The Best Radar Detectors Under $200 Ranked (2021)

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If you are prone to getting speeding tickets, you’ve probably thought about investing in a radar detector. These devices are an excellent investment for people hoping to avoid speeding tickets, and they aren’t as expensive as you might think.

There are plenty of expensive radar detectors on the market packed with premium features, but there are some decent options available under $200, too. In this article, we take a look at the basic things you need to know about radar detectors and three of the best devices out there in this affordable price range.

How Does a Radar Detector Work?

Radar detectors are complex pieces of equipment. Each model is unique, and there are some variations among the different price ranges, but generally, they all work on the same principle.

Every radar detector acts as a sensor, alerting you when a cop is using a radar gun (and, in some cases, a laser gun) in the area you’re traveling. The radar gun emits a specific electromagnetic frequency the radar detector picks up on.

This explanation is straightforward, but it gives you a basic idea of what you can expect from the best radar detectors under $200.

Everyone is guilty of having a lead foot every once in a while, but if you want a little added protection to avoid a speeding ticket, a radar detector is the way to go. If having a radar detector that costs you less than $200 saves you from a few speeding tickets, it more than pays for itself.

Now, let’s get to the best radar detectors under $200:

Our Top Pick
Cobra RAD 480i
Cobra RAD 480i

$149

  • Long Range
  • Multi-Band & Laser
  • DSP
  • Bluetooth
  • OLED Display
Best Value
Uniden DFR9
Uniden DFR9

$198

  • GPS-Enabled
  • Full-Color OLED Display
  • Super Long range
  • Multi-Band & Laser
  • Voice Alerts
Best Budget
Cobra RAD 380
Cobra RAD 380

$99

  • Multi-Band & Laser
  • DSP
  • False Alert Filtering

1. Cobra RAD 480i

Cobra RAD 480i

$149.95 in stock
Shareasale Cobra Electronics
Last update was on: September 16, 2021 10:14 am

Features:

  • Long-range detection
  • Multi-band radar and laser detection
  • Digital signal processing for fast alerts
  • LaserEye protection
  • Dimmable, easy-to-read white OLED screen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • English or Spanish text display
  • False alert filtering

Review:

One of the most impressive things about the Cobra RAD 480i is the lightning-fast processor. It quickly alerts you when it picks up on a threat and provides long-range detection. Plus, Cobra’s LaserEye covers you from the front and back, and there’s multi-band radar and laser detection, so you’re covered no matter what technology the police are using.

The OLED screen features a white background, so it’s effortless to read. It shows you the type of band it’s picking up as well as the strength. You don’t get too many customization options, but you can choose between English and Spanish text display and dim the screen at night.

There are a few options for alerts, too. Choose from an audible tone or voice warnings, and use the mute button for quick silencing or QuietDrive when you don’t want to be interrupted.

The RAD 480i also has anti-falsing circuitry that helps filter out false alarms from automatic door openers and other radar detectors in the area. Plus, the second-generation in-vehicle technology filter prevents alerts from collision avoidance systems and cruise control from cars around you on the road.

Bluetooth connectivity means you can connect this device to your smartphone and take advantage of the iRadar app. Using the app greatly expands what you can do with the RAD 480i. It alerts you to speed and red light cameras and work zones, accidents, and other road hazards. The app is free to download, but you need a subscription to take advantage of all of its features. That said, Cobra includes a one-year trial with purchase, so you can try it out for a full 12 months before you have to decide whether to renew.

Pros
  • Connects to the iRadar app with Bluetooth
  • Long-range detection and fast alerts
  • Minimal false alarms
  • Easy-to-read display
Cons
  • Need to subscribe to the app to get the most out of it
  • No GPS

2. Uniden DFR9

Uniden DFR9 Super Long Range Laser and Radar Detection, Built-In GPS for Red Light Cameras and Speed Camera Alerts, Easy...

1 used from $395.46
Last update was on: October 16, 2021 4:47 pm
in stock
$199.00 $299.99

Features:

  • Advance K and Ka band filter
  • Multi-band and laser signal detection
  • Equipped with GPS
  • Pre-loaded hazard alerts
  • Super long-range detection
  • Voice alerts
  • Full-color OLED display

Review:

The Uniden DFR9 is another great option if you’re looking for a radar detector under $200. One of the most impressive things about it is its built-in GPS. This feature lets you mark points along your route that you want to be alerted to, whether it’s the location of a red light camera, a speed trap, or a school zone. GPS also lets you silence common false alarms from going off every time you pass them on your normal routes.

With super long-range detection and advanced false alert filtering, you only get the alerts you need to hear in time to make adjustments to how you’re driving. Front and rear detection have you covered whether you’re coming or going, and with the pre-loaded speed camera and red light alerts, you can be sure to drive safely, even on unfamiliar routes.

Another great thing about the DFR9 is that it has voice alerts that allow for hands-free operation. You can program what you need to ensure that you aren’t distracted while driving. Or, use the full-color OLED display to find out your altitude, speed, and the band frequency and strength of the radar it’s picking up.

This radar detector includes some nice accessories, too, like a cigarette adapter with a mute button, a dual suction windshield mounting bracket, a USB cord, and a carrying case.

Pros
  • Voice alerts for safe, hands-free operation
  • Remember muted alarms
  • Mark customized points along your routes
  • Filters out most false alarms
  • Displays signal strength
Cons
  • No Bluetooth
  • Still alerts for some user marks

3. Cobra RAD 380 – Best On a Budget

Cobra RAD 380

$99.95 in stock
Shareasale Cobra Electronics
Last update was on: September 16, 2021 10:14 am

Features:

  • Multiple bands and laser radar detection
  • Digital signal processing for fast alerts
  • LaserEye protection
  • False alert filtering
  • City and highway modes

Review:

If you’re looking for something that’s really budget-friendly, take a look at the Cobra RAD 380. This one is our pick for best on a budget, and although it’s a pretty basic design, it does a pretty good job at helping you avoid speeding tickets.

The RAD 380 tracks multiple radar and laser bands using LaserEye, covering you from the front and rear. It was designed to filter out false alarms coming from the in-vehicle technology from other vehicles and things along the road, like automatic doors or digital billboards, and has fast digital signal processing, so you know about threats in time to alter your driving. You can also adjust the sensitivity to control what you hear while on the go.

Although simple, the design is intuitive and sleek. The full-color display shows you the type and strength of the band it’s detecting, along with playing unique tones for different signals and strengths. Plus, there are easy-to-use buttons to adjust the sensitivity, dim the display, and mute alarms.

The RAD 380 includes a dual suction cup mount, hook-and-loop pad for dashboard mounting, a straight power cord, and a 12V power adapter.

Pros
  • Front and rear monitoring
  • Displays signal strength
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Very Affordable
Cons
  • No GPS
  • No Bluetooth
  • No advanced features

Final Words

While these three radar detectors are great options for under $200, we recommend avoiding any other models in this price range. Most of them don’t measure up, but these three perform well.

If you have a little more to spend, check out the best radar detectors under $300. Radar detectors in this price range are a sort of sweet spot. They’re a little more reliable than cheaper options, but they aren’t loaded with features that put them into a higher price range.

With most $300 radar detectors, you can expect features like GPS, Bluetooth, longer range, and fewer false alerts. They usually have better tech, more functional displays, and are more reliable in general. Plus, some models in the under $300 price range will also offer a one-year no-ticket guarantee.

Again, the three models we covered here work well and are good choices if you want a good radar detector for under $200. Most of the others in this price range aren’t worth a second look. But if you’re willing to spend just a little more money, look for those that cost between $200 and $300 for a little more reliability and some advanced features.

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