Cobra Radar Detectors – Are They Worth It?

There is nothing more frustrating than the unexpected expense of a speeding ticket. The inconvenience is made worse by knowing it could have been prevented.

If you had only known there was an officer up ahead, you would have slowed down. There’s nothing you can do after the fact besides writing a check and saying goodbye to that money forever.

A radar detector can prevent this annoyance once and for all. In this article, we give a comprehensive Cobra radar detector review so you can decide if this brand’s models have something to offer you when you’re out on the road.

Cobra offers several different models of radar detectors created with the budget-conscious consumer in mind.

Here we examine four, discussing their features as well as their pros and cons. The prices listed reflect the lowest costs we found for each model online.

Read our cobra radar detector review below.

Cobra Radar Detector Review

Cobra ESD7570

cobra radar detector review Cobra ESD7570

Pros:

The Cobra ESD 7570 is one of the most affordable radar detectors on the market. Its budget-friendly price means it comes with fewer bells and whistles than other models. Most importantly for a radar detector, it can detect all radar and laser frequencies used by law enforcement.

It even alerts you when you’re approaching hazards, such as railroad crossings or emergency vehicles. The unit is small in size so it doesn’t distract you as you drive, and its bright display is easily readable. You can pick between highway and city modes to reduce the frequency of false alerts. Its 360-degree detection means you’re alerted to radar signals coming from any direction.

Clear, audible signals can be understood over your music or animated conversation. Spectre I and VG-2 technology cloak the ESD 7570 so it can’t be picked up by radar detector detectors.

Cons:

Some users report a high number of false alerts, even when properly toggling between highway and city modes. A constantly chirping unit can be quite annoying. A “boy who cried wolf” scenario can make you less likely to trust the alert when a real threat is detected.

PROS

CONS

  • Great value for the price
  • Some users report a high number of false alerts

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$


Cobra RAD 350

cobra radar detector review Cobra RAD 350

Pros:

The Cobra RAD 350 provides great protection, detecting all known laser and radar bands.

It’s also incredibly fast, meaning you’re alerted well before a police car is able to sneak up on you. It also features a filter that weeds out signals coming from irrelevant sources, like the vehicle collision avoidance systems of neighboring cars.

A digital strength meter tells you how far away you are from a speed trap so you never need to panic and slam on the brakes, potentially causing yourself an even bigger headache than a speeding ticket.

Cons:

This model does not come with voice alerts, which can be easier to hear than other audio warnings.

In fact, some users report that the RAD 350 is difficult to hear in general. If you’re engaged in conversation or listening to the radio at a high volume, you may miss an alert entirely. You’ll also spend a lot of time looking for alerts on the display instead of keeping your eyes safely on the road.

PROS

CONS

  • Has a really long detection range from front and rear
  • Some users report that the RAD 350 is difficult to hear

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$


Cobra RAD 450

Cobra RAD 450 Laser Radar Detector: Long Range, False Alert Filter,...
  • FEWER FALSE ALERTS WITH COBRA’S PATENTED TECHNOLOGY - The IVT Filter TM system reduces false alerts from sources like...
  • LONG RANGE - In flat, open conditions the range is at least 2 miles. Please note that shorter range can occur if the...
  • EYE-CATCHING OLED DISPLAY - High quality display features band identification icons and numeric signal strength meter...

PROS

CONS

  • Great for the price you are paying
  • Operates through your smartphone

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$

Pros:

The Cobra iRAD 950 has some great connectivity features that gadget lovers will appreciate. It hooks up to your smartphone to provide you with real-time traffic data as well as crowd-sourced information about the presence of law enforcement and speed traps along your route.

It also tells you when you’re approaching red light cameras or other hazards that you may want to slow down for or avoid altogether. The iRAD 950 also has an impressive range with 360-degree detection and the ability to pick up radar bands from a quarter-mile away.

Cons:

While the Cobra iRAD 950’s community sharing features are quite useful, they operate through your smartphone. If you forget your phone at home or run out of battery, you won’t be able to take full advantage of them. If you have an older, slower phone with a small display, the iRadar app will likely not run as smoothly as you’d like.


Cobra ESD7570 9-Band Performance Radar

PROS

CONS

  • Excellent value and quick detection
  • No GPS capability

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$

Pros:

The Cobra XRS 9470 features IntelliMute technology. The system measures your engine’s RPMs to sense when you are driving slowly.

Alerts are automatically muted so you are never inundated with noisy signals when you don’t need them. The only alerts you get in this mode are from emergency vehicles. On flat roads, the XRS 9470’s 360-degree range of detection is an impressive two miles.

Its quick detection gives you ample time to safely react to a threat. It can also detect 14 different radar and laser signals, so you’re covered no matter which band the local authorities are using. You can set your alerts to use a voice or a tone and can even hook them up to an external speaker to hear them better.

Cons:

While the XRS 9470 offers excellent detection, it has no GPS capability. That means it lacks access to speed camera and red light camera databases. It also lacks crowd-sourced data. Some users also find this model to be overly sensitive and heavy on the false alerts.

What Is a Cobra Radar Detector?

The Cobra Electronics Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of navigation tools and mobile communications devices.

The company designed the very first CB radio and continues to innovate in the world of automotive, outdoors, and recreational accessories. Today, the company is best known for its two-way radios, navigation systems, and radar detectors. These products have been awarded for their excellence many times by consumer electronics and technology organizations.

Motorists use Cobra radar detectors primarily to detect the presence of law enforcement officials who are using radar guns. The detection allows drivers time to change their behaviors and slow down to avoid being ticketed for speeding violations.

How Cobra Products Compare

You’ll notice that each Cobra radar detector we reviewed above costs less than $100. Most Cobra detectors are created with affordability in mind.

While some of these models do have some fun extras, none of them come with all the bells and whistles you’ll find in more expensive products made by other manufacturers. Below we examine one mid-range and one high-end radar detector so you can compare them to the lower-priced Cobra products.

Escort Passport S75

Escort Passport S75 Radar Detector with GPS with Auto Lock
  • Comparable to the 9500ix! AUTHORIZED ESCORT RADAR USA DEALER
  • Passport S75 with GPS with Auto Lock
  • FEATURES All-band protection with x-band, K-band, SuperWide Ka-band, and "POP" mode | Multiple high-performance laser...

PROS

CONS

  • Great radar detector, being able to know where the radar is coming from is a fantastic function
  • You need a smartphone to use it

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$$

At $490, the Escort Passport S75 is one of the most expensive radar detectors on the market. However, you get a lot for the money.

First of all, the manufacturer is so confident in this model’s accuracy that it will pay for your first ticket should you be caught speeding while using it. If you’re a habitual ticket-receiver, that may be incentive enough to buy the Max 360. The unit is equipped with Escort Live technology, a social media network specifically designed to help drivers avoid speed traps and other road hazards. It functions much like the Cobra iRAD and you need a smartphone to use it.

A powerful digital signature processor can prioritize radar and laser bands known to be used by law enforcement. This means you are not inundated with irrelevant signals while driving on a highway packed with vehicle collision avoidance and blind spot notification systems.

Uniden DFR7

Uniden DFR7 Super Long Range Wide Band Laser/Radar Detector, Built-in...
  • SUPER LONG RANGE SENSITIVITY - Wide Band Protection from All Radar and Laser Guns with Advanced False Alert Filtering.
  • GPS TECHNOLOGY - Using GPS the DFR7 can remember and mute common false alerts (such as retail store automatic doors)...
  • RED LIGHT AND SPEED CAMERA ALERTS - Preloaded Red Light and Speed Camera locations with Free Database and Firmware...

PROS

CONS

  • A must own according to reviews
  • Some reviews say that it won't stay clipped to the windshield mount

QUALITY

PRICE

OUR RATING

$$$

Priced at $250, the Uniden DFR7 is a mid-range radar detector. It’s equipped with GPS that allows you to mute alerts for known stationary signals, such as automatic door openers at retail stores or when you’re driving well under the speed limit.

It also gives you access to a red light camera and speed camera database. Its ability to filter out non-essential signals is impressive. The long-range detection is great on most frequencies but is weaker than we’d like on certain radar bands. The DFR7 also lacks crowdsourcing technology and directional alerts.

Cobra has recently branched out into higher-end products, like the $380 DSP-9200 BT that has a powerful digital signal processor and crowdsourcing technology. However, the brand is still best known for its budget-conscious offerings.

What We Think

We think that Cobra radar detector products are a good choice for consumers who don’t want to shell out big bucks for a radar detector.

While you won’t find an inexpensive Cobra product that’s tricked out with every high-tech feature on the market, you can get some fun features as long as you’re willing to sacrifice other features.

The Cobra models are also impressively accurate for their price, which is, of course, the most important factor when considering if you want to buy a radar detector: to help you avoid a speeding ticket. Our favorite of the affordable Cobra products is the Cobra RAD 350. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it filters out signals from irrelevant sources. At just $80, that protection comes at a great value.

A radar detector is a great tool to keep you from having to deal with the annoyance of a speeding ticket. Of course, it is no substitute for good driving habits. Be sure to adhere to local traffic laws and pay attention to your surroundings.

Happy driving!


Featured Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, Tim Evanson via https://www.flickr.com, with text, banner, and logo added.

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