Cobra produces some of the most reliable and popular low-cost radar detectors on the market today. The company incorporates numerous advanced technologies to allow drivers the ultimate in protection from radar and laser detection while preventing annoying false alarms. These two products bear a striking resemblance to one another and have several similar features, but a few additions make the Cobra Rad 450 the better choice. We will compare the Cobra Rad 380 vs Cobra Rad 450 to explain why we think it is a better choice. (>>> Find how much it cost on Amazon)
Cobra Rad 380 vs 450 Side by Side:
|Cobra Rad 380||Cobra Rad 450|
|Range||Long Range, Front and Rear Detection||Long Range|
|False Filter||Next Gen IVT||IVT Filter|
|Red Light & Speed Camera Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Speed-based Auto Mute||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Cobra Rad 380 vs 450: Similarities
If appearance matters in your selection, the first thing you’ll notice is how different these products look. The 380 is all black and has a futuristic appearance, mostly due to its Spring 2020 release. The 450 is a tan with a black top and looks like it has been on the market since 2016. Dim, Sensitivity, and Mute buttons are in the center of both devices. The 450 also includes a menu button on top. A volume wheel is located on the driver’s side for convenience with both designs.
These two devices share a lot of technology, starting with the newest innovation from Cobra called LaserEye. This technology detects laser speed detectors which are becoming more common in police departments across the nation. Laser is in use with police cars using mobile speed tracking, unlike the traditional radar that requires the officer be stopped to get an accurate signal.
These two devices also provide advanced IVT filtering that helps to eliminate false alarms caused by driver assist functions and automatic doors. A significant difference between the two is that the 450 will allow user-updatable IVT databases to continually address new systems introduced by automobile manufacturers.
Both devices offer front and rear detection of common radar bands that includes K, Ka, X, along with laser and VG-2 detection. This combination will cover any and all radar, laser, or lidar detectors in use and will also give you protection from other sources, like aircraft.
From there, these two radar detectors differ a fair amount. Next, we will get into the features of the Cobra Rad 450 that make it superior to the Cobra Rad 380.
Cobra Rad 380
- Excellent option for city driving due to advanced IVT filter
- Provides a good level of protection for an affordable price
- No instant-on protection or long range antenna
- No GPS, WiFi, or voice control
Both of these devices are advertised with a detection range exceeding two miles. In testing, we found that the 450, which includes a long range antenna, had better range in real-world situations. While driving on curving roads or in areas with tall buildings, the 450 often alerted quicker to threats than the 380.
Of course, both units will alert you to the presence of radar and laser speed searches. The difference here is that the 450 is capable of providing voice alerts, while the 380 will only provide coded beeps. Click here for our more detailed Cobra RAD 380 review.
Only the 450 offers QuietRide mode that intelligently monitors when you are in high threat and low threat areas to adjust the frequency of alerts to an appropriate level.
Cobra Rad 450
- A fully featured radar detector at a competitive price
- An oldie but a goodie
- IVT filtering isn’t as excellent as some of the newer models
- Doesn’t look good with black interiors
There is little functional difference between the displays. The 380 uses a low-cost color display, while the 450 provides a similar OLED display. Neither are particularly notable and both are easy to use and understand while driving.
The newest radar detectors don’t send a signal immediately. Instead, the operator can keep the detector off until it is ready to use, when it instantly turns on and sends a signal. Only the 450 allows for protection from these radar detectors.
What Separates the Cobra Rad 450 from the 380
In actual practice, the Cobra Rad 450 is superior to the 380 in a few ways. When using it around town, the 450 does an excellent job of eliminating false alerts and correctly identifying possible threats. The 380 does nearly as good of a job, but needed the sensitivity turned down to get the same results as the 450 without risk of losing range by dropping the sensitivity.
Voice alerts are much better than annoying beeping. The voice alerts let you know right away exactly what is happening and how to prepare for the next step. It works in English and Spanish. The 450 also allows for audible signal strength alerts that help you understand the level of threat you are facing.
Given the choice between these two, the 450 is only a few dollars more expensive and offers several significant advantages. We like using QuietRide mode and find that the IVT filtering, though older, tends to work very well. The option to have adjustable, dual-language voice alerts and adjustable audible signals makes the 450 a more complete package than the somewhat rudimentary 380. (>>> Check on Amazon)