The Best Radar Detector For Every Budget In 2021

If you’re in the market for a radar detector, you might think you have to spend a lot of money to get one that’s worth the investment. Well, we’re here to show you that there are decent radar detectors out there no matter what your budget.

Here are nine great models to choose from across all price ranges to help you find the right radar detector for you.

Under $100: Cobra RAD 380

Cobra RAD 380

$99.95 in stock
Shareasale Cobra Electronics
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Detects multiple radar bands
  • Detects laser signals from the front and rear
  • City and highway modes
  • Shows numerical signal strength on display
  • Auto-mute and manual sensitivity adjustment
  • Includes suction-cup mount, hook-and-loop fastener dashboard mount, vehicle power adapter

Review

For under $100, the Cobra RAD 380 gives you the basic protection you need to avoid speeding tickets. It has an extended range for wide coverage and anti-falsing circuitry to help minimize false alarms. Not only does it track multiple laser and radar bands, but it also delivers warnings fast using digital signal processing.

The display is very simple, showing you only the radar band and signal strength. It’s easy to read and has a simple dimming button so you can adjust as needed for day and night driving. There are digital audio alerts, too, including signal strength, if you prefer to get warnings that way, and mute and auto-mute features if you don’t.

See our guide on more radar detectors under $100 here.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple design with effective performance
  • Good range for the price
  • Effective false-signal filtering

Cons

  • No advanced features
  • No Bluetooth or wifi capabilities

Under $200: Cobra RAD 480i

Cobra RAD 480i

$149.95 in stock
Shareasale Cobra Electronics
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Detects X-band, K-band, Ka-band
  • Front and rear laser detection
  • iRadar app compatibility
  • Long-range detection
  • Bluetooth capabilities and iRadar app compatibility
  • Advanced false alarm filtering
  • Includes 12V power cord, suction-cup windshield mount, hook-and-loop fastener for dashboard mounting

Review

If you have a little bit more money to spend, take a look at the Cobra RAD 480i. This radar detector doesn’t have the advanced features you get with some more expensive options but does have some features that the less expensive options don’t.

One of the most useful upgrades on this model in this price range is that the RAD 480i has Bluetooth capabilities. So, while the radar detector itself doesn’t have GPS, you can connect it to your smartphone and use GPS that way. Connecting it to your smartphone also means that you can take advantage of the iRadar app for crowd-sourced notifications of radars and speed cameras.

Another great thing about this model is that it allows you to mark certain locations along commonly used routes, though, unlike more expensive models, the RAD 480i doesn’t have a lock-out feature. So, you can mark the spot where you know cops commonly sit to catch speeders, but you can’t lock out the alert from the automatic door that you pass on your way to work every morning.

Some things help you avoid false alarms, though. The RAD 480i has in-vehicle technology or ITV filtering, which prevents things like blind-spot monitoring from setting off a false alarm.

As for range, it’s pretty decent for the price, but this one has a hard time when there are obstacles in the way. But, if you’re looking for something decent and affordable to use on open highways or country roads, this is a good choice. We have more radar detectors under $200 here.

Pros

  • Can turn off X-band protection if not needed to prevent some false alerts
  • Bluetooth ready to connect to your smartphone
  • Access to the iRadar app
  • Performs well on the open road

Cons

  • No GPS capabilities
  • Not as effective when there are obstacles present

Under $300: Uniden R3

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Uniden R3

& Free shipping
Last update was on: September 14, 2021 10:22 am
$299.99 $399.99

Features

  • Impressive range and sensitivity
  • Advanced false alert filtering
  • Full control over X, K, and Ka-band monitoring
  • Also picks up MultaRadar and laser
  • GPS capabilities
  • Low-speed muting
  • Pre-loaded red light and speed camera alerts and database updates
  • Easy-to-red multi-color OLED display
  • Voice alerts

Review

There are a lot of great radar detectors out there in this price range, and one of the most popular is the Uniden R3. It has many features that you won’t see in less expensive models without the high-end features that drive up the cost. While the Uniden R3 isn’t cheap, it’s still within reach for many people, and if it saves you from a single speeding ticket, it easily pays for itself.

One of the things that the R3 has that previously mentioned models don’t is GPS capabilities that allow you to program lockouts. This feature is one of the best ways to quiet false alarms because you can block out stationary signals that always cause an alert along commonly traveled routes, like automatic doors. You can also mark locations of importance, like common speed traps and speed cameras. The R3 can hold up to 500 lockouts, which is a pretty decent number but not nearly as much as you get with higher-end models.

You can use the R3 to pick up multiple bands and laser, and you get total control over the X, K, and Ka-band, which means you can adjust the sensitivity to lessen the chances of false alarms. Say you know that the corner store uses K-band for its automatic doors. You can lower the sensitivity for K-band to prevent the radar detector from going off every time you pass it.

The R3 has low-speed muting, too, so it automatically turns off certain alarms when you’re traveling below the speed limit. If you want to hear alerts no matter what your speed, you can easily turn this feature off.

With the user-friendly design, impressive accuracy, and long-range detection, the R3 is one of the best models out there in its price range. If you want to see some other great options in this price range, check out our other picks.

Pros

  • Excellent range and sensitivity for the price
  • Easy-to-use design
  • GPS capabilities
  • Lock-out and mark points along your route
  • A lot of features to control false alarms

Cons

  • Some trouble with MultaRadar detection
  • No directional arrows on the display
  • Only holds 500 lockouts

Under $400: ESCORT MAX 3

ESCORT MAX 3

$369.95 in stock
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Premium range and advanced filtering
  • Auto-learn technology adjusts to your driving style
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Compatible with Escort Live app
  • Detects X, K, and Ka-band radar signals and multiple laser threats
  • Easy-to-read multi-color OLED display

Review

Once you get up into this price range, you start to see some pretty impressive features that show you what a radar detector can really do. Take, for example, the Escort Max 3. One of the most impressive features of this model is its auto-learn technology. It uses GPS, AutoSensitivity, and IVT to automatically filter out false alarms by considering your vehicle speed and the route you’re traveling.

The MAX 3 uses advanced sensors that read signatures in each signal it encounters and weeds out false alarms when it finds them. Plus, it’s invisible to VG-2 radar detector detection, so you can use it without the police knowing.

With the Escort Live app, you get crowdsourced real-time alerts of any threats in your area, and you can contribute your own police sightings or other hazards. Another great feature of the Escort Live app is that it notifies you of any sudden changes in the speed limit, so you’re never caught by surprise.

The Max 3’s OLED display is simple yet gives you all the basic information you need to stay informed. You’ll see the speed limit, your current speed, the type of signal it’s picking up on, and the signal strength. You can choose the background color, so it’s easy for you to read, too. This radar detector also has English and Spanish voice alerts if you prefer to get your notifications that way.

Pros

  • Auto-learn technology automatically adjusts to your driving route and speed
  • Invisible to VG-2 radar-detector detection
  • Simple and easy-to-read OLED display
  • English and Spanish voice alerts

Cons

  • Yearly subscription required for Escort Live app after three-month free trial
  • Need to use the app to get the most out of the Max 3

Under $400 Runner-Up: Cobra DualPro 360°

Cobra DualPro 360

$349.95 in stock
Shareasale Cobra Electronics
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Front and rear detection with 360° directional alert arrows
  • Auto-learn uses five filters to eliminate false alarms
  • iRadar app and cloud connectivity
  • High-resolution easy-to-read display

Review

Another great option in this price range that we had to mention is the Cobra DualPro 360°. It features a lot of great features that make it an innovative and effective choice. It has two antennas to detect threats from the front and back and gives you true 360-degree detection with directional alerts. All you have to do is take a quick look at the easy-to-read OLED display, and you get all the info you need to stay safe on the road.

One of the most impressive things about this radar detector is that it uses five levels of auto-learn filtration to help eliminate any false alarms. You can connect it to your smartphone using Bluetooth and use the iRadar app to get alerts provided by other users. Cobra also offers an additional subscription service that updates weekly to tell you the locations of speed cameras, red-light cameras, air patrol zones, and average speed limits across the US and Canada.

This model has a lot of ways to customize it to your liking, too. You can choose voice alerts in both English and Spanish, and you can mark locations so that you get a warning when you approach them again in the future. Use the simple interface and button controls to the X and K band sensitivity and range, and set lockouts along your route to avoid common false alarms.

With advanced accuracy, intelligent filtering, and instant notifications, you’ll be well-prepared for traveling anywhere.

Pros

  • Filters out false alarms
  • 360-degree front and back detection
  • Easy to use
  • Dual language voice alerts
  • Adjustable sensitivity and range for X and K bands

Cons

  • Occasional Bluetooth and connectivity issues
  • App is required for most advanced features

Under $500: Uniden R7

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Uniden R7

& Free shipping
Last update was on: September 14, 2021 10:22 am

Features

  • Excellent range and sensitivity
  • Dual antennas for 360-degree coverage
  • Displays directional arrows, signal strength, and band
  • Advanced filtering for false alerts
  • GPS capabilities, including false alarm lockouts
  • Programmable voice alerts

Review

The Uniden R7 is a great example of what you can get when you’re willing to spend just a little more money. It has an impressive range and dual antennas to increase accuracy. It detects laser, MRCD, Ka, K, and X-band, prioritizing them in that order, and can pick up on four bands at one time. You can even customize the tones, including changing the sensitivity for the X, K, and Ka bands.

GPS capabilities let you mark points along your route where you commonly encounter alerts so you can remind yourself of speed traps, red-light cameras, and more. You can also set up GPS lockouts as with previous radar detectors in this review with the big difference being that you can store up to 2,000 instead of the 500 we saw in cheaper models.

The screen is easy to read, but still gives you a lot of information, including the type of band, band strength, and the direction from which the radar is coming. It has auto-dim, so you don’t have to worry about changing any settings if you go through a tunnel or drive from daylight to dusk and into the night.

Pros

  • Detects multiple bands and laser, up to four at one time
  • Excellent range and sensitivity
  • Stores up to 2,000 lockouts
  • Auto-dim OLED display is customizable

Cons

  • No Bluetooth capabilities
  • No compatible app

Under $600: K40 Platinum100

  • Product
  • Features
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K40 Platinum100

& Free shipping
Last update was on: September 14, 2021 10:22 am

Features

  • Impressive long-range detection
  • Remote control
  • GPS capabilities
  • K-band, Ka-band, and traffic sensor filters
  • Radar band sensitivity selection

Review

At this price point, you’re looking at some of the best radar detectors out there with excellent performance and reliability as well as extra features that take radar detection to the next level. The K40 Platinum100 is a perfect example of what you can expect when you’re willing to pay a little more.

The Platinum100 features a low noise amplifier to increase both sensitivity and range. GPS capabilities let you mark locations and set lockouts along your route, and it tracks how fast you drive and alerts you when you exceed a preselected speed.

This model also has a powerful CPU, which makes it more responsive and gives you a lot of opportunities to customize the settings. One of the best features of the Platinum100 is that it gives you a lot of control over when you hear alerts. Use Quiet Ride to turn off all alarms when traveling below a preselected speed and use the automatic filter to get the preset settings for the right amount of protection.

For help avoiding false alarms, the Platinum100 has a K-band, Ka-band, and traffic sensor filter, and you can choose the band sensitivity and range to determine which bands you want to get warnings for. And don’t worry, this radar detector picks up on lasers, too.

Pros

  • Remote for hands-free control
  • Multiple ways to customize performance
  • Impressive range, speed, and performance
  • Ticket-free guarantee

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get all options set to your liking

Under $700: ESCORT MAX 360c

ESCORT MAX 360c

$649.95 in stock
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Built-in WiFi
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Fast response time
  • Front and rear detection
  • Rapid Scan & Digital Signal Processing
  • Anti-falsing technology
  • Hands-free operations

Review

The Escort MAX360c is one of the best radar detectors on the market. If you have room in your budget, it’s a strong contender. The brand claims this model is the first radar and laser detector that connects to a vehicle’s WiFi.

That’s right, this radar detector is WiFi enabled, and if you have WiFi in your car, it updates through your car’s connection and connects to Escort Live, the app used by Escort for updates on traffic conditions, speed traps, and other road hazards. If you don’t have WiFi in your vehicle, the MAX360c also has built-in Bluetooth so you can connect it to your smartphone.

This radar detector uses Rapid Scan and Digital Signal Processing for a fast response time, alerting you to any radar or laser almost immediately. As for false alerts, the MAX360c uses auto-learn and auto-falsing technology that uses GPS and signal frequencies to automatically store and block any false alerts.

Pros

  • Comes with a one-year limited no-ticket guarantee
  • Excellent range and sensitivity
  • Blocks false alarms

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to set up
  • Is not compatible with all wifi connections

Top-of-the-Line: ESCORT REDLINE 360c

ESCORT Redline 360c

$749.95 in stock
Last update was on: September 1, 2021 3:33 pm

Features

  • Built-in WiFi
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Processor that’s 25 times more powerful than previous models
  • 360-degree detection
  • Two front antennas and one rear antenna
  • Artificial intelligence-assisted false alert filtering
  • Stealth capabilities

Review

If price is not a concern, and you want something top-of-the-line, check out the Escort Redline 360c.

This radar has an insanely quick processor that gives you faster alerts than competitive models. Combine that with its incredible range, and you’ll always know when there’s a nearby threat and what direction it’s coming from.

Another reason it’s so accurate is that it uses three antennas –  two in the front and one in the back – for impressive coverage you won’t find on less expensive models. Whether the threat is coming from the front, back, or sides, you’ll know about it in time to adjust your speed. Believe it or not, this radar detector boasts a location accuracy of 2.5 meters.

To make sure you don’t get any false alerts, the Redline 360c uses artificial intelligence-assisted filtering. This filtering identifies the different layers of K-band, Ka-band, X-band, and laser bands and, combined with its GPS capabilities, keeps false alerts at a minimum.

Auto-learn technology learns the routes you take and integrates programmed lockouts so you get a quieter ride when traveling on familiar routes. This radar detector also has stealth capabilities, meaning that it’s undetectable to radar detector detectors.

In addition to all of that, this model also has built-in WiFi, letting you access the Escort Live community to get shared traffic and radar alerts in real-time, without having to connect to your smartphone.

That said, the Redline 360c also has Bluetooth, so you can still take advantage of the app if you don’t have WiFi in your vehicle. Bluetooth also lets you adjust the settings on the radar detector so you can make quick and easy adjustments on the go.

Pros

  • Speeding ticket guarantee
  • Connect to Escort Live app through Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Three antennas
  • Best-in-class range and accuracy

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can be difficult to set up initially

Final Words

As you can see, you don’t have to break the bank to get a decent radar detector, and there are plenty of feature-filled options available if you have a little more money to spend. Take a closer look at these models and choose the one that suits both your needs and budget.

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