Escort Passport Max 2 Review

If you are looking for the ultimate radar detector, check out the Escort Passport Max 2, the first and only radar detector which offers high-definition (HD) performance and great accuracy.

The Passport Max 2 offers great range for detection, built-in Bluetooth technology and real-time network which allows you to interact with other uses and warned you ahead of red light and speed camera in locations throughout the U.S.

In this article, we’ll be looking at Escort Passport Max 2 review and find out what is the pros and cons of this highly acclaimed radar detector.

Escort Passport Max 2 Review

 

 

 

 

Escort Passport Max 2 Review – Online Ready

Passport Max 2 review

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With the built-in Bluetooth wireless technology inside the Max 2, you are now connected with the award-winning mobile app – Escort Live. So what’s so great about this app?

The Escort Live app allows you to interact with other users and alert you in real-time of any speed-traps reported by other users. For example, when driving in a certain road, other users may notice a new speed trap by the law enforcement officer and alerted other users on this new threat. When you pass-by this location, the app will  automatically warn you of this new speed trap ahead of time and thereby, saving you from getting any ticket.

Additionally, if there is any change in posted speed limit, you’ll be notified to keep you aware and ticket-free.

You can summarize the Escort Live app as a social media among the road users and all of you are watching for each other for new police speed trap. Isn’t that great when you know that somebody is watching the back for you?

For example, when I was driving in southern Arizona, I was alerted to new speed trap and have a close call as I did not notice any radar or laser alerts. The law enforcement officer is using VASCAR which no detector can detect as it is basically a visual timing device that does not emit any signal. Without the online Escort Live app, I’ll definitely be busted and my thanks to other online users.

Note: Before downloading Escort Live, you must first register your Passport Max 2 device. Be sure to have your Max 2 unit nearby, as you will need the serial number. To view serial number and software revision press MRK and MUTE button while powering on detector.

Be sure to write down the username and password you create, as you will need this information to access and download Escort Live. (You will also receive an e-mail with this information, once you have registered your device.)

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

Defender Database

Escort Passport Max2 review

Besides the online interaction through the Escort Live, the Escort Passport Max 2 is also preloaded with Defender Database; a database of all the red light and speed cameras throughout North America. The database will help to identify potential danger as you approach these locations. As you approach these locations, the Max 2 will alert you in advance and you can even add your own “hot spots” using the exclusive Mark Location feature. Defender Database Subscriptions are available to keep you up to date on future speed traps, red light and speed cameras.

Note: The Defender Database is free when you first get your Max 2. However, subscriptions is required to update the database. You can still use the Defender Database if you do not wish to subscribe but it will not have the latest version.

Weekly updates are available via the Escort website to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in North America. Simply go online to download the Detector Tools program, connect the MAX to a PC (not compatible with Mac at this time) 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.

Marked Locations

For the marked locations, the Escort Passport Max 2 gives an advances warning of upcoming markers at the following distance:

  • Red light cameras: 250 ft or 10 seconds
  • Red light & speed cameras: 250 ft or 10 seconds
  • Speed cameras: 500 ft when traveling below 55 mph; 1,000 ft when traveling above 55 mph
  • Speed traps: 0.3 mi or approximately 1,584 ft
  • Other: 500 ft when traveling below 55 mph; 1,000 ft when traveling above 55 mph

NOTE: When a location is marked the first time, you must travel at least 1 mile away from that location to receive an alert when you return to the area. To unmark a location, touch the MRK button when you are receiving a marked-location alert. The display will read “Unmark?” Touch the MRK button again to confirm. The display will read “Unmarked!”

High-Performance Laser Protection

The Passport Max 2’s high performance laser will provide maximum laser warning, with superior off-axis protection. You also have the options to upgrade to the ultimate laser protection by adding the optional Laser ShifterPro.

AutoLearn: Artificial Intelligence Protection

Passport Max2 review With the AutoLearn feature, the Escort Passport Max 2 will automatically locks out any unwanted false alerts and thereby reducing the number of false tones permanently.

The AutoLearn uses the GPS to identify sources of false radar then intelligently lock out these false alerts as you pass through the same location again. If new signals are detected, the Passport Max 2 is intelligent enough to sound the alarm to alert you.

Sensitivity Control / Radar Sensitivity 

The Escort Passport Max 2 allows you to control the sensitivity of the radar detector under three modes – Highway, Auto and Auto No X.

For day-to-day usage, it is recommended to use the Auto mode. Under this mode, the Max 2 will analyze all incoming signals and will intelligently adjust the sensitivity circuits, hence giving you long-range warning and minimum false alerts.

If you are travelling on highway, it is best to switch to Highway mode. Under this mode, the radar detecting range for all range is the max.

For the Auto No X mode, it is something like the Auto mode minus the X band.

Note: Do not use this mode unless you are absolutely clear that no X-band radar guns are use in your area. 

Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

The Max 2 uses advance military technology called Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and the end result is a faster and more accurate identification of real threat compared to other radar detector in the market. The fast and accurate detection also means more time for you to react whenever any threat is detected.

Multi-Color OLED Display

Escort Passport Max 2 radar detector review

If you want stunning display, the Max 2 has it all. With bright and great graphics and illuminative intuitive icons that will just jump out whenever a threat is detected. Furthermore, you have the option to select backlit color that matches the interior color of your vehicle; you can select display of blue, green, red or amber accents. Do take note that all displays using speed limit data are connected to Escort Live.

The display brightness can adjust automatically to suit the ambient lightning conditions in your car. You can also manually set the brightness of the display by pressing the BRT button. There are 5 levels of brightness you can set:-

  • Auto – Automatically adjust brightness (Default factory setting)
  • Dark – Dark mode (Only voice alert will be heard)
  • Minimum brightness
  • Medium brightness
  • Maximum brightness

Speed Display

Your current vehicle speed will be displayed to the right of the Over-Speed Alert setting. You also have the option to turn this feature off and once this feature is off, the display location will be replaced by battery voltage.

Over Speed Alert

You can asset the over speed alert on the Max 2. Once you travel above the set limit, the background display for your current speed will turn red to alert you that you have exceeded the specified speed.

Note: The default setting is 70mph.

Intuitive Controls

Regardless of your driving preference, the Passport Max 2 allows you to change several options, including the types of radar bands you would like to activate and the type of meter you would like to see.

Voice Alerts 

Besides the bright display, having a clear and unique voice to alert you is also very important. The Escort Passport Max 2 is equipped with clear communications for alerts and menu options. You also have the options in English or Spanish and you can also turn the voice off if you choose to.

You can adjust the volume by simply pressing and holding the Volume + or -.

Escort Passport Max 2 Review – Alert Tone

The standard alert tone for the Passport Max 2 is the Geiger counter-type sound which indicates the strength and type of the signal detected. As you approach the source or the signal, the alert volume will increase and then slowly fade away as you drive further away from the source. Do take note that different signal will have different distinct tone:-

  • X band = beep tone
  • K band = brap tone
  • Ka band = double-brap tone
  • Laser = solid brap tone
  • Pop = solid brap tone

Besides the normal standard alert tone, you can also set the alert tone to Mild mode. Under this mode, what you’ll hear is a softer and simpler alert tone compared to the standard tone. Below are the alert tone’s you’ll hear under the Mild mode:-

  • X band, K band,
  • Ka band and Pop = Doorbell chime
  • Low signal strength = Double chime
  • High signal strength = Triple chime
  • If alert remains in area more than 15 seconds = Single chime (as a reminder)
  • Laser = Solid brap tone (Since laser signals are a possible threat no matter how weak,

Passport Max 2 alerts you to all laser signals with a full laser alert.)

Cruise Alert

Under the Cruise Alert, you’ll be able to change your alert sound when driving below a certain speed (the default setting is 20 mph). When driving below this set speed, you’ll hear a simple double-beep alert.

Signal-Strength Meter 

Escort Passport Max 2 radar detector review

 

Whenever a signal is detected, the signal strength will show the strength of the signal and there are 4 different settings the signal strength can be displayed:-

Standard – Under this mode, the Max 2 will display information on only a single radar signal detected. The signal can be X, K, Ka or laser and the bar graph will indicate the strength of the signal. If more than one signal is detected, the Passport Max 2 will auto-filter the signal and will only display the most important threat.

SpecDisplay – This display mode is only for the advanced users. Under this mode, the Max 2 will display the actual numeric radar frequency. If you are not familiar with the actual frequency, my advice is to stick to the standard mode. To set the SpecDisplay, you’ll need to do it in User Preferences.

ExpertMeter – This is also for advanced users only and under this mode, you can track up to 4 radar signals (X, K, Ka and X band) simultaneously. Under this mode, you can spot a change in your normal driving environment i.e. new radar being detected which is normally not there.

Simple – Under this mode, simple messages will be displayed instead of the normal actual bands and signal strengths.

For example, when travelling above the set Cruise Alert level, the word “Slow Down” will be displayed once a signal is detected.

If you are driving below the set Cruise Alert, the word “Caution” will be displayed once a signal is detected.

Mute

Once you hear any alert tone, you can manually mute the tone by pressing the Mute button. Once the radar has passed, the device will be back to its normal setting and the alert tone will come on once new signal is detected.

Besides pressing the Mute button, you can also Mute the alert tone by pressing the Mute button on the SmartCord.

AutoMute

The AutoMute feature will automatically reduce the volume of the alert tone seconds after a signal has been detected. This is great as it will help to keep the alert tone to a bearable level. You also have the option to turn the AutoMute off but my personal advice is not to do this.

SmartMute

If AutoMute has already reduced the volume for one alert and a higher-priority band is detected, the Escort Passport Max 2 will sound an alert at your set volume for the second band before adjusting the volume back down to the AutoMute level.

AutoPower

With the AutoPower feature, the Passport Max 2 will be turned off automatically after 30 minutes to save battery. However if your vehicle travels beyond 10mph, the screen will be back on. 2

Operating Bands 

The Max 2 is able to detect the following signal:-

  • X-band 10.525 Ghz 3 25 MHz
  • K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz
  • Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz
  • Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth

User Preferences 

You can set the user preferences under 2 modes – Advanced or Novice.

Under the Advanced mode, you can access and customize the setting as stated below.

Under the Novice mode, you can access and customize units (English or metric) and display color only. All other features will be set to default factory settings. 

Below are the features you can adjust according to your requirement:-

  • Language: English / Spanish
  • Display Color
  • Speed Display (On / Off)
  • Cruise Alert
  • Over Speed
  • Meter
  • Tones
  • AutoMute: On / Off
  • AutoLearn (On / Off)
  • Units (On / Off)
  • Voice On / Off
  • GPS On / Off
  • Auto Power
  • Bands (Selectable)
  • Markers (Selectable)
  • Clear Locations

What Happens When You First Use the Max 2?

When you first use your Max 2, you’ll be asked to confirm certain basic setting and preferences. Press MRK button to scroll through and OK these settings (or press VOLUME + or – to edit).

SmartCord

The SmartCord is has certain functions which can be conveniently operated by just pressing a few buttons.

Instead of reaching your hand to press the mute button on the Max 2, to mute the alert tone, you can just press the mute button located on the SmartCord. To lock out a false alarm, just press the mute button 3 times and you can also unlock by pressing the same button twice.

Additionally, by pressing and holding the mute button, you can manually report to other online users a verified X or K band alert or a police officer observing traffic.

The SmartCord also has an alert light which will be on once any signal is detected. It also has a power light indicator which will be on once the unit is powered on.

Restoring Factory Setting 

There may be time when you want to set the Max 2 to its original settings. This is to clear out any marked or locked-out locations and also for the Defender databse.

To reset to default setting, simply, press and hold the SEN and BRT buttons while powering on the detector. A “Restored” message will display, acknowledging the reset.

Mounting Tips 

The best place to mount your radar detector is the center of vehicle on windshield between driver and passenger. You also need to ensure that nothing is blocking the GPS signal and ensure clear view of road ahead. Do avoid mounting behind windshied wipers and heavily tinted areas as this can affect the effectiveness of the radar detector. 

Dimension 

The dimension of the Escort Passport Max 2 is 1.3″ H x 3.2″ W x 5.3″ L.

What’s in the box?

4

  •  Radar/laser detector unit
  • StickyCup windshield mount
  • SmartCord power adapter
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Soft-shell case

If you would like a more permanent installation for your Passport Max 2, check out the DirectWire SmartCord® or the more basic DirectWire kit for hardwired installations.

Is it Legal? 

Radar detectors are completely legal to use in non-commercial vehicles in 49 states. Virginia and Washington D.C. are the only places in the United States that currently ban radar detectors. Radar detector use in commercial vehicles has been prohibited in the U.S. since 1995 and radar detectors are also illegal in most Canadian provinces.

Escort Passport Max 2 Review – Customer Review

Since the Escort Passport Max 2 is still quite new in the market, at the time of this writing, there are not many reviews available. The rating stands at 3.2 out of 5 stars. This radar detector is also rated as the No.1 new release. We’ll continue to monitor and update this section from time to time once more reviews are available.

With limited reviews, a mixture of message is noted. Some customers love the Max 2, while some have some issues and that is quite normal.

Pros 

  • Maximum range
  • Easy usage right out of the box
  • GPS
  • Defense database
  • Escort Live network
  • GPS lockout / Marked locations
  • AutoLearn
  • Integrated Bluetooth
  • Speed limit alert
  • Sensitivity control
  • Multi-Color OLED Display
  • SmartCord for easy access
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • No stealth mode. Can be detected by Radar Detector Detectors
  • Learning curve and time to learn all the features
  • Need to pay for Defender database subscription
  • Escort Live will drain your phone’s battery
  • Only difference with the original Max is the Bluetooth technology
  • High price

Verdict

If you are looking for a radar detector that is easy to use, with long-range radar capability, AutoLearn feature that locks out unwanted false alarm, great database of red light and speed cameras and online interaction for instant alerts on new speed traps, the Escort Passport Max 2 will be the perfect choice.

Although the price may be a on the high side, do take note that with just a few saves, the device is all paid for by itself.

The Escort Live may be a great app to use for new alert, it is also draining to your phone’s battery.  My advice will be to set the app in a few minutes instead of keeping it on all the time; by doing that, this will save your phone’s battery.

If price is your concern, you can also check out the Escort Passport 9500ix which is also very good and popular among road users.

End of Escort Passport Max 2 review.

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Escort Passport Max2 HD radar detector

 

 

 

 

Escort Passport Max 2 specs

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