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Lifewire / Todd Braylor
Long-range detection plus signal strength meter
Autolearn uses GPS to filter false alerts
Includes database for red lights and speed camera locations
No support for IVT filters
Unstable windshield mount
Smart features have difficulty learning some false alerts
The Escort iX’s combination of long-distance range and GPS smart technology impress, but its lack of advanced false alert filters mean it falls short of the competition.
The Escort iX is a mid-level radar detector that boasts long-range, advanced Autolearn technology, and GPS lockouts to filter stationary false alerts. Its GPS capabilities also sync with an included database to locate red lights and speed cameras. Let's take a closer look at what the iX delivers in terms of performance, design, and value.
The Escort iX is a medium-sized detector that fits in the palm of your hand and has good build quality. The plastic buttons are a bit small but aren't difficult to use to select various settings. The small speaker on the iX is about a ¼-inch by 1-inch and located on the top panel. Audio alerts are plenty loud at full volume and are adjustable with dedicated buttons.
The windshield mount for the iX is one of the least secure I have tested. The suction-cup component of the mount attaches firmly to glass, but the mounting arm that connects to the iX is poorly designed. The magnet designed to hold the mounting arm in place can easily get yanked off. Unlike other mounts, the iX’s does not latch or slide into place. The magnetic connection is flush on the top of the detector and that's all that holds it in place; any pull on the power cable risks sending the iX tumbling onto your dash.
The Escort iX isn't difficult to set up. Simply plug the detector into the DC SmartCord power cable and you're ready to start. The SmartCord has a handy Mute button on it to silence alerts so you don't have to reach over the dash while driving. The SmartCord also has a convenient USB charging port.
The windshield mount for the iX is one of the least secure I have tested.
Escort recommends updating the unit's firmware and the included Defender database of red lights and speed cameras, but unfortunately, there's no USB cable included, which is an inconvenience. You'll have to procure one on your own to connect to a PC in order to update (the iX is not compatible with Mac).
The Escort iX has several high-performance features and different modes such as city or highway that adjust the detector's sensitivity level. Overall, the iX’s long-distance detection capabilities consistently delivered top-end results during testing. While driving on the interstate I received K and Ka-band alerts up to two miles away from police presence. The detector on the iX also has the ability to pick up transmissions in 360 degrees, providing you alerts of threats from any direction.
The Autolearn feature of the iX is an intelligent and hands-free technology that identifies and filters out false alerts if they occur at least three times in similar situations. The feature uses GPS to learn where stationary false alerts are, like commercial door openers. Autolearn does require some time to adapt to your travel habits and works best for commuters.
The Autolearn had difficulty learning a false alert in testing, which appeared to be coming from a Walmart near a suburban road. Even after several passes, the iX continued to sound an alert. Marking the area manually with the dedicated button and this helped resolve the issue.
Unfortunately, Escort does not support In-Vehicle Technology (IVT) filters for this model, meaning this radar detector can't be updated with a list of frequencies to filter out other vehicles' anti-collision systems. It's sorely missed given the number of modern vehicles with anti-collision detection.
Even though the iX does not support IVT filters, the AutoLoK setting decreases the sensitivity of the K band and this helped minimize false alerts from other cars. After activating this setting, I only received one false alert during testing that appeared to come from a Honda.
The Max iX's lack of reliable anti-collision filtering capabilities is disappointing at this price given that numerous competitor models, some cheaper than the iX, are designed with filters to help reduce IVT false alerts.
At $320 MSRP, the iX’s price tag should get you a multi-featured and advanced radar detector. The Max iX's lack of reliable anti-collision filtering capabilities is disappointing at this price given that numerous competitor models, some cheaper than the iX, are designed with filters to help reduce IVT false alerts.
Let's take a quick look at a competitor model that sells below $300, features GPS, and also has anti-collision filtering capabilities. The Radenso XP Radar Detector retails for $250 and boasts many similar features to the Escort iX, including long-distance sensitivity, GPS Lockout capabilities, plus red light and speed camera detection. The Radenso XP does require you to manually press the mute button to tell it what false alerts should be filtered out with GPS—it lacks an Autolearn equivalent. The big difference in favor of the Radenso is its support of IVT filters. If false alerts drive you crazy, the Radenso may be the superior option.
Long-range and intelligent GPS features don't add up for the list price.
If you can find the Escort iX on-sale for under $300, I confidently recommend purchasing this radar detector. When it comes down to value, the lack of IVT filters is a significant downside. This radar detector certainly excels in other ways; the iX's long-range, Autolearn, and panoramic detection are all solid features for highway commutes, but when the competition offers similar features and IVT filters for less, it's shrewd to weigh your options.