Even if you're new to using radar detectors, chances are that you are already familiar with some of the business' big names. Whistler is among those top performers…and with good reason!  Their top models remain popular with drivers across the world, given their ability to reliably detect police radar signals at great distances. Their units are also fairly affordable, making it easy to get a top quality radar detector at a fraction of the price.

But as you might expect, Whistler doesn't just make a single radar detector model. Instead, they make a whole assortment of models, each of which comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. This guide will go through several of Whistler's best radar detectors so that you can efficiently decide which model best suits your needs. Then, you'll be able to get back on the road and enjoy a renewed sense of privacy in no time.


Model

Image

Bands

Type

Range

Warranty

Check Price

Whistler CR97 - Maximum Performance Radar...

X, K, Ka, laser

Corded

Broad

1 year

Whistler CR85 High Performance Laser Radar...

X, K, Ka

Corded

360 degrees

1 year

Whistler CR93 High Performance Laser Radar...

X, K, Ka, Laser

Corded

360 degrees

1 year

Whistler XTR-145 Laser Radar Detector: 360...

X, K, Ka, Laser

Corded

360 degrees

1 year

Whistler XTR-540 Cordless

X, K, Ka, Laser

Cordless

360 degrees

1 year

Whistler PRO-3600 High Performance Laser...

X, K, Ka, Laser

Corded

360 degrees

5 years


Why Choose Whistler?

There are a variety of reasons why you can trust Whistler to provide you with a top-tier radar detector. Many of those reasons relate directly to the numerous features seen on their most popular models. One prime example is their 360-degree protection set-up, which eliminates virtually all detection blind spots. This makes it easier for the unit to pick up radar signals that might otherwise be diminished by a nearby obstruction.

At the same time, most Whistler detectors have multi-band detection. This allows them to seek out and lock onto more than one type of radar signal at once. These units can then alert you to these signal’s presence immediately using their real-time alerts. Their false alarm filtering is a major asset as well.


6 Best Whistler Radar Detectors Reviewed

1. Whistler CR97

Whistler CR97 - Maximum Performance Radar...
  • Whistler CR97 is Whistler's highest...
  • Up to 6dB increase in sensitivity to Ka-band...
  • Up to 3dB increase in sensitivity to K-band...
  • NEW unique FDSR ### feature, alerts to and...

Naturally, I want to start off by discussing the best whistler radar detector on the market today -  Whistler CR97. As my top pick, you shouldn't be surprised to learn that this model includes many of the outstanding features that have made this brand a mainstay in the radar detector industry. This includes built-in laser detection as well as a Max Ka mode that detects active signals at more than 200% of the average coverage distance. Those are complemented well by this model's multiple highway and city modes, as well.

This model is also very user friendly, even for drivers without any experience using a radar detector. For example, when this unit issues an alert, its colored alert periscopes will light up and make the need to check the alert readout obvious. Of course, you could also flip on this model's crisp and clear audio alerts. They can be set to read out in English or Spanish, making it easy to know a radar signal is nearby in your native language.


2. Whistler CR65

Whistler CR85 High Performance Laser Radar...
  • High performance radar detector with 360...
  • Protection against all radar guns including...
  • Total laser detection identifies Laser...
  • Features Radar Signature ID (RSID), Laser...

Affordability can often be an issue when shopping for a radar detector. However, when you turn to the Whistler brand, you’ll often find a wide variety of options to meet every budget. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, though, I recommend the Whistler CR65. As this brand's most basic unit, it performs admirably with its 360-degree perimeter-style coverage. It also utilizes a "high gains lens," which gives it an increased field of view for radar signals that obscured or far away.

At only around $50, it’s clear to see why I consider this to be the best cheap Whistler radar detector. But to say that this unit’s performance is “cheap” would be an insult. Instead, I’m impressed with how well its color icon-based display is to read. I’m also fairly surprised to see that it includes Traffic Flow Signal Rejection at all, given that that kind of automatic false alarm filtering is usually only included in more advanced units.


3. Whistler CR93

Whistler CR93 High Performance Laser Radar...
  • High performance Radar detector with 360...
  • Total laser detection identifies Laser...
  • Features Radar signature ID (RSID), Laser...
  • Traffic Flow Signal Rejection (TFSR) and 6...

While the feature has become more common recently, I’d still say that the Whistler CR93 is the best Whistler radar detector with built-in GPS. That’s because this model’s GPS system provides drivers with up-to-date information on the location of speed and red light traffic cameras across North America. Better yet, this GPS system is super easy to update. Simply plug it into a PC via a USB cord, and you'll be able to download updated database info in minutes.

Meanwhile, several other key aspects of the Whistler CR93 are worth your consideration. For example, this model’s “total laser detection” suite of features allows you to never miss a nearby laser signal again. In fact, this model can even detect special use laser radar signals, making it an ideal option for drivers in urban environments. It can pick up super wideband Ka signals as well, which have recently become more popular with law enforcement officials around the US.


4. Whistler XTR-145

Whistler XTR-145 Laser Radar Detector: 360...
  • 360 degrees of complete perimeter protection,...
  • Protection against all radar guns including...
  • Icon display provides distinct visual symbols...
  • Alert periscopes provide an additional visual...

When it comes to buying a vehicle add on like a radar detector, getting a good value for your money is essential. That’s why it is nice to see Whistler offer a model like the XTR-145. This unit will only cost you around $40, which is a tiny fraction of the cost compared to other brand’s most affordable detectors. Though this price is low, the Whistler XTR-145 isn’t low on performance at all. In fact, it can detect radar signals in front of, behind, and to the sides of your vehicle.

When it comes to basic radar detectors, you’re usually stuck with the manufacturer’s pre-set options. That’s not the case with the Whistler XTR-145, though, given that you can customize it right out of the box. For example, you can easily set 3 different “city” modes on this unit, which is ideal for regular commuters. This model will also allow you to customize its sound output based upon your current environment and the strength of any nearby signals.


5. Whistler XTR-540 Cordless

Though they may not be the most popular option overall, I do still believe that some drivers would benefit from using a cordless radar detector. If you are looking to follow that route, give the Whistler XTR-540 your humble consideration. This model provides an internal battery charger, making it reasonably easy to maintain your rechargeable batteries' condition. You can always see how much charge is left on those batteries by checking this unit's built-in battery voltage gauge, as well.

When it comes to performance, the Whistler XTR-540 is right up there with some of the best this brand has to offer. This is certainly the case when it comes to readability, given that this model's blue LED display provides excellent contrast during the day or at night. When checking that screen or listening for an alert, you'll always know which one is more pressing. That's because the Whistler XTR-540 utilizes a unique alert prioritization method that always keeps you in the know about your surroundings.


6. Whistler PRO-3600

Whistler PRO-3600 High Performance Laser...
  • Versatile installation with discreet console;...
  • Exclusive Twin Alert Periscope provides an...
  • Three City modes reduce the annoyance of...
  • Provides Real Voice alerts, allowing you to...

Finally, I know that some drivers won’t settle for anything less than the very best when it comes to radar detectors. For those drivers, I believe the Whistler PRO-3600 will be a perfect fit. As this brand’s top of the range option, you can bet that this model comes with a steep price tag around $300. But don’t let that scare you off! You get tons of special features for that price, including a tri-directional dot matrix display. This unique screen allows this unit to be oriented in several ways, which is ideal for matching your custom dashboard set up.

The Whistler PRO-3600 is also a master of stealth, which is important now that many law enforcement departments have deployed radar detector detectors. To keep those special trackers off your tail, simply engage this unit’s Stealth Mode and carry on. As you drive, you won’t need to worry about almost any false alarms, too. That’s because the Whistler PRO-3600 utilizes 4 different filtering modes that are sensitive enough to lock out radar signals from other vehicles.


Comparing Whistler to Other Brands

Often, you’ll hear about Whistler compared to other top radar detector brands in terms of their performance.

While it’s true that Whistler doesn’t fully stack up to Escort in terms of added functionality, Whistler’s detectors can generally keep pace or exceed Cobra’s units when it comes to range and reliability. Whistler detectors are also far more affordable than both of those brands, making them a favorited of thrifty drivers.


How to Install and Use a Whistler Radar Detector

Learning to install your new Whistler radar detector can be as easy as reading the instructions included in your user’s manual. This guide can help you understand the proper method for attaching any mounts or wiring necessary for your chosen unit to function.

While the suction cup mounting method is fairly straight forward, hard-wiring in your new radar detector may be a bit trickier. This video can show you how to do it successfully, though.

Meanwhile, when it comes to using your new Whistler radar detector, be sure to follow all of your manual's recommendations for reliable use. This should include updating any onboard software or database as often as possible.

Also, you should be sure that your unit's illumination settings are adequately adjusted before hitting the road so that you can read its alerts without taking your eyes off the road. You can also read some more tips for successful use here.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are the Whistler detector code meanings?

Each Whistler radar detector uses slightly different codes to communicate what kind of alert they have registered. The best place to find the meanings of these codes is in your model's user manual. However, if you don't have it on hand, you can find it online here.

Once you have found the correct manual for your unit, you can answer a question like, “What does a K Alert mean on my radar detector?” Most likely, you’ll learn that this alert indicates that a Ka radar signal has been detected in your area.

How do I reset my Whistler radar?

Resetting a Whistler radar detector is fairly straightforward. Most units only require you to perform the following 4 steps to do so successfully:

  1. 1
    Unplug the unit’s power cord
  2. 2
    Press and hold the Power and Quiet buttons at the same time
  3. 3
    Plug the unit’s power cord back in
  4. 4
    Wait until you hear 2 beeps. This will indicate that the reset was successful.
Is it legal to use a Whistler radar detector?

Whistler radar detectors, like all radar detectors, are generally legal to use in most of the United States. However, they are entirely illegal to use in some jurisdictions, including Virginia, Washington DC, and on any US military base. Also, in some states such as Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, these devices are illegal to use on a commercial vehicle. Radar detectors may also be illegal in any state that prohibits windshield-mounted equipment that obscures a driver's view.

How do you test a radar detector?

You can test certain aspects of your radar detector using common sources of detectable radar signals. These include garage door openers, which often emit a K band. However, testing X and Ka band reception can be more challenging. If you have a real radar gun available to you, you can test your unit’s reception by using it at several distances. However, you may not be able to fully know your unit’s capabilities until you’ve tested it in a live environment.

How to Keep & Maintain Whistler Radar Detector in Optimal Condition?

Caring for your new Whistler radar detector is the best way to ensure that it remains at peak performance for many years. One way you can do this is by preventing your unit from routinely being exposed to extreme weather conditions. Intense heat or cold can cause a detector’s circuits to degrade, making it more likely that it will break down in the near term. These are also some great tips for making the most of your new radar detector.


Conclusion

Altogether, there really are some great Whistler radar detectors on the market today. Each can help you keep better track of the police radar signals in your immediate area, thus helping you to moderate your driving speeds better. All of the units in this collection are also affordably priced, so you'll be able to get up to speed when it comes to radar detecting without breaking the bank.

When it comes time to choose a Whistler radar detector, I’d like to once again recommend the Whistler CR97. This unit is ultra-sensitive to Ka radar bands, which are the most commonly used by police forces today. It also includes a bevy of special alerts relating to photo enforcement cameras so that you are never caught unaware by those unmanned speed detectors.

Good luck finding a radar detector that’s right for you! And as always, watch your speed on the road and always drive safely.

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