The biggest question about radar detectors is whether they are worth the money. Are they really going to save you from speeding tickets, or are they just another cool gadget you can show off inside your car? In most cases, it depends. So we created this guide to the best radar detector for the money on the market in 2022, so you don’t waste your hard-earned money on a high-tech, glorified paperweight.
This article takes a look at the best radar detector for the money available right now and explains how to choose the right one for your needs.
What is a Radar Detector?
A radar detector will warn you of possible upcoming police or law enforcement monitoring speed in the most basic sense. The best radar detectors are able to detect a wide variety of bands at a long distance, giving you plenty of time to slow down before getting a ticket. Radar detectors detect the band signal of a speed gun and alert the driver through visual or auditory signals.
Radar Detector for the money Buying Guide
Before going all-in on one, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the basics of what to look for in a radar detector for the money:
Many more radar systems are used on the road these days than ever before, in the form of other drivers’ collision avoidance systems (like blind-spot monitoring) and mounted police speed cameras – some of which can be hidden in parked vehicles. You can teach most units to ignore a false alarm if you know where it will be on your daily route, such as the auto-opening doors in a shopping center. Having a too-sensitive detector that keeps going off can be highly irritating.
Long Detection Range
The detection range determines how long you have to wait between an alert and the police radar signal in question. The longer the range of the radar detector, the earlier you will know to slow down.
It isn’t essential to have Bluetooth connectivity, but it is a handy feature. Bluetooth lets you connect to other gadgets and devices, including smartwatches and smartphones. Can you get decent alerts without Bluetooth? Yes. Does Bluetooth give your radar detector more features? Absolutely.
GPS is helpful in radar detectors. It helps the device remember your usual routes and avoid false alarms, especially in a city where many things can trigger an alert. Besides allowing you to monitor your speed more precisely, GPS will enable you to mark red light cameras and other hazards on your route.
Several are straightforward, easy to install, and stick to your windshield. The more expensive models can become very complex in terms of what the settings can do and learning the interface around it. If you want a primary speed trap detector, you may not need a high-end one with all the bells and whistles.
There are bans on radar detectors in Virginia and Washington D.C and on military bases, so check your local laws before getting one and installing it in your car. The police and authorities also have radar detectors, so they can detect if you are using one where you shouldn’t – so keep it legal and safe every time you drive.
Here’s our picks best radar detector for the money 2022:
#1 Best: Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Radar Detector (Top Pick)
#2 Best: Cobra Road Scout Dash Cam and Radar Detector (Premium Choice)
#3 Best: K40 Electronics Platinum100 Portable Radar Laser Detector (Great Value)
#4 Best: Escort Redline360C Laser Radar Detector
#5 Best: Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector
#6 Best: Uniden R7 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector
#7 Best: Rocky Mountain Radar Moto-Raptor Cordless Motorcycle Laser Detector
7 Best Radar Detector For The Money In 2022
Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Radar Detector
With the success of the Valentine One Radar Detector, Valentine has now released the second generation model. I love the sleek, modern design of the V1 Gen 2 and all the features of the Gen 1.
The new V1 Gen 2’s design is much easier for drivers to use, and the volume buttons make it easier for motorcyclists to use when wearing gloves. The main power button is also clearly visible. A paired-down design eliminates a lot of complicated controls for a more modern, minimalist design.
In terms of range, the Gen 2 has an impressive range of over 2,500 feet, depending on the signal it’s trying to detect, making it one of the industry’s leading products. This radar detector isn’t as powerful as the Uniden R7, but it’s certainly better than most others on the market.
- New hardware platform
- Longer range
- LED display
- Knobs replaced by buttons
- Built-in Bluetooth
- Better BSM filtering
- Ka and K band detectable
- False alert filtering
- Laser detection
- New, more modern design
- RDD (radar detector) immunity
- No GPS
- Reliability problems
Cobra Road Scout Dash Cam and Radar Detector
Radar detector or a dash camera? Decisions, decisions. How about both at the same time? The Cobra Road Scout is a two-in-one driving companion with a 1080p HD dash camera and a radar detector. Using the radar detector portion of the Road Scout, you can adjust the sensitivity of the X and K bands, muffle false alerts, and mark speed traps and red-light cameras. The dash camera is equipped with a g-sensor and an emergency recording feature.
Another advantage of the Cobra Road Scout is not having to install two separate units on your windshield. You only need to look at one screen instead of two while driving since the Road Scout combines a radar detector and a dash camera.
- Dollar for dollar, this is a strong level of accuracy.
- The build quality is solid but not spectacular.
- Security features are well-rounded.
- It’s easy to start using the Road Scout.
- It lacks more advanced detection abilities, characteristic of more expensive equipment.
K40 Electronics Platinum100 Portable Radar Laser Detector
K40 Electronics’ collection tops many best-of lists in an ever-growing market for premium radar detectors. The K40 Platinum100 with GPS is the latest offering from the company. As the name implies, the unit features GPS capabilities, advanced filtering technology, and radar band selectivity. K40 also designed the Platinum100 to eliminate false alarms.
By controlling your radar detector with a handheld remote, you can customize it while keeping your eyes on the road. K40 Electronics Platinum100 radar detector comes with hundreds of customizable features. One-on-one consultations with senior engineers help K40 optimize the unit for your location, driving style, and preferred alerts.
The unit also has LNA long-range performance engineering enhancements to increase range and sensitivity. MultaRadar detection is available, and K40 guarantees no tickets.
- Remote control included
- Long-range protection
- Customizable GPS features
- Extensive setup process
- Weak windshield suction cups
Escort Redline360C Laser Radar Detector
The new Escort Redline 360c is Escort’s new flagship radar detector. It is very well-rounded and offers excellent long-range performance, the best false alert filtering available, arrows, undetectability, and it’s jam-packed with tons of valuable features. With so many features, it performs well across the board. If you’re looking for the best radar detector on the market, take a good look at the new Redline 360c.
There are also arrows to help locate the source of the threat. It can share alerts in real-time with other drivers, it’s easy to set up, it’s invisible to radar detectors, and it can continue to update itself over time. It can also alert you to fixed red lights and speed cameras.
In addition, the Redline 360c comes with a 1-year limited ticket-free guarantee. The Escort will cover the cost of radar or laser tickets within the first year of ownership. There are some finer details, and it does not cover court costs, lawyer fees, or increases in your insurance premium, but it’s a nice additional layer of protection if you get a ticket. You must purchase the detector directly from Escort for this guarantee to apply.
- Long-range performance
- Excellent BSM Filtering
- MRCD / MRCT detection
- Stealth & RDD Immune
- Integrated GPS
- Automatic lockouts
- Redlight / Speedcam Alerts
- Escort Live cloud alerts
- Automatic updates
- Multicolor OLED Display
- Speed limit displayed on the screen
- Laser jammer integration
- Solid build quality
- Great mount
- No Open API
- MultaRadar falses
- No directional arrows for MultaRadar
- Poor customer service
Cobra XRS9370 High-Performance Radar/Laser Detector
Cobra XRS9370 is one of the more affordable radar/laser combination detectors available, and it offers good performance at an affordable price. Even the fastest radar guns benefit from its “superfast sweep circuitry” to provide extra detection range and advanced warning. Besides VG-2 and Spectre alerts, the detector can also detect the latest Radar Gun POP. Users can choose between city and highway modes to reduce false alerts in densely populated urban areas.
It detects all 14 radar/laser bands, including LaserEye 360 degree detection KU band detection, and has an UltraBright display so you can quickly identify the detected band.
- Detects 14 radar and laser frequency bands
- LaserEye 360 degree laser detection
- POP detect mode
- VG-2 and Spectre I/IV+ detection and alerts
- City/Highway modes to help reduce false alerts in urban areas
- Ku-band radar detection
- IntelliMute Pro for VG-2 and Spectre I invisibility
- Digital signal strength meter provides relative proximity to the source
- AutoMute to automatically turn down the alert volume
- IntelliMute to prevent alerts while stopped or traveling at low speed
- Dimmer for nighttime driving
- Receives Safety Alerts
- Windshields or dash mountable
- Quick release from mounting bracket
- No voice alerts – tone only
- No GPS for speed sensing or reducing false alerts
- Receives Safety Alerts but cannot decode them and display a text message
- No built-in Bluetooth for connecting to Smartphone apps
- Not compatible for Escort LIVE network
- Cannot be updated via USB like many other detectors
Uniden R7 Extreme Long Range Laser/Radar Detector
The Uniden R7 is easily one of the best radar detectors on the market. It has the most extended range of any windshield mount radar detector. Along with arrows that help you locate signals around you, the R7 offers a bunch of other valuable features that make driving a better experience. In this way, when it goes off, you will know if the officer is ahead of you, when you pass him, and when they are behind you.
GPS allows you to teach the detector where false alarms are located around towns, such as speed signs on the side of the road and automatic door openers in front of drugstores and grocery stores. The detector will stay quiet during your regular commute as soon as you do that. Blind-spot monitoring (BSM) filtering is the most significant complaint people have with the R7. Even though the detector is pretty good at filtering blind-spot monitoring systems from other cars, it still falsely reports quite a few, especially compared to the competition.
- It comes with dual antennas that allow to detect of a threat from all 4 directions
- Built-in GPS technology that mutes common false alerts
- Features voice alert system that provides a safe drive preventing distractions
- May arrive with missing parts that can be hard to operate
Rocky Mountain Radar Moto-Raptor Cordless Motorcycle Laser Detector
The Moto-Raptor is a motorcycle-specific radar and laser detector system that is cordless, wireless, and only available from Rocky Mountain Radar. As it can detect 360 degrees around the bike, the Moto-Raptor warns you of approaching police officers with speed detection equipment turned on, whether they are following you, in front of you, or coming at you from the side.
Fitting Rocky Mountain Radar’s Moto-Raptor is a breeze. With a bracket and two screws, you mount it under the bike’s nose and connect a wire to your battery. It is best to use a cable tie on the wire to not catch anything hot; then, you can just turn on your Moto-Raptor.
The wireless helmet speaker mounts to the side of your helmet, and the speaker tucks nicely into the lining.
Once the wireless mount is charged, it will automatically connect to the detector when you turn on the engine. This detector beeps to tell you if it’s life, and a little blue light on the end of a flexible rod allows you to see any movement at night.
- The vehicle is equipped with radar and laser detection on all sides
- Cheaper than the competition
- The package includes everything needed for proper installation
- Could warn you of over speeding
- Sound alerts can be hard to understand due to outside noise
- Instructions on the manual could be more detailed
FAQs Related To Best Radar Detector For The Money
Q: What does ka mean on a radar detector?
Ans: Ka-band radar is radar waves between 33 . 4 GHz and 36.0 GHz. These are the most recent and the best radar band frequencies that law enforcement can operate on.
Q: Is it illegal to have a radar detector in your car?
Ans: As per the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Washington D.C. and Virginia are the only states where radar detectors are illegal. The Radar detectors in commercial vehicles, military bases, and federal parks are prohibited nationwide. In California and Minnesota, windshield mounts are not permitted. Before purchasing, check your state’s laws as they may change in the future. The presence of a radar detector in a car is not a moving violation, so insurance companies don’t penalize drivers for having one.
Q: How far can a police radar detect your speed?
Ans: The detection range can range from less than a hundred feet to over a mile. Radar can track a distant large vehicle instead of a nearby small one without indicating to the operator which vehicle the radar is tracking. For an accurate speed measurement, the radar or lidar must be at a slight angle from the target.
Q: What is a radar jammer?
Ans: Federal law prohibits radar jammers, which are a form of electronic warfare. Jammers send interfering signals toward the radar gun, blocking the receiver with highly concentrated energy signals and scrambling its feedback.