Speeding tickets are not only expensive by themselves, but the legal fees and insurance rate spikes that come with them can be costly. Radar detectors can alert drivers of waiting police officers by locating waves from radar guns before they detect your vehicle. These detectors can not only save you money, but also provide peace of mind while driving.

In this review, our review team has rounded up our top picks for the best radar detectors. We’ll break down everything from prices to customer reviews to help guide your decision. For more information on the purpose and functionality of radar detectors, check out the buyers guide at the end of this review.

#1 Best Overall: Uniden R3

For the best radar detection, drivers should consider the Uniden R3. It uses built-in GPS to remember where it picks up radar transmissions and reminds drivers with its voice alert to slow down in red light and speed camera locations. Paired with its advanced K and Ka-band filters, this feature saves drivers from having to remember if they’re in a speed trap zone. The R3 also has false alert filtering that mutes non-radar signals constantly appearing in the same area.

The R3’s easy-to-read color OLED display shows drivers radar band frequencies to alert them of any nearby signal. It also has a max-speed warning system that alerts drivers if they’re breaking the speed limit. While this detector is sold by itself on Amazon, drivers can upgrade to Uniden’s smart kit for $30 more that includes a windshield mount, hardwired mute button, and power outlet adapter.

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Key Features

  • Long-range laser radar detection
  • Voice notifications
  • OLED radar band frequency display
  • GPS for red light and speed camera locations
  • Advanced K and Ka band filters
  • Maximum speed warning system
  • Spectre I and IV undetectable
  • Up to 500 GPS lockouts
  • Ka frequency voice alerts

What’s In The Box?

  • Uniden R3 detector

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon customer reviews are very positive for the Uniden R3. It maintains an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from nearly 6,000 reviews. About 81 percent of these reviews are 5 stars while only four percent are 1-star reviews.

Positive reviews of the R3 praise its knack for saving drivers money on speeding tickets. Here’s one review we found:

“It’s a little unnerving at first. Once you get used to it, though, you’re good to go. What can I say? No tickets so far. I know for a fact this is a very accurate detector.”

– Customer on Amazon

What Is It Good For?

With its stellar GPS features and other frequency locators, the Uniden R3 is a standout radar detector. We recommend the R3 if you like long-range detection and find voice alerts helpful for safe driving. At about $300, it also sits on the low-end of the typical radar detector price range.

#2 Runner-Up: Cobra RAD 480i

The Cobra RAD 480i’s LaserEye firmware enables front and rear detection so drivers always know when a foreign radar signal is present. Its early warning system can detect a signal from up to two miles away. A key feature of the 480i is its IVT Filter that reduces false alerts from blind spot and vehicle avoidance systems.

A great addition to the 480i is Cobra’s iRadar app, which drivers can connect to via Bluetooth. Similar to Waze, this app allows Cobra users to share real-time alerts on red light, speed cam, and law enforcement locations, and it even provides routes to avoid them.

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Key Features

  • Next-generation IVT Filter
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • iRadar app
  • LaserEye front and rear detection
  • Included windshield mount
  • Reduced false alerts
  • Bilingual voice alerts available

What’s In The Box?

  • Cobra RAD 480i detector
  • Windshield mounting bracket
  • Vehicle power cord adapter

What Customers Are Saying

Reviews for the Cobra RAD 480i are fair, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. This is from over 12,600 Amazon reviews. It’s important to note that while around 70 percent of these reviews are 5 stars, only six percent are 1-star reviews.

Positive reviews of the 480i speak highly of its filtering abilities and the usefulness of the iRadar app.

“There is a lot to like about this device. It’s compact, well-made, and has quite a few features… It’s certainly priced right, and is a quality detector. Give it a try!”

– Bruce from Amazon

“This was my first radar detector and I couldn’t be more pleased! The alerts are quick and have never failed to get me to slow down before it was too late.”

– Gus from Amazon

Negative reviews express discontent with the 480i’s avoidance systems and IVT Filter not working as intended, creating unnecessary false alarms.

“Massive disappointment with the RAD 480i. It goes off all of the time because of automatic doors and car avoidance systems. Cobra markets it as if it shouldn’t detect those things but it does.”

– Blake from Amazon

“Only buy this product if you want every false alarm known to man.”

– Customer from Amazon

What Is It Good For?

The Cobra RAD 480i is for drivers that like an intuitive radar detector with more than just a frequency bar. Its front and rear detection performs well for all-around vehicle protection. And for those who like to plan ahead, the iRadar app is perfect for creating updated radar-free routes so drivers can travel safely.

#3 Best Premium Detector: Escort MAX 360C

Unlike other radar detectors, the Escort MAX 360C has a built-in WiFi connector. This allows it to receive updates from the Escort Live app that it broadcasts directly to drivers, such as alerts when entering a known speed trap area. The Live app is powered by a community of over 3.5 million drivers, so information is always fresh.

Beyond linking to the Live app, the 360C offers 360-degree protection with its front and rear-facing antennae. Its display has directional arrows to show where signals are coming from, too. The 360C picks up on driving habits over time using its patented AutoLearn technology to help drivers recognize when they’re in an area that they usually speed through.

Although the Escort MAX 360C is full of fun bells and whistles, they come at a cost: The starting price of the 360C is about $650 on Amazon.

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Built-in WiFi
  • Connects to Escort Live app
  • 360-degree protection
  • AutoLearn tracking software
  • GPS intelligence
  • IVT filtering
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Directional alert arrows

What’s In The Box?

  • Escort MAX 360C detector
  • SmartCord USB with AutoMute
  • Travel case
  • EZ MAG mount

What Customers Are Saying

Over 1,200 Amazon customers have rated the 360C, with an average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Only six percent of these reviews were 1-star ratings while nearly 78 percent of them gave 5 stars.

Positive reviews were abundant, with satisfied customers raving about the 360C’s ease of use.

“This is hands down the best radar detector ever made! It is not complicated at all. It is plug-and-play and automatically gives you your speed, direction of radar sources, and location and distance of red light cameras. Simply outstanding!”

– Daniel from Amazon

“Fantastic radar detector that is easy to use, smart, and frequently updates to keep itself up to date. There is very little error and stationary false alarms are automatically memorized (and muted) after about 4 – 5 passes on the same road/intersection.”

– Customer from Amazon

Negative reviews are displeased with Escort’s customer service and the 360C’s filtering.

“This thing picks up more automatic doors than it does an actual radar. When and if it does pick up an actual radar it is within less than a few hundred feet on flat, wide-open ground with nothing else around.”

– Customer from Amazon

“Doesn’t work on vehicles with a driver assist system. Customer service is very poor.”

– Richard from Amazon

What Is It Good For?

The Escort MAX 360C is for anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little extra cash for a high-end radar detector. Its AutoLearn software is bound to help drivers catch traffic stops before they catch you, plus the 360C’s 360-degree protection ensures coverage on all sides.

#4 Simplest Design: Radenso XP

Drivers who want a sleek, low-profile design may be interested in the Radenso XP. Ready to go out of the box, the XP has a simple interface that delivers some of the best-in-class sensitivity to radar waves. Its GPS Lockout feature remembers false signal locations, too, so drivers never have to worry about multiple incorrect readings on familiar routes.

Because of the XP’s high-range radar detection, it has superb red light and speed camera detection. It also has blind-spot monitoring to avoid accidentally giving drivers false readings. The XP is branded as one of the quietest radar detectors on the market and even has a SmartDark mode to automatically adjust its display’s brightness.

Should the XP not perform to a driver’s expectations, Radesno offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year radar ticket-free warranty.

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Key Features

  • GPS Lockout
  • Slim profile
  • High radar detection range
  • Red light and speed camera alerts
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Updatable firmware and camera database with free lifetime updates
  • Bright, Dim, Dark, and SmartDark display modes
  • 30-day return warranty
  • 1-year radar ticket-free warranty

What’s In The Box?

  • Radenso XP detector
  • Windshield suction cup mount
  • Mute power adapter with USB port
  • Mini-USB to USB cable
  • Carrying case

What Customers Are Saying

With an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 860 Amazon ratings, it’s fair to say the Radenso XP has a good reputation. Eighty percent of these reviews gave the Radenso a 5-star rating while only three percent of customers thought it deserved 1 star.

Many positive reviews of the XP cite how well it picks up weak signals and how quiet the alert system is.

“Excellent product. Never misses a beat with Ka-band alerts. I have noticed at times that some automatic doors trip the K-band filter but the instances are few and far between. Overall, this detector is a fantastic buy!”

– David from Amazon

“I bought this after researching to find something that could filter out all of the false alarms which had made my old detector useless. It is awesome!”

– Cronan from Amazon

Negative reviews griped that the XP was too delayed for some customers’ preferences.

“I got clocked immediately going downhill on the highway and the radar detector beeped as I cleared the hill. It alerted me way too late!”

– Customer from Amazon

What Is It Good For?

The Radenso XP is a great tracker that doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself. With its high-performance radar detection and extensive warranty options, this detector is perfect for drivers who want a try-before-you-buy option.

#5 Best Budget Option: Uniden DFR1

At only about $50 on Amazon, the Uniden DFR1 is very competitively priced against other radar detectors. For this bargain deal, drivers get long-range sensitivity, front and rear detection, and a memory feature that saves all driving settings.

One outstanding feature of the DFR1 is its separate detection modes for driving in cities, rural areas, and highways. The DRF1 is invisible to VG-2 and Spectre I/IV/IV+ radar detector detectors, too.

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Key Features

  • City/City1/Highway modes
  • Long-range sensitivity
  • Front and rear detection
  • Memory save feature
  • Power cord and mount included
  • Invisible to VG-2 and Spectre I/IV/IV+ scanners
  • ICON Color display

What’s In The Box?

  • Uniden DFR1 detector
  • Car adapter and power cord
  • Windshield mounting bracket
  • Spare fuse for power cord

What Customers Are Saying

The Amazon reviews for the DFR1 are generally optimistic, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from over 3,800 reviews. Only nine percent of these are 1-star ratings while 5-star reviews make up roughly eighty-five percent.

Positive reviews admire the DFR1’s minimalistic design and reliability for its low price.

“This radar detector is awesome! It has saved me from nearly getting pulled over quite a few times already. It has a very good range and doesn’t give out false readings. It works just as good as one of the more expensive name-brand detectors.”

– Angelique from Amazon

“If you’re looking for a radar detector that does an efficient job at the fraction of the cost, look no further. This provides an amazing heads-up if there’s a hidden trap or police vehicle.”

– Carlos from Amazon

Negative reviews argue that the bang-for-your-buck value doesn’t necessarily mean the DFR1 performs well.

“Got a speeding ticket today. Yep. Had this on. I read the instructions and had it set up correctly. A cop tagged me with a laser detector and this thing never made a peep.”

– Petey from Amazon

What Is It Good For?

For drivers who are new to radar detectors and want to try one before upgrading, check out the Uniden DFR1. It has many of the same features as other more expensive options and can perform almost just as well.

Best Radar Detectors Buyers Guide

Here are some of the key facts and features you should know about radar detectors before purchasing one.

What Is A Radar Detector?

A radar detector is a device that detects radar guns law enforcement officers use to measure the speed of your vehicle. Having one active can help prevent drivers from getting speeding tickets. A few important features of a radar detector are:

  • Range: The distance at which a radar gun can be detected. More range means better signal strength at longer distances and more time to slow down your car. Detectors with a longer range can be expensive, but they can also lower the chances of getting caught speeding.
  • Filtering: Most police radar guns use X, K, and Ka band radars, but other devices such as traffic sensors, automatic doors, and driver-assistance systems do, too. It’s important that a radar detector can effectively filter out signals that aren’t from radar guns or else they will ping false alarms.
  • Smartphone or GPS connectivity: Radar detectors with iOS or Android smartphone compatibility can allow you to receive warnings about radar guns from other drivers, thereby increasing your detection range. Some radar detectors may also provide GPS data through a smartphone so you can know the locations of potential false alerts or red light cameras.

Types Of Radar Detectors

Whether you’re looking for a long-range radar detector or something more subtle, here are a few different models to be aware of:

  • Corded radar detectors: These plug into your car’s outlet and attach to the windshield via a suction cup, similar to a dash camera, and are generally the most reliable radar detectors.
  • Cordless radar detectors: Instead of a plug, these run on batteries and also attach to the windshield like a dash cam. These are easily transmissible between cars.
  • Remote-mount radar detectors: This route is permanently installed behind the grille of your car and its controls are hidden under the dashboard. These are the most undetectable of all radar detectors.

Why Purchase A Radar Detector?

Radar detectors can alert you when to slow down your vehicle when radar guns are present. This can help you save money you would otherwise lose on a speeding ticket, which can require legal fees to fight and also spike your insurance rates by hundreds of dollars per year. Repeated speeding infractions can lead to a suspension of your license, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

Another benefit of radar detectors is they improve safety. Some radar detectors will alert drivers when they are cruising over the speed limit. Also, a radar detector gives drivers time to slow down before entering a police officer’s presence. Many accidents happen as a result of drivers braking suddenly when they’re surprised by a waiting Sheriff.

Our Review Standards

To select the five radar detectors in this review, our team searched Amazon and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, prices, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. A team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions: Radar Detectors

*Data accurate at time of publication.