My Escort iX Radar Detector review shows a robust radar detector that is able to take advantage of the latest technologies, including crowd sourcing, false signal filtering, and visible and audible alerts about radar traps.
The Escort iX gives the user plenty of personalization options, including filtering out the X-band or Ka-band while in an Auto mode, or connecting the unit to the Escort smartphone app to gain access to the latest information about radar traps. Additionally, the Escort iX is easy to use and understand, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road, rather than staring at the unit while trying to decipher an alert. And Escort designed the iX with a quick release magnetic mount, so you can take it with you when you park the car so no one can steal it off the dash.
Escort is positioning the Escort iX as a replacement for the extremely popular Passport 9500ix. This means the new Escort iX radar detector has a high bar of success to meet and overcome in the Escort iX vs 9500ix comparison of the best radar detectors.
Price: $407.45 at Amazon
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An easy to use detector that provides clear alerts using latest technologies.
Summary: The latest radar detector from Escort incorporates the ability to filter false alerts better than older detectors, but it remains very easy to use, providing clear information about speed traps and red light cameras with plenty of warning time.
What We Liked
- Alerts are clear and easy to understand
- Able to filter X-band and Ka-band while remaining in Auto modes
- Does a good job learning locations of false alarms and blocking them in the future
- Can connect to smartphone app to receive latest information through crowd sourcing
- Quick release magnetic mount
What We Didn’t
- Price is a little high versus some older Escort detectors
- Radar range isn’t quite as long as Max 360 detector
- Control buttons are too small
Escort IX Radar Detector Specs
|Screen Type||Color Display|
|Dimensions||4.15 x 2.83 x 1.33 in.|
The Escort iX has a logical, yet sharp-looking, design. With the display screen facing the driver, you have immediate feedback on your current speed and the intensity of the radar signal being detected. The display screen is small, but the data is sharp and easy to see. Some other reviewers noticed glare on the screen at times, but I did not experience a problem with glare making the screen unreadable during my testing period.
The control buttons are on the top of the unit, near the end with the display screen. The power button, volume button, and brightness button are on the top row (left to right). The volume button has raised bumps on either end to make it easier to press when you’re in a hurry. The brightness button has five settings (minimum, medium, maximum, auto, and dark). The bottom row contains the mark button, allowing you to mark any location, the mute button, and the sensitivity button, allowing you to pick the unit’s sensitivity level (Auto, Auto NoX, Auto LoK, and Highway). Depending on how you mount the Escort iX to your windshield or if your windshield has a sharp angle, it can be difficult to see and press the buttons while driving. And they’re almost too small to be used easily: the power button is about the size of a pencil eraser for example.
The radar unit has a solid build quality too, which means it should last a long time. The plastic body is resistant to scratches, and it is impact resistant.
Escort iX Radar Detector Features
Four levels of sensitivity are offered with the Escort iX: Highway, Auto, AutoNoX, and AutoLoK. The Highway setting offers the highest level of sensitivity, allowing the detector to work over a long range, while Auto will vary the sensitivity level based on the speed at which you’re traveling. With AutoNoX, the unit operates in Auto mode while disabling the X band, which law enforcement doesn’t use in most of the United States. And the AutoLoK mode is the Auto mode with reduced sensitivity to the K-band. (The K-band is used in automatic door openers on store fronts, which can cause false signals in some areas for drivers.) The four levels give the iX plenty of versatility, something that hasn’t always been available in past Escort detectors.
The Escort iX detects laser signal radar, as well as the more traditional K-band, Ka-band, and X-band radars.
As with the 9500ix, the Escort iX includes GPS technology to give the unit additional features that enhance its usability. Escort was one of the first radar detector makers to incorporate GPS capabilities into its detectors, and the iX’s GPS features are very impressive, making use of the SiRFstar IV architecture, which provides better battery performance in a smaller GPS chipset than previous GPS architectures. And the chipset allows for more precise locating and better performance inside parking structures or tunnels than previous chipsets.
Whenever a radar signal is detected, the Escort iX provides an audible warning, using a clear tone and a female voice alerting you to the type of band detected.
The full color OLED display with the iX provides plenty of key information as you’re driving. You’ll see your current speed, any radar bands as they’re detected along with their frequencies, and the signal strength. Because the display is so easy to read, you can garner the needed information with a quick glance, returning your eyes to the road after a split second.
The Escort Live smartphone app is a piece of crowd sourcing software, allowing for alerts based on the latest information that other Escort users are providing, including radar traps. And the iX can download data about the speed limit on your current road, giving you alerts when you’re exceeding the speed limit.
Installing the Escort iX was extremely easy. It was ready for use about five minutes after removing it from the box.
The radar detector itself is a little larger than a pack of playing cards, and it fits easily in the palm of a hand. A suction cup with some adhesive on it attaches to the detector, with a rectangular magnet on the suction cup part sliding into a notch on the radar detector. I was a little skeptical as to whether the magnet would hold the Escort iX snugly in place, but it performed admirably, even when I hit the occasional pothole or rough gravel road.
Of course, the main reason for using a magnet to attach the radar detector to the suction cup mechanism is to allow for easy removal and attachment of the detector unit, while the suction cup portion remains in place. You may not want to leave the Escort iX mounted to the windshield when you’re parking in a public place, where it’s visible through the windshield.
The suction cup then attaches to your windshield, low enough to remain out of your primary line of sight. You can adjust the angle of the suction cup section to the radar detector unit by loosening a knob and adjusting the unit.
Although some other Escort radar detectors can make use of a rear view mirror mount from a third party provider, there is no Escort iX mirror mount available at the time of this writing, so you’ll have to stick with the manufacturer provided windshield mount for the time being.
A power cord plugs into the side of the detector using a connector that looks like a phone jack, while the opposite end slides into the power port on the vehicle. As a nice touch, Escort placed a USB port on the portion of the power cord that sticks out of the power port, allowing you to connect a smartphone for charging.
Once the Escort iX has power, it begins working immediately. You can unplug it to turn it off. There’s also a power button on the top of the unit, but if you have a sharply angled windshield where pressing any of the buttons would require a long stretch, it’s easier to plug it in and unplug it to turn it on and off.
You can download the smartphone app later to add more features, but the Escort iX will work perfectly well without using the app too.
Escort iX in Action
I used the Escort iX for nearly a two-week period. I live in a rural area, so a lot of my tests with the iX involved highway driving.
The unit’s most impressive highway performance came in a construction zone, where the Escort iX gave me an alert with no police car in sight. Nearly half a mile down the road — and over two hills — though, the patrolman was running radar from the median. Very impressive.
I made a few more trips back and forth through the speed trap to test the detector, and it performed well. Only once did the detector seem to struggle, as the unit didn’t pick up the radar gun until I could see the patrolman about 150 yards in front of me, but it’s possible the radar gun wasn’t active until that time, as traffic was light in the area on that particular trip through the speed trap.
With city driving, the Escort iX also did a very good job. It picked up speed traps and red-light and speed cameras at intersections, but never to the point of being overly annoying by accidentally tripping on the same city cop radar gun multiple times in a row like some other detectors might.
I rarely experienced a false positive during highway driving, although these K-band errors were still a bit more prevalent when driving in the city. However, with the GPS feature and the related smartphone app, the iX marks these locations and ignores them in future trips, assuming that if the positive alarm shows up more than once in the same location, it’s probably not a patrol car running a radar trap. Rather, it’s probably a fixed location radar, such as an automatic door opener at a retail location that uses the K-band.
Ultimately, the iX does a better job than its predecessors of providing alerts faster and reducing false alarms, easily making it our number one choice for the best police radar detector.
What Else You Should Think About
Although this Escort iX radar detector review shows this is a strong model, the iX’s price point is higher than some other Escort radar detectors. For example,the best price for the Escort 9500iX is $249.99. If you’d like a different brand of radar detector, consider our collection of radar detector reviews.
If you’re looking for some less expensive Escort radar detector options beyond the slightly older 9500iX, the Escort iX vs Max 2 comparison shows that the Max 2 costs about $100 less than the iX, but the Max 2 doesn’t offer a quick release mount, which makes it more difficult to remove the Max 2 from the car when you’re parking.
When thinking about an Escort iX vs RedLine comparison, the RedLine is slightly less expensive, but it doesn’t have built-in GPS or Bluetooth technology like the iX. The Escort iX vs Escort Max 360 radar detectors are very similar, although the iX is less expensive. The Max 360 works over a slightly longer range than the iX, but it doesn’t have a quick release mount option like the iX.
Although there are a few less expensive Escort models, the Escort iX radar detector provides enough upgrades over those older Escort models to justify the slightly higher cost. I especially like the easy setup, quick release mount, and the ability of the iX to connect to my smartphone app to alert me to the latest information.