This week at SEMA, Escort has launched an update to the Max360 which they’re calling the Max 360c. It’s like a redesigned 360, with built-in WiFi, even more automation, and improvements to both performance and filtering! I will do a proper Escort Max 360c review once Escort sends me a detector after the show, but in the meantime I had a chance to talk to Escort (we actually spoke for a good two hours or so and it was an amazing experience) and they were excited to tell us all about their new top of the line radar detector. Watch the video below or keep reading to learn about what’s new with the Max 360c.
Differences Between the Max360 and Max 360c
I’m sure that by this point, almost all of you are familiar with the original Max360. If not, you can read my Max360 review here. I think the easiest way of telling you about the updated model is going over the changes and improvements between the Max360 and Max 360c, based on both what Escort has shared and my time taking a look at the detector. It has everything the Max360 has, plus more:
- Wi-Fi built into the Max 360c (the ‘c’ stands for ‘connected’) which connects to your vehicle’s built-in WiFi
- Automatically updates the detector to the latest firmware without having to connect to your computer
- Automatically updates the detector to the latest redlight camera / speed camera database without having to connect the detector to your computer
- Updated case and design
- Physically smaller detector (thank goodness)
- Arrows are now around the entire face of the detector, not around the rear horn
- Case changes from all black to gray and black
- Better button feel
- Band Segmentation for both K & Ka band
and the segments actually adjust what frequencies the detector sweeps for, and the segments adjust muting instead of performance or what frequencies are scanned, intended specifically for international usage Improved performanceComparable performance compared to the Max360 (test results) Improved blind spot filtering over the Max360(Escort later changed their stance and said it’s the same as the original)
- Improved arrow accuracy (will be verified once we have the detector on hand)
- EZ Mag magnetic mount (my favorite radar detector mount)
- Built-in integration with Escort’s
soon-to-be-released(update: now available) ZW5 wireless laser jammers if you want an easy to install and feature-packed integrated radar / laser setup without drilling into your car or through your firewall
- Price goes up from $649 to $699
My Initial Impressions of the Escort Max 360c
I haven’t had any seat time with the Max 360c yet of course, but I have had a chance to play around with the detector, turn it on, and buzz through the menu. Fortunately there’s some K band transmitters around so I had a chance to check out the detector’s arrows lighting up.
I’m used to the arrows being around the rear horn on the original Max360 and it’s a little weird at first seeing the arrows wrap all around the display, but you get used to that quickly. I’ve also noticed that it looks better in person than it does in the stock photos for some reason.
The Wi-Fi integration is the main new thing. One of the big appeals of the Max360 was that it was a convenient and plug and play detector. Radar detector enthusiasts and tech savvy people in general don’t mind updating their detectors with their computer. However, simplifying the experience for people is a great thing. Being able to just leave your detector in your car and have it update both the firmware and the RLC/speedcam database automatically is a cool feature. You still get all the same Escort Live integration that you’d get with your phone and Bluetooth, but the automatic updating functionality is exclusive to Wi-Fi and fits the theme of a plug-and-play detector that does everything for you automatically, you know? I see it as more of a general consumer feature than a hardcore radar detector enthusiast feature.
Escort has also slightly shrunken the detector as well. The Max360 was pretty massive, and as a Miata driver, I can appreciate a compact detector. 😉
Probably the biggest surprise to me is that there’s now band segmentation available that impacts performance. We’ve been told for years that BS/RDR isn’t needed for Escort’s digital detectors since it sweeps all of Ka band so quickly, but having an even faster scanning detector is a great feature. On the forums Escort is saying that the segmentation doesn’t impact performance, so we’re getting mixed messages, but that’s what we’re hearing.
Escort is also making improvements to the BSM filter, always a welcome change. Apparently there’s also some improvements available for the Max 360c above and beyond what the Max360 will be capable of. According to Escort, this is more than just a slightly smaller Max360 with Wi-Fi.
Wireless Laser Jammer Integration
Finally, Escort is releasing a set of wireless laser jammers called the Escort ZW5 (wireless versions of the ZR5’s) that don’t need to have wires run through your vehicle’s firewall which means for a quicker and easier install that doesn’t affect your car as much. The Max 360c will interface with the ZW5’s to alert you when you’re shot with laser and you can press the mute button on your radar detector to kill your laser jammers. That’s a cool way to get a set of wireless jammers for your vehicle. Plus they don’t communicate via Bluetooth (which is a bit laggy and introduces a bit of a delay) so your RD will alert immediately when you get shot with laser.
Is It Worth It?
This detector is $700. It takes the most expensive radar detector on the market and raises the price. Is it worth it though?
I suppose if you were looking at the Max360 because you wanted that plug and play experience and you have Wi-Fi built into your vehicle then yeah, it would offer an even better experience.
The improvements to performance and BSM filtering I think remains to be seen. We’ve been told for so long that band segmentation won’t improve performance on a Max detector with DSP… but we were also told you can’t add BS/RDR to a Magnum because it didn’t have enough memory, but we eventually got BS/RDR on the Magnum so who knows? We’ll have to wait and see for independent testing to verify the improvements to performance and people driving with the detector to verify the improvements to BSM filtering to be sure, but nevertheless I do like seeing something new being brought out to the radar detector market.
The Max360 will still be available and is not being discontinued. Rather the Max 360c will be an additional detector for sale alongside the original.
If you have a Wi-Fi hotspot in your car already (many new cars are coming with it nowadays) and you’re really wanting a plug and play detector then yeah, the Max 360c will take things a step further.
Note: Escort doesn’t have a ton of these detectors initially. They’ve got a small number that will sell out quickly and then the main batch of detectors will arrive after the holiday season. Let me know if you order one and once you get it, let me know your real-world impressions and experiences with it so that we can compare notes and have more helpful information available about Escort’s latest radar detector.
If you want to learn more about the Max 360c’s settings, check out the Max 360c Quick Reference Guide.
Finally, a big thank you to Escort for being so helpful and open here at the show! I really appreciate it. 🙂
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