Cobra XRS9370 Radar and Laser Detector Review

Cobra XRS9370 High Performance Radar/Laser Detector Review

Many drivers want a radar detector. They want the peace of mind that a detector can provide. Responsible drivers don’t want to break the law; but they know occasionally they speed. They may be in a hurry, they get distracted, or they just don’t know the posted speed limit on an unfamiliar road. Whatever, the case, they know a radar detector would come in handy to help avoid receiving a ticket.

Before jumping in head first, it is important to understand which features are most important and how to use them. There are many choices of radar detectors today. Some detectors are very expensive, offer many features, and are complicated to setup and use. These types of detectors aren’t for the average driver. By reading this review of the Cobra XRS9370, you will discover its features and learn important information about radar detectors in general. Armed with this information, the average buyer can make an informed decision and determine if the XRS9370 is the right detector to purchase.

Description

The Cobra XRS9370 is a compact, high-performance radar/laser detector capable of detecting all forms of radar and laser currently used by police throughout the United States and Canada. It has super-fast sweep circuitry which provides extra detection range and the best possible warnings in advance. The sophisticated features and capabilities are simplified by a display and interface that are easy to use and understand. Extreme range can often lead to too many false warnings. The XRS9370 has numerous filtering options that will help reduce false alerts as much as possible while maintaining the highest level of accuracy. In addition, this radar detector provides Safety Alerts which can keep the driver safe and avoid accidents by providing advanced warning about emergency vehicles and road hazards ahead.

Important Specs

Detects 5 types of radar

The XRS9370 can detect five different radar bands (frequency ranges) used for speed enforcement used throughout the U.S. And Canada. Of these five bands, Ka-band radar is the most threatening and hardest to avoid. Before continuing, it is important to note that radar detectors are prohibited from being used on any commercial vehicle; in the U.S. state of Virginia; the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC; and most Canadian provinces.

All modern police radar units now use Ka radar as a means of sensing a vehicle’s speed. This type of radar does not create false alerts. When a radar detector alerts to Ka radar, it is most likely too late to take action to avoid a ticket if that vehicle is being targeted by the police. However, radar signals bounce off other vehicles in the area which then will give the driver time to slow down if necessary to avoid a ticket.

Before Ka, there was K-band radar. K-band radar is still in widespread use by police forces throughout North America. But its use is declining as police departments invest in modern equipment. K-band radar has now become too congested and polluted by non-police radar equipment. Common uses now include automatic door openers, motion detectors for security systems, other radar detectors, and adaptive cruise control found on some newer cars. K-band radar is now producing more false alerts in some areas. But until the source of the radar is known, it is best to treat the threat as real until it can be determined to be false.

The least reliable form of police radar is now X-band radar. The X-band radar was being phased out over 20 years ago but still is occasionally encountered on the highway. X-band radar sources are very common for producing false alerts and are routinely ignored in City mode on many radar detectors including the XRS9370. X-band is most often used for automatic door openers for business, motion sensors for security systems, and communications links for microwave towers.

It is worth mentioning that the Cobra XRS9370 can detect Ku-band radar. This radar band is used mostly in Europe for now. However, the XRS9370 is ready for Ku-band radar detection if that technology becomes popular in the U.S. And Canada. By default Ku radar detection is turned off.

The fifth type of radar detected by the XRS9370 is Instant-On or Pop radar. These types of radar guns use a very short single pulse to measure the speed of a vehicle. This single pulse lasts for less than half of a second and is used to deny radar detectors the opportunity to detect a radar signal. The XRS9370 can receive signals beyond the effective range of the Pop radar gun. In fact this Cobra radar detector is so sensitive, Pop Detect mode should only be used for highway and rural driving situations to avoid false alerts. Pop Detect mode is turned off by default.

360 Degree LaserEye

What we commonly refer to as laser is actually named Lidar. The XRS9370 can detect all 6 types of laser signals. A laser signal must hit the vehicle directly in the front or in the rear to be most effective. If the Laser beam hits a vehicle at too steep of an angle, the Laser gun will produce an error. Laser does not produce false alerts either. When it is detected, hopefully the laser has hit the vehicle at an angle or has bounced off of another vehicle. The Cobra XRS9370 provides 360 laser protection with its LaserEye. Unfortunately, the police are trained to aim for the front or rear license plate. When the laser beam hits the vehicle at a very low spot, sometimes even the XRS9370 can’t detect it.

AutoMute

The volume of tone alerts is automatically turned down after 4 seconds. By default this feature is turned on but can be turned off by pressing the “Mute” button when no alert is occurring.

IntelliMute

The IntelliMute feature uses relative speed sensing auto-mute technology which allows the driver to avoid hearing alerts while moving slowly or stopped altogether. Since the XRS9370 doesn’t have GPS technology which can track speed, it determines movement by sensing the revs (RPMs) of the vehicle’s engine. It is assumed that the vehicle is stopped or moving slowly at lower RPMs. The driver must initially set the minimum revs amount before using this feature.

Performance

Installation

The Cobra XRS9370 is easy to install and setup. Installation only takes a few minutes. The radar detector can be either windshield mounted using the included windshield mount or it can be dash mounted using the included hook and loop (commonly referred to as Velcro®) adhesive pieces. Both mounting methods allow for optimal performance and easy removal of the XRS9370 from the vehicle if needed.

When mounting the XRS9370, it needs to have a clear view out of both the windshield and rear window. The radar detector should be mounted as low as possible to maintain an unobstructed view both forward and backwards. Keep in mind windshield wipers, tinted windows, and heated windows can interfere with reception of both radar and laser signals. So it is best to mount the XRS9370 where it not behind any of these obstructions.

When mounting the Cobra to the windshield, make sure the glass and the suction cups on the windshield mounting bracket are clean. After determining the best place for the radar detector, press the suction cup mount in place. Slide the XRS9370 onto the bracket and check for proper installation. The radar detector should be level, have a clear view out the front and back of the vehicle, and just barely touch the windshield. If the bracket angle needs adjusting, first press the quick release on the radar detector to remove it from the bracket. Then bend the bracket and test for proper fit again. Do not use the XRS9370 as leverage to bend the bracket. This could result in breaking the mounting slot.

Dash mounting is just as easy. Determine the best spot for the XRS9370. Then peel off the paper backing from one half of the hook and loop adhesive pad and stick it to the dash. Next, take the other half of the hook and loop adhesive, remove the paper backing, and affix to the bottom of the Cobra XRS9370. Now place the radar detector on top of the dash. This type of installation also allows for quick removal and possibly will place the radar detector closer to the driver for easier use while driving.

Now plug the small end of the coiled power cord into the power jack at the rear left side of the radar detector. Plug the large end of the coiled cord into a 12 volt cigarette lighter receptacle or power outlet. If no power outlets are free, there is a dual power outlet available from Cobra.

Power/Volume

The Cobra XRS9370 has a rotary style power and volume control knob. To power on, turn the knob clockwise (towards the windshield) and adjust the volume level. Three tones will be emitted indicating the XRS9370 is on. The display will show “h” in the large character display on the right side of the screen. This indicates the radar detector is operating in Highway mode. Note, some vehicles do not maintain power to the 12 volt power outlets when the ignition is turned off. It may be necessary to turn the ignition switch to Run or Accessory before power is supplied to the Cobra XRS9370. Vehicles with an actual cigarette lighter usually supply power to the outlet even with the ignition switch turned to the OFF position.

UltraBright Display

The Cobra XRS9370 has an UltraBright display that can be set to one of three brightness levels. Pressing the “DIM” button will cycle through the three brightness settings of Bright, Dim, and Dark. The factory setting is Bright.

To dim the display, simply press and release the “DIM” button. The display will dim and a single beep will be heard. To set the display to Dark mode, press and release “DIM” again. The one beep will be heard and the display will remain dim. While in Dark mode, no visual alerts will be shown. Alerts will be in the form of audio only. Press and release the “DIM” button one more time to return to Bright mode. The display will return to its brightest setting and two beeps will be emitted.

The UltraBright data display contains 5 radar band icons which depict which signal is currently being detected. The symbols are “X”, “K”, “Ka”, “V”, and “S”. The “X”, “K”, and “Ka” icons are self explanatory and will light indicating the type of radar threat being detected. Ku radar signal detection (turned off by default) will cause both the “X” and “K” icons to light.

Along with the radar type indicator icon, the strength of the radar signal will be shown in the large character section at the right of the display. Signal strength ranges from a week signal of “1” to a strong signal of “5”. When there are no radar alerts, either an “h” (for Highway mode) or a “C” (for City mode) will be show in this display section.

This large character display will also show a “P” when Pop/Instant-On radar is detected. And an “L” will be displayed when any one of six different Laser frequency ranges is detected.

When the “V” icon shines steady, this indicates that VG-2 radar detector detection is being used by police If the “V” icon is blinking, then police are using Spectre I or Spectre IV+ radar detector detection.

When the XRS9370 detects a signal from a Safety Alert transmitter, the “S” icon will shine.

Audio Alerts

Each radar band has its own distinct audio alert. For X, K, Ka, and Ku radar detection, the alert will repeat faster as the signal strength increases indicating the source is becoming closer. There are an additional 11 unique alerts for: six different types of laser; three different Safety Alerts tones for emergency vehicles, road hazards, and trains; and two unique alerts for VG-2 and Spectre I/IV+ detection. In case, you’re counting, that’s 16 unique audio alerts.

When an audio alert has occurred, it can be temporarily muted by using the “MUTE” button. Press and release “MUTE” during an alert and the alert is silenced. Press and release ‘MUTE” once again, and the audio alert will be turned on again. Once the alert has ended, the mute status will be reset and the next alert will be heard as usual.

The alert volume can be automatically turned down after 4 seconds with AutoMute. By default, the AutoMute feature is turned on. To turn off AutoMute, press and release the “MUTE” button when there is no alert occurring. One single tone will be heard. To turn on the AutoMute feature, press and release “MUTE” while no alert is occurring. Two tones will be heard indicating AutoMute is on. There are no visual queues for the status of AutoMute.

Using the Cobra XRS9370

While this radar detector is fairly easy to use, it is best to become familiar with it before driving with it in the car for the first time. There are 16 different alerts that can be heard while the device is in use. Most drivers will only hear a few of them during normal use. The less often heard alerts may be distracting to some drivers. When driving in unfamiliar areas, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings and listen for different alerts.

It is also important to understand that no radar detector is 100% reliable and that you can receive a ticket from the police even while using a radar detector. Radar detectors don’t detect police cars. They detect radar and laser only. This means that the radar or laser device must be turned on and actively being used in order for the Cobra to detect any signals.

The police can drive behind you and clock your vehicle’s speed using their own speedometer to determine if you are speeding. Plus there are other systems in place such as red light cameras, fixed position speed monitoring devices, and mechanical speed sensing devices that will not trigger a radar or laser alert but will allow the police to stop speeders and ticket them.

Filtering

The Cobra XRS9370 is not as sophisticated or as expensive as other radar detectors. It does not utilize GPS to help locate itself in relation to previously known police speed traps, red light cameras, or fix-positioned speed monitoring equipment. It doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth which would enable it to connect to Smartphone apps or interact with the Escort LIVE network. But it does have a number of features that will allow it to effectively help eliminate false alerts as much as possible.

To help reduce the number of false radar alerts, the XRS9370 has two modes of operation – Highway and City. Normally the radar detector will be used in Highway mode which is indicated by an “h” on the right-hand side of the display. In Highway mode, the radar detector is at its maximum sensitivity for detecting all bands of radar, including X-band radar, and will immediately sound an alert when any radar signals is detected regardless of its strength.

However, when driving in urban areas, especially those with supermarkets and other stores, the radar detector may detect sources of X-band radar that are not police radar and provide false alerts. The Cobra XRS9370 can be switched to City mode to help reduce the number of these X-band false alerts by ignoring weak X-band signals. City mode is indicated by a “C” on the right-hand side of the display.

In City mode, the X-band alert is not sounded until the X-band signal strength reaches level 3 (indicated by a “3” in the large character display). However, a single beep will be given when the X-band signal is initially detected. To switch to City mode, simply press and release the “CITY” button. A single beep will be heard and the “C” will appear on the display. To switch to Highway mode, press and release the “CITY” button. Two beeps will be sounded and “h” will appear on the display.

AutoMute can further help with false alerts by automatically turning down the volume of the alert. In the event that a false alert is received, AutoMute will turn down the volume of the alert after 4 seconds. The alert can also be silenced by pressing the “MUTE” button during the alert. Both of these features were outlined above in the Performance section of this review.

Additional muting of alerts can be accomplished through the use of the IntelliMute feature. The Cobra XRS9370 senses the revs (revolutions per minute or RPMs) of the engine to determine if the vehicle is stopped or moving slowly. Low RPMs most likely indicate the vehicle is not moving or is moving very slowly. In this case, any alerts will be muted as to not annoy the driver since speed is not an issue and the alert is not needed. IntelliMute is turned off at the factory and must be activated by the driver before being used.

To turn on IntelliMute, press and release the “iMUTE” button. Two beeps will sound and a dot will appear to the right of the large character section on the display. Pressing the “iMUTE” button once again will turn off the feature. One beep will sound and the dot will disappear from the display.

Once IntelliMute is turned on for the first time, an Activation Point must be set. IntelliMute will mute alerts when the engine revs are below this activation point. When engine RPMs are above the activation point, IntelliMute will not mute alerts since the vehicle is assumed to be moving at an acceptable speed to allow for alerts.

To set the Activation Point, make sure the vehicle is in park, the engine is idling, and IntelliMute is turned on (the dot at the right is lit). Accelerate the engine to between 300 and 600 RPMs above idle. Maintain this RPM level for two seconds. The signal strength meter will flash three bars in succession starting with the lowest horizontal segment. Then the middle horizontal segment will flash. This is followed by the top horizontal segment flashing. Press and release the “iMUTE” button to set this RPM level as the Activation Point. The XRS9370 will sound three beeps and the signal strength meter will flash 3 bars for three times (bottom, middle, and top segments).

When the XRS9370 senses revs below the activation point, the dot will remain lit when IntelliMute is turned on. Once the revs reach the activation point and IntelliMute is on, the dot will flash twice every two seconds. If there is no dot is lit on the right side of the display, IntelliMute is turned off. When there is an “E” displayed in the large character place at the right, IntelliMute has encountered an Error in sensing the vehicle’s engine speed and will not work.

If the XRS9370 is moved to another vehicle, the IntelliMute Activation Point must be set each time it is moved. This could be an annoyance if the XRS9370 is routinely moved among several vehicles.

The XRS9370 also has the ability to enable or disable detection of X, K, Ku, and Pop radar. There is no option to disable Ka radar and laser detection. By default, the X and K bands are enabled along Ku and Pop being disabled. To toggle X-band radar detection off and on, press and hold “DIM” and “MUTE” for 4 seconds. When X-band detection is turned on, the XRS9370 will emit two beeps and the X icon will blink twice. When X-band detection is being toggled off, only one beep is emitted and the X icon will blink once.

Enabling and disabling K-band radar detection is very similar. However, the “DIM” and “CITY” buttons must be pressed and held for 4 seconds. When K-band detection is enabled, the K icon will flash twice and two beeps can be heard. When K radar detection is being turned off, the K icon will blink once and one beep can be heard.

By default Ku radar detection is disabled. Press and hold the “CITY” button for 4 seconds to enable Ku detection. The X and K icons will blink twice and two beeps will be emitted. When toggling Ku radar detection off, the X and K icons will blink once and only one beep will be heard.

By default, Pop Detect mode is turned off because it is very sensitive and may produce necessary false alerts. To turn on the Pop Detect mode, press and hold the “DIM” and “CITY” buttons for 4 seconds. The XRS9370 will emit two beeps and the letter “P” will blink twice in the large character display. While Pop Detect mode is active, the XRS9370 will continue to detect other radar signals and alert to any threats. Press and hold “DIM” and “CITY” to turn off Pop Detect mode. The XRS9370 will emit one beep and the letter “P” will blink once in the large character display. The large character display will then show “h” or “C” depending on Highway or City mode being active at the time.

Additional features

Radar Detector Detector Alerts

The Cobra XRS9370 can detect when the police are using a radar detector detector or RDD. This radar detector can detect and alert to RDD’s which are using VG-2, Spectre I, and Spectre IV+ RDD devices. Note, the XRS9370 can be seen by Spectre IV+ systems but can be made invisible to VG-2 and Spectre I through the use of the IntelliMute Pro feature which is discussed below.

The “DIM” button is used to toggle RDD alerts on and off. Press and hold the “DIM” button for 4 seconds to turn on RDD alerts. Two beeps will sound and the V symbol on the display will flash twice indicating RDD alerts are now on. To turn off RDD alerts, press and hold “DIM” for 4 seconds. One beep will sound and the V will flash once on the display indicating RDD alerts is now off.

IntelliMute Pro

In addition to IntelliMute, the Cobra XRS9370 has IntelliMute Pro. This feature makes the XRS9370 undetectable by police radar detector detectors (RDD). IntelliMute Pro makes the radar detector invisible to VG-2 and Spectre I radar detector detectors while stopped or while traveling at low speeds. Without IntelliMute Pro, police RDD will have an easier time discovering a radar detector in a vehicle that is stopped or moving slowly.

As outlined above, IntelliMute must be turned on and the Activation Point set before IntelliMute Pro can be used. To enable IntelliMute Pro, simultaneously press and release both the “iMUTE” and “CITY” buttons. The radar detector will beep twice and the large digital character (either ‘h” or “C”) will blink. Note with IntelliMute Pro enabled, no radar signals will be detected and no audio alerts will occur while engine RPMs are below the Activation Point. When revs are above the Activation Point, the XRS9370 will detect radar and laser as usual and remain invisible to VG-2 and Spectre I detectors.

Press and release both “iMUTE” and “CITY” to turn off IntelliMute Pro. One beep will be heard and the large character at the right (“h” or “C”) will light and remain solid.

Safety Alerts

The Cobra XRS9370 is capable of receiving alerts which are transmitted by emergency vehicles, road signs, and traffic monitoring devices. The system is used to provide drivers with advanced warning that emergency vehicles and other road hazards are ahead. Drivers should proceed with caution and be mindful that there can be emergency personnel on the roadway.

Some detectors are capable of decoding the Safety Alert transmission and displaying or speaking a short text message. However, the Cobra XRS9370 can only alert to the signal being received. Currently the Traffic Warning System is not in widespread use. But it is growing in numbers daily and may be used in your area now or in the near future.

To toggle Safety Alert mode off and on, press and hold iMUTE for 4 seconds. The XRS9370 will beep twice and the “S” icon will blink twice when Safety Alert mode is being turned on. Only one beep and the “S” icon blinking once indicates Safety Alert mode is disabled.

Audio Jack

The Cobra XRS9370 comes equipped with a mini stereo auxiliary audio jack. The jack is used to connect an external speaker to the XRS9370. When an external speaker is connected, the internal speaker is disabled. An external speaker is especially useful in a noisy environment or when the XRS9370 is used on a motorcycle.

It is worth mentioning, that the Cobra XRS9370 is somewhat future proof since it possess the ability to detect Ku radar should that form of radar become popular in the future across North America. However, it cannot be updated via a USB port like more expensive detectors can. If newer Laser technology is developed in the future, for example, the XRS9370 will not be able to detect the new laser frequencies. The good news is that new technology takes a lot of time to become widely used. Most likely this radar and laser detector will remain extremely effective for many, many years to come.

Accessories

The Cobra XRS9370 comes with a user’s manual, coiled power cord, windshield suction cup mount, and hook and loop adhesive pads for dash-mounting. Optionally, Cobra offers a dual port 12 volt power adapter if an extra power outlet is needed in your vehicle, a straight power cord, replacement windshield mounting bracket, and replacement coiled power cord.

Dimensions and weight

• Width: 2.8”
• Height: 1.3”
• Depth: 4.2”
• Weight: 4.8 oz

Pros

• Detects 14 radar and laser frequency bands
• LaserEye 360 degree laser detection
• POP detect mode
• IntelliMute Pro for VG-2 and Spectre I invisibility
• VG-2 and Spectre I/IV+ detection and alerts
• City/Highway modes to help reduce false alerts in urban areas
• Ku-band radar detection
• Digital signal strength meter provides relative proximity to source
• AutoMute to automatically turn down alert volume
• IntelliMute to prevent alerts while stopped or traveling at low speed
• Dimmer for night time driving
• Receives Safety Alerts
• Windshields or dash mountable
• Quick release from mounting bracket

Cons

• No voice alerts – tone only
• No GPS for speed sensing or reducing false alerts
• No built-in Bluetooth for connecting to Smartphone apps
• Receives Safety Alerts but cannot decode them and display a text message
• Not compatible for Escort LIVE network
• Cannot be updated via USB like many other detectors

Consumer Ratings for Cobra XRS9370

The Cobra XRS9370 is described as an “awesome detector” by many users who have written reviews online about their experience using this radar detector. In fact around 80% of all online reviewers gave the XRS9370 at least 3 stars out of 5 with nearly half of them rating it 5 stars.
Drivers constantly mention easy setup which only takes a few minutes to fully customize the settings to their liking.

In fact, one major online retailer shows 96% of owners rated it easy to use. Most important is that drivers report the superior range of detection while driving on a straight highway. Many times the range has exceeded two miles which gave the driver more than enough time to slow down and pass the police car with no trouble at all.

With the good comes the bad. Unfortunately, almost 20% of reviewers found the Cobra XRS9370 totally useless and gave it only a 1-star rating. Almost all the complaints are about poor performance. Many unhappy reviewers state the Cobra XRS9370 didn’t provide enough warning and they were caught speeding. With Ka, Pop, and Laser speed enforcement, it is very difficult for radar detectors to provide advance warning in many situations. Most likely the police officer turned on the radar or laser gun just long enough to get an accurate speed reading. No detector can provide enough warning when the threat is nearby and directly targeting the vehicle.

There also has been some issues with mounting the device. Some owners are reporting that the XRS9370 spends more time on the floor than it does on the windshield due to the suction cups losing their hold. Other owners report that the Velcro adhesive backing does not adhere well to the dash. Some owners do not like the “plasticy” feel of the Cobra XRS9370’s shell.

Cobra XRS9370 Price

A quick check of prices online shows the the price range for the Cobra XRS9370 is from a low of $60 to a very high $110 or more. Most retailers seem set at about $70 to $80. While this is not the least expensive detector available, it’s relatively inexpensive considering its effective range and sophisticated features. The $70 to $80 range is right in line with similarly equipped radar/laser detectors from Cobra and other manufacturers.

Conclusion

It appears that by far, the vast majority of owners feel they made a wise decision when purchasing the Cobra XRS9370. This is a relatively inexpensive detector that is extremely easy to setup and use. It isn’t complicated but yet sophisticated enough to provide very accurate radar and laser detection without over alerting the driver to every single source of radar signals. The Cobra XRS9370 is an excellent first radar detector for those who have never used a radar detector. It is also perfect for drivers who simply want to plug it in, turn it on, and go.

Cobra XRS9370 High Performance Radar/Laser Detector

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