BEL (Beltronics) Pro 300 Radar Detector Review

BEL (Beltronics) Pro 300 Radar Detector ReviewThe Beltronics Pro 300 radar detector finds its place a step below the more expensive the Pro 500 series, but a handful of great features make it much more user friendly than the Pro 200 series. For those that are on the market for an affordable radar detector that does not skimp on all of the most popular hardware and software features, the Bel Pro 300 may be one of the best options.

The first thing that will be noticed right out of the box is that this is one of the few radar detectors that features a matte, rubberlike material that reduces the amount of glare that can be seen on the windshield. The simple LED display provides all of the generic information needed including the threat level and any settings that have been chosen. The Pro 300 has just a handful of contoured selector buttons that allow drivers to change settings, such as city or highway driving, without taking their eyes of the road. The long, 12v Smartcord reaches comfortably from anywhere on the windshield and it can be turned off or muted through the traditional buttons or with the included remote.

The range of the Pro 300 will vary depending on road conditions, the style of speedtrap, and the band of the speed detector. In basic daily driving conditions, drivers can expect accurate readings for the X band highway detectors at just over 3000 feet. Traditional K band readings that are found in both mobile and fixed speed traps will be slightly less at around 2500 feet. The device can also be customized to detect both Ka band 34.7 and Ka band 35.5.

While the Bel Pro 300 does not come with the GPS unit of the Bel Pro 500 series, it does have full connectivity with the EscortLive Software. This app allows drivers to connect their radar detector to their smartphone via a Bluetooth connection in order to provide a host of new features. This includes the ability to remove a majority of false alarms when any triggered frequencies are checked against the app’s database. Whenever the Pro 300 does detect radar encounters, the phone will display much more information than the radar detector itself including possible locations, if multiple bands are being used, and the recorded speed of the vehicle.

From voice alerts to pristine radar sensitivity and a competitive range, many drivers will find that this is one of the most affordable and effective devices at this price. Additional features such as the ability to connect to EscortLive, optional voice alarms, one-touch muting, and the ability to control the device with a remote are simply added bonuses for those that purchase the Bel Pro 300.

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Escort Redline Radar Detector Review

Escort Redline Radar Detector ReviewHaving won multiple awards, including the Editor’s Choice Award from Popular Mechanics, the Escort Redline remains one of the top choices for those interested in a comprehensive radar detector. Its wide array of features is compatible with dozens of speed detection tools, making it a great option no matter where one is driving. For those that are on the market for a radar detector, here is a closer glimpse at the Redline, its full list of features, and how it stacks up against the competition.

The first thing that anyone will notice when using this device is the unique dual-antennae design that gives it one of the best ranges for any radar detector. Escort claims a maximum distance of around 14 miles when facing forward and upwards of 6 miles for the rear-facing sensor, but real world conditions will reduce these distances slightly. The Redline also comes with ‘tuning’ options and has been factory tuned to further increase its sensitivity for almost any form of speed detection. While actual detection ranges will change due to a number of unique variables, the Redline can compete with any other detector on the market in this department.

escort-redline-inboxThe setup and customizable settings of the Escort Redline are extremely user-friendly with 8 adjustable options. The Redline also has full capabilities for almost all bands and frequencies including X, K, SuperWide Ka, and more. For those that would like to further refine what signals will be detected, there are also options to decide which Superwide Ka bands and segments will be detected. Escort’s TotalShield technology does provide further protection from unwanted detection no matter the current settings.

In addition to long-range capabilities and options for choosing bands and frequencies, the Escort Redline provides users with a number of new features that have not been placed on previous models from the Escort line of radar detectors. The ultra-bright display can be customized to provide both audible and visual alerts with a built-in earphone jack. The AutoMode system, a program designed by Escort, dramatically reduces false signals and can be further customized for use on the highway as well as an Auto NoX setting. For those with battery issues, warnings can also be set for when the vehicle’s voltage moves above 16.5 volts and below 10.5 volts.

Overall, it is difficult to find a single flaw with the Redline and this device is competitive with any other high-end radar detector. Along with boasting a full lineup of useful and user-friendly features, few radar detectors can achieve either the detection distance or the sheer amount of bands and frequencies. All of this is housed in a slim casing that is both unobtrusive and easy to install.

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Best Radar Detector for the Money

Best Radar Detector for the MoneyWhen on the search for a new radar detector, potential customers can quickly feel lost in a maze of technical details and industry semantics.

(see below for individual radar detector reviews)

From range and frequencies to false alarms and localized detection equipment, it is important to understand the features that will matter and those that can be ignored. For those that are on the market for the best radar detector for the money, here is a breakdown of the most essential hardware and software features to keep an eye on before making a purchase.

What many customers may never hear is that radars are often highly localized. There are over 17,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, and many one of these agencies use slightly different detection tools and methods. As new radars are placed on the market, law enforcement will often do away with old equipment, so this is why it is ideal to get a good idea about state and local laws in order to get the best radar detector for their money. Along the same note, it is essential to avoid old or even used models as the hardware could be outdated and will no longer have the ideal range or currently used frequencies.

Once state laws have been explored, it is time to take a look at the range of a radar detector and how this will affect one’s driving. The best radar detector for the money will give the driver enough time to make the appropriate adjustments to their speed once they have heard the signal. This will not provide complete immunity to tickets, however, especially in unique situations such as the use of law enforcement airplanes. In completely ideal settings, these devices can pick up a signal as far as 1 mile or slightly longer. Unfortunately, not all roadways are flat, straight, and have no obstructions for the signal to bounce off of. In an urban environment with countless turns, other vehicles, and large obstructions, drivers can expect around a quarter of a mile warning depending on the brand and model.

Along with the range of the detector, customers will also need to take a look at the frequency or frequencies that it will utilize. Newer models often have the ability to sweep through X, K, laser, and Ka bands in order to most effectively detect incoming signals, but this can also lead to false alarms. Other models have the ability to select the band that is to be detected, a great feature for those that have a good grasp on their own local law enforcement frequencies.

As stated previously, false alarms can become a major factor and is typically one of the top features marketed by the manufacturers. False alarms can happen for a wide variety of reasons, and both private technology and law enforcement technology could trip a false alarm. An example of this is the garage door openers that have been installed in recent years that operates on the X frequency and cold trip the detector.

From this point, there are countless minor options such as the power supply, location of the device, or even interfacing options for smartphones, but many of these come down to the personal preferences of the customer so that they can get the best radar detector for the money. Finally, while there are no federal laws concerning radar detectors, a number of localities have outlawed these devices including Virginia and the District of Columbia for any size vehicles and within New York and Illinois for larger vehicles.

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