Which Detector is better, the Escort Redline or the STi Magnum?
If you’re considering purchasing a radar detector and live or frequently drive in the Virginia and Washington DC area, or if you’re a commercial truck driver, you will want to make sure that the detector you select is stealth to the Spectre radar detector detector.
The Spectre is a device used by police that can detect the radio frequency leakage from all portable radar detectors, with the exception of two, the Escort REDLiNE and the Beltronics STi Magnum.
Both of these detectors share many of the exact features and benefits as Escort and Beltronics are the same company and with the exception of some cosmetic, firmware and a slight hardware differences both are essentially the exact same detector.
First lets discuss the overall performance of these two detectors.
Both the Redline and STi Magnum are classified as extreme range detectors leading the pack in long range and off axis performance.
And as an added benefit with the Redline and now with the new 2016 version of the Magnum, you can also segment Ka-band, which enables you to disable certain segments of the Ka band spectrum, which is not used by police.
This will decrease some false alerts on Ka-band, decrease the scanning time, while also increasing the range by as much as 15%.
However there is one downside, which we will go into more detail later, and that is the inability for either of these detectors to block out the K-band anti-collision sensors that are installed in new cars.
Because of this both the Redline and the Magnum are excellent choices for use on the open highway, however in the city you will get an over abundance of K-band false alerts.
Next lets discuss some of the differences between these two detectors, starting with the case.
The STi Magnum case is made of a magnesium alloy while the Redline is made of a rubberized plastic.
Because of this the STi is a bit more durable however it does not dissipate heat as well as the rubberized case of the Redline and as heat is the #1 killer of all electronic components the Redline may be a better investment for the long haul
Then the case design, the Redline has a bottom lip that sticks out from under the display that has the three buttons, while the STi Magnum face is flush with the buttons right under the display.
Because of this the STi Magnum display is a little easier to read if you mount it high on your windshield.
Now lets look under the hood with these to comparison photos.
Both detectors share the same dual front facing antenna called the M3, enabling both detectors to be stealth to a device police use to detect radar detectors called the Spectre.
However there is one slight difference between these two and that is the low noise amplifier on the K and Ka side of the feed horns.
The LNA on the Redline is wire bonded and the LNA on the STi Magnum is packaged.
Because of this the Redline has a slight edge in the long-range performance.
Now here are a few of the differences between the firmware versions of these two detectors.
The STi Magnum uses a male voice alert and the Redline has a female voice alert.
The STi Magnum also has a setting to enable you to hang your radar detector upside down, while the Redline does not.
And the Redline’s Expert Meter Display can display up to 8 simultaneous threats at one time while the Beltronics Threat Display can only display 3.
Now one of the shortcomings of both the STi and Redline is that neither of them are GPS equipped.
Because of this one accessory you may want to consider adding is the Escort Live Interface.
This will then enable your Redline or Magnum to alert you to fixed photo enforcement cameras, police spotted alerts, share real time alerts with other Escort Live users and even block out known false alert locations by the exact location and frequency.
Now again the number one benefit of the Redline and the Magnum is that they are both stealth to the Spectre RDD, however if you never drive in Virginia, the District of Columbia or drive a big rig you really don’t need the stealth capabilities as radar detectors are legal in all the other 49 states for passenger cars.
Because of this there is another detector that you may want to consider and that is the Passport Max 360.
The Passport Max 360 is classified as both a highway and city radar detector, provides full 360 degree protection with front and rear antennas and arrows, has an internal GPS which will alert you to fixed photo enforcement cameras and the ability to lock out known false alert locations.
But most importantly the Max 360 has much better filtering to block out those annoying false alerts caused by the anti-collision sensors installed in new cars today so the result will be a much more quieter and enjoyable ride with comparable performance.