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Escort 9500ix Radar Detector - Brief Review (Lotta Text)

Discussion in 'Mobile Security' started by mblouir, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. mblouir

    mblouir I need a hobby.

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    [​IMG]





    Sorry guys, no pics this time. Let me start off by clearing a few things up. First, I will be sending it back. Second, it's not because of the unit--I just had something come up that needs the money more. I went to Men's Warehouse the other day for a suit expecting to spend roughly $300 or so. They are so limited in my size, however, so the only stuff they had available was running more like $600. :nonod: Now...on to the brief review. I'll be breaking this up into "Hardware", "Software", and "Performance". I will try to break this up into small sentences rather than paragraphs since it's all text---hopefully it makes it easier to read.


    Hardware:
    Out of the box you get the usual manual/instruction booklet, the unit itself, a power cord for a 12V source, window mount with 2 suction cups, and 2 extra suction cups. All of this came in a kick-ass flip-top box.

    The unit is extremely well-built. I feel like I could drop it out of my truck onto the ground several times without any ill effects. This wasn't part of my test, though, so I don't recommend it. :uhoh:

    It has 6 buttons on top:
    1. GPS - This turns the GPS function on or off
    2. SEN - Adjusts sensitivity values (Auto, AutoXoff, Highway)
    3. Power
    4. Vol/Mute
    5. MRK - Used to mark false positives if you choose to do so yourself. Also used to mark anything else you choose (speed traps, speed signs, etc)
    6. BRT - Adjusts brightness of the LCD display (Auto, Dim, Med, Max)

    The window mount worked great, as well. It slides in and out of the unit easily with a quick-release button. The unit sat perfectly level and didn't bounce around. The power cord was a bit annoying, but I had a $10 power cord ready to hard-wire the unit. If you're buying one of these, it's worth it to buy a hard-wire cord anyway. You can hide it out of the way and not have a thick, coiled cord hanging all over your dash. When plugged in, the end of the power cord at the 12V source has two LEDs that light up (one blue to show that it has power and one yellow that lights up when radar is detected). It also has a "Mute" button next to the LEDs so you don't have to reach up to the detector, if you prefer.



    Software:
    With this unit utilizing GPS functionality for things like custom marks, red light cameras, speed cameras, etc, it is updated via a mini-USB cable and computer. I didn't bother updating it in the short time I had it, though. We don't have red light cameras or speed cameras (not yet, anyway....but they are coming next summer). Were to to hold onto the unit longer, I'd take advantage of the updates.

    The big selling point for this unit is its "Autolearn" feature and elimination of false positives. A big downside to radar detectors is that if you live in a populated area you will pick up a lot of false positives (X-band from business doors, etc). This can get annoying quickly....unless you like the sound of your detector going off every time you drive through the same area. This also de-sensitizes one to the radar going off.

    The "Autolearn" feature uses the GPS to mark combinations of locations and frequencies. If you pass by a certain location and it picks up a certain frequency 3 times, it will lock out that frequency as a false positive. Now, instead of going off, the unit will display text and/or the GPS symbol will rotate (can't remember exactly). For example, if you pass by the same CVS every day to work, it will lock out the X-band coming from the door after passing it 3 times. Now you can have a quiet ride to work.

    A lot of people wonder about two things (including myself): (1) what if a LEO decides to camp out at one of these locked out locations? and (2) what if a LEO camps at the same place over and over (would he be locked out)?

    After some research I found that if the detector locks out a location, and a LEO decides to camp out there, it will pick up the new frequency and go off. No worries there. Also, if the LEO likes to camp at the same spot (which often happens), you can mark the location to prevent it from being locked out. No worries there, either.

    As for the buttons....
    1. GPS - I can't think of a reason you'd want to turn this off. Why would you not want to be alerted to red light cameras, speed cameras, or anything of that sort? :dunno: I left mine on.
    2. SEN - AutoXoff will block out all X-band signals (door openers, etc). I wouldn't want to use this, though, since a few areas still use X-band to clock speed. Highway maxes out the sensitivity, picking up things from a much larger distance. Auto adjusts the sensitivity based on how fast you're going (again using the GPS function). The faster you go (ie-highway), the higher the sensitivity. The slower you go, the lower the sensitivity. It's been calibrated to give you plenty of time to slow down should you pick up a LEO. This is also a good feature because (IIRC) if you're going < 15mph, the sensitivity is set to a minimum. If you're going through a parking lot, you don't want every door setting off your detector. I put mine on highway, simply because I like as much warning as possible.
    3. Power - Self explanatory.
    4. Vol/Mute - Also self-explanatory. There is one really cool thing to mention, though. This unit has built-in microphones, so it can auto-adjust the volume based on the noise level of the cab. This is great because if you're screaming down the highway with your exhaust droning your ears out, the unit will up the volume so you can still hear it. If you're crawling through a parking lot like an old lady, the unit will lower the volume so it doesn't scream at you. I set mine on Auto because my exhaust volume is extremely variable.
    5. MRK - You can use the "Autolearn" feature along with this to mark desired locations. You can also use this button to take marks off, or adjust what the marks are (red light camera, speed trap, etc).
    6. BRT - I found that setting this on Auto was a neat feature, but it would often look weird scrambling through brightness levels under certain conditions. For example, passing under a bridge or clouds overhead would cause the unit to slightly adjust the brightness level. Not a big deal, but it's a little weird. I found that medium was a good setting for both day and night.

    There's more to the software than what I mentioned, but I'm too lazy to go through it. :D



    Performance:
    This unit was excellent. It did not disappoint in any aspect of performance. Most understand that detectors will speak/display the frequency and signal of the source. This unit did so flawlessly. It also uses the GPS to display the speed you were going when the signal was first picked up. This is good to know so you can get your speed in check, if necessary. Can't say anything bad about performance.

    In two days I picked up several sources of K-band, all of which turned out to be LEOs. Gave me plenty of time to slow down, if necessary. I tried to get a video of one LEO that likes to camp out in the same spot, but by the time I whipped it back around he already had someone pulled over.

    I could not find anything negative about this unit. It comes ready to use out of the box. So for you technically-challenged, just pull it out of the box and plug it in.



    Rating:
    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs: / :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:



    Conclusion:
    This thing has all the bells and whistles. Yes, it costs, but you do get the best for the money. The 9500ix has won several awards already, including being the Editor's Pick for the August 2009 edition of WIRED and the 2009 CES Innovations Award Winner. I can highly recommend this unit to anyone looking to get one of the best radar detectors out at the moment.

    So is it worth the money? That can only be answered on an individual basis. If you live in an area where radar is rarely used anymore, then a radar detector would be pointless. If you live in an area where it's still used frequently (like myself), then it would be worth a look. It is a lot of money, and there are many detectors cheaper than this one. This is like anything else, though, in that you get what you pay for. Sure, you can save some money by buying that Kia, but in the long run it would be more fun (and a better investment) to go ahead and splurge for that Vette.

    As for me, having this for the last two days has made me realize that I really don't speed that much. I go a consistent 5-over unless I'm on the interstate. There are occasions, though, where I want to pass someone or something else comes up where I need to pick up the pace for a minute. I have terrible timing, and often times pass a cop when doing so. I figure that if even one of these occurrences is saved by the detector, it will be worth it in the long run (ticket costs, increased insurance, etc). I will say that as soon as the money becomes available again I will be picking one up for keeps.





    If you have any questions about the unit feel free to ask and I'll try to answer based on my short time with it.
     
  2. mblouir

    mblouir I need a hobby.

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    Okay and I lied....I have a few pics, but they are only from opening the box.





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  3. Zembonez

    Zembonez живи свободно или умри

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    You generally get what you pay for in life. That seems to be a real premium unit even if it does cost a bit. Good review!
     
  4. Darkanion

    Darkanion The space intentionally left blank.

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    Nice write-up! Thanks! :thumbs:
     
  5. Carolinaboy

    Carolinaboy I'm too LAZY to Choose a Custom Title!!!

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    Good Review Matt, that is one sick piece of equipment
     
  6. mblouir

    mblouir I need a hobby.

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    Thanks, guys. I wish I would have taken pics/videos of it in action, but as soon as I found out how much it would cost me for a suit I went ahead and packed it up for shipping. No need using it longer than necessary.
     
  7. bubbatrucklover

    bubbatrucklover Heavy Metal Red Neck

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    I know this is an "older" post ,but I'm "newish" to the radar dector world.(I haven't owned one in years)

    Nice right up Matt.:thumbs: (Sorry you couldn't keep it:()

    My best friend (who lives by Atlanta) SWEARS by this brand and model. He does alot of driving weekly between Georgia,Alabama and Tennessee. Monthly/yearly he drives south to Tampa and north as far as Maryland.

    Prior to owning this one he owned the Escort 8500 X50.(Which he donated to me.:D:thumbs:) His mother has a Valantine One and brother one from Beltronics. They have made several "convoy" trips up and down 95 between Florida ,Georgia and Maryland etc. over the past few years. Out of the 3 he is the only one without a ticket.:dunno:

    As stated in other posts radar detectors are a deterrent in not getting caught and not a guarauntee.

    If you travel in packs with other motorists OBVIOUSLY your chances of not getting caught increase.

    As to lasers/linear radars (as also stated in other posts) if your detector goes off chances are you're the one that got painted and will by sitting on the side of the road haveing a "conversation" with local or highway law enforcement.:(

    To add I would suggest doing as I did and install this smart chord from Best Buy:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Escort+...tors/8412372.p?id=1181347936453&skuId=8412372

    It's kinda pricey compared to the Invisichord ($30 vs $15), but I like having the remote unit better.

    For now I'm going to come up with jerry rigging a bracket,but if you're like me and don't like the way it sits or looks with the suction cup mount (AND have the $$ to) here are 2 options I found:

    http://store.blendmount.com/blendmo...ics--escort-radar-detector-bbe-2000-p337.aspx

    http://www.countryjoycrafts.com/350Z/escortmount.htm

    The blend mount w/ various coupons and other sites(such as e-bay) can be purchased for close to $70.

    Both WAY to expensive for my budget,but still an option for others.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

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