If you have been looking for a high performance radar detector but don’t want to blow your whole accessory budget on it, the folks at Escort have just the ticket (pardon the pun) with the new Passport 8500 X50. The 8500 X50 may fall in the middle of the price range for a quality detector, but its list of included features and premium level performance belie the modest 300 dollar (US) price tag. The Passport 8500 X50 is loaded with high end features, and with the inclusion of the new V-Tuned receiver it provides exceptional detection range for all police radars whether they’re conventional or instant-on types.
The 8500 X50 will detect X, K, Ka, and Laser radars, and features multiple laser sensor diodes for maximum protection. Its sophisticated DSP processing allows the unit to detect more than one type of radar at the same time, which can be very useful when driving in areas with radar-based speed signs, or other microwave devices. Or, if you live in an area where only one type of radar is employed, you can set the 8500 X50 to detect only that band, which can drastically reduce false alarms. And just like more expensive detectors, it includes useful features such as a built-in signal strength meter, auto-muting, different audio tones for different types of radar, adjustable sensitivity or fully automatic sensitivity, and even adjustable display brightness or a stealthy “dark” mode. The 8500 X50 is available in a choice of blue or red displays, each using an easy-to-read matrix type display comprised of 280 separate LEDs. As with all the Escort products, the Passport 8500 X50 is easy to install and even easier to use. Power comes from a cigarette lighter plug (included) with a coiled cable which connects to the detector via a secure RJ-45 style jack. Mounting is handled with either a suction cup-style mount or, because of its light weight, with hook and loop fastening tape that attaches to the top of the dash. On the end of the power plug is a mute button, an alert and a power-on LED. A side-mounted thumbwheel turns the unit off and on and controls the volume of the alerts. Of course, after alerting, the built-in auto mute function will silence the unit to reduce annoyances but the display will continue to show the threats proximity via a bar graph in the display. Other features include a digital voltmeter display, and the ability to interface with Escort’s VR4 laser jamming system.
In real world use in my vehicle, I found the performance of the 8500 X50 to be almost as good as the exceptional 9500ix I recently tested. It has superb sensitivity, and proved to be quite resistant to X-Band false alarms in Phoenix’s urban jungle, particularly when I set it to “City No-X” mode. On the highway, the 8500 X50 had almost all the range of the best detectors I’ve ever tried, which means it has more than enough range to keep you protected. While it lacks the GPS functionality (and the price tag to match) of the amazing 9500ix, it easily surpassed my expectations of radar and lidar detection performance at this price.
The Passport 8500 X50 is probably the best radar/lidar detector I have ever used in the sub-400 dollar price bracket, and that’s saying something. You can quit shopping now- just buy this one.
. Blistering All-Band Protection
. 360-Degree Radar and Laser Detection
. Advanced Digital Signal Processing
. AutoSensitivity Mode Automatically Reduces False Alarms
. EZ-Programming Allows
. Selectable POP Mode Radar Detection
. 3 High-Resolution Meter Modes
. Ultra-Bright Matrix Display with 280 LEDs
. Brilliant Blue Display
. Multiple High-Performance Laser sensors
. Built-In Earphone Jack
. Mute & AutoMute