As we all know, having to get a speeding ticket is something that has never been fun. Taking steps to make sure that you don’t get one is a wise move on your part. Having the best cordless radar detector on your dashboard has become really common among many motorists.
By using a radar detector, you can avoid fines while staying 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, with a sound or even both.
Let’s take a look at the best cordless radar detectors on the market.
Best Cordless Radar Detector Quick Chart
Top Cordless Radar Detector Reviews
Escort Max 360 Best Features
This model is equipped with nearly all the features that you can get on a radar detector. It includes two antennae, directional arrows that help to point out the potential radar, and smartphone connectivity.
This model has a feature called the Digital Signal Processor (DSP for short) that works with the help of a microchip. It alerts you to multiple radar bands mostly used by law enforcement. It screens out automatic doors with erratic signals and some blind spot detection systems to avoid false positives.
Also, this device comes with an AutoLearn system. We love this feature. It works by using GPS to track the common routes you take to work or school. It learns your route and the random signals along your route. The Escort 360 then dismisses common signals to reduce false readings.
The manufacturers are so confident in this radar detectors abilities, they will pay your ticket if you get one while using it on your commute.
One other feature that makes this device separate from the rest of the models is its protection feature that involves a community of users.
It makes use of Bluetooth so that you can link it easily to your smartphone, and then you can upload and share info in the ticket protection program. The online community supported by the App and radar detector is called Escort Live.
The Escort Live app is a free app for both Android and Apple devices. It alerts you of any issues in close proximity, local speeding limit information, red light speed camera positions, and even your own speeding violations.
This model’s design and display have a 90s look, but the device is one of the best radar detector models available on the market. It comes with two antennas, an impressive scope, and laser detection. This handy cordless detector helps you keep your driving record clean.
One beautiful thing about this design is its ability to notify you of radar signals in close proximity. Most radar detector models on the market only notify you of any signal that is within your general area. We love that this Valentine One model tells you the exact direction of the radar signal. With the two antennas, you’ll be able to see just where the speed signal is reading from and the type of band that is being used.
Valentine One V1 Best Features
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.
As with any device, there are always advantages and disadvantages, and this model is no different. Just like any other cordless radar detector, the Valentine One can give off false alerts. But such a drawback on such a great model should not make you look away from choosing this device as your detector.
The fact is, many people would instead want to own a radar that delivers some false alarms than a device that fails to notify the driver of speed traps and cameras.
The X and K band radar detectors can also be turned off. Be careful: some law enforcement agents still make use of the old bands because they haven’t upgraded to the Ka-Band. This device’s dependability and reliability when it comes to its notifications and its display system makes it one of the top brands.
Test Radar Detector – Valentine One
Check out this video below where the Valentine One is in Action!
The Escort IX radar detector is specially designed so that it can detect radar at long distances. It is great for non-urban areas like the Great Plains or highway/freeway driving since it detects speed traps and radar from long distances.
Once this device is set off, you should know that there are police in the area. The IX’s comes with an early warning feature that tells you beforehand that you would need to reduce your speed. The easy to read speed display helps you to know just how much speed you would need to shave off to avoid getting an expensive ticket.
Escort IX Best Features
The IX is able to detect X-band, Super Wide, K-band with its multiple sensors. With the device’s Intelligent AutoLearn system that employs the help of GPS and frequency data, it learns trouble areas where there are a ton of random signals or false positives, and ignores them.
It also comes with an inbuilt IVT filter, and this feature helps to reduce incorrect notifications that can be set off by the certain systems that help to reduce collisions and reduce your driving speed. This certainly was not an issue a few years before, but slowly, this became a problem since cars are becoming more technologically advanced.
Users of this model can sync it with the App that comes with this device so that they will be alerted by a community of Escort Owners and App Users. This cloud based app notifies you of speed traps and other important things so that you do not err on the side of the law. This free app can be used with both Apple and Android devices.
We love this model because of the integrated GPS and red light camera alerts. I hate getting caught for running a red, so this unit from Uniden will keep you from getting those nasty tickets in the mail. It’s a corded model, so we can’t say its cordless, but its performance is top notch so we decided to include it.
With the GPS you can mark up to 500 areas where you see radar or police and then this unit will warn you as you approach the area through handy voice notification. Low speed muting of the notifications is a feature on this model. False warnings are very limited with this model: the Uniden R3’s accuracy at detecting Ka signals from even up to a mile away is extremely good.
This model needs to be tuned after you received it by reducing sensitive especially for city driving. This will avoid false positives and random notification signals. Currently, the Uniden R3 doesn’t have an app like the Valentine One. If that’s a must have for you, then check out the other cordless radar detectors on this list that are App ready.
The Escort Solo S4 cordless radar detector is a great long distance workhorse. Perfect for drivers that do a ton of highway and freeway driving. It has a long range of 360-degree detection and the VG-2 Alert Systems makes sure to protect you 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 long distance, 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. Those batteries last nearly a month of driving protection without needing replacement. A warning feature within this radar detector tells you when you are running low on battery power through its visual and audible notifications.
Because your preferred programmed settings are stored in the memory, changing out the batteries doesn’t result in any loss of your data!
Solo S4 Best Features
The smart function of the Solo S4 is its Auto Power feature that is fully programmable. It switches off when it is not in use saving battery power. With a newly updated OLED, high-resolution, easy to read display, this device is easy 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. It’s 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 way from the good quality of this device.
This device has some bonus features that add to its versatility. 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).
The Whistler Radar Detector XTR-543 comes equipped with a 360-degree laser and radar detection. You get coverage from all angles. You’ll 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 features make this one of the most sensitive radar detectors on the market.
XTR Best Features
It has a non-distracting red alphanumeric text display that clearly shows you any oncoming hazards. If any threat is detected, a two red LED periscope light alert will flash form the top of the unit.
The incorporated three city and highway modes let you customize just how and when you get your alerts. This helps to reduce the risk of false alarms in urban areas. A bonus feature of this device is the Alert Priority Mode. 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.
This device – Cobra ESD 7570 – won’t make you dig your hands deep into your pockets, but it comes with some serious punch. It’s a sleek-looking product with a compact suction cup windshield mounting system. It also comes with a display that you can easily see, giving you data even under the glaring sun.
This model’s display has several sections that come in certain colors for the various radar bands that police use. You’ll be immediately notified of what you’re up against.
Cobra’s Best Features
We love the city or highway driving feature on this budget model. When you are in a densely populated area, there are certain other things that could set off your radar detector. This includes things like store alarms. When you set your radar detector to city mode, it reduces these fake alarms.
When you are on the highway or freeway, false alarms aren’t common. Radar Signals almost always come from law enforcement and police. When you are on the highway mode, this is taken into account.
This model’s 360-degree revolution that is called the LaserEye helps to detect signals, regardless of the direction they are coming from. The ESD 7570 will alert you if the signal is coming from behind your vehicle. This device comes with safety notifications and detects emergency vehicles, like an ambulance. Railway crossings are another hazard that the Cobra Cordless radar detector will alert you to.
Cordless Radar Detector Buyer’s Guide
What is a battery powered or a cordless radar detector?
Battery powered radar detectors come with all the same features of a regular plug-in device, minus the annoying cables. All what you need to do is to attach it to your car’s dashboard or windshield and switch it on.
These devices are great for drivers with multiple cars, since they are very small, easy to transport, simple to switch over and a breeze to configure. Some models available on the market have a very long battery life. You don’t have to worry about your radar detector dying on you in the middle of your long drive. This saves you time because your not having to pull over to recharge or to switch batteries.
How Do Radar Guns Work?
Radar guns measure speed of moving objects using microwaves and are used by law enforcement to determine if someone is going over the posted speed limit. They are handheld or can be mounted to the police car. Nowadays, police use laser based radar guns with LIDAR technology to measure the speed of oncoming cars.
Radar guns send out a signal which then bounces off objects like your vehicle. That signal then bounces back to the radar gun and reads off a speed measurement. The faster the signal comes back to the gun, the faster the car is travelling. Officers are also taught to judge a cars speed just by observing them. Also, if you are speeding and slam on your brakes, you’re a target for a ticket.
Do Radar Detectors Still Work?
Are radar detectors effective at warning you of speed traps, police and red light or speed cameras? They are effective most of the time, but there are situations where your radar detector won’t pick up police speed guns. For Example, if the police are hiding in a spot that your radar detector can’t pick up, if your detector doesn’t have front and rear detection capabilities, or if it doesn’t have the 360 degree feature, you could get caught red handed.
Or if your radar detector has a slow response time, it may not be fast enough to alert you to the trap ahead. Cheaper detectors tend to have slower response times or the transmitter and receiver on them isn’t long range enough to detect the police in time.
No system is fool proof. You still need to keep your eyes peeled and be aware of law enforcement on the freeways.
How to Use a Radar Detector
If purchasing one of the units above, you will need to know how to use it. They are simple to mount to your dash or windshield. After you turn them on and start driving around, you may notice some false positives, as it might detect garage door openers, ambulance, or even automatic doors which emit a signal on one of the same bands used by police.
You can adjust the sensitivity of your unit and some even have a built in learning system. This system will tag false positives to a GPS coordinate and ignore it every time you pass. They will also GPS tag red light and speed cameras so that you can avoid those areas or have advance warning each time you’re in the area.
Where Should You Place a Radar Detector?
The best place for a radar detector is in 2 spots: either mounted on your dashboard with a clear line of sight (view) of the road or directly on the inside of your windshield. In some states it’s against the law to have your cordless radar detector mounted on your windshield so your dash is your only choice.
If it’s mounted on your windshield, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of seeing the road while driving.
Can Police Tell if You Have a Radar Detector?
How do police know you have a radar detector? As of the date of writing, most folks believe that police don’t have a way of knowing if you have a radar detector in your vehicle. But, because you have to mount your detector on the top of your dash or on your windshield, if they pull you over, they will see it.
Top of the line radar detectors will have a feature that send the detector into airplane mode once they alert you to a speed trap. This way your unit stops sending out signals that may or may not be detected by a LIDAR radar gun.
Radar Detector Codes Meaning: Different Wavelengths and Bands
There are several bands used by law enforcement to measure speed. They can be different in each state which leads to confusion. Read on about the different bands used and then watch the video below that explains them and shows which bands might be used in your state.
For 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 high in output. The radar waves fall between 7.0 and 11 Gigahertz.
This makes it easier for you to detect radar at longer distances. Just keep in mind, the X-band is the oldest type of wavelength that is used in police speed guns. It’s considered old technology and has been mostly discontinued.
Any device that is other than the police radars can produce or emit X-band signals. This includes garage door openers, weathering monitoring equipment, blind spot monitoring systems, and microwave towers.
This was adopted by the police service just a few decades ago. K-band is a higher power alternative to the original X-band standard. 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 two other wavelengths, Ka-band and Ku-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 the X and K. It’s between the frequencies of 26.5 – 40 Gigahertz. This includes wavelengths over one centimeter to just 7.5 millimeters.
This band ranges in frequency from 12 to 18 Gigahertz and it is the lower part of the K Band. Mostly used for satellites and television broadcasting. This is not a band you would normally see used by law enforcement to track speed.
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, get one that detects as many wavelengths as possible, and that has laser detection.
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There are no two people that drive the same way. When you are trying to get the best cordless 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.