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World’s Best Radar Detector? Revealed – with and without GPS

Posted on 03 May 2010 by admin

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Escort 9500ix

Okay, I’m not a wordy writer.  Like many of you, I’m a “bottom line” kind of guy.  My mantra is usually: Spare me the technical details, just tell me what to buy.

Well, I will do that.  But to be fair, I will follow up with the rationale behind my recommendations.  I am not going against my mantra, but I do think it is important to show you that this is not based on my opinions, but rather real world testing.

So here it is:

  • #1 with GPS – Escort Passport 9500i – Price: $460 – usually not sold at a discount anywhere
  • #1 without GPS – Escort Passport 8500 X50  – price: $345

Where to Buy:

You can buy it at one of our partner sites by clicking on any of the ads on this page.  Full disclosure, we are paid a fee if you make a purchase from the partner site.  But, here’s the deal – if you’re going to make a purchase based on the information at BTST (this website), why not help us maintain and strengthen this FREE site by buying from our partners.

And Now for the Details…

Here are the details behind the recommendation above.  If you don’t like technical details or don’t care, you need not read further.  Just buy one of the units above and you will not go wrong.

Now, for those of you who what to know about the rationale behind the ratings, read on…

What is “best?”

First, to truly rate what is best, the word “best” needs to be defined, because you could mean “best” as in “I think http://www.partycasino.com/ is the best games site”, or you could mean your car has the “best” brakes, because specifically, you believe it to be the best that you have experienced.

Best can mean a number of things in the world of radar detectors – highest in sensitivity, longest in range, best in selectivity and best in eliminating false alarms. But I can tell you from real world experience that “best” is always a compromise of all these attributes, i.e., there is no detector that is best at all the qualities that matter – sensitivity, range, selectivity and false positive elimination at the same time.

These attributes are by their very nature competing attributes.  If engineers design a radar detector to be exceptionally sensitive, they have to compromise on its ability to detect false positive signals.  If they design the unit to have the greatest selectivity, it will not have the longest range, and so on.

Three premier brands are usually mentioned when any expert talks about the best radar detectors – Escort, Beltronics (BEL) and Valentine.

Valentine V1

Valentine V1 fans love to tout about the Valentine V1’s ultra high sensitivity – this is true – it can detect a police radar in the next state (I exaggerate for dramatic effect here).  While it may be super sensitive and will not let you miss a potential radar trap, the darn thing can not keep its alarm from going off at the slightest provocation from any radar source – such as radar detectors in passing cars, cell phone towers, Little Timmy’s glow-in-the-dark wrist watch (again I exaggerate for dramatic effect).  This gets old quickly.  By the end of a 500 mile trip, you either want to surrender this thing to a cop, or smash it over and over with all four tires of your car.


Then there’s BEL (Beltronics) .  Fans of this breed love to tout about the BEL GX65 – particularly its photo band sensitivity.  We agree, this is impressive.  But in the all important category of Laser radar detection, this brand tends to fall short.  Having said that, there is one model that stands out – the BEL STI Driver – because it is mysteriously undetectable by the most sensitive police radar detector – detecting equipment.  So this makes it ideal for places where such devices are banned, such as Washington DC and Virginia.  But other than this specialized model, the brand does not stand out against Escort for everywhere else where radar detectors are legal.


This brings us to Escort – the brand of choice.  Why are their products superior?  Well, in a nutshell, they are the “best” in our view.  For example, compared to the Valentine V1, the units above are extraordinarily good at eliminating false alarms or false positive signals and they have a lot more features to boot.  And compared to the BEL detectors, the units are nearly equal in our view for photo band detection, but offer superior camera location detection in the Escort 9500ix (the GPS enabled unit) and both the Escort 9500Xi and Escort 8500 X50 offer higher sensitivity while eliminating false positives.

So there you have it.  The two Escort products – the 9500ix and 8500 X50, because of their extraordinary sensitivity, superior features, user friendliness and exceptional elimination of false signals reign, at least for the time being, the best radar detectors on the planet.

*****I give them 5/5 starts, by far great choices.
If you decide to buy, do yourself a favor and buy them from the BEST AND MOST RELIABLE website on the net (we know because we have looked at them all!!!), right here:

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Beltronics STI Driver Review

Posted on 26 December 2008 by admin

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Beltronics STI Driver

The TotalShield technology revolutionized by Beltronics has become one of the leading radar detection systems which are invisible to radar detectors as well. It helps motorists stay clear of radar detection systems by putting up a shield and also acts as a laser safety detector. It keeps you unseen from detection units such as VG-2 and Spectre which are being used by the local police anywhere in the US and UK. The Beltronics STI Driver has been optimized for easy and user-friendly benefits which offer easy to understand voice alerts and high definition text display.

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