Welcome to Top Radar Detectors
There are many radar detectors on
the market but many are junk and we will only discuss the top radar detectors.
The common brands are Escort, Beltronics, Whistler, Cobra & Valentine and for
our purposes we will only be discussing simple windshield mounted radar
detectors. When looking for a detector you really do get what you pay for
as far as performance goes. Stay away from cheap under $100 radar
detectors because they are mostly junk and will usually not give you adequate
time to react once your radar detector goes off. Although Cobra has some
really nice detectors with great GPS functionality their performance is still
lacking especially on the newer KA Band so no Cobra detectors made our top list.
Also when buying its very important to buy a radar detector from an authorized dealer. Almost all manufactures of radar detectors will only provide warranty and support on detectors that were sold through authorized dealers. A very good dealer is Best Radar Detectors and their website is Best Radar Detectors - I take the following information directly from the Escort & Beltronics websites: (Note Bullet 4 Below)
So please use caution when buying online and trying to save a few dollars. Its not worth saving $50 on a $500 detector and risk not having a warranty. Every detector listed in our top radar detector list is firmware updateable so if the manufacture updates their firmware to offer better performance you might miss out on getting it updated if purchased from an unauthorized dealer. Also if it breaks you will be kicking yourself for not having a warranty. Only buy from an authorized dealer and Best Radar Detectors is a Beltronics & Escort Authorized Dealer since 2004. If deciding on the Valentine Radar detector there is no authorized dealer since Valentine does not distribute its product and they only sell directly. Anyone selling the Valentine radar detector on their website is just buying it directly from Valentine at retail and marking up the price to sell it on their site. Go directly to the manufacture if interested in the valentine detector, Their website is http://www.valentine1.com
Now back to the detectors - Here is the list of the top windshield mounted radar detectors for 2011:
If you live in an area where radar detectors are illegal (Virginia, Washington DC & Some parts of Canada) or you are a professional commercial driver and you can afford around $500 then the Beltronics STi Magnum would be our best recommendation for you. In areas where detectors are illegal police uses RDD's (Radar Detector Detectors) to search out and find vehicles using radar detectors illegally. The Beltronics STi Magnum is a windshield mounted detector immune to all RDD technology so they can not sense that you have a radar detector in your vehicle when you should not have one. One other advantage to the STi Magnum is that it also has dual antenna's and one is specifically used for the KA Band (KA used in most of the newer radar guns) adding additional KA performance over the other products in the Beltronics lineup.
Of the list above only the Whistler products are priced in the $200 and lower range. Whistler has steadily been improving their products over the past few years and in the under $200 range they are the best performing detectors that you can buy. For 2009 whistler has been able to squeeze our additional KA performance (KA used in most of the newer radar guns) making them the top radar detectors for under $200. Both the Whistler PRO-78SE and the XTR-690SE use the same antenna and you will get equal performance. PRO-78SE has a better blue auto dimming display and they also bundle a hard wire kit with the unit. The XTR-690SE has a lower quality red display but it does add a compass as an additional feature.