Two of the best radar detectors of 2019 are the Uniden R7 ($599) and Escort Max 360c ($649). You guys ask all the time which one is better. Both are feature-packed high end windshield mount radar detectors. Both have directional arrows, good false alert filtering, and useful GPS features.
However, each detector offers some unique features that the other one doesn’t, so one detector may be a better fit for you than the other. Let’s take a closer look at both detectors in this comparison review to find out if the R7 or Max 360c is better for you.
R7 vs. Max 360c Comparison Video
If you’d to watch like an in-depth comparison between the two detectors, I spend the first hour (!) of this video below going into alllll the differences between the two detectors. In this article, I’ll highlight the key information you need to know if you prefer to read/skim instead. 🙂
R7 vs. Max 360c Comparison Overview
Before we go into more detail explaining the benefits of each detector, here’s an overview of the main advantages of each one:
Uniden R7 Advantages:
- Longer range for maximum protection
- Filters out Honda / Acura BSM’s
- MRCD/CT detection
- Nearly RDD immune
- Larger display with more information
- RLC / speed camera updates are free for life (not $25/yr)
- Less expensive ($599 vs $649)
The R7 is best for drivers who want the maximum level of protection and / or MRCD detection.
Escort Max 360c Advantages
- Automatic GPS lockouts available (but eventually coming to R7 too)
- Less chatty overall
- Shares police alerts with other drivers in realtime via the cloud
- Displays current speed limit on screen
- Can change settings more easily through the phone
- Automatic firmware updates over WiFi, no computer required
- Automatic RLC / speedcam database updates also available over WiFi
- More stable and solid magnetic mount
- Better build quality
- A little physically smaller
- Mute button easier to press on top of the detector, instead of on the side
- Integrates with Escort’s laser shifters like the ZR5 and ZW5
- 1 year speeding ticket guarantee
The Max 360c is best for casual drivers. It gives you a more plug-and-play and automated user experience. It’s a solid all-around pick.
While both detectors do a good job in terms of performance, the R7 is undoubtedly the more sensitive detector. The Max 360c is able to hang with most of the other top tier detectors, but the Uniden R7 consistently offers the longest range available out of any windshield mount radar detector, even able to outperform the mighty R3. Read my complete radar detector test results here.Terrain and conditions always affect how much more range the R7 will get over the 360c, but we see this same trend in other radar detector enthusiasts’ testing as well. For example, here’s a sample test result from Texas Countermeasure Testing Group also finding the R7 dominating the competition.
Now realistically the Max 360c does the job just fine in most situations, but if you’re a serious driver and you demand the highest level of performance and advanced warning, you need the Uniden R7.
False Alert Filtering
Besides range, the other big part of a radar detector is how well it cuts out false alerts so that when it does go off, you actually pay attention.
While the Uniden can filter out some BSM’s that the Escort can’t, the Escort is still the quieter detector overall. Plus its filters are more automatic while Uniden’s requires you to intervene more.
Both detectors have GPS lockouts. They are able to learn where stationary false alerts are located from speed signs and automatic door openers and mute them for you in the future. Escort’s lockouts are currently better than Uniden’s, though this may change in the future.
The biggest difference is that the Escort has automatic GPS lockouts. After seeing the same signal several times, it will automatically start filtering those signals out. The Uniden requires you to double tap the mute button manually for each signal to create each lockout yourself. It also requires you to make sure you don’t accidentally lock out a moving blind spot false or a police officer. The Escort can just handle all that for you which is a big convenience.
Now the R7 was built to support autolockouts as well and it is coming in a future firmware update. There is no ETA on when it will be available, but the R7 will one day have this same feature too.
Blind spot monitoring falses are one of the most annoying falses to deal with. The R7 has a new K Block feature that filters out false alerts from Hondas and Acuras while the Escort will false to those. However, the Uniden is chattier overall. The Escort does a better job at staying quiet in general.
In terms of BSM filtering, most people prefer the Max 360c.
Low Speed Muting
Both detectors have GPS-based low speed muting. Choose a speed (ie. 35 mph) and the detector will mute different alerts, real or false, below that speed. Drive above the speed and the detector will alert normally. This is a great way to keep the detector extra quiet around town. I wouldn’t recommend running any detector in town without this feature.
When the Max 360c is connected to Escort Live, the speed threshold is automatically set to the current speed limit. This way the detector is quiet when you’re driving below the speed limit, but resumes alerting once you’re over the limit. I can see this being a good idea, but it does have its issues.
It is possible for the detector to mute itself when it should be alerting you. For example, if you’re in a construction zone and the speed is temporarily reduced, the Max 360c has no way of knowing that. You can be going below the normal limit but above the temporary new limit and the detector will stay quiet on you. (It will double beep to get your attention and then go fully quiet so you will get some heads up.)
It is also possible for Escort Live to simply get the speed limit wrong in the first place. This used to be a bigger issue, but Escort has since switched data providers. Today I find that the speed limit displayed, fortunately, is pretty accurate.
I do wish that the Escort gave you the option to not overwrite the low speed muting threshold with what it thinks is the speed limit, but the only way to do that is to not run Escort Live at all, and that is a feature that is otherwise pretty handy.
To further cut down on false alerts, both detectors also allow you to dial back your sensitivity. Obviously this will reduce your maximum alert range against real signals too, but it also helps cut down on false alerts. The way both detectors do this is different though.
With the Escort, you can set it to Auto Mode. This reduces the sensitivity of X and K bands at lower speeds and progressively cranks it up as you start driving faster. In practice it does a good job of keeping the detector extra quiet around town. In fact, I also find it filtering out door openers in parking lots. (If you switch it to Highway mode, full sensitivity, it then starts alerting instantly.)
The Uniden, on the other hand, lets you manually adjust the sensitivity for each band. There is no automatic adjustment based on speed.
With the R7, Highway Mode is running at full sensitivity on all bands. Advanced Mode gives you individual control of X, K, and Ka band sensitivity (between 30% and 100% in 10% increments). This is especially helpful because the R7 is crazy sensitive. To give you an idea, you could run the R7 at just 30% K band sensitivity and it’s still more sensitive than the Max 360c at full sensitivity… so it’s a nice option to help quiet the detector down further. The R7 is a sensitive detector and increased sensitivity means more alerts, both real and false. That is the the trade-off here and so it’s nice to have the option to back things down when needed.
Finally, there’s also City mode runs the detector at closer to 18% sensitivity on X and K band, the lowest sensitivity level available. This does finally drop the sensitivity down to below Max 360c levels, but it’s an option for people (like me) who have very very little legit K band in use in their area and prefer a detector that’s as quiet as possible, but still alerts you to K band around.
The Escort also has an AutoLoK option which is kind similar because it is even more aggressive against K band falses, but I don’t like it too much. It also filters out weaker signals, but by the time it gives you the alert, it likes to alert at nearly full tilt. When a signal alerts with the Uniden, it starts off weak and then gets stronger. Uniden actually changes how strong a signal needs to be to alert as weak. The Escort, on the other hand, just don’t alert initially at all and only when the signal gets strong enough, it alerts as a strong signal. This means you’ll sometimes think you’re getting suddenly blasted by a cop nearby, leading to a panic-inducing brake stop. Because of this, I find that Uniden’s alert presentation with aggressive filtering is better, IMHO.
Next up, MRCD & MRCT. The Uniden can detect it, the Max 360c can’t.
The MultaRadar is a new low powered radar gun used for photo radar applications. It is gradually showing up in North America. The MultaRadar is heavily used in Edmonton, Canada and is now showing up in several other Canadian provinces and American states. (Here’s where it’s currently reported in use.)
Long story short, the R7 can detect them, but not consistently well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always do a great job. Sometimes it does give adequate advanced warning, but others times it doesn’t go off until you’re right in the kill zone.
Here’s an example of this in Edmonton, courtesy of @Dukes on RDF. You’ll see a truck parked on the right. It is running MRCD photo radar, taking pictures of vehicles from behind after they pass. The radar beam is not aimed towards drivers as they approach which makes detection more difficult. You’ll see the R7 alert pretty much when you’re in the kill zone which is not useful.
Now in other situations it can do better, but other detectors like the Radenso RC M and Radenso Pro M do a better job at this consistently. To give you an idea, here’s another pass of the same MRCD truck that @Dukes made with the RC M. It was a short distance alert which is common with these guns, but it provides enough time to respond as necessary.
This is very different than the Max 360c which is unable to detect the MRCD whatsoever. Here’s a quick demo from the Max 360 whose results are the same as the Max 360c.
Escort does sell a Max 360c International that supports MRCD/CT detection, but it’s not available in North America. Hopefully Escort brings it over here now that these guns are showing up here too.
As for the R7, Uniden’s engineers are working on improved MultaRadar detection for the R7 and even flew over to Edmonton recently to do more R&D. I do expect the R7’s MultaRadar support to improve, but I don’t know when that software update will be made available.
Currently if you live in an area with the MultaRadar, the R7 is the better of the two, but the Radenso Pro M is really your best choice.
Now another advantage that the Max 360c has is Escort Live.
The Max 360c can connect to the cloud via Escort Live to share alerts in realtime with other drivers. This gives you an additional layer of protection, letting you know when other drivers up ahead picked up radar or laser. When you get an alert, you’ll be able to notify other drivers behind you too. This was the community works together to get even more useful information.
You can connect to Escort Live using the app on your phone (Android or iOS). This works pretty well, but I do find sometimes it doesn’t reconnect automatically when you get in your car so you have to launch the app manually, even with the redesigned new version of the app, which is annoying.
Additionally, you can also connect to Escort Live over WiFi if you have a hotspot in your car. I prefer this method because you don’t run into the same connectivity issues with backgrounded apps. I find that it works more smoothly and reliably. (You’ll need a 2.4 GHz WiFi hotspot. The 360c does not support 5 GHz.)
Waze offers similar functionality with shared alerts with other drivers, but you must report alerts manually. With Escort Live, alerts are handled for you automatically while you focus on driving. Plus the alerts also show up right on the face of your detector even if you have the app backgrounded and you don’t have to worry about Waze alerts being missed if you’re talking on the phone over Bluetooth or if you’re using Google Maps instead.
Speaking of Escort Live’s benefits, when you connect to your detector via your phone, you can go in and change settings in the app. This makes it easier than manually flipping through pages of menus in the detector when you’re doing your initial setup.
The biggest benefit of Live though is the alert sharing with other drivers, giving you an added layer of protection above and beyond what any one radar detector alone can provide.
Both companies periodically release firmware updates to improve the detector, add features, fix bugs, and update the redlight camera database. Overall Escort does a better job with this too.
Uniden offers Windows and Mac update software. Plug the detector into your computer, download the latest update, and use the software to update. Unfortunately though a lot of people have difficulty updating, whether it’s finding the update file on Uniden’s website, installing drivers, or getting the computer to see the detector. For whatever reason, even when following my R7 firmware update tutorial video, people still have more trouble than usual updating. (It can be a bit of a tech support headache and I wish Uniden would better streamline their update software.)
With the Max 360c, there’s also Windows and Mac software. However, with Escort Detector Tools Pro, the update process is much easier. Run the software, plug in your detector, and it goes out to find any updates for you and installs it onto to your detector. In general I find people have more success with Escort’s software.
Not only that, if you have a WiFi hotspot in your car, or you park near your home or work’s WiFi, your Max 360c can update itself automatically, no computer required. When connected over WiFi, it checks for any updates, let’s you know when one is available, and gives you the option to update both the detector’s firmware as well as the RLC database.
You do need WiFi available the whole time it updates (it can take 5-10 min). You can’t just download it real quick while you sit in your garage and then drive away while it installs the update. You have to have WiFi the whole time and it’s not always convenient to sit in your driveway for a while as your your detector updates. Therefore this feature works best if you have a mobile hotspot in your car so it can update while you drive.
When it comes to updating, the Max 360c definitely provides a smoother user experience. Plus all the updates can be done for you automatically as you drive. No more needing to keep an eye out on the internet for updates (Escort doesn’t send out emails when updates are available) and then bring your detector inside to update it. It just takes care of everything for you while you focus on other things. It is very convenient.
Radar detectors are something you need to be able to depend on. While every piece of tech will have some issues, there are a couple issues in particular that people have reported with these detectors.
Escort Max 360c Issues
With the Escort arrow detectors, there is a well-documented lockup bug. Basically the detector will sometimes lock up when detecting a radar signal, continuing to beep endlessly even after the signal is long gone, until you power cycled the detector.
Escort has released a series of updates to fix this bug and it has mostly been resolved. However, a few people are reporting silent lockups where the detector looks like it’s up and running, but it doesn’t respond to radar. There are only a few reports of this with the latest firmware (v1.9), but it is still something people are seeing.
The latest firmware has also led to increased laser falsing with the Max 360c as well. Hopefully a future update helps resolve these issues.
Uniden R7 Issues
With the Uniden R7, there are a number of other similar, but different issues.
I’ve seen an R7 cig. lighter power cable fail and the user didn’t realize their detector was powered off. Another person saw this too. Uniden has had some issues with this in the past with R1/R3 cables and has made improvements. Newer cables are better, but apparently are still not perfect. I personally hardwire my detectors instead for a cleaner install, but this can be an issue if you use the factory cig. lighter cable.
I’ve also seen reports of GPS connection issues or R7’s not alerting to radar, particularly in hot temperatures. The lack of alerting issues can be tricky to verify without a radar gun on hand, especially since many police officers often drive around without their radar guns on so they won’t always trigger your RD, but people have seen times when the R7 strangely doesn’t alert to known speed signs or locked out alerts that it otherwise normally alerts to.
None of these issues are very widespread. As for my own personal experiences, I have previously experienced the Escort lockup issues on multiple detectors. I haven’t seen any alerting issues on any of my R series detectors, but I have had a K band alerting issue on an older LRD950. Either way, these are some of the issues I’ve seen reported on the forums.
The next feature I’d like to take a look at is RDD immunity. In places where radar detectors are illegal, officers may use radar detector detectors. To combat this, some detectors have special stealth technology to help avoid detection.
A stealth detector isn’t important or even necessary for most people, but it is very important to those who do need it.
The Max 360c doesn’t have any stealth capabilities and is very detectable by RDD’s.
The Uniden R7 fares much better than the Max 360c. It is almost completely stealth in most situations, but it is still detectable in other situations. It seems to be more detectable by the older Spectre III than the newer Spectre Elite. I’ve also noticed that some R7’s are stealthier than others. Why there is this sample variation, I don’t know.
Currently there are no windshield mount radar detectors with arrows that are 100% stealth to RDD’s. If you truly need that feature, I’d recommend that you look at something like the Escort Redline EX for a windshield mount or an Escort Max Ci 360 custom installed detector if you need both stealth and arrows.
Laser Jammer Integration
No radar detector is a truly effective tool against laser. If you want to add laser protection, I’d recommend you pick up the AntiLaser Priority. It’s the best laser jammer on the market. The ALP is a standalone laser jammer that can be run alongside any radar detector including the R7 and Max 360c.
If you want your laser jammer to integrate with your radar detector so that you can use your RD as your laser jammer display and controller, saving you from having to have another controller in your car, the Max 360c can integrate with the Escort ZR5 and ZW5.
The Escort jammers are not as effective as the ALP (see my laser jammer test results here), but they do provide an option if you’re looking for integration.
If you want that, I think the best ones are the Escort ZW5. They’re wireless laser jammers that you put into your grill and don’t require you to drill any holes through your vehicle’s firewall. It makes for an easier, quicker, and cleaner installation. This is also helpful for leased vehicles as well as vehicles that are harder to work on and run cables through.
I run a set of ZW5’s on my wife’s vehicle, paired to a Max 360c. I chose that combo because she wanted laser protection without having to drill a hole in her car’s firewall. (Watch my ZW5 install video here and then watch an officer shoot her vehicle with a Kustom ProLaser IV.
You’re limited to two heads max, so you’ll only have protection for the front. There is also no automatic jamming disarming available (yet) with the ZW5’s. Escort says it’s coming and has added the feature to the Max Ci 360, but it’s not yet available for the ZW5 or ZR5.
The ZR5’s are wired and add the option for rear jammers, but other than integrating with your RD, there’s no advantage over ALP’s and a ton of disadvantages so I don’t really recommend those at all.
With the R7, you can run whatever you like… ALP, Stinger fibers, TMG, whatever.
Speeding Ticket Guarantee
Escort offers a 1-year speeding ticket guarantee. If you get a radar or laser ticket while running your 360c, Escort will pay for it. (There is some fine print to the guarantee.)
Personally I think these guarantees are mostly a marketing tool to help boost sales, but people do like them as another layer of protection. They don’t cover the cost of insurance premium hikes, court costs, or lawyer fees, but they do help take care of the cost of the speeding ticket which is nice.
Uniden doesn’t offer a guarantee with the R7.
These are two of the most expensive windshield mount radar detectors on the market. Let’s talk about the price as well as any hidden costs.
- Uniden R7 radar detector: $599
- Firmware updates: Free for life
- Redlight camera updates: Free for life
Escort Max 360c
- Escort Max 360c radar detector: $649
- Firmware updates: Free for life
- Redlight camera updates: Free for 3 months, $25 for 1 year, $50 for 3 years
- Escort Live: Free for the first year, $50/yr, but Escort always renews people’s subscriptions automatically for free
So the R7 is cheaper and there’s no additional costs down the line.
The Max 360c costs $50 more and you have to pay for continued RLC / speed camera database updates in your detector. However, if you’re running Escort Live, it will always reference the latest database in the cloud and use those alerts, even if the alerts in your detector are older. Escort Live will also keep renewing automatically for free every year so yes while there are technically some added costs down the line, you’ll keep getting the latest info as long as you run Escort Live.
Cheaper Arrow Detectors?
The R7 and Max 360c aren’t the only two feature-packed radar detectors with arrows and lockouts. The V1 with an app and the original Max 360 qualify as well, plus they’re cheaper. Let’s briefly talk about them too.
Escort Max 360
The original Max 360 is in the process of being discontinued, but at $499, if you don’t need the WiFi of the Max 360c, you can save $150 and get an original Max 360. The 360c adds WiFi, a slightly smaller case, redesigned arrows, improved build quality, an updated magnetic mount, and a few other minor changes like K / Ka band segmentation (that affects muting only, not performance). The reason we’re focusing on the 360c is it is Escort’s top windshield mount RD and with its updates over the original 360, it is the overall better detector. Nevertheless, the if you don’t need the WiFi, the original Max 360 is a better bang for the buck Purchase an Escort Max 360 here.
The Valentine One ($399) is also a great option. When you add a V1C LE bluetooth module ($49) and a third party app like V1Driver (iOS, $9.99), YaV1 (Android, free), or JBV1 (Android, free), you can get a bunch of extra functionality, automatic GPS lockouts, alert logging, and more. If you’re cool with running a phone to add in some important features, it’s a great option too. I find most people prefer easier configuration and having the key GPS features built in to the detector which is why I’m focusing on the R7 and Max 360c. Purchase a V1 directly from Valentine. (Note: V1’s have been out of stock for months, waiting on parts. I don’t know when they’ll be available again.)
Cobra DualPro 360
There’s also the Beltronics GT-360 which was discontinued and relaunched as the Cobra DualPro 360 ($449). I’m not a huge fan of the design of the detectors and they’re a repackaged and stepped down version of the original Max 360, so I’m not particularly excited about them. That said, if you really want one, you can pick up a Cobra DualPro 360 here.
Should You Get the R7 or Max 360c?
Okay so as usual, that was a crazy long comparison. Sorry. :p
So which detector should you get?
Boiling it down, really both are great radar detectors and either one of them would serve most people very well. There’s a reason lots of people are looking at these two detectors specifically. They’re both great choices.
When To Choose the Uniden R7
If you’re a serious driver looking for maximum performance and the highest level of protection, go for the Uniden R7.
If you also have the MRCD in use in your area, the R7 would be the better choice.
When to Choose the Escort Max 360c
If you’re a more casual driver, I think the Max 360c is the better choice. You can put it up on your windshield and it learns all the false alerts for you as you drive. The more you drive with it, the quieter it gets. Yes the R7 will eventually get autolockouts too, but who knows when that’ll be.
The Max 360c’s cloud alerts with Escort Live give you an added layer of protection. You’ll help others and they’ll help you. It can display the speed limit on screen right next to your speed, making it easier to tell if you’re speeding or not. You can do all this with Waze, but again it’s all more integrated and automatic here with the Escort.
If you have WiFi at home or in your vehicle, the detector can keep itself updated for you too. It’s not a huge deal to update using your computer, but it’s hard to argue the convenience of having the detector just take care of that for you. Even if you do use your computer to update, again Escort makes this process easier.
For most people, I think the Max 360c would be the preferred choice. It offers reasonable alert distance, it falses less, and it just takes care of more things for you all by itself. This way, instead of messing with your radar detector, you can focus on driving.
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