If you’ve done any research on radar detectors, you know that two of the top units on the market today are the Escort Redline and the Beltronics STi Driver. These two devices are actually made by the same company, use very similar components, and contain almost the exact same features. There are some differences that we’d like to point out as one may be better suited to your driving style than the other.
First off, both of these radar detectors are built on the Beltronics / Escort M3 radar detection platform which is known to be a top performer. Both of these devices have excellent range on all police radar bands and will outperform almost everything else on the market today . These units are known to deliver alerts at over 10 miles away on flat, straight roads.
The top feature for both of these units, after the amazing range, is the fact that they are not detectable by any radar detector detector. Not only are they immune to current detectors, but they’ll also be immune to all future radar detector detectors . This is an extremely important feature if you drive through areas where radar detector use is illegal (such as Virginia and parts of Canada). Both units also have automatic scan modes to find and reduce false alarms, ultra-bright displays, automatic muting of audio alerts, and the ability to display the numeric frequency of radar alerts.
This is where the similarities end and the two units start to show their differences. For the voice alerts, the Beltronics STi Driver uses a male voice, while the Escort Redline uses a female’s voice. We’ve heard both, and we can say, without a doubt, that the female voice on the Redline is the better option as it is much clearer and more easily understood.
The next difference comes in the the display of radar alerts. Both the STi Driver and the Redline can display a bar graph (similar to the bars on your cell phone) or the numeric frequency of the radar gun when alerting. Each also has a third mode which is able to show the signal strength of multiple radar sources at one time. The Beltronics can display up to one X, K and Ka band alert at once while the Escort can display four X, two K and two Ka band alerts all at one time. The Redline’s display gives you more information, but the Beltronics display is easier to read in this mode.
The STi Driver costs a bit less than the Redline and has comparable performance. If you can live with the male voice (or turn off voice alerts like we do) and do not need the Expert Meter display mode that the Redline provides, we ‘d recommend looking into the Beltronics product as it will save you some money. If you are like us and want all the goodies, splurge a little and get the Escort Redline. Either option is a good choice, but your preference may lie with one over the other based on the differences listed above.