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Escort Max 360 Radar Detector

The main pros

Equipped with the Escort’s new collision avoidance blocking software, the Max 360 model will ignore most of the false alerts that are created by anti-collision sensors present on newer cars. This is the first total 360-degree detector, having both front and rear-facing antennas. Furthermore, it has been coupled with the brand’s processing algorithm, the DSP, and that enables it to have 8 times the range of a standard police speed gun.

Using a high definition OLED display, and not LED lights or voice and tone alerts, it will let you have the situational awareness and the information you need to make the best decision and respond fast. The device also comes with a GPS built-in, and this feature will enable the detector to give out an alert if you are approaching speed traps or photo enforcement cameras.

Furthermore, the GPS feature will allow the device to filter out any known false alert locations (places that you have already passed by). The device will recognize the same location and frequency and will adjust its settings accordingly, learning more and more every day.

With the help of Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect to the Escort Live community and have real-time radar and police alerts.

The main cons

In recent years, a newer model of the 360 appeared, the Max 360c, where the c stands for Connected Car. The main difference between the two models, and the downside of the older 360 model, is that it doesn’t come with Wi-Fi connectivity. While the Max 360c can connect to the internet by tethering to a phone’s hotspot, or through the car’s Wi-Fi system, the 360 can’t do that.

This prevents you from downloading firmware updates (and you will have to use a USB cable) or connecting to Escort Live directly through the interface. You will still need to use the Bluetooth capability for that.

Main features explained

Performance

When tested intensely, the device was very successful in the X band range and outstanding performances in the K band range. In these ranges, it’s one of the most performant radar detectors. On the other hand, this increased sensitivity in the K band can work against the model, in the sense that the detector becomes too sensitive to Blind Spot Monitor systems (BSM) on nearby cars.

Because these operate on the same frequency as some police radars, the BSMs have become a nuisance for radars. However, the state highway patrols usually use the KA band, and when it came to testing the detector for that, it wasn’t as impressive. It does slightly worse than several other Escort models that you can find on the market, and that can be purchased at lower prices.

Another unfortunate result of the extra functions is the fact that the rear antenna will give out more false alarms – it can sometimes double their number. This means that sometimes, as the antennas in front will pick up a signal after you pass the signal, the back antennas will start signaling it too, which shouldn’t be the case. The detector will give out a constant annoying signal for far too long, as a result.

False alarms in other radar detectors are dealt with by allowing the user to set a certain speed threshold or a certain timeframe for audible alerts. On the other hand, Escort radar detectors come with preset software that doesn’t allow you to do that. 

The device does well when it comes to the essentials, especially in terms of range, accuracy, and overall filtration abilities. These are what you would expect from a radar detector like this one. With this model, you will be able to filter through saturated radar bands and locate the radars that are in your path.

 

Directional arrows

Being a 360-degree radar detector, the Max 360 will have directional arrows, and these ones are quite accurate. When passing a radar signal, the arrows will move from facing forwards to back when the rear antenna spots the signal. Compared to other similar models, this detector can be more accurate in the overall detection of the direction of the signal.

There are some models out there that will give many different alerts for the same signal source, but not this one. Many of us know that automatic doors operate on the same frequency as police radars, and can set off detectors from a distance, giving false alarms. However, thanks to the GPS feature and the performant software, the Max 360 will be able to repel all the nuisance signals, at least once it has learned where they are and what causes them.

This is the greatest thing about Escort models, that they automate this task, while other brands require you to press a button to lock out a certain signal, because of patent infringements. Furthermore, when using other models, you will be limited in the number of locations that you want your detector to avoid.

Despite this, however, the model can become too sensitive to Blind Spot Monitor or similar systems, and in this sense, the stellar sensitivity developed by those at Escort can come as a disadvantage. Because these systems work in the K band frequency often used by police radar, you will encounter some unwanted alerts.

Another disadvantage of the 360 model is that it will sometimes trigger a double signal for the same source – first, when the front antenna detects it, then when the rear antenna passes over the same signal. This can become annoying, or even confusing if you are having another signal source coming from the front at the same time.

Main functions

This device is filled with new functions, and one of the main ones is the Autolearn function. It may seem like this feature has the best chances of making things worse for the device, but that is not really the case. It is a function that will be really appreciated by metropolitan drivers that always need to pass by the same points that would usually make their radar detectors beep.

Notifying you of local threats in real-time, the radar detector is easy to attach to the windshield with the help of the magnetic mount. Malls are usually the ones that cause problems when it comes to detectors that can sense the emissions created by motion-sensing doors. Of course, as you pass by such a door for the first time, the model will play its alert.

However, if you continue to drive past the same points, after several drives you will find that the signals will stop completely. This means that the Autolearn function works and the device actually learns. Furthermore, the detector lets you lock out certain signals manually, and you can take advantage of that feature.

It’s a great thing to do when you already know preset locations that use certain wavelengths. The bad side of this is that, in the unfortunate case of a police car hiding there, you won’t be able to spot it. But that’s not the detector’s fault. You can set the device to only show you visual alerts (a gray popup will appear) and that can save you.

Another useful function is represented by the arrows that show you where the signal is coming from so that you know what to expect. However, the downside of these arrows is that they react somewhat slow when the position of the signal changes.

Ease of use

As it’s an older model, the Max 360 doesn’t use Wi-Fi to connect to other devices, but it does make great use of Bluetooth to give you access to a community-based program called Escort Live. This is a free app that you can download on both Android and Apple devices, and it works like Waze, in the sense that users can alert you if there are any radars around.

The app will also notify you if there are nearby alerts, red-light cameras, if there are local speed limit changes, and will even notify you if you are making over-speed violations. The best thing about it is that it’s an easy app to use. Swiping left you can report a risky area, tapping will mute the app, swiping right will lock out a place.

Of course, Waze has a larger user base, and that’s why it’s a better option for this particular use, but with the interface you have on the Max 360, it’s still a great choice. However, although downloading and owning the app is free, if you want access to the Defender database, you will have to pay $19.95 a year.

While the sound volume for Escort alarms has been criticized in the past, with this model it seems like the brand finally got it right. There are also voice alerts that will notify you of recent events so that you don’t have to glance over the device and lose concentration. It’s always best when you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Available on any kind of compact device that you can own, the app will also show you the speed limit in the area you currently are, and will also display your current speed (although you don’t necessarily need that).

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