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Style Name: Radar Detector|Color: Blue Display|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$198.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 5, 2011
The 8500 series Passports have been around for slightly over a decade and have seen two major revisions. This is the current, 2011, revision. I own all three revisions (8500, 8500 X50, and now 8500 X50 Black), and I give this product a lot of praise. For most drivers, this is one of the best choices in its price range.

The X-band performance on all models has been great. For this revision, K and Ka bands have seen substantial improvements, as has the 'ramp-up', which is how a signal has a progressive increase to and decrease from the target. Its laser performance and filtering is unchanged. Like the previous model, its filtering is the best in the business. It's off axis detection seems to be improved, thanks to a newer type of lens. The speaker is LOUD, which is what you want, and the tone sounds are very distinct. Like the previous models (and virtually all detectors), do NOT rely on it for LIDAR (laser) detection. For that you need a LIDAR jammer.

The black color is a nice change as it does not clash with interiors and it looks much sharper than the previous silver colored one. The display is as crisp as always and the included true hard-carry and padded zipper case is a nice upgrade from the plastic box. This is a true travel case and great for the mobile user. As always, the mounting hardware and SmartCord are excellent (the SmartCord allows you to mute an alert without touching the unit and seeing an active alarm when the unit is in 'Dark' mode. The frequency display, expert meter, band customization, city sensitivity customization, voltage display and more give users many features allowing them to customize the unit for their area and specific driving. If you aren't a customizer, then it is ready to go out-of-the-box and is VERY simple to use and reprogram (of so desired). Escort's extended warranty of an additional 2 years for $30 is very reasonable as well and their 30-day risk-free trial is also nice given this is a big purchase. Being able to get it with a blue display is nice, although I swear by the red myself as I find it easier to read, especially at night.

It does, however, lack a few features. The first is voice alerts. Some people love these, and some hate them. I love them, but it isn't a major issue IMO. It also lacks substantial protection against 'quick trigger' radar, which is instant on radar that goes from asleep-to on-to lock a speed-and back to 'sleep'. It is simply not fast enough to detect this short signal, which is very common in some areas. However, it is not used at all in others and for its price point I would not let this discourage you from buying it. It also does not detect the 16 millisecond K-band POP2 (it's POP settings detect the 33.6-33.8 GHz Ka-band 67 millisecond POP), and turning POP on will greatly increase false alerts with a reduction in distance on all non-POP frequencies. However, unlike QT, POP is very rare.

The Bottom Line?...Well, perhaps everything I have thus far said makes no sense if you aren't a radar detector person...if that is the case, let me sum it up in a not-so-dorky fashion. The detector offers good to excellent range on virtually every type of radar, still has the same laser limitations of other detectors (get a jammer), looks really good in person, has a lot of features that let you customize your unit for you, and is VERY easy to use. It has made some substantial improvements over the previous two silver-colored models, and so I would look at the X50 Black (which is this model) over them. So in layman's terms this is a pretty darn good pick for most users and is an excellent overall value.
88 comments|296 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 5, 2011
The 8500 series Passports have been around for slightly over a decade and have seen two major revisions. This is the current, 2011, revision. I own all three revisions (8500, 8500 X50, and now 8500 X50 Black), and I give this product a lot of praise. For most drivers, this is one of the best choices in its price range.

The X-band performance on all models has been great. For this revision, K and Ka bands have seen substantial improvements, as has the 'ramp-up', which is how a signal has a progressive increase to and decrease from the target. Its laser performance and filtering is unchanged. Like the previous model, its filtering is the best in the business. It's off axis detection seems to be improved, thanks to a newer type of lens. The speaker is LOUD, which is what you want, and the tone sounds are very distinct. Like the previous models (and virtually all detectors), do NOT rely on it for LIDAR (laser) detection. For that you need a LIDAR jammer.

The black color is a nice change as it does not clash with interiors and it looks much sharper than the previous silver colored one. The display is as crisp as always and the included true hard-carry and padded zipper case is a nice upgrade from the plastic box. This is a true travel case and great for the mobile user. As always, the mounting hardware and SmartCord are excellent (the SmartCord allows you to mute an alert without touching the unit and seeing an active alarm when the unit is in 'Dark' mode. The frequency display, expert meter, band customization, city sensitivity customization, voltage display and more give users many features allowing them to customize the unit for their area and specific driving. If you aren't a customizer, then it is ready to go out-of-the-box and is VERY simple to use and reprogram (of so desired). Escort's extended warranty of an additional 2 years for $30 is very reasonable as well and their 30-day risk-free trial is also nice given this is a big purchase. Being able to get it with a blue display is nice, although I swear by the red myself as I find it easier to read, especially at night.

It does, however, lack a few features. The first is voice alerts. Some people love these, and some hate them. I love them, but it isn't a major issue IMO. It also lacks substantial protection against 'quick trigger' radar, which is instant on radar that goes from asleep-to on-to lock a speed-and back to 'sleep'. It is simply not fast enough to detect this short signal, which is very common in some areas. However, it is not used at all in others and for its price point I would not let this discourage you from buying it. It also does not detect the 16 millisecond K-band POP2 (it's POP settings detect the 33.6-33.8 GHz Ka-band 67 millisecond POP), and turning POP on will greatly increase false alerts with a reduction in distance on all non-POP frequencies. However, unlike QT, POP is very rare.

The Bottom Line?...Well, perhaps everything I have thus far said makes no sense if you aren't a radar detector person...if that is the case, let me sum it up in a not-so-dorky fashion. The detector offers good to excellent range on virtually every type of radar, still has the same laser limitations of other detectors (get a jammer), looks really good in person, has a lot of features that let you customize your unit for you, and is VERY easy to use. It has made some substantial improvements over the previous two silver-colored models, and so I would look at the X50 Black (which is this model) over them. So in layman's terms this is a pretty darn good pick for most users and is an excellent overall value.
66 comments|77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 11, 2013
I really struggled with giving this a 5 but ultimately did because my issue is probably the exception to the rule. This is my 2nd Escort 8500 actually. After going to a top of the line Whister (the XTR-695 I believe) for a few months when the 1st one was stolen, I'm back to an 8500 and happy about it.

First the good stuff:
1) Great range. I'm very happy with the sensitivity, it gives plenty of warning time.
2) Menus are relatively easy to navigate and give lots of options.
3) On the loud volume range there is plenty of volume, but MAKE SURE you change it to the loud setting. Just spinning the volume wheel is not all there is to it! I have a electric cutout exhaust and with the cutouts wide open (no mufflers) and music turned loud enough to hear over that I still can hear it well enough to know when I need to slow down.
4) Display is nice and bright and easy to read in all lighting situations.

Now for what I DON'T like but most of you won't care:
1) If you use the regular windshield suction cup mount AND you have a steep angle on your windshield it's very difficult to get it level. I have a C5 Corvette Z06 and if bend the bracket enough for detector to be level, the tops of the suction cups don't clear the top of the detector itself as you slide it back against the windshield. I have it at an angle now where they are smashed against the top of the detector and it still sags downward in the front a few degrees. I'm sure it still works fine like that but it's irritating. I still give a 5 because it's still better then the Whistler bracket which didn't lock securely and under hard accelleration it would end up in my lap whereas the 8500 stay firmly in place even if it is at a slightly downward angle.

Summary: buy it!
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on January 3, 2014
I bought this before taking a trip to So Cal. There were a few false alarms, but overall this thing worked like a charm. It seems that the CHP uses Ka band for the most part and the passport would pick it up as much as a mile out. I was consistently driving 85 and slowing down to 70 when i received an alert. Doing this saved me a couple hours of driving time. This device doesn't make you invincible. You are still susceptible to laser, POP and aircraft, but you will get lots of advance warning for the majority of speed traps.

EDIT: I still think this is a perfectly good radar detector, but if i had it to do over again i would buy one that has GPS and false alarm lockout. I drive the same route every day and this thing goes off in the same spots every time. Sure i can mute it but it would be nice to have one of the detectors that just remembers and ignores where your false alarms are. Still though it's a good product and i haven't had a ticket since purchasing it.
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on January 26, 2015
Haven't had it long and has already saved me several times. Detects radar from a very good distance. Surprises me sometimes on the highway how far away the Ka band radar is. Also has a lot of extra features for the display. Overall a great buy for the price.
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on October 6, 2015
i live in a smaller town and didn't really get too many false alarms etc. and it seems to work alright..
But I came to my car today and the frame literally was broken in half.
It did not drop. Nothing weird happened to it. It has been mounted on my windshield since I got the thing.
I came to it today and the only thing mounted on the windshield was the top of the frame. The bottom of the frame and all of its components were all on the floor. I put it back together and there is no way that it will lock together again so I am going to have to tape it together for it to even be remotely functional.
I am not happy with this product
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on December 12, 2013
This company has gone way down hill. I had been a loyal customer of Cincinnati Microwave and Escort Scanners for 25 years, and I still have some of their older scanners working fine - all these years later. But after buying two 8500 x50s and having both of them continually go into reset, recalibrate mode, give false LASER readings and having to send them back at additional expense for repairs, then having it happen again repeatedly, I am disappointed. The company just sits there and wants to charge again for repairs and could care less about good customer service. They refuse to allow you to speak to management and just use the excuse that they are out of warranty. They refuse to do anything further. I highly urge everyone to look to alternative brands, which are better for much less money, and you will be much happier. Additionally these newer models were advertised to be better and more sensitive than the old ones, and such has not been the case. BUYERS BEWARE.
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on January 12, 2015
What can you say its an Escort. I've had 5 or 6 of these and along with paying for themselves in no time, they run forever. This one I installed on my Can Am Spyder motorcycle.
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on April 10, 2013
I have had this detector since it was first introduced. It is my fifth Escort. While the detector does it job, there are a number of issues:

1) In densly populated areas such as Dallas, TX (Tollway or US75 corridor), false alerts every mile due to direct or reflective of non-police sources such as convenience store anti-theft pillars (active device transmitters).

2) Very inconvenient volume control (multi-function single button).

3) No ability to lock-out fixed false signals (see gas stations, etc. all those pesky X-band - which no law enforcement really uses any more).

4) The supplied window suction cup is almost useless. Bounces around. Regardless of cleaning, will peel off in both very cold and very hot temperatures leaving (hopefully) the unit dangling from its power cord instead of impacting a hard surface and damaging itself and / or that surface.

5) Extremely hot in operation. My thermal heat gun shows that even in Winter, the surface temperature is 122 degrees. In Summer, I had a peak reading of 181 degrees - enough for a serious contact skin burn.

6) Horrible (as in NONE) customer service - at least from Escort itself. I cannot say what the situation is at this Seller, but Escort is the worst. Yo would think that being a registered owner and buying direct from them for over 20 years, I would get some access. No way. Calls are never returned. Contact through the web goes unanswered. Oh, they are more than happy to respond if you want to buy something more. Other than that, zero response.

7) Does not do a good job of picking up photo (red-light cams) typically makes the alert only within 100 feet of the unit and by then, its too late and I already had a visual on the cam before the detector anyway.

Recommended, but with strong caveats. Unfortunately, since Escort bought BEL, there are few real alternatives.
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on September 12, 2014
Have had to send in for repairs 3 times because of Laser Falsing. Laser Falsing is when the device gives a false alert...in my case the detector Laser radar alert happens every 2 minutes making it basically worthless as a radar detector. Now the unit is falsing again a month after warranty is up. I thought I would still be using the unit a couple years after the warranty was up. Now I get to throw it in the trash...I will not buy another Passport product!!!
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