The 8 Best Radar Detectors to Buy in 2017 for Under $100

We've got just what you need to dodge a speeding ticket

Whistler CR75
Courtesy of Amazon.com

On a budget and want to avoid those hefty traffic violation fines? While radar detectors may be a piece of technology that’s not a law enforcement fan favorite, their ability to help drivers avoid speeding tickets is well regarded. With so many detectors on the market, it’s especially difficult to identify which one would best suit your needs. To help, we’ve chosen the best options on the market for under $100 (and you'll notice that Whistler and Cobra are the two companies that offer the biggest bang for your buck).

If you want 360 degrees of coverage and protection against four known frequencies (and their respective bands), including X, K, KA and Laser, the simple choice is the Whistler CR75 high-performance radar detector. The detector has been designed to provide the most relevant alert first with Alert Priority displays notifying you of the most important signal that’s been detected. Boosting the security factor is the inclusion of VG-2 detection, which eliminates detection by a radar detector-detector in locales where the use of such electronics is not allowed. City and highway modes help reduce the number of false-positive alerts and there's a quiet mode to silence alerts altogether. Fortunately, even in silent mode, the CR75 is equipped with an LED blinking light that allows for visual notification for threats. Front, side and rear protection blankets your car and a digital compass shows your heading in five-degree increments.

A no-frills radar detector, the Cobra ESD 7570 is a budget option with an ultra-bright display and a compact design. It's capable of detecting all known laser and radar frequencies. With on-board safety warnings for emergency vehicles, railroad crossings and road hazards, the Cobra even goes beyond the standard radar detection to help keep drivers alert and safe.

The Cobra’s on-board signal strength display helps determine proximity to the target and the opportunity to choose between city and highway functions helps reduce the number of false alerts. At 2.7 x 1.3 x 4.1 inches, it doesn’t take up a huge space on the windshield thereby causing a distraction to the driver. With two cloaking features (Spectre I, VG-2) built-in, the Cobra can help eliminate discovery by any law enforcement utilizing radar detector-detectors.

With 360 degrees of protection helping detect signals coming toward the front and rear of a vehicle, the Cobra XRS 9470 is a terrific choice for extra defense. Built-in VG2 and Spectre alert technology reduce discovery by radar detector-detectors while offering voice alerts and city and highway modes to eliminate false positives. Signal detection includes seven radar signals, six laser signals and one safety signal that pick-up alerts from up to three-quarters of a mile away, so there's enough time to reduce speed and avoid a ticket. The display features a signal strength meter to help determine an exact range to a law enforcement vehicle, as well as auto mute and auto dimmer for nighttime use. You’ll also find alerts for when there’s a road hazard or railroad crossing.

When it comes to detection speed, the Cobra RAD 350 radar detector is your best chance at identifying threats. Assisted by its “instant on” protection, the Rad 350 can detect a radar faster than any other budget model available. Its IVT (In-Vehicle Technology) filter helps reduce the number of false alarms from electronics that might otherwise provide false flags such as a vehicle collision avoidance system or a traffic flow monitoring device.

The detector hits all known radar bands (X, K, Ka), laser and VG-2 signals for complete protection. Alongside its more premium features, the RAD 350 adds a secondary set of extras such as auto dimming, quiet alerts and a digital strength meter to help determine your range from the radar or laser gun that's attempting to spot you speeding. The seven-segment color display offers identifiable icons for determining which signal is pinging locally and it can be easily read in daytime and nighttime conditions.

Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, the Cobra Electronics iRad 950 offers features not found on “dummy” radar detectors. With the iRadar app, you’ll find enhancements such as live traffic data and a “get directions” mode that will assist you in routing to your destination. A coverage map is included that's boosted by more than one million users providing more than 40,000 reports a day. On top of user reporting, the iRad compiles red light camera notifications, user reports of live police locations, caution areas, speed cameras and other real-time traffic data, including accidents and traffic jams. The detector offers 360 degrees of protection across all known radar and laser bands and can spot signals up to a quarter of a mile away.   

Measuring just 2.8 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches, the Whistler XTR-265 has complete 360-degree protection against both radar and laser signals. The Whistler also adds POP mode safety alerts, as well as a safety warning system for advanced alerts against dangers on the road. The inclusion of VG-2 technology helps avoid detection by anti-radar detector technology utilized by law enforcement across the country.

The availability of three city and highway modes allows you to choose whether you want more or less alerts depending on your environment. A vehicle battery saver mode helps reduce any drain on car battery life by automatically turning off the detector within three hours of the car shutting off. Quiet and auto quiet modes can silence the Whistler’s audio alerts but still allow visual cues and alerts via the display.

Highlighted by Cobra’s super-fast sweet circuitry, the XRS 9370 helps provide immediate notification of a detected threat even against the fastest radar guns in the law enforcement arsenal. With both VG-2 and Spectre technology onboard, the XRS 9370 can help avoid detection by radar detector-detectors. The availability of KU band detection allows the XRS 9370 to remain futureproofed. In addition, the Cobra detects all 14-known radar and laser frequencies at ranges that are far enough to allow plenty of time to slow down and avoid a ticket. The radar detector offers 360 degrees of detection, as auto dimmer for nighttime use, city and highway modes, as well as a signal strength meter to help determine the range to a target.

With its high-performance mode, the Whistler Pro-78SE is the ideal radar detector for users who want to stay aware of upcoming threats through both voice and audio notifications. Boosted by 360 degrees of protection for all known laser and radar bands, the real highlight of the Whistler is its real voice that alerts you to an active radar without taking your eyes off the road. The voice alerts will also provide safety warning system messages and feature selection without asking the driver to look at the detector.

Three available city and highway modes increase the radar’s sensitivity and minimize false alerts depending on your needs and current location. The Intellicord accessory offers users remote control of the radar, including on and off functionality with the press of a button.

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