Thinking of getting a radar detector, but not sure which one to buy? There are lots of choices out there with a wide range of prices. Most radar detectors can register X, K, and Ka bands while some also detect a few newer radar variants. The ability to detect laser signals also adds to the utility of a radar detector.
In addition to radar, more premium models filter out more false positives and include the ability to permanently mute those false positives when they’re along common drive routes. Some even include updateable software and information on red light cameras and speed cameras. The more features found in a radar detector, the better the protection, but also the higher the cost. These are our top 5 picks for the best radar detectors.
(Editor's Note: Radar detectors are not legal in all states and countries. Check with local laws before use.)
Valentine One Gen 2 Radar Detector — Check Latest Price
The Valentine One Gen 2 radar detector picks up X, K, Ka, Ku, and Super Wideband Ka radar so you have thorough coverage. It also provides 360-degree laser detection. When it detects a signal, directional arrows light up to let you know if the signal is ahead, behind, or on either side of you. This is especially helpful on unfamiliar roads where you might not know where the police are usually waiting.
In addition to covering a wide range of radar bands and showing you where that radar is coming from, the Valentine One Gen 2 has long-range detection and does a good job of filtering false positives. You’ll have ample warning so you can slow down and be less likely to experience a barrage of false positives that make it difficult to figure out if there’s really a police officer up ahead.
Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector — Check Latest Price
This radar detector has both front and rear detection of X, K, and KA bands and displays which it’s picking up in full color. It includes long range detection for weeding out false alerts that can be caused by things like the blind spot warning systems found in today’s cars. This is an updateable radar detector, so it can receive firmware updates to provide the best protection possible on a continuous basis.
It has adjustable sensitivity modes, so if you’re in an area that delivers lots of false positives, then you can tone down the sensitivity so it doesn’t become annoying rather than being helpful. There’s also an early warning system that is designed to provide quick alerts when it detects laser gun signals.
Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range Radar Detector — Check Latest Price
If you’re looking for as much warning as possible, then the Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range radar detector is a great choice. It detects X, K, Ka and some newer variants with directional arrows so you know where the signal originated. The display is small but has a little hood so it’s easier to view in direct sunlight.
Voice alerts are included with a range of configurable alert tones, so you know which kind of radar is being detected without ever having to look at the unit. The Uniden R7 also has a bult-in GPS that comes in handy for commonly traveled routes. It lets you store up to 2,000 lockouts, so repeated false positives on those routes can be blocked out. It also gives you alerts for red light cameras stored in Uniden’s database and is updateable, so when those cameras change, you’ll know.
Escort Max360C Laser Radar Detector — Check Latest Price
This is the top radar detector model available from Escort. It has an OLED display that shows you whether it’s detecting X, K, or Ka bands and displays both the cspeed limit and you current speed so you can see at a glance whether you’re exceeding the speed limit. It has forward and rear facing antennas, so you’re covered from all angles with on-screen arrows that let you now where the signal originated.
The Escort Max360C also has built in Wi-Fi, so you get real time alerts about the latest potential threats in your area. It features automatic lockouts, too, so potential false positives like electronic speed signs and automatic doors at stores won’t trigger an alert.
There’s also the Escort Live app, which connects you with a community of drivers who share their information in the app. This delivers over 100 million alerts ever year to notify you of everything from red lights to speed cameras and even has live traffic updates to avoid unexpected congestion.
Radenso XP Radar Detector — Check Latest Price
The Radenso XP detects X, K, Ka, and laser with sensitivity that can deliver alerts from miles away. It also filters out false alerts from things like blind spot monitors and many of the advanced safety systems found in today’s cars. Its GPS lockout technology learns the false alerts on your common routes, remembers them, and filters out those warnings in the future. You can add lockouts manually, too, simply by pressing and holding a button on the unit.
Alerts are automatically muted at low speeds when there’s little chance of you exceeding the posted speed limit. There’s also a database of red light and speed cameras that is constantly updated and always available to you at no additional charge.