Best Budget Radar Detectors 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Jeff Day

Do you often rush around when driving? Do you have a serious need for speed? Do you get one too many pesky speed tickets when out and about? Well, we have just the thing for you – you need a radar detector!

This article will show you how to find the best low cost radar detector, giving you handy considerations for finding your chosen radar detector that provides a long range, is easy to read with oLED display, and has a decent signal strength. Never be bothered by speed cameras again!

Of course, before you ask yourself, “what is the best cheapest radar detector?”, scroll straight down to the bottom of this page for our handy FAQs and buyers’ guide, where we’ll tell you what radar detectors actually are and how they work, before we give you tips to find the best overall radar detector for all your needs. Of course, most of our options come with brilliant warranties so you can make any returns, repairs, or exchanges all rights reserved. With the technology we have on offer, you’re bound to buy a radar detector that may earn its place in your car.

Best budget- Uniden R3

Cheapest- Whistler CR68

Premium- Radenso Pro M Extreme


10 Best Radar Detectors Under $100

Here’s our top ten list of the radar detectors that should definitely be on your radar if you don’t want to be pulled over for speeding by law enforcement, having to fumble about for your license or passport on every journey.

We’ve compiled this list to provide you with as much hassle-free browsing as possible. If you like the different options this article offers, please use your voice to tell your friends about this website!

1.Whistler CR68

Whistler CR68

Our first selection is probably the closest you’ll come to the best radar detector under $50. This is the Whistler Detector with 360 Degree Protection and Tone Alerts.

This brilliantly priced corded model provides you 360 degree protection, giving you digital signal processing in a wide detection range, so you can detect K Band signals without a problem. With the sides, front, and rear protection the detection range is wide no matter the camera locations.

All radar guns including super wide K and Ka band guns are detected, and what’s more, there’s a TFSR – a traffic flow signal rejection, which helps minimise the risk of inaccurate alerts from monitoring systems. However, the best overall feature is the Pop Mode, which is a speed detection capability that responds to brief bursts of radar. As electronics go, this advanced, cheap model is something you need – see for yourself.

Features We Like
  • 360 Degree Protection in Front and Rear
  • Rapid Digital Signal Processing

2.Escort Passport 8500

Escort Passport 8500

Our second detector model comes from Escort, with the Passport 8500 device with Extended Long Range, Automute, Audible Alert, and a bunch of other brilliant features.

These Passport detectors offer crystal clear communication of signals to allow you to avoid red light camera locations and radar guns. The Passport continuously analyses incoming signals, both radar and laser, and provides a bunch of handy components including a windshield mount for easy installation.

Compared to the Escort Live models, this Passport is absolutely stunning. The clear display provided by crystal-clear LED provides the best clarity for all of the updates and alerts you’ll need. Every sort of radar signal comes under this handy machine’s detection, so you can explore the benefits of hassle-free driving with minimum false alarms. We love the Passport.

Features We Like
  • Instantly Customise Any Feature
  • Long Range Digital Detection for Many Police Radar/Laser Signal, No Matter the Band.

3.Cobra RAD 350

Cobra RAD 350

Our third pick is easily the best radar detector under $100 on this list, with an average Amazon customer rating of 4.3. You’ve got to get yourself this today.

The Cobra RAD 350 range of detectors come with a long ranging detection and a mechanism to filter false notices – which is designed to help keep your drive hassle-free and with no risk of false detection. Compared to other models such as the Escort Live or Uniden R7, this radar laser detector is a big help and an essential to keep in your car.

The false alert reduction system operates via an effective IVT filter, whilst the voice alert feature aids easy detection for all radar bands data, at any time. Do you even need to think about this? You need this device – so get it as soon as you can! It’s one of our favorite picks, for such an affordable price.

Features We Like
  • IVT Filter
  • Easy to Use

4.Escort Passport 9500iX

Escort Passport 9500iX

Our fourth device is another pick from Escort, and warning: it’s a bargain! Compared to your top brands and makes like Cobra or Whistler models, or the Uniden R7, this Escort 9500iX device gives much of the same quality and advanced modes for a fraction of the price.

One of the greatest uses of this brilliant Escort model is that it’s designed to make journeys easier for you, with a ‘defender database’ function – this means that you can log hotspots where you’re using the device or have noticed police cameras, and in turn can load thousands of pre-loaded locations.

What’s more, the real-time ticket protection of this Escort detector will help you to avoid speed traps and other threats, as the digital data processing systems display only the most up to date results. This Escort model is therefore one of the greatest for its brilliant uses. Even more, in the box you’ll find all your essential elements such as a power cord.

Features We Like
  • Defender Database Feature Helps to Avoid Speed Traps
  • Device Compatibility

5.Radenso Pro M with GPS Lockout

Radenso Pro M with GPS Lockout

Our midway pick offers a bunch of cool features – it’s the Radenso Pro M Extreme Range Radar and Laser Detector. Whatever you’re using it for, and wherever you use it, the functioning of this device is as easy as one, two, three – and it’s even got a very decent price.

Compared to Escort, Cobra, and other brands, this device from Radenso is even better than the average market model. The GPS technology stores data of your previous routes, including false or inaccurate warnings, so you never have to listen to the same warning again – just log the false one onto the GPS. Max efficiency!

What’s more, the pre-loaded database you’ll definitely be using allows you to load more than 6000 pre-loaded locations, whilst the built-in USB port gives you a new lease of life with new monthly updates every month! This is one of the best devices for detection of bands, time after time.

Features We Like
  • GPS Lockout
  • Warranty and Money Back Guarantee

6.Beltronics RX65 Professional

Beltronics RX65 Professional

Our sixth pick comes from Beltronics, with the RX65 Red Professional Series Detector.

With premium detection for the three most popular bands, Full X, K, and SuperWide Ka, including many more, this detector is one of the greatest radar and laser detecting devices we’ve got to offer compared to brands like Escort, Cobra, or Whistler. Its ability to detect different bands is highly efficient.

The easy to use programming systems allow you to customize with 7 different options tailored to your specific driving style, and it’s immune to VG-2 radar detector detection, so law enforcement can’t detect that you’re using it! The only inaccurate warnings you’ll see here are for automatic door openers – otherwise you’re in the clear. This light, easy to use piece of technology is worth your time and your money; don’t even think about Uniden or Whistler.

Features We Like
  • Speed of Laser Detection
  • Stellar Precision – Every Band Detected

7.ESCORT Max 360 Laser Radar Detection and GPS Machine

ESCORT Max 360 Laser Radar Detection and GPS Machine

Our seventh pick comes again from Escort, who are market favorites against brands like Cobra or Uniden. With the oLED light display, the Max 360 Laser Machine gives you so much for your money… satisfaction with all the bands detected!

This model comes with an Escort Live App, way better than the iRadar app, which lets you know what lies ahead on the road. Forget the Uniden R7, this is the real deal. With lightening fast precision, you’ll get the fastest response rates with everything you need within 360 degrees.

Even more, you get IVT filtering for max protection and elimination of inaccurate warnings.

Features We Like
  • Autolearn Technology
  • Precision and Speed

8.Whistler XTR-130 Laser and Radar Detecting Machine

Whistler XTR-130 Laser and Radar Detecting Machine

Our eighth pick comes from Whistler with the XTR-130 model. These models are absolutely brilliant and are market favorites compared to Cobra and Uniden, particularly noted as competition to the Uniden R7. With stellar customer service and an even better design and functioning, what’s not to love about this awesome piece of technology?

The impressive elements of this model include the wide ranging protection against various radar guns and frequencies, as well as 360 degree protection.

The icon display gives visual symbols of warning which are distinctive, and also provides ‘engaged’ modes. This is an excellent feature of these electronics. The city and highway modes, as well as the quiet and autoquiet settings, really allow you to drive your way anywhere you need to go. Cobra couldn’t compare!

Features We Like
  • Functional Modes
  • Warning Icons are Distinctive

9.UNIDEN R3 Extreme Long Ranging Detecting Machine

UNIDEN R3 Extreme Long Ranging Detecting Machine

Our penultimate listing here is the Uniden R3, which is closely linked to its neighbor, the Uniden R7. This machine offers an array of useful elements, such as multi-color display and speed camera alerts.

With this model, Uniden boast ‘unsurpassed range and sensitivity’ and this is absolutely true. With industry leading software – seen also on the Uniden DFR7 – with advanced inaccurate warning filters, this is a brilliant choice for those who want the ultimate safeguarding.

The multi-color display is easy to read and allows you to really focus on useful information, whilst the pre-loaded locations of cameras and reds helps you to be prepared way in advance.

Features We Like
  • GPS Functions
  • Easy to Read Displays

10.Cobra XRS9370 High Performing Detecting Machine with 360

Cobra XRS9370 High Performing Detecting Machine with 360

Our final pick is the Cobra XRS9370 machine with 360 coverage. It’s a brilliantly rated machine and sets you up with a bunch of handy benefits for any journey.

With this machine, Cobra offer you a Pop Mode to detect the latest radar guns’ frequencies, whilst giving you VG-2 and Spectre warning to indicate to the user that they’re under surveillance – how intuitive!

What’s more, the super fast circuitry provides extra detecting ranges, and the most advanced warnings to the fastest real-time guns.

Features We Like
  • Band Detecting is Flawless
  • Different Modes for Different Environments

Best Budget Selections:

Best Value Radar Detector

The best value machine is product 9, the Uniden R3. With its array of positive elements and user-friendly mechanisms, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere that offers you such satisfaction for such an agreeable price – just check the user ratings!

Sale
UNIDEN R3 EXTREME LONG RANGE Laser/Radar Detector, Record Shattering Performance, Built-in GPS w/ Mute Memory, Voice Alerts, Red Light & Speed Camera Alerts, Multi-Color OLED Display
  • UNSURPASSED RANGE & SENSITIVITY - Industry Leading Performance with Advanced False Alert Filtering is THE choice for drivers who demand the highest level of protection against speeding tickets.
  • GPS TECHNOLOGY - Using GPS the R3 can remember and mute common false alerts (such as retail store automatic doors) along your regularly driven routes so you never have to listen to the same false alert twice.
  • RED LIGHT AND SPEED CAMERA ALERTS - Preloaded Red Light and Speed Camera locations with Free Database and Firmware updates ensures your detector will never be out of date.
  • MULTI-COLOR OLED DISPLAY - is easy-to-Read and allows for more useful information to be displayed at once. This improves your overall situational awareness.
  • VOICE ALERTS - Voice warnings allow for hands-free operation and provide clear communication. Voice Alerts are programable to fit your driving style so you can keep your eyes on the road with no distractions.

Best Inexpensive Radar Detector Available

The cheapest available is the Whistler CR68 – for this bargain price it’s still really highly rated, so you can be absolutely assured you’re getting the most bang for your buck.


Premium Radar Detector

Our premium choice is the Radenso Pro M Extreme. Whilst a little pricier than the other models, it’s got a variety of truly impressive and innovative features to prove that Radenso are pioneering the industry. Scroll back up to review this pick!

 


FAQs and Buyers’ Guide

What Are Radar Detectors, Exactly?

The first thing you’ll want to know is: what exactly is a radar detector? Well: a radar detector is a device that is used to detect whether the speed of your vehicle is being monitored by law enforcement. Therefore, as you drive you’ll be kept much more alert as these handy devices act as a warning to let you know whether you need to decrease your speed while driving before running into any pesky police traps.

The range of best affordable radar detectors we’ve got for you (scroll up) all come with a range of features to provide you with key protection to a significant degree – the high performance of these products ensures that you can beat traffic, zoom down the city highway, and still not run into any trouble.


What Types of Radar Detectors Are There?

There are three main types of radar detector, and you’ll want to know the difference before you go searching on Amazon.

A corded radar detector tends to mount on your windshield via suction cups, and can look like a regular GPS from a distance.

A cordless radar detector is transported easily from vehicle to vehicle, and provides cleaner and more efficient installation due to its cordless technology.

A remote-mount radar detector is permanently mounted to your vehicle – providing a clean installation that’s frankly undetectable to car burglars – so these this type of detector presents a higher level of protection.

Depending on how you categorise, you may have also heard that there are two main types of radar detector – this will be referring to radar and laser. The former lets drivers know when a police officer is using a radar gun to catch speeding vehicles whereas laser detectors monitor both radar signals and newer laser signals that go undetected by radar detectors, which are more traditional and older.

Some laser detectors contain features such as red light camera notifiers – so these features are important to keep in mind.


Typical Costs of Radar Detectors

Before you search for the best radar detectors, you might also consider your budget and the price you’re after. There are an array of features that can affect the price of radar detectors, such as the availability of sensitivity and selectivity modes, commonly known as highway and city modes, and the level of long range distance afforded. Lots of radar detectors also come with a built-in GPS, which may up the price a little too.

Thankfully, as you’ll see above our list makes it incredibly easy for you to find the best affordable radar detector, as our selections range from $56 to $900. What a range!


Where is the Best Place to Buy Radar Detector Models?

The best cheap police radar detector is so easy to find, given the magic of today’s instant internet technology. Lots of reviewers and articles online will list their top picks, as we have here, and often the links to buy are included in the listing.

E-commerce affiliates such as Amazon are the greatest place to buy radar detectors, given that you can compare features and specs easily online amongst different models! Amazon also offers a brilliant warranty scheme so you can make any of your returns, all rights reserved, hassle-free.


Considerations Choosing a Budget Radar Detector

Before you have your pick of the best radar detectors, you’ll need to consider some handy tips we’ve compiled here for you to make sure you’re getting the right model for your needs, in order to help you avoid radar guns or red light cameras. You never know when you’re going to be caught out by law enforcement, so cheaping out on model may earn you an unwanted ticket. Here are our top 5 considerations for purchasing radar detectors.

Features

The features offered by your model will be one of the most important things to watch out for before you get your shiny new purchase. For example, lots of detectors will have a speed camera notifier which alerts you where cameras are when you pull up to a red. In addition, speed trap detection can alert you when a speed trap is coming up. Some even offer in-app features using the iRadar app.

Corded versus Cordless

If you scroll to the buyers’ guide at the bottom, you’ll see we’ve outlined the different functions of corded or cordless detectors (which are pretty self-explanatory anyway). Cordless detectors offer more discreet installation, whereas the corded ones you can get are slightly more noticeable. So if you want to go under the radar, as it were, you’ll want a cordless model.

Range Capacity

You’ll want to pick a model from a reputable brand that offers a long range capacity which allows you to get lots of different frequencies and signals, such as K and KA band. These radar bands can be detected by the best radar devices in real time – so the better brand you go for, which doesn’t always mean the pricier band, the less chance of false alarms or false alerts you have – even from things like automatic door openers.

Display and Audio

These features are really important for when you’re driving at night, in darker circumstances. You’ll want a detector that has a good display that’s easy to read, preferable oLED display, as well as a good range of volume options. While the best radar detector will come complete with voice alerts and audible alerts, you’ll want one that features adjustable volume technology and even, ideally, comes with a mute option. This will give you protection for whatever situation you find yourself in.

Another part of display is considering whether your detector has app capabilities. Some detectors have an app you can use, such as an iRadar app, which increases convenience.

Highway and City Modes

The different areas you drive in will inevitably have different signal strength ranges. So, in order to avoid false alarms and false alerts, and have long range protection from law enforcement with real time signals – such as detecting the K Band or Ka Band signals of radar bands, you’ll want a high performance detector that has highway mode, and city mode. These accessories help to provide an advanced way of filtering out false alarms, to provide max efficiency at a cheap cost.

If you’re wondering how this technology actually works to provide you with max protection, highway mode will set your in-car detector to full sensitivity, providing much more opportunity for signal detection. This may increase the chance of false alerts. However, this is still comparatively a good filter to have because there’s a high chance that on the open road, these threats are real and not false alarms. City mode, in comparison, filters out false alerts by lowering the sensitivity.

About This Expert

Jeff Day