One type of radar detector few notice is the custom-installed remote or built-in model. It escapes scrutiny by thieves and curious lawmen and some include laser jammers, the only proven defense against the light-based technology.
Aside from the stealth factor, for some the remote radar detector is the only option. Most Blind Spot Monitoring systems use K-band radar transmitters mounted in the rear bumper. Signal a lane-change when a vehicle is in your blind spot and an alert appears in the outside mirror.
The system transmits continuously when the vehicle is moving, setting off radar detectors up to 1,000 feet away. This can include a detector in the offending vehicle, rendering the device nearly useless. K band can be shut off, but not without risk as some 20,000 K-band radar guns are still in use nationwide.
The more sensitive the detector, the greater its susceptibility to these spurious K-band signals. Owners of the Valentine One, which has a second, rear-facing radar antenna, report that it false-alarms hysterically in the presence of BSM transmitters, especially if it's inside the same vehicle.
Not all Escort products are immune either. On one 1,275-mile-long freeway trip our Escort Max 360 shrieked 72 K-band false alarms, nearly all caused by BSM radar. Learn more
The only solution we've found to date is offered by the Escort Passport 9500ci. Its radar antenna is low to the ground, helping to shield it from errant microwaves. The 9500ci is also GPS-enabled, automatically dialing back sensitivity at lower speeds to reduce K-band false alarms. Escort calls this speed-variable sensitivity.
The Escort Passport 9500ci has significantly better performance than any windshield-mount model we've tested—with one exception. The Escort RedlineXR slightly trumps the Escort 9500ci in radar-warning range.
The 9500ci's thumb-sized control unit is backlit, making the buttons easy to locate at night. The module can be surface-mounted or concealed, often tucked away in the ash tray or console.
Information is shown in an LED text display, also designed for surface-mounting. Replacing this with the kit's bi-color LED results in a cleaner look, but not without penalties. The flashing LED delivers no information about threats and renders useless most of the detector's advanced functions.
A compromise is to have the display built-in to the rear-view mirror; not cheap, but an elegant way to minimize cockpit clutter without affecting the detector's information-delivery. See details
- Laser ShifterPro jammers
- Red light camera alerts
- Remote control, display
- Online updates
- Voice alerts
- Powered speaker
- Free same-day shipping
The advantage of using GPS to limit false alarms becomes apparent after a few days of driving with the feature called AutoLearn. Drive three times past spots where you get false alarms from roadside sources and it automatically stores them to memory. Next time you drive past, it won't alert.
In our test of competing red light camera databases, Escort's Defender camera database proved significantly more accurate. It's also updated more frequently than the competitions'.
Due to Escort's control of the patents, other companies may tout GPS in radar detectors, but they can offer none of the technology's most valuable features. Learn more.
The Escort Passport 9500ci's radar performance led the pack in every test, equalled only by the discontinued Beltronics STiR Plus, a stripped-down 9500ci clone. The Escort Laser ShifterPro laser jammer system worked equally as well, jamming some of the guns down to point-blank range and doing almost as well against the others. Learn more about laser jammers.
On the highway it rarely false-alarms and is nearly as quiet in town. Small wonder that we rank it at as the best custom-installed radar detector.