Valentine 1 Gen2 Testing vs. Uniden R7, V1 Gen1, and more

So how does the new Valentine 1 Gen2 stack up in terms of long term detection? Well this week I went to find out by testing it against all the other best radar detectors on the market.

V1 Gen2 with Max360c, V1 G1, R7, Redline EX, and Pro M

Valentine 1 Gen2 with the Escort Max 360c, Valentine 1 Gen1, Uniden R7, Escort Redline EX, & Radenso Pro M

Radar Detectors:

  • Valentine 1 Gen 2 (fw 4.1018) $499 Retail unit
  • Valentine 1 Gen 1 (fw 3.8945) $399  (discontinued) Retail unit
  • Uniden R7 (fw 1.29) $449 Provided by Uniden
  • Escort Max 360c (fw 1.11) $649 Retail unit
  • Escort Redline EX (fw 1.15) $599 Provided by @mikedotd
  • Radenso Pro M (fw US 19) $449 Provided by Radenso

Every detector was set up with X off, K and Ka on. Detectors were segmented 2/5/8 when it made a difference (V1 Gen1, Redline EX, Uniden R7, Radenso Pro M). I also ran with the Ka filters disabled for the V1 Gen1, R7, and Redline EX. You can’t disable them for the Max360c and V1 Gen2 so it’s always running with Ka filters. I meant to disable it for the Pro M, but I forgot since I normally run with it on, unlike the other detectors where I normally run it off. Ka filters on the V1 Gen2 and Max 360c are always enabled and can’t be disabled.

Radar Guns:

  • MPH Bee III (33.8)
  • Stalker II (34.7)
  • Decatur Genesis II (35.5 & K Band)

Test Course:

The test course is the tried and true red barn test course. It’s a relatively difficult course with a few bends and trees blocking the signal. Maximum detection range is about half a mile.

Radar Test Course

Traffic was pretty minimal thankfully. Cars can and do affect the detection ranges so results may vary. This is one of the main reasons I ran 3 runs per detector on Ka. (I reduced it to 2 per detector / settings combo on K band to save time.)

Weather was sunny and clear.

33.8 Test Results:

Starting off, here’s a look at the results on 33.8:

Vortex's 33.8 Radar Detector Test Data, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's 33.8 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's 33.8 Averaged Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Not a huge difference between detectors. The R7 got the longest distance alerts, followed by the V1 Gen2, and everyone else clustered together.

So R7 and V1 Gen2 are the most sensitive, but the test course is set up such that we can’t really see a big difference between detectors. It’s certainly good to know that depending on conditions and terrain, different detectors with varying sensitivity can alert right around the same spot, but that doesn’t help us understand which detectors have the best sensitivity.

I wanted to get more separation between detectors (most everything was alerting near the red barn) so I modified the radar gun placement for subsequent runs to make things harder. For 33.8, the radar gun had pretty clear line of sight downrange. After we finished, we moved the radar car maybe 50 feet forward to obscure it behind a bush to block some of the signal (it limited the radar gun’s detection distance downrange too of course), and this helped create a little more separation between tiers of detectors.

34.7 Test Results:

Vortex's 34.7 Radar Detector Test Data, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's 34.7 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

V1 Gen2 and R7 both managed long distance alerts every time. The results were virtually identical, with one slightly shorter run with the R7, likely due to traffic. (There’s a reason we do multiple runs…)

Redline EX and V1 Gen 1 each managed one longer detection (but still not R7 or V1 Gen2 range) with the other two detections being closer to the Max 360c and Pro M.

Vortex's 34.7 Averaged Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Still plenty of alert distance by all the detectors, but we’re starting to see more separation between detectors now.

An impressive showing by the new V1 Gen2! Finally we have a detector that can properly take on the R7 on 34.7!

Also a quick note about the Pro M. As I mentioned it earlier, I ran it with Ka Filter enabled due to some false alerts I’d been getting on Ka. I meant to turn it off for testing, but I forgot to do so. The R7, V1 Gen1, and Redline EX I tested with the Ka filters disabled. The Pro M had the filter enabled. Last year it managed to beat the V1 Gen1 and Max360c on 34.7 with the filter disabled and so it looks like that does affect the range. For testing purposes, I do wish that I had also done a set of passes with the Pro M with Ka filter disabled to see how much that would improve things, but honestly I forgot to change that. Sorry about that. Instead we’ve got a test of the settings that I actually use in the real world, not just the settings which are optimized for testing like I did last year. Next time I go test (perhaps when Theia comes out), I can retest with the filter on and off.

Speaking of which, I wish the V1 Gen2 had additional filtering available on Ka. I actually get more false Ka alerts with it than with any other detector, and it doesn’t offer a Ka filter you can enable so…

Anyways, let’s move on to 35.5, traditionally the hardest Ka frequency detect.

35.5 Test Results:

Vortex's 35.5 Radar Detector Test Data, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's 35.5 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

On 35.5, the V1 Gen2 managed to extend its lead over the R7 with every detection longer than the R7 was capable of. Amazing…

V1 Gen 1, Redline EX, and Max360c all managed one or two longer detections (again not quite up to R7 or V1 Gen2 territory), but otherwise had shorter detections.

The Pro M had the shortest detections.

Here’s a look at the results averaged together to simplify things:

Vortex's 35.5 Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

K Band Test Results:

Next, moving on to K band. There was a lot to test here so we dropped down to 2 runs per detector / settings combination to save time. This was with the Genesis II. It’s a normal circularly polarized K band gun, nothing fancy or low powered.

Vortex's K Band Radar Detector Test Data, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's K Band Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Vortex's K Band Averaged Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

I was most curious to see how the V1 Gen2 compared with K Verifier on/off and the different logic modes compared to the R7 at different sensitivity levels. The R7 (with K filter on) is more sensitive than the V1 Gen2 with K Verifier off (which is useless in practice due to extreme false alerts). The V1 Gen2 with Advanced Logic mode (big L mode) is pretty great at filtering out many false alerts, but it’s also less sensitive than the R7 in City mode with TSF on…

Testing the V1 Gen2 K Band Filters & Logic Modes:

Now focusing in on just the V1 Gen2’s different settings, here’s a closer look at how its filters affect range:

Vortex's K Band Averaged Radar Detector Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

So K Verifier (TMF2 replacement) does reduce range.

One of the runs I had with Logic mode (little l mode), the V1 managed a short blip farther away, it lost the signal, and then it reacquired where it normally went off. If I were to ignore that first blip and look at where it was able to hold onto the signal, those results make a little more sense:

Vortex's (Adjusted) Valentine 1 Gen2 K Band Test Results, Red Barn Course, 3-16-20

Logic mode (l mode) only mutes weak signals. It doesn’t filter out weak signals like Advanced Logic mode (L mode). So seeing Logic and All Bogies return comparable results is what I was expecting.

Valentine 1 Gen2 Performance Conclusion

So this new V1 Gen2 is a beast! It’s a serious upgrade from the V1 Gen1. It’s the first windshield mount detector that can trade shots with the reigning long distance champ, the Uniden R7.

V1 Gen2 in action at the red barn test course

When it comes to Ka detection, the new V1 Gen2 is without a doubt a top notch performer. It’s able to consistently outrange other detectors like the Escort Max 360c, Redline EX, the older V1 Gen1, etc.

On K band, the performance is great when running in A and l modes. (I prefer l mode to help mute weak false alerts.) Switching to L mode does drop range a good bit, but if you’re in an area with a low risk of legit K band, the additional quietness may be a worthy trade-off.

Either way, the long awaited next gen V1 Gen2 is proving itself to be one of the most sensitive radar detectors on the market. I think it’ll be spending a fair amount of time on my windshield. 🙂

Great job Valentine!

You can read my complete Valentine 1 Gen2 review here.

This website contains affiliate links and I sometimes make commissions on purchases. All opinions are my own. I don’t do paid or sponsored reviews.

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    • Donald Belseck on March 17, 2020 at 9:03 pm
    • Reply

    Very well done Vortex.

    • Tzah on March 18, 2020 at 1:16 am
    • Reply

    Amazing!!!! Thank you vortex!!!!
    Video is next ?

    • DAVID Scott on March 18, 2020 at 4:12 am
    • Reply

    Good I have been waiting for this and the logic mode comparison thx

    • Mark on March 18, 2020 at 4:38 am
    • Reply

    Please explain why you think the V1G2 is having Ka false alerts. Is it because of sensitivity? Picking up more reflections?

    • Marc on March 18, 2020 at 5:16 am
    • Reply

    Where do you think an R3 would have landed in the tests? 3rd place? I think it is a great value with still above average performance.

    • Craig on March 18, 2020 at 5:53 am
    • Reply

    As always, an incredible job! Looking forward to your cross country real world testing as well. The V1G2 is a solid performer out of the gate for certain. Hopefully they will have incremental updates that can be applied by the user as Mike hinted at in your video so they can improve things even further as more testing is done by the users and testers in the field.

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately I’ve cancelled/delayed the cross-country trip since now isn’t a great time to travel. I’d still like to do it in the future though. In the meantime, I guess that means more time for videos over the next week! 😀

    • Frank A on March 18, 2020 at 6:07 am
    • Reply

    Nice job Vortex. I’m going to run my V1G2 with V1 Driver and WAZE at the same time to see if this will work well against all the MRCD and red light cams on Staten Island.

    1. Great. Waze should be able to alert you to the fixed RLC’s, but I’d be surprised if you get any reasonable alerts with the V1 against the MRCD. Let me know how it goes!

    • Ted Gust on March 18, 2020 at 1:28 pm
    • Reply

    But does this new Valentine alert you to RLCs like the Uniden does? I know you’re not testing this, but is the reason I bought my R3 to begin with.

    1. It doesn’t have GPS to alert you to RLC’s so you’re dependent on an app like Waze, Google Maps, or JBV1 to alert you to those.

    • joe p on March 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm
    • Reply

    Matches my real world experience on 34.7. I ran the R7 and V1 gen 2 side by side. The V1 gen 2 almost always alerted a second or 2 before the R7. There was no interference between the two that I noticed.

    1. Please do not run the two detectors side by side… There is often interference that you may or may not notice. There’s a reason that all tests are done by running the detectors individually.

    • David on March 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm
    • Reply

    I am trying to decide between purchasing the V1GEN2 and the R7. Do you have one that you would recommend purchasing over the other? I have run a valentine for the past 20 years, but certainly willing to change brands for a better performer.

    1. Both are great performers so it’s not really range that separates the two. Take a look at the video that I posted the other day:

    • Scott on March 19, 2020 at 3:54 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been offline for a while but had one question. If you don’t use your iPhone with the new V1 would it be very chatty on its own as compared to the R7? Thanks in advance.

    1. If you pair it with V1Driver, a $10 iOS app that adds low speed muting and GPS lockouts. If you don’t, you’ll still get good BSM filtering, but you won’t get lockouts for stationary falses.

    • Scott on March 20, 2020 at 8:33 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for your reply.

    • Tzah on March 22, 2020 at 4:05 am
    • Reply

    I think that on 33.8 it is big difference between the v1 gen2 & the R7. On 34.7 & 35.5 they were almost the same but on 33.8 the difference is much bigger.
    Same goes on k band.

    • Tom Brady on March 22, 2020 at 11:17 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for going this for us. Did you segment the V1 gen2? Please let me know. If you didn’t maybe on the next text you can and show us what you set them at? I think a k band sweep would need to be added? Will V1 gen2 alert to all speed cams red light cams even the low band ones.

    1. I didn’t segment the detector since it doesn’t affect performance the way it does for the Gen1. I don’t know what you mean about speed cams and RLC’s. It doesn’t have GPS so it can’t alert to them. If they emit radar, it may detect them, depending on what type of radar is being used.

    • Gordon on May 1, 2020 at 2:53 pm
    • Reply

    So the V1 gen1 was always rated as one of the best laser detectors. As one guy that does not want to do the jammer thing, I need the best possible range from my detector’s laser. In the Mike interview, I notice that he never talks about the sensitivity. He said that they know the sensitivity as the have the calibrated attenuators, but never mentions if the gen2 works as good as the gen1.

    Vortex mentions that the gen2 does not false as much. Mike says they have done nothing to filter laser.

    My question:
    Is the gen2 laser sensitivity as good as the gen1?

    Thank you

    1. I haven’t tested laser sensitivity and honestly have no plans too. I’ve found the V1 Gen2’s laser sensor falses quite a bit (more than I realized with just a few days of driving) and I turn the laser functionality off altogether. If it’s sensitive too, that’s great, but it’s no replacement for laser jammers.

  1. i’ve always wondered how the highest performing Ka band detectors today stack up against the highest performing X band detectors from the late 80s in raw wide open straightaway detection range. so maybe a v1 gen 2 detecting Ka vs a cincinnati microwave passport or better yet an escort dsp (circa 1990) detecting X. i had passports and the escort dsp back then and seems like detection range was in general staggering. plenty of instant on back then too, it wasn’t all constant on. my general impression is Ka detection range is much shorter today, even with the best units. not entirely surprising i guess. i’ve had v1s since about 1995 and have the v1 gen 2. i never got back on the escort bandwagon when they went plastic. the test obviously wouldn’t be of much practical value but would nonetheless be interesting – thanks

    • Fabrizio R Mesiti on August 9, 2020 at 1:57 pm
    • Reply

    In what mode were you running the V1 Gen 2 for the KA results?

    1. I’d have to go back and review the video footage to find out. It doesn’t really matter though because the logic modes only affect X and K band. They have zero impact on Ka detection which is why I didn’t bother posting those settings.

    • M S on October 18, 2023 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply

    For me it would have been easier to understand if you had mentioned for each graph if less or more time was better or worse

  2. Time? The graphs are labeled alert distance, meaning the more distance/range/advanced warning, the better.

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