Best Laser Radar Detectors in 2021 – Buying Guide

No matter how cautious you can be about your speeds on the road, you might still tend to get a bit of a heavy foot on the pedal at times. Even the best law-abiding drivers on Earth have to go through this. The power of your car, your urgency, or the empty lanes, whichever the reason is, falling prey to a speed trap can land you in serious distress. This is where a good Laser RADAR Detector comes to your rescue.

A Laser Radar Detector is an electronic device that lets you detect and alert about speed traps/speed gums from a safer distance. This way, the driver can avoid expensive speeding tickets. But the real challenge is in choosing the best Laser Radar Detector that does the job for you.

Best Police Radar Detectors

Laser radar detectors come with different detection ranges, different operational bands, and different functionalities. Even the simplest detector in the category demands to have some familiarity with different technical aspects of it. It is nearly impossible for a layman with no heart for tech to pick the right device in the market as the options are vast. To waive this difficulty, we at Scanse have done the needful on your behalf to present you with the list of the Best Laser Radar Detectors 2021.

Why should you trust Scanse?

Well, from the testing team to writers, reviewers, and proofreaders, we are a pack of over ten extremely passionate people. Before we take a final dig at a product, we put it through an intensive testing process. We write our heart out – we buy our products and do not endorse or write in favor of any product or brand in particular. With that said, let us get to our products list for the day.

#1. Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range review- The Best Laser Radar Detector

Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range

The Uniden R7 is the best radar detector that your money can buy in 2021 with a rich feature set and excellent detection range. It offers great customization and comes with a built-in GPS functionality to let you mark potential threatening locations.

ProductUniden R7 Extreme Long Range Laser Radar Detector
DisplayMulticolored OLED
Radar DetectionX, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser
Built-in GPSYes
Bluetooth SupportNo
Dimensions3.86 x 4.81 x 1.38 inches
Weight1.83 pounds

Unboxing and package contents –

The Uniden R7 radar detector came decently packed inside a simple cardboard box. On top, we have the device branding and the model mentioned along with the set of features the device has to offer. Opening the box, we are greeted with the user’s manual on top. Furthermore, we have the Uniden R7 along with all the accessories placed comfortably inside a hard case. The case feels extremely sturdy with additional pockets inside to store the accessories.

Inside the hard case, we have another pouch that hosts the detector. Speaking of accessories, we have the regular suction cup mount which can be used to mount the device inside your car. We also have a mounting bracket, power adapter, and a USB data cable for updating the firmware. The power adapter comes with a mute button to instantly mute the device. We also have a USB port on the power adapter which can be used for charging your phone.

Device overview and build quality –

As far as the initial impressions are concerned, the device feels extremely compact and has a pretty impressive design aesthetics. It typically measures 3.86 x 4.81 x 1.38 inches and weighs about 1.83 pounds. The OLED screen drags your attention with adequate brightness and crisp text. We also have the Uniden branding to the right of the display. The device feels very sturdy and should last a while.

All the controls are embedded to the top except for the mute key and the mark memory button that is placed towards the left side. The top controls include a menu button, a power on/off button, and volume increase and decrease keys. You also get to see a 3.5 mm headphone jack to its right which will be helpful if you wish to plug in a pair of headphones to connect the device to your car’s stereo system.

The Uniden R7 extreme long-range laser radar is powered by a standard 12 V DC power adapter that plugs right into the cigarette port of your vehicle. Surprisingly, the device is powered using an RJ11 connector. The power adapter also has a mute key embedded right onto it and a USB port for charging your mobile phone, no wonder why Uniden chose an RJ11 over a standard DC barrel connector.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

The included manual will be of greater help to people who are just starting with radar detectors. However, if you are quite familiar with them, you wouldn’t even need a guide as the setup process on the Uniden R7 is pretty much straightforward.

Use the included mount and the suction holders to mount the device onto the inner side of the windscreen on your car. Plug the included power adapter in the cigarette lighter port on your car and connect the other end of the adapter to the RJ11 port on the device. The OLED screen on the device should light up as soon as you plug the power in.

You get to choose between three modes – highway, city, and advanced. In highway mode, the device works on full sensitivity to all the available radar bands. When it comes to the ‘city’ mode, the sensitivity on the X and K bands are reduced while the Ka-band is at maximum sensitivity. In the advanced mode, the user reserves the freedom to manually adjust the sensitivity for individual bands based on the requirement.

You can also turn the voice alerts on the device on/off from the menu options. Besides this, you also get to turn on or off different functions including GPS, speed camera detection, redlight camera detection, Laser guns detection, etcetera. Most menu items are self-explanatory and if you ever get stuck with an item, you can always refer to the manual book as they have pretty much explained everything in the greatest possible detail.

Alerts –

If the GPS on the device is kept off, it displays your car’s battery voltage constantly. However, if the GPS is kept turned on, it shows the current speed and keeps searching for radar signals in multiple bands. If a radar frequency is found, the device instantly displays the band, frequency, directions for both compass and band, and frequency strength bars.

In the case of a speed camera alert, the device displays the distance to the speed camera along with a camera icon on the screen. The same is with the red light camera alert, however, it will also display the current speed in this case. If your vehicle enters a previously marked location, it instantly displays the current speed and distance to the user mark.

Features –

Despite the stupendous detection range offered by the Uniden R7 laser radar detector, it also offers a wide set of features that most budget radar detectors lack. The following are some of the top features offered by this nifty device.

Mute Memory: The mute memory is one amazing feature that lets you remember your actions along your regular commute. If you happen to have a false alert at a particular place along your regular commute, you can double press the mute button and the device memorizes this action and will not alert the next time you happen to be there at the same spot and the device picks the same signal.

Red Light Camera / Speed Camera Alerts: Now, this is yet another useful feature that lets you avoid unnecessary speeding tokens or penalties. This device can let you know if it encounters an RLC or a speed camera ahead in your path. It also gives you the precise distance from your location to the camera spot.

Low-Speed Muting: The whole point of a good Laser Radar Detector is to alert you about speed traps or speed gums which only matter if you are committing a violation in terms of speed. It is pointless to alert you when you are going under the recommended speed. Uniden has thought of this and incorporated low-speed muting functionality that lets your device stay quiet when you’re driving slow and turns the alerts back on as you speed up.

MRCD Support: This feature alone makes this device a gem amongst the others as not many devices in the market are capable of detecting MultaRadar CD and CT. MRCD are low-powered radar guns that are being used in Edmonton, Canada, and are starting to show up all over the USA and Canada.

Undetectable by most RDDs: The Uniden R7 is susceptible to detection by most radar detector detectors actively used by police officers to catch drivers using radar detectors in zones where the use of radar guns detectors is illegal.

Firmware Updates –

Uniden actively contributes in terms of improving user experience on the device. It is recommended that you check the official website periodically for firmware and database updates. To do this, head over to www.unidensupport.com/radar-detectors/. Select your model from the list and check if you have any new updates. You can always check the current version details on your device by going into the menu and choosing the ‘version’ option from the list.

If you are fortunate to find a newer version of firmware available to your Uniden R7, download the utility from the official website and flash the newer firmware by connecting your device to a computer using the provided micro-USB cable

Pros
  • Excellent range
  • Decent design and build quality
  • GPS lockouts
  • MRCD / MRCT support
  • Large OLED display
  • Low-speed muting
  • Virtually invisible to VG2, Spectre I, IV
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No Bluetooth support
  • Lockouts need to be set manually

Verdict

The Uniden R7 is one of the most comprehensive Laser Radar Detectors available on the market that is capable of detecting the MultaRadar CD and CT. It has very good build quality and feels extremely compact. Mounting it on the windshield or even the dashboard is a cakewalk with the provided accessories. However, if you are looking for a more compact variant, the Uniden R3 should be a good choice as it is way smaller than the R7 in terms of size.

The R3 can still be a great choice with a price around 200$ lesser compared to the R7. However, you will suffer little tradeoffs especially in terms of range, intuitiveness, lockout storage, etcetera. The Uniden R3 can only accommodate up to 500 GPS lockouts whereas the R7 can store up to 1,750 lockouts.

For me, the fact that it doesn’t come with Bluetooth support though we are putting a premium on this device bothers me. However, if you are like me and wish for Bluetooth functionality on the device, you can go with the Escort Max 360c.


#2. Escort MAX360C review – First Laser Radar Detector with WiFi

Escort MAX360C Laser Radar Detector WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled

Of all the laser radar detectors that we have tested so far, the Escort MAX360C has a special place in our hearts for what it has to offer. It is the first radar detector to ship with onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, updating the firmware is no more a hassle.

ProductEscort MAX360C
DisplayMulticolored OLED
Radar DetectionX, K, Ka, Ka-POP
Built-in GPSYes
ConnectivityBluetooth and WiFi (2.4 GHz only)
Dimensions5.430” L x 3.600” W x 1.360” H
Weight11.0 oz

Unboxing and package contents –

The device comes inside a cozy blue, white, and grey colored box with the Escort branding to its front. We also have a quick overview of the device along with its features printed on top of the box. Opening the box, we have the paperwork and the detector comes placed inside a plastic bag. Like the Uniden R7, the Escort Max360C also comes inside a carrying case which is a nice addition to see.

Inside the case, we have a suction cup that magnetically holds to your device, a 12V power adapter with a coiled cable, and of course the detector itself.

Device overview and build quality –

For the first impression, the device looks extremely modern and premium. The build quality is top-notch with dual-toned design aesthetics. All the controls are conveniently embedded onto the top of the device. We have the power button at the center surrounded by a sensitivity (SEN) button and brightness (BRT) buttons on either side. To the top front, we have a Mute button with volume rockers on either side of it. Between the mute and the power buttons, we have the Mark Location (MRK) button.

To the front side of the Escort MAX360C laser radar detector, we have an OLED screen with adequate brightness levels for normal daytime usage. However, the contents on the display suffer poor visibility when directly exposed to sunlight which is a problem with the OLED technology in general.

The device attaches to the suction cup magnetically. Surprisingly, the magnets on the device are extremely strong to lose the grip. To the back, we have the laser detector sensor to detect the lidar signal. The direction of the detected signals will be indicated by the LED indicators present around the display at the front.

To the left side, we have a modular jack to connect the power using the provided adapter. You also have a mini USB jack to be able to connect the device to a computer for manual firmware updates. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack if pairing it with an external speaker system or connecting a headset is your thing.

The power adapter plugs directly into your car’s cigarette lighter port. It is thoughtful of Escort to provide a USB port on the power adapter that can be used to charge your smartphone or any other device for that matter. The red indicator on the power adapter glows indicating a detected radar signal while the green indicator indicates that the device is being powered.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

The interface on the device is extremely simple that makes things easier for you, especially if you haven’t operated a laser gun detector before. Plug the power connector in the modular jack socket present on the device. Once you do this, you should see the display lights up. You should now have the companion application downloaded on your smartphone to continue with the setup process.

Search on your mobile store for the ‘Escort Live Radar’ application. The application is available for both Android and iOS devices. Once you have it installed, quickly open the application and set up an account first. After creating an account and successfully signing into it, go to the devices option in the app menu and it should automatically search for the available devices. Make sure to keep your phone’s Bluetooth turned on. Your Escort Max 360c should be shown under the available devices list. Click on it to connect to it.

One best thing about the Escort MAX360C is that you can pretty much control or change everything on the detector right from the application itself. The first thing is first, let us look into Radar settings. To access them, go to the menu on the application, choose Settings from the list and then choose Radar Settings, there you go! From Radar sensitivity, GPS based settings, to alert modes, you have everything to tinker around. If you wish to stay in control of your speeds, you can turn on the speed signs/over-speed alert which will alert you when you exceed a preset value.

The device lets you completely customize the detection bands. The selection of bands depends on what area you are using your radar detector in. Googling with your area name can give you a list of the most used radar bands in your area.

Alerts –

The Escort Max360c offers different preset modes to adjust the sensitivity – AutoNoX, AutoLoK, Highway, and Auto. The Auto would be a lot more usable for most people as it auto-detects your speeds and adjusts the sensitivity based on where you are heading to. AutoNoX is just the same as the Auto mode but without the X band as the X band is not the widely used band.

The Highway mode, on the other hand, is the most sensitive mode amongst the four while the AutoLoK mode lowers the sensitivity on the K band and is very sensitive to other radar bands. However, you also get to manually adjust the sensitivity of each band individually using the application. Each time a radar signal is detected, the device will play an alert sound and the arrow LEDs at the front will glow indicating the direction of the detected signal.

Features –

The Escort MAX360C hosts a bunch of useful features that make your life easier on the road. Here are the few best features that we are so much into.

Cruise Alert: The cruise alert is similar to the ‘Low-speed Muting’ feature on the Uniden R7. It technically keeps your device on mute if you are going at the preset speed mark. The device will alert you only if you are going past the already set speed limit and it detects a radar signal. This way you will not be bashed with annoying alerts. How cool can it get?

Auto GPS Lockouts: This feature is also similar to the one that exists in the Uniden R7. However, you have to manually set a GPS lockout on the R7 whereas, the MAX360C learns about your daily commute patterns and automatically chooses GPS lockouts. Isn’t it insane?

Firmware Updates –

Updating the firmware aced up to a new level on the Escort MAX360C with onboard Wi-Fi support. You no longer have to go through the hassle of downloading the latest firmware and updating it onto your device by connecting it to a computer. Your device now connects directly to the internet and downloads the updates automatically without your intervention.

Pros
  • Accurate
  • Excellent build quality
  • Impressive design aesthetics
  • Connectivity options
  • Easy to operate
  • Magnetic mount
Cons
  • Pricier option
  • Range in practical doesn’t meet the hype
  • The display is barely readable under direct sun

Verdict

Like any other electronic device, the Escort MAX360C also has some setbacks but it is still the best laser radar detector in the market except for the range which isn’t as great as it is advertised. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a problem pulling it through my purpose. Having also used its predecessor, the Escort Max360 for a few years in the past, I’ve developed some partiality to the Max series. However, the only improvement with the 360C over the traditional Max360 is the connectivity.

If you already own the older Max360, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to the newer model just for the sake of Wi-Fi. But if you are new to the Escort family, spending the additional 200$ on the 360C is worth it as there are considerable improvements in the overall design and performance.


#3. Uniden R3 Extreme – Nearly affordable Laser Radar Detector

Uniden R3 Extreme police laser radar detector

The Uniden R3 is the most sought out mid-range laser radar detector on the market. It has got everything that you would typically look for in a good laser radar detector. It has been a while since this product hit the markets, yet, the euphoria of the R3 hasn’t gone down as it has seen continuous improvements in terms of user experience.

ProductUniden R3 Extreme Long Range Laser Radar Detector
DisplayMulticolored OLED
Radar DetectionX, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser
Built-in GPSYes
Bluetooth SupportNo
Package Dimensions8.31 x 7.01 x 3.19 inches
Package Weight1.64 pounds

Unboxing and package contents –

Like most Uniden products, the Uniden R3 extreme long-range laser radar detector came inside a decent box packaging. The box has the Uniden branding on the top along with a preview of how the product is going to look. You also get to see a glimpse of all the features the detector is to offer. Moving further, we have the user manuals and a case containing the detector and other accessories. Opening up the case, we have the windshield suction cup mount, the DC power cord, and of course the actual detector itself.

Device overview and build quality –

The device is a simplistic design of the Uniden R7 with a much smaller form factor comparatively. Mounting-wise, this makes it a lot easier as it feels way lighter than most laser radar detectors we have tested. Also, the build quality is top-notch like any other Uniden product. The menu, power, and volume buttons on the top of the device are tactile on press and are easier to access.

We have a small groove for the windshield mount to slide it in and a quick-release button to instantly release the mount lock towards the back of the device. Towards the front side of the device, we have the color OLED display which is a little lesser on real estate compared to the R7 and Max360C. Below that, we have two buttons one is the Mute/DIM and the other is the Mark button.

On the left side of the Uniden R3 laser radar detector, we have the 3.5mm audio jack and a modular power plug. To the back of the device, we have the laser sensor and the RF antenna. On the right side, we have a USB connector for upgrading the firmware. The overall build seems pretty solid and promising to last for a good while.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

You do not have the luxury of accessing its menu via your phone as you do with the Escort Max360c. However, the setup process seems pretty much straightforward with most of it being self-explanatory. Plugin the provided power adapter into the cigarette lighter socket inside your car and plug the other end (RJ11 connector) into the socket provided on the R3. As you do this, you should have your device screen lit up and go into a self-test mode where it tests detection on all the radar bands.

The brightness of the screen can be adjusted between four different settings – dim, dimmer, dark, off, and bright. To do this, press and hold the Mute/DIM button for a couple of seconds and single press thereafter to change between different modes. The Mark button can be used to mark a location so that the device will throw an alert the next time you visit the same location.

You can change the volume of the alert tones or voice alerts feedback by directly pressing the volume increase/decrease buttons while the device is in idle mode. To access different settings on the device, press the Menu button. Use the volume increase/decrease buttons to access different settings and use the menu button to change them.

Alerts –

The device is pretty accurate in terms of radar detection. It has excellent range and could detect from a pretty good distance. However, you will be annoyed if you are riding in the city with the highway mode turned on as it will alert you for pretty much everything.

It has speed camera detection, red-light camera detection, X band, K band, Ka POP, K filter, Ka filter, and Traffic sensor filter. You can change the color on the display between blue, amber, blue, pink, green, gray, red, purple, and white. Additionally, the display can also show the current speed, altitude, compass, and voltage of your vehicle’s battery. You can also set different alert tones for different radar bands so that the device plays a different tone when a particular band is detected.

Features –

The Uniden laser radar detectors are well known for the set of innovative features that they offer and the R3 is no exception.

Quiet Ride: The quiet ride is one of the most useful modes on the Uniden R3 laser radar detector that lets you set a speed value under which the detector will not alert you even if it detects a signal. It only alerts signal detection only when you are over the speed range that you have already set.

Limit Speed: We often tend to over speed even without even noticing that we are running at speeds higher than the usually permitted limits in our area. This is where the limit speed comes into play. You can manually set the speed limits on the R3 and it will alert you every time you race over the set value.

Firmware Updates –

Since the release of the Uniden R3, the brand has been contributing with constant software support for making the user experience smoother and convenient. It is recommended to frequently check Uniden’s official website constantly for staying updated with the new firmware releases. If you happen to have one, you can update the same on your device by connecting it to a computer using the provided USB cable.

Pros
  • Extreme long range
  • Camera alerts
  • GPS built-in
  • MRCD/MRCT support
  • Specter I and IV undetectable
  • Radar speed signs / Overspeed alert
Cons
  • No directional arrows
  • False alarms especially in city limits

Verdict

Even after years of its release, the Uniden R3 is still one of the best laser radar detectors available on the market with pretty much everything a modern-day radar detector demands. It offers all the detection bands that the most premium devices offer. The range on this device is pretty impressive, even better than what it is on the Escort MAX360C. However, the GPS lockout memory is limited to 500 entries whereas the Uniden R7 offers about 1750.

There are no directional arrows to guide from which direction the detected signal is from which isn’t going to be a great deal for many, including me. The scanner is more susceptible to false alerts especially on the highway mode while still running inside the city premises. This can be mitigated to a great extent by limiting the bandwidth on the Ka-band. All and all, this nifty piece of hardware can still be a decent choice especially if you are in the market for something reliable and value for money.


#4. Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector review – The Affordable Choice

Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector

The Cobra RAD has a simplistic design with a thoughtful feature set. It can keep you safe on the road with real-time speed trap alerts. Furthermore, you have access to the nationwide database of red light and speed cameras. It also intelligently reduces false alerts from blind spot monitoring systems and other vehicle avoidance systems.

ProductCobra RAD 480i
DisplayWhite OLED display
Radar DetectionX-band, K-band, Ka-band, Lasers
Built-in GPSNo
Bluetooth SupportYes
Product Dimensions4.25” L x 2.75” W x 1.25” H
Product weight4.8 oz.

Unboxing and package contents –

I have placed an order for the Cobra RAD 480i on Amazon and the product got delivered in a day, which is appreciable. The device got shipped inside a cardboard box which then revealed the actual brand box packaging. I also appreciate the minimalist appearance of the box. It is time for opening the seal and pulling out the package contents. We have the quick manual on the top of the package, below that there is the detector sitting comfortably at the center along with all other accessories.

The accessories include the very obvious windshield mount with two suction cups and a 12V DC power cord that plugs right into the cigarette lighter port inside your car. If you consider placing the device directly on top of your car’s dashboard, Cobra has included a piece of Velcro with adhesive on either side.

Device overview and build quality –

The device has a simplistic design with a white OLED screen to its front and control buttons on its top. We have a scroll wheel to the left side of the device for adjusting the volume. Though the entire body is made up of plastic, it still feels very durable. There is a provision at the back for attaching the windshield mount to the device.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

Setting the Cobra RAD 480i laser radar detector is a cakewalk with most of its menu items being self-explanatory. Plug the power adapter into the cigarette lighter port on your car’s dashboard and connect the other end to the device. You should now see the display light up indicating the power. By default, the device is set on maximum sensitivity, however, you can alter this setting from the menu.

Alerts –

The device is pretty sensitive to detection and instantly alerts you every time it encounters a signal. I found it annoying as it alerts you once every 2 minutes. This can be fixed by adjusting the sensitivity on the detector and choosing to turn off bands that you don’t need your device to detect often.

Features –

i-Radar App: You cannot appreciate enough the Cobra iRadar app which allows you to get real-time alerts from people who are using a Cobra device. Cobra claims that there are over 3 million drivers who are using their devices. However, this comes to play only if you are surrounded by people who are also using a Cobra device. For those who live in remote areas far from cities, this feature is pointless.

Long-range: The Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector has a very good range. It can detect threats from miles away so that you can take necessary actions to adjust yourself to the norms.

IVT Filter: The 480i is equipped with advanced anti-false circuitry which significantly reduces the false alerts that come from blind-spot monitoring (BSM) systems and collision avoidance systems.

Pros
  • Compact and durable
  • Long-range
  • iRadar app support
  • Red light and speed camera alerts
  • Affordable detector
Cons
  • No directional arrows
  • No built-in GPS
  • False alarms despite IVT filtering

Verdict –

If you are in the market for an affordable laser radar detector that doesn’t put you down, the Cobra RAD 480i can be an ideal choice. There is a significant range improvement compared to its predecessor. The inclusion of the iRadar app makes this device stand out among its competitors. However, it lacks the built-in GPS feature while most radar detectors today have it.


#5. Escort Passport S55 – Best High-Performance Detector

Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector 1

The Escort Passport S55 perfectly balances the budget and performance concerns. It is one of the most solid builds that we have seen so far even though the entire body is made of plastic. The interface and usability of this device are simple and straightforward compared to most other budget options we have had hands-on.

ProductEscort Passport S55
Display280 LED Matrix/Text
Radar DetectionX-band, K-band, Ka-band, Lasers
Built-in GPSNo
Bluetooth SupportNo
Product Dimensions5.6 x 3.75 x 1 in.
Product weight1.1 pounds

Unboxing and package contents –

The device came neatly packed inside a cardboard box with the Escort branding on its top. Like most other radar detectors in the market, the Escort Passport S55 also comes with a hard carrying case. I don’t know why brands are considering providing a case inside the package but they come in handy if you wish to carefully store your device when not in use. But the question is, who on Earth would leave their radar detector idle?

Device overview and build quality –

The device has a simplistic design with the entire body being made in plastic. It feels cheap on looks yet it is sturdy and should last a while. Like any other laser radar detector, the S55 also has controls on its top. The device is powered by the included 12V power adapter through the modular socket present to its right. It boasts a red-colored LED display with great visibility even in bright sunlight. Despite the size of the speaker, it is loud enough to be heard even in noisy environments.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

It is probably the most intuitive device that we have ever used. All the menu items are pretty much self-explanatory. Setting the device up is also a cakewalk – power the device using the provided adapter and you are good to go with the stock settings. You can alter the sensitivity, turn off individual bands, change the brightness of the screen, adjust the volume of alerts, and pretty much everything right from the device menu.

Alerts –

The Escort Passport S55 exhibits great detection accuracy from miles away. You can adjust the sensitivity levels for city and highway for ignoring false alerts. The only issue we had with this device is its false alerts from vehicle anti-collision warning systems and commercial door-openers that also use laser signals as the police radar guns for their functioning. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see advanced false alert filtering on Escort Passport S55 that we usually have in premium models.

Ease of use –

User Friendly: The Escort Passport S55 has a simple, easy-to-use interface. It doesn’t demand you to have prior operational knowledge of radar detectors. The buttons on the device also feel tactile on click and are placed sufficiently far from each other for easier access.

Good detection range: It has a pretty good detection range and can detect speed traps/laser guns from a fair distance.

Value for money: You get what you are put.

Pros
  • Bright display
  • Affordable
  • Range
Cons
  • Annoying false alarms
  • Plasticky
  • No Bluetooth support

Verdict –

Though the Escort Passport S55 lacks the most modern features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and app access, it can still be a good laser radar detector choice even in 2021 for its accuracy, detection range, and affordability. Unlike all modern devices, the S55 still has a LED. OLED screens are good for the eyes but they suffer lower brightness levels making them hard to read in direct sunlight.

The windshield that comes with this device isn’t the best, you might want to consider an aftermarket mount for the purpose. However, if the Escort Passport S55 didn’t impress you much, the Uniden DFR9 should do and is the next best thing to get.


#6. Cobra RAD 380 – Cheap Laser Radar Detector

Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector for police

The Cobra RAD 380 is a simple yet effective device without the bells and whistles that most modern devices are marketed. It is the cheapest laser radar detector that we have laid our hands on. You can find it under the 100 dollars price segment which makes it a worthy purchase.

ProductCobra RAD 380
DisplayLED display
Radar DetectionX, K, Ka, Laser
Built-in GPSNo
Bluetooth SupportNo
Product Dimensions4.25 x 2.75 x 1.25 inches
Product weight4.8 ounces

Unboxing and package contents –

The device ships in a very simple package with minimal use of packaging materials. We have the Cobra’s branding towards the front along with the usual boasting about the product. Inside, we get some paperwork, a power cord, some mounting hardware, and the product itself

Device overview and build quality –

The entire body of Cobra RAD 380 is built-in plastic and feels cheaper for the first impression. What else can you expect for a gadget offered at that price? However, it still feels solid for touch and seems pretty durable. The suction cup mount that came with the device doesn’t feel very firm. We would recommend you go for an aftermarket mount that you can find for a few extra bucks.

Like any other laser radar detector, the RAD 380 also has the controls on the top except for the volume that is placed towards the left side of the device. The volume control provision is a scroll wheel instead of buttons, the same as what we have seen on the 480i.

Setting it up and getting it ready for the first use –

Setting the device up and running is also fairly simple and doesn’t demand you of any prior expertise in the field. Just plug in the power cord to the modular power connector present on the device and the other end into the lighting port on your car, you are good to go. The device initially runs on the default setting which you can alter from the menu later.

Alerts –

The device has both highway and city modes to switch between its sensitivity presets quickly. However, you also reserve the freedom to manually adjust the sensitivity levels on each band. It is also equipped with an IVT filtering feature to help minimize false detection and alerts. The laid down in the detection area is, it can only detect X-band, K-band, Ka-band, and laser but not MultaRadar(MRCD).

Performance –

Speaking of the performance of the Cobra RAD 380, one should also consider the price point at which this device is being offered. It justifies the price we are putting on this. The range on this device is very impressive and the accuracy is also decent. Though the device claims that they have incorporated IVT filtering and all for minimizing false alerts, it still is prone to alerting you for every single thing. Except for this, it is a decent grab.

Pros
  • Chea Radar Detector
  • Ease of use
  • Lightweight and decent design
  • Decent detection range
Cons
  • No GPS
  • No Bluetooth
  • False Alerts

Verdict –

The Cobra RAD 380 is by far the cheapest laser radar detector that we have ever tested. It comes with all the basic features that a good radar detector should have. The range on this radar is almost as good as that we see on expensive detectors. However, you won’t get to see all the fancy stuff like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The addition of GPS support would have made this more perfect. Nevertheless, this is still the best laser radar detector under budget.


Laser Radar Detector – Buying Guide

What is a laser radar detector?

A radar detector is a device used by vehicles to know the presence of speed monitoring police radar guns ahead of their way. This way, they can stay alert by alerting their speeds according to the local laws.

What should I consider while buying a laser radar detector?

A good laser radar detector should have the following qualities.

Detection Bands –

Laser radar systems use different detection bands to know if there is a speed trap ahead in your path. Make sure the detector you are looking for has the bands that are used in the speed guns in your locality.

K-Band: The K-band is the most commonly used radar frequency. It has a frequency range from 24.05 – 24.25 GHz.

Ka-Band: The Ka-band is primarily used by the Photo Radar (Photo Cop) systems and is operated at 34.3 GHz.

Ku-Band: The Ku-Band is a fresh inclusion by law enforcement for speed detection in different parts of the World. It is operated at a frequency of 13.45 GHz.

Ka-Band (wide): Manufacturers created this wideband to detect Ka-Band frequency to stay undetected by the detectors used by police officers that were designed for scanning X, K, and Photo Radars. It is operated at a frequency range from 34.2 – 35.2 GHz.

X-Band: Initially, X-Band speed guns were widely used by police. However, they are very much prone to false detection as garage door openers, microwave towers and a lot of other applications also make use of the X-band. With time, they started avoiding X-band for its inaccuracy and migrated to other efficient bands.

Accuracy –

Accuracy is yet another important aspect to look into while considering buying a laser radar detector. Many manufacturers use band filtering and IVT filtering to limit false alerts.

Price –

The cost of your detector is yet another important factor to consider while purchasing a laser radar detector as you can find the best detector in each price bracket. Most budget laser detectors do well when it comes to detection. However, you will have to compromise on some functionality.

Ease of use –

Your device should be easily understood even by a person who had never dealt with laser detectors before. Also, the mounting flexibility should be checked before you finalize a device.

RDD Immunity –

In many areas, the use of Radar Detectors is illegal. Police officers use a special type of device specially designed to detect laser radar detectors in moving vehicles. The device that is used to detect radar detectors is called Radar Detector Detectors or RDDs. Manufacturers have thought of a way to prevent your radar detector from being detected by RDDs. This feature is named RDD immunity.

Directional Arrows –

Most premium radar detectors have this feature. They will have a visual indication of the direction of the signal that is detected.

FAQs About Police Laser Radar Detectors in 2021

We tried answering a few questions that we are asked frequently about laser radar detectors.

Are laser radar detectors legal?

The use of radar detectors in the United States is legal as it helps the driver to stay cautious about his driving speeds. However, there are some states where the use of laser radar detectors is illegal. It is important to check with your laws before proceeding to purchase one.

Can a cop detect your radar detector?

Yes! There is a special device used by police called Radar Detector Detectors (RDDs) that help them in detecting radar detectors equipped inside vehicles in the areas where their usage is not legal.

What is the best laser radar detector to buy in 2021?

If you got to spare some money, the Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range is by far the best laser radar detector with an impressive detection range on the market. However, if you cannot afford it, the Uniden R3 Extreme can be the next best option.

What is the cheapest laser radar detector for my car?

The Cobra RAD 380 is by far the cheapest laser radar detector on the market that you can get today.

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