Whistler XTR-695SE Review


With a backlit LCD display, the Whistler XTR-695SE is one of the top choices among low-cost radar detectors. It comes with a 2.5mm audio out-jack that lets the XTR-695SE power a remote speaker, or, for motorcycle riders, a helmet headset. The overall performance quality is high, according to experts and users.

Strong performance is the consensus assessment in Whistler XTR-695SE reviews. Radar Test writes in a review that this low-cost radar detector boasts a long detection range and can't-ignore voice and audio alerts. It's particularly adept at picking up KA-band signals, by far the most widely-used in police radar guns, says a review by Laser Veil, which field-tested the model in urban and highway driving. Performance is OK with the K and X bands, the review continues, and its ability to spot laser/LIDAR beams, which don't hit the sweet spot on your windshield at distances that afford enough time to slow down, is about on par with that of higher- end detectors.

Drivers are equally impressed. Reviews on Amazon applaud its rapid response to radar signals, and one user says it's the best detectors he's ever owned. Another user dismisses critics who claim the model issues many false alarms and suggests that its high sensitivity to radar signals may be alerting you to a trap that's nowhere to be seen.

Where to buy

Weighing just 6.5 ounces, the Whistler XTR-695SE (starting at $152, Amazon) features an audio-out jack to connect the device to a separate speaker system, like headsets for a motorcycle, although we did read a report on Amazon that this set up doesn't work very well. It comes with a 72-point digital compass, voice alert, quiet mode, and 360-degree coverage. Radar Test's Whistler XTR-695SE review talks up the upscale features, such as menu options that let you choose the background color for the LCD text display. Most users are also taken with the visual display, although a few complain that it's hard to read on a bright sunny day.

The Whistler XTR-695SE's stellar performance with the ubiquitous KA band compensates for any weakness in detecting K and X bands. Add in the attractive feature set and modest price, and this model is hard to beat.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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