To find the best Cobra radar detector we sought out units that can provide you with not only an immediate alert, but ones that can also limit false alarms (aka false positives). These features make Cobra units much easier to use, which is why our #1 pick is the powerful Cobra SPX 7800 BT ($88.55), combining unmatched speed with one of the fastest processors you’ll find in a radar detecting unit. It also doesn’t hurt that the price is well below $100.
Looking for more power? Check out our best radar detector list, which rounds up the latest and greatest.
Best Cobra Radar Detector
How We Choose the Best Cobra Radar Detector
When it comes to selecting the top radar detector from Cobra, having the ability to do hands on testing of different models and brands is a great help. And it’s certainly important to keep an eye on the latest models, as the technology behind radar detectors – whether they’re from Cobra or other manufacturers – continues to evolve. One example is the instant-on technology you’ll find in our top pick, the Cobra 7800. It responds instantly when detecting an active radar, which is something other units may struggle to do.
A top Cobra radar detector needs to appeal to a wide variety of users, so we sought out a model in the 7800 with a mid-range price point. Certainly, some users will need more power and features so they’ll want to spend more, and we’ve looked closely at those Cobra units too, including the 9200 BT on our list. But detectors with a middle-of-the-road price work great for many different users, giving them plenty of appeal, especially to those who are new to Cobra or to radar detectors in general.
Why You Should Buy a New Cobra Radar Detector
As mentioned earlier, the technology upgrades in modern Cobra radar detecting units are impressive, making a new unit well worth exploring for the driver who tends to have a lead foot (like me). For example, the Cobra devices on our list do a better job than their predecessors of sorting false K-band alarms from the real radar traps. At the same time, the detector has to be fast to respond, giving you plenty of time to avoid a radar trap. Our top pick, the
A modern Cobra model will be able to use GPS technology to mark locations where false positives occur, eliminating those alarms. And the latest software included in modern radar detectors gives the unit a strong success rate in identifying and limiting false alarms overall.
Perhaps the best new technology found in today’s detectors is the ability of the unit to communicate with smartphone apps to find locations of radar traps, mounted speed cameras, and red light cameras. In testing radar detectors during city driving, having the latest information available is invaluable in giving you a higher success rate when it comes to avoiding tickets from radar-happy cops.
#1 Pick Cobra SPX 7800 BT – Editor’s Choice/Most Powerful Radar Detector
Price: $88.85 | Screen Type: Full Color OLED | Voice Alerts: Yes
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A powerful processor provides extremely fast scanning for radar sources.
Although Cobra does a good job providing sturdy kit components for mounting its radar detectors to the windshield and dashboard, there may be times you’re concerned about dropping the unit while you’re transporting it. You can put those worries to an end with the rugged Cobra SPX 7800 BT radar detector, which includes military grade components in its design.
It also contains a wide range of features, including false signal rejection and instant-on radar detection. Cobra provided one of its fastest processors in the SPX 7800 BT, which allows it to sweep for radar faster than other units. And it’s compatible with Cobra’s iRadar app, resulting in realtime updates on speed traps. It’s not a stretch to say this is the best Cobra radar detector on the market in terms of its features.
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#2 Pick Cobra XRS 9370 – Best Budget Radar Detector
Price: $69.99 | Screen Type: Text Display | Voice Alerts: No
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A popular, low-priced radar detector that excels at the basics.
Those seeking a radar detector that doesn’t cost much, while still providing quite a few must have features, will understand quickly why the Cobra XRS 9370 is one of the best selling radar detectors on the market.
The XRS 9370 is the best Cobra radar detector under $100, providing protection against the pesky Radar Gun Pop Mode, which is an instant-on mode for radar that some law enforcement departments use. The LaserEye system offers 360-degree protection against radar units, and the XRS 9370 also has a filtering mode, allowing you to greatly reduce the number of false warnings that can be a headache with other budget priced radar detectors.
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#3 Pick Cobra DSP 9200 BT – Best Feature Rich Radar Detector
Price: $189 | Screen Type: Full Color OLED | Voice Alerts: Yes
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: New technologies, including Bluetooth, make this detector worth the money.
Cobra touts the DSP 9200 BT as its most advanced radar detector, and its feature list certainly fits that billing. You’ll pay a bit more for this unit versus some other Cobra detectors, but for those who need the latest technologies, the extra cost will be worth it.
One of the most recent advancements in radar detector systems is the inclusion of Bluetooth technology, which allows the detector to make a connection with your smartphone to access apps. This gives the detector the ability to receive realtime notifications about speed traps that other users have reported. Cobra employs this technology in the DSP 9200 BT with Cobra’s iRadar Community, and it works great.
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What to Look for in the Best Cobra Radar Detector
Types of Alerts: Radar detectors use different methods of providing alerts, including voice, visual, and alarms. Pick a unit that has the type of alerts that you primarily want to use; some people prefer a voice alert to an alarm, for example. And many Cobra units allow you to use more than one type of alert, which can be helpful if you have multiple drivers using the same detector and each person prefers a different type of alert.
Smartphone Connectivity: The latest feature for radar detectors is Bluetooth connectivity, which allows the detector to connect with a smartphone to make use of realtime information. You will need to have some knowledge of how to set up Cobra radar detector and a smartphone through Bluetooth to make this handy feature work, but it’s well worth the time.
Mistakes to Avoid
Know Your Local Laws: Radar detectors are legal in most states, but some still have laws against radar jammers, against windshield mounted radar detectors, and against using radar detectors in commercial vehicles. Before you purchase and install a detector, understand the laws in the states where you plan to drive the most often.
Don’t Leave the Unit in Plain Sight: Those looking to steal something will gladly grab your radar detector from a parked car. Most units are designed to be removed from the mounting bracket when they’re not in use, so make sure you select one of those designs if you’re concerned about thieves.
What Else You Should Think About
The detectors that made our list provide quite a few great features, qualifying them as a best Cobra radar detector option. In fact, those who own older Cobra models, such as the Cobra SPX 900, will want to consider an upgrade to our top pick, the Cobra SPX 7800 BT, just to gain access to features like Bluetooth compatibility and a full color OLED screen.
Learning more about how radar detectors work can help you figure out which features are most important to you. We also have a series of radar detector reviews published on the site to provide even more information. We’re confident that once you learn a bit more about these helpful devices that you’ll agree with us on our pick of the best radar detector from Cobra: The SPX 7800 BT.