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201 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Substantial improvements across the board, highly recommend
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...
Published on September 5, 2011 by ZapNZs

versus
59 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE OF ESCORT SCANNERS AND BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM THEIR COMPANY
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...
Published 12 months ago by M. Reisman Ltd


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201 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Substantial improvements across the board, highly recommend, September 5, 2011
This review is from: Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Blue Display (Electronics)
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.
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121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meep-meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!, January 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This thing can smell bacon from miles out. Laser 17272 <--------look out for this gun (that is what my ticket had written on it), not many officers have it, but if they have line of sight (if they are hidden from view, it doesn't take long to get a lock as you crest a hill or turn a long corner), if they are only gunning potential speeders (people that look as if they are breaking the limit), and have their ka-band switched off, then you my friend, are a sitting duck (with ALL detectors). Drive more appropriately during daylight hours, because at night, they won't have ka turned off and you'll know about them miles in advance. Do your speeding at night! I made it from Miami to Madison averaging over 100mph (wide, open, empty highways) with lunch and fuel stops included (about a week after buying the 8500). This thing gave me about 45 seconds of warning each time that I approached a trap, most of the time I kept on speeding for 15-30 seconds, you'll see the signal bar slowly growing, it must run on magic. If states had the money to use laser only, detectors would be less than useless.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Substantial improvements across the board, highly recommend, 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.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Barely 5 out of 5 from a Tough Reviewer, April 11, 2013
By 
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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59 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE OF ESCORT SCANNERS AND BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM THEIR COMPANY, December 12, 2013
This review is from: Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Blue Display (Electronics)
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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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No customer service, May 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had to send the unit to Escort three months after purchase. I have called and emailed Escort a number of times about problems with the 8500X50. Their customer service is worse than non-Existent. It is HORRIBLE! Even if this was the best detector on the market I would not purchase it or anything else from Escort. Beware if you ever need help.
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42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product - Dishonest WAREHOUSE DEALS Company., February 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Blue Display (Electronics)
The documentation is excellent; the features are as advertised; read below why I haven't used it on the road yet.

In 2012, I spent over $4000.00 on Amazon.com.

Do not purchase from WAREHOUSE DEALS!

I ordered a $300.00 Passport radar detector with the more expensive blue display. WAREHOUSE DEALS sent me a sealed retail box with a sticker that said "blue display." The box had a serial number on it, but the detector's serial number was different. The box showed a blue color display. WAREHOUSE DEALS switched the blue for a cheaper red display model.

WAREHOUSE DEALS are lying cheaters.

Bait-and-Switch at it's most blatant form. Boycott WAREHOUSE DEALS. Minus 10 stars.

WAREHOUSE DEALS does not deserve to be associated with Amazon.com.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, January 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passport 8500X50, February 15, 2013
By 
This review is from: Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Blue Display (Electronics)
I commute between Phoenix and Las Vegas and just replaced my old Passport 6800 with the 8500X50. What a difference!

The new technology seems to pick up signals much quicker and at a greater distance, thereby giving me more warning about upcoming radar. I am also using my iPhone with the application Escort Live. Escort Live seems very responsive and alerts when other users have reported threats while driving.

I am still working through the false Kband signals being reported throughout the commute, but all in all I am finding the 8500 to be working to my expectation. I commuted a few months without any detector and find the commute more relaxing if I have the extra added knowledge of speed traps, cameras and live radar sources.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest review, September 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have previously tried the Beltronics RX65 and the Escort Redline. I settled with the 8500 X50 Black. (These were tested in California)

The Redline seemed to have trouble going off during my testing period. Sometimes it would only start beeping when the LEO is 0.3 mile away. It was weird, and I didn't feel that the $500 price tag justified it. Maybe I needed several months to test it, but maybe I just didn't like the idea of throwing down $500 for a detector.

I've read good things about the 8500 X50 Black. It has been updated and has the same "range" as the 9500ix. It was simpler and lighter than the Redline. And it was $200 cheaper than the Redline. I felt that if I were to ever lose the unit, at least it would only be $300 and not $500. But the main reason was because I felt like this unit has given me more consistent results. For the most part, highway driving alerts radar approx. 1 mile ahead. This is plenty enough as I am not one who speeds all the time at 25+ over speed limit. For the value, it is a very good unit and have saved me many times, but I am not a 100+ speeder, so I can't say how it will perform for that purpose.

The BAD:

Laser detection is pretty much non-existent. But I honestly don't think there's anyway to beat laser with any detector, so be careful how you speed, people!
Sometimes the ramp up/down is too sudden.
Although this is black, it is not matte like the Redline. So yes, you will still get glares on the windshield.

If you're like me and don't want to spend $500 on a detector, this is a very very good detector. I would not hesitate to buy it again. But if you are an extreme speeder, the ONLY way to determine the BEST detector for your needs is to test out multiple different units. Everyone's experiences are different, so you'll have to find which works best for you and your usual route.
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