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Best Radar and Laser Detector for 2021

You may have a lead foot, or maybe you are just out for a pleasant drive. It’s easy to get distracted by something like your cell phone, the scenery, or a conversation with a passenger, and the next thing you know, you get caught exceeding the speed limit.

Consider the consequences: the cost of the ticket, the probable increase in your insurance premium, and possibly the time you may have to spend attending a traffic school. This is why you should own a radar/laser detector. And if you are going to own one, you should make sure that you own one of the best. This review of six of the best will get you started in your hunt.

Best Radar and Laser Detector – Top Picks for 2021:

 
Valentine One V1 Gen 2Uniden R7K40 Platinum100Cobra DualPro 360°Radenso Pro MEscort Max 3
RangeLong Range, 360° ProtectionInsane Long RangeLong RangeExtra Long RangeExtreme Radar Detection RangeExtreme long range
Built-in GPSNoNoYesYesYesYes
DisplayMulti-color OLEDMulti-color OLEDMulti-Colored & Customizable OLEDOLEDAmber OLEDMulti-color OLED
False FilterK-Verifier technologyAdvanced K /KA Band FilterK-Band FilterAutoLearn TechnologyFalse Filter For Traffic SensorsIn-Vehicle Filtering Technology
Red Light & Speed Camera AlertsYesNoYesYesYesYes
Speed-based Auto MuteYesYesYesYesYesYes
Bluetooth connectivityYesNoNoYesNoYes
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6 Important Radar/Laser Detector Features

With huge advancements in radar/laser detector technology, today’s devices are much more powerful than those constantly beeping detectors of yesteryear. Here are some of the important features of radar detectors that you should be aware of when you are shopping for one of today’s best detectors.

#1 GPS Capability – having GPS allows your detector to do several things. For one, the detector will be able to identify and lockout locations that can cause a false alert, like storefront door opening systems that you may pass daily. A detector with GPS will notify you of sudden (and possibly costly if you are ticketed) reductions in speed limits as you approach them. And having GPS, the detector may be able to automatically switch the detector’s mode of operation between city mode and highway mode.
Best Detector for GPS Capability: Cobra DualPro 360°

#2 City and Highway Modes – the mode of operation has do with the device’s sensitivity settings. In highway mode the detector is operating at maximum sensitivity. Detection range will be at its greatest. If you don’t have the option of switching to a less sensitive city mode while you’re driving in town, your detector will be constantly alerting to stationary store radars, road signs, and the Blind Spot Monitoring systems (BSM) of even parked cars.
Best Detector for Modes of Operation: Uniden R7

#3 Visual and Voice Alerting – when your radar detector senses a radar, it will alert you with a beep or a tone. The best detectors also have voice alerting, allowing you to be notified of the threat, how strong the signal is, and in which direction the threat is coming from, without having to take your eyes off the road ahead. The best detectors will also allow you to choose whether you want both types of alerts, or either visual or voice only alerts.
Best Detector for Visual and Voice Alerting: K40 Platinum100

#4 360° Protection – sometimes the radar source is not out in front of you. It could be coming from either side or from behind. This is especially true with laser and hand-held radar guns. If your radar/laser detector can’t protect you on all sides, you are at risk of receiving a speeding ticket and you have probably wasted your money on a subpar unit.
Best Detector for 360° Protection: Cobra DualPro 360°

#5 RDD Shielding Technology – RDD stands for radar detector detectors. These are devices used by police to track drivers using radar detectors where it is not legal to do so. This shielding technology enables radar detectors to instantaneously shut themselves off if they detect the presence of a radar detector detector (VG-2 and Spectre). Some radar detectors with this technology have the ability to continue to operate while making themselves virtually invisible to RDDs.
Best Detector for RDD Shielding: Radenso Pro M

#6 Smartphone or Tablet Compatibility – Smartphones and tablets have become part of the fabric of our society. The ability for your choice of radar/laser detector to connect with the online world is a real bonus, allowing instantaneous updating information concerning traffic conditions to be sent directly to and from your Smartphone, tablet, or radar detector using iOS and Android apps.
Best Detector for Smartphone/Tablet Compatibility: Escort Max 3

Individual Reviews

Valentine One V1 Gen 2

Valentine One V1 Gen 2

First launched in 1992, the Valentine 1 has stood the test of time for being one of the best radar detectors available. It is still one of the best detectors for long range detection and with dual front and rear antennas, it will display a directional arrow to indicate where the radar threat is coming from.

The V1 Gen 2 will detect all radar bands; X, K, Ka, and Super Wideband Ka. It has improved filtering capabilities to keep it from false alerting to new car BSM and CAS K-band frequency radars and does a good job of detecting police instant-on radar guns. Click here for our more detailed Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Review

Pros

  • Excellent range
  • Forward and rear facing antennas for 360° protection
  • Bluetooth enabled – V1Driver (for iOS) or JBV1 (for Android) apps
  • Automatic GPS lockouts through the apps
  • Virtually immune to RDD

Cons

  • Prone to false alerting
  • No built-in GPS
  • Will not detect MRCD/MRCT
  • No red light or speed camera alerting
  • Complicated setup


Uniden R7

Uniden R7

The R7 offers extremely long range radar detection and can detect MultaRadar, red light cameras, and speed cameras. The R7 has built-in GPS capability, but lockouts are not automatic, the driver must manually input them. Because it has dual antennas, it offers great 360° protection and will indicate the direction of the radar threat.

The R7 has a large, multi-colored OLED display that is easy to read and can display up to four different radar sources at one time. It has both visual and voice alerting and the voice alerts are programmable. The display is subject to burn-in so running the detector in its dark mode, where the detector only lights up for an alert, will increase display life. Click here for our more detailed Uniden R7 Review

Pros

  • Top of the line detection range
  • Directional arrows
  • GPS lockouts
  • MRCD/MRCT detection
  • Red light/speed camera alerts

Cons

  • GPS lockouts not automatic
  • Not completely RDD invisible
  • No Bluetooth capability
  • Prone to false alerting due to sensitivity
  • OLED display subject to burn-in


K40 Electronics Platinum 100

K40 Platinum100

You no longer have to reach across the car to access your radar detector, the K40 Platinum 100 comes as the world’s only handheld remote controlled radar detector. The Platinum 100 comes with three interesting guarantees: a 30-day 100% Performance Guarantee, a 1-Year Quality guarantee, and a 1-Year Ticket Free guarantee.

At first you may ask why would you need a remote control for a radar detector? After all, the detector is right there on the windshield above the dashboard. In the design of today’s vehicles, many vehicles have a deep dashboard. Anything that gets placed on the dash is not always within easy reach. Manufacturers didn’t start putting the radio controls on the steering wheel just because it was a cool thing to do. With the remote, you can turn the detector on and off, change the volume level of alerts, and even “mark” radar hotspots safely, without taking your eyes off the road.

The Platinum 100 includes a customizable GPS feature. Another great benefit of the K40 is its ability to identify more than one threat at a time. Which ever threat is deemed the strongest shows up in the center of the display while the lesser threat is displayed on the right side of the display. If the lesser threat becomes a stronger signal than the first, it moves to the center display. Click here for our more detailed review of  K40 Platinum100

Pros

  • Multicolor customizable OLED display
  • Long range LNA signal processing
  • Wireless remote control
  • Stealthy to RDD

Cons

  • Manual GPS lockouts only
  • No red light/speed camera alerts via GPS
  • No directional arrows


Cobra DualPro 360°

Cobra DualPro 360°

The DualPro has a customizable 4-color display with 5 levels of brightness to choose from. It has GPS capability that will display your current speed and the speed limit for the road you are traveling. It also will perform automatic GPS lockouts.

You can lockout stationary radars that cause false alerts. False alerting, always an issue with radar detectors, is greatly reduced with the DualPro. The detector has AI-smart technology that allows it to ignore stationary radars like those found on storefront door opening/closing systems.

This Cobra model has dual antennas for 360° protection. The DualPro 360 can be synced to the iRadar app to allow you to connect with other drivers and receive real-time traffic information. Click here for our more detailed review of Cobra DualPro 360°

Pros

  • Four-color OLED display
  • GPS with automatic lockouts
  • Red light and speed camera detection
  • iRadar app
  • Bluetooth and WIFI capable

Cons

  • No directional arrows
  • Display hard to see in bright sunlight


Radenso Pro M

Radenso Pro M

If you don’t want your radar detector to dominate your windshield, the Pro M is an excellent option. It has a small footprint while delivering great performance. BSM and false alert filtering are its strong points, as well as the ability to detect MRCD/MRCT radars. The Pro M has GPS, but lockouts must be manually input.

There is no Bluetooth capability, directional arrows, or multicolor displays, but what the Pro M does, it does extremely well. It does such a fine job that Radenso offers a 1-year limited ticket-free guarantee. If you receive a speeding ticket that was radar detected while using the Pro M, Radenso will reimburse you for the cost of the speeding ticket. A more detailed review of this detector can be found here.

Pros

  • Good range detection
  • Above average BSM filtering
  • MRCD/MRCT detection
  • RDD immunity
  • Red light/speed camera alerts
  • 1-Year Limited Ticket Free guarantee

Cons

  • No directional arrows
  • No Bluetooth capability
  • No Mac update software available
  • Manual-only GPS lockouts


Escort Max 3

Escort Max 3

 

The Max 3 provides premium range detection along with the ability to detect red light and speed cameras. It has excellent filtering for BSM systems that constantly cause false alerts in other radar detectors. The Max 3 is Bluetooth capable and can connect to several different navigation apps, like Waze.

A unique feature of the Escort Max 3 is its magnetic mount. No longer will hitting a pothole cause your radar detector to bounce off the windshield mount.

Pros

  • Excellent range and BSM filtering
  • Excellent BSM filtering
  • GPS with AUTOLEARN and Bluetooth
  • EZ Mag mount

Cons

  • Case quality design issues
  • Prone to false K-band alerting
  • Not great at laser detection


Conclusion

A great radar detector should be considered an investment in your vehicle. The better the detector’s range, the more time you will have to correct any speed issues before they get costly. GPS capability enables the detector to not only lockout false alerts along common driving routes, but plot your speed and the speed limits as you drive so as to alert you to possible upcoming threats. Great technology comes at a price. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a low-cost radar/laser detector will perform well enough to keep you ticket-free. Just the thought of a couple of speeding tickets along with higher insurance premiums will more than justify the cost of a higher quality detector.

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