126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2007
I was slightly reluctant to buy this item after reading a few bad reviews on Amazon but I bought it and I'm glad I did. Other consumer report sites rated it high and I do also. It's a great unit and came with no problems. It picks up radars long before they're in view. Make sure you have the unit parallel with the ground to work best. No need to unplug it when you leave your vehicle...it senses a low voltage and turns itself off after a moment when it senses the car is turned off then it turns on when you restart the ignition. It also muffles its alerts after a few beeps so you don't have to reach up and turn it down if you're conversing. Great features in a great product.
85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
The 955 is a great detector that has only less features, not less range, than its more expensive stablemates. But if you are upgrading from a detector that's a few years or more older, you'll still find the features on the 955 to be great. More importantly, the range on the 955 is spectacular. Now, Bel has had some quality control issues as of late, but unless your unit pops up the dreaded "service required" message, chances are your detector is finding each threat the best it can. What some people don't realize about police radar is that police can use "instant on" radar which can be flicked on at practically point blank range. Using radar in such a fashion limits or completely prevents radar from being detected. It's not the detector's fault, police and radar manufacturers have just become savvy to the downside of leaving their radar units constantly on. Being popped by "instant on" radar has led many an inexperienced radar detector owner to throw their detector in the trash because they figured it just didn't work.... My advice would be for anyone contemplating the purchase of a detector to do a little online research into how police radar is used and what roll a detector can play in avoiding costly tickets....
Back to this unit, as I said previously, it's great. It has excellent sensitivity on all bands. If you can get by without the latest non-essential features (more conveniences than anything) then the 955 is the best your going to find in its price range.
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2007
Just bought the Bel 955 to replace my Bel 980. From what I have read the 955 gives all the advanced detection of more expensive Bel products, with some lacking features that you may not miss.
Compared to my old 980, the 955 has much, much less false alerts and seems to pick up K and Ka radar much sooner. It is also very easy to program, but to be honest the factory settings are great and not much needs to be changed.
The new auto-quiet feature is very nice. With this you get the alert at the sound level you picked, then it automatically goes softer after a few seconds.
What I didn't like is that they do not supply a straight cord (only a short coiled one), they changed the shape of the power plug (now its a telephone type jack), and moved the jack on the detector to the detector's right side.
I had my old detector hard-wired to the car and was unable to use the existing wire/plug without buying an adapter direct from Beltronics.
One last bit of information. It has been posted that Beltronics won't honor the 1 year warrantee if purchased from a "non-authorized" reseller like Amazon. There is even mention of this on Bel's web site. Before buying from Amazon, I sent an E-mail to Bel asking if this policy included purchase direct from Amazon or if they were refering to Amazon re-sellers. This is Bel's response:
Thank you for your interest in Beltronics! Amazon is authorized. But often you are directed to the reseller site they host. You may not see this unless you look closely at the page you are directed to. We do not have any authorized resellers on their re-seller site.
Customer Service Department
In conclusion, the 955 is a nice upgrade from my old Bel detector with some new features, less false alerts, and what seems to be better K & Ka detection.
Unit just died after 6 weeks of use. Suddenly will not pick up any radar! Shipping it back to Bel for repair. Very disappointed in the quality of this unit. Therefore, rating for me has just dropped to one star!
Received the unit back from Bel in less that two weeks. Repair was done free of charge under warrantee. So fears of Bel not honoring the warrantee if purchased from Amazon directly seem to be unfounded. Unit works better than ever now. Lets hope it stays that way!
Since the repair in 2008 the unit continues to work very well. It has been hardwired in the car since purchase and exposed to all the heat and cold that comes with being on the dashboard 24/7. Happy to report that after 4 years the unit continues to work!
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2007
My wife and I live 100 miles away from where we both work and we commute daily to and from. Prior to getting the Beltronics 955, I was a nervous wreck driving a total of 3-4 hours a day. I have been driving the commute now for well over a year and I received only 1 ticket but I had to be constantly hyper-vigilant. I did not purchase the device to speed at will, just to provide peace of mind on a long dangerous commute.
The device has performed quite well so far. During the first quarter of the drive there are speed limit postings with embedded Ka band to give you a readout of your speed versus the posted limit. Consistently, I pick up the Ka signal from the sign at 1.4 miles out---long before it can ever pick me up. By the time the sign picks up my speed (something you can see on the readout for at least 1/4 of a mile) I have been aware of its presence for over a mile and had plenty of time to react. I have been made aware of 6 individual situations over the past week where I had considerable time to adjust my speed before actually seeing the cruiser. I might add the highway where I have had the most positive IDs has very few straight runs and many blind corners. I have had no Laser or POP situations to verify warning times. I dont belive New Mexico State Troopers use Laser or POP twixt Santa Fe and Albuquerque or on the Santa Fe bypass road, but I am sure I will detect it if they do.
On city mode within Albuquerque, I get very few false alarms.
Overall, for the first week of operation I am extremely impressed by the range and detection of the 955. I have had no technical problems with the device thus far.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
I bought this radar detector because in independent testing at [...] they said that they found the Bel Vector 985 to be the best model under $200 that they've ever tested (Bel Vector says that the 955 and 985 models are the exact same product with the only difference being a plate on it, one's a radio shack model). So that's why I originally bought it. I know that amazon.com ratings may not be as good as expert ratings because experts usually compare many models together and so they know how they compare, while customer ratings usually compare a product to what they think the ideal product should be like. Customer ratings are also usually biased towards those who either had really bad or really good experiences, since most people who buy don't fill these reviews out.
I gave it a four star rating because I believe that it's more sensitive and has less false alerts than a lot of other radar detectors that I've seen while being a passenger in other peoples' cars. It still has false alerts and can be annoying when in the parking lots of certain motion detecting stores, but seems to be better than others I've seen in friends' cars. It seems to be sensitive towards real alerts. I have used it to avoid some radar ambushes by police officers. But then there's always room for improvement and a $500 radar detector is going to be a lot better.
Keep in mind that radar detectors aren't meant to be foolproof. They're meant to alert you to police officers radaring vehicles ahead of you. Police usually leave their radar off until they're ready to target someone, so if you're the only one on the road for miles I'd be careful. Radar detectors are only a tool that helps you lesson your chances of getting a ticket. Tickets are expensive after raised insurance rates and all, so detectors are worth the money. Don't expect more than what they were made for. Situational awareness is important too.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2010
My Radar detector was purchased January 2010. One month later the detector stopped working and would not turn on. I verified it was not the power source or the cable; the unit was receiving power but would not turn on. Well I wasn't too happy but I knew it was covered by a 1 Year warranty. I called up Beltronics only to find out that they DO NOT HONOR WARRANTY CLAIMS for products purchased from Amazon.com!!! Even worse, they wanted $79.99 + shipping to fix the unit. Needless-to-say, I find their level of customer service inadequate and disconcerting given the volume of product they sell through this site. I will not purchase another Beltronics product and would advise highly against it given their lack of professionalism in standing behind the quality of their own product.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2010
Like most people I did a lot of research before buying this device. I was a bit intrigued with the single-star ratings here on Amazon. Based on what I've read, and based on my own use of this device, I think there is some misunderstanding by some users regarding the nature of radar detectors.
First, false alerts are clearly a weak-point in most radar-detecting technologies, as the manufacturer fully acknowledges in the user manual. But this problem happens mostly to detectors priced $200 or below. The $500+ detectors have better circuitry and logic to deal with this problem. Therefore, the obvious answer to having a near-perfect detector is to spend more money on a better detector. But this does not mean that the sub-$200 detectors are worthless. Many of them, including the Beltronics 955, have various built-in features to help overcome false alerts. Some of these include "city" mode (less sensitivity to X band), signal intensity meter (helps you distinguish weak and sporadic signals from threatening ones), automute (automatic lowering of sound after initial strong alert), outright disabling of X band, and a brand new feature called TSR signaling ranking. According to the insert, this is,"a new optional boost in anti-falsing software to eliminate excessive alerts from erroneous X and K-band sources. [...] TSR intelligently sorts, ranks and rejects this type of false alarm automatically." For some reason, this is disabled by default, but it can be easily enabled. So the bottom line is that it if you expect perfection, you should invest in a higher-priced model. If you can tolerate a few false alerts or if you don't mind disabling the X-band altogether, this model is more than sufficient for the average driver.
As far as my experience with this unit, I've only had it two weeks, but so far it has performed well. I live in a fairly dense suburban area with a large mix of houses and businesses. The first thing the detector latched on to was a red light runner camera. With the TSR mode off, it detected the radar both before and after the source point. With the TSR on it only briefly alerted as I drove past. It often detected X-band signals from businesses with automatic-open doors, but the city mode tames these alerts greatly. I would also get random K-band and Ka-band signals, but only rarely and only in areas dense with cars and businesses. Overall, it seemed fairly good about keeping quiet. Combined with the automute and level-meter, alerts become much less annoying. The automute function keeps you from getting distracted too much, and the level-meter helps you get a quick glimpse of the signal intensity which allows you to quickly determine if the signal is random and extraneous or if it's coming from a cop's radar gun. The bottom line here is that this detector, like most sub-$200 detectors, require learning and adjustment. Just like most computers --and make no mistake, it is a mini-computer-- you'll only derive the full benefit if you learn as much as you can and apply it accordingly. Read the manual, do your research, and work with the detector accordingly. Don't expect perfection. If that's what you want, go spend $500 to $1500 on a better detector.
One other thing... this detector paid for itself on the second day of use. Well, kind of. I had just turned on to a major boulevard. At first the detector went off with a low signal detection. Within seconds the detector started going crazy. I kept looking but could not see any source. I slowed down to the exact speed limit and kept looking around. It was not until I traveled another 1/3 mile that I finally saw the cop. He was parked in the shade of an ivy-covered wall on the opposite side of the road. From the initial alert point, one would be hard-pressed to even see a car where the cop car was parked. As I approached and passed I did not see a radar gun on the dashboard, but I did see the cop looking down as if writing something (I think he had just cited someone). In other words, he was not actively pointing his radar gun in my direction, yet the Beltronics 955 detected the stray signals from over 1/3 mile away! That's impressive. Had he been pointing his gun directly at me on a highway, the detector would have alerted me in plenty of time to react.
Overall, I am very impressed with this unit given its price. I'm not sure how this detector compares to others in the same price range, but I can definitely say that this unit has performed well. I would probably buy it again if I owned a second car.
* Very intuitive design and easily programmable options
* Display LED brightness control, from very bright, to medium, to very dim (for night driving), to completely off
* Very good sensitivity to band signals from far away
* Very cool automute feature that dampens post-detection audible alerts
* Quick boot option (under 4 seconds)
* New technology called TSR signal ranking now included
* Relatively lightweight and compact -- can fit in jacket pocket or purse.
* Excellent industry support -- lots of add-ons, accessories and wiring solutions
* Insert with product offers 2-year warranty extension for $29.95 -- great bargain!
* This suction-cup mount solution -- what a pathetic offering by Bel. This wouldn't be so bad if Bel offered an alternative for extra $, but they don't.
* Power cord much too short. $0.35 worth of extra wire would have solved this problem!
* Silver top cover adds to light reflection, but it is not too annoying.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2007
The Vector 955 is sensitive yet in autoscan mode will not pick up many non-critical "x" band false signals. The alerts are loud enough to hear over a loud playing stereo. This unit is a very good value.
150 of 188 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2005
I own a different model of Beltronics radar detector (the Express 925) which I have had for less than a month. It developed a porblem with the display, so I called Beltronics so that I could get it repaired. Surprise! Surprise! The lady there told me they will not honor the warranty of any Beltronics radar detector not sold by an "authorized reseller" and she told me that Amazon is NOT an authorized reseller. So if you buy your radar detector from Amazon or other non authorized dealers, they will not honor the warranty if you have a problem. Check Beltronics web site to verify this!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2007
I got this detector for my second vehicle. Even though I rarely speed above general traffic flow, speed enforcement has picked up a lot in my area and I didn't want to pay back-door taxes.
The Vector 955 is an excellent radar detector that will provide sufficient warning of radar activity. It is not as sophisticated as the top 4 radar detectors (as of 1/23/2007) but it is one of the best deals from a performance / price perspective (at MSRP). However, like any radar detector (even the best ones), this radar detector is NOT a cop detector.
Overall, the 955 is waaaaay better than the best and most expensive Cobra radar detectors. Any time any day. Only the best Whistler radar detector is somewhat close in performance to the 955 for laser, but not radar. Reason for giving 4 is because Beltronics is very picky about it's warranty and the volume from the 3.5mm audio jack (I use it when spouse/kids are sleeping on a long drive) is way too loud even at just one click up from zero.
And the product description from Amazon is quite pathetic, it's almost non-existent - like a whole 20 words. What's up with that? Don't they want to sell it?
And yes, please drive carefully. Lives are more important than seconds/minutes saved.