Pros Locks out most false signals.
VERY easy to use, plug it in and let it do its thing.
Doesn't go off every mile on the highway due to the new traffic speed monitoring devices.
Good support from Escort (if you ever need it.)
Does not lock out Ka false signals. Escort says that because 99% of the time these are real threats, they won't allow them to be locked out.
Only a 1 year warranty, but an additional 2 years costs a mere $40.
Summary First off, those complaining that Escort's customer service is poor are simply wrong. I did have an issue with my initial detector, but Escort took care of it without any hassles at all. They paid for the shipping both ways and my replacement detector has been working fine for over a year. Very courteous the entire time.
Since Ohio put up all kinds of TSR devices, my older Passport 8500 went off all the time. They are the Pringle's can looking thing with a solar panel about every mile on highways to measure average traffic speeds. Since that one couldn't be updated to filter these devices out, it was pretty much useless to me since it went off every single mile, sometimes multiple times per mile.
I upgraded to this device because of the GPS and TSR filtering. The one common complaint of radar detectors is that they false alarm a lot, especially in congested/shopping areas. All those door openers and security systems make for a noisy radar detector. Not with this. Once this unit picks up the same signal 3 times on separate trips, it locks that out and you don't hear it ever again. Eventually, you'll see a "STORED" alert on the display along with a special "beep" sound, and you'll know it locked something out. It's all automatic, and even unlocks something if the signal is not present after 5-6 passes and if you're traveling over 35mph. It also has TSR filtering, so even without the GPS filtering, no more constant alerts on the highway. The TSR filter basically delays alerts for 1/2 second on K band, which is what all those devices transmit.
I purchased mine directly from Escort, so it was considerably more expensive than some online stores, but I was guaranteed that they would honor the warranty. Within 24 hours, my GPS stopped working. It just showed 0 mph all the time and GPS filtering didn't work. A call to Escort and they sent me a UPS label within 15 minutes to send it back. Two days after I handed it to the UPS guy, I had a replacement and haven't had a bit of troubles since.
The biggest con is the expense. I drive 2+ hours a day so that warranted the cost. I don't drive fast anymore, but I do want to know when my speed is being monitored. Basically a nice reminder system to check my speed so I'm not caught off-guard.
One thing I would highly recommend is calling Escort within your warranty period and asking for their extended warranty. It's around $40 for 2 more years. To me, that's well worth it for such an investment.
For those with smartphones, you might also find their Escort Live service invaluable. If someone else has that service and encounters radar, laser or just sees an officer, they can issue an alert that you can pick up. So if someone 15 miles ahead of you gets hit with laser within the past hour, you'll get that alert on your phone. Very slick, but it costs around $100 a year and you have to use a special power cord.
One alternative to Escort Live is Waze which is free and isn't tied to your detector, but does have a better user base and offers similar functionality as far as reporting goes. Waze offers a ton of other features such as intelligent navigation, social networking, etc., and Escort Live alerts now show up on Waze as "EscortAnonymousUser."
If you're looking for absolute maximum detection distance without regard to false alarms, check out their Redline product or the Valentine One. If you want something with excellent detection distance yet filters out as many false alarms as possible, you would be hard pressed to find a better unit than this at the current time.
Escort hit a home run with this, and I'd recommend it without hesitation to anyone who drives a lot.
Pros GPS auto learning feature reduces false alarms. Nice loud alerting that changes with ambient noise. Great styling. Software updates via web. Traffic Cam, Red Light Cam and Speed Trap database all built in and updated through the web as well.
Cons LED sometimes difficult to see in bright light. Price is a bit high but worth it. Software is Windows only... No MAC support at all. Need a 12V outlet by your computer to configure. Database updates require a subscription but it's inexpensive.
Summary This radar detector is designed to reduce false alarms and only react when necessary. This reduction in false alarms greatly increases your sensitivity to the alerts and makes the detector much more effective.
Small touches like the auto dimming feature of the LED and the auto volume of the alert are fantastic additions to a great detector. Nothing like having your music playing or top down and still being able to hear an alert go off.
This detector is built around the user and works for a novice or a more involved user. You can let the detector automatically filter out false alerts over time or just do it yourself by hitting the mute button 3 times. Ever want to get an alert back, just hit the mute three times in the same location and it will unblock the location. If you want to specifically mark a certain area to make sure the alarm goes off there, just hit the mark button and it's set. It is just about as easy as it could be.
More advanced users can alter the detector to display exact frequencies on the screen when an alert is triggered. If desired, the X-band can be blocked completely since very few X alerts are real police.
Did I mention that all these settings can be performed through your computer? Much better that hitting some obscure combination of keys to get the settings just right.
The one big downside to this detector is the lack of Mac software. Another annoyance is that the radar detector must be plugged into a 12V cigar lighter style plug when you do the software updates. Not a problem if you have a windows laptop you can take to your car but can be a challenge for some people.
Escort gives you some free downloads for the device when you first register but after that, you need to buy a subscription for the updates. It's not too expensive (~$30 / 3 years) but just another thing to consider.
All in all, this is a great radar detector and well worth the money. You'll know you've bought the best when you see the box this thing comes with... kinda makes you feel like you bought a Rolex.
Pros Absolutely first rate performance. Plus, as stationary "safety" cameras proliferate, GPS and an onboard camera database are becoming necessities for any good RD. Manual and automatic lockout of false alerts further sweetens the pie.
Cons Would have preferred a red display, not available for this model.
Suction cups need a little assistance keeping heavy unit secured on windshield - recommend applying some Gorilla Glue to cups and allowing this to cure before suspending the unit.
Summary The ability to minimize false alerts coupled with class-leading sensitivity and the capability of alerting the driver to the presence of stationary speed and red light cameras, which transmit no signals, make this the detector of choice for any serious driver.
The easily updateable database within the 9500ix allows the driver to not only merge new camera locations with existing ones, but to add frequently encountered speed trap locations, as well. Additionally, false alerts, such as door openers and security systems, can be permanently locked out. The lockout may be performed manually at any time via button presses, or programmed to occur automatically after the third encounter.
In addition to premier radar detection, the 9500ix also provides excellent laser detection. Although a laser alert while exceeding an acceptable speed is generally nothing more than a signal to pull over and retrieve one's license, this unit can be interfaced with the company's ZR4 Laser Shifter kit to provide a complete radar/laser solution in an elegantly integrated package.
Escort products have for years led the field in consumer equipment to combat electronic traffic enforcement equipment, and the 9500ix handily qualifies as the new standard bearer. It has become the benchmark against which all others are measured.
Pros GPS feature is a great idea.
Cons Customer service and extended warranty support are terrible.
Summary I know there are never-ending debates about which radar detectors are best, and I wanted to let everyone know of my recent BAD experience with Escort. I have had an Escort 9500ix GPS-equipped detector for around a year and a half, and I purchased the extended 3 year warranty with it that is suppose to come with free updates. All has been well until Escort announced on its update site that they have added a feature to the 9500ix that detects what is called TSR, which basically eliminates false K-band signals from traffic sensors on highways in some regions. They noted that folks who bought units with certain serial numbers had to send them in for the update.
Here's the rub. They want $59.99 to perform the update even though I am covered under their extended warranty. It is my penalty for buying an early serial number unit. Needless to say, I am completely dissatisfied with Escort, who would not budge on this payment policy, and would suggest folks look elsewhere for a high end detector.
Pros The accuracy and being able to eliminate false bands that come buildings closer to the roads.
Cons It not being able to automatically turn on when you turn on the ignition and no compass capability as compared to what my old cobra was able to do. I like that you can easily update the database with the most current cameras' location
Summary Apart from the cons I have listed above, the device performs excellent.