Escort MAX 360c Review
Pros: Real-time alerts, built-in WiFi, novice and expert modes, auto lockout, defender database
Cons: Very expensive, limited band sensitivity customization, rear-range is lacking
Manufacturer: Escort Radar
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Escort MAX 360c
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|Pros||Real-time alerts, built-in WiFi, novice and expert modes, auto lockout, defender database||Built-in GPS, customizable band sensitivity, MultaRadar detection, easy to use||Adjustable X, K, and Ka-band sensitivity, super long range, built-in GPS, user friendly||X, K, Ka-band and laser detection, good range, user-friendly, budget-friendly||Simple, inexpensive, impressive range for the price|
|Cons||Very expensive, limited band sensitivity customization, rear-range is lacking||Inadequate BSM filtering, no Bluetooth||Little memory, inadequate BSM filtering, trouble with MultaRadar detection, no directional arrows||No MultaRadar detection, limited memory, false alerts, low-quality mount||No GPS, limited filtering, little customization, lots of false alerts|
|Bottom Line||This top-of-the-line, feature-rich radar detector comes complete with auto-learning for both the tech-heads and the technologically challenged||A top of the line, user-friendly, long-range radar detector at a mid-range price||A highly customizable radar detector with an extremely long range at a fair price||A simple radar detector with an impressive range for a very friendly price||An inexpensive radar detector with impressive range but limited filtering and lots of false alerts|
|Rating Categories||Escort MAX 360c||Uniden R7||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Uniden DFR1|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Escort MAX 360c||Uniden R7||Uniden R3||Uniden DFR7||Uniden DFR1|
|Radars Detected||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, MRCT, MRCD, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser||X, K, Ka, Laser|
|Display||Not stated||Multicolored OLED||Multicolored OLED||OLED||Not stated|
|Available Modes||Highway, City, Novice, Expert||Highway, City, Advanced||Highway, City, Advanced||Highway, City, Advanced||Highway, City|
|Power Chord Type||12v||12v||12v||12v||12v|
|Location Lockout||Manual, Automatic||Manual||Manual||Manual||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Escort MAX 360c defines a feature-rich radar detector with the price tag to match. If you are looking for something with every bell and every whistle, then look no further. It has the power of a 100 million driver community backing it with real-time updates to the app and built-in WiFi. With a high-functioning driving buddy like this, you'll be equipped with all the information you need to stay ticket-free.
You know the saying "you get what you pay for"? Well, in this case, you are paying for the features. The MAX 360c has some of the more advanced features that radar detectors have to offer — and no shortage of them. From the auto lockouts to the real-time alerts, this device comes with every extra you could possibly want.
The 'C' in the MAX 360c name stands for connectivity and refers to the built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. The WiFi not only allows for fun features like ESCORT Live and the Defender Database, but it will update your firmware automatically so that you never have to remove the device from your vehicle. To use these features, you must download the app and sync your smartphone, which is very easy. ESCORT Live and Defender Database provide real-time alerts from a community of over 100 million people. It allows members to mark speed traps or negate false alerts for their fellow drivers. These real-time updates help to fight against both mobile speed traps and stationary ones like red light cameras. They also contribute to automatic location lockouts. This is a feature that may hit the market for other radars soon, but at this point is unique to Escort as a company.
Features like automatic location lockouts have been historically very sought after, but they still have their downsides. Locations are automatically locked out, or permanently muted, when the system learns through its shared data that one spot is consistently triggering false alerts. An example of this is a K-band being emitting from your local grocery store's automatic doors. After this false alert has been recorded enough times by the community, it will no longer sound an alert on any device holder's detector. This poses a problem if a police officer with a K-band radar gun decides to clock people in that same location. This situation is rare but should be mentioned as it has caused issues for drivers in the past. There is no way around this unless you turn off the auto lockout feature.
A bone we have to pick with the MAX 360c is the fact that you cannot turn down the sensitivity of each band separately. There are plenty of different modes and adjustments you can make, but this is a feature we have grown to know and love about some of the other devices in our test suite. On the flip side, while having many features to choose from opens up a world of possibilities, it can also be rather overwhelming. We ended up turning many of these features off, like the traffic updates, as we were already getting them through our navigation apps. This begs the question, what are you paying for if you turn all the additional features off?
Advanced features don't matter if your radar detector can't accurately pick out a threat. This metric consists of two parts. Not only does the detector need to be able to pick up a frequency, but it also needs to ignore non-threatening ones. When the device alerts the user of a radar that is non-threatening, it is called a false alert. Radars are all around us, so the propensity for a detector to receive a frequency that is non-threatening, like an automatic door, is rather high. The accuracy of the MAX 360c is very good, but it does tend to throw some false alerts and occasionally displays the incorrect speed.
Since the MAX 360c is so feature-rich, it's safe to assume that there must be some that help with accuracy, right? A big part of the battle against false alerts has to do with setting up your detector properly for your area. While the 360c offers presets with varied sensitivities and the option to turn off a specific band detection completely, it does not allow you to adjust each band's sensitivity individually. Presets are a great tool for the novice, but the expert may want more control over the situation. That being said, the presets are plentiful. Auto will reduce the sensitivity on X and K-band when traveling at low speeds but will ramp them back up when you hop on to the highway. AutoNoX will completely cut out the X-band, lower the K-band sensitivity, and keep Ka-band detection at full strength. Escort does a great job of providing inclusive presets, however, if you truly get to know your area, you may prefer to have full control over each band's sensitivity independently.
Another tool that the MAX 360c offers to cut down on false alerts is speed sensitivity. This turns down the sensitivity of the K-bands and X-bands when you are driving at a low speed. Generally speaking, if you are driving slower, you are at a lower risk of receiving a speeding ticket. This feature helps cut down on false alerts, but it does not always consider temporary speeds like construction zones and school zones, so you'll need to be extra careful. During our testing, we also noticed that the speed limit displayed on the device was not always correct.
A few other tools for accuracy are auto-learning and lockouts. Both of these features improve with more driving, but auto location lockouts are not without their faults. The MAX 360c also comes equipped with traffic sensor filtering (TSF) and BSM filtering to help cut out traffic flow radars and blind-spot monitoring on more modern vehicles.
Overall, this is an accurate device but, like many others, is not free of false alerts. It won't miss a true threat, but it is a little talkative on the highways when the sensitivity is high across the board.
Range is a metric with many variables. Radars can be blocked easily by obstacles like trees, hills, bridges, city buildings, and more, so a long-range is very important. You also need to be warned with enough time to actually slow down. The MAX 360c performs admirably in this department, but it is not our top performer.
The features of the 360c are what set it apart from the rest, but it does not disappoint in this metric either. It comes with a 360-degree range, meaning it can pick up on radar frequencies from all angles, and it even has arrows that help inform the driver of the direction of the threat. That being said, its strongest detection direction is forward.
Ease of Use
The driver needs to keep their eyes on the road regardless of what is going on in their vehicle. A radar detector should not be a source of distraction, or you might be at risk of a more serious misfortune than receiving a speeding ticket. This metric focuses on the simplicity of the set-up, adjustments, and general ability to understand alerts.
Setting up this device is as easy as downloading an app and connecting it to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The MAX 360c takes a moment to understand as it is chock-full of different sensitivity presets and features, but after a quick read through the user manual, they begin to feel more straightforward. If you are the kind of person that does not have the time or desire to learn what the device has to offer, then you're in luck! You can put the device on Novice Mode to receive warnings as simple as 'SLOW DOWN' rather than trying to figure out what each alert means. Another feature we love about the 360c is its magnetic mount. It's important to take your expensive device off your dash when you are not in your vehicle, and the magnetic mount allows you to do that with ease.
The 360c is a feature-rich device, so it is important to take a moment to understand and appreciate all it has to offer if you want to get your money's worth. Once you've taken some time to read through the manual and choose the settings that work best for you and where you live, the visual alerts are very easy to understand. In Expert Mode, the device can display multiple threats simultaneously as well as the strength of each band. However, while the visual alerts are easy to understand, the audible ones are not. The sound is rather muffled and is easily lost in a noisy cab. It took most of our testers a moment to understand when their device was verbally alerting them of a MultaRadar threat.
The most user-friendly attribute about the 360c is that it automatically updates. This means that every time Escort comes our with a new version — whether they are fixing bugs or introducing fun new features — you do not have to remove the device from your car, take it into your house, plug it into your computer, and wait for the new version to upload. The built-in WiFi is what makes this possible and is inadvertently what also makes this one of the more expensive radar detectors on the market.
This is the most expensive device in our test suite. It is full of amazing features, but your average user may find that they do not need them. Escort offers other detectors with the same or similar features and capabilities as the 360c that are less expensive because they do not have built-in WiFi. Instead, they use their Bluetooth capabilities for updates via your smartphone. You are essentially paying for the WiFi with this device, which is a luxury feature at a luxury price.
The Escort MAX 360c is a feature-rich device that performed well across our testing. This radar detector doesn't have quite the range of other high-end competitors, but it does give alerts with plenty of time to slow down. If you are the kind of person that wants to have all the options available and you don't mind shoveling out the big bucks, then this is a top-notch model to consider.
— Hayley Thomas
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