The Escort RedLine EX was among the best performing radar detectors in our tests. It had the longest range and the city performance was equal to the Escort Max 360c, which edged out the RedLine EX for the best overall detector because it offered just a few more features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and directional alerts. But on performance, all three Escort detectors are almost identical. The defining feature of the RedLine EX is the front-facing controls and the red display.
In the highway test, the RedLine EX proved to have the longest range of all the radar detectors, earning an A+ for performance. Only the Valentine One provided a similar range. They were equal in each of the tests, but the RedLine EX had a slightly longer range during the perpendicular test. That said, the difference was so insignificant that it likely wouldn't make a difference in alert time.
The city performance was identical to the Escort Max 360c, receiving an A+ in the tests. Both detectors use the same circuitry, sensitivity settings and set of features. It makes for a balanced ride that was effective at keeping my awareness up without being a noisy addition to my drive.
The one area where the RedLine EX departs from the Max 360c is the display, which is significantly smaller and only features one color. The 360c's multi-color display is easier to read, but there is something to consider about RedLine EX's red only display. Red displays are common among radar detectors. Red light doesn't affect dark-adapted eyes known as the Purkinje effect, which means you can read the display when driving at night and your eyes won't have to adjust to the light like it would with a colorful display.
The RedLine EX received an A for ease of use. In many ways, I preferred the RedLine EX over the 360c, which edged out the EX with the only A+, because the controls are all front-facing. All controls are visible from the driver's seat. They're clearly labeled and I didn't have to memorize the layout of the buttons on the top of the detector, which is how I experienced most detectors. The reason, however, that the Max 360c earned the higher grade was because of the directional arrows which provide spatial awareness to your alerts that few detectors can match.
As with the other Escort detectors, the RedLine EX makes good use of the internal GPS. When turned on, it automatically connects to the satellite and starts tracking your speed. Every sensitivity control, except for highway, automatically adjusts the sensitivity to increase and decrease according to your speed. The faster you drive, the more sensitive the detector is to radar. This means you get fewer alerts when you're driving slowly through a city.
The GPS has an auto-learn feature that helps minimize false alerts. With most GPS radar detectors, you must manually lockout a false alert by marking the location. The RedLine EX's GPS does this for you. It records the GPS coordinates for every alert you receive. When you receive alerts in the same location multiple times, it automatically mutes the alarm. That said, it still provides a visual alert that radar is detected, which is important because it reminds you that even though there's a false alert in the area, that doesn't mean there isn't also a cop.
The alerts on all the Escort detectors I tested are the same. When it detects radar, it beeps loudly for a second, then tells you what type of radar its detected. After that, the alert automatically quiets down to a whisper until you either mute it or it no longer detects radar. This is ideal because it effectively makes you aware of the radar, but it doesn't require you to mute it like most other detectors.
The over-speed alert is the most practical use of GPS. The GPS accurately tracks your speed and when you exceed the speed limit which is set next to the actual driving speed, you get an over-speed alert – a voice simply says "Over-speed." It doesn't beep incessantly until you slow down, but it's a good reminder for heavy footed drivers. You can adjust the speed between 20 and 160 mph. If you're trying to break a speeding habit, this feature is better than any radar alert.
The RedLine EX doesn't have directional alerts like the 360c. That's the biggest downside to this radar detector. Once you’ve used a radar detector with directional alerts, it's difficult to get used to one that doesn't provide that spatial awareness.
The Escort Redline EX was the second-best radar detector in our tests. It had the longest range overall and the city performance is as good as it gets. The ease of use is only bested by the Escort Max 360c. Escort knows how to effectively use GPS, and the EX is no exception. This radar detector helps make you a safer driver.