For years, experts have recommended the Escort RedLine as the premier long-range windshield radar detector. However, the newer Escort Passport Max (Est. $550) now beats the RedLine's range in one test, with fewer false alarms. Still, the RedLine has one ace up its sleeve: It's invisible to police radar-detector detectors (RDDs), something that the Passport Max can't claim.
Long-range prowess -- with fewer false alarms than before. Although the Escort Passport Max now beats it in one test, the RedLine still detects radar from impressively far away. One tester, "Veil Guy," says the RedLine sometimes out-detects his $1,300 custom-installed radar detector. The latest version of the RedLine has Ka-band segmentation, which makes it super-sensitive to Ka frequencies the police use -- even quick blips of instant-on radar -- while ignoring false signals like traffic flow sensors. "That's not to say that [it] doesn't false at all," Veil Guy says. "But it's more livable than others." Still, the quieter Escort Max's GPS lets it remember where false signals lurk and simply ignore them.
Undetectable to police. Most people don't need an "invisible" radar detector, experts say: Radar detectors are perfectly legal in most states. However, they are illegal in some localities and in large commercial trucks. The Escort RedLine is one of two under-$1,000 radar detectors that elude police radar-detector detectors in tests. The other is the Beltronics STi Magnum (Est. $480) -- a very similar detector (both are made by the same company) that costs a little less. Although it lacks a GPS false-alarm filter and red-light/speed camera database, the RedLine is compatible with Escort Live (Est. $40) , an optional app that allows the RedLine to use your smartphone's GPS. However, not everyone that uses the app is completely pleased with it.
Stealthy Dark Mode helps the RedLine hide at night. Ramp-up (the graph that shows how strong a radar signal is getting) is now "silky smooth" with the latest RedLine, Veil Guy says, making it easy to tell how close you're getting to the radar gun. Alerts are shown on the unit's red display, along with beeps and spoken warnings. The RedLine comes with a SmartCord that plugs into your cigarette lighter, with a second mute button and a discreet light to deliver alerts when you're running in Dark Mode at night (so police won't see telltale lights on your dashboard or windshield). A quick-release suction-cup windshield mount is included.
The Escort RedLine is a top performer in this 15-radar-detector shootout, which judges long-range, straight-line radar detection on K and Ka bands. The RedLine is a top-six model on every band. However, the newer Escort Passport Max isn't tested.
Review: ECCTG October 2012 Radar Detector Test, East Coast Countermeasure Testing Group, October 2012
After several thousand miles and multiple performance tests, Craig Peterson declares the Escort RedLine "the best-performing windshield-mount radar detector" for people who don't care about false alarms. It beats other high-end detectors in long-range tests -- but the newer Escort Passport Max is also not tested here.
Review: Bel Pro 500, Bel STi Magnum, Escort 9500ix, Escort RedLine: Which Over-$299 Radar Detector Is the World's Best?, Craig Peterson, 2013
3. Veil Guy Blog
"The very best windshield mount radar detector yet produced," the latest version of the Escort RedLine impresses "Veil Guy" by being super-sensitive to Ka-band police radar -- while still filtering out false Ka-band sources (like traffic sensors). In cop-heavy Memorial Day weekend traffic, it sometimes out-detects his $1,300 custom-installed detector.
Review: Escort RedLine Review: Expert Software Makes This Detector a Wolf in Wolf's Clothing, "Veil Guy ", May 31, 2013
Although it was "the most sensitive long range radar detector on the road" at the time of this review, the Escort RedLine has since been beaten in that race by the Escort Passport Max. Still, Reyer wholeheartedly recommends the RedLine for drivers who need an undetectable detector.
Review: Escort RedLine Radar Detector Review, Roy Reyer, June 3, 2011
The Escort RedLine is a top-rated radar detector here, earning an overall score of 4.1 out of 5 stars in about 100 reviews. Most owners are thoroughly satisfied, but the RedLine has gotten some bad reviews lately from customers who say the unit stopped working and that Escort was no help.
Review: Escort RedLine Radar Detector, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013