What’s the Best Radar Detector for the Money? Top 8 Revealed

Radar Detector

While we encourage all our readers to obey local driving laws and stay safe on the roads, many small towns use speed traps to raise revenue. The best way to know when a speed trap is lying in wait is with a radar detector. These small electronic devices will alert you to the presence of a radar gun, the tool used by policemen to track the speed of passing drivers. This keeps you alert and allows you to adjust your speed accordingly. Here at Radar Detector Guides, we’ve put together a list of options for the best radar detector for the money.

Comparison Table

Best Radar Detector for the Money FAQ

ESCORT IX - Laser Radar Detector, Auto Learn Protection, Extreme Long-Range, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!

Image via Amazon

​1. Is It Legal to Use a Radar Detector to Avoid Police Radar Guns?

​2. What Features Will the Best Radar Detector for the Money Have?

​3. Will the Best Radar Detector for the Money Be Portable and Easy to Hide?

​4. What are the Differences Between the High-End and Lower-End Models of Radar Detector?

​5. Where Can I Buy the Best Radar Detector for the Money?

​How We Reviewed

ESCORT IX - Laser Radar Detector, Auto Learn Protection, Extreme Long-Range, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!

Image via Amazon

The eight radar detectors on this list were reviewed based on the following parameters – affordability, battery life, accuracy, range of coverage, size, appearance, and additional features such as GPS.

​Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

ESCORT IX - Laser Radar Detector, Auto Learn Protection, Extreme Long-Range, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!

Image via Amazon

The higher-end models will feature more advanced technology, better range, and integrated links to Wifi, GPS, and compatible apps.

​What We Reviewed

  • ​ESCORT MAX360 – Laser Radar Detector
  • Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector
  • Valentine One Radar Detector
  • Escort iX Long Range Radar Laser Detector
  • Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector
  • Whistler CR90 High Performance Laser Radar Detector
  • R3 Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector
  • Radenso Pro M Extreme Range Radar & Laser Detector
ESCORT MAX360 - Laser Radar Detector, GPS for Fewer False Alerts, Lightning Fast Response, Directional Alerts, Dual Antenna Front and Rear, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!
  • AUTOLEARN TECHNOLOGY - 360° protection and patented anti-falsing technology uses the power of GPS and the exact frequency to learn and remember false alerts from moving In-Vehicle Technology sources. You'll only hear what's important, nothing else
  • REAL-TIME TICKET-PROTECTION - Using ESCORT LIVE! With iPhone or Android receive warnings of police threats around you reported by other Escort Detector users. Based on speed and settings, the alerts you receive will be tailored to fit your drive
  • CLEAR VOICE ALERTS - Unique voice warnings allow for hands-free operation and provide crystal clear communication. Based on your speed, alerts are tailored to fit your location and movement. Allowing you to keep your eyes on the road with no distractions
  • ESCORT ADVANTAGE - As threats increase, stay ahead of them with ESCORT LIVE and the Detector Tools. 1,000's of pre-loaded locations, and add your own "hot spots" to create Escort's DEFENDER DATABASE so you'll have protection wherever the road takes you
  • STAY CONNECTED - To get the best performance, and stay ahead of the threats, download the most up-to-date threat locations, back up your data and update your software by connecting your radar detector to your MAC or PC computer via USB port

Features

As one of the larger models on the list, this model comes with six mounted buttons and dual antennas–a rear radar antenna helps to pick up additional radars that may be missed by single-antenna models. Its radar signal identification makes it one of the best models on the market for detection, and the OLED display is clear and easy to read. Coming with Wifi, it turns your car into an instant hotspot. This makes it an essential for tech-savvy customers. It also allows you to access a linked app named Escort Live, where users can share information about speed traps.

It even comes with an Autolearn function, which means it tracks locations and warns you in advance when you return to a previous radar location.

PROS

  • Comes with an extensive list of features  
  • ​Audible alerts are clear without being unpleasant
  • ​Extensive range and detection level
  • ​Fits well on the windshield
  • ​Equipped with WiFi

​CONS

  • ​Most expensive item on the list
  • ​A larger, heavier model

​Warranty

​This radar detector comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Features

​If you’re on a budget but still want to avoid unnecessary speed trap tickets, Cobra is the company for you. This is a sleek, compact windshield-mounted device, and it comes with suction cups for easy attachment and an easy-to-read display that shows data brightly. It tracks the different radio bands used by law enforcement and color-codes them accordingly.

Its city mode comes in handy in densely populated areas, filtering out store alarms and other false signals. Highway mode turns up the sensitivity for where false alarms are less likely. It uses a 360-degree detection system called LaserEye that can target signals from any angle and provides safety alerts to help you avoid potential dangers.

PROS

  • ​Price-wise, the best radar detector for the money
  • ​City and highway modes give you multiple options based on location
  • ​Lightweight and easy to mount
  • ​360-degree coverage
  • ​Easy-to-read display

​CONS

  • ​Not currently available on Amazon

​Warranty

​This product comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Valentine One Radar Detector
  • X, K, Ka, and Super Wideband Ka Detection
  • 360° Protection against all types of Laser
  • Rear Radar Antenna
  • Ku Band Detection
  • Arrow Directional Indicators

Features

​This old-school radar detector has been a popular choice since the 1990s and is still going strong. Its two-radar antenna system boasts an impressive range and its laser detection system will help keep your driving record clean. It boasts directional notifications, which show you exactly where a radar signal is coming from and lets you react accordingly.

A special alert detects a possible speed trap with multiple signals. Its strong radar detection system is prone to false alarms, but there’s no better option for picking up on subtle signals. It allows you to turn off certain bandwidths to reduce false alarms. If range and easy-to-read alerts are important to you, this is the radar detector for you.

PROS

  • ​Two-antenna system provides strong coverage
    ​maximum information
  • ​Directional notifications ensure accuracy and
  • ​Strong, durable brand with a long history of quality
  • ​Simple and easy to use

​CONS

  • ​One of the more expensive models
  • ​Prone to false alerts

​Warranty

​This product comes with a one-year limited warranty.

ESCORT IX - Laser Radar Detector, Auto Learn Protection, Extreme Long-Range, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!
  • AUTOLEARN TECHNOLOGY - 360° protection and patented anti-falsing technology uses the power of GPS and the exact frequency to learn and remember false alerts from moving In-Vehicle Technology sources. You'll only hear what's important, nothing else.
  • ESCORT ADVANTAGE - As threats increase, stay ahead of them with ESCORT LIVE! and the Detector Tools. 1,000's of pre-loaded locations, and add your own "hot spots" to create Escort's DEFENDER DATABASE so you'll have protection wherever the road takes you.
  • CLEAR VOICE ALERTS - Unique voice warnings allow for hands-free operation and provide crystal clear communication. Based on your speed, alerts are tailored to fit your location and movement. Allowing you to keep your eyes on the road with no distractions.
  • SPEEDALERT - the iX provides all of the information you need to make the best possible decision when you need it most. Vehicle Speed, Laser Band, and Signal Strength displayed to make sure you are fully informed during an alert.

Features

​If you frequently travel through remote areas, you want a heavy-duty long-range laser detector that can warn you of speed traps well in advance. This gives you enough time to slow down before encountering an officer. The device comes with a feature that tells you how much speed you need to shave off, and it can detect three different bands.

Its AutoLearn technology uses GPS and frequency data to filter out false alarms, and it can sync up with the Escort Live App to use crowdsourced data on common speed traps. Its long-range detection system is almost as powerful as the higher-end Escort MAX 360 at a much more affordable price point.

PROS

  • ​A powerful long-range radar system
  • ​A high-end system at a mid-range price
  • ​User-friendly features help you avoid tickets
  • ​Compatible with the Escort Live app
  • ​Technology helps reduce false alarms

​CONS

  • ​Limited features compared to competitors

​Warranty

​This radar detector comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Beltronics GT-7 Radar Detector
  • 360° protection from all radar bands and laser
  • Detects 3 radar bands (selectable) and pop
  • Digital voice and audio tone alerts for radar, laser, and pop
  • Exclusive threat display tracks and displays multiple radar signals including strength
  • New technology to reduce false alerts: digital signal processing, auto scan, & traffic signal rejection

Features

​This sleek, attractive radar detector delivers top performance in an appealing design. A powerful digital processor makes this device the equivalent of a bouncer for radar signals, letting in those most likely to be a speed trap while filtering out false alerts. Owned by the same parent company as the Escort brand, it allows you access to the Escort Live app.

It also comes linked to the Defender Database, a directory for red lights and speed cameras. While it’s easy just to plug in and use, it can be tailored to your needs with three user modes designed for highway, rural, and super-sensitive readings. Its Auto setting analyzes the signals it picks up and adapts its responses accordingly, and it has a warning system for when you approach high speeds.

PROS

  • ​The digital processor is highly accurate
  • ​Comes equipped with Escort Live app and
  • ​Defender Database
  • ​Three user modes for different locations
  • ​Auto setting and early warning system for extra protection

​CONS

  • One of the higher-end models price-wise
  • ​More obvious than other models

​Warranty

​It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.

Whistler CR90 High Performance Laser Radar Detector: 360 Degree Protection, Voice Alerts, and Internal GPS
  • High performance radar detector with 360 degrees of complete perimeter protection; Detects all radar guns used today
  • Total laser detection identifies Laser Atlanta Stealth mode, Laser Ally, and LTI Truspeed S
  • Features Radar Signature ID (RSID), Laser Signature ID (LSID), and POP Mode, real voice alerts, and a full text display
  • Traffic Flow Signal Rejection (TFSR) and 6 filter modes help eliminate alerts from radar based traffic monitoring systems
  • Internal GPS provides speed and red light traffic camera locations in North America which can be updated via USB

Features

​The Whistler CR90 is one of the most budget-friendly options on the market, but still packs a lot of useful features. It is backed by GPS and can track driver alertness. It then alerts the driver before they fall asleep. Its filter modes allow it to keep track of all major police radio bands and filters out false positives because of traffic flow. Strong at reducing false positives, it has both traditional radar monitoring and special technology that can detect stealth modes. 360-degree perimeter protection and a combination of voice alerts and text alerts make it a great all-around choice.

PROS

  • Low-budget option with top-line features
  • ​Can track stealth modes and multiple bandwidths
  • ​Keeps track of driver alertness
  • ​The GPS-backed system is highly accurate

​CONS

  • ​The range isn’t as wide as some options

​Warranty

​It comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Uniden R3 Extreme Long Range Radar Laser Detector GPS, 360 Degree, DSP, Voice Alert
  • 360 Degree Digital Signal Processor
  • GPS With Red Light Camera Alerts
  • Quiet Ride - User Set Speed Auto Mute
  • K False Filter / KA False Filter

Features

​This high-end model comes with a two-year warranty and provides some of the highest-quality protection on the market. Its 360-degree digital signal processor is backed up by a GPS system with red light camera alerts. Its quiet ride system makes it harder to detect and filters out false positives. Coming with a voice alert, it can track four different radar bandwidths and is ideal for remote locations where speed traps can be detected from a distance.

PROS

  • ​Excellent long-range radar detection
  • ​Two-year warranty
  • ​The quiet ride system is ideal for detecting false positives
  • ​Can track four different radio bandwidths

​CONS

  • One of the more expensive models
  • ​Not ideal for city use

​Warranty

​This product comes with a full two-year warranty.

Radenso Pro M Extreme Range Radar & Laser Detector with GPS Lockouts, Red Light/Speed Camera Voice Alerts
  • EXTREME RANGE - Incredible sensitivity provides up to several miles of range, giving you protection from even the longest-distance threats.
  • USA SUPPORT / WARRANTY / TICKET GUARANTEE - Telephone and e-mail support from the USA. 1 Year Radenso Manufacturer Warranty. Full money back guarantee within 30 days. All of our detectors are backed by the Radenso 1 Year Radar Ticket Free Guarantee.
  • EXCELLENT FALSE ALERT FILTERING - By analyzing the DNA of radar signatures, the Radenso Pro M filters out most false alerts caused by cars around you using radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring systems and traffic speed sensor devices.
  • GPS LOCKOUT TECHNOLOGY - Using GPS, the Pro M remembers common false alerts along your regularly driven routes so you never have to listen to the same false alert twice. Simply press and hold a single button to add a GPS lockout. Additional features include automatic muting below a user-selectable speed and automatic sensitivity adjustment based on current speed.
  • RED LIGHT AND SPEED CAMERA ALERTS - Preloaded database includes more than 6000 red light and speed camera locations. A built in USB port allows free monthly updates to be performed at home and ensures your detector will never be out of date.

Features

​If you want to get alerts at long distances, this is one of the best options for a long-range radar and laser detector. Able to sense speed traps from miles away, it is effective at filtering out false alerts and can even alert you to blind-spot monitoring. A powerful GPS device includes lockout technology that alerts you to common false signals. It comes with a pre-loaded database including more than six thousand red light and speed camera locations, and you can download regular updates via a built-in USB port. Compact, powerful, and easy to use, it’s one of the best options on the market.

PROS

  • ​The longest range on the market
  • ​Effective at filtering out false alarms
  • ​GPS lockout technology
  • ​Comes with a database of information

​CONS

  • ​One of the more expensive options

​Warranty

​It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.

​The Verdict

ESCORT IX - Laser Radar Detector, Auto Learn Protection, Extreme Long-Range, Bluetooth, Voice Alerts, OLED Display, Escort Live!

Image via Amazon

​The best radar detector for the money will depend heavily on your price range. All eight of these radar detectors provide valuable protection from speed traps, but the highest-range options are close enough in quality to the mid-range models that we can’t recommend going for the top-of-the-line options. Instead, one mid-range option stood out as the best all-around option. With a powerful range and excellent filtering, plus a link to the invaluable Escort Live app, the Escort iX Long Range Radar Laser Detector gets our endorsement as the best radar detector for the money on the market today.

Featured Image: Image via Amazon

About the Author: Danny Williams

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