Radar Detectors: Ratings of Sources
SpeedZones.com conducts well-documented radar-detector tests, complete with police officers running the radar guns. All of the detectors in the test manage to pick up radar from miles away (on an ideal, flat course), but the Escort Passport Max stands out, detecting radar with the most consistently strong signal from far away. However, this year's tests don't include other types of radar detection (such as over a hill), and only seven models are tested.
This group of radar-detector enthusiasts conduct
very well-documented tests judging long-range radar detection, complete with a
lengthy statistical analysis. A $1,300 custom-installed Beltronics detector
wins every test, followed closely by the more reasonably priced Escort RedLine
and Valentine One. The budget-priced Whistler Pro-68SE wins the cost-benefit
analysis. This test includes 15 different models (and duplicates of some
models), but some of the latest detectors aren't tested.
RadarDetector.org is the website of Roy Reyer, a former police officer, certified radar instructor and radar-detector retailer (see RadarBusters.com, below). Reyer has a colorful history, but his radar-detector reviews appear credible, with videos of the detectors alerting to real-life radar guns.
Reviewer Craig Peterson has long been acknowledged as a top radar-detector reviewer, but that reputation was called into question in 2007 by another review site (GuysOfLidar.com), which accused Peterson of sabotaging one of its tests. Peterson recommends a slew of radar detectors, but Beltronics and Escort models perform best in his recent radar-detector comparison tests. He hasn't tested some of the latest models, though.
In this single-product review, Kozak tests the Escort Passport Max on a variety of vehicles over the course of a month. It saves him from a ticket, detecting a speed trap a half-mile away around a sweeping curve.
The "Veil Guy" is the proprietor of LaserVeil.com, an automotive spray designed to absorb laser light in order to reduce a laser gun's targeting range. On his blog, he occasionally publishes radar detector reviews (although not always with testing). In his recent review of the Escort Passport Max, he names his favorites: the Escort SmartRadar, the Beltronics STi-R series and the Escort RedLine.
The tester at LaserJammerTests.com identifies himself only as "Chris." He says he doesn't accept freebies from companies, instead buying jammers to test or inviting readers who own jammers to have them tested. Testing methods are explained, and several popular jammers are tested. The Laser Star works best in tests, and Chris also recommends two jammers that come with we'll-pay-your-ticket guarantees: the K40 Laser Defuser G5 and Blinder HP-905.
CNET has reviewed only a few radar detectors. The Escort SmartRadar (which pairs with your iPhone or Android phone) earns a 4-out-of-5-star Excellent rating, beating the cheaper Cobra iRadar -- although that detector is good for buyers on a budget, tester Antuan Goodwin says.
On his retail website, Roy Reyer makes specific recommendations for the best radar detectors in various price ranges, although the recommendations appear to be outdated, as they don't include the latest models Reyer sells. Customer reviews posted here are more helpful, with several detectors amassing 100 or more reviews.
This lively discussion site includes forums dedicated to most major brands of radar detectors, as well as general radar-detector discussions, polls and more. Like all user-to-user sites, the discussion can get heated, but there's lots of great information to be found (though it takes some time to weed through it all). The site is moderated by Roy Reyer of RadarBusters.com.
Amazon.com is another good spot to read owner-written reviews of radar detectors. Navigation is easy, because the landing page displays ratings and the number of reviews each product has received. Some popular detectors have accumulated more than 100 reviews, but review quality varies.
BestBuy.com attracts fewer owner reviews than Amazon.com, but it sells a wide selection of radar detectors from the most popular brands. The Escort Passport 9500ix and Escort Passport 8500 X50 get high ratings with at least 50 reviews each.
In this older review, editors subject eight different laser jammers to a comprehensive test. An easy-to-read chart shows that the Laser Interceptor works best. A rival company, Blinder, had accused Laser Interceptor of patent infringement, but Blinder has since announced that the dispute was "amicably resolved" in a confidential court settlement.