Cobra RAD 480i vs 450

Cobra is a well-know and well-respected leader in the manufacture of laser/radar detectors. Having either one of these detectors, the RAD 480i or the RAD 450, installed in your vehicle can help you avoid speeding tickets, whether you are intentionally, or accidentally, exceeding the posted speed limit. At some point in their driving life, all drivers will exceed the speed limit.

Having an early warning Cobra radar detector can keep you from receiving an expensive traffic citation. So which one will be best for you? This review will compare differences as well as the benefits of Cobra’s RAD 480i and Cobra’s RAD 450 (>>> Find on Amazon).

Cobra RAD 480i vs 450 Side by Side:

Cobra RAD 480iCobra RAD 450
RangeLong Range, Front and Rear DetectionLong Range
Built-in GPSNoNo
DisplayMulti-color OLEDOLED
False FilterNext Gen IVTIVT Filter
Red Light & Speed Camera AlertsYesYes
Speed-based Auto MuteYesYes
Bluetooth connectivityYesNo
Price Find on Amazon Find on Amazon


Without a doubt, range is the most important feature of any radar detector. If your detector cannot warn you far enough in advance of an operating police radar so that you can react to it, what good is the detector doing you? A detector’s range is dependent on the quality of its antenna(s).

Better Detector for Range: Cobra RAD 480i


If your choice of detector lacks outstanding sensitivity, you will not be comfortable relying on it and its ability to warn you of operating police radars. Strong sensitivity is therefore a vital component of a good quality radar detector. Additionally, the detector’s sensitivity should be user-adjustable, having different modes of operation for different driving situations.

Better Detector for Sensitivity: Cobra RAD 450

Voice and Visual Alerting

Most detectors alert the driver to presence of a radar signal with a flashing light or tone. Other detectors go one step further by adding a voice alert. This is important because the driver does not have to take his or her eyes off the road to see what their radar detector has picked up on.

Better Detector for Voice and Visual Alerting: Cobra RAD 480i (due to volume adjustability)

Bluetooth Connectivity

Being able to integrate your radar detector with your smartphone is an additional benefit. Being able to do this will allow for the transfer of information from other drivers using Cobra radar detectors concerning speed traps or traffic hazards in real-time. Also, by being able to connect to your smartphone, the detector doesn’t necessarily require a display screen of its own.

Better Detector for Bluetooth Connectivity: Cobra RAD 480i

GPS Technology

Radar detectors with GPS can calculate speeds, automatically adjust modes of sensitivity, and “mark” locations of radar locations that you commonly pass during your daily drives. Detectors with GPS can also warn drivers if they are exceeding the local speed limits.

Better Detector for GPS Technology: Neither detector has GPS

“Instant-On” Protection

If a radar has been aimed at you, by the time your detector emits its warning it is probably too late to slow down. However, if the radar is only targeted on a car near you, a detector with high K-band sensitivity will pick up the signal and warn you that an “instant-on” radar is being operated near by, giving you time to adjust your speed accordingly.

Better Detector for “Instant-On” Protection: Cobra RAD 480i

Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector

Cobra RAD 480i

The RAD 480i has an easy to read OLED display that displays radar band identification and signal strength. It does not have directional arrows to indicate where the signal is coming from in relation to your vehicle. There are buttons to adjust sensitivity settings, muting alert warnings, and dimming the display. Another pleasing feature is the ability to control alert volume.

Having Cobra’s advanced IVT filtering technology, the 480i does a good job of eliminating false alerts from stationary radars and BSM and CAS (collision avoidance system) systems emanating from newer vehicles you pass on the road. The RAD 480i is also equipped with digital signal processing (DSP), which allows the detector to processes radar signals faster, giving you more time to react to a radar threat.

Because this detector has Bluetooth, you will be able to connect to Cobra’s iRadar app. With the app you will be able to receive updates from other Cobra radar detector owners concerning approaching traffic conditions, enforcement cameras, speed traps, and so on. For our more in-depth review of this detector click here.


  • Long-range radar and laser detection
  • IVT filtering to reduce false alerting
  • DSP technology for faster signal processing
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Voice alerting


  • No WiFi
  • No directional arrows

Cobra RAD 450 Laser Radar Detector

Cobra RAD 450

The RAD 450 detects X, K, and Ka radar bands and six different lasers with great sensitivity and shows you the signal strength of the radars so that you know how close or far away the signal is from your vehicle. In addition to detecting signals in front of your car, it also does a good job of detecting signals behind and off to either side of the vehicle. Equipped with Cobra’s IVT filtering system, it also does a good job of eliminating false alerts from stationary radar sources, like automatic door opening systems on store fronts and Blind Spot Monitoring systems (BSM) found on newer vehicles.

The OLED display is bright and easy to read. It will show band type and signal strength. It has two sensitivity setting, CITY and HIGHWAY. Drivers can also easily set up voice alerting so that they never have to take their eyes off the road. Click here for our more in-depth Cobra RAD 450 review.


  • High sensitivity
  • IVT filtering to reduce false alerts
  • Voice alerting
  • Signal strength meter
  • Easy to read OLED display


  • Low volume for voice alert warnings
  • Detection range could be better
  • No Bluetooth capability


Both of these Cobra detectors are worthy of owning. The Cobra RAD480i gets the edge over the RAD 450 due to its better sensitivity and features such as alert volume adjustability and signal processing speed (>>> Check on Amazon). Although the price of the RAD 480i is slightly higher, the added features more than make up for the additional expense.