Cobra ESD7570 Radar and Laser Detector Review

Cobra ESD7570 Radar and Laser Detector Review

At some time in your life, you are bound to exceed the speed limit. It happens to everyone from time to time. It’s not intentional. It’s just human nature. Especially when we drive the same routes all the time. It’s not that you aren’t paying attention. Maybe you don’t know the posted speed limit. Maybe you aren’t aware you are traveling 5 or 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. You would drive the speed limit if you simply had something to remind you to pay closer attention. But you want something simple-to-use that won’t distract you while driving. You need a basic radar detector.

Many of the detectors on the market today are very technologically advanced and highly configurable. They have GPS-guided features that warn of known radar threats in advance and help lower the number of false alerts. Along with these advanced features and custom configuration comes a higher price tag, more confusing setup and operation, and more time required to become familiar with its features.

If you are looking for a simple-to-use radar detector without all the bells and whistles, take a look at the ESD7570 radar and laser detector from Cobra which is discussed in greater detail in this review.

Description

The Cobra ESD7570 is an affordable, no-frills, compact radar and laser detector that can detect all frequencies of radar and laser in use today by law enforcement officers to monitor speed. In addition, it can alert you to the presence of VG-2 and Spectre I radar detector detectors (RDD), which is helpful when using detectors in areas where their use is illegal such as the state of Virginia and Washington, DC.

Important Features of the Cobra ESD7570

Detects X, K, Ka, and Laser

The X-band radar is rarely used by police due to how crowded and conflicted the frequency has become. X-band radar is most commonly found in automatic door openers, security systems, and microwave towers. X-band alerts still should be taken seriously especially when driving on the highway until its source can be determined.

The K-band is now becoming less used by law enforcement, too. K-band radar signals also can be emitted by automatic door openers and motion sensors. Other radar detectors from Cobra and Whistler can be a source of K-band radar as well. The new Adaptive Cruise Control found on Ford, GM, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, and others also use K-band radar and can cause false alerts.

Ka-band radar is now the most commonly used speed enforcement radar used by police today. This type of radar also includes Instant-On where the police radar gun emits a short burst of radar. This burst is less than one half second and is meant to quickly determine a vehicles speed before a radar detector can alert the driver. Although Ka radar is also used for red light and traffic camera systems, the ESD7570 does not detect these signals.

Ka alerts are the most serious and you should adjust your speed immediately if needed. Often once Ka radar has been detected, it is too late for the driver to avoid being pulled over. Radar detectors at least give the driver a chance to avoid detection if the Ka radar signal reflects off of over vehicles and surfaces.

360 Degree Laser Detection

The LaserEye on the ESD7570 can detect the use of laser (actually called LIDAR) from any angle. Police laser guns can only determine your speed by directly hitting the front or rear of your vehicle. The 360 degree protection will detect laser which can often bounce off of other vehicles and nearby surfaces. The reflected laser might give you a little extra time to make any necessary speed adjustments. Laser only needs to hit the front or rear of a vehicle for 0.2 seconds before getting an accurate speed reading. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough time to react before the police have you spotted.

UltraBright data display

The data display provides easy recognition of each type of radar threat detected through the use of band identification icons. The icons are a green X/K for X and K band; a red Ka for Ka band; an orange L for laser; and a yellow V/S for VG-2 detection and Safety Alerts.

Under the identification icons is a strength meter consisting of three separate level indicators. These are a 1-bar, which doubles as the power indicator; a 3-bar, and a 5-bar. A signal strength of two is displayed by showing the power on/1-bar along with a blinking 3-bar icon. A signal strength of 4 is displayed by lighting the 1-bar and 3-bar icons along with a blinking 5-bar icon. These level indicators only show signal strength and cannot display the direction of the signal being detected.

City and Highway Mode

The ESD7570 has two different sensitivity settings. Upon powering up, the radar detector is set to Highway mode by default. Sensitivity is set at its highest level and all alerts will be presented immediately upon detecting a threatening signal.

When driving on city streets, especially near a shopping center, you may find it helpful to switch to city mode. Switching to city mode will delay the alert caused by X-band radar. A single beep will be generated when the X-band signal is first detected but the actual alert will be delayed to allow the vehicle to pass the possible false signal.

Manual and Auto Muting of alerts

While an alert is sounding, press and release the MUTE button to mute the audio alert. Pressing the MUTE button again during an alert will turn the audio alert on again. The ESD7570 also has Auto Mute which automatically turns down the volume of the audio alert after it has been occurring for four seconds. By default this feature is turned on. Press and release the MUTE button while no alert is sounding to turn off Auto Mute. One beep will be heard to confirm the change. Press and release MUTE again while no alert is sounding to turn on Auto Mute. Auto Mute On is confirmed by two beeps. There are no visual queues that the detector is muted or for Auto Mute being on or off. While muted, the visual alert on the data display will still be visible unless the radar detector is in dark mode.

Performance

The Cobra ESD7570 is a 9-band performance radar/laser detector that is able to detect eight bands of radar signals along with LIDAR (laser) within the frequency ranges described below:

Band Frequencies 9 Band Distribution
X Band 10.475 to 10.575 Giga Hertz (GHz) Band 1
K Band 24.0 to 24.25 GHz Band 2
Safety Alert Traffic Warning System 24.060 to 24.080 GHz Band 3
Safety Alert Traffic Warning System 24.100 to 24.120 GHZ Band 4
Safety Alert Traffic Warning System 24.180 to 24.200 GHz Band 5
Safety Alert Traffic Warning System 24.220 to 24.240 GHz Band 6
Ka Band 33.4 to 36.0 GHz Band 7
VG-2 11.250 to 11.750 GHz Band 8
Laser 860 to 960 Nanometers Band 9

When installing the Cobra ESD7570, It’s best to mount it either on the windshield or on the dash. The ESD7570 should have a clear, level view out the front and rear window so it has the best chance at detecting radar signals from front or back. Since this is also a laser detector, it should be mounted as low as possible to give it the best chance at detecting laser. It is also best to mount the ESD7570 in the center of the dash or windshield with it pointing straight forward.

The Cobra comes with a windshield mount that uses suction-cups to attach to the windshield. The bracket must first be bent before it is inserted into the ESD7570. This allows the bracket to match the angle of windshield and enable the radar detector to be mounted level with the road surface. Unfortunately, there is no quick release on the windshield mounting bracket.

The installation kit also includes Velcro mounting strips. One half of the Velcro is stuck to the dash and other half is affixed to the bottom of the radar detector. This is a good option for those who want to quickly remove the radar detector to use it in another vehicle or to avoid it’s possible theft. Dash-mounting may also put the radar detector closer to the driver and make it easier to operate.

Also included in the installation kit is a coiled power cord. It plugs into a standard 12 volt DC cigarette lighter receptacle or power port found on most newer cars. The cord is coiled and stretches to over four feet if needed. The coiled cord is less likely to tangle but when stretched to its limits tends to put more stress on connectors due to the tension of the coils. There is an optional Cobra straight power cord available which allows for a more professional and cleaner looking installation. The straight cord is approximately 6 feet in length.

After installation, one of the first things you will notice about the ESD7570 is that the power switch is located on the left side on a wheel mechanism instead of a push button. Turning the wheel clockwise (towards the windshield) turns the unit on. When the radar detector is on, the 1-bar icon in the lower left corner of the display will light and 3 beeps will sound.

The volume is adjusted using the same wheel. Turn up the volume by turning the wheel towards the windshield. Turn the volume down by turning the wheel towards you. The volume wheel controls the volume for all sounds coming from the detector. There are no visual or audio queues when the volume is adjusted. The volume level will be automatically lowered after an alert has sounded for 4 seconds if Auto Mute is enabled. This is the default setting.

Each radar and laser alert has its own distinct sound and display icon. For X, K, and Ka radar alerts, each distinct tone will repeat faster as the vehicle approaches the radar source. It is important to recognize the tones and understand how they work in order to fully take advantage of the warnings.

When an alert tone sounds, an indicator icon will also light along with the signal strength. When the tone is heard, repeats slowly, and then speeds up rapidly; the driver should immediately take notice since this is probably police radar being used. If the Ka icon is lit, this is not a false alarm. You are being targeted by some form of police radar which could include Instant-On.

Instant-On is a form of Ka-band radar which is sent out in a quick pulse. The short burst is usually less than 0.5 seconds which isn’t enough time for many radar detectors to issue an alert. Instant-On is hard to avoid. The best you can hope for is that your radar detector sensed a reflected signal. When Instant-On is used to measure your speed and you are speeding, the police will ticket you.

Hearing a tone only once or hearing a tone that repeats slowly for a short period of time is most likely just a false alarm. This type of alert is common for X radar and sometimes K radar. The X/K indicator icon will light. Caution is the best course of action anyway until the source can be positively identified as a threat.

It is also important to note that when the sound for a laser alert is heard and the L icon lights, this is serious. Laser alerts are never false alarms. Laser has probably already hit your vehicle. Immediate action should be taken to adjust speed as necessary. Hopefully at this point, you encountered laser that bounced off of another vehicle and you weren’t the target. The laser device will be in front of you or behind you. Laser and radar do not work from the side. However, with 360 degree protection, laser coming from the side can alert you to LIDAR usage nearby.

When in highway mode it is estimated that the Cobra ESD7570 has a range of ¼ to ½ mile for detecting radar. City mode significantly decreases the range and sensitivity of the radar detector down to several blocks to help reduce the amount of false alarms. The effective range of the radar detector can also be lessened by hills, bridges, curves, and uneven terrain. Even under perfect conditions, a police car following behind you can simply use their speedometer to clock your speed without using radar or laser.

Weather conditions will not effect the Cobra’s ability to detect radar and laser. However, radar and laser are much less effective during rain, snow, and fog. The radar signal is scattered by particles of water in the air and produces a much weaker signal by the time it is reflected back to the police car. Laser is also effected by dust and smoke and gives police inaccurate readings making it much harder to determine a vehicle’s true speed.

It is important to note that during all these conditions, drivers are reminded to slow down and drive cautiously. Many officers do not like to pull over a vehicle during bad weather conditions since it puts them, the driver, and other motorists at risk of causing an accident. But excessive speed and reckless driving under any condition will get you stopped.

Moving on, the ultraBright data display can be set to one of three brightness levels. Those are bright, dim, and dark. Pressing the DIM button repeatedly will cycle through the settings. In dark mode the display will be off but the power indicator will blink slowly showing the radar detector is on. By default, the brightness is set to bright right out of the box. Some drivers still report the data display is hard to see during the day especially in direct sunlight.

Filtering

Since this is a basic radar and laser detector it isn’t very sophisticated. Yet it does have some filtering capability to help prevent false alarms. This detector filters out false signals by lowering the radar detector’s sensitivity to X-band radar. The ESD7570 simply delays alerting to low signal strength X-band radar sources which allows the vehicle to pass them without bothering the driver. False alerts can be caused by automatic door openers at supermarkets, motion sensors used in security systems, and even microwave towers nearby.

To help filter out false alerts, simply place the ESD7570 in City Mode, press and release the CITY button on top of the radar detector. The C icon will light along with a single beep sound being emitted. Each time the ESD7570 is powered on, city mode is turned off and must be activated by the driver.

When not in city mode, the ESD7570 is in highway mode. Highway mode can be verified by the absence of the C icon being lit on the data display. If the C icon is lit, simply press and release the CITY button. The C icon will go out and two beeps will be heard to indicate the setting has been changed. Highway mode sets detection at maximum levels and will allow all alerts to be issued immediately.

Further filtering can occur by turning off alerts for specific radar bands. To turn off X-band radar detection, press and hold DIM and MUTE for four seconds. The X/K icon will flash once and one beep will be heard indicating the X-band alert is now off. To turn on X-band alerts once again press and hold DIM and MUTE for four seconds. The X/K icon will flash twice along with two beeps.

The same procedure is used for turning off K and Ka alerts. To toggle K-band alerts on and off, press and hold MUTE and CITY for four seconds. Although not recommended, Ka alerts can be turned off too. To toggle Ka alerts on and off, press and hold DIM and CITY for four seconds.

Laser alerts cannot be silenced since there are no sources of false LIDAR signals.

Additional features

The Cobra ESD7570 has a few extra feature to discuss. First, it is immune to Spectre I and VG-2 Radar Detector Detectors (RDD) used by police. Officers cannot tell the Cobra is in use when using VG-2 and Spectre I technology. However, these technologies were developed in the early 2000’s and not the current RDD tech. The police are not able to pinpoint the exact vehicle which has a detector when there are many vehicles traveling close together.

Since the ESD7570 is undetectable by police using VG-2 RDD, the VG-2 alert is disabled by default. To turn on VG-2 alerts, press and hold the DIM button for four seconds. To verify VG-2 alerts are now on, the V/S icon will flash once and a single beep will be sounded. Turning off VG-2 alerts is just as easy. Simply press and hold DIM for four seconds. This is followed by V/S flashing twice and then turning off. Plus two beeps will be heard.

Radar detectors cannot be used in any commercial vehicle, in the state of Virginia, or in the District of Columbia. It is more common for RDD technology to be used in these areas to detect drivers who are also breaking the law by using a radar detector. In other areas where the use of radar detectors is legal for non-commercial drivers, radar detectors with this capability aren’t very useful.

Another feature of the Cobra ESD7570 is it can alert to safety signals transmitted by emergency vehicles. Both the Safety Alert and the Traffic warning system were developed to help avoid accidents by giving drivers advanced warning that emergency vehicles and personnel are operating in the area ahead. Drivers should be on the lookout for emergency vehicles and possibly emergency personnel standing on the roadway.

These systems use portions of the K band to transmit a coded signal which is received and translated into a text or voice alert on some radar detectors. The ESD7570 will simply light the V/S indicator icon and sound an audible alert. The ESD7570 is able to distinguish between a safety alert and a K-band radar source. Each alert has a different sound and separate icons will light on the data display. This feature is turned on by default and cannot be disabled.

Currently both the Safety Alert and the Traffic Warning System are not in widespread use. Emergency vehicles must be equipped with a transmitter that sends out the encoded microwave message. These safety alerts are only detectable when the emergency vehicle is transmitting a signal. Otherwise, drivers will not be alerted and should remain alert whenever sirens and flashing lights are nearby. As costs come down for the transmitters, more and more law enforcement agencies may adopt one of these safety systems.

Accessories

The standard package consists of ESD7570 Radar Detector, Suction-Cup Mount Windshield Bracket Kit, Velcro dash mount kit, Coiled Power Cord, and documentation. Optional accessories such as straight 12V DC power cord, duel port power adapter, and hard-wired power adapter kit can be purchased separately.

Dimensions and Weight

• Width: 2.8”
• Height: 3.9”
• Length: 1.8”
• Weight: 4.3 oz

Pros

• Price
• Easy to install and configure
• 360-Degree protection from LIDAR
• Able to mute the alert manually and automatically
• Adjustable brightness and volume controls
• Spectre I and VG-2 undetectable
• VG-2 surveillance alert
• Safety alerts
• City and highway mode

Cons

• Does not indicate the direction of the source of signal
• The radar detector detector feature is not really helpful as it cannot detect Spectre Mk IV which is currently in use.
• Generates more false alerts due to lack of sophisticated technology
• Does not have a quick release bracket
• Does not detect red light cameras or fixed-position speed monitoring devices

Consumer Ratings for Cobra ESD7570

It is important to keep in mind, this is not a top-shelf detector. It is not expected to have the features and abilities found on more expensive models. However, it still is receiving high marks from consumers. In a recent check of online retailers, almost half of those who reviewed the Cobra ESD7570 gave it a 5-star rating. Among the most popular reasons for giving this radar detector such high marks is it’s easy to use and it does the job well enough to prevent drivers from being ticketed.

Some reviewers giving the ESD7570 low ratings have stated the detector has poor range and does not alert the driver in time to prevent the police from targeting their vehicle. There are many circumstances that could lead to someone receiving a ticket without the detector ever sounding an alert. One important factor is the police must be actively using radar at the time. Or the laser signal must be seen by the LaserEye in the ESD7570. The police are trained to aim laser low on a vehicle to help prevent it from being detected by a windshield-mounted radar and laser detector

Cobra ESD7570 Price

The Cobra ESD7570 usually sells from $40 to $60 both online and in brick and mortar retail outlets. On average, most retailers generally sell the ESD7570 for under $50. This is a real good deal for a solid performer that can easily save a driver thousands of dollars over several years after receiving just one ticket. Many drivers do not want a complicated detector with a learning curve. These people simply want to plug in their radar detector and go – knowing they are protected.

Conclusion

Many drivers, especially older ones, don’t want a complicated piece of equipment to fiddle with while they are driving. Others don’t want to spend a ton of money on something they feel only will come in handy every once in a while. For those drivers, the Cobra ESD7570 just might be the perfect radar/laser detector for them. It’s easy to install and setup. It’s simple to use while driving since it has only the basic buttons and functions. However, the basics will provide owners all the protection they need from all bands of police radar and laser. With the added traffic safety alerts, the driver is well equipped to stay safe and avoid costly tickets. Thus making this a very worthwhile purchase.

Cobra ESD7570 Radar and Laser Detector

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