The Best Radar Detectors (2019)
It goes without saying that if you live anywhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico, UK or Australia, you’ve come across police officers. However, unless they are hiding in the bushes, sitting on the side of the road, or sitting in between a two-sided highway, you’ll never know whether they are using their radar. For me, always seeing red and blues lights behind due to my dark tint made me not want to drive.
For these reasons, I dug deep into what detector would give me the best results for a reasonable price and would be undetectable. I found the absolute best radar detector is the Uniden R3. It’s performance has been tremendous!
From picking up KBAN from lengthy distances to its state-of-the-art GPS software. More information on the Uniden R3 Radar below.
This guide will show you the top rated radar detectors to buy for all-out performance, features, price, and durability. There aren’t 10 or 15 different ones or any cheap radar detectors as the BEST of the BEST are very few.
Here’s My Top 5 Radar Detectors On The Market Reviewed
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So right below, you’re going to read some reviews with detailed explanations of which ones are the best, which things make them stand apart, and most importantly… which one is right for you! Go on, have a read.
Uniden R3 – The Best Detector of 2018
Out of nowhere, Uniden introduced their LRD series and shook the whole radar detector community. Let’s take a look what makes it the best detector money can buy.
Though the cheapest one was just under 100 dollars, their most expensive on (LRD9) was just under 220 dollars on average and managed to outperform $400+ models in some cases. They probably realized that and discontinued it, dedicated to putting out a KING of them all kind of device, and they have so far. The now 100 stealthy, being hidden from all RDD’s, invisible from the outside (nearly), and the best performance on the market today… heck it is even outperforming $1000+ devices. It is quite easily the best radar detector for the money.
It even manages to beat the old KING of range, the Escort Redline by a fair magic, while still managing to have MORE features and a lower price. It may be relatively new, but it’s without a doubt the best radar detector on the market today. From a company that is known for making quality electronics, the Uniden R3 is looking VERY good.
The only negative thing we can say about this detector is the default alert noise (may take some getting used to), but that’s a subjective thing and may not be a problem for most. (UPDATED) This part now is changeable. Overall though, this is our #1 choice without a doubt. Here are the MAIN features that will set this detector apart. Read More
An actual LED screen, with high resolution. The days of simple one color LED screens are over, this screen means business and is actually visually appealing.
100% Undetectable to the latest “Radar Detector Detectors”. That means, using in places where radar detectors are outlawed will be no problem. Undetectable to the old VG-2 and the newest Spectre RDD’s.
Great Value. This is by far the best radar detector for the money, especially when you compare it to the prices of all the others in this list.
Outperforms 99% of the current windshield radar detectors. This thing has the AMAZING range for K & KA band.
GPS Enabled with red light camera alerts. This feature will let you lock out false K band, and give you a heads up on approaching red light speed camera traps.
Free updated GPS database and quiet ride auto mute. Like in Waze, there’s a free database which lets you stay up to date on the newest red light cameras and stationary speed traps. Auto mute lets you mute out likely-false radar signals.
ESCORT MAX 360C – Smaller Package & Better Features
I want to introduce you to the Escort Max 360C, one of the top two in the world in terms of quality and features. It is now considered the flagship to Escort’s lineup and with good reason.
First and foremost, let’s look at the design. Escort has done an excellent job at not only slimming the size, in comparison to the it’s first model, but being able to pack all of it’s features into the smaller size. Another notable feature is that this is the FIRST EVER radar detector to be bluetooth and wifi enabled. Typically this is suitable for vehicles with wifi capabilities or have a local wifi built in. This is perfect for being able to reach Escort Live, update firmware and more.
Of course, like the first generation it is undetectable. This is the main reason that I have enjoyed a few of the detectors listed in this guide because this feature alone gives all the peace of mind needed to use one. Now, you may ask, how is the filtering on this device? Well, just like the Redline and 360, it is perfect. But the benefit with the Max 360C is that it’s a tad bit quieter with fewer false alerts (grocery store doors, etc).
Typically, this would be the best detector to buy in 2019, but the price is what brings it to my second position. If you are looking for features, a smaller size and wifi capabilities, then this is the one for you. Priced right now at $649 but on sale for $571, it may be worth every penny.
Valentine One – Amazing Long Range Protection
The V1 radar detector makes it into our list unsurprisingly. It has one in most lists for years now and for good reason.
Ever wonder why it has barely dropped in price since it first came out to the mass market? The simple answer is because it works. The Valentine One cop detector has great performance for being a windshield mount styled unit.
The front antenna does a great job at picking up K and KA band (and especially li-dar or laser). The rear antenna does an almost equally good job. It’s priced not too extreme, allowing for most to afford it and use it for years. It’s #2 because it’s a safe bet, it gives good enough performance to make you have an adequate level of protection. Read more on the Valentine One radar detector.
Fantastic radar and laser detection all-around. It’s not the long-range king, but with the right customization, it can come very close.
It features 360% radar detection using arrows. There are two main antennas on the front and back, giving you information on WHERE the radar or laser signal is coming from.
Extensive options and customization (using YaV1 Android App). Using this will let you almost 2X the performance by enabling custom sweeps. You can selectively remove which band frequency you’d like to ignore (usually improving radar sensitivity).
Resale value is GREAT. Not many electronics can resell close or to above what they sold for brand new, but the V1 does it time and time again.
Simple design and usability. There is no high-resolution LED screens. There’s just one screen with 10-20 little red led lights showing you different options. It does not stand out much at night, as it does not generate much light in the first place.
Frequent updates and a supportive community. The V1 has undoubtedly, the biggest fan base. It’s not too common for an electronic device to last for years without fail, the V1 does it quite well in most cases.
Great Value. This is by far the best car radar detector for the money, especially when you compare it to the prices of all the others in this list.
Escort RedLine – Undetectable w/Range
The Escort Redline comes in at the third spot only due to it lacking a few features that two listed above offer. Aside from that, it is number two in all-out performance. The Escort Redline has been on the market for almost 10 years, and is praised as the “Long-Range King.”
With recent addition the band-segmentation, you can now segment out certain frequencies to improve performance our radar detection for KA band. When it comes down to ease of use, it’s VERY easy to setup and gets running. Below, are the main features and benefits.
The only downside with this detector, since it’s designed for sheer long-range performance, is that it alerts to many false K band alerts. Pairing it up with Escort Live will do wonders, we recommend it highly regardless, especially for highway travelers and those living in Virginia.
It has EXCELLENT RANGE for K and KA band. Until the R1 and R3 came out, it was the king and is still a fairly close second. For the price and its reputation, it is guaranteed you’ll get solid performance out on the road.
It’s a 100% undetectable detector to all RDD’s. Like the R1 and R3, the Redline is immune to all radar detector detectors, even the most updated Specter Elite models.
It’s easy to setup and gets running. Without a doubt, it’s one of the easiest to setup, with less than 15 options to sort through.
Alert sounds are great and ramp up according to REAL intensity. The alert sounds for K and KA band ramp up properly and not too aggressively. This is a BIG plus when you’re actually approaching the radar source
Escort Max360 – Best User Friendliness
Overall, the Max360 packs MANY features and has a similar look like the R3 mentioned at #1. However, let us be clear, it’s performance is subpar in comparison to the R3.
Still, the Max360 does a fantastic job at giving you a great understanding of where the radar source is coming from, as well as sensitive to real radar sources. The only downside I’ve noticed is that for the price, cheaper detectors like above outperform it. Below, we will cover the most important features and benefits. You can read a full review on the Escort Max360 here.
GPS Enabled with red light camera warning system. Just like most GPS enabled detectors, this one lets you lock out false alerts and warns you when approaching fixed and red light speed cameras.
360 Degree Detection. You can see who is shooting radar at you from the front, back, or sides.
You can pair it up with Escort Live via Bluetooth. You can see everything your detector does, through your tablet or mobile phone screen.
Great and sleek design. You can’t go wrong with this one, although being a little bulky, it won’t look bad on your windshield.
Redenso PRO SE – A Budget Friendly
Redenso is a new kid on the block, at least to the United States. It not only shows AMAZING PERFORMANCE right out of the box but is 50% smaller than any of the radar detectors mentioned above. How can that be?
I’ve asked this question a million times. What I know for sure is that they use their space wisely, and I give them props for that. What you really want to know is why to get this one.In the list right below, I will mention the most important features that come along with it, as well as benefits.
2-year manufacturer warranty is included (no paying extra required). With some of today’s BIG radar detector companies being known for lacking in the customer service area, Redenso does not lack, it’s quite good actually.
It’s 50% smaller than its competition. Being on the windshield makes it GOOD for being small, and its performance does not lack because of it.
Performance against K & KA band is outstanding. For being a small unit it does extremely well against commonly used radar frequencies.
Many settings & GPS Enabled. There are many ways to make it perform better (like disabling frequencies that are not used in your area). Software customization is available and accurate GPS is provided for live speed/ fixed speed traps.
Not On A Budget?
With radar detectors, trying to find the best bang for your bucks isn’t the best philosophy to live by. Usually the cheaper the detector, the worse it will perform because the research and parts that go into the detector are lower quality and/or are under-designed to perform well.
Luckily, there are some radar detectors that will do quite well for the price they are at. So here’s a list of the best radar detectors for under the given price ranges.
The Best Radar Detector Under $300
Assuming you have somewhere between 200 and 300 dollars to spend on a radar detector, you should buy the Uniden DFR7. This one has great internals giving an impressive mid range performance (almost on par with the V1).
There’s GPS enabled, which lets you lock out false alerts and locate fixed speed traps (using the free database). And in terms of looks, the LCD screen gives you great white/gray letters that are very easy to read during both day and night time.
The Best Radar Detector Under $200
Barely making it to this price category of under $200, the Uniden DFR6 is pretty much the same detector but without GPS feature.
Fantastic performance, but no GPS. Depending on who you are, the GPS feature will make or break your buying decision. So carefully take a look at maybe spending a few more dollars and upgrading.
The Best Radar Detector Under $100
For this price range don’t expect anything extraordinary for sale, it may look shiny and cool, but it probably won’t perform how you want. Under 100, the Cobra SPX 7800BT. It has some very useful features and can detect K & KA band at a decent rate.
Look for performance on very flat surfaces (like deserts and grasslands, think Oklahoma and Utah salt flats). What is appealing on the outside, isn’t so sharp on the inside.
What if it’s Illegal Where I Am?
This one isn’t tough to answer, especially if you’re living in the United States or Canada. I have a completely dedicated article on radar detector laws, and you’ll know where radar detectors are illegal at. In most cases, the laws exist for revenue generation and there isn’t any real legit argument you can put forward for why the state or province has radar detectors placed under the “illegal” category.
Hopefully, we helped you find the best radar detector. Though there are only 5 radar detector reviews, we did this on purpose to ensure you only see the top rated ones for the 5 most important price categories. Pick up a police radar detector, install them discreetly in your car, and have a level of protection that most don’t have. At the end of the day, it’s much easy to pay for peace of mind than to end up with a ticket.