Radar detectors can help you avoid speeding tickets, but which one should you buy? Here’s a comparison review of the Best Radar Detectors of 2020 featuring long range performance, effective false alert filtering, and the useful features that you need.
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Best Windshield Mount Radar Detectors of 2020
There’s a lot of excellent radar detectors to choose from and each one has a sort of specialty, making it “best” for different people with different needs. Here’s my complete video (nearly 1 hour long) going into the best options in detail.
To quickly read instead, here’s a simplified list of all highlights for each detector with how they help keep you protected from speeding tickets.
#1: Uniden R7: Ultimate Long Range Performance with Arrows ($449)
The Uniden R7 is the best performing windshield mount radar detector on the market, featuring the longest range available, giving you the best chance possible at detecting police officers using radar before they can detect you.
The R7 is based upon the popular R3, but it adds a rear antenna to give you directional arrows, letting you know if the officer is up ahead or back behind. The arrows are very helpful in practice.
The blind spot filtering is pretty good with the detector, especially with the new K Block feature that can block most Honda / Acura falses. That said, I do find the Escort Max 360c to be even quieter and thus, for many people, it’s arguably a better all-around pick than the R7. (This is one of the primary reasons why I usually prefer running the 360c around town over the R7.) The R7 can be chatty, falsing more often to Mazda, GM, and Chrysler vehicles, so it’s the detector I use when I prioritize maximum performance over quietness.
With the integrated GPS, the R7 can alert you to redlight cameras and speed cameras. It gives you manual GPS lockouts and low speed muting to help filter out false alerts around town from speed signs and drugstore automatic door openers.
With its MRCD and MRCT detection capabilities, it is also more future-proof than most other detectors. (The difficult to detect MultaRadar is currently in use in Alberta, Quebec, NYC, Chicago, Maryland, and Iowa.)
The Uniden R7 has become the top choice for drivers who demand maximum performance plus arrows for increased situational awareness.
The R7 originally launched at $599, but you can now pick it up for just $449.
Once you buy your R7, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.
#1A: Uniden R3: High Performance Arrow-less Detector for City / Highway Drivers ($299)
If you want high performance like the R7 offers, but you don’t necessarily need arrows to point right to the officer, you can save $150 by picking up the Uniden R3 instead. It’s the best radar detector under $400.
The more compact R3 (no rear antenna) is the second best performing windshield mount radar detector on the market, only surpassed by the R7.
It is a solid pick that offers GPS functionality for manual GPS lockouts and low speed muting (keeping it quiet around town), plus an updatable database for redlight camera and speed camera alerts.
There’s actually two variants of this detector, the Uniden R1 without GPS ($249) and the Uniden R3 with GPS ($299). If you drive in urban areas, the R3 is the one to get because it offers the additional filtering options you’ll really need around town. (Manually pressing the mute button every time you pass a grocery store on your commute gets old quick.) If you drive primarily in rural areas where you don’t encounter those false alerts, the simpler R1 would be the way to go. Personally I’d recommend the R3 for most drivers as it’s a more well-rounded detector and the GPS functionality adds a ton of value.
It’s the best radar detector under $400 and you can now buy it for less than $300.
Once you select the R1 or R3, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.
#2: Escort Max 360c with WiFi: Arrows, All the Bells and Whistles, Ultimate in Automation ($649)
The Escort Max 360c is probably my favorite radar detector to run around town. Along with the R7, it’s the other contender for best radar detector. It doesn’t offer quite the all-out range as the Uniden R7, but it offers a number of other benefits in return that make it very well-rounded and often times even better to use. It’s the detector I’d recommend to my family, people who enjoy useful features but are not radar detector experts and have no interest in becoming one. 🙂 In fact, it’s the detector that my wife runs in her car.
The Max 360c is easy to use meaning you can put it on your windshield and it does most everything for you. Got false alerts around town? The detector will start to learn and filter out false alerts automatically so the more you drive with it, the quieter it becomes. Other detectors require you to teach it what’s false and what’s real yourself. Got false alerts from other nearby vehicles? The Max 360c’s blind spot filtering makes it even quieter than the R7 so when it does go off, it’s more likely to be an actual police officer.
With Escort Live, the Max 360s connects to the cloud to share alerts in real-time with other Escort drivers. This way you benefit from their detections before you even get near the cop while also providing other drivers with advanced warning of what’s ahead too. (You can do a similar thing by running Waze on your phone, but that’s again more manual.) This way you get an additional layer of protection. The bluetooth capability will also let you change settings directly from your phone, plus it can display the current speed limit right on the front of the detector right next to your current speed which is a handy little feature.
If you have a WiFi hotspot in your vehicle, it can connect to the cloud while you drive without going through your phone which is often a more reliable connection than using the app. Additionally, if you have WiFi in your car or your park near a known WiFi hotspot at home or work, the Max 360c can automatically update its firmware and redlight camera database. This way the detector always stays up to date without you having to take it home and plug it into your computer for updates. Again, it’s designed to be very automatic and convenient.
With the Max 360c, what you’re getting is not the absolute longest range performance on the market since the R7 offers better sensitivity. What you’re getting instead is a well-rounded detector that offers plenty of range and advanced warning in practice, great false alert filtering, directional arrows, bonus cloud-based alert sharing with other drivers, automatic updates, and a user friendly plug-and-play experience. In a nutshell, the Max 360c is arguably the best all-around detector for your everyday driver.
Tip: If you want to get the Max 360c, Escort offers a “ticket-free guarantee” where if you get a speeding ticket while running your Max 360c, they’ll pay for the ticket. This only applies to the speeding ticket and not any potential court costs or hikes to your insurance premium, and some conditions apply. This added protection only applies if you buy the Max 360c direct from Escort so if you want that added protection, buy the Max 360c direct from Escort to get the speeding ticket guarantee.
Once you select the Max 360c, read this tutorial to learn how to use your Max 360c.
#2A: Escort Max 360: More affordable automatic detector with arrows ($499)
If you like the idea of the Max 360c with its arrows, cloud integration, and automatic GPS lockouts, but you don’t wanna drop $649 on a detector, save $150 by going for the original Escort Max 360.
The Max 360 offers the same performance and filtering as the newer 360c. It has a different case and design and it lacks WiFi, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same thing. If you don’t need the WiFi capabilities, you can save some cash by going for the original 360.
There’s a few other minor differences. It uses an older style magnetic mount, it’s a little bigger and bulkier, there is no K and Ka band segmentation (which affects muting only, not performance, so it’s not a huge deal here) and the LED’s go around the rear antenna on the right instead of the entire face of the detector, but the arrow LED’s are actually brighter and easier to read at a glance.
The Max 360 is a better bang for the buck than the newer 360c so if you don’t need the WiFi, you’re probably better off saving your money and going for the original. Purchase an Escort Max 360 direct from Escort with the speeding ticket guarantee.
Tip: If you’d like to buy the Max 360 from Amazon which is a great option too, make sure that it’s says “ships from and sold by Escort Radar Official,” not from a third party seller. This way you get a warranty from Escort.
Once you select the Max 360, watch this tutorial to learn how to use your Max 360.
#3: Radenso Pro M: Best False Alert Filtering & MRCD Detection (USD$449, CAD$749)
Note: The Pro M is out of stock until April.
The Radenso Pro M is another serious contender, quieter than the R3 and arguably better than the R3. It also has great long range performance like the R3 (not quite as long, but very close), plus it offers the best blind spot filtering on the market. It’s the only radar detector that can filter out false alerts from nearby Hondas and Acuras. Every other detector will false to them. (The only custom installed detector that can do it is their remote version of this detector, the RC M.) So if you’re looking for a quiet radar detector, this is the way to go.
Additionally, this is also the best windshield mount detector at picking up the MultaRadar CD and CT, a very low powered and difficult to detect photo radar gun in use in Alberta, Quebec, New York City, Chicago, and Maryland. The Uniden R3/R7 and Escort Redline EX can pick it up too, but the Pro M detects it best, filters out false alerts best, and even offers a ramp-up that builds in strength as you get closer to the source.
It also gives you manual GPS lockouts, low speed muting, red light camera alerts, and lots of customizability. A few downsides are that it uses a barrel plug connector instead of a standard RJ11 port, the buttons can be a little difficult to find by feel alone, and the frequency display is rounded (ie. all 34.7’ish alerts will show up as 34.700), but most of these nuances won’t be a big deal for most people. If you’re ready for long range performance while also getting the best false alert filtering possible, order the Radenso Pro M.
If you live in the USA, click here to buy the Radenso Pro M.
If you live in Canada, click here to buy the Radenso Pro M.
#4: V1 & JBV1: Arrows, Control, & Customizability for Tech Savvy People ($449)
Note: The updated Valentine One G2 has just been released March of 2020. This review focuses on the first gen V1 the was available for sale until 2019. Once I have more information about the new V1, I’ll update this section accordingly.
Finally the Valentine One is a detector that I’ve run for a long time and holds a soft spot in my heart. If you want all the bells and whistles like the Max 360 like the arrows and GPS lockouts without paying for the full price of a 360, you’re more technically minded, you don’t mind pairing your detector with a phone, and you’re cool with taking more time to learn the detector and program some advanced features, the V1 is an excellent option.
It pretty chatty straight out of the box (many people complain it falses too much before they learn how to program it properly and they’re right), but you can improve it considerably by pairing it with a cell phone and running an app to configure it more and add the GPS-based functionality that other detectors offer on their end. Once you get it fully set up with your phone, you’ll have an experience very similar to the Max 360 (this is what the Max 360 is actually designed to directly compete against), except with more control and more advanced lockouts. The V1 is rock solid, the arrows are fantastic, and the filtering / muting is very customizable.
The third party apps like JBV1 add some incredibly awesome and unique functionality. You can have the detector automatically change its settings with location based profiles, adjusting your settings on the fly as you drive depending on where you are. You can get Waze integration (receiving alerts, but not posting), realtime weather on screen, automatic GPS lockouts, detailed alert logging, all the info displayed simultaneously for every single alert, etc. The V1 itself is starting to get a little dated, but the third party apps are offering some incredible new features you can’t get anywhere else.
Now the initial setup and configuration of the V1 is more complicated than with other detectors, you’ll need your phone for basic GPS functionality like lockouts, the display uses red dots to denote bands so it can be hard to differentiate between radar bands at a glance, and V1’s performance is starting to lag behind the competition. It is also detectable by radar detector detectors. Nevertheless, it is a very capable radar detector and a popular enthusiast pick due in large part to the third party apps that are available.
If you’re an Android user, buy the Valentine One, V1C LE bluetooth module, and download JBV1. For you YaV1 users, the app isn’t really being updated anymore and it requires the older V1C bluetooth module. Once you grab JBV1, here’s a video demo of the controls plus an overview of the settings to get familiar with the app.
Tip: Don’t buy the V1 new from Amazon or anywhere other than direct from Valentine. Otherwise you’ll pay more than full retail ($399) and get no warranty. Buy the V1 direct from Valentine.
#5: Uniden DFR9: Best Affordable Radar Detector ($239)
If you’re looking for the best bang for the buck and don’t want to drop the cash on a top end detector, the mid-tier Unidens would be my recommendation. The Uniden DFR9 is a good all-around radar detector for both city and highway driving, and at around $200, it won’t break the bank. It doesn’t have the longest range ever or the best BSM filtering around. However, it offers more performance and capability than most anything else in this price range, good BSM filtering for its price point, plus it gives you GPS lockouts which is underheard of around $200.
Range on the highway is pretty good, especially on the more popular police radar frequencies like 34.7, but it’s a bit weaker on others including 33.8 and 35.5. The R series detectors like the R3 and R7 offer insanely good detection range on all bands so you don’t have this trade-off which is the primary reason I prefer the R series. The R3 also adds MRCD support so it’s more future-proof, but it does cost more.
In terms of filtering out false alerts, the DFR9 does a good job at filtering out cars with blind spot monitoring systems, considering its price range, so you won’t constantly get bombarded with false alerts. It also has a GPS chip built in which makes it very helpful around town. Thanks to the GPS chip, you can get your GPS lockouts to filter out known stationary false alerts, low speed muting for driving through town, as well as redlight camera alerts. If you need RDD immunity, the DFR9 is undetectable.
Once you select the DFR9, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.
Best Custom Installed Remote Radar Detectors
Now if you don’t want a radar detector hanging off your windshield so there’s nothing visible to police officers, other drivers, and potential thieves, or you simply prefer a cleaner and more factory look in your cabin, a remote mount radar detector is the way to go. These are also necessary if you drive certain higher end luxury cars like a Mercedes, Porsche, Range Rover, or Tesla that has a heated or metallic windshield that interferes with various electronics like GPS receivers, toll passes, or radar detectors. If that applies to your vehicle, you’ll definitely want to opt for a remote detector instead.
Remote detectors will require professional installation since the radar detector antenna itself is installed in your grill. You’ll install a controller and display somewhere in your cabin and you’ll have it permanently installed and wired in your car. If you’re handy with electronics and wiring, you can do the install yourself.
I have multiple remotes installed on my car for comparison and testing purposes. I’m finding there’s a lot of great options, each with their own pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at the very best remotes.
#1: Escort Max Ci & Max Ci 360: Excellent All-around Remote Radar Detector ($1999, $2399 w/ arrows, plus installation)
This is my personal favorite custom installed radar detector. It offers the longest range performance out of any radar detector on the market, excellent blind spot filtering, and since Escort has made several different generations of remote detectors now, their latest Max Ci is very refined. It has automatic GPS lockouts so the detector can learn and filter out false alerts for you, it can pair with your phone for sharing realtime cloud-based alerts with other drivers or displaying the current speed limit on screen, and you can add a rear antenna to gain directional arrows so it makes for an excellent premium remote mount radar detector.
You can buy it as a radar detector only pair it with any laser jammer you want, whether it’s Escort’s ShifterMax jammers or the AntiLaser Priority which is a superior and more effective laser jammer. It will integrate directly with the ShifterMax while the ALP will run alongside it independently.
The Max Ci ($1999) is your front radar detector only. You can also add a rear antenna ($399) to give yourself arrows. The Max Ci 360 ($3599) is Escort’s complete package that includes front and rear radar detector antennas and front and rear Escort laser jammers (shifters).
With most remote radar detectors you have the option of either purchasing online or directly from your local installer, but with the Max Ci series detectors, officially you can only purchase them through a local installer, which is what Escort intends. You can sometimes find the detector brand new on eBay, but if you buy it new on eBay, your warranty will be through your seller, not through Escort, and Escort is actively trying to stop people from selling the detectors online. I know many people would like to save money on the purchase and/or install by buying online and doing the installation themselves, but Escort wants us to purchase through an installer and have a professional do the install for us. You can find a local installer here.
#2 Radenso RC M: Excellent Standalone Remote with MRCD, Integrates with ALP ($1599, $1849 w/ arrows)
The Radenso RC M is Radenso’s standalone remote radar detector, plus it offers the very best BSM filtering available on the market (including Honda/Acura filtering). It is even quieter and more future-proof than the Escort Max Ci 360. The RC M offers long range performance, top notch blind spot filtering, directional arrows, manual GPS lockouts without requiring a phone, a magnetically removable display, MRCD detection, and the ability to integrate with your ALP so you have one controller and display for both systems.
If you’re looking for an integrated system for both high performance radar and the ALP for laser, the RC M is your top choice. (Note: I prefer running the ALP standalone because you do get a few extra features.)
If you’re looking for MRCD detection (important for Canada and it’s showing up around the US), the RC M is the best remote mount MRCD detector available, definitely something to consider since you can’t easy swap out custom installed detectors once they’re in your vehicle.
GPS lockouts are manual with it (you have to teach it false alerts initially) and it doesn’t have an accurate frequency display (all 34.7 alerts show up as 34.700, for example, which doesn’t matter for most people). It’s also more affordable than the Max Ci remote. You can get it with two antennas for arrows for less than the cost of a front-only Max Ci, plus you can integrate it directly with the ALP which is the best laser jammer to go for so with the RC M, you get radar detector integrated in your vehicle.
Note: If you’re in Canada, you can purchase your Radenso RC M here. Use the coupon code “VortexRadar75” to save $75 off your RC M. (Coupon only valid in Canada.)
#3: Net Radar Antenna DSP: Best Affordable Radar Detector to Integrate with your AntiLaser Priority ($649, $1149 w/ arrows)
My favorite bang for the buck remote radar detector is the Net Radar DSP. If you’re running the AntiLaser Priority laser jamming system (currently the best laser jammer on the market and I highly recommend that you get this jammer), it has the ability to integrate with several different remote radar detectors. The best one to use is the one that’s specifically designed for the ALP, the Net Radar DSP.
The Net Radar DSP is designed to be an all-around excellent radar detector giving you ton of performance for the money (it’s based on the same platform as the Uniden R3) along with reasonable false alert filtering. It offers long range performance, good blind spot filtering capabilities (including K band segmentation that can be used to filter out Honda/Acura falses), the ability to do GPS lockouts when paired with a phone, MRCD detection is built in, you can add a second rear-facing antenna ($499) to get directional information, aka arrows, and it’s easily one of the most affordable remote radar detectors you can buy. It’s designed to be the best bang for the buck and it delivers.
It’s cheaper than the competition because it uses the ALP as the “brains” for the detector and you have to get that either way. The $649 price is for the NR DSP add-on package, plus you need a Bluetooth ($99) or HiFi module ($119) as well if you don’t have that already.
Personally I find this to be the least refined of the top 3 systems. It requires your phone and an app for GPS lockouts, using the Bluetooth module for your lockouts means one of your control pad buttons is disabled for laser and both are disabled for radar so if you want to mute your radar signals, you have to buy a Flic bluetooth button as well, and MRCD detection is functional but not super great, but if you have the ALP already or you’re going to get one, the NR DSP is your best bang for the buck remote radar detector.
Once you select the Net Radar DSP, here’s your tutorial on how to set it up.
Best Radar Detectors of 2020
So which one is best? Boy I wish there was a simple answer to that because it really depends. They each have their pros and cons, as you can see, so let me give you my top picks from this list to simplify things a bit.
One of my top recommendations for serious drivers looking for the “best detector” is the Uniden R7. It’s a beast in terms of performance, giving you the best possible ability to detect police radar (arguably the most important job of a radar detector) while also effectively filtering out false alerts both on the highway and around town, making it a top notch choice. Plus you get arrows, MRCD support, and more. Click here to purchase the R7.
The popular Uniden R3 is also a top notch choice. It’s your best radar detector under $400. If you’re looking for maximum range at a more affordable price point, you can skip past the R7 with its arrows and get the arrow-less R3 instead. With its manual GPS lockouts, low speed muting, and RLC alerts, it make for a good detector to run around town. Click here to purchase the R3.
Escort Max 360 or Max 360c
Radenso Pro M
Valentine One with JBV1
Escort Max Ci or Max Ci 360
Radenso RC M
If you’d like high end performance and fantastic false alert filtering, plus you’d like the most future-proof setup on the market, get the Radenso RC M.
Net Radar DSP
If you’re running an AntiLaser Priority laser jammer and you want an inexpensive remote radar detector too, the Net Radar DSP is the best bang for the buck. You get great performance, decent filtering, and manual GPS lockouts when you add your phone. You also have support for multiple antennas to add arrows just like the other options. Click here to purchase the Net Radar DSP.
No matter which detector you choose listed here, you’re going to wind up with an excellent tool. It will do a great job of picking up police radar, it can help you filter out those pesky false alerts, and it can easily pay for itself many times over by helping you avoid speeding tickets from police shooting radar.
I’d also recommend reading about the Top 10 Questions About Radar Detectors to better understand some of the most frequently asked questions about how they work, legalities, where to mount them in your vehicle, and so on.
If you’ve found this guide helpful, please share it online so others can benefit from it too. When you purchase, you can use the links I’ve included which supports me without costing you a dime. If you’d like to support my site personally, you can sign up and contribute as a Patreon member as well.
Thank you, happy driving, and enjoy! 🙂