Escort Passport Max 2 Radar: The Review
Everyone likes to get where they are going in minimal time but we are all afraid of a cop car pulling behind us because we were going over the speed limit. The Escort Passport Max 2 has very stylish appearance, but the features are what makes it exceptional, although what maters is how it performs. The first thing you notice is the increased range and early alerts, as well as how few false alerts are there. It also warns you of red light cameras and speed traps. Now with built in Bluetooth technology the PASSPORT Max2 gives you access to ESCORT’s award-winning app, ESCORT Live. Weekly updates are available to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in North America.
This is a very capable all-around plug-and-play radar detector. There are other detectors which may excel in other areas here and there, but this is one of the easiest to mount in your vehicle and get top tier performance. You can think of the Max2 as a faster, longer range, more feature rich version of the 9500ix. It’s identical to the original Max with the exception of having the bluetooth integrated in the detector itself so you don’t need an external Live cable. Also the Live cables are Android or iOS only whereas the Max2’s bluetooth chip is cross-platform so it works with both.
I had the opportunity to check out the Escort Passport Max 2 radar detector and was pleasantly surprised. Overall range is one of the most important qualities of the detector is picking up signals far away and giving you enough time to slow down. The range is one of the best you can get. It will perform better than most other detectors on the market. Its range is on par with a custom swept Valentine 1. Another important area is how fast the detector is at alerting to very brief signals. This is important both for catching really fast shots at closer range where a police officer is trying to clock cars without alerting radar detectors in the area, as well as for catching signals far away at the edge of your detection range where the signal may go in and out. The Max and Max2’s software analysis allows it to scan all the radar frequencies really really quickly and alert to any very brief signals.
One of the cool abilities of the Max2 is that it automatically learns the false alerts in the areas where you drive and learns to ignore them over time. This applies to stationary false alert sources like speed signs, gas stations, shopping centers, and grocery stores with those automatic door openers, for example. It learns the location and frequency of those signals and over time learns to ignore them so it becomes quieter as you use it with the goal of alerting only when it’s a real threat. It does a good job with stationary false alerts. Because it’s integrated into the detector, it happens automatically and doesn’t require any additional hardware.
False alerts from blind spot vehicles is one of the toughest things for radar detectors to deal with and filter out. Many new cars have blind spot monitoring systems and collision avoidance systems that are radar based. Sometimes these systems use frequencies that are identical to that used by police radar and so filtering these out is very very tricky. Different companies like Escort, Whistler, Valentine, and so on all have various techniques for dealing with these. Unfortunately Escort’s implementation still leaves something to be desired. The Max2 still falses quite a bit to blind spot vehicles, even with the most aggressive filtering settings enabled like Auto mode and TSR on. While it does do a pretty decent job, again other detectors may do a better job filtering these out without requiring the same performance penalties of reduced sensitivity on K/X band (auto mode) or delayed alerting (TSR).
The Max2 also offers a laser sensor so that it can detect when you’re being shot with laser. Comparing it to a whole smorgasbord of radar detectors and laser jammers and found that the Max2’s laser performance was poor. This is no surprise because the Max2 uses the same laser detector that the Max uses and it’s been known to perform poorly. Sensitivity is really bad both from and rear and so it often doesn’t alert when shot, the latch is really really long meaning that even once it loses the signal it continues alerting way too long so you don’t have a good sense of when you stopped getting shot, and it shouldn’t be relied on for laser defense. To be fair, no radar detector should be. Those are some of the main highlights for the bread and butter parts of the radar detector. There are some additional other benefits too that are less critical but are also really handy.
For example, the screen can be changed to 4 different colors: Red, blue, green, or amber. I thought this was kinda cheesy until I used it in different vehicles and found it nice to switch the color to match the rest of my car. You also get a speed limit display on the screen which is handy for knowing the limit of the road you’re driving on. It only works on the more major roads, and it’s mostly accurate but not always. The Max2 is also not stealth to radar detector detectors like the 9500ix & V1 it can be detected by the Spectre, so if you’re in an area where radar detectors are illegal and RDD’s are in use, you may want to consider a Redline which is totally stealth, or even an STi-R Plus which is also stealth to RDD’s but is mounted in your grill somewhere so there’s nothing hanging from your windshield. Only in a few places will this actually matter, but if you’re in an area where it does, this is something to keep in mind.
So that’s my take on the Max2. It’s a very capable device, but it still feels a little rough around the edges. If you want a detector that you can mount in your vehicle and do a very good job at most everything, the Max2 is a great choice. It’s not for everyone, but no detector is. It’s a matter of what suits your preferences. For someone who wants the Max2 to automatically learn and ignore false alerts, to do everything with minimal effort and setup, to be a self-contained package that can do it all without any accessories needed like a bluetooth module and phone to get GPS lockouts, the Max2 is a fine choice. There’s no other detector on the market that can do everything the Max2 can do all in one package.
I am overall very happy with the Max2 although some may find the price high at $599.95. But you get what you pay for.
Disclosure: I received the Escort Passport Max Radar in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own. No other compensation was given.