Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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December 4, 2013 • Reviews

Tired of False Alerts? Check Out the Escort PASSPORT Max

Unlike my wife and father-in-law, I’m not a particularly fast driver, but I still appreciate knowing when there is a speed trap looking to snare unsuspecting drivers. For the last two years, I’ve used an iOS-enabled unit. When I started reviewing the PASSPORT Max, a next-gen detector, last week I suddenly realized just how many false positives I was getting.

I didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate the review unit before heading off on vacation, but during my few drives with it I was impressed enough that I wanted to share a few initial thoughts and pictures. The full review will follow.

The PASSPORT Max comes with a nice looking and highly functional carrying case. While I’m not sure I see moving the unit from one car to another it is nice to know that, were I to do so, I have a way to protect it when the PASSPORT Max in between vehicles. At a price north of $500, the PASSPORT Max SHOULD come with a quality carrying case; it does.

As the company notes:

  • Take Ticket Protection to the Max: The all-new PASSPORT Max, the first and only detector with High Definition (HD) 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 the best radar detector. Its refined styling is subtle, yet strong. Its performance is stunning, yet smart and intelligent. Together 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.

Inside the box you’ll find a complete unit that includes everything you need to get started.

That includes the Travel Case, a Windshield Mount, a SmartCord and a Quick Reference Guide. Missing is the optional SmartCord Live and app subscription. That needs to be purchased separately and offers “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”. It is a bummer that this “social” component of the system isn’t included, and it is something I would strongly encourage grabbing when you order a PASSPORT Max since you will save $60 if you bundle it in with the initial purchase.

The radar detector looks like a serious device; it is. Solidly built and boldly-styled, it will look right at home in just about any vehicle. The control layout is simple and intuitive. I plugged the device in it started working without my touching anything! That noted, you can adjust the settings to work with your needs and “style of driving”.
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.
On one side you will find the only three ports on the unit. Getting started was as easy as plugging the included power adapter into the device and into the car’s power port.

As soon as I did the unit began monitoring my driving and the area around me. I’ll be back with a more details on the unit, but for now I need to note what is perhaps the most significant aspect of this unit… no more false positives. Yes, with my previous radar detector, I would count on it going off at least fifteen different times. I always suspected most of them were false positives. The PASSPORT Max proved that theory since, of the four times I drove that route last week using the device, I got just two or three alerts per trip. The key is the technology built into the PASSPORT Maxthat takes this to the next generation. As Escort explains:

  • 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.

During my first drive with the PASSPORT Max, I was politely notified that I needed to reduce my speed. I appreciated the warning, but it also brought the importance of the PASSPORT Max‘s built-in GPS support to my attention.

  • 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.
  • DEFENDER Database: 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.

 

The result is a radar detector built for 2013 and beyond. There is a lot more to discover with Escort’s PASSPORT Max, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with it in the coming weeks and sharing a more detailed impression. In the meantime, you can learn more about the device and what makes this radar detector and far more than a mere evolutionary step forward in radar detection here.

MSRP: $549.95

What I Like: Far fewer false alerts than any other radar detector I have used; Simple setup; Nice voice that gets your attention without being annoying; Smart technology that makes it powerful out of the box and even better over time

What Needs Improvement: Pricy; Price doesn’t include Passport Live power cord or service; Large and easily spotted when on windshield

 Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit

2 Responses to " Tired of False Alerts? Check Out the Escort PASSPORT Max "

  1. […] recently reviewed (and was blown away by) the Escort Passport Max. This next-gen radar detector cuts down on false alerts and helps keep me safe while driving. Now […]

  2. […] reviewed the Escort Passport Max not too long ago, and his conclusion was that it gave “far fewer false alerts than any other […]

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