Escort has just released the successor to the original Max 360 ($499) and it’s called the Max 360 Mk II ($599). It’s essentially a Max 360c Mk II ($699), just without the WiFi, and it improves upon the original Max 360 by offering longer range, better blind spot monitoring (BSM) filtering, improved photo radar detection, and a refreshed case design.
It costs $100 more than the outgoing Max 360 it replaces, but it’s a mostly welcome upgrade over the original thanks to the performance improvements stemming from its updated Blackfin digital signal processing (DSP) architecture.
Once I get a Max 360 Mk II, I’ll do a hands-on video, but given that it’s essentially a Max 360c Mk II with all the same settings, just without WiFi and in a slightly different case, we’ve got a good idea of what to expect.
Update: Max 360 Mk II has arrived! Check it out here:
Now for context, the original Max 360 launched way back in 2015. It was Escort’s first radar detector with arrows. In fact it was the first radar detector to offer arrows after Valentine’s patent on arrows expired. Since then it’s had some software updates, Escort has updated the Bluetooth chip, and they’ve upgraded the magnetic mount, but the new Max 360 Mk II offers a much more substantial overhaul.
Updated Case Design
Escort has updated the case design of the Max 360 Mk II to give it the same styling as its newer generation of detectors. It now looks extremely similar to the Max 360c Mk II.
The arrows now stretch all the way around the face of the detector, it has the more angular design, it loses the (purely aesthetic) raised bubble on the side, and it adds support for the EZ Mag magnetic mount (though newer Max 360’s eventually got the updated mount too).
The USB port for updates changes from MiniUSB to MicroUSB, the first Escort detector to use this smaller connector.
You’ll also notice some new cooling vents on top of the detector.
However, it’s what’s under the hood that should make the most difference.
Longer Range Detection
Now that the Max 360 Mk II uses the new Blackfin DSP platform (the same one that’s used on the Max 360c Mk II, Redline 360c, MaxCam 360c, etc.) it should receive a welcome bump in long range detection.
This was one of my biggest complaints of the nearly 8 year old Max 360 in 2023: You’re paying for a higher end detector, but getting mid-tier detection range. The newer Max 360 Mk II should finally give us detection range closer to other higher end detectors again.
The Mk II also adds band segmentation options for both K and Ka band.
In terms of responsiveness, I expect it to have the same reactivity issues as the other Blackfin DSP detectors and so until Escort fully resolves the reactivity issues, this should have the same K band delays that the Max 360c Mk II experiences.
Improved BSM Filtering
One thing the new radar detection platform is good at is BSM filtering. I’ve found the latest Escorts to be among the quietest in terms of BSM filtering and not falsing to nearby cars. Admittedly it’s been ages since I’ve ran my original Max 360 so I can’t compare directly off the top of my head, but Escort has definitely been making improvements here with their new platform.
Improved Photo Radar Detection
The original Max 360 has the ability to detect the MRCD (thanks to a firmware update released in late 2019), but the Max 360 Mk II adds the ability to detect not only the MRCD, but also the newer MRCT and the Mesta Fusion, giving you further protection against newer photo radar systems.
Correction: Now that I’ve got a detector on hand, it doesn’t have Mesta Fusion support the way that the “c” version does.
Max 360 To Be Discontinued
The Max 360 Mk II is set to replace the original Max 360. The original is no longer available on Escort’s website, but there’s still some remaining stock left on Amazon at the time of launch.
While the Max 360 Mk II provides a number of improvements over the original, the original Max 360
is was the cheaper option at $499.
Max 360 Mk II vs. Max 360c Mk II
The Max 360 Mk II is essentially a Max 360c Mk II, just without the WiFi capabilities.
Personally I like the WiFi capabilities. It makes it easier to update the detector from inside your car, plus if you want the detector connected to the cloud for realtime alerts and a speed limit display, I find it smoother and more reliable to connect over in-car WiFi than using an app on your phone. Given that I run in-car WiFi, between the two I would choose the Max 360c Mk II.
However, if you don’t have WiFi in your car and/or you want to save $100 (it’s $599 instead of $699), you can pick up the Max 360 Mk II instead and still get all other detection and filtering improvements that the Max 360c Mk II offers.
It makes total sense that Escort released this detector as they continue upgrading their lineup to utilize the newer Blackfin DSP platform. The original Max 360 was released nearly 8 years ago and it’s starting to show its age so a refresh makes a lot of sense.
If you don’t have WiFi in your car, this detector will compete head-to-head with other popular detectors like the Uniden R7, Uniden R8, and Valentine 1 Gen2. It offers a number of advantages over those other detectors too, but Escort really has to nail the responsiveness issues we’ve been seeing across the current lineup. I’d be hesitant on committing to this detector until they do, but if/when they do, I think this will be a solid pick and a worthy successor to Escort’s very first radar detector with arrows.
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