Escort Passport 9500ix Review | Escort 9500ix Review

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the world’s most intelligent radar and laser detector – the Escort Passport 9500ix. With the ability to detect all kinds of radar used by the law enforcement i.e. X, K, Ka and Ku, instant POP and laser, you are well protected whether you are driving on highway or around the city.

The GPS feature helps to locate hidden speed traps ensuring that you are not caught off guard while eliminate those annoying false alarms. With clear display and audible alert, you’ll have sufficient time to get ready whenever you hear an alert.

In this Escort Passport 9500ix review, we’ll be examining how impressive is this radar/laser detector and if it is as good as it claims.

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Escort Passport 9500ix Review

 

Escort Passport 9500ix review

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The Escort Passport 9500ix is able to detect all kinds of radar and laser used by law enforcement officers in the U.S. It can detect radar signal of X, K, Ka and Ku, instant Pop modes and also laser. To eliminate false alert, you have the option to switch off certain bands to be monitored.

TrueLock/GPS Filter: The False Alert Eliminator 

You may be wondering what is a GPS doing in a radar/laser detector and that is the first question I asked when I first saw this. After understanding its function, I begin to see just how powerful and useful is this GPS feature.

The Escort Passport 9500ix is pre-loaded with thousands of red-light and fixed position speed camera. When the GPS in the detector tracks that you are approaching these locations or junctions, it will give you warning beforehand and hence save you from getting potential speeding ticket. This database is constantly updated and you can download the updates from the internet.

The GPS function also helps in reducing false alarm including automatic door openers, motion sensors and other radar-based sensors. With the TrueLock / GPS filter function, it can lock out any false alert by just a press of a button. For example, when you always drive through the same street and knowing that a door opener is causing the false alarm, you can press the “Mute” button 3 times to manually lock out this false alert. Next time, when you travel pass this same location again, the false alarm will not be on as you’ve manually locked it out. Despite locking out this signal, the Escort Passport 9500ix is still able to detect radar used by the law enforcement officer.

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

AutoLearn / Artificial Intelligence Protection 

Escort Passport 9500ix radar reviews

This is perhaps one of the strongest points of this detector with its ability to learn and then shutoff false alarm. Here is how it works:-

If you pass by the same location and for up to three times, the Escort Passport 9500ix can lock out the false alert and hence eliminating all the unwanted alerts whenever you are driving. After locking out these signals, you have the option to unlock the false alerts or you can turn the AutoLearn feature off.

Note: My suggestion is for you to turn it on for the first few weeks you got this unit to lock out all the unwanted frequency. After that, you can choose to leave it on or turn it off and lock out any false alert manually.

This is a very powerful feature as it locks out unwanted alert, keeps you away from the noise and unwanted alarm while only provide real and genuine alerts.

Auto Power Feature

The Escort Passport 9500ix will power off automatically if the vehicle has not moved to 4 hours and more.

For some vehicles, the electricity may not be cut off once you stop the engine. For such vehicle, you are advised to unplug the detector once you switch off the engine.

Sensitivity Mode

Under this mode, the sensitivity of the radar will be based on your vehicle’s speed. For example, when the vehicle speed increases, so is the range of the detector and when your vehicle slows down, the range will decrease as well. Reducing the range/sensitivity level when you vehicle speed is slow will help to eliminate false alerts. Now if you want maximum range all the time, you can set the 9500ix to Highway mode. The recommended mode is the Auto Mode which is the same as AutoNoX mode. Under this mode, all x-band detection will be turned off.

 Speed Alert Feature

When an alert has been detected, the speed of your vehicle will be shown for the first few seconds to give you idea on the speed you are travelling. You do not have to look down at your speedometer (very convenient). However, do take note that when you are travelling below 15mph, no speed info will be displayed as you are deemed to be safe from speeding ticket.

You have the option of turning this feature off.

Mark Location Features

Escort 9500ix review

With this feature, you can manually mark any location and will be alerted in future when you pass through these locations. The marked location will also be added to the DEFENDER database. You can also unmarked the marked location.

Once a location has been marked, for red light and speed camera, it will provide 10 seconds alert prior to reaching that location; as for speed trap and others, it will provide 1/3 mile alert which is sufficient time for you to react accordingly.

Bright Display 

Passport 9500iz review

 

The Escort Passport 9500ix is available in blue and red display. I’ll advise getting the blue display as I find more comfortable looking at all the blue indicators.

There are 5 brightness settings for the detector namely:-

Min (BRT MIN), Medium (BRT MED), Maximum (BRT MAX), Auto (BRT Auto), Full Dark (BRT DARK).

The default setting is BRT AUTO and the brightness will be adjusted according to the brightness in the vehicle.

SmartCord

Escort 9500ix radar detector review

The Escort Passport 9500ix cable is not an ordinary cable, they are in fact known as SmartCord. So what’s so smart about this cable? Well, at the base of this SmartCord you get a secondary control and indicator. You have the yellow alert LED which flashes to indicate signal strength and in the “dark mode” you’ll have to rely completely on the base of this SmartCord as no display will be shown when there is an alert.

Additionally, instead of stretching your hand for the detector on the windshield which can be quite dangerous when you are driving, you can reach for the mute button on the SmartCord when the alert is on.

Installation / Mounting

You can mount the Escort Passport 9500ix on the windshield and the best place is at the center of the vehicle. Make sure that you place it high enough for a clear view of the road in front but not blocking your view. The 9500ix must have clear view of the sky in order for the GPS to work properly. Anything that block this signal will not activate the GPS. Do take note that for windshield with metallic coatings this can cause GPS to become useless.

Volume Control

The volume control button is located on the top of the Escort Passport 9500ix. You can press the +/- button to your preferred volume; also when the alert tone is on, a bar graph will display the volume level.

AutoMute & AutoVolume

When there is an alert, the AutoMute  will come to play by turning down the audible alert to a user-selected level. Alternatively, you can also turn off the alert manually by pressing the “mute” button on the top of the detector or at the SmartCord. When the signal is out of the range, the audible alert will be turned on again. AutoMute can also be activated in the detector’s feature menu.

The 9500ix is intelligent enough that once you’ve set the ambient noise level in your car, the alert volume can be adjusted up or down depending on the volume in your vehicle.

Escort Passport 9500ix Review – Audible Alert

So what happen when radar signal has been detected?

When radar has been detected the audible alert will be heard and becomes more frequent as you approach the source. In the meantime, the visual display on the 9500ix will display what kind of frequency is detected and the bar graph will display the signal strength. The AutoMute will then kick-in lowering the volume in just a couple of seconds or you can choose the mute the tone manually. Once you are further and further away from the source, the audible alert will become less frequent and eventually gone.

If there are more than one types of signals being detected, the 9500ix will then give priority to the signal that is more important. For example, if you pass through a store with X-band automatic doors and a law enforcement officer is shooting at you using the Ka-based radar gun, the 9500ix is intelligent enough to give priority to the Ka signal. Do take note that most law enforcement officers in US uses Ka and Ku bands for speed tracking while the X and K bands are mostly for other purposes.

If you are driving below 20mph, you’ll only hear the double tone and you still be able to see the signal strength.

We have different signal and hence different tone will be heard every time a signal is detected.

X-Band           – Bee tone

K-Band           – Raspy trap tone

Ka-band          – Double trap tone

Pop/Laser        – Solid trap tone (Maximum bar graph)

Confuse about the different alert tone? Regardless of the alert tone you hear, the morale of the story is to be alert whenever you hear this audible tone and take action.

If you hear a sudden continuous alert and all signal meters are lit, you’ve probably encounter instant-on radar source or laser and need to take immediate action – slow down.

When approaching hills or curves, you may hear a slow tone and then suddenly it becomes stronger do take immediate action as there is a possible speed trap behind those hills or curves and believe me, those are the favorite spots of law enforcement officers.

If you’ve set the detector on “dark mode”, you will only hear the alert tone and the indicators on the SmartCord.

We now continue on our Escort Passport 9500ix review for advance users.

Expert Meter

For advanced users, the 9500ix can be set to track up to 8 signals simultaneously. It can track up to 2 Ka-band, 2 K-band and 4 X-band signals all at the same time with a four-bar signal strength for each. For those relay professional, the 9500ix can even display the exact frequency of the radar being detected and if you are at this level, you really need to know what you are seeing; otherwise, my advice is stick to the normal meter.

Clearing Database 

Sometimes you screw up and just wish that you can clear the database and start all over again. And yes, this can be done with the Escort Passport 9500ix. To clear all markers and false alarm in the database, just press and hold the “SENt,” “BRT,” and “MUTE” buttons simultaneously; then to confirm this action, simply press the “GPS” button.

Setting Your Preferences 

You can change up to 10 features/settings with the 9500ix. Once the features is set, you can review it or restore them back to factory default settings.

Below are the 10 settings you can change:-

1) AutoMute

2) Speed Alert

3) AutoLearn

4) Signal Strength Signal

5) AutoPower

6) PilotLight / Brightness

7) Units in Miles / KM

8) Voice / Volume

9) Bands

10) Markers

Red Light Camera

Passport 9500ix review

 

The 9500ix has database of red light cameras in the US and this is updated from time to time. The 9500ix will only alert you on the direction that the red light camera is being enforced; also some states will only need the picture of the license plate to issue ticket while some will need the actual driver’s photo to issue ticket.

 Speed Camera

For the speed camera, different types of are being used – radar, laser, induction loop and photo based. Most of us will know about the radar and laser and the 9500ix will alert you once any of these signals are detected.

For the induction loop and photo based speed camera, no signal is transmitted, and hence the 9500ix will not detect any signal. However, thanks to its wide database of speed cameras around the country and the presence of GPS, your 9500ix will alert you when you approach any of these speed cameras regardless of which type it is.

Note: For the red light and speed camera, there may be some that are not marked or recorded in the database as new ones are set up or the present ones moved from one location to another. Hence it is important register and being notified of any new updates with the DEFENDER database.

Safety Warning System (SWS) 

This is a new technology used by some emergency vehicles. The 9500ix will alert you once such signal is detected.

Note: Not all emergency vehicles are using such signal and that is the main reason why sometimes your 9500ix does not pick up such signal.

TSR Traffic Signal Rejection

The TSR is an anti-falsing software which eliminate excessive alerts from X and K-band signals; an example is this is the traffic monitoring system used in most states.

Today, more and more states are using the traffic flow system to monitor traffic. When this is used, K-band signal is used to monitor traffic on a particular section of the road. Most detectors will pick up these signals and see it as a threat. However, with the 9500ix, the software intelligently sorts, ranks and rejects this type of alarm and reduce false alerts, giving you the ultimate protection.

The default setting for the TSR is on and you believe that this is not being being in you area, you have the options to turn it off.

Software Updates

9500ix Review

The Escort Passport 9500ix is the first radar and laser detector that can be easily updated using your computer and the power of the internet. Simply go online to download the Detector Tools program, connect the 9500ix to either a PC or Mac with an active internet connection and then download the most up to date locations. You can even back up your data or update the detector’s operating software, (firmware), if needed. The database is updated weekly, and Escort provides 90 days of downloadable updates for free.

You must register at www.EscordRadar.com to get email notification of updates and you can get update of red light and speed camera database easily.

In order to do the update, you’ll need to power up the 9500ix to use the software. You can bring your laptop to the car and then download the updates there.

Dimensions

1.40” (H) x 2.90” (W) x 5.35” (L)

What’s in the Box

3

Escort Passport 9500ix radar detector, coiled SmartCord power adapter, suction cup mounting system, user guide/quick reference card, and warranty information.

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.

Escort Passport 9500ix Review – Customer Comment

At the time of this writing, the Passport Escort 9500ix has a good rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Perhaps the best comment about the 9500ix can best describe by below:-

Mike Herzing – President of the Texas Auto Writers Association

“I drive and test cars for a living. I MUST have a radar detector I can trust. When I got My 9500IX, I was so impressed, that I GAVE AWAY my Valentine 1! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a detector that doesn’t go off all of the time. When My 9500IX warns me of a bogey… He’s there. Thanks Escort!”

Pros 

  • Easy usage
  • Defender database, which provides red-light camera and speed camera locations.
  • AutoLearn limits false alarms
  • TrueLock/GPS Filter to manually lock out false alerts
  • SmartCord indicator and mute control
  • AutoMute to lower the alert tone once signal has been detected
  • Customize markers for future reference
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Learning curve – Need time to learn and get used to all the
  • No over-speed alert
  • No directional arrows
  • Not invisible to police as the police can detect your detector

Verdict

With great features like AutoLearn, ability to Mark and lock out unwanted false alerts, huge database of red light and speed cameras and others, the Escort Passport 9500ix is truly the world’s most intelligent and advanced detector in the market today.

Although the price is on the high side, it is totally worth your investment. With just a couple saves, and in the long term, everything will be paid for itself.

If price is the factor, you may consider getting the Whistler CR90. However, if you feel that you do not need the GPS feature, consider getting the Escort Passport 8500 X50. For the ultimate top of the line radar detector, check out the Escort Passport Max2.

End of Escort Passport 9500ix review.

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Escort Passport 9500ix specs

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