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Radar Detectors Performance

Radar detectors are only as reliable as their range and ability to filter out false alerts. That being said, there's also a level of human error when it comes to using these devices.

In radar detectors reviews, one user may pan a product for not working at all while another says it acquitted itself perfectly; indeed, it's possible the first user wasn't following the product's best practices guidelines. For example, radar detectors reviews note that an improperly mounted detector won't pick up radar gun signals as well as a properly mounted detector. Also, it's important to find out which types of radar guns are used in your area so you can better assess which model to buy; for this reason, reviews are a necessary but not sufficient guide. Just remember that none of these models work every time. But after reading scores of positive and negative radar detectors reviews, we made our picks based on the evidence at hand.

Radar Detectors Reliability.

Reliability is everything when it comes to radar detectors, otherwise you're figuratively driving blind. Habitual speeders will find themselves inundated with tickets if the detector wimps out or they don't heed its warnings.

Experts and users laud the Beltronics Vector 955 as one of the most reliable and best radar detectors on the market, especially given its modest price point. An expert radar detectors review by Radar Test notes that this model may lack lots of bells and whistles, but it consistently gave fewer false alarms and performed well on curves, where it's harder to pick up even a strong signal. A consumer's review on Amazon reports that the Beltronics Vector 955 saved his hide more than once and that it usually picks up signals nearly 1.5 miles away.

The Whistler XTR-695SE is considered another one of the best radar detectors at the lower end of the market, according to Radar Test. This model usually catches signals around 25,000 feet away and tests out with a low rate of false alarms. In its radar detectors review, Laser Veil finds that the Whistler XTR-695SE is one of the best radar detectors of KA band signals and has proven to be quite reliable in a variety of situations. An expert review at Top Ten Reviews, seconds that assessment and reports the Whistler XTR-695SE can detect all radar bands and eliminates most false alerts. Although the XTR-695SE isn't as powerful as higher-end models, it identifies threats with enough range to alert the driver in time.

Radar detectors reviews by Radar Test conclude that the Cobra XRS 9955 has one of the longest ranges but is one of the most susceptible to false alerts prompted by other detectors. These experts report it has a bit of trouble picking up the X band but is more challenged by the K and KA bands. On the other hand, a user posting a review at Computer Shopper asserts that this model works well when faced with a constant radar signal up ahead; when a police officer pulls out a radar gun quickly as you approach, however, the Cobra XRS 9955 doesn't seem to notice until it's too late. The Cobra XRS 9955 isn't the only laggard on this performance dimension -- most cheap radar detectors aren't able to pick up signals at the last second.

Experience with the Cobra XRS 9945 seems to depend on the radar gun's signal. A radar detectors review on Viewpoints, for example, reports that this model has served him well many times except in the presence of laser (i.e., LIDAR) signals; as is the case with many cheap radar detectors, the Cobra XRS 9945 apparently doesn't pick up the laser band until the radar gun is actually shot at your vehicle. It also shows some weakness in the X band but has a decent range in the K and KA bands. Other issues surface in users' comments posted on Amazon, where one grouses that the power cord is a bit short and the unit itself a bit too heavy to stick properly on his windshield.

Review continues below

Experts and users report a bevy of problems with the Rocky Mountain Radar RMR-C435. One review posted on Amazon suggests company advertisements are misleading and say that the laser scrambler feature does nothing. Radar detector reviews we found at Buzzillions make similar claims and add that the RMR-C435 typically fails to do its job. One user posting a radar detectors review on Overstock.com writes that the Rocky Mountain Radar RMR-C435 only picks up a signal half a mile away, while other models of equal value afford you the usual 1.5 miles to slow down.

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