28 Responses to “Escort 8500 x50 Radar Detector Review”

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  1. Radar Roys Rating
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    I ordered the Passport X50 from Amazon to save the $18 shipping Escort Radar was charging. … my detector worked for maybe thirty minutes. Escort Radar told me “if you leave it plugged into the cigarette lighter over night, this has been found to cause problems.” Well my lighter power goes off when I turn off the ignition, so this doesn’t apply. Escort Radar also told me that “excessive heat” has been causing them problems. Now we have had a few days of 100° heat, and I’m sure the car gets hotter parked in the sun, but the design engineers should have accounted for these conditions plus some margin when you design something that is supposed to work in a car. It gets a lot hotter in other parts of the country. There are no warnings in the manual about not using it above 90° or leaving it off in a hot car. You wouldn’t design a ski that doesn’t work below 35°, would you??? The most troubling part of my conversation with Escort Radar service department was they told me Amazon is not an authorized reseller, and they have no idea where they are getting the units from. Furthermore, they will not honor any warranty nor will they ever repair the unit, not even for money.

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    Feedback: 18 positive, 3 negative
    • T. E. New

      Unless I’m mistaken Amazon is only the forum through which the item was purchased but not the actual seller. Check your statement on your item and the seller may be listed and they may be authorized by the mfg. of the product.

      Good Luck.

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      Feedback: 6 positive
      • "Radar" Roy Reyer

        If the company is on Bel’s/Escort’s approved dealer list yes, as the purchase is made through the dealers website. However as most Amazon dealers are NOT on their list you are still at risk as this is documented in their MAP policy and in their warranty manual.

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        Feedback: 4 positive
        • jmh

          I to have had 2 different units from best buy. Escort has the worst customer service I have ever dealt with. Several e-mails and lots of phone calls at less than 1000′ of warning that doesn’t cut it. I have been using Escort products for 20 years thinking about switching to Valentine if I can get my money back from Best Buy.

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          Feedback: 7 positive, 1 negative
          • "Radar" Roy Reyer

            @jmb Explain to me the problems that you had with the unit and customer service if you could, I’ll see if we can resolve your issues

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          • jmh

            I purchased the 8500 from Best Buy Sept 2010 returned it to best BB prob in Nov and received another new unit. On Dec 24 2010 I sent an email to their support group explaining the problem with the 8500 and got a return email form Escort on the 29th. I finally got around to calling back to Escort when I did the gentleman I talked with did not want to hear what i was trying to say about the email that I received back form customer support, he said he didn’t have to listen to what I had to say and put me back in que. I waited till another person took my call and she was just as rude as he was so I got frustrated and hung up and this is where I am now. The problem with the 8500 is there is hardly any warning. When I get a warning the 8500 never starts with a warning on the first warning light or bar, it is on the 3rd. My old Escort Passport 2600 which has lots of issues is the reason I bought the 8500 will still out perform the 8500 which is sad. The primary vehicle is an Outback sport, I switched it to 4 different cars and trucks so I don’t think there is a windshield issue. I travel a lot and drive all day so i depend on my radar detector but this one is in the hard case till i figure out what to do with it. The 8500 has great reviews but it hasn’t lived up to my expectations.

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            Feedback: 5 positive, 1 negative
          • "Radar" Roy Reyer

            @jmh I doubt that you got two lemons, explain to me the nature of the alerts. How far away were you from the officer when the detector alerted, how strong was the signal, what radar band activated, did the signal increase when you passed the officer.

            The 8500 is one of the best units on the market and I would like to figure out why it isn’t working to your expectations
            Cannot speak for their support, but I will pass your comments on to Escort

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            Feedback: 7 positive
          • ft

            Thanks All… won’t be buying a Bel/Escort product! Already had the 8500 x50 in my cart, glad I read the reviews first. Still buying through radar roy’s site but will instead be buying a Whistler XTR-690SE. I’m not a speed demon but still get the occasional 10+ over the limit ticket. Bel/Escort – there is no excuse for poor customer service!

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            Feedback: 2 positive, 1 negative
        • jmh

          Both Ka and K have never had an alert over quarter mile when I am on a really long stretch of highway and no hills. Last alert was Ka, came around a small turn and saw the officer, he had someone pulled over so I know it wasn’t Instant on or pop. When the detector gave it’s first warning it started on the 3rd bar not the 1st. It does get stronger when I get closer it almost seems to work better from behind. I drive alot in 5 different states and nothing changes.I hate to give up on them have been with them since Cincinnati microwave. I appreciate your help.

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          Feedback: 1 positive
          • "Radar" Roy Reyer

            Well here is our 1st clue, “it seemed that the detector worked better from behind”

            Radar is directional, like a flashlight. So if the officer had someone pulled over with the antenna pointing toward the front of his car, you would not receive any signal till you were right up on it. If the signal increased after you passed, this would confirm that the officers gun was pointing forward, not to the rear.

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            Feedback: 1 positive, 1 negative
          • jmh

            No it was in the windshield, because I’ve had so many issues with this unit I try to see where the radar was coming from. Six other Escorts and this is the only model I’ve had problems with. I appreciate your help anyway, you have tried to be more help than Escort support. Hopefully BB will give my money back.

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  2. Jared
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    I have owned my Escort Passport 8500 x50 for about 5 years now. I love it!! It is life saver. It has played a paramount role in preventing me from getting hundreds of tickets, I have a heavy food and enjoy speed. It works great around blind corners and over hills. The only problem I had with it was solved by unplugging it and plugging it back in a couple of times. I mount mine as low as possible in the center of my windshield as to allow it to see behind me. The long range sensitivity is awesome! I have detected police radar (Ka band) from up to 9 miles before. I can see the police before they see me.

    I recommend pairing this product with VEIL stealth paint.

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    Feedback: 6 positive
  3. Sameh Hozayen
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    I have purchased a 8500 x50 and I am very delighted with this speech that I heard from you. and I wish God to be real, did not use the device until now .. I ask you to give me some experience and feedback process with the use of this device … with my thanks and appreciation to you

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    • "Radar" Roy Reyer

      If you have an opportunity download the buyers guide, there are a ton of tips in that
      Drive safe and let me know if you have any specific questions or concerns with the device

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      Feedback: 2 positive, 1 negative
  4. Leopold 'butters' Stotch
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    I have had an 8500 X50 since 2005 and not only has it paid for itself but it has almost paid for my vehicle. There have been 3 instances that I KNOW this thing save my butt big time. On long trips people see it on my dash then refuse to pass me. I am also located in VA so I keep it mounted low on the windshield and it still alerts me well in advance. I only take it down on city streets so cops don’t pull alongside while i’m not looking and then see it. I always say “you don’t get a detector so you can speed, you get one to avoid those stupid tickets.” If you ever had to overtake someone, and you get an alert just hold off on the overtake, there may be a cop monitoring your speed as you do so, and that would be a stupid ticket. Thats just one of many instances.

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    Feedback: 2 positive
  5. Phillip
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    Q. How do you compare the 7500S to this 8500 X50?

    7500 has been out of production for awhile, low range and sensitivity

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  6. Bill Neely
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    The power cord has a clip much like a telephone clip. The small plastic clip will break after a short time due to thr heat of being on the windshield. Right before the unit got out of warranty it started flashing “service required”. Tech support said to just reset the unit. This worked for a while but I still got the “service required” flashing across the front of the detector. Now I can not leave it on more than 10 minutes before it shows “service required”. I would not recommend this unit to anyone. Power cord will not stay connected because of poorly made clip. They need to go back to a standard plug.

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    Feedback: 3 positive
    • "Radar" Roy Reyer

      Heat is the #1 killer of all electronic devices and why I recommend in our buyers guide to take your detector off the windshield when parked for extended periods of time. The service required message can be do to several things. The heat issue, basically baking your detector in a hot car, voltage spike or dropping it. The plastic power clip is a RJ74 and you can get one at any Radio Shack. The reason they use this type of jack as there is additional data for external devices that can be passed through the jack

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      Feedback: 6 positive
  7. will the 8500×50 be phased out soon, and lose its resale value ?

    (cannot rate, i will be brand new to radar detectors).

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  8. John Dulin
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    Attention all prospective radar detector buyers!!! I would like to share a quick story about this radar detector. The Passport 8500 X-50 is the fourth radar detector I have owned in as many months. I work at a retailer so I was lucky enough to be able to return and upgrade until I reached the 8500 X-50. The first three I purchased were all Cobras, starting at the $49.99 price point and progressing to $189.99. While all four of the detectors I have owned would pick up everything that can be “thrown” at you on the road what I found was you pay for distance and lack of false alarms. The $49.99 Cobra would pick everything up, but my girlfriend joked with me by saying she could out perform it. While driving on the highway she would occassionally tap me on the shoulder and say “Your radar detector is about to go off” and sure enough 3 to 5 seconds later it would chirp. Bottom line her eyesight could out perform the radar detector. As I moved up the Cobra “ladder” the detection distance improved slightly. I live 45 miles from work and everyday there is a highway patrolman in the center median in the same place using KA band radar. The best Cobra ($189.99) would pick him up at 4 tenths of a mile. The Escort Passport 8500 X-50 picks him up at 3.1 miles! My bottom line recommendation is if you are in the market for a radar detector, and on a budget as I am, you are far better off by saving up the $300 or so for this detector, as your eyes will out perform most all Cobras on the market and the amount of false alerts you get from them will drive you crazy. Also the fuctionality and ease of use with the Passport 8500 X-50 is second to none.

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    Feedback: 1 positive
  9. Patrick

    Q: how does this model compare to the 9500ix?

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  10. r. lawson
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    looking to buy a 8500×50 on sale @ 199.00 at visions canada – is this a good price?

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  11. Radman
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    We own a Valentine 1 and just purchased an Escort X50 for my daughter’s freeway commutes.
    The Escort is a competent detector and the best buy for the money I could find.
    Although there is no way I would trade my V1 for my kids X50. Escorts laser refractory sensitivity is lacking.

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