The Beltronics Pro 500 is a long-range dash mount GPS based radar detector that includes a database, which includes fixed position red light cameras and speed cameras (photo radar).
Last Updated – 08/13/2011
Beltronics Pro 500 Radar Detector Review video by Radar Roy
Top Reasons to Consider the Beltronics Pro 500 Radar Detector
Beat those fixed Photo Enforcement Camera: Photo enforcement cameras are becoming more prevalent each day snapping your photo for going a few miles over the speed limit and then mailing you an expensive citation. Beltronics/Escort has one of the most complete and accurate databases of known fixed camera locations for North America. Each Bel Pro 500 radar detector’s database is loaded with thousands of these camera locations programmed into its system, warning you in advance as you approach one of these photo enforcement cameras. You can even program your own “hot spots” using the Mark Location feature. Programming updates to your Bel Pro 500 radar detector is fast and easy online through their online radar detector tools program.
Download Your Updates Online: Firmware updates are developed by all radar detector manufactures on a regular basis to address new and emerging technologies from the police radar gun manufactures. Previously you had to pay to mail it back to the manufacture to have these updates installed and wait weeks to get it back. The Beltronics Pro 500 is web ready simply connect your detector to your PC, log into Beltronics website and download and install the latest firmware and database updates in minutes. (Annual $19.95 subscription required)
Variable Speed Sensitivity: Most of the other radar detectors from other manufactures have two sensitivity settings to combat false alerts; Highway and City. The premise is when you set your radar detector to city; the radar detector is less sensitive and less prone to false alerts. The problem with this is if you forget to set your radar detector back to Highway mode when on the Interstate your detector may not have the range or sensitivity to pick up that patrolman around the corner and now you’re caught. Bel’s solution to this dilemma is their GPS based Variable Speed Sensitivity technology. The GPS inside of the Bel Pro 500 senses how fast you are driving and adjusts the sensitivity accordingly and it never forgets.
Easy Programming: The Bel Pro 500 is a snap in programming and set-up for its advanced features such as enabling POP radar or disabling X band. The Beltronics Pro 500 is pre-programed and ready to go out of the box, however power users may want to set the unit up to complement their own driving experience and personal preference. The easy to use Bel Pro 500 preferences menu allows you to do this in a snap. Don’t drive in an area where X band is used, turn it off; rather use the Expert Meter display, turn it on. It is that easy.
Self Adjusting AutoVolume: Nothing is more infuriating than having a radar detector go off and not hear it as it alerts you to a speed trap ahead. The Bel Pro 500 solves this problem by automatically adjusting the volume based upon the ambient noise surrounding you inside your vehicle ensuring that you will hear it even if you have your radio turned up or if you’re having a conversion with your passengers.
Escort Live Compatible: The Beltronics Pro 500 radar detector is Escort Live compatible allowing you to join a community of other radar detector users nationwide sharing real time speed alerts and threats as you drive.
Potential Issues with the Bel Pro 500 Radar Detector
The Beltronics Pro 500 radar detector is a corded unit requiring a 12-volt power source. The Pro 500 does come with a cigarette lighter power cord, however we do not feel that this is the best option. To address this issue consider purchasing either the Direct Wire cord or the Direct Wire SmartCord and watch my YouTube video here on how to direct wire your radar detector.
As the Bel Pro 500 is a dash mounted radar detector I recommend that you remove it from your windshield if you park for extended periods as it is a welcome invitation for some crack head to break into your car and steal it. Each week I am contacted by one of my followers telling me that they wish they would have headed my advice as now they are in the market for a replacement. Another issue with leaving your detector on the windshield emerges during the hot summer months. When parked your car becomes a green house and temperatures inside your car can easily exceed 150 degrees as the sun bakes the sensitive electronic components inside your radar detector (or GPS). Take your radar detector or any other electronic device off your dash and store them in your glove box or under the seat.
The Bel Pro 500 is non stealth forget about those claims that radar detectors make about being stealth against the VG2 radar detector, that device hasn’t been used in years! If you are a professional driver (drive a semi truck) or drive in Virginia, Washington DC or other countries or Providences where radar detectors are illegal police use a device called the Spectre to detect if you’re driving with a radar detector in your car. Therefore you need a radar detector that can beat the Spectre. There are only three manufactured today, the Escort Redline, the Escort 9500ci and the Beltronics STI.
My Bottom Line Recommendation for the Bel Pro 500 radar detector
Based upon 20-year career in law enforcement and 15 years in the speed counter measurement industry I would rank the Bel Pro as the #2 dash mounted radar detector made today.
Other radar detectors in this same category that you may also want to consider would be:
The Escort 9500ix, blue LED instead of red. Range and sensitivity is equivalent to the Bel Pro 500.
Escort Redline: I would classify the Redline as best suited for cross country interstate driving as it does not include the GPS photo enforcement database or TrueLock feature for false alerts. However the Redline is Stealth to all radar detector detectors and does have better long range sensitivity.
Valentine One: Larger and heavier case then GX65 and does not include GPS photo enforcement database. Also you cannot download and install new firmware updates online to the Valentine as you can with the Escort 9500ix or Bel Pro 500.
My review of the Bel Pro 500 is also backed up by literally thousands of other reviews and feedback from automotive publications and happy Escort and Beltronics users that you will find online, a few of which are published at the end of this article.
If you support my quest as being an independent reviewer of the radar detector industry and wish to support me in my journey, please do me one favor, consider purchasing it at Radarbusters.com. As an affiliate and I earn a commission from them if you do make a purchase from them utilizing the links within this website that offsets my costs and time and supports my cause.
If you have any further comments or suggestions please contact me or use the comment box at the bottom of this article.
Also if you found this article helpful in anyway please consider pressing the Facebook like button and sharing it with your friends.