As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
We have all crossed the speed limit one or more times, be it intentionally or not.
While we endorse safe driving and practicing traffic rules at all times, we also recognize that sometimes mistakes happen unintentionally, and it doesn’t hurt to be alerted beforehand to avoid an additional ticket.
This is why we have brought for you a complete guide to radar and laser detectors with the goal of finding the right radar detector under $150.
As always, we have also included a buying guide and frequently asked questions.
Whether this is a first-time investment or an upgrade, you will surely benefit from this list, especially if you are on a tight budget or simply do not want a hole burned in your pocket!
Top-rated Radar Detector Review in 2021
Our top picks are definitely going to strike your fancy! Read on to find the one which suits all your needs and demands.
Cobra RAD 450 ReviewTop Pick[amazon box=”B01L2U1OI8″]
For under $150, this is perhaps one of the most basic radar detectors you can purchase.
It does not come equipped with Bluetooth or GPS like some higher-end models; however, the performance does not disappoint at all.
The radar only does its job, yet effectively. This model features an easy to read display.
If you’re looking for easier to understand notifications,
the radar also has voice alerts in English and Spanish to help communicate the message faster.
Additionally, an IVT filter blocks out any false alerts to prevent causing unnecessary panic.
The radar is always on ‘Instant On,’ which means it is very quick to identify radar guns and such equipment.
Moreover, it detects laser signals from both front and rear; as a result, you don’t become susceptible to detection due to your position relative to the source.
Three of the primary signals used by the police are K-, Ka- and X-band, all of which can be detected by this radar.
Even without the flashy outlook or features, this radar keeps you alert yet relaxed at all times, making it one of our top picks.
Check out: Best OBD2 Scanner under $50
Whistler CR70 Review
For 360-degree complete perimeter protection, look no further than our next pick.
This model comes from a range of products that promise affordable, effective performance.
With the ability to detect maximum types of signals, the detector also has some bonus features that make it worth your while.
This bad boy can detect other detectors around – that’s quite the tongue twister.
Simply put, it can tell when you have been hit by other radar detectors. It also has a ‘POP’ mode, which notified you of short bursts of radar instantly.
The model features both voice and visual (flashing lights) notification for prompt alertness.
Moreover, your purchase will come with some essential components.
These include a 12V DC power cable, an instruction manual, and a windshield bracket kit.
It helps to not have to invest separately in such equipment and have them come with an already affordable radar detector – we can’t complain!
Furthermore, Whistler CR70 has three different city modes and well as a filtering system to get rid of false alerts.
Clean and straightforward built with great features makes this unit a steal at this price point.
Cobra RAD 250 Review
Our next pick comes equipped with anti-falsing technology. In a world where several places you come across during your drive use laser technology,
it is quite helpful to have all detections not emitted by the police or by surveillance technology blocked out as false alerts.
Moreover, the model features separate city and highway modes. City mode is programmed to rule out detections caused by slow traffic and such problems.
On highway mode, detection becomes more accurate and sensitive. The detector, then, becomes super useful in detecting highway police or speed cameras.
It also has the manufacturer’s popular Instant-On feature, which helps detect radars instantly.
This helps the driver become aware of possible threats long before coming into contact with them.
The model also comes with a mounting kit and power cable, eliminating the need to purchase items separately.
This radar detector is very affordable, yet it is incredibly useful. It does the job of detecting radars exceptionally well given the price of the product. For simplicity and functionality, this earns significant points from us.
Uniden DFR1 Long Range Laser and Radar DetectionBudget Pick[amazon box=”B01C0B0TMK”]
Being one of the best value long-range detectors on the market, we could not leave this product out of our list.
In your search for the radar detector, this is a model that you should definitely consider.
Additionally, the model features radar detector detection, which allows you to spot radar detectors in the area.
No complicated set up is required to start using this product. The design of this detector is compact; however, at the same time, it has a display larger and clearer than most competing models.
This makes it very easy to read without having to decelerate or lean in.
However, your detector remains invisible to others. This function is usually found in very high-end options, so having it in an affordable option is definitely a good bonus!
The product comes with several add-ons. A power cord, mounting bracket, hook and loop fastener tape, and spare fuse for the power cord are all included in your purchase. And of course – the user manual.
Cobra RAD 350 Review
We are featuring another great long-range budget laser detector on our list. Long-range units give drivers more time between detection and contact, which is why several people prefer long-range detectors over regular ones.
As always, the super-reliable manufacturer has another simple and efficient product to offer.
This model, too, boasts its top features. It is equipped to detect laser and radar from a very long range.
It has an IVT filter to stop false alerts. Moreover, voice alerts instantly notify you of changes in laser or radar levels,
so you don’t have to keep looking at the screen while driving.
The display is also easy to read and features an eye-catching color to make the reading easy to understand and comprehend.
Different band detections are also notified using different tones in audio alerts.
Such features contribute to making this a great pick for everyone, both within a tight or lax budget.
Uniden DFR5 Long Range Laser Detection
For an impressively long detection range, this is your guy! This model can pick up both radar and laser signals from a significant distance, allowing you a long buffer time to adjust the speed and so on.
Lightweight and compact, the detector can pick up all bands and types of signals in use currently.
It is also one of the most customizable long-range detectors on the market.
On the body of the detector, you will find several buttons that can be used to adjust the volume, dim settings, signal strength meter, and also a button to mute the device.
No complicated set up is required to use any of these features. The detector also offers different highway and city modes.
Using the highway mode, you can operate at the highest range and sensitivity and the lowest selectivity.
This is because highways are highly unlikely to have automated doors or security systems that emit signals.
These features are reversed for the more crowded urban streets. This is one of our most favorite features due to the customizability, range, and simplicity of use.
Yes, it does sit on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to some other models, but we also believe it delivers great value to the user, which is why we think it could be a good radar detector for under 150 dollars.
Uniden DFR6 Long Range Laser Detection
This model is a step up from our previous recommendation. With the same impressive detection range and even better performance, this model is also set to stun.
The signal strength on this device is very admirable too; it very rarely experiences bad reception – if at all.
When it comes to speed, this device is eerily fast.
It displays accurate readings within milliseconds, and given its notable sensitivity, you get plenty of time between detecting and being detected.
The display on this device is also very high-tech and easy to read. It also adds to the aesthetic value of the detector.
The device can, admittedly, be noisy at times. However, the manufacturer also included a solution for this problem with a mute button.
Highly customizable, the detector allows you to control volume using a set of easy-to-use buttons.
This manufacturer really knows their stuff when it comes to detectors. Their products rarely disappoint, and it is no different for this model.
With the performance of higher-end detectors at an affordable price point, this is possibly one of the best options on our list, as well as the market in general.
Whistler Z-31R+ Bilingual (English/Spanish)
This model possesses some of the most desirable features of a great radar and laser detector.
It is one of the only detectors under 150 dollars that comes equipped with internal GPS, setting it apart from its competitors.
At this price level, the detector also allows 360-degree protection through the front, rear, and side detection.
For notification, the device uses bilingual (English and Spanish) text display as well as voice alerts.
This saves you from having to keep your eyes on the screen at all times.
Voice alerts cover the modes selected as well as the bands detected, including the level of detection.
The display uses alert priority function to prioritize alerts. POP and Instant-On features help notify you of short bursts of radar.
They also come together to give fast detection and readings. The built-in Traffic Flow Sensor Rejection filters out false alerts in high traffic areas.
What’s unique to this model is the Safety Warning System, which notifies safety concerns on highways.
The detector also comes with an impressive three city modes and one highway mode.
These modes adjust selectivity and sensitivity to give out the best reading in all circumstances.
With all of these features, it is tough to imagine how the detector could be of such prices without skimping out on quality.
Cobra ESR800 12-Band
The go-to brand for affordable radar detectors puts out yet another banger. With the ability to detect a whopping 12 different bands with 360-degree protection, this model is certain to impress the user.
Coming with a charger and mount, the device needs no complicated set up before you can start using it.
An easy to read, the bright display shows accurate and timely reading at all times.
The reading is not difficult to comprehend so that it can be used easily by those delving into radar detectors for the first time.
Additionally, voice alerts notify you of police or emergency vehicles ahead to give you enough time for preparation.
Separate highway and city modes allow you to operate the detector and optimum efficiency regardless of where you are driving.
This reduces the susceptibility to false alerts and only focuses on the detections that require your attention.
Coming in a compact, sleek design, this is a simple device that packs more of a punch that its appearance lets on.
For a budget device, this is definitely a great option that is entirely worth the investment.
Cobra SPX 955 IVT Maximum Range Detection
This model is a great upgrade from previous versions by the same manufacturer. If you are looking to replace your old detector and would still like to keep it affordable and simple, this could be one of the best options.
First of all, the detection and reading on this device are much quicker than its predecessors.
It is equipped with the industry-famous Instant-On feature, which is super quick to detect K-bands used in surveillance vehicles.
Voice alerts keep you aware at all times, even if you do not have time to keep checking the screen.
IVT filter helps to filter out any unnecessary or false alerts. This way, the actual signals that you need to be aware of don’t get lost amidst all the noise.
Proximity sensors and collision avoidance technology all give out detectable signals constantly; thus, the filter comes very handily, especially in urban areas.
The price tag on this product, admittedly, is high considering some competing products.
However, it is so for a good reason. The device is set to serve you for several years on end due to great durability and simplistic design. We assure you that you will not regret purchasing it.
Things to Consider Before Buying Radar Detectors
These are the features that draw the line between good and great detectors. Remember that a lot of the detector’s likeability will depend on your personal preferences.
So prior to reading the find, try to find out exactly what you want from your detection gear.
One of the key aspects when it comes to purchasing a detector is the range. Models with poor range do not serve their purpose too well – what’s the use of detecting a police signal once they have spotted you already? This is why you should opt for models that have a good range.
However, only having front and rear detection fails to deliver great results, no matter how long the range is.
To detect signals from all sides and offer maximum protection, the detectors need to have ‘360-degree protection’.
If you purchase a 360-degree protection variant, you will be protected from the front, rear as well as sides.
Size and Mounting
Maximum detectors are designed to sit either on your dashboard with the help of a mounting kit or on your windshield using a suction cup.
All detectors may look the same at first, but the smallest differences in dimensions can be the reason your vision seems too hindered after installation.
Purchase the size and mounting system which coheres with the size of your car.
Radar detectors are actually sufficient in detecting speed traps or police cars. So if that is your main purpose of purchasing a detector, you need not invest extra in models that are also equipped to detect laser.
However, if budget is not an issue and you would prefer maximum protection, some models offer both laser and radar detection, which would be worth looking into.
High K-Band Sensitivity
Many brands boast an ‘Instant-On’ feature, but what exactly is this? This feature means the detector has a high K-band sensitivity – which is the main band used by police forces to detect speeding.
The high sensitivity allows you to pick up signals from very far away and adjust your speed accordingly to avoid unnecessary hassle.
Furthermore, the Instant-On feature can also notify you when it detects a laser or radar pointer being used on a car immediate to you, so you are well prepared at all times.
FAQ’s of Radar Detectors
In case you are confused by all the models, features, pros, and cons, we’ve answered some of the most common questions you may have.
Radar detectors can be used legally and worry-free all across the USA except Washington D.C., Virginia, and all military bases.
Laser jammers, however, are illegal in several places, including Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, California, Illinois, Minnesota, etc.
The confusing letters or alphabets you see on your display are the different bands of radar used for surveillance and such.
Each band is used for a different type of purpose. It will prove greatly useful to familiarize yourself with all the bands and their uses prior to using a detector.
Selectivity and sensitivity are both very important features of a detector. Sensitivity determines how good the detector is at picking up a signal.
Whether it can pick up weak signals or not, while it is important for the detector to identify as many signals as possible, sometimes it can become a nuisance.
Automatic doors, garage doors, security systems, and several other everyday items also emit signals which can be detected by these machines.
However, how annoying would it be to be notified of a signal – only to find out the source is a shopping mall door?
This is where selectivity comes in to make sure you are notified of the relevant signals only.
Generally, cordless models are more discreet and also leave your 12V port free for other uses, like charging your phone.
Because of such reasons, cordless models are becoming popular.
However, they do come with a heavier price tag, so it is all about what you think is more worth your money.
All detectors will, at some point, give out false alerts. This is almost unavoidable since so many technologies make use of radar and laser these days.
To avoid this problem, opt for models that have a good mix of sensitivity/selectivity and have different modes for the city and highway.
As promised, our complete guide will guide you in your quest to find the high-quality radar detector under 150 dollars.
These are some of the best products and features that help you avoid problems and enjoy your time while driving. We hope we could help you find your new favorite detector!