Both Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65 have been in the market for quite some time, but they are still popular choices. They both offer excellent detection ranges and overall performance, at affordable price points. So, which one is better?
Continue reading our discussion below to learn further about:
– The design, appearance, and build quality of each model
– The features and capabilities of each model
– Which radar detector that is more practical and easier to use
– The performance of Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65
– Which radar detector that you should get for the best value
Escort Passport S55: Design
Escort Passport S55 was a stylish and modern-looking radar detector – at least at the time when it was released. Today, it is no longer the sleekest model in the market. Compared to the latest models nowadays, Escort Passport S55 appears outdated, even though it has a solid and sturdy plastic housing which can withstand real abuse. See also: Beltronics RX65 Vs Vector 995
The plastic housing is really tough. However, the mounting bracket doesn’t have the same quality. The mounting bracket looks thin and weak, as if the radar detector will fall down at any time. Hence, you should consider purchasing a stronger, sturdier mount to secure the radar detector properly. To be fair, this problem is not exclusive to Escort Passport S55 alone – this problem is also plaguing many other Escort models.
Nevertheless, the design of Escort Passport S55 is definitely very intuitive. You can configure and operate the radar detector without having to fumble with too many buttons. The controls are very simple and intuitive that you don’t really need to read the user manual to figure things out.
The display has four brightness levels. With just a few button presses, you can quickly adjust the brightness, volume, and laser and radar detection. In addition, the display has three different modes: Standard, ExpertMeter, and SpecDisplay. The different modes present information in different forms to emphasize different aspects, such as how many threats that are detected and the signal strength of the closest threat.
Unfortunately, there are several features that are missing on Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65. It lacks an audio jack, so you won’t be able to use an external speaker. Also, it lacks a USB port, so there is no easy way to update the firmware.
Escort Passport S55: Features
You can’t just take your eyes off the road when you are driving. If the radar detector finds a potential threat, it will be difficult to read the display screen in order to find out what signal that is detected.
Escort Passport S55 has audio alerts to inform you about potential threats, with different patterns to indicate the signal types. This is definitely very useful. The beeps are loud enough to be heard in most cases, unless your vehicle’s audio system is playing music very loudly.
In addition, there is an automute feature. It will automatically reduce the volume of an audio alert after a while, until the audio alert stops completely. This is useful when you get a false alert but unable to reach the mute button right away.
Escort Passport S55 utilizes a V-Tuned receiver, which promises a very long detection range and the capability to detect all radar bands used by police, including X, K, and SuperWide Ka. The sophisticated Digital Signal Processing (DSP) optimizes the processing speed so that you can get notified of a potential threat as soon as possible, giving you enough time to react safely.
Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65 do not have any built-in GPS. However, these radar detectors do have the Auto Sensitivity mode (or AutoScan mode) to reduce false alarms. They can adjust their sensitivity dynamically according to the environment to eliminate false alerts.
However, both Escort Passport S55 and Beltronics RX65 are susceptible to false alerts from vehicles’s Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) sensors. A BSM system typically uses a K-band frequency to detect incoming vehicles. Unfortunately, this can make traditional radar detectors go nuts. You can turn off the K-band detection in order to prevent false alerts from BSM sensors, but it may leave you prone to radar guns that use K-band frequencies.
Escort Passport S55 is immune to VG-2 radar detector detectors. However, the specs do not mention whether this unit is immune to Spectre as well or not. Hence, you should assume that this unit is not completely undetectable, as Spectre RDDs have been widely used these days. Escort Passport S55 also lacks bluetooth. In order to use Escort Live, you need to purchase the SmartCord separately.
Escort Passport S55: Performance
The performance of Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65 is actually quite impressive. It is able to detect a radar gun from thousands of feets away, so you still have plenty of time to hit the brake in a safe manner. The performance on K-band and X-band radar guns are great. It has a slightly reduced range when detecting Ka-band radar guns, but still good enough.
The Auto Sensitivity mode of Escort Passport S55 is quite effective for driving in a city. When the device detects multiple signals, it can smartly distinguish them and pick the most potential threat. However, it still suffers from false alerts from BSM sensors.
The performance on curved roads and hills remains good. The detection range is consistently long. Unfortunately, the lack of a BSM filter will be a major inconvenience. There is also no feature to mark false alerts.
Beltronics RX65: Design
The design of Beltronics RX65 is rather conventional. It looks pretty much like many other Beltronics and Escort models that have been in the market. You can find the buttons on the top side of the unit, whereas the 280-nits LED display is on the front side. There are two versions available; one with a red display and the other with a blue display.
Beltronics RX65 includes the SmartPlug, which features a green light that will turn red when the unit detects a potential threat. The SmartPlug is useful at night, as the light is very visible and will tell you of the threat right away. However, the SmartPlug doesn’t have bluetooth; you may swap it with the SmartCord if you want to use Escort Live.
The appearance may seem like something from the ’90s, but Beltronics RX65 does have a tough construction. The hefty body feels stable and durable. Unfortunately, this model lacks a dedicated mute button, so turning off a false alert will be tricky.
The display has three modes. The Standard mode shows a graph to tell you the strength of the strongest detected signal. The Threat Display mode will show multiple signals along with their numeric strength levels simultaneously. Meanwhile, the Tech Display mode will show you the exact frequency of the strongest detected signal.
Beltronics RX65: Features
As mentioned above, both models Escort Passport S55 and Beltronics RX65 can detect all laser and radar bands used by police. However, they lack GPS, and they are prone to false alerts from BSM sensors.
Beltronics RX65 is quite interesting because it has a Program Mode, which will allow you to customize how it works by configuring seven different settings. You can turn off the detection for a particular frequency band if you get so many false alerts from that band; but this may leave you vulnerable to radar guns that operate in that band.
There is the AutoMute feature, which will reduce the audio alert volume gradually until it stops in the case of a false alert. Beltronics RX65 has three different City modes with different sensitivity levels: City, Highway, AutoScan.
The City mode has the lowest sensitivity of the three. It is useful for driving in a city or urban landscape, as it will ignore most false alerts from automatic door openers. The Highway mode has the highest sensitivity, and is mainly used when driving on the highway to detect threats from far away. The AutoScan mode has dynamic sensitivity which is automatically adjusted according to the environment, and is useful when driving through places with different conditions.
Again, Beltronics RX65 is said to be immune against VG-2, but it doesn’t mention anything about immunity against Spectre RDDs. Since VG-2 is now considered obsolete and Spectre has been used more widely, you should not risk this radar detector to drive in places that ban radar detectors.
Beltronics RX65: Performance
The raw performance of Beltronics RX65 is actually very good. It is able to detect most radar guns from very long distances. Unfortunately, it is prone to capturing false alerts.
Beltronics RX65 can detect all radar and laser frequencies. It covers X, K, and SuperWide Ka radar guns. It can also detect instant-on radar guns as well as laser guns.
Nowadays, X-band radar guns are rarely used outside highway traffic monitoring. So, you can disable the X-band detection and turn it on only when you are about to drive on the highway (there are plenty of false alerts in the X-band frequencies).
K-band frequencies also cause false alerts quite often. Unfortunately, K-band radar guns are still used by the police, so it is a bad idea to disable K-band detection. The most common radar guns now use the Ka-band frequencies; if your radar detector alerts about a Ka-band signal, you have to slow down right away to avoid getting ticketed.
Escort Passport S55 vs Beltronics RX65
Both models here are a bit outdated, even though their raw performance is quite impressive. If you have to choose between the two, Escort Passport S55 is more recommended due to having a dedicated mute button and a solid build quality.