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Lifewire / Todd Braylor
Autolearn + IVT filters reject false alerts
360-degree radar detection indicator arrows
Included database for red lights and speed cameras
Mediocre Ka band detection
Big and heavy
Expectations were high for the pricy Escort Max 360 but I found its selection of advanced features diminished by its mediocre long-distance detection and high price tag.
The Escort Max360 is a top of the line radar detector with a wide range of advanced features, including GPS capabilities, 360-degree protection, and IVT filter capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at the true performance of this premiere radar detector.
The Escort Max360 is the biggest and heaviest radar detector I've tested. This is probably the first thing you'll notice right out of the box. The model comes with a single suction cup windshield mount that felt secure despite the unit's weight. A magnet secures the mounting arm bracket when latched in place on the radar detector, preventing any tumbles from bumps in the road.
The Max360's size limits where you can position it which can be an inconvenience. I didn't feel comfortable mounting this detector high on my windshield under my rearview where its size was a distraction. It felt better at a lower height right above the dash, which I prefer for most radar detectors anyway.
The biggest and heaviest radar detector I've tested.
The build quality of the Max360 is good despite some trivial cosmetic issues. The body is made of high-quality plastic with painted-on graphics, but the button’s graphic elements feel a bit cheap. The silver paint was already chipped a bit right out of the box, a little disappointing for a high-end (and very expensive) product.
The Max360's speaker is located on its bottom side and fairly tiny, but produces a loud audio alert (with adjustable volume).
The Max360 is easy to set up and start using. It's recommended you update the detector's firmware on a PC before using (the Max360 is not compatible with Mac). The Max360 has a mini USB port to connect to a PC but inconveniently there is no USB cable provided. The SmartCord DC power adapter for the Max 360 also has a USB port on it. Additionally, the SmartCord is designed with a handy control button that allows drivers to mark and mute alerts without having to reach over the dash to press buttons on the unit itself.
Once updated and installed in your vehicle, customizing the Max360's settings is more straightforward. There are advanced and novice modes on the Max360 for customizing features or using factory default settings, respectively. You can customize a range of settings from different advanced alert band Meter Mode displays and detector sensitivity to alert tone volume and four display colors to match your car's dash display; blue, green, red, or amber.
The Max360 has a lot of advanced features but some work better than others. Escort’s Autolearn technology features 360 degrees of protection and can detect threats from any angle. The Max360’s display will then show you the signal’s location with directional arrows, which is a great feature and helps with quick identification.
On the negative side, the Ka-band range of the Max360 was no better than some significantly cheaper radar detectors I tested. This is a bit surprising and disappointing for an expensive model. Escort touts the Max360's use of fast Digital Signal Processing (DSP) but this model did not perform at the expected distances.
During highway testing, a less expensive Escort model sounded an alert on Ka-band a few brief moments before the Max360 picked up the signal. In this case, the threat was a parked sheriff almost two miles down the interstate. Approximately three to four seconds difference of sensitivity with Ka-band detection is not a massive discrepancy but anyone should reasonably assume the more expensive model to have the same or better range.
The Max360 has a solid range of advanced features to help you get the most out of this product, starting with its color OLED display. The screen is easy to see in all conditions and shows you helpful information like detection signal strength, current speed and posted speed limit (via GPS data).
The GPS capabilities of the Max360 are powerful at filtering out stationary false alerts and resulted in less frequent false alerts compared to other models I tested. Escort’s Autolearn technology will identify stationary radar sources, such as commercial door-openers, based on their GPS location, and filters them out over time. Autolearn on this model was superior and lived up to my expectations for high-end performance. This process is hands-free and convenient, though it can take some time to analyze and filter. You can also mark locations manually to tell the detector where you encountered a stationary false alert. Additionally, the Max360 comes with a database that utilizes GPS to alert you of red light and speed cameras as you approach them.
Last but not least in terms of performance is the Max360’s support for In-Vehicle Technology (IVT) filters. The Max360’s software requires updating to optimize IVT filtering and is highly recommended. These features help reduce the occurrence of false alerts from other vehicle’s anti-collision warning systems. This feature is what really sets the Max360 apart from cheaper models in terms of high-end technology. Cheaper models struggle with the prevalence of IVT signals on the road today and it leads to a frustrating experience.
Let's compare the Max 360 to a popular competitor model that's about a hundred bucks cheaper. The Radenso Pro M Radar Detector is a high-end model with an MSRP of $450. The Pro M is designed with an equivalent level of advanced technology; it features GPS capabilities, IVT filtering, long-range detection, and red light and speed camera alerts. The major difference between these models is user experience. The Radenso Pro M has a stripped-down design with a much cheaper (albeit high-intensity) single color LED display and no mute button on its DC power adapter. If these are the features you think you can live without, this model can save you some cash.
Advanced filtering plus and features diminished by average detection and a lofty price tag.
I really wanted the advanced features of the Escort Max360 to add up to an overall superior product but this model isn't the best value for your money. The ability to reliably filter out divergent false alerts coupled with great range is what differentiates high-end radar detectors. The Max360 only delivered top-end performance in the former category.