Escort Passport Max
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- Operating bands: x-band 10.525 GHz 25 MHz, k-band 24.150 GHz 100 MHz, ka-band 34.700 GHz 1300 MHz, & laser 904nm, 33 MHz bandwidth
- Radar receiver / detector Type: super heterodyne, reactor-tuned vco & digital signal processing (DSP)
- Laser detection: Quantum limited video receiver & multiple laser sensor diodes
- GPS receiver: sirfstar IV
- Display Type: graphic multi-color OLED, cruise alert, bar graph, expert meter, spec display, & 5 levels of brightness with full dark mode
- Take Ticket Protection to the Max^Fastest Response & Remarkable Accuracy^New Multi-Color OLED Display^Intuitive Controls^DEFENDER Database
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- Size (LWH): 5.3 inches, 3.2 inches, 1.3 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
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This item Escort Passport Max
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|Color||Black||Red Display||Red Display||Red Display||Red Display||computer|
|Item Dimensions||3.2 x 5.3 x 1.3 in||3 x 3 x 3 in||1.4 x 5.35 x 2.9 in||1.25 x 5.32 x 2.85 in||2.9 x 5.25 x 1.16 in||1.24 x 2.86 x 4.45 in|
|Style Name||Base Model||Radar Detector||Radar Detector||Radar Detector||Radar Detector||CR90|
Take Ticket Protection to the Max
The all-new PASSPORT Max, the first and only detector with High-Definition Radar Performance, delivers breakthrough radar performance like no other. It covers all radar and laser bands and enables you to drive worry-free. The PASSPORT Max is like no other detector. Its refined styling is subtle, yet strong. Its performance is stunning, yet smart and intelligent. The PASSPORT Max raises the bar once again.
Fastest Response & Remarkable Accuracy
Our all-new receiver incorporates advanced military technology called Digital Signal Processing (DSP). This unique method of scanning enables the PASSPORT Max to identify real threats faster and more accurately than any other detector. Quicker response time means more advanced warning against instant on radar threats.
In addition to providing lightning-fast response, the PASSPORT Max also looks for a signature or the DNA of the signal and sorts out the real threats from a myriad of other signals with precision. The result is a quiet experience in a world of noise.
New Multi-Color OLED Display
The new multi-color graphic display is stunning. Brilliant new graphics illuminate intuitive icons that identify the type of threat at a glance. In addition, user-selectable backlit colors allow you to choose a color that works best with your vehicle's interior gauges.
The PASSPORT Max can be set up for your specific type of driving and personal preference. Our Preferences option allows you to change several options, including which radar bands you'd like to monitor and which meter you would like to see when a signal is detected. Regardless of how you drive, we've got you covered.
AutoLearn: Artificial Intelligence Protection
Intelligence is also packed into this ticket-protecting marvel. Our patented AutoLearn technology uses the power of GPS and the exact frequency to learn and automatically reject unwanted door openers and other fixed position false alarms. The result is the most accurate long-range protection in the industry and a permanent solution to false alarms.
Speed traps and camera locations are everywhere! We've addressed the increasing number of "safety" cameras installed throughout the U.S. and Canada by pre-loading the PASSPORT Max with our exclusive DEFENDER Database of active red light and speed camera locations throughout North America. As you approach these locations, the MAX will alert you in advance; you can even add your own "hot spots" using our exclusive Mark Location feature.
Weekly updates are available via the ESCORT website to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in North America. Simply download our Detector Tools program, connect the MAX to either a PC or Mac with an active internet connection and then download the most up-to-date locations. You can even back up your data or update the detector's operating software (firmware) if needed.
DEFENDER Database Subscriptions
DEFENDER Database Subscriptions are available to keep you up to date on future Speed Traps, Red Light Cameras and Speed Cameras.
High-Performance Laser Protection
PASSPORT Max's multiple high-performance laser sensors provide maximum laser warning, with superior off-axis protection. For the ultimate in laser protection add the optional ZR4 Laser Shifter.
Variable Speed Sensitivity - On Demand Performance
Our patented GPS technology allows the detector to provide alerts based on what the vehicle is actually doing. At highway speeds, you need the best long-range sensitivity you can get. At slower speeds, the sensitivity can be adjusted to further reduce unneeded alerts, especially when you're not at risk. We've even changed the actual alert to a short double-tone when your vehicle is moving less than 20 mph.
Crystal-Clear Voice Alerts
PASSPORT's unique voice alerts provide clear communications for alerts and menu options. Now you can keep your eyes on the road without unnecessary distractions.
Traffic Sensor Rejection
The PASSPORT Max includes our proprietary Traffic Sensor Rejection (TSR) software to eliminate false alerts.
Compatible with ESCORT Live
PASSPORT Max is compatible with ESCORT Live, our exclusive real-time ticket-protection network, which warns you of upcoming alerts received and reported by other users in the area, and gives you access to local speed limit data for over-speed alerts. (Requires optional SmartCord Live and app subscription.)
What's in the Box
Soft-sided travel case, new "Sticky Cup" windshield mount, 12-volt Combo SmartCord, and quick reference guide.
- X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz
- K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz
- Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz
- Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth
Radar Receiver / Detector Type
- Superheterodyne, Varactor-Tuned VCO
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
- Quantum Limited Video Receiver
- Multiple Laser Sensor Diodes
- SiRFstar III
- Graphic OLED
- Bar Graph
- Five levels of brightness with Full Dark mode
- Display color
- Speed display (On / Off)
- Cruise alert
- Over speed
- AutoMute (On / Off)
- AutoLearn (On / Off)
- Units (English / Metric)
- Voice (On / Off)
- GPS (On / Off)
- Bands (Selectable)
- Markers (Selectable)
- Clear locations
Auto Calibration Circuitry
Mute, AutoMute and SmartMute
- 12VDC, negative ground
- Escort SmartCord included
- Highway, Auto and Auto No X
- 1.3" H x 3.2" W x 5.3" L
Top Customer Reviews
Now for the detector itself. I wouldnt call myself a SPEEDER. I do find myself driving 5-10 mph over the limit regularly, and in my area, that's enough to get a ticket. This thing works great. The first few days, it was giving me K band alerts constantly on the highway I drive on regularly, that was just completed last year. Being a brand new highway, it is full of technology. Every mile or so it has the traffic monitoring sensors, which I'm guessing is where all the K band alerts were coming from. After a few days of driving, the GPS built into the radar detector "remembered" these areas and locked them out as false threats. I still get a visual alert on the unit itself, but it does not sound the audible alarm any longer. Same goes for the supermarket up the street from my house. Automatic doors at some stores use a low strength radar signal to know when a person is approaching. This signal is picked up by detectors on the roads in front of these places. The first couple times I passed by the supermarket, the radar detector went off. After the 3rd time driving by, it automatically stored the location, and also locked it out from sounding the audible alarm whenever I drive by. I love this feature!
After just a few weeks of driving, this detector has now learned of all the false threats along my regular route, and stays very quiet. It's now to the point where I am almost startled when I receive a real alert from the radar detector, as this almost always means its from a legit source. That is what you want out of a radar detector. The cheaper detectors on the market constantly make so much noise, your first reaction is just to assume it's a false alert. That's when you get caught speeding.
Lastly, I am impressed with the distance that this detector will pick up threats from. It will start to detect a signal, and of course I start looking for where it's coming from. Nothing in sight. The alert continually gets stronger and sometimes it's another mile or more down the road before I finally see the police officer the radar is coming from. I've been nothing but impressed by this radar detector. Sure there are newer and more expensive versions of this detector, but for the money, this cant be beat. And for the people like me that almost bought the 9500ix because it had more and better reviews, the Max detector is the 9500ix predecessor, and offers more options and better performance in every way. Don't be fooled by the lack of reviews here on Amazon.
1-has GPS which helps locate red light cameras & helps tag false alarm locations.
2-has one of the longest detection ranges.
3-it can eliminate some of the false signals that cars with collision avoidance features have. These cars with collision avoidance radar will trick lesser detectors and create a lot of false signals.
4-it will detect pop radar and laser.
5-can be customized in many ways including display color and information that is displayed.
6-has a beginner mode for anyone that just wants to turn it on and go. Has an expert mode if you want to get the most of it.
It is pricier than some basic models. (Buying this will still get you more than what you are paying for).
The short answer:
I am extremely happy with my Passport Max, having stepped up from a Passport 8500. People with newer hardware might not see as much of a difference, and where you live definitely *will* make a difference as to how well it performs, especially if you're adding the Escort Live service and/or database updates. If you live in an area with a lot of speed traps and cameras, and/or you do a lot of aggressive way-over-the-limit driving, you're going to want to at least sign up for the Defender Database and you might consider the Live service; otherwise, most people in smaller towns will do fine with just the unit.
The Passport Max is bulkier than my 8500, but a bit lighter. While the suction cup mounts of the earlier models were okay, the single cup mount in the Max is still a decent idea: it's a large circle of gooey rubbery material that stays sticky no matter what, but it's also pretty big, like the mount of a GPS dashboard unit. It can be released with the flip of a plastic latch that breaks the suction with the windshield. The release button to detach the detector from the mount is under the bracket on top of the Max, and so slipping a finger or thumb in the gap to release is tricky and requires a little bit of dexterity.
The display is bright and clear, and the fact that it is recessed in the faceplate reduces the chance that the sun is going to wash out the screen and make it hard to see. You can customize the colors of the display to choose a favorite color palette. Information is easy to read, and Advanced mode gives me the signal strength bars that I'm so fond of with my 8500. While the unit comes with a SmartCord, the more advanced form of the SmartCord (called "Smart Cord Live" and sold separately) lets you tether to your cellphone and/or the Live service (more on that in a moment). My one gripe with other radar detectors has been the piercing 'chirp' or buzz noise they have to make to get your attention, and I like that this unit's alerts are voice driven and fairly subdued; alerts also gently strobe the light-up text on top of the unit to add another subtle cue. As an added bonus, if your phone is running the app and is also tethered to your car stereo and you're playing music from your phone, the Passport will mute the volume on the stereo to make the alert come through clearer.
Probably the best advantage here is the customization: using the smartphone app or the downloadable software on a computer (via USB), you can more closely customize your radar detector. For example, mine defaults to alerting me if I go 10 miles over, but if that got annoying, I could tell it to do it at different times, or not at all. There are a lot more options now that the unit can be driven by software. The Defender Database is a subscription-based software package (sold separately) that will let you push updated information to the Passport Max that is stored directly on the unit. You can subscribe for one or three years, and updating the unit is done with software you download to your computer: you have to connect the Passport Max to the computer with a USB cable (not included). The Escort Live Service is a software system that lets you connect the unit to your Droid or iPhone via an app you install on the phone. It uses Bluetooth to connect, and does the following:
- uses your phone's GPS (and your mobile data service) to show your location on a map, displayed on your phone's screen
- uses your phone's GPS to show speed limit data where available
- uses your phone's mobile data to update the map on your phone that indicates the locations of any items you want to watch for--speed cameras, reports of speed traps, etc.
- when you spot a speed camera or trap, the Report button on the cord will both store the location in the unit and push it to the Live system so others can see the alert.
- if you also use your phone for hands-free Bluetooth and/or music streaming with your car audio, the Passport will lower the volume on Bluetooth music when it needs to tell you about an alert
As you can tell, connecting your phone's Bluetooth to the Escort Passport Max still lets you connect your phone's Bluetooth to other things, such as your car stereo or other hands-free Bluetooth system, at the same time.
In the Field
I live in a large city now, and it has laser, radar, and traffic light cameras. I don't drive like a speed demon, but I do own a very high-profile car, so for me the Passport Max is more about keeping me honest and making me aware when I'm being watched. I have almost as many false alerts with the Max as I did with my 8500, but the difference now is that I can suppress them with a couple of taps, and the Max will remember forever to ignore the alert (it shows up quietly in black-and-white on the screen). It also seems to get smart about the suppression: for example, a nearby school zone uses radar to post a sign showing you how fast you're going and remind you to slow down. When these are on both sides of the road, you end up getting two set of alerts. I muted one and the Max was smart enough to mute the second one because they overlap...and it stays muted, silently showing me bars but not interrupting me for something I've told it I already know about.
I've used the Defender database and it's really easy to update the unit. I'm also pleasantly surprised with the Live Service and how it tracks user reports: even in the small town I used to live in, I'd see on the phone app that someone reported a traffic check X number of minutes ago (and I can customize when I want those updates to go 'stale' and drop off the screen) and I had a country-road speed-trap light up for me with plenty of advance notice. On the Interstate, I've been surprised at how early some of my alerts come, but you should remember that if an officer uses "instant On" and you're the first one he targets, there's not a lot you can do about it...for me the extra range means that an Instant On used over a mile away will warn me way ahead of time. In the end, I'm getting some pretty good improvements but I can see why owners of newer units such as the Redline aren't finding much to write home about--the Defender database and Live updates have been available for units newer than my last one for some time now.
While I haven't had the alert problems that some people have had, I think the area you live in plays a big part in how well the Passport Max will work. For me its detection is top-notch, and yet not any better than my 8500: it's the ability to store falses that makes the Max a step up for me. That said, there are problems with the speed limit tracking:
- the default value on the screen is something you can set, called your 'OverSpeed Limit'. Think of this as your, 'no matter what, I really don't want to be caught going this fast' number. When the Passport doesn't know a value (because you're not running the app on your phone), the OverSpeed Limit is displayed. It defaults to '70', and I have to remind myself when I see '70', that I'm not seeing real data. 70 has been a useful number, though: most of the time I'm not on the highway, so I want to be aware when I go over 70, and when I am on the highway, I pay more attention to my speed and don't tend to go below 70, so I don't get a lot of repeat alerts. It can be a bit confusing...remember that it's important to use the world around you--your gauges and the signs--more than this feature!
- speed limits are only as accurate as the data. In the real world, there are posted, statutory, and actual speed limits and when you do get a value on the screen, there can be legal reasons it doesn't match what you see on the sign (such as "the state changed the data but the county hasn't changed the signs") or technical reasons ("the speed limit sign was put 500 yards away from the actual change because a sign couldn't fit over there"). Add to that the fact that Passport's database might not be pulling from the latest release of information--there are a lot of factors related to 'Big Data' that make "realtime" not mean what you may think it means. And there are plenty of rural roads where I live that have no data stored at all.
- you're still a moving target. The GPS portion is reading in real-time, but Escort tell me (see the comments below)that there may still be a slight delay between your phone and the Max. There's a spot in my old town that goes from 35 to 45 to 55 in less than a mile, and the Passport is off by about 5-10 seconds. You still have to pay attention to the signs and signals around you (and to be honest, you really should).
There is one other thing I thought was a bit annoying: the cable. To register your radar detector or start using the software, you will need a "USB A / Mini B cable". This is a fairly common cable you often get with USB 2.0 portable hard drives, digital cameras, and older cellphones, but Escort does not include it; you need to get your own. Given how cheap these cables are to the average consumer, it's a bit annoying that you don't get one with the unit given the Passport Max's price tag.
Escort Radar has to keep innovating to make technology attractive. They are always looking for ways to improve, but the result is a double-edged sword: loyal customers won't see huge gains from one model to another, and at the same time, leading-edge technology isn't always ready for prime-time. We have limits in the real world (such as GPS coordinates for a speed limit versus the actual place where someone put the sign) that reduce the benefits. We haven't had substantial changes in police radar since the introduction of pulse and laser, but we have a lot of other issues (speed cameras, red-light cameras, etc.) that Escort tries to address. The Passport Max is Escort's best foot forward, and it is a superior attempt at making a good system. If you're new to radar detectors and have the money, it makes a great investment but you should remember the real-world limits and think about whether you want to buy the extra Defender and/or Live software subscriptions. If you have a great system already, don't expect a huge improvement with the Max unless you factor in the Live service.
Questions and comments welcome below. :)
- You should see noticeably better radar detection performance with Passport Max than your Passport 8500. To reduce false alerts, the Auto detection modes will reduce radar detection sensitivity when traveling below 50 MPH. When comparing maximum performance please use the unfiltered Highway mode.
- When using the Escort Live smartphone app along with Passport Max (requires separate SmartCord Live power cord), the speed limit display on Max should display your set OverSpeed limit (user adjustable) and the background should be black, not white as when you have speed limit data. Your OverSpeed limit is set to 70 MPH. We recently released a firmware update for Passport Max (v1.4) which changes this to show two dashes "- -" when no speed limit data is available. You can install this update by connecting your Passport Max to a PC via USB and running our Detector Tools software.
- While we strive to have the most current speed limit data available, you should not use the Passport Max as your sole means of knowing the speed limit for the road you are traveling. The speed limit data feature on Passport Max is primarily to reduce alerts when traveling below the speed limit.
- The GPS based features of Max is working in real time. Your current speed should be within a second of real time and the location alerts (eg red light cameras) show your distance to the location in real time. Speed limit changes may be slightly delayed as they are coming from the Escort Live smartphone app.