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Best Radar Detectors in 2022: Review and Buying Guide

TopSpeedGears
  Nov 30, 2022 12:29 AM

Looking for the best radar detectors to stay safe on the road? We’ve got you covered with a list of highly-rated options, and you can find out more below.


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1
  • SCORE
    9.8
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    Uniden
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2
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    Uniden
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    9.3
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    Cobra
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    9.2
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    Escort
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    Valentine One
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    Radenso
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    Escort
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    Radenso
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    8.8
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    Cobra
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    8.8
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    Cobra

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Overview

As a car owner, your first and foremost responsibility is to keep yourself safe on the road. More than just avoiding dangerous accidents, staying safe also means keeping your driving license clean and dodging annoying encounters with the law. Of course, abiding by the rules is the priority, but it’s not that easy with the police these days. Having the best radar detectors in your vehicles will settle this complicated matter once and for all.

We’re also aware that this type of device is fairly new to many car owners. To help you better understand its role and get a decent option, we’ve come up with this buying guide. Let’s get to it:a


Types

Have you ever wondered how the police are able to catch vehicles speeding? In general, law enforcement officers use either radar or lidar guns as their speed detection devices. The mechanism behind them is quite simple. Police officers use these devices to shoot radio waves/light pulses towards moving vehicles. The signals received by the radar/lidar guns are then converted to figures (mph), helping the officers decide whether the selected vehicles are speeding or not.

Radar guns, in particular, are the standard weapon of choice for police officers these days. They lack the precision of lidar guns, which opens the door for the use of radar detectors. Simply put, radar detectors are devices that notify drivers of the fact that radar guns are being used nearby. Operating timely and precisely, these devices give drivers a chance to slow down to avoid further troubles.

Currently, there are 3 different types of radar detectors on the market:

  • Corded radar detectors are very common, and they can be plugged right into the vehicle’s power outlet. According to the experts and customers, these are highly-rated for their reliability.

  • Cordless radar detectors are more convenient to install and use in many different vehicles. Instead of relying on power cords to operate, they use batteries.

  • Remote-mounted radar detectors are very rare, and require discreet installation by professionals. You’ll get the results, controls and displays on your dash, and won’t have to worry much about them being spotted or stolen. 


Reviews

1. Uniden R7 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector

Overview: The Uniden R7 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector has remained on top for a long time, and that’s a testament to how amazing it is. This one doubles up as a laser detector, and it has one of the longest ranges on the market. With its GPS-enabled features and smart filtering system, you rarely get any false alerts. More than just notifying you of radar threats by voice, it also displays arrows pointing to where the threats come from.

Features:

  • OLED display

  • Radar/laser detector

  • Advanced false alert filter

  • Directional arrows, 360-degree protection

  • GPS-enabled, firmware and database regularly updated

  • Red light and speed camera alerts

  • Voice alerts

Pros:

  • Intuitive display

  • Incredible range and advanced filtering system

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Numerous advanced features included

  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Might not have the most durable build

Summary: The most well-rounded and best long range radar detector there is.

2. Uniden R3 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector

Overview: The Uniden R3 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector is supposed to represent a step down from the R7. But in reality, you’re not losing much at all. The range is still more than enough to cover all your needs, and you can still get away without directional arrows. Other than that, you pretty much have the R7 at a more affordable price tag.

Features:

  • OLED display

  • Radar/laser detector

  • Advanced false alert filter

  • GPS-enabled, firmware and database regularly updated

  • Red light and speed camera alerts

  • Voice alerts

  • Great customer service

Pros:

  • Improved design and build

  • Intuitive display

  • Incredible range and advanced filtering system

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Numerous advanced features included

Cons:

  • Needs some effort to set up the filtering modes correctly

Summary: The best mid-range radar detectors with a greatly-improved design.

3. Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector – Long Range Detection

Overview: The Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector – Long Range Detection represents the essence of a radar detector, and some more. Although this is viewed as an entry-level unit, it still has a good range of sensitivity and filtering system. To further complement these aspects, you can choose between many different modes to further customize your settings. The LCD display is bright and clear, and there’s also a voice alert option for those who need it.

Features:

  • LCD display

  • Front/rear laser/radar detector

  • IVT filter

  • Adjustable sensitivity with many modes

  • Voice alerts

Pros:

  • Decent range, nice filtering system

  • Very straightforward, easy to use

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Quite modern in its class

  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Lack of signature advanced features

Summary: Best entry-level radar detectors with decent features.

4. Escort MAX360C Laser Radar Detector - WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled

Overview: The Escort MAX360C Laser Radar Detector - WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled is a premium radar detector in every sense of the word. This one is WiFi/Bluetooth-enabled, and it opens up a new world of possibilities for drivers. Considering its GPS-enabled nature, you can pretty much program and customize settings as desired. You also have the option of doing so from your smartphone, and with its regular updates, you aren’t missing out on anything. Other than just being a radar detector, it also works well against laser threats.

Features:

  • OLED display

  • Radar/laser detector

  • IVT filter

  • WiFi/Bluetooth-enabled

  • 360-degree protection

  • Live app included, GPS-enabled, firmware and database regularly updated

  • Red light and speed camera alerts

  • Voice alerts

Pros:

  • Intuitive display

  • Incredible range and advanced filtering system

  • Real-time updates available

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Numerous advanced features included

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

Summary: The most advanced radar detector that money can get.

5. Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Radar Detector

Overview: The Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Radar Detector resembles the Uniden R7 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector in terms of features. This one is not GPS-enabled, but it comes with a smart app that allows you to set everything up on your phone. With the regularly updated database, it covers many types of threats, including red light, speed cameras and lasers. Each time there is a threat, you’ll get notified by voice alerts and directional arrows beforehand.

Features:

  • OLED display

  • Radar/laser detector

  • Advanced false alert filter

  • Directional arrows, 360-degree protection

  • Smart app included, firmware and database regularly updated

  • Red light and speed camera alerts

  • Voice alerts

Pros:

  • Intuitive display

  • Incredible range and advanced filtering system

  • Updated stealth

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Numerous advanced features included

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

  • Shipping issues

Summary: A highly-advanced radar detectors for regular smartphone users.

6. Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band Laser/Radar Detector

Overview: The Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band Laser/Radar Detector is a step further removed from the R7 and R3 in terms of sensitivity range, but it still has all the features that are the signature of a Uniden radar detector. Most importantly, it still maintains the GPS-enabled functions to allow for a high-end user experience without the premium price tag.

Features:

  • OLED display

  • Radar/laser detector

  • Advanced false alert filter

  • GPS-enabled, firmware and database regularly updated

  • Red light and speed camera alerts

  • Voice alerts

Pros:

  • Pretty affordable

  • Intuitive display

  • Incredible range and advanced filtering system

  • Comes with many accessories 

  • Numerous advanced features included

  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Lack of instruction

Summary: A radar detector that offers the perfect combination of affordable price and well-rounded features.


Buying guide

Most of the time, it is the minor details that truly elevate and define the best radar detectors. To get your money’s worth when buying one, take a careful look at the following factors: 

  • Range: A radar detector’s range of sensitivity is the number one factor to look for. The longer the range, the sooner you will be notified about radar gun use. This allows you to make timely decisions to avoid getting caught speeding and causing accidents on the road.

  • Voice and visual alerts: When driving, your eyes should focus on the road at all times. However, you also want to be notified by your radar detector in case anything happens. In this sense, getting one with voice alerts and visual signals helps you keep your concentration, while staying alert at all times.

  • Filtering false alerts function: Radar-based doors and traffic systems are the cause of false alerts. In order to avoid them, it’s useful to have a radar detector with a flexible sensitivity range. Flexibility also comes in the form of “highway” or “city” modes, which adjust the range according to the area to further eliminate false alerts.

  • GPS and phone compatibility: Modern radar detectors are also GPS-enabled, which opens a new world of possibilities. You can now “remember” your mode or range settings for certain areas, and get updates about other potential speed traps. Most importantly, you can use an app on your smartphone to control and update these features for maximum convenience.

  • Other advanced features: As law enforcement technologies get better, radar detectors also get better. Many options come with the anti-RDD (radar detector detection) feature, which protects them from being identified by the police. Others are equipped with more advanced functions such as laser detection, 360-degree protection, ... to better cope with more advanced laser guns and other devices. These features add up quickly in terms of price.


FAQs

Are radar detectors illegal?

For as useful as radar detectors can be on the road, the authorities have mixed opinions about them. In general, if you drive commercial vehicles over 10000 pounds, you can expect the use of these devices to be illegal. The same rule applies to those in military bases. If you drive smaller non-commercial vehicles, you can legally use radar detectors on your own terms. To get an idea of what to do and what not to do with these devices, take a look at your particular state law.

Do laser and radar jammers work well with radar detectors?

Yes, these devices work wonderfully in combination with radar detectors. Their purpose is to further work against the police’s technology of choice once your vehicle becomes the target. However, keep in mind that this might cross the line in terms of legality. Most states prohibit the use of such devices, so you need to consider the consequences before buying.

What are the differences between entry-level and high-end radar detectors?

In short, what you want from your radar detector is precise and prompt alerts. Most entry level options have poor ranges and come without filters, so you’re likely to receive more false alerts that don’t matter. On the contrary, high-end options can be set up to timely and correctly notify you of potential radar signals. Their ranges are often amazing, and they’ll leave out false alerts with ease.

Moreover, high-end radar detectors are also equipped with advanced features, such as directional arrows, GPS, Bluetooth/WiFi-enabled functions, … to further elevate your on-the-road experience.

Will radar detectors go off when passing police cars?

In order to detect the speed of vehicles, police officers have to turn their radar guns on. If they don’t have them on, your radar detector won’t go off. In this case, you really have nothing to worry about.

What is the best radar detector?

We understand that many of you want a more detailed shortcut to get the best radar detectors. However, please note that different car owners have different needs for radar detectors. We’ve already narrowed down the potential options for you, and what you have to do is simple. Consider the amount of features you need, take notes and find your matching option.

To get there earlier, you can go this route. If you have a limited budget, the Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band Laser/Radar Detector is a wonderful choice for your needs. If you only want the best of the best with many bells and whistles, putting your trust in the Escort MAX360C Laser Radar Detector - WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled is a good choice. 


Conclusion

And that’s all the details you need to know about the best radar detectors. The point here is to be alert on the road and keep yourself safe, not to cheat or bypass the system. Having one in your vehicle is a recipe for a smooth-sailing on-the-road experience, because you know you’re prepared for even the most unexpected circumstances. For such a useful device, it’s really convenient that you can purchase one from the comfort of your home. From there, setting it up is super easy, and you’re ready to put it to good use. 


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