Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector Product Review

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With the developments in new radar and laser technology since its conception, both on the law enforcement and drivers’ side, any radar or laser detector just won’t do today. Imagine using an X- or K-band radar detector, for example, in an area where police use Ka-band or laser speed guns. That would make for a pretty useless device!

How about one that gives you false positives from automatic doors, nearby cars, and the like? Downright annoying, to say the least, that it’s best just to turn it off! And with the police department constantly upping their game, a modern, versatile, updateable detector is in order. And if it’s affordable, that would be great, too.

Today, we’re looking at the Cobra RAD 500 Laser-Radar Detector. Does it make for a reliable and practical choice in today’s road tech environment? Read on and learn from this product review.


The Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector features:

• Anti-falsing circuitry and updateable in-vehicle technology (IVT)

Hate having to slow down only to find out you are getting alerts from a blind spot and collision avoidance systems, garage door openers, and other radar detectors? The Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector takes care of that problem for you! It comes with a false alert filter system that sorts out irrelevant radar detector systems. Plus, it’s updateable! So, you only have to slow down when there is a legit reason to do so.

• 2-mile range

This laser or radar gun detector can detect speed traps that are at least two miles away. This long-range, however, can be shortened by range blocks such as a hill or a curve on the road.

• Instant-on ready

While instant-on-ready radar or laser guns remain to be a challenge to laser and radar detectors in general, the Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector comes with a quicker reflex for such devices. It buys you a small window to react to these fast and troublesome traps.

• Front and rear protection

This device is equipped with an advanced laser eye sensor that catches police taking a speed reading of you from the front or while tailing you from behind. Besides laser signals, this radar detector can detect X, K, and Ka bands. On top of that, it also warns you of radar detector detectors by catching VG-2 signals.

• Voice alert

Keep your eyes on the road without missing any alerts. The Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector comes with audible and easy-to-understand voice announcements, saving you seconds to react in time and avoid a ticket. Voice alerts may be in English or Spanish.

• OLED display

Aside from an audible voice alert system, this laser and radar detector comes with a bright, high-quality display. It provides you with band identification and numeric signal strength information to tell you what signal you’re dealing with and its relative proximity.

Values displayed are easy on the eyes under any lighting condition. It can even be dimmed to enhance night-driving visibility.

• One-year limited warranty

The Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector is backed with a limited warranty for 12 months when bought from approved sellers. It comes with a power cord, windshield mount, and a hook-and-loop fastener.


  • Excellent false alert filtering system, especially with cars
  • Good range detection
  • Can detect a variety of speed-reading guns, from radar to laser
  • Provides some window to react to instant-on devices
  • It comes with English and Spanish voice alert options
  • Offers good front and back protection
  • Provides traffic cam updates
  • Good value at a low price


  • No GPS lockout and may give false alerts near automatic doors
  • Shorter range radar or laser detection on the sides
  • Voice alert doesn’t tell you what frequency is used
  • It cannot be manually set to the frequency police use in the area


  • Uniden DFR7 Radar/Laser Detector

Happy with the Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector? Before you make the commitment, Uniden DFR7 Radar/Laser Detector is also worth checking out. First off, it comes with a built-in GPS that’s obviously absent in the product-in-review. This gives the device an extra level of protection and filtering system. It is able to alert you of red-light cameras and speed cameras and filter out automatic doors en route.

However, making the device remember false alerts is actually partly manual. When you encounter a stationary false alert such as that of an automatic door, you have to press the mute button twice for the device to learn and remember it as such. Still, that’s better than having the device beep each time you pass by an ID-ed false alert. As for red light and speed cameras, the device can do it for you through its updateable database.

Of course, with the extra layer of protection and more effective false alert filtering system, the Uniden DFR7 Radar/Laser Detector comes with a heftier price tag. So if you want a quieter ride that remains vigilant of speed traps, then this one might be for you.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a radar and laser detector that gets the job done well without costing you an arm and a leg, then the Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector makes for a good choice. You’ll particularly love the relatively quiet driving experience it offers you through its effective anti-falsing circuitry and updateable in-vehicle technology (IVT). It won’t go off with every radar system you encounter.

Another thing you’ll love about the product-in-review is that it buys you some time to react to instant-on speed guns, which is actually the weak spot of many radar and laser detectors. While it does not entirely speed-trap-proof your vehicle to such devices, a little window frame is always better than none.

Had the Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector came with a GPS lockout like the pricier Uniden DFR7 Radar/Laser Detector, it would have been perfect. Of course, the keyword there is ‘pricier.’ As it is, for its price point, the Cobra RAD 500 Laser Radar Detector offers you efficient detection and a pleasurably quieter ride than most devices of its range.

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