, speeding is illegal too, yet the punishment for speeding is far worse than the punishment for having jammers. Plus, so long as you use your jammers properly (slow down and disable your jammers when shot), officers typically won’t even know that you’re using jammers and you won’t have an issue. This is why many people safely run jammers even in banned areas without issue.
Speeding tickets can cost hundreds of dollars, can lead to hikes to your insurance premium or points on your license, potential court costs and lawyer fees, will go on your record, and are a general pain in the butt. The penalty for getting caught with a laser jammer is typically just a fix-it ticket because it’s simply an equipment violation. No points, minimal fines, and nothing goes on your record. I’d recommend researching specifics for your state if you’re concerned, but so long as you use your jammers properly, you should be fine all over the country.
(Note: In Canada the penalties may be stiffer, and overseas they are stiffer still. In Canada jammers are legal in BC, AB, and SK, and they’re illegal in the other provinces.)
What to Look for in the Best Laser Jammer
What separates a good jammer from a bad laser jammer? Here are the key differences and capabilities you’ll find in the best laser jammers:
- Able to reliably jam all the latest laser guns on the market
- Able to jam even the newest laser guns featuring sophisticated anti-jamming technology such as variable pulse rates
- Regular updates to add features, fix bugs, and add support for new laser guns as they come out
- Good customer service to help with the installation and any post-install questions
- Allows you to both manually kill your jammers and optionally automatically disarm after a several seconds of jamming
- Laser jammer functionality can be fully disabled for areas where jammers are prohibited
- Sensitive heads that allows for less than ideal placement in your grill or heads that may move over time, without this leading to the laser guns being able to get speed readings off of your vehicle
- Ability to protect the entire surface area of the front and/or rear of your vehicle
Best Laser Jammers of 2018
#1: AntiLaser Priority (starts at $749)
Without a doubt, the gold standard of laser jammers is the AntiLaser Priority. These are the jammers that I run on my vehicle and they are the ones that you’ll consistently see countermeasure enthusiasts running to keep themselves protected. Quite simply, they are the best laser jammers on the market.
AntiLaser Priority Pros:
- Extremely effective at jamming all the lidar guns on the market
- Can jam even the newest DragonEye guns with sophisticated anti-jamming technology
- AntiLaser constantly purchases new laser guns to ensure that you stay protected in this cat and mouse game as laser gun manufacturers change things up
- Extremely sensitive heads allowing for more installation options without compromising performance
- Support for more than 2 heads per side of your vehicle to provide full coverage for larger vehicles like trucks and SUV’s
- Configuration and firmware updates can be done either via your phone (with optional Bluetooth module) or on your computer and then brought over to the ALP via a USB drive which is very convenient
- Can be controlled via your phone if prefer a stealthy and clean install without a control pad installed in your cabin
- Jammers can be fully disabled when needed for banned areas or set to detection only mode if you prefer
- Jammers can automatically disarm at low speeds or when stopped, helpful for banned areas (requires GPS antenna)
- Lots of helpful optional accessories available to add more functionality
- Ability to identify and announce which gun you’re shot with
- Tells you’re being shot from the front or the rear
- Pro mode to tell you exactly when you start and stop being shot
- Great customer service and support
- Price starts at just $749
AntiLaser Priority Cons:
- Parking sensor functionality is just okay
- Integration with remote radar detectors could be cleaner
- Some accessories like a loud external speaker (HiFi module) are an optional extra
- Less popular among installers due to less profit margin for dealers who install jammers
AntiLaser Priority Summary
AntiLaser currently makes the best laser jammer on the market. Read my complete AntiLaser Priority review here. If you’re looking for the best laser jammer on the market to keep you protected against both current and new threats, purchase the AntiLaser Priority now.
Canadian Drivers: If you’re in Canada, you’ll want to order the ALP from KMPH.ca instead. Use the coupon code “VortexRadar50” to save $50 on your purchase.
Note: Read my comprehensive AntiLaser Priority Install and Setup Guide to learn everything you need to know about what to buy, what accessories you need, how to install your jammer to ensure maximum effectiveness, how to use your jammers once they’re installed, and so on.
#2: Escort ZR5 Laser Shifters (starts at $849)
Escort has struggled for a while to release really good laser jammers (which they refer to as “laser shifters.”) They used to sell their own self-developed ZR4’s which were excellent laser detectors but poor laser jammers. They then set up a deal with Laser Interceptor (who sold the best laser jammers prior to the introduction of the ALP) and rebranded the LI as the Laser ShifterPro. When newer lidar guns with more sophisticated anti-jamming technology came out, the LI/LSP’s dated hardware couldn’t keep up and now both have since been discontinued. Escort has now partnered with Blinder to sell new laser jammers (very similar to the ALP) that are also able to handle some of the newer, tougher guns. These jammers are available standalone as the Escort ZR5 laser shifters and they’re also sold paired with the Max Ci and Max Ci 360 remote mount radar detectors which they’re referred to as the ShifterMax.
What’s nice about the new ZR5’s is that they can indeed jam some of the DragonEye guns in use out there, but not all of the newest and most difficult iterations. In fact even getting to this point has been a bit of a sore spot for Escort. When the jammer was initially released, Escort claimed that it could jam the DragonEye, a technically challenging feat, but test after test proved otherwise. Escort countered by accusing people of lying, banning them off their forum for posting videos and evidence of the issues, and eventually released a firmware update to fix the issues that independent testers and customers were all bringing up.
Currently the ZR5 can jam some of the simpler versions of the DragonEye, but not the tougher ones. At this point many people have been turned off by Escort’s oppositional behavior and attitude towards its customers. Again this runs directly counter to AntiLaser who spends thousands of dollars to regularly acquire new laser guns to ensure that customers continue to stay protected to the latest threats. (I know this article may wind up sounding like an ALP ad or something, but it’s the gold standard for a reason and its reputation has been hard-earned and is well-deserved.)
Heck even against easier guns I see a difference. I actually had a chance to test two different Tesla Model S’s recently, both with laser jammers installed. One had the ALP and another had a Max Ci 360 which uses these ZR5/ShifterMax heads. Against my Kustom ProLaser III (an older and relatively easy gun to jam), the ALP was totally bulletproof and I couldn’t get a reading off the car no matter what I did. The ZR5/ShifterMax, on the other hand, allowed me to get punchthroughs repeatedly inside about 200 feet, and this was particularly concerning because the heads were both pretty close to the front license plate that I was targeting so it’s not like the heads were too far away or not sensitive enough. There’s something about the jamming algorithm that Escort (Blinder) has implemented that limits the complete effectiveness of the jammers, even against older guns. It works, but I’m not too impressed.
Another important note is that larger vehicles typically require at least 3 heads per side due to the larger surface area of the vehicles, but unfortunately the ZR5’s only allow for a maximum of 4 heads total, either 4 up front or two per side, so these will be more beneficial on smaller or normal sized cars and less effective on larger trucks and SUV’s. (There’s plans for an updated Bridge Box to support up to 6 heads, but no word on when.)
One main benefit of the ZR5 compared to the ALP, however, is that the face of the heads is slightly smaller than that of the ALP heads, though they are a touch deeper too. It’s certainly not a huge difference, but you can see it here:
Escort ZR5 Pros:
- Able to jam some of the newer and tougher DragonEye guns
- Heads are tiny bit smaller than the ALP heads
- Software updatable
- Able to integrate with many of Escort’s windshield mount radar detectors
- Able to differentiate between front and rear laser shots
- Jammers can be set to detection only or turned off altogether for banned areas
Escort ZR5 Cons:
- No ability to automatically disable your jammers after a set period of time
- Escort has been oppositional towards its customer base in terms of important issues and critical updates
- Currently limited to just 4 heads total, either 4 up front or 2 front and 2 rear
- Not as effective against the toughest DragonEye gun versions
- Not as effective against older laser guns
- Does not identify which gun you’re being shot with
Escort ZR5 Summary
The Escort ZR5’s are an excellent step forward for Escort, offering better jamming capability and physically smaller heads than their previous ShifterPro jammers. However, due to the issues the ZR5 has in reliably jamming both newer and older guns, as well as Escort’s recent attitude and approach towards their customer base, I can’t recommend purchasing the ZR5 laser jammers at this time unless you have to to get the Max Ci or Max Ci 360. However, if you’d like the standalone ZR5’s, you can purchase the Escort ZR5 laser shifters online, direct from Escort.
#3: Escort ZW5 Wireless Shifters ($849)
The Escort ZW5’s are wireless versions of the ZR5 that don’t require you to drill through your firewall, a nice benefit if you’re leasing your car, you want a simpler and less expensive install, or you want to save some money and potentially install the laser jammers yourself.
The ZW’s are based on the ZR5’s and offer the same performance and price point, but the big selling point is that they’re now wireless so those of you who don’t want to drill through your firewall or install control pads and displays in your cabin now have a good option.
They’re designed to integrate with and be controlled by a windshield mount Escort Radar Detector. When you get shot with laser, your radar detector goes off and you hit the mute button on your detector to kill your jammers. Using the ZW5 means that your installation is much simpler than a traditional laser jammer and remote mount radar detector install, but you still get a fully integrated install.
In order for your radar detector to communicate with the ZW5, you need a special power cable that adds the necessarily wireless communication hardware. Escort sells a ZW5 with a special cig. lighter SmartCord as well as with a special Direct Wire cable. Compatible detectors that will work with the ZW5 when paired with this updated power cable include the Max 360c, Max 360, Redline EX, Max, Max2, iX, Passport, X70, X80, and Beltronics GT-7.
Performance-wise, these will be comparable to the ZR5’s, but you’re limited to only 2 heads, not 4, so they’re best suited to protecting the front of small to mid sized vehicles.
As for previous gen wireless jammers, there was one called the ALF CS-56 II, but those weren’t very effective. Cool idea, but these new ZW5’s will definitely perform better, plus they’ll be able to handle the newest guns on the market.
For the most effective solution, ALP’s are still the way to go and I’d still recommend them over the ZW5’s. However, if you’re looking for an easier installation, we now have a reasonable wireless laser jammer available and this wireless capability is a really nice selling point for many people. For more detailed information, read my complete Escort ZW5 review here.
#4: Stinger VIP (starts at $1200)
Stinger makes high end remote mount radar detectors and laser jammers. What’s special about the Stinger VIP laser jammer system is that the transmitter and receiver heads are split into separate components. This means that each head is physically smaller and thus easier to conceal, but it also means that you’ll have twice as many heads in your grill. Stinger also offers these optional fiber optic transmitters that are insanely small and virtually impossible to spot so if you’d like a visually hidden install, it’s hard to beat Stinger.
Here’s a look at the 3 different types of heads installed in my Miata. You’ll see the ALP up top, the normal sized Stinger receiver in the middle, and fiber laser transmitter tucked down at the bottom.
Another key difference to note is that the face of the heads may be smaller, but they are longer front to back which is usually fine for front installs where they could be slotted into your grill, but it may make for an issue for rear installs when you install under your trunk lid and the heads may stick out farther than you’d like.
Update July 2018: Stinger announced that they’ll be releasing all fiber laser jammers meaning both the receivers and the transmitters will be available as the tiny fiber heads. Using all fibers means you’ll have the most stealthy and hidden laser jammers available, plus you’ll be able to easily install them even on cars with honeycomb grills that would otherwise require cutting your grill.
Stinger’s jammers are able to jam both the older and the newer guns on the market which is a big accomplishment, but they do sometimes have issues being able to do this reliably and consistently. We see odd issues crop up between firmware versions and across various installs so I don’t have the same level of confidence in Stinger’s bulletproofness compared to the ALP.
Additionally, the way that Stinger has implemented their laser jamming functionality, the sensitivity of each head is less than the sensitivity of the ALP, primarily to avoid crosstalk between the transmitters and the receivers. ALP has had to do additional work to sure that the transmitter doesn’t interfere with the receivers sitting right next to it (they’re both in one head) and Stinger has gone the route of splitting the heads apart and reducing receive sensitivity. With the reduced sensitivity of each head, you will need more of them than a comparable ALP setup. To give you an example, the standard ALP setup requires 2 heads while the standard Stinger VIP setup requires 3 receivers and 3 transmitters so while the heads are physically smaller, you’ll have more of them.
One other important note is that the Stinger VIP laser jammer is not a standalone system. It is an add-on for the (expensive) Stinger VIP radar detector so you’ll need to get both. Stinger is developing a standalone laser jammer system which will be called the Stinger Freedom Laser, but that’s still in development and there’s no word on pricing or availability, especially for the US.
Update June 2018: Stinger’s US distributor is now out of the game so currently there is no good way to purchase a Stinger system online here in the US. Stinger is working with a new distributor so that should be changing in the future, but that’s how things stand now.
Stinger VIP Pros:
- Smallest heads available on the market for visually pleasing installs
- Optional tiny fiber heads allow for very creative and hidden installs
- Able to jam even the tougher DragonEye anti-jamming guns
- Able to manually kill jammers or automatically disarm after a few seconds
- Jammers can be disabled altogether for banned areas
- Identifies which gun you’re being shot with
- Differentiates between front and rear laser shots
Stinger VIP Cons:
- Currently not a standalone system, requires the Stinger VIP radar detector
- There can be issues achieving a solid JTG install (where the laser gun can’t get any reading at all)
- Firmware updates are very slow and typically contain bugs
- Receiver heads are intentionally less sensitive than the competition which will require more heads
- More expensive than the competition
Stinger VIP Summary:
If you’re looking for the most visually stealth install possible, the Stinger VIP is a great option. These are particularly popular among owners of high end and exotic vehicles and they’re also appealing in that they can integrate with Stinger’s high end remote radar detector too. Stinger is working on a standalone laser jammer which is still under development. At this time you can’t purchase a Stinger VIP from their website, but that may change in the future once they find a new US distributor.
#5: Blinder HP-905 Compact (starts at $599)
Blinder is basically done selling their own jammers at this point and their next generation products (HP-905 successors) are being sold through Escort under the name of ZR5 or ShifterMax. The HP-905’s are what I used to run myself before upgrading to the ALP’s. They’re older laser jammers now and were one of the top two laser jammers back when Laser Interceptor was the top dog. I went with the HP-905’s due to the fact that the heads were physically smaller than LI’s so they fit better in my car’s grill.
The issue with the HP-905’s is that they’re based on older hardware at this point and are unable to keep up with jamming the latest guns on the market. Blinder has basically given up on the HP-905’s and the last firmware update was back in 2014. Technically they haven’t been discontinued yet and they’re still being sold which is why I’m including them in this list.
One thing that was cool for its time was that the HP-905’s had a round kill switch that allowed you to switch from jamming to detection mode so that if you saw a cop ahead shooting laser, you could kill your jammers (like a rockstar) before you get shot and still know whether or not he shoots you. This was counter to the LI which only offered a power kill switch to turn your jammers off altogether (or an optional parking mode switch that put your jammers into parking mode, didn’t alert you when you were shot, and took a few seconds to activate).
Fun story: The car that I installed my Blinders in was a lease and I drilled a hole in the center console for that control switch, heh. When it came time to return my car, Blinder was nice enough to send me a free replacement control switch so that I wouldn’t leave a gaping hole in my dash. Luckily there was no issue when returning the car, thank goodness. When I gave that car back and needed to install jammers in my next car (the Miata I drive now), I sold my HP-905’s and upgraded to the ALP’s.
I think the main advantage for the HP-905 nowadays is that it’s $250 less than the ALP for a set of duals (two head system). That’s a way to save some cash up front, but I don’t think that’s a good long term investment, especially once you consider the fact that you may have to cut holes in your car the way I did, build custom mounts for your car, or pay an installer to install things for you. Unlike a windshield mount radar detector, it’s a big deal to uninstall and install a new system to upgrade, and going for a system that is no longer being supported wouldn’t be a sound long term investment. IMHO you’re better off going with a system that can handle all the guns in use today and continues to be updated and improved as time goes on.
Blinder HP-905 Pros:
- Small heads
- Jamming mode, detection mode, parking mode
- Manual jammer kill option and automatic countdown timer option
- Effective against older guns
- Voice alerts let you know which gun you’re being shot with
- Least expensive option here
Blinder HP-905 Cons:
- Jammers are unable to jam the newest guns
- Jammer is no longer being updated
- Configuration and updating requires a laptop computer brought into your car and plugged into the jammer
(Note: The jammers aren’t wireless. They’re wired, just like all the other jammers, but the cables were photoshopped out of this stock photo.)
Blinder HP-905 Summary:
While the HP-905 was a good jammer back in its day, it’s based on older hardware and is unable to jam the latest guns on the market and is no longer being updated. If you like, you can still purchase the Blinder HP-905 Compact because it’s still available on the market. However, there’s really no good reason to get one nowadays.
#6: K40 Defuser Optix (starts at $899)
Finally we’ll take a look at K40’s new jammer, the Defuser Optix. (K40 refers to their laser jammers as “defusers.”)
K40 has taken a step forward from their previous jammer, the G5, by switching from LED’s to laser diodes, like the competition, which has allowed them to shrink the size of their heads and make the size more comparable to the competition (the older G5’s were huge).
Unfortunately the “brains” of the jammer are based on older hardware like the HP-905’s so it’s not able to jam the newest guns on the market. K40 has traditionally been known for selling expensive radar detectors and laser jammers with poor performance and while this new jammer is a step forward in terms of size, unfortunately the older hardware and inability to handle all the guns you’ll encounter means it’s not a good choice for today and it doesn’t offer the future-proofness that you need when investing in a laser jammer system that’ll keep you protected for years to come. It can jam some of the primitive anti-jamming gun implementations out there, but not the newest and most challenging stuff that’s being thrown at us.
One of K40’s main sales pitches is that they offer a speeding ticket guarantee where they’ll cover the cost of a speeding ticket should their jammer not be able to do its job, and while this sounds great on the surface and offers an additional layer of protection, it’s important to keep in mind that conditions apply to if they’ll reimburse you at all, not to mention they don’t cover the hikes to your insurance premium, the points on your licenses, any court costs or lawyer fees, or the headache and hassle of dealing with speeding tickets. Personally I think you’re better off getting a jammer that will offer you a sufficient level of protection to help you avoid all of that in the first place, but it is a good marketing point for K40. (Escort has started offering this too, but I still value effective performance over “oops our product didn’t do its job, sorry about that.”)
I do have to give K40 credit through with their business sense. While their products may not be the most effective or capable, they do a good job with answering questions if you call in to the company. They also incentive dealers to sell K40 products by offering them healthy margins so that they will suggest the K40 to people who walk into their shop and ask for a laser jammer. K40’s products don’t fare well when you compare them to the competition objectively and so they won’t rank well in comparison reviews like this based on features and performance, but they manage to sell well nonetheless.
K40 Defuser Optix Pros:
- Compact heads
- USB updateable
- Supports up to 5 heads (but not 6)
- Great customer service
- Can integrate with K40’s RL200i, RL200di, RL360i, & RL360di remote radar detectors
K40 Defuser Optix Cons:
- Limited jamming performance
- Unable to jam all the newest and toughest guns on the market, only the older and more primitive anti-jamming guns
- Only sold through installers so you can’t purchase and install yourself to save money
- Second most expensive option yet still less effective than the competition
K40 Defuser Optix Summary
If you walk into an installer and ask for a laser jammer, one of the jammers they’ll recommend is the K40. K40 does a good job marketing and selling through installers which is good for them because they don’t fare that well relative to the competition. It’s not a big surprise that they choose to sell strictly through installers since people who would go online to do research and buy will wind up choosing something else. If you like though, you can certainly contact a local installer and purchase a K40. However, in my opinion you’re better off opting for a more effective system, not to mention it’ll likely cost you less money too.
Best Laser Jammer Summary
If you’re looking for the best laser jammer to help protect you from laser-based speeding tickets, the best choice these days is pretty clear: AntiLaser Priority. There’s reasons why you may want to get the Stinger VIP with its tiny heads instead or the ZW5 to get a wireless setup, but the most effective laser jammer to get today and the jammer for everyone else to beat is the ALP.
The ALP is the most effective and most capable jammer on the market, it gets regularly updated to make it better and better, and the compact heads are very sensitive which allows for a variety of installation and placement options. You basically get the highest level of protection available today, plus the highest level of future-proofing as well. The AntiLaser Priority is the jammer I run on my vehicle and depend on to keep me protected, and it’s usually what you’ll see installed by other countermeasure enthusiasts as well.
Now if only picking the best radar detector was this easy… 😀
If you’re ready to get the ALP, be sure to read my ALP install guide to learn Everything You Need to Know to Set Up & Use your AntiLaser Priority.
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