Escort Passport Max Review

If you’ve have been slapped with a speeding ticket, you know how it feels and it is not good at all. You were probably thinking “I was only doing xxxx and I get a ticket for this?

Well, there is a way to reduce dramatically your chances of getting a speeding ticket and that is by using a radar detector. However, do keep in mind that using a radar detector does not guarantee that you will never get a speeding ticket (I will explain this further below); it only help to create awareness that you are being watched and there are other ways you can get a ticket.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at Escort Passport Max review, one of the high-end radar detectors from Escort. With high-definition radar performance, long range detection, and GPS feature which gives a great performance that is unmatched by many in the market, the Passport Max is surely a device that is smart, intelligent and will provide peace of mind when you are driving with it.

Escort Passport Max Review





Escort Passport Max Review

Escort Passport Max review

Click to enlarge image


 Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

The Passport Max is equipped with an advanced military technology known as Digital Signal Processing (DSP).

The advantage of DSP is to enable to Passport Max to have faster and more accuracy in identifying real threats or signals from the law enforcement officer. What this mean for driver is an early warning so that one will be able to slow down or take appropriate action.

If you’ve been aimed at with Instant-On, the Passport Max will be able to pick up that signal very quickly and alert you for appropriate action.

In addition to faster and more accurate detection, DSP is intelligent enough to filter out false alerts from real threats; again this will really benefit the driver as you’ll not get the unnecessary false alarms which may be quite annoying.

To give you a better picture on the radar detector with DSP and those without, think of the difference between audio CDs to cassette tapes or vinly records; also think of the DSP as digital while others without the DSP is analog. Hopefully this will paint you a better picture on the advance feature of DSP.

Multi-Color OLED Display

Escort Passport Max radar and laser detector review

The new display, known as OLED is graphically more stunning to look at. With great icons that are easy to view and identify, the Passport Max has taken the display to a new level. You also have the option to choose the backlit color that suits your vehicle’s interior color.

The brightness of the Passport Max can be adjusted automatically to suit the ambient lightning conditions in your car. You can also manually adjust the brightness of the Passport Max according to the following level:-

Auto – Automatically adjusts brightness (factory setting)

Dark – Dark mode

Minimum – Minimum brightness

Medium – Medium brightness

Maximum – Maximum brightness

Do take note that if you set the brightness to Dark mode, you will not see any display when any signal is detected; only alert tones will be heard.

While the OLED display is great, there are some complaints that it can’t be seen on a bright sunny day. If you are wearing sunglasses, this will make it harder to see. This is really not a major issue as you can still hear the alert tone and voice which inform you the type of signals being detected.

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

Radar Sensitivity

One of the great and flexible features of the Escort Passport Max is the ability to set up according to your personal preference. Now you have the options to select the types of signals you want to monitor and the type of meter you want to view whenever any signal is detected.

For radar sensitivity, there are 3 options you can choose from – Highway, Auto or Auto No X.

Note: The recommendation from Escort is to set to Auto setting for your daily driving.

Under the Highway setting, the detection range is max and all signals will be detected.

For the Auto setting, the Passport Max will filter through all incoming signals and will intelligently filter out the false alerts.

The Auto No X is same as the Auto setting minus the detection on X band. If you are not sure if your area is using the X-band, do not use this setting. Only use this setting when you are absolutely sure that your local enforcement officer is not using the X-band or you may be in for a surprise.

TrueLock / Locking Out False Alerts

The Passport Max enables you to manually lock out or filter out any false alerts that you know of. For example, when passing through a route that you are familiar with, when the false alert is heard, just press the MUTE button on the detector or the SmartCord 3 times; doing so will store the signal on the Passport Max and the false alert will be filtered out the next time you pass through this same location.

You also have the option to unlock the signals you’ve filtered out whenever the need arise.

AutoLearn: Artificial Intelligence Protection

Passport Max review

The AutoLearn is perhaps one of the greatest features of the Passport Max. By making use of the GPS technology, the Passport Max will automatically record and reject any unwanted signals cause by door openers, motion sensors and other objects.

The AutoLearn will only work after you’ve passed through the same location for 3 times. Do take note that because the door opener is not being operated all the time, it may take a little longer to filter out these false signals. Hence when you first get the Passport Max, the false alerts will be there initially but after driving through the same area for at 3 times or more, the Passport Max will auto-learn and filter out these false alerts. So don’t worry when you first get your unit and hearing all these false alerts; continue to drive and after a week or more, the false alerts will be reduced dramatically and you’ll notice how quiet it is your drive.

If you do not want to have the AutoLean feature, you’ll have the option to turn it off. But would anyone turn it off? I know I won’t since it is doing a great job in filtering out false alerts.

Marking Locations 

Just like you can mark and filter out the unwanted alerts, you also have the options of marking any locations to alert you. You may want to mark the locations as some law enforcement officer is using VASCAR which cannot be detected by any detector. You may also mark locations with red light and speed cameras or any locations which you feel the need to.  Once the location has been marked, the Passport Max will alert you whenever you pass-by this area.

Do take note that when you’ve marked a location, you need to travel at least 1 mile away from the marked location to start receiving an alert. You also have the option to unmark any marked location.

DEFENDER Database 

Passport Max radar detector review

Together with the GPS technology is the DEFENDER database which is pre-loaded with the Passport Max.

The DEFENDER database consists of locations of red light and speed cameras all across North America. This is the ultimate protection in addition to the ability to detect radar and laser signals.

With this database, you’ll be alerted when you approach locations with red light and speed cameras. Best of all, when approaching red lights, you will only be alerted on the direction that is equipped with red light camera; if you are coming from the direction that is without the red light camera, you’ll not be alerted. Totally sweet and intelligent!

The camera location / database is updated weekly in US and Canada. The only thing you need to do is to make sure that your device is updated to enjoy this benefit.

For the download, you’ll need a USB cable and a mini-B end. Keep in mind that before any update or download, you need to register the device’s serial number on Escort’s site. Without this being done, you can’t download or update anything.

When you first get the Passport Max, you’ll enjoy 90 days of free updates. After that, for any updates, you need to subscribe to the DEFENDER database which at the time of this writing is $19.95 for 1 year and $39.95 for 3 year subscription.

Now I know how you feel about paying for the subscription but think about the benefit you’ll enjoy and the number of saves you’ll get. Ultimately, the subscription is peanuts compared to the benefits you’ll enjoy. If you do not want to subscribe to the database, you’ll be able to use the database minus the updated version.

Escort Live

Passport Max radar detector review

Besides the DEFENDER database, there is another service by Escort which uses smart phone for ‘Live’ database and this is known as Escort Live. To use this service, you’ll need to buy a special SmartCord and download the app with subscription to your smartphone.

The Escort Live is an online community where you can mark the latest locations of speed traps. Additionally, you will also be alerted when you approach a location that has been marked by the other uses for new speed trap locations. This is like an online social media where everybody watches the back of everyone by marking new locations of speed traps.

The way Escort Live work is by using the Bluetooth to connect and will use the GPS on your phone to show your location on the map and also to show speed limit.

If you also use your phone for hands-free Bluetooth and/or music streaming with your car audio, the Passport Max will lower the volume on Bluetooth music when it needs to tell you about an alert.

Also if you use the Escort Live continuously and connect it to your smartphone, this may drain your smartphone’s battery quickly. The only solution is to set the display which appears after a few minutes. By doing this, it will save your battery and you do not need the Live to be on all the time.

Over Speed Alert

We now continue the Escort Passport Max review with the Over Speed Alert feature.

When you are driving above certain speed, the over speed alert feature in Passport Max will alert you to check your speed.; the background display for your current speed will turn red to alert you that you have exceeded the set speed.

This is a great feature as it will help to check you speed if you are driving too fast; especially useful to discipline drivers who like to speed. The default setting is 70mph and you have the option to set a new speed alert according to your own driving style.

For me, I leave it at the default setting – 70mph to alert me when I am driving above that speed.

Alert Tones


Whenever a signal is detected, depending on your setting, an alert tone will be heard to alert you.

The alert tones can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘Mild.’

Under the Standard alert tone, which is the default factory setting, a Geiger countertype alert tone will be heard to indicate the strength and the type of signal being detected.

When the signal detected is radar, you’ll hear a distinct audible alert sound and it will become more frequent as you approach the source of the radar. The distinct frequency will give you some indication on the distance you have from the signal source without the need to look at the radar detector itself. This is a goof safety feature and each band will have its own distinct tone. When you’ve used the radar detector for some time, you should have no problem identifying the different types of signals being detected.

Below are how the alert tones will be heard when they are detected:-

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

Under the ‘Mild” alert tone setting, you’ll hear a more mild and softer alert tone. Below is how the alert tomes will sound like whenever any signal is detected:-

  • 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

The setting will depend on individual preference. If you like to turn the radio on and keeping it loud, definitely go for ‘Standard.’ My advice is to test both Standard and Mild and then decide your own preference. For me, I leave it at ‘Standard’ as the Passport Max is great at filtering out false alerts and doesn’t simply sound all the time.

Cruise Alert

If you are travelling below certain speed, you have the option to modify the alert tone. By doing so, you’ll know instantly the speed you are travelling whenever an alert is heard below that set speed. The default setting is 20mph.

Voice Alert

Whenever a signal is detected, the voice alert will alert you on the type of signals being detected. You also have the option to turn this feature off. My advice is to keep it on as you do not need to take your eyes off from the road and look at the display whenever a signal is detected.

You can also adjust the audio level to your preferred level by simply pressing and hold the VOLUME button.


When an alert is heard, you can manually disable the voice by simply pressing the MUTE button. Once the signal is passed, the mute will be disabled and the audio will be activated again when new signal is detected.

Alternatively, you can also press the MUTE button located on the SmartCord instead of reaching your hand for the Passport Max. This is good to avoid losing control of the vehicle when you reach for the MUTE button.


When a signal has been detected and the alert audio activated, the AutoMute will automatically reduce the volume by more than 50% to reduce the noise. This is great as you’ll be alerted when the signal is first detected and the volume is then kept down to reduce the noise.


If the volume of an alert tone has been reduced and a new higher-priority signal is detected, the Passport Max is intelligent enough to alert you on this new threat and then the volume will be automatically lower down to the AutoMute level.

Escort Passport Max Review – Signal Strength Meter

Escort Passport Max radar and laser detector review


Whenever a signal is detected, the Passport Max will display the strength of the signal and there are 3 different signal strength setting you can choose from – Standard, SpecDisplay and ExpertMeter

Standard – The Standard display is the default setting and under this setting, whenever a signal is detected, the Passport Max will display the type of band plus a bar graph which indicate the strength of the signal.

If a laser signal has been detected, the display will show ‘Laser’ and if multiple signals are detected, the Passport Max is intelligent enough to show the most important threat and will filter out the less important signal.

SpecDisplay – Under the SpecDisplay, when a signal is detected, it will display the actual numeric radar frequency. If you are clueless about these numbers, stick to the standard display.


The SpecDisplay is meant for advance users who are familiar with these numeric frequency but even they also may have problem recognizing the number they see.

ExpertMeter – The ExpertMeter as the name indicates is only for advanced users.

Under this setting, the Passport Max will track up to 4 signals simultaneously. It will show each signal along with a bar graph of its strength.

The ExpertMeter will be able to spot any change in your normal driving environment i.e

a traffic radar unit being operated in an area where there are normally other signals present).

Under the ExpertMeter, instead of seeing the normal display, what you’ll see is word ‘Caution’ when signal is detected when you are driving below the set Cruise Alert. On the other hand, the word ‘Slow Down’ will be seen if you are travelling above the set Cruise Alert.

Traffic Flow Monitoring Systems / Traffic Sensor Rejection (TSR)

More and more states are increasing using the traffic flow monitoring system (TSR) to monitor traffic on the road. How this work is by shooting the K band signals from radar installed on poles to measure the traffic flow.

For most radar detectors, this resulted in massive false alerts as this system uses X and K band signals. However, for the Passport Max, this is not a problem as the device intelligently sorts, ranks and rejects this types of false alarms automatically.

The end result is peace of mind and protection from excessive false alerts.

User Mode

The user mode is where you can do all the settings you prefer and there are two user modes namely Novice and Advanced.

Novice – In this mode, you are limited to customize units (English or metric) and display color only; everything is at default setting.

Advanced – In this mode, you can set the customize setting according to your choice.

My advice is to stick to the default setting until you are familiar with the device and then slowly customize the settings to your preference. For example, after driving around for some time and you notice that your area does not have any X-band, you can customize the setting to Auto No X. Be slow and take your time to learn all the features before you twist and turn with all the settings.

Clearing the Database

Sometime you may want to clear the database and start all over again. For example, you may want to get rid of the marked locations and the DEFENDER database data; all these can be done to clear the database and you are back to the factory settings.

Mounting Tips 

Sticky Cup

The best place to mount the Escort Passport Max is to the center of the windshield. When mounting the device, you need to make sure a clear view of road ahead and sky above to ensure that the detection and GPS capability is not affected. Do avoid placing the device behind or underneath the windshield wipers and heavily tinted areas. 


The SmartCord is something exclusive form Escort. On the SmartCord, you have the power-on indicator, an alert light to indicate radar detection plus a MUTE button to mute out the alert tone manually.

If you have set to Dark mode, you can use the alert light in the SmartCord for visual alerts. This is great for discreet night driving as other will not know you are using a radar detector.

Auto Power

The Auto Power mode on Passport Max enables the device to be shut-off automatically after a set period of time to save your battery power. This is especially useful if your vehicle has a constant-power ignition.


1.3″ H x 3.2″ W x 5.3″ L.

What’s in the Box?

Besides the radar detector, other components that are included are -soft-sided travel case, new “Sticky Cup” windshield mount, 12-volt Combo SmartCord, and quick reference guide, radar detector guide.

Is Radar Detector 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.

Upgraded Version – Passport Max 2

An upgraded of the Passport Max (Passport Max 2) has been released and you can read the full reviews Here.

Escort Passport Max Review – Customer Review

At the time of this writing, the rating for the Escort Passport Max is 3.5 out of 5 stars. The ratings are quite evenly spread out – some are very satisfied with the device while some have complaints i.e. defective unit, and issues with suction cup.


  • Easy usage – Can be used right out of the box
  • High definition radar performance
  • Long detection range – About 1.5 to 2 miles provided nothing is blocking the signal
  • Fast and accurate detection with the Digital Signal Processing (DSP_
  • Multi-color OLED display
  • Ability to set radar sensitivity
  • TrueLock to lock out false alerts
  • Mak locations to new alerts
  • AutoLearn to filter out false alerts
  • DEFENDER database for red light and speed cameras
  • Escort Live for instant alerts on new speed traps
  • Clear alert tone
  • SmartCord for easy reach
  • Ability to set different options to your preferences
  • Speed alert – To be alerted when you drive above certain speed
  • 1 year warranty


  • Learning curve – Need time to understand and learn all the features
  • Need to subscribe to the DEFENDER database
  • Pricey but will be paid for eventually with all the saves
  • Problematic suction cup
  • The mounting can only be adjusted up and down rather in all directions
  • Pricey but will be paid for eventually with a couple saves
  • The USB A / Mini B cable is not included
  • No stealth mode – The radar detector detectors used by the law enforcement officer will be able to detect your detector
  • Not 100% fool proof that you will not get a ticket. If a police is following behind you and you are speeding, you are busted. Also if the Instant-On laser is aimed at you, most probably you’ll get the ticket as well.
  • You can’t see the markings on the detector and hence will need to be familiar with these buttons before you know which button to press.


Here is our conclusion on the Escort Passport Max review. If you are using the radar detector to avoid speed traps, the Passport Max is more than enough to do the work; additionally it also helps you to be more discipline in your drive.

The GPS system and the Escort Live app is great for real-time updates and but will need subscription. Well, compared with the ticket you will get, the cost is really nothing and with just a couple of saves, the device and all this fee will be paid for automatically.

If you are in for a newer and more advanced version, check out the Passport Max 2. If you have a lower budget but still want the GPS function, go for the Escort Passport 9500ix. Although the feature and performance of the Escort Passport 9500ix is not as advance as the Passport Max, it is still an excellent radar detector. If you do not want the GPS function, then the Escort Passport 8500 X50 will be the right choice.

End of Escort Passport Max review.

Follow the link below to get the current price:-

Escort Passport Max review





Escort Passport Max specs

Click to enlarge image













Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.