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Escort Passport Max: Ticket Prevention Review

Escort Passport Max: Ticket Prevention Review

Author
3.5 Star Rating
  • Features
  • Accessories
  • Design
  • Performance

Do you want to avoid speeding tickets? If so then the new Escort Passport Max is the device you need. The Passport Max is the first radar detector with high definition radar performance. It is also capable of detecting all radars, lasers, cameras and speed traps employed by law enforcements. This device will noticeably assist all of us in avoiding being issued speeding tickets. With this new detector, driving down highways and cities will be relaxing when you can see the radars coming.

For those that are familiar with Escort’s products, the Passport Max is like the combination of the Escort 9500ix and the Escort Redline. It basically means that the Passport Max has the range of the Redline and the GPS capabilities of the 9500ix and more. The new detector also has digital signal processing to accurately detect real threats in the vicinity and report back. The Escort Passport Max is made for both city drivers and highway drivers.

Escort is one of the top radar detector providers for those that are not familiar with the company. They have superb engineers and top of the line facility to produce some of the best detectors available. To this point, Escort has already sold over millions of radar detectors to protect drivers from being a victim.

Packaging and Accessories

Escort Passport Max comes in a neatly wrapped package. In the package, you will receive the instruction manual, carrying case, smart cord adapter, windshield mount and the device. Everything provided by Escort are extremely useful.

Instruction Manual: The instruction manual offers a heap of information including the installation instructions, controls, features, settings and preferences.

Carrying Case: It is a soft carrying case made to store the detector and accessories when traveling. The texture of the case is very solid and seems like it is made to last.

Smart Cord Adapter: The smart cord adapter does more than just provide power to the device. The adapter will light up when there is an alert from the detector. The adapter also has an easy to reach mute button.

Sticky Cup Windshield Mount: The one good thing about the windshield mount is that it is highly adjustable. I easily adjust it to where I can easily read the detector without disturbing my driving.

Passport Max Device: The device is the source that provides all the nearby radar’s location and warnings.

Escort Passport Max Design

The Escort Passport Max has a similar design compared to the Escort 9500ix. The only difference between the two designs is the newly added silver strip on the side of the Passport Max. The button layout is also somewhat different. The mute button is now located towards the back end of the device. This causes a problem when trying to reach for the mute button. Although, the problem isn’t a big deal since the smart cord adapter has a mute button as well.

The Passport Max also has a new multi color graphics display which gives it a more modern feel to it. The new display shows a lot more information than the older models. The new display also automatically adjusts the lights according to daytime and nighttime conditions. Also, one of the better new features of the graphic display is the choice of selecting a color scheme. The choices range from green, blue, amber and red.

Other features of the new graphics display include calculated speed and speed limit of current road. The display will also show upcoming speed cameras and red-light cameras. I really like the extra information the Passport Max displays compared to their older models.

Performance of Escort Passport Max

The performance of the Escort Passport Max performed really well during my short test run. The furthest I witness the Passport Max detect a threat was over 1000 ft. That was an amazing feat. I saw the officer coming before they saw me coming. The detection range of this detector device is far greater than the older 9500ix model.

Although I was not able to test against all types of radar detection, it has been reported that it is able to detect X band, K band, Ka band and Laser 904nm. Those are all the ones you will need to be aware of to avoid getting a speeding penalty.

While testing, I found that there are 2 main features and 2 option features that help the Passport Max excels over other detectors. They are the digital signal processing, integrated GPS receiver, Defender Database and the Escort Live.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP): The digital signal processing is the powerhouse that filters the false alerts from real threats. This new feature increases the range, accuracy and speed of the new detector. The digital signal processing basically identifies the correct radio bands law enforcement uses from other similar signals such as random security systems and auto-door openers.

Integrated GPS Receiver: The integrated GPS receiver is a feature that automatically filters false alerts that is missed by the DSP regularly. This usually happens when driving by a source producing frequencies very similar to radars. This is a nice feature to prevent annoying false alerts.

As for the 2 optional features like the Defender Database and the Escort Live, they are explained more thoroughly below. For a better and more customized configuration that matches your unique driving style, changing the settings is an option as well.

Defender Database

The Defender Database will reveal the locations of all speed traps and cameras everywhere in the U.S. and Canada. The information will be preloaded onto the Passport Max. With this valuable information, the detector will alert you whenever it arrives at one of the predetermined hotspots. You are even allowed to add your very own hotspots.

To get access to the Defender Database, you will need a subscription. Everyone will get a free 90 day trial and after that it will cost $20 per year. This is a very valuable feature to prevent cameras from taking advantage of drivers, but it is not a must have.

Escort Live

The Escort Live is another great feature to have. When the detector is connected to the live system, it will be able to learn threats from nearby Escort users and spot police officer before it is within the detector’s range. If you want Escort Live, you will need a Smartphone such as an iPhone or Android.

Escort Live is an awesome feature, but it isn’t needed. The Passport Max is already a powerful radar detector by itself. For me basically, the Escort Live just provides more alerts. If you are an extremely cautious person then get Escort Live, but for the rest of us, it is a luxury that is not needed. And to make matters worse, Escort Live cost $5 per month or $50 per year.

Positives

  • Graphics Display
  • Great detection
  • Easy to use
  • Have a lot of options
  • Voice Alerts

Negatives

  • Too many alerts
  • Price is high

Overall Verdict

The Escort Passport Max offers a lot of features to prevent getting speeding ticket but at an expensive price of $550. If you want the optional features such as the Defender Database and Escort Live, then the cost is going to go up even more. If you calculate in all the speeding fines that are going to be prevented, then this radar detector is a great investments.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Passport Max. This is a great radar detector to have for highway and city use. Unless you already have a capable detector like the 9500ix, I definitely recommend getting the Escort Passport Max as deterrence against speeding tickets.

9 Comments

  1. I have had problems with the mount falling off . Escort replaced it after 2 months . 2 months later the same thing . You have to wash it in hot water everytime before you install it . Then it might hold for 8 hours . Many false alarms as well . Sent it back because it bounces and rattles on rough roads . Too late for a refund . I would not recommend this to any one .

  2. Guy really I’m a truck driver and I LOVED the V1 but got rid of it till he steps up and makes it better by not going off every 5mins! 2nd in test after test theV1 is the worst at picking up KA a flaw in it from day one!

  3. One for the bin I think!

  4. Got a ticket with it tonight. Cop had me in clear sight hit me directly with laser. 0 obstructions and max was silent the whole time. Considering to send it back

  5. I bought into the marketing hype from Escort and bought 2 of the Passport Max radar detectors. After numerous problems, I returned both units for refunds. Before anyone spends $550.00 for this radar detector, do some research on 2 forums; http://www.radardetectorforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=15, and http://www.escortradarforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=01dcba765f74d7a5c585a6e1a3196944&f=57.

    The firmware has gone from version 1.0 at the initial release, to the current version of 1.6, and there are still problems. You can read about the bouncing mount, hard to read display, radar detector lock-ups, and false alerts on the Ka band, but to me the most disturbing aspect is the seemingly unconcerned responses from Escort about the problems.

    The most egregious example of this comes with the release of their 1.6 firmware for the Passport Max. Escort emailed all their customers that the 1.6 firmware was available, and should be installed using their software interface program “Detector Tools” on their home PC or laptop. What they neglected to tell everyone is that this version of the firmware will set all radar detection bands (Laser, Ka, K, and X) to “OFF”, and will also set all alerts in the safety camera database to “OFF” as well. OK. Some said not a problem, I will turn everything back on while in Detector Tools and I will be good to go. Unfortunately, there is a software glitch Escort is working on which causes any settings made in Detector Tools to be unmade as soon as the detector is disconnected. The net result is that in order to have a functional detector after the update, you need to either use your smartphone or the buttons on the radar detector itself to turn on the detection capabilities for the various radar bands, as well as turn on the alerts for the red light and speed cameras. If you do not do this, you will be driving around with a radar detector that appears to be functioning normally, but, in reality, it is not scanning for ANYTHING. A true “sleeping beauty”.

    This flaw was uncovered by members of the Escort Radar Forum when one of the members got a speeding ticket and wondered why the Passport Max had not alerted him. Despite repeated requests from members of the Escort Radar Forum to Escort, Inc., Escort has not seen fit to issue another email to their customer base warning the about this problem and advising them to check all their settings either by using their Smartphone and Escort Live, or from the buttons on the unit itself.

    Knowing this fatal flaw, you would think Escort is working 24/7 to fix it. Not so! This problem was discovered early last week and there is still no fix for it, and still no notification to their customers.

    Escort was recently bought out by an investment firm, so who knows what the future holds for them?

    For myself, I bought a Valentine V1C (love the arrows). The Bluetooth dongle (V1C for Android and V1C LE for Apple), allows for tweaking the operational characteristics of the V1 for a more potent detector with fewer false alerts. Even more exciting news is a new APP called YAV1 (Yet Another V1 app) available on Goggle Play for free which adds GPS lockout capability to the V1. You can read more about it here: http://www.radardetectorforum.org/showthread.php?t=26263

  6. Thanks for the review. There’s a lot of positives for this detector but there appears to be a lot more negatives at this point in time. I think it’s best to wait 1-2 months for additional reviews.

  7. this one suck, got a ticket the first week with it!

  8. I am pretty happy with the 9500ix right now and it was the best investment I made so far. But the max seems very nice, so I don’t know what to do. Everything I read about the max has given it high marks and it has a lot of cool features. I wish I could test out the max before I purchase it because at that price, I want to make sure it works as intended. I am sure the max is great and all but since it is so new, I think I am going to wait a month before deciding to buy one.

  9. I am looking for a new detector. I had the Valentine for awhile now and I kept getting false alerts on it and it doesn’t do much else. I was going to get the 9500ix but I heard the max is newer. And by the looks of this article, the escort max is sounding pretty nice. I’ll give it a try and see how it works out for me.

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