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  • Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar and Laser Detector (Red Display)
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Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar and Laser Detector (Red Display)

by Escort
| 8 answered questions

Price: $299.95 & FREE Shipping
Only 6 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Home and Garden Club.
Red display
  • Sophisticated long-range radar and laser detector reads all police, conventional, and "instant-on" radar
  • Digital signal processing provides maximum range while minimizing false alarms
  • Identifies up to 8 radar signals simultaneously
  • Reprogrammable microprocessor can detect new radar and laser threats
  • Red matrix display with 280 LEDs; 1-year limited warranty
6 new from $254.00 17 used from $149.99 3 refurbished from $175.99

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Frequently Bought Together

Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar and Laser Detector (Red Display) + Escort 79-001059-01 Direct Wire Power Cord for Radar and Laser Detectors + Escort 0010027-1 Supercup Windshield Mount (Black)
Price for all three: $336.76

These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.

Buy the selected items together

Technical Details

Style: Red display
  • Model: Passport 8500 X50
  • Width: 0.00 inches
  • Height: 0.00 inches

Product Details

Style: Red display
Product Manual [258kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 3 inches ; 1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00028D778
  • Item model number: Passport 8500 X50
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: August 4, 2008

Product Description

Style: Red display


Radar detector manufacturers are constantly playing a game of catch-up with new technologies designed to nab the lead-footed. "Pop" radar is a relatively new instant-on technology that may make a whole generation of radar detectors obsolete. These radar guns operate at low frequency until they are switched on to determine a driver's speed with lightning-fast accuracy. This leaves a radar detector little opportunity to scan and detect the radar signal. Pop radar may sound ominous, but a new crop of radar detectors--including the Escort Passport 8500 X50--offer Pop radar detection. Escort claims that the 8500 X50 is the most powerful and advanced radar detector ever, with the supreme sensitivity required to detect low-frequency Pop radar.

Mounting the 8500 in our test vehicle was easy and straightforward. A small suction cup bracket slides into the unit's release mechanism and easily attaches to the windshield with light pressure. The unit is housed in a sturdy plastic case that's low profile and compact--although it is larger and heavier than Escort's wireless offering, the Solo S2. The rear of the unit is dominated by a receiver window and there's a rear-facing laser detector window designed to detect laser signals emanating from behind the vehicle.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP) provides maximum range, with minimum false alarms.
The Escort 8500 has a suprisingly simple control layout. Two buttons on the top of the unit control sensitivity settings and display brightness. They also double as selection buttons when the unit is in programming mode. The left side of the unit sports a volume dial. A mute button is positioned on the front panel next to the large, horizontal LCD display which, during normal use, graphs the intensity of the radar and laser signals the unit detects. Power is supplied by an included Escort SmartCord, which plugs into a cigarette-lighter power socket. The SmartCord features an alert LED, as well as a built-in mute button-- two handy additions.

The 8500 can detect all of the radar bands currently in use in North America for speed detection, including the X, K and Ka bands. The unit also features detection diodes for laser detection, but for the most powerful protection from laser detection, Escort offers the ZR3 laser jamming system, which is plug-and-play compatible with the 8500.

The feature that separates the 8500 from other Escort radar detectors, as well as the entire previous generation of radar detector technologies, is its Pop radar detection capabilities. Pop radar guns, while still relatively rare in police departments, are used to identify speeding vehicles in traffic. They provide little warning as the radar signal idles at a low frequency until it transmits an extremely short, high-frequency burst to "Pop" a target. The 8500 is equipped with a highly sensitive receiving system and a digital signal processor designed to pick up Pop signals from a safe distance. Pop detection is not enabled by default in the 8500, however; users must turn it on in the settings menu. Escort probably chose to disable Pop detection by default because its increased sensitivity also increases false alerts. However, first-time radar detector users might be in for a surprise if they neglect to turn it on.

The Passport 8500 X50 provides 3 types of warning displays to choose from.
Audio alerts are the most important feature of any radar detector, and the 8500 doesn't disappoint in this department. Warning tones get progressively louder as a threat approaches, and users can set the unit to deliver warnings at preprogrammed volume levels. Each radar band--including Pop radar--has a distinct tone, making it easy to quickly discern threats. The 8500's "AutoMute" feature automatically lowers the volume level of an alert after a period of time.

False alarms are one of the major annoyances of radar detector use. In our tests, the 8500 was surprisingly adept at minimizing false alarms from home garage door systems, as well as home and commercial security systems that commonly operate on X-band radar. The unit's city sensitivity setting decreases sensitivity to X-band sources, while the highway setting does not. We found the unit's powerful "AutoSensitivity" mode the most accurate, however, as it dynamically filtered all types of radar signals and identified which sources were a legitimate threat. We got a few false alarms, but for the most part, annoying chirps from bogus X-band sources were uncommon.

The 8500 has nine built-in customizable settings. In the settings mode, the LCD acts as a menu system that lets users control display brightness, automatic mute, audio tones, and power-on modes. There are also settings for disabling detection of selected bands. We liked the expert mode settings, which allow a user to get a constant picture of the intensity of all the radar bands in the area. The SpecDisplay, which is a feature exclusive to the 8500, displays the actual numeric frequency of the radar signal being received.

For those living in states that prohibit use of a radar detector, the 8500 does include VG-2 radar detector detector protection, which is designed to both alert the driver and shut down the unit's oscillator.

On the Road
We used the 8500 on a 20-mile stretch of busy interstate and were impressed with the low number of false alarms we received. Again, this remarkable level of accuracy is due to the unit's AutoSensitivity feature. While we encountered no police radar, other controlled tests of the 8500's performance have put the reliable range of detection at 2 miles for all bands. Meanwhile, Pop mode tests place the reliable detection range between 500 and 1000 feet.


  • Well-designed controls and display features
  • AutoSensitivity feature greatly reduces false alarms
  • Highly accurate with massive detection range
  • Pop detection not enabled by default

From the Manufacturer

The Passport 8500 has been hailed as the most revolutionary radar/laser detector ever. Now, Escort is raising the bar again. The Passport 8500 X50, the next generation of the 25-year-old favorite, is the most advanced and sophisticated radar and laser detector ever. The Passport 8500 X50's V-tuned radar receiver provides extreme detection range on all police radar, conventional radar, and "instant-on" radar, including the new POP X band mode, and up to 50 percent more range than the original Passport 8500 on the all-important K and Ka bands. In addition, the detector's digital signal processing (DSP) provides maximum range with minimum false alarms. The unit also includes a patented AutoSensitivity mode that intelligently distinguishes real threats from other known sources of radar, virtually eliminating false readings.

Passport 8500 X50's multiple high-performance laser sensors provide maximum police radar (lidar) warning, with superior off-axis protection. The detector also offers three high-resolution meter modes--a standard bar graph, exclusive ExpertMeter, and SpecDisplay. In ExpertMeter mode, the Passport 8500 X50 can identify band and relative signal strength on up to eight radar signals simultaneously, while with SpecDisplay, the Passport 8500 X50 will show you the actual frequency of the radar signal. Adding to the unit's versatility is a reprogrammable microprocessor, which can be re-worked to detect new radar and laser threats.

Features include:

  • 360-degree radar and laser detection
  • Advanced reprogrammable digital signal processing
  • AutoSensitivity mode automatically reduces false alarms
  • EZ-Programming allows instant customization
  • 3 high-resolution meter modes
  • Ultra-bright red matrix display with 280 LEDs
  • Multiple high-performance laser sensors
  • Built-in earphone jack
  • Completely immune to the VG-2 "detector-detector"
  • 1-year limited warranty

What's in the Box
Passport 8500 X50 radar and laser detector, quick-release windshield mount, built-in earphone jack, coiled SmartCord, quick reference card, travel case, user's manual.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Easy to use, and works great.
David P.
Escort Passport 8500 X50 Radar and Laser Detector (Blue Display)Very pleased with product.
Road Dog
It is worth a little extra money to get this kind of quality.
Jumping Jack Flash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

278 of 304 people found the following review helpful By J. Chatwani on January 31, 2005
Before I actually begin, one thing should be perfectly clear - you're looking at this radar because you understand accuracy is not only important, it is critical when looking for a radar detector. If you look at my other reviews, you'll notice that I've given 5 stars to those products as well - you'll also notice I haven't done many reviews in the past, that's because I only really write reviews for items that I think deserve it. As for the rest, well, I don't keep the product if it doesn't meet the 5 star requirement! So trust me when I say this radar is the best you can buy under $500.


I've always been a little skeptical about using radar detectors, everyone knows they won't prevent tickets every single time. But, if it can save you a couple tickets it's already paid for itself. I live in Chicago, and frequently drive to neighboring states for work and to visit family. Because of this, I knew that I would have to buy a solid detector that was effective if I was constantly on the road. I made the right choice. Driving on the expressways in the midwest is simple for me now knowing I am using the 8500 x50. It has alerted me much in advance if a cop was gunning and I've always had time to slow down and pass the cop at the posted speed limit. The three main alerts, K, KA, and X are pretty much always on target - and with minimal false readings, it stays quiet when it needs to.

Ease of Use:

One of the best aspects of this radar is how easy it is to use. Right out of the package, it's ready to go. However, if you're a little more technical and always need things a certain way, you can configure it with a number of different settings to fit your style.
Read more ›
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By beam me up Scotty on July 19, 2006
Style Name: Red display Verified Purchase
I was going 75 in a 40, up a hilly highway last night, to get by a logging truck before a long stretch with no passing zones. There was some downhill traffic, but no cop-like vehicles I could see. But Mr. Escort blinked his lights (the one on the power supply as well as the blue LEDs) and sounded his chirp (which is loud enough for me!) and I buried the brake pedal to get my bimmer down to the legal speed. Then the signal went dead. None of the downhill vehicles was the fuzz, so my first thought was "dangit, that false alarm is going to get me stuck behind this truck for five miles!" but then I saw Mr. Smokey in the trees just off the road, using pop-radar in his unmarked car. He had just clocked the downhill cars, that's where I got my signal.

"BUzzzzzz!" Mr Escort said again when the copper clocked me, and I'll bet HE thought "a BMW going 40? He knew I was here." But once the cop was out of view,I zoomed by the truck , and thanked the Escort Co. for the 50th time this year. I have not gotten a SINGLE ticket since I installed mine, and many, if not most, would have been unavoidable without it.

If you drive a lot, and you don't like being passed by grandmas, BUY THIS DETECTOR. Don't quibble about the price, it will save you three times the $ in the first year. I never owned any other, so I can't say if it's better than a V1 or a Cobra, but I do know I am VERY glad I bought mine.
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269 of 325 people found the following review helpful By Erik V on August 3, 2006
Style Name: Red display Verified Purchase
I ordered the Passport X50 from Amazon to save the $18 shipping Escort Radar was charging. I was told by someone at Escort Radar that Amazon was an authorized reseller.

After having my detector on for ten minutes (right out of the box), it did three "SELF CAL"s, then said "SERVICE REQUIRED". I called Escort Radar and was told "If you let the car power up the unit when you start the car, the voltage can be all over the place and the unit gets confused. You must first start the car, and then use the thumbwheel to turn on the detector." It makes some sense, but if this is really the case, why don't they put those instructions in their manual? After trying this many times, the unit was "still confused", so I returned it for a replacement.

My second detector worked for maybe thirty minutes before the same thing happened. This time Escort Radar told me "if you leave it plugged into the cigarette lighter over night, this has been found to cause problems." Well my lighter power goes off when I turn off the ignition, so this doesn't apply. Escort Radar also told me that "excessive heat" has been causing them problems. Now we have had a few days of 100° heat, and I'm sure the car gets hotter parked in the sun, but the design engineers should have accounted for these conditions plus some margin when you design something that is supposed to work in a car. It gets a lot hotter in other parts of the country. There are no warnings in the manual about not using it above 90° or leaving it off in a hot car. You wouldn't design a ski that doesn't work below 35°, would you???

The most troubling part of my conversation with Escort Radar service department was they told me Amazon is not an authorized reseller, and they have no idea where they are getting the units from. Furthermore, they will not honor any warranty nor will they ever repair the unit, not even for money.
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104 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Tim Mouradian on February 16, 2005
Style Name: Red display
After driving for ~2 weeks with both x50 and Valentine One I am

keeping x50 and Val1 will go back to the vendor.

Besides the price differential, x50 offers better pop protection,

is less sensitive in the city driving and offers more up-to-date


On the other hand it lacks arrows and back window radar (it does

have a back window laser detector, which is not the same as a

full fledged radar that Valentine 1 has patented).

Arrows could come very handy, but this alone does not

justify the ~$120 difference between otherwise very similar


Other than that, both units are very accurate compared to some

other detectors that I've tried. The noise level in the city

driving could get excessive, thankfully x50 comes with a very convinient mute button right on their "smart cord" power supply.

I am deducting a star for the lack of a carrying case,

as less expensive units come with carrying cases out of the box

I was expecting x50 to provide this accessory as part of the

product, not a separate purchase.
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