When driving in a secluded area on the highway, it’s easy to get swept away and forget to press your foot on the gas. The next thing you know, you could get an expensive speeding ticket or even a traffic court date. If you have a radar detector.

The radar detector notifies you when your car speed is being monitored by law enforcement. This allows you to find the police before they find you, allowing you to slow down and correct your driving. In short, radar detectors can help you drive safer while saving money with fewer tickets. It is legal in only two jurisdictions (Washington, DC and Virginia).

also: Best dash cams

What is the best radar detector currently?

ZDNET researched the best radar detectors available based on features, display, and price. Our pick for the best radar detector overall is Uniden R7Thanks to the built-in GPS, strong signal and ease of use. Read on to learn about the best radar detectors you can buy right now.

Best radar detectors of 2024


  • Integrated GPS
  • Strong signal strength
  • Ease of use

  • On the larger side
  • Lacks Bluetooth

Oneden R7 features: Global Positioning System: Yes | Audio alerts: Yes | power source: DC | Voltage : 12 volt | Display type: OLED

The Uniden R7 earned our pick for best radar detector overall, thanks to its customizable audio alerts and false alarm detection. It keeps you safer with advanced false alert filtering, 360-degree monitoring, and stock detection. There is also GPS technology used to help the device remember and mute typical false alarms. You will also find that the locations of red light and speed cameras will automatically update to keep you current at all times. The OLED display is a bonus for easy viewing.

Customers who purchased the Uniden R7 said they loved its ease of setup and use, as well as its comprehensive configuration settings.


  • Bluetooth connection
  • Voice alerts
  • Adjustable sensitivity

  • annoying
  • Suffering from false alarms

Cobra RAD 480i Features: Global Positioning System: No | Audio alerts: No | power source: DC | Voltage : 12 volt | Display type: OLED

If you find yourself on a limited budget, the Cobra RAD 480i may be just right for you. At just $150, it’s very affordable compared to others in its category. LaserEye technology helps detect signals from all around your vehicle for better forward and reverse detection, while built-in safety protocols help provide early warnings while reducing the threat of false alarms. Use the matching iRadar app to see more of the road or receive real-time alerts from over 3 million drivers in the community.

Users who own the Cobra Rad 480i have reported in reviews that they like that the unit allows you to adjust the sensitivity as well as the low rate of false positive alerts.


  • Excellent communication
  • Rear radar antenna
  • Auto lock

  • The price
  • Middle back range

Escort Max 360c Features: Global Positioning System: Yes, via the application Audio alerts: Yes | power source: DC | Voltage : 12 volt | Display type: OLED

Escort MAX 360c gives you the ability to customize your screen, displaying high-resolution details such as signal type and strength when connected to Escort Live. Incorporated is a full-color graphical display that uses antennas and arrows to identify hazards around your vehicle and near your location. This radar detector is compatible with iPhone and Android devices for easy connectivity. Plus, there’s the benefit of built-in Wi-Fi, so you can see if there’s a ticket threat ahead in real time.

Users who own the Escort Max 360c praise the detector’s range and accuracy as well as the built-in camera.


  • Simple to install
  • Long term use
  • False alarms are rare

  • Suction cup fittings
  • Average width

Uniden R3 features: Global Positioning System: Yes | Audio alerts: Yes | power source: DC | Voltage : 12 volt | Display type: OLED

The Uniden R3 uses a range of technologies – advanced false alert filtering provides greater protection against invalid threats, while GPS technology finds and tracks your location against known radars in and around your location. When you’re driving along your usual route, you’ll skip all the common false alerts with your detector’s built-in memory. Your device will also come pre-loaded with red lights and speed cameras, keeping you up to date with firmware updates to ensure you get a head start wherever you need it.

Verified reviewers who purchased the Uniden R3 said they appreciated the radar detector’s longer range as well as the balance between price and performance.


  • Real-time user updates
  • Integrated GPS
  • Event alerts for traffic jams and special events
  • free

Waze app features: Global Positioning System: Yes | Audio alerts: Yes | power source: There is no | Voltage : There is no | Display type: nothing

Although the Waze app is not classified as a radar detector, its user base helps provide real-time information on the locations of red light cameras and speed traps along your route. Besides helping you avoid getting a ticket, Waze users can provide real-time updates about traffic jams, the locations of restaurants and gas stations, and even special events like parades and street carnivals. The app also features integrated GPS that works similarly to Google Maps, and you can integrate your Spotify playlists for safer multitasking while driving.

Waze app users said they like the ability to report real-time traffic information as well as the built-in GPS functionality.

The Uniden R7 won ZDNET’s choice as Best Radar Detector, thanks to its amazing performance, reliability and value. To see how it compares to our other best radar detectors, here’s an overview of each model.

Best radar detector


Global Positioning System


Uniden R7



12V DC

Cobra Rad 480i



12V DC

Escort Max 360c


Companion app

12V DC

Oneden R3



12V DC





When choosing a radar detector, the most important thing to consider is whether or not it is legal to own and use in your state. Some areas have banned the use of radar detectors for civilians, so check all local laws and ordinances to make sure you don’t own or operate one illegally.

Buy a radar detector…

If you need…

Uniden R7

Well-rounded radar detector. The Uniden R7 features built-in GPS and audio alerts for added safety on the road.

Cobra Rad 480i

Budget friendly radar detector. The Cobra RAD 480i retails for around $150, making it one of the cheaper options on the market.

Escort Max 360c

Radar detector with a great display. The Escort MAX 360c uses an OLED display for clearer, easier-to-read text.

Oneden R3

This radar detector provides great value for the price. It features built-in GPS and audio alerts as well as an OLED display and dual laser and radar detection systems.

Waze application

Radar detector app is easy to use. Waze users help provide real-time updates on red light cameras and speed trap locations.

While searching for the best radar detectors, you should consider the following factors:

  • Features: There are many additional features that you may find from one model to another, such as GPS connectivity or false alert detection. These features can greatly simplify use and improve your chances of being caught on the radar.
  • an offer: Visibility is a critical factor when choosing a radar detector. The best radar detectors come with an OLED display that provides greater clarity and color to your images.
  • it costs: Budget is the primary concern for many users, so we look for the best affordable radar detectors that come at a reasonable cost relative to their features.

When researching each radar detector on this list, I kept these criteria in mind:

  • Legitimacy: Not all states or cities allow the use of radar detectors or radar jammers. Every model on this list has been confirmed to follow federal radar detection guidelines, but be sure to check all state and local laws before purchasing.
  • stabilizing: Setting up a radar detector shouldn’t take all day or require special knowledge. Each model on this list was chosen for its ease of setup and intuitive controls.
  • Consistency and reliability: Your radar detector should give you clear and consistent warnings every time it picks up a radar signal. Each model on this list was chosen for its reliability based on customer reviews.

while Federal law Radar detectors are prohibited from being used in commercial vehicles only, and their use in personal vehicles is regulated at the state and municipal levels. Be sure to check all applicable laws before purchasing a radar detector.

A radar detector, well, detects radar signals. These devices look for signals from police radar scanners and alert you to their presence, allowing you to correct your speeding or other driving errors and avoid a ticket. Radar detectors are generally legal throughout the United States, except for commercial vehicles. Although it is best to check your state and local laws before purchasing anything.

A radar jammer is something completely different and completely illegal. Both federal law and Federal Trade Commission regulations Prohibit the use of radar jammers, as they intentionally interfere with radar communications systems to provide false readings. Violators, even first-time offenders, can face heavy fines, confiscation of equipment and property, and even imprisonment.

The cost of a radar detector varies greatly from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. The best radar detectors range in price from $150 to under $700, depending on the model you choose.

More radar detectors to consider

This is the best radar detector if you want to splurge.

If you’re in the market for a radar detector but don’t want to spend an entire paycheck on one, this Uniden radar detector does the job.

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