As we all know, having to get a speeding ticket is something that has never been fun, and taking steps to make sure that we do not get one is a wise move on our part. And as such, having a good radar detector on the dashboard has become really common among many motorists.
By making use of these little electronic devices that will help detect police radar guns, one can do well to avoid unnecessary fines that may otherwise occur, while one still stays safe. The radar detector is just a small electronic device that scans its surroundings, looking for radio frequencies that are emitted by police speed radars and other hazard devices.
Once this device detects any of the above, it will alert you visually or with a sound or even both.
In this article, we will be giving you a review of the best cordless radar detectors that are available on the market, as this will help you make the right decision when it comes to safe driving.
What is a battery powered or a cordless radar detector?
The battery powered radar detectors come with all the mod-cons of a regular plug-in device, but they do not come with those distracting, annoying cables. All what you need to do is to attach it to your car’s dashboard or its windshield, switch it on and you begin your drive.
These devices are a great accompaniment for the drivers who use multiple cars, since they are very small, easy to transport, and they are also simple to configure. Some models available on the market have a very long battery lifespan, and what this means is that you get more driving time, and you would be required to spend less time pulling over to recharge or switching batteries.
Different Wavelengths and Bands
So that you can get the best results, your radar detector must be sensitive to three main radar frequencies. The X-band radar is the lowest in terms if frequency, but it is high in output, with the radar waves that fall between 7.0 and 11 Gigahertz.
What this means is that it is easy for you to detect at longer distances. Although, the X-band is the oldest type of wavelength that is used in police speed guns and it isn’t widely used again.
Any device that is other than the police radars can produce or emit X-band signals; and most of these devices could be garage door openers, weathering monitoring equipment, blind spot monitoring systems, microwave towers, and many other modern radar technology.
This was adopted by the police service just a few decades ago, K-band is a higher power alternative to the original standard, which is the X-band. The K-band has quite a shorter wavelength, with a frequency of 18 – 27 Gigahertz, and it is in the microwave range of frequencies.
Because of the K-band’s shorter wavelength, the original K-band was been sectioned into three other wavelengths, Ka-band, K-band, and Ku-band.
The Ka-band; this one which was introduced in the year 1983, is what is called the new kid on the block. It has frequencies that are found in the microwave segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. The ka-band is a bit more complex than its contemporaries – the X and K, and it also exists within the frequencies of 26.5 – 40 Gigahertz, so wavelengths over one centimeter to just 7.5 millimeters.
The much older police radar guns that operate on either X or K-bands do so only at the frequencies of 1 or 2. Ka runs on as many as five frequencies. When getting a radar detector, it is prudent that you get the one that can detect as many wavelengths, and that has laser detection.
Best Cordless Radar Detector Reviews
Escort Max 360 Radar Detector
Although, there is a newer version of this model, the Escort Max 360, and it is called the Escort Max 360c, but, in this article, we will stick to calling it the Max 360 since it can be gotten for about $500 at some retailers.
Prices for this model may have declined, but the Max 360c does not really improve on previous model’s functionality too significantly that would make it worth its price. The original Max 360 was already good to start with. It comes equipped with nearly all the features that are available on a radar detector today, and these include dual antennas, directional arrows that help to point out your threats, and smartphone compatibility that work to help you network with other speedsters in your area.
At the core of this device is a powerful digital signal processor (DSP), and this uses a microchip to automatically recognize and prioritize radar bands usually used by law enforcement, making sure that random signals from automatic doors and blind spot detection systems do not interrupt your commute.
In addition to this, the Max 360 boasts of a GPS-powered AutoLearn feature that cuts down on false alerts by logging frivolous emissions and disregarding them the next time you happen to drive by. Escort is very confident in its abilities that it will pay for your first ticket if you are cited while you are using it. That may allow you stretch your car’s wheels a bit more.
One other thing that sets the Max 360 apart from the rest of the models is its community-based protection. It makes use of Bluetooth so it can link itself to smartphones, giving users access to a community-based ticket protection program that is known as Escort Live.
The Escort Live app is a free app for Android and Apple devices, and it is one that alerts you of nearby alerts, red light camera locations, local speed limit data, and even your own overspeed violations.
Escort Solo S3 Radar Detector
The Escort Solo S3 battery powered detector comes with an energy-efficient design, and this it does by using considerably less power than many of the other corded models on the market. It makes use of 2 AA batteries, and these are included in the package, and they can last you for months.
One great feature of this device is its in-built warning circuit for low battery detection that will help to monitor the condition of the battery. If you happen to be running low on power, a visual or audible alert will prompt you, making sure that you have enough time to change them.
There is also a new programmable function that is with this model, and this function is the Auto Power function, and what this function does is it automatically turns the device off when it is not in use, it does this to conserve energy.
When it comes down to radar detection, this improved SOLO S3 model gives a much-needed long-range warning on all radar bands, and this includes the X-band, the K-band, and Superwide Ka-band, meaning that you will get to avoid constant false alarms.
Warnings usually appear on the high-resolution, graphic OLED display that can be found at the front of this device, this has been described by users of this model as both intuitive and easy to use. Clearly displayed, the radar Safety Warning Signals (SWS) and laser signal message show up when it has detected a hazard, as well as audible cues, with up to 64 message alerts.
The SOLO S3 does not take up too much space in your car, its dimensions are 5.25 inches L x 2.9 inches W x 1.16 inches H, and it seats neatly on the windshield or the dashboard of your car.
It comes with nine customizable programs that include the dark mode, signal strength meter, and city mode. What these features do is they adapt the SOLO S3 to your own personal driving style, with all your preferences stores in the memory of this device. If you do not look forward to setting up this device, all you just need to do is to return to the factory settings. Switch it on and then get on with your driving.
Escort 0100034-1 Solo S4 Radar Detector, Black
The Escort Solo S4 cordless radar detector is one great choice for the drivers that move in and out of several cars. It has a long range of 360-degree detection and the VG-2 Alert Systems makes sure to protect it against different frequencies and bands like the X-band, K-band, Super Wide band, the Ka band (33 MHz bandwidth), and the laser band (904 nm).
You can receive the longer warnings, since this particular model comes with the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and the Ultra-Performance Laser Protection, this helps to reduce false alarms from other sources and devices, from longer distances.
It makes use of two standard AA batteries, and these comes as part of the package, and it is also able to provide up to a month of driving protection without needing any replacement. A warning feature within this radar detector tells you when you are running low on battery power through its visual and audible notifications.
Do you need to replace the batteries, but you do not want to lose your programmed settings? Well, that should not be hard to accomplish. Your preferred settings become stored automatically in the memory of the device.
The smart function of the Solo S4 is its Auto Power feature that is fully programmable, and it switches the device off when it is not in use so as to save you some battery use. With a newly updated OLED, high-resolution, easy to read display, this device is intuitive to use and it clearly displays each radar, laser or SWS signal.
This model comes with nine customizable and user programmable features like the SpecDisplay and ExpertMeter modes, and what this means is that it is adaptable to your own personal style of driving. This model is a bit bulkier than the Solo S3 at 5.44 inches L x 3.06 inches W x 1.25 inches H; but, this doesn’t take away from the good quality of this device.
This device has some bonus features that add to its versatility, and these features are the easy to mount slot, 12 Volt power jack for the optional Smartcord, easy release button, mute button, earphone jack, and distinctive power button (PWR).
Whistler XTR-440 Laser/Radar Detector Battery Operated
The Whistler XTR-440 battery powered radar detector cam give you up to 15 hours of continuous use on just a single charge, it comes with a power cord and 3 rechargeable batteries in its kit, you will not be left without a working detector.
With Whistler’s patented VG-2 cloaking technology, this device makes you almost invisible to radar detector detectors. It comes with a 360-degree protection mode that means that this radar detector picks up signals from every angle of your car, from front, back, and the sides.
It has selectable total band protection, and what this means is that it will provide you with band coverage of most laser and radars and this includes the X-band, K-band, Ka-band, VG-2, as well as Safety Radar bands. This is one customizable mode, and this will allow you switch certain band alerts either on or off.
One great feature of this model is the Twin Alert Periscopes that do well to warn the driver with a special visual alert, it consists of two bright LEDs that flash to show alarm. Alongside this feature, the audible alerts will notify you about oncoming threats. It has three city and highway modes that mean that you can customize your alerts depending on where you are driving.
When this device is in Whistler Filter Mode, it can tell false or illegitimate signals. Do not fret if you switch your detector off and then on again, your previous settings become automatically saved on your device’s memory. Another warning feature is the Stay Alert Alarm that does well to test your alertness when driving on long journeys.
The brilliant blue backlit text display gives you a concise and distinctive visual cue to any signals that are detected and the strength of the detected signal. The display can be dimmed according to your personal preference; whether you would like it to stay lit all the time, dimmed while driving at night, or light up only when there are alerts.
Although, this relatively new radar is not for speed detection, there is a useful safety warning system (SWS) that tells you of some highway hazards, urging you to reduce your speed if it is necessary. It can also detect and alert you of hazards like stationary or moving emergency vehicles, oncoming hazards, road construction or even detours.
For your overall driving protection, this is a great device to have at your side.
WHISTLER XTR-543 Battery-Operated Laser Radar Detector
The XTR-543 comes equipped with a 360-degree laser and radar detection, and what this means is that you will receive coverage from all angles. You will be notified by various, distinctive real voice audible warnings for X, K, Ka band radar as well as safety radar, laser, and VG-2.
Safety Alerts, Pulse Warnings, Traffic Warnings, and leading-edge lasers are detected through this device’s front and rear radar antennas and high-gain optical lenses, these add some level of sensitivity to this model.
It has a non-distracting red alphanumeric text display that shows clearly any oncoming hazards. If any threat is detected, two red LED periscope lights that can be found at the top of the device will flash when you are getting an alert.
The incorporated three city and highway modes let you customize just how and when you get your alerts, and this helps to reduce the risk of false encounters in urban places. A bonus feature of this device is the Alert Priority Mode, and what this feature gives is, it displays only the most important warnings, especially if your radar detector gets multiple signals at one time.
The Whistler XTR-543 cordless, battery-powered model comes with an inbuilt charger and compartment that is designed to hold 3 NiMH (rechargeable) batteries. It can hold a charge for up to 15 hours, but it is claimed to only be able to hold up to 6 hours.
Escort Solo S2 Cordless Radar and Laser Detector
The Escort Solo S2 is one cordless model that easily stays on your dashboard or windshield. It has a slimmer design of 1.16 inches H x 2.90 inches W x 5.25 inches L, and what this means is that it is not going to constitute a nuisance to your visuals while driving.
This device’s lack of a power cord is also a bonus to it. Because of its economical design, this device only runs on two AA batteries, and this is included within the kit, it can also provide up to a month of normal driving protection.
Like with other SOLO radar detectors, it gives you notifications when it is running low on battery power, and it will conserve energy through the Autopower function.
It has an LCD screen that makes it easy and simple to use. It comes with backlight technology that helps to adjust automatically so that it keeps the screen visible in different light shades and it is totally programmable.
This model was redesigned to give a long-range warning on all oncoming radar bands, it operates on X-band, K-band, Superwide Ka bands, and multiple laser frequencies. It also comes with a 360-degree laser protection. When it is compared to other designs of the same make, Solo S2 incorporates its patented Digital Signal Processing (DSP) so it will give it longer warnings. This technology is also claimed to prevent false alarms from going off. This detector is very easy to program, with ten features that get stored on the internal memory, letting you customize it to your own style of driving.
Cobra ESD 7570 – The Best Affordable Radar Detector
The Cobra ESD 7570 will not break your bank, but it comes with some serious punch. It is a sleek-looking product and it is also compact it can be mounted to your windshield using suction cups, and it also comes with an easy-to-read display that shows you data clearly even in bright sunlight.
This model’s display is broken up into color-coded sections for the numerous bands that are used by law enforcement so that you can immediately be notified of what it is you are up against.
The city/highway mode is one handy feature. When you are in a densely populated area, store alarms and other signals can sometimes set off a radar detector. Turning on city mode helps to reduce these false alarms. When you are on the highway, especially when you are out in the rural areas, signals almost invariably come from law enforcement; a cactus certainly will not set off a detector. Highway mode takes that into account.
This model’s 360-degree detection that is called the LaserEye helps to detect signals regardless of where they are coming from. The ESD 7570 will alert you if the signal is coming from behind your car. It also comes with safety alerts when it detects the presence of an emergency vehicle, like an ambulance, or when it senses that you are approaching a railroad crossing, among other hazards.
Valentine One V1 – The Best Mid-Range Radar Detector
This model’s interface and display look like they are from the 90s and that is because they are, but the device is one of the best radar detectors on the market. It comes with two rear antennas, an impressive range, and laser detection, this model helps to keep your driving record as clean as a whistle.
The device’s greatest feature is perhaps its directional notifications of upcoming radar signals. While many radar detectors on the market only alert the driver of radar signals in the local area, Valentine One’s model tells the driver of the exact direction the radar signal is coming from. Making use of a front and rear radar antenna, drivers can see just where a speed reading is coming from and what kind of band it is using.
If the arrow on the top of the device activates and the Ka category lights up, a police speed trap lies ahead of you. You will know you have passed it once the arrow pointing down lights up. The Valentine One makers held a patent on arrow indicators until the year 2011, and the Escort Max 360 features a similar system.
Even a radar detector as impressive and as helpful as the Valentine One comes with a few downsides. While this drawback is not totally damning of the product completely, it does tend to overachieve when it comes to searching for radar signals, even when it comes to non-police radars, they have a tendency to set off the device. But such a drawback on an otherwise great model should not make you turn away from making this your go-to radar detector.
In fact, many people would rather have a radar that overcompensates at its job than one that fails to alert you even the most obvious speed traps.
This device also comes with the ability to turn off the X or K band detectors, though, you should proceed with caution as some police still make use of the lesser-utilized K band from time to time. With reliable, straightforward alerts and its unique arrow display system, the Valentine One Radar Locator is at the top of its class.
Escort IX – The Best Mid-Range Radar Detector
Although the name of this model suggests that it is an old car equipped with an even newer and stronger car’s all-wheel drive system, the Escort IX is one radar detector that is tailor-made for long-range detection. It is well suited to remote areas like the Nevada desert or the Great Plains, since it detects speed traps from far away.
When this device goes off, you know that there is a law enforcement officer in the area. The IX’s early warning gives you enough time for you to slow down to a more allowed speed, and its easy to read display tells you just how much speed you need to cut down on.
The IX’s multiple sensors detect X-band, K-band, and Super Wide Ka-band, even if the officer is using some highly alert technology. It is also smart, this device. Its Intelligent AutoLearn technology relies on GPS and frequency data to reject false alarms and also learn their location so that it does not go off the next time you drive past them.
It also comes with an inbuilt IVT filter, and this feature helps to reduce false alarms caused by in-vehicle technology like the adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems. This certainly was not a problem a few years ago, but it has become a real issue since cars get more and more technologically advanced.
Users of this model can synch it with the Escort Live application so they can receive crowd-sourced real-time alerts of speed traps, red light cameras, and other traffic-related threats. The app is compatible with Android and Apple devices, and it is free.
There are no two people that drive the same way, so, when you are trying to get a radar detector, make sure that you get one that is adjustable to your driving style. We hope that with this guide, you have been able to get sufficient guide toward your ideal cordless radar detector.