Finding the Best Overall Radar Detector

It's not easy to say which would be the best overall radar detector for you. Your driving habits and specific needs will play a big part in your decision. And different models have different attributes.

Most of us will use money as the biggest factor, and then try to get as many features as we can for the price. But that approach can really box you in. What if your price range is unrealistically small? Is it worth even $50 to have a radar detector that meets few, if any, of your needs?

Here are some features to consider as you look for a radar detector:

  • City mode. If you do lots of city driving, you may want this feature. It helps filter out annoying false alarms caused by various electronics.

  • K-band testing. You'll want this. K-band is a very common type of radar.

  • Ka-band testing. Ka-band is a newer, harder-to-detect radar that has gradually overtaken K-band in popularity among cops.

  • Laser detector testing. The laser detection capabilities that come with radar detectors are generally not effective. Don't pay extra for this feature. You're better off with a laser jammer, though they're pricey, and illegal in some states.

  • Signal strength. Most radar detectors gauge the strength of the radar signal, giving you an idea of how close the officer is.

  • Safety Warning System. This feature gives you warnings about upcoming hazards, construction, and road maintenance.

  • Text display. Any unit with Safety Warning System will also have text display - that's how you'll see the messages.

  • VG-2. VG-2 is a radar-detector-detector used by the police to determine who's using a radar detector. But since radar detectors are only illegal in Virginia and Washington DC, you won't need this feature unless you live in that region or plan to drive there often.

  • X-band testing. This is an old type of radar now used only by police in New Jersey and certain parts of Ohio. As with VG-2, you'll only need this feature if you plan to drive in those parts of the country often.

Here's a fun way to find the best overall radar detector for you: Visit and use their DetectorSelector. It's an interactive online tool that gives you a customized recommendation based on the specific information you provide.

Go there to get started finding your best overall radar detector. Or spend some time researching radar detector ratings.

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