I knew this day was coming, but I never expected it to come so soon. I have now been lucky enough to work with every radar detector on offer from Escort, and more so than any company have they defined what a high quality radar detector is supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, there are viable alternatives in far lower pricing brackets, but when it comes to the cream of the crop, there is nothing to top their models. I’m sad to see them go, but I have one last model to talk about, in many ways the successor to the now legendary Redline, the IX Long Range seeks to pair up the feature set of their modern Max series with the older superior range of the Redline, and Escort seem to have knocked it out of the park. There are scenarios where one of their lower range builds is a better fit, but I can see the market for this, and I can’t seem to find better for them.
Let’s take a moment here to talk about one of the more interesting facets of modern radar detectors. In terms of hardware there is little difference between what is being sold now, and what was being sold in the nineties, and even the late eighties. It shocked me, but when you think about it it makes sense. Radar is radar after all, and what detected its use in the past will continue to do so. So what are you paying a premium for? The software. It is amazing what can be done with filtering algorithms and real time updates, it makes it so that all of the issues with false positives are a thing of the past, and Escort offer some of the most advanced software on the market, and it’s only getting better as time goes on.
Now on to the review. I tend to start these things with a look at the build itself, and while I admit the aesthetics of a build are less important, I maintain that it can be useful in a tie breaker scenario.
Escort IX Long Range Radar Detector Design and Build Quality
The Escort IX proves to me that the firm knows what it is doing with regards to the look of their current models. I have spent the last few weeks looking at their older offerings, and while the feature set was always on point, the look of each build was far from fantastic, looking every day of their age. The Max series, and the newer Passports, as well as the IX Long all look sleek and ultra modern. I stand by my assessment of the likes of the S55, clock radio looking things, but it seems as though Escort has already addressed those issues. The feel of the build is up to the usual escort standard. Some nice heft to it, feeling both expensive and sturdy. I love a nice heavy machine, feels like it’ll take the jostling on even the pot holiest of roads.
The mounting bracket is the usual top of the line Escort model. A combination of magnetic locking and sticky suction cups, making for one of the sturdiest in the business. I wish more firms would go in this direction, eschewing the older click clack bracket and simple cups, this is far safer overall. The display is amazing. On par with the MAX II HD, a crystal clear display, giving you all the information you could want at a glance. In addition the charging cable is the Escort Smart cable. Some of their cheaper models require you buy that separately, and honestly I can see why. It comes with a host of buttons, allowing you to program it on the fly, without having to lean over to your windshield. Again, thought has gone into not only utility, but also safety, and that is always a major concern of mine, and yours as well I am sure.
And now we come to the best feature, the integrated app. escort have the most advanced app on the market, and the IX Long can take advantage of it better than most. The in built Bluetooth means that there are no unsightly wires flung haphazardly around your vehicle, always a plus, and the real time threat tracking, connecting you to all the other app users on the road, allows your Escort radar detector to keep you updated long before even the ludicrously long range sensor on this thing can update you. It can also automatically ignore static false positives too.
The Range is the selling point here, and in poor conditions you can expect upwards of 3 miles of warning. That compares very favorably with the Redline, but the Redline lacks the lovely screen, superior design work all round and the Bluetooth app integration. In mythical perfect conditions the detector can pick up signals 10 miles away, but unless you’re driving through the desert you’re unlikely to come across perfect conditions, best to err on the conservative.
Another feature being pushed by pretty much every radar detector on the market is the LIDAR detection system. Now, I have no issue with it being pushed, I do take issue with its utility. LIDAR speed guns work a little differently from the most common form of Radar speed detectors. Radar hits out at a wide band, most of them, the newer ones are a little different. It means there is a lot of useless signal noise being broadcast in random directions, and it is this that radar detectors are able to pick up for their early warning system.
LIDAR is a point to point system, you aim the beam and bam you get the speed. It means in most cases if your LIDAR detector goes off it’s because you’ve been hit, and your information has already been recorded, rendering the feature a little useless. There are situations where it can be useful, there tends to be some refraction on LIDAR, so the detector can go off if a vehicle ahead of you is hit, but again, you don’t got much time to correct. Bear in mind, the most up to date radar guns work from a far narrower beam, making detection a little more difficult, in some areas, most places are still using the older tech, so no need to worry unduly.
There are ways to protect against LIDAR, and I will go into them in a moment. In terms of core features the IX Long has everything you could want, in an attractive package. The longer range of the sensor does make it slightly more sensitive in urban areas, and you will want to tweak a lot of settings when driving in those kinds of areas. It i9s king of the highway though, in my mind supplanting the more established Redline in that area.
Escort IX Long Range Radar Detector Legality and Pricing
This paragraph is unique to radar detectors. When I review products I have a format, talking about the build quality, then the features, then here I talk about the warranty and the price. With radar detectors I feel it necessary to talk about the legality as well, because there are restriction in the US regarding where they can be used. In most of the world as well they are just straight up illegal, sorry international readers. In the US they are only illegal in two states, DC and Virginia.
You cannot use them on Military bases either. If you are driving in a commercial vehicle you cannot use a radar detector, a 1996 statute prohibits their use in commercial vehicles. Finally, radar jammers are against the law everywhere. LIDAR jammers on the other hand have no legislation against them, allowing you to use them at your own discretion. Remember that LIDAR detectors are very circumstantially useful, so pairing a radar detector with a LIDAR jammer is legal, and will give you the best coverage.
Now we come to the price, and while it is high, it is also fair. On average you can expect to find the Escort IX Long Range in the upper $500 price bracket. There are a number of other models that are cheaper, but none offer the range and feature set of the IX Long. The more expensive models from Escort have a few bonus features, and come with better after care support, but I think this might be the best of both worlds. Good news is you can usually find it on sale at Amazon.com here. If you can get it for around $500 it’s a good deal as the IX Long Range doesn’t really drop any lower than that.
And onto the warranty. I review products for a living, and so I have had to read my fair share of warranties, and I can spot a lemon. So many firms offer minimal support, and have look holes to do you out of valid repair work. I am glad to say that is not the case with e Escort. Their warranty might only last a year, but it covers all factory faults, and to my mind, if it breaks down before a year of normal use then that is covered. You may have to press that point. You can get an extended warranty, for $30, but I do not recommend it. If it doesn’t break down within a year you are golden anyway. Escort offer one other unique aftercare policy. Their performance guarantee. I am in love with this concept. They are so sure of their product that if you get a ticket they will pay for it. There are some restrictions, one per customer, and it must be for speeding, for some unfathomable reason, but I still think it speaks volumes about the firm.
Overall this is a fantastic package. The price is good, for what you get, and the warranty is on point. The performance guarantee is the icing on the cake for me. You would be hard pressed to find anything comparable in this range, and I have checked.
Escort IX Long Range Radar Detector Conclusion
Excellent build overall. The feature set is exactly what I like to see, a combination of excellent core software, buoyed by the added utility of that wonderful Escort app. The look of the build is excellent, one of my favorite detectors in terms of aesthetic, and the price is in the right range. If you want a build that works well on the long haul, and in the city, then this is one that has to be considered. An upper mid range price tag, and the usual excellent Escort warranty round out one of the best options currently available.