One company that makes popular budget radar detectors is Whistler. Like most brands, some people love them while others hate them. This all boils down to experience, of course. Overall, I would say most of their detectors are decent considering the price you pay.

The issue here is budget. Some people don’t have realistic expectations about the performance of a budget detector. If you pay $50 for a radar detector you can’t realistically expect it to perform as well as more costly ones. This is where the Whistler XTR-140 comes in. This is a solid radar detector as long as you keep your expectations realistic. We are talking about a unit that costs $50 or less in most places.

If you can accept that you get what you pay for, then you will likely enjoy using the XTR-140.

Nothing Fancy Just Solid Protection

Lets face it, you may not get advanced features on a budget detector but you do want it to be able to detect all the major bands. Without this important ability any detector could be considered almost useless. With the XTR-140 you won’t have to worry about that. You will get coverage of all the bands and lasers. Safety radar bands and VG-2 are also detected, which is great for such a low cost radar detector.

Unfortunately being able to detect bands and actually doing it are not the same thing. The XTR-140 does perform really well, but some users have complained that it hasn’t worked for them at all. This could be because of any number of different reasons. Some people may have simply gotten themselves a lemon and should seek a replacement unit. It could also be because of other outside interferences. On the other hand most people have been pleasantly surprised by how well it does perform for it’s price. Either way, the price is cheap and it comes with a 1 year warranty.

Alerts

The XTR-140 does have a very good alert system, accept for one thing: You may experience many false alerts. However, this is fairly common in budget detectors and can be a problem in the most expensive ones, too. False alerts happen because there are many other devices that use the same bands and signals that the police use. This can be a bigger problem when you are driving through certain areas more then others. But it really isn’t that big of deal when you take into consideration the cost.

The XTR-140 does come with some features that help reduce these false alerts. It comes with a highway mode and a city mode. The real important one for most people is the city mode. When you are driving through the city or around town you are more likely to pick up more false alerts. This is because there are more devices around that that can interfere.

Other then that, you get visual and audio alerts. Both of these work extremely well. The visual alert will tell you the band that has been picked up and the strength. Audio signals are minor when the signal is far away, but makes much more noise when the detection is close by.

You probably won’t want to hear the radar detector making allot of noise, so you can always use the quiet mode to help adjust the audio. Quiet mode will automatically adjust the audio to a lower tone after the first alert. This is really great for any signals that are picked up well in advance. You can also mute the sound completely if you want by hitting the quiet mode once you hear an alert.

Installation

Installation is straightforward. The detector is ideally meant to be installed on the windshield. It should be kept low and near the center of the windshield. It could of course be installed elsewhere, but that is where it has been designed to be installed. You get a mount and some suction cups to make this process a little easier. Overall, it’s not hard to install or get used to it’s features.

When you are installing the detector, you should keep in mind that some windshields may contain a coating that could interfere with the radar detector. This may be a reason why some users complain that the system didn’t work for them.

Is It A Good Buy?

The Whistler XTR-140 is a solid radar detector for anyone who is looking to spend $50 or less. It does everything it is suppose to do once it is setup and installed correctly.

Some users may find that it gives off a few too many fake alerts, but if you can live with that, then you will be pleased with your purchase. At the end of the day, this is about budget. If you always wanted a radar detector but didn’t want to pay a high price for one, then the XTR-140 is certainly a good option.

Escort makes very high-end radar detectors that are often at the cutting edge of technology. The RedLine is very much at the top end of radar detectors that is currently on the market. It is packed with some of the latest features, but those features also come at a high price.

Ultimately you will be the person who needs to decide if the RedLine is too expensive for your tastes. Having said that, there is little doubt that you get what you pay for here. This is an outstanding radar detector that almost anyone would love to have.

Super Sensitive With Great Detection

One of the best things about the RedLine is simply the fact that it performs so well. It can detect all major bands with a great deal of accuracy, great range, and a lengthy warning. This includes Superwide Ka, K, X, and Safety Warning. All of this is done with it’s great line of features.

Dual-Antenna: This is one of the main selling points of the RedLine model. With dual antennas you can pick up radars and lasers with a much greater degree of accuracy. This generally helps by picking up lasers that may be further away, thus giving a longer warning period. It does all of this on every band you can think of. This feature alone might make the RedLine worth buying for those who demand the best.

Front Rear Detection: Being able to detect lasers from the front and the rear is crucial if you want to be protected. There is nothing worse then having the sneaky cop come out of nowhere because your detector failed to pick up his laser.  It is much more difficult for a cop to just hide from you when you can pick up the lasers from all directions.

Superb Laser Detection: To go along with the dual antennas and front rear detection, you get superb laser sensors. They are positioned to pick up just about any kind of laser in even small amounts.

AutoMode: One of the features that I enjoyed most is the AutoMode. This mode helps reduce the amount of false alerts you get, and also reduces the amount of configuring that you need to do. What it does is take a look at all the signals it is receiving, then decides which is false and which is real. Anyone who has experienced lots of false alerts knows they can be a pain. If that sounds like you, then you might like this feature to.

Operate Under Stealth: As you may be aware, radar detectors can also be detected. While that is not always a problem, it certainly is nice to have your radar detector not be detected. This can be done with escorts Totalshield technology. If you are the type person who truly wants to fly under the radar, then you will like this.

Safety Radar: This type of detection has become more common. It allows you to pickup all the lasers that are being sent out by construction, slow moving vehicles or fast ones, and many other various hazards. It can be handy to have because it lets you know what is happening ahead of you.

Setup, Use, And Options

It’s a good thing that the RedLine is easy to use and setup, because I didn’t find the manual to be all that great.

Ideally, the RedLine should be installed on the windshield. It is possible to install it elsewhere, but they give you the windshield mount. Most people will probably find that it works there rather effectively, anyways. Other then that, you need to plug into a 12 volts negative ground only. This is all slandered for most of Escorts current products.

Should You Buy It?

The Escort RedLine Ultimate Performance does exactly what it is suppose to do. It detects radars and lasers extremely well. That is what this detector is meant to do and there is very little to complain about. If your budget will allow it and you do allot of driving, then I can’t recommend it highly enough. But just remember, at the time of this writing, it is priced in the $500 range. It is $500 well spent for the right person.

Is there much to complain about? No system is perfect. You will probably find that it may be too sensitive in certain situations, but that is to be expected with a system like this.

The screen itself is easy to read. You can adjust the level of brightness fairly easily. In fact, you can go into full dark mode if you don’t want anyone to notice that you have a detector hanging from the windshield.

The audio alerts are also easily adjusted. Most people don’t want to hear these alerts going off constantly so you can turn the volume level down or completely mute it if you want to. The smart cord makes it really easy to mute the volume with the press of a button. It should also be noted that the audio quality is very good and understandable.

Warranty?

There is a 1 year warranty in the event that it does stop working on you.

Radar detectors come in a wide range of different price ranges. Some radar detectors will cost you less then $50 while others can get well over $400. There is no doubt that paying over $400 for a new detector is a substantial amount of money, yet some some people may want to take advantage of those that do cost in this price range. It all depends on what you are looking for and your budget.

This review is going to be taking a look at the pricey Escort Passport 9500ix. This detector defiantly falls under the expensive and high-end category. But if you are looking for a high-end laser detector, then this just might be what you are looking for.

True Lock GPS Filter

One of the main selling points of the 9500ix is it’s ability to get rid of false alerts. We all know that false alerts do occur in most detectors because of all the different signals that are going through the air. All of these false alerts can be a bit of problem when they keep going off. The true lock GPS filter can eliminate many of these false alerts, but it does take a little effort on your part.

Let’s say you drive by the same location everyday and you get a false alert at that location. All you need to do is press the mute button three times, then the location will be recorded and the frequency. You will no longer get a false alert in that location.

What if there happens to be something like a police laser near by in the future? The 9500ix can detect a different laser and will let you know that this is a legitimate threat.

The system isn’t really perfect. It works best when you keep driving through certain locations over and over again. There is also some work involved in locating the false alerts. Still, this is a decent solution to a common problem. There are probably lots of users that will be able to benefit from the use of it. It really is just a matter of deciding if it is worth the extra cost.

Mark Location

This is handy feature, but it is not exactly free. What this does is alert you of any speed traps, red light cameras, and speed cameras that occur ahead. The detector is able to do this because of the database it has built in. The problem with this is that these different “traps” can change. This means that the database needs to be updated fairly often. You do get the first 3 months free, though. Updates are really easy through the USB port that allows you to connect it your computer.

Overall, I really like this feature, but it does cost you a little bit.

Variable Speed Sensitivity

This helps make the true lock feature less of a pain. In many cases, you won’t need the true lock feature with the variable speed sensitivity. Basically, the detector becomes less or more sensitive based on how fast you are driving. The faster you are driving the more sensitive the detector becomes to picking up radars. When you are driving slower, it will be less sensitive. In other words, the faster you are driving the more alerts you will get. If you don’t want to use this feature, then you can always turn it off.

This is simply a great feature to have. It will get rid of allot of those annoying false alerts when you are driving safely.

Alerts

Alerts are an important part of every radar detector regardless of what price range you are buying at. Alerts are visual, meaning they are displayed on the screen of the detector. Alerts are also audio based.

Audio alerts: These alerts are very comprehensive. You will get a different tone based on the band that was detected. For example, you will get a simple beep tone for X-band, but a different tone for other bands such as K-band. This will allow you to know what kind of a signal that has been picked up by the detector. Also, the stronger the signal is, the faster the alert will sound. If you get sick of listening to the alert, you can always hit the mute button.

Visual alerts: The screen will also indicate the band that has been detected and the strength of the signal. All of this will be display on the LED screen. It uses a simple bar based system to let you know how strong the signal is.

Visuals And Audio

Just a few thoughts on the screen and the audio. I find this detector to be rather easy on both the eyes and the ears. The audio alerts are very clear and the screen is very clear to look at. The overall build quality of the detector gives it a rather slick look to it. It won’t look out of place on your vehicle.

Installation And Setup

Most of us don’t want to waist our time setting up our new radar detector. The 9500ix is fairly painless to setup. The ideal
location to mount the 9500ix is on the windshield. It comes with the mount to put it on your windshield, but it is also the best position for it to perform at it’s best.

You will also need a power connection. It operates on 12 volts DC ground only.

Obviously, it will take you some time to go through the various features of the 9500ix, but some might say that is part of
the fun. Allot of customization can be done. There is a whole list of various preferences you can go through to set things up the way you like it. So people who like to customize things to their liking will enjoy this.

Should You Buy The Passport 9500ix?

A big part of the 9500ix GPS system is how intelligently it works with the GPS system. This is also a big part of the reason why it is on the fairly pricey side of things. As far as the GPS goes and it’s features, there isn’t too much for a user to complain about.

The overall performance of this detector is excellent. It does a great job of picking up radars and letting you know that it has. That is what is most important about a radar detector regardless of what price range it happens to fall into.

There are some things you may be able to nit pick about here and there. For example, some users may not like the windshield mount. Other people may find the whole GPS things takes a little getting used to.

At the end of the day, this is a solid radar detector that comes at a relatively high price. But that might be exactly what you are looking for.

When it comes to radar detectors it can be difficult to select the model you want. All of us want one that performs well, but performance can all depend on the list of features that come with it. We also have to factor in our budgets. Some detectors cost well under $100 and others can cost up to $500 or more.

I like detectors that pack in lots of value for your money. These are usually the detectors that are neither really expensive nor really cheap. Cobra makes some really great models that are priced attractively. The Cobra XRS 9960G happens to be a great value priced radar detector in the $200 range.

A Gorgeous Display

One of the most impressive things about the 9960G is its screen. In fact, Cobras detectors are generally very attractive to look at, although some also seem to hate their design. It really boils down to opinion, I guess. The screen does deserve special attention. The display uses a technology that is called OLED (organic light emitting diode), and it really is wonderful. The alerts are large, easy to read, and to see. Not only does this screen make it easy to read alerts, but it also makes it easy for you to customize the system to your liking.

Of course display has very little to do with performance, but it is still nice to have a detector with such a nice display.

Can Detect All 15 Laser/Radar Detector Bands

Detection is still what matters the most when you talk radar detectors. The 990G is not lacking it it’s ability to detect the current range of bands.

  • X Band
  • K Band
  • Ka Superwide
  • Ku Band
  • VG-2 Band
  • Spectre I and Spectre IV+
  • LTI 20-20
  • Ultra Lyte
  • ProLaser
  • ProLaser III
  • Stalker LIDAR
  • Speedlaser
  • Safety Alert
  • Strobe Alert

As you can see it has you well covered. It picks up all the major bands and lasers, as well as other highway related issues that can come up when driving.  The Spectre alert also helps keep the detector hidden from devices that are used to detect a radar detector.

Superb Detection

The CPU is suppose to be really fast, but I haven’t been able to find any details on just how fast it really is. The CPU is suppose to help pickup frequencies of bands and lasers in nano seconds. Overall, it does do an excellent job of detection.

When a signal is detected you will receive both audio and visual alerts. For audio, you will get different tones depending on what band/signal has been detected. The closer you get to the source of the signal, the faster it will repeat. You will also get a voice alert. The auto mute function will also quiet things down for you when you no longer want to hear the audio alerts.

The visual alert will tell you the type of band that has been picked up and the strength of it. The strength will be between 1 and 5. 1 being a weak signal and 5 being a strong one. With the excellent screen, these alerts are very easy to read on the display.

Like many of todays quality detectors, you also get 360-degree detection. This means that it can pick up the detection of various bands and lasers in all directions. This is all done through Cobras laser eye technology.

GPS System

One of the main uses of the GPS is to locate speed traps and red light cameras. There database is updated regularly, by the way. One of the best things about this service is that they give you a free lifetime subscription. Some of the other detector makers make you pay for this service. So if you do want a service like this, then this is a pretty good deal.

The other nice aspect of the GPS is that it allows you to store up to 1000 other alert locations. So even if certain locations are not found in the database you can always add them to it as you discover them.

Installation And Use

I found installation to be fairly straightforward, although I have heard some people who found it to be a drag. However, that is often the case with many different devices. Some find installation easy, while others don’t. The detector can be mounted to the windshield or the dashboard fairly easily. The system gets it’s power by plugging into a cigarette lighter.

Overall use of the machine isn’t too bad at all. I have already mentioned that I like the screen, but also like the GPS system and the the basic information that it provides.

The detector can be customized in a wide range of different ways. The most important of these is probably volume for the alerts and the brightness of the screen. Having said that, the machine is usable without making many customizations.

Good And Bad

The Cobra XRS 9960G is about providing higher end features at a more affordable price. In that regard, it does what it is suppose to do. It detects bands and laser with accuracy extremely well. You also get GPS features that are commonly seen in systems at a higher price.

Is there anything to complain about? Some people do not like how the device mounts on the windshield. Some people have to bend the mount in order to get the detector to fit properly. Other people have also found that the system does not work well in the freezing cold.

At the end of the day, this is a good detector at an affordable price. It is well worth taking a look at.

If you are anything like me, then you may like to drive fast. Unfortunately if you get caught driving a little too fast, then you may find yourself paying a really nice speeding ticket. Once you pay for one of those costly finds, your going to want to avoid paying for another one. This is when a high quality radar detector can come in rather handy.

Of course you are not suppose to break the law and drive too fast. I will leave the responsible driving up to you. Keep in mind that just using these detectors in some states may not be legal.

I personally love reviewing radar detectors. I try out many different ones. In this review, we will take a look at the popular Beltronics Vector V940.

Can The V940 Detect All Lasers?

One of the very first things most of us want to know is this: Can the laser detector really pick up all the different types of lasers? Sometimes they can and sometimes they can’t. The V940 does perform very well and is packed with solid features in that regard.

The V940 can pickup all of the main lasers:

  • Superwide Ka
  • K
  • Full X
  • Ku

Everything is taken care of on that front. It does a solid job of picking up lasers and then sending out alerts to let you know.

Total Tracking Laser (TTL)


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Radar Alerts

As V940 picks up lasers, it will start to give you alerts on these signals. That is what a laser detector is meant to do. The closer you get to a laser the more intense these alerts get. You will get a number between 1 and 9. As you get closer to the laser, the number will get higher. This all helps you decide if you are driving to fast and getting close to where the laser may be located.

How the V940 responds to various lasers can also depend on if the laser is moving, is stationary, if you are in direct line of the laser, if you are coming around a corner, up a hill, and other factors. You need to keep all of this in mind in order to protect yourself. For example, most detectors will have a hard time detecting a laser when you are going up a hill. If the laser is on the other side of the hill, you may pick it up when things are too late.

Regardless of all of this stuff, the radar alerts do work really well in most situations.

Other alerts:

Laser Alerts: Flashes laser as-well as an audio alert. This occurs when a laser is detected. These are one of best indicators that there is a laser on you. This alert should be taken seriously.

False Alerts: False alerts can happen. They usually happen because the radar detector picked up on another device that uses the same band as lasers do. If it is a false alert, you will often find that you will be out of the devices range very
quickly. Many of these false alerts will happen when you are driving around town where there are more devices to interfere.

Instant-On Alert: The instant on alert comes on when a radar is quickly detected. It will detect the type of band and give you a signal strength. This is very useful for picking up radars that seem to come out of nowhere or are well hidden. The more strong the signal is the more serious you need to take an alert like this.

Safety Warning Alert: This is a feature that can be turned on or off, depending on weather or not you want to use it. The alert is used to pickup signals that are being sent out by firetrucks, police cars, and ambulances. It let’s you know that there may be something coming up ahead or around the curve. For example, if there was an accident just around the curb, you should start to see this alert.

Software Can Be Upgraded

The V940 uses flash technology that allows the radar detector to be reprogrammed. This means the radar detector does not become outdated just because of new radar technology. It’s a nice feature that can help you save money.

Setup And Ease Of Use

What good is a radar detector if it is hard to use and setup? In that regard, the Beltronics 940 is fairly easy to get going.I think most will be pleased with it’s ease of use.

Tutorial Mode: As soon as you get the radar detector hooked up, you should give the tutorial mode a try. This mode will allow you to get familiar with the various alerts, messages, and audios. It gives you a way to understand all of these before youset out to drive.

Physically setting up the machine is not all that difficult. Like most detectors, the 940 is best when it has a clear view of the road. Both dash and windshield mounting are fairly easy to setup and you are given directions to make this go smoothly.

Modes

There is a fairly large number of different modes and selections for you to choose from. These various modes are extremely useful depending on the location that you may be driving.

Highway- Great for driving out in highways and open, rural areas.

City X- This mode is used for driving around modest city environments.

City All- I like this mode in larger city environments. When you are around areas where there is lots of technology, you can pickup allot more false alerts. This mode will help cut down on allot of those false alerts.

What Is The Warranty?

You are given a 1 year warranty. There is also a 1-800 number for customer support.

The Good And The Bad

The build quality of the 940 is very good. The detector is fairly heavy and gives you a feeling that it is a quality product.

Performance is the real key. It is very sensitive to radars and does a great job of picking them up. For it’s price it ishard for too many people to complain about it’s ability to do it’s job.

Is there any downside? Well, there are always a few things here and there.

The detector is not really suitable for someone who drives a motorcycle. Some people have complained that the windshield mount vibrates a little bit. There is also issue of sensitivity. Some users may find it a little too sensitive. However, there are different modes and the ability to customize things a little bit.

Overall, I really like it. It currently has an amazon.com rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

You can buy the  Beltronics Vector V940 here.