Escort Passport 8500 X50 Reviews | Passport 8500 X50 REview




The Escort Passport 8500 X50 may not be new in the market; however when it was first launched, it was labeled as the most advanced high performance radar/laser detector on the market.

With great features, like the ability to detect various radars, instant-on POP and laser signals, extreme long range warning, 360 degree protection, traffic sensor rejection ability (TSR) and minimum false warning which are still very relevant today.

The fact that the Passport 8500 x50 is still popular today proves that its features are still very much relevant though many new detectors in the market have similar features or some with even more advance features.

In this Escort Passport 8500 x50 reviews, we’ll be looking at its features which still attract many buyers today plus the pros and cons.

Escort Passport 8500 x50 reviews





Escort Passport 8500 x50 Reviews

Enhanced Radar Protection

With the enhanced “V-Turned” radar receiver, the Passport 8500 x50 is able to give warning on all radars including the “instant-on” POP mode, X-band, K-band, Ka-band and laser. Besides detecting all the different signals, the detection range has been significantly increased with the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) while minimizing false alerts.

AutoSensitivity Mode (Auto / Highway / City Switch) 

You can choose the sensitivity of the Passport 8500 x50 to Auto/Highway/City mode.

Under the Highway, the radar detection range will be set to maximum while for the City mode, the X-band sensitivity will be lowered to reduce the number of false alerts. You can also customize the City mode sensitivity in the EZ-Programming section.

The recommended setting by Escort is the Auto mode where the internal computer will analyze all radar detected and intelligently filter the signals to reduce the number of alert alarms.

The Escort Passport 8500 x50 is equipped with 360 degree radar and laser detection and hence detects radar whether it is in front or at rear of your vehicle.

Note: For details on how to select a radar detector, read about our Radar Detector Guide.

Dim & Brightness Display

The Passport 8500 x50 has matrix display that uses 280 individual ultra LEDS to give you clear info on the types of alerts, signal strength and text for programming.

For brightness display, there are 4 settings – Maximum, medium, minimum and dark mode.

When the setting is at dark mode, no visual display will be shown and you’ll only have audio alert. The only visual alert you’ll see is at the SmartCord. The dark mode is best used for night driving to avoid distraction during driving.

Different dim display will be shown for different settings i.e. AD (Auto Dark), HD (Highway Dark) and CD (City Dark).

Signal Strength Meter | ExpertMeter | SpecDisplay

Passport 8500 X50 Review

When radar is detected, the standard bar graph signal will display only one signal strength. On the other hand, if multiple signals are detected, the Passport 8500 x50 will prioritize the signal by providing info on the more important signal.

You can also choose the ExpertMeter or the SpecDisplay.

The ExpertMeter is only for advanced / experienced users; only set to this display after you are familiarized with the display of the device.

Under the Expert Meter, you can track up to 8 signals all at the same time. The signals that can be tracked are: 2 Ka-band, 2 K-band and 4 X-band signals. ExpertMeter can also help you spot a change in your normal driving environment; for example, a traffic radar unit being operated in an area where there are normally other signals present.

Under the SpecDisplay, you’ll see the actual numeric frequency of the radar being received. Note: for this mode, even the expert may have difficulty in recognizing the numeric frequency. If you are not familiar with it, stay away from this display.

AutoMute / Mute

Under AutoMute, once radar/laser has been detected, the alert will be heard briefly before the volume being lowered. This is to avoid annoying noise when any signal is detected. You can preset the alert volume of turn it off completely at the EZ-Programming section.

Alternatively, you have the option of manually muting the alert tone by pressing the “mute” button on the device or the mute button on the SmartCord. Do take note that once the radar encounter has passed, the setting will be back to original and the audio alert will be heard again once new signal has been detected.

Power and Volume Control

The power on and volume control is the same control.

When powering up / turning on the device, it will go through a sequence of alerts before begin to function. You can also set the power-on-sequence to a shorter one at the EZ-Programming section.

Once all the powering up sequence is completed, the 8500 x50 will display either a Highway, City or Auto mode.

Depending on your vehicle, the lighter socket power may either be continuously on or it may be switched on and off with your ignition switch. If the power to the lighter socket is not switched off after you turn off the ignition, you are advised to take out the plug form the power source.

Escort Passport 8500 x50 Reviews – Audible Alerts

When a signal is detected, depending on the type of signal, different audible alert will be heard.

X-band            – Beep tone

K-band             – Raspy brap tone

Ka-band          – Double trap tone

POP / Laser     – Solid brap tone

Note: When you see and hear the audible alert for POP and Laser, you need to be on full alert and take immediate action; also turning on the POP alert will increase the number of false alerts with the reduction in distance on all non-POP frequencies.

When a signal is first detected, it will sound faster and then to a full solid tone as you approach the source. Once you move away from the source, the solid tone will swith to faster and then to slower tone.

Power Connector / SmartCord

Escort Passport 8500 x50 black review

The Escort Passport 8500 x50’s connector is not like the normal cable type but more like the telephone coil type connector. Near the power source, you have a power on light, a bright alert light which gives you visual alert of signal detected and a mute button.

The mute button is very convenient as you do not have to reach for the 8500 x50 on the windshield to mute the alert tone. On the other hand, if you put on the “Dark” mode, only the display on the plug is visible.

EZ-Programming for Instant Customization

Under the EZ-Programming section, there are 9 features you can customize:-

1) Power-on indicator – Can customize to show H, A or C (Highway, Auto or City mode)

2) Power-on sequence – Can follow standard power-on sequence or set to fast power-on sequence

3) Signal Strength Meter – Can set to Standard signal strength meter or ExpertMeter or SpecDisplay

4) AutoMute – Can turn it on or off

5) AudioTones – Can set standard or loud tones

6) City Mode Sensitivity – Can set to standard sensitivity City mode or Low X-band sensitivity City mode or No X-band sensitivity City mode

7) Brightness – Can set to preferred brightness level – Max, Medium, Min and Dark

8) Dark Mode – Can set to standard dark (HD, AD & CD) or All Dark

9) Bands – Can turn on and off bands you want to detect

You can also reset the whole setting to its original default setting by pressing and holding the CITY, DIM and MUTE buttons while turning the power on. Once this is done, a message “Reset” will be displayed together with an audible alert to confirm resetting has been completed.

Knowing Your Alert Tones

Different signal and under different situation will produce different types of alert tones. The guide below will help you to know the types of signals you are getting.

Alert  Escort Passport 8500 x50 radar detector review

Slow alert initially and the frequency increase and then become solid tone – You are approaching the source.

Short alert for a few seconds, then total silent and alert and then silent again – An instant-on radar in being used ahead of you and out of your view.

Sudden continuous tone and all signal segments in the signal strength meter are lit – Immediate action required as an instant-on radar is used.

Brief laser alert – Anytime your hear a laser alert, you must exercise full-alert.

Note: There are many alerts that you’ll hear as you used the Passport 8500 x50 more often. Overtime, you’ll be able to learn and differentiate the different kind of alert tones and learn to act accordingly.


1.25” H x 2.85” W x 5.32” L

What’s in a Box? 

Passport 8500 x50 review


Escort Passport 8500 x50, travel case, SmartCord, windshield mount, manual, quick reference card.





Escort 8500 x50 review

The best place to mount the Escort Passport 8500 x50 is in the center of the vehicle on the windshield. Make sure that it is mounted high enough to detect all the signals 360 degree and nothing i.e. wiper, tint and solid objects are blocking it.

Note: For vehicle with a soft-lacerative coating on the inside surface of the windshield, use of suction cup will permanently damage this coating. Please consult your dealership or owner’s manual to check if your vehicle has this kind of coating.

Also as it is mounted on the windshield, the suction may not strong and may fall. Hence, it is advisable to get an extra pair of suction cup just in case your unit fell of the windshield.

Is it Legal to Own a Radar/Laser Detector? 

It is no longer against federal law to receive radar transmissions with your detector. The Communications Act of 1924 guarantees your right to receive radio transmission on any frequency. Local laws that contravene the Act, while illegal, may be enforced by your local law enforcement officials until and unless they are prohibited from doing so by federal court action.

Theft Alert 

To prevent anyone from breaking into your car and steal the radar detector, it is best to remove it when you park your vehicle and conceal it with something.

Escort Passport 8500 x50 Reviews – Customer Review

At the time of this writing, the Escort Passport 8500 x500 has 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It also has good rating of 4.4 at BestBuy.

Many customers are saying the same thing about this device, that it is good, it saves them many times and has the best bang for bug.


  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Reliable
  • Intelligently filter out false alarms
  • Different sensitivity mode – Auto, Highway & City
  • Dark mode
  • SmartCord
  • Easy customization up to 9 features
  • One year warranty


  • Doesn’t detect red light camera
  • No stealth mode from radar detectors
  • No GPS
  • No database of red light and speed camera
  • Not so effective against laser
  • Customer service needs to be improved


The bottom line of any radar detector is to prevent you from getting any speeding tickets and that is what Escort Passport 8500 x50 is pretty good at. Although it is not 100% foolproof, think of it in long term; just a couple of saves and all your investment would be paid for and how about the extra savings you have for the insurance premium you pay?

The detector can detect all kinds of signals used by the law enforcement officer and its ability to intelligently filter out many false alarms means lesser hassle and less noise in the car. Well, it may not be that effective against laser because of the nature on how laser works and definitely will not prevent you from getting a ticket if the cop is following you behind without using any radar.

Although it does not have any GPS, you can supplement it with Waze. Waze is a navigation apps and will also alert you on the presence of law enforcement officer. If you still want the GPS feature and the many benefits that come along with it, do read about  reviews on the Escort Passport 9500ix or the top of the line range – Passport Max2.

In summary, I will recommend the Escort Passport 8500 x50 for anyone looking to get a good and practical detector. Remember, the detector is there to protect and not your license to speed and drive dangerously.

End of Escort Passport 8500 x50 reviews.

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Escort Passport 8500 x50 Key Features

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