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Cobra's XRS 9960G Radar Detector With GPS Includes Speed Camera Alerts

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Cobra XRS 9960G

Cobra XRS 9960G with GPS Aura

Cobra

The Bottom Line

Cobra's new-for-2009 Cobra XRS 9960G ($389) is more than a radar detector. It's a cocoon of protection that surrounds you as you drive. Sure, it senses seven radar, six laser, and two types of safety signals, but that's just the beginning. Its Advanced Universal Road Alert (AURA) technology includes a GPS receiver and a North America-wide, verified database of speeding cameras and traffic light cameras that is updated every 12 hours.
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Pros

  • Detects 7 radar, 6 laser, and 2 safety signals.
  • GPS-enabled, with a regularly updated database of speeding and traffic light cameras
  • Know when emergency vehicles are approaching or nearby.

Cons

  • Lots of false alerts until you tune the system for conditions.
  • Illegal in all vehicles in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  • Illegal in commercial vehicles in Illinois and New York.

Description

  • Detects 7 radar, 6 laser and 2 safety signals.
  • Radar signals detected: X Band, K Band, Ka Superwide, Ku Band, VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV+.
  • Laser signals detected: LTI 20-20, Ultra Lyte, ProLaser, ProLaser III, Stalker LIDAR and Speedlaser.
  • Strobe Alert: Provides advance warning of the presence and/or approach of emergency vehicles.
  • Safety Alert: Approaching emergency vehicles, railroad crossing, and road hazard locations equipped with Safety Alert.
  • GPS warns the driver of fixed speed and red light cameras, speed traps and dangerous intersections across North America.
  • Voice alert: Warns driver with specific voice annunciation of the signal being detected.
  • Immune to VG-2 radar detector-detectors.

Guide Review - Cobra's XRS 9960G Radar Detector With GPS Includes Speed Camera Alerts

I road tested the Cobra XRS 9960G model on the highway and in urban conditions.

The GPS-enabled AURA feature is compatible with six of Cobra's 2009 high-end detectors. AURA consists of a small, (1" x 3/4") device that includes a GPS receiver and memory for holding the latest speeding camera and traffic light camera position database from Cobra. You simply register the GPS when you purchase the XRS 9960G, then plug its GPS accessory into your computer's USB port (via an included dongle) to get the latest updates. A free, lifetime subscription to updates is included with purchase. The small program that connects the AURA device was easy to install, and updates are quick and easy, taking 30 seconds or less. AURA is a nice addition to an overall detection package, especially as camera speed traps become more common.

Beyond the AURA capabilities, I enjoyed exploring the XRS 9960G's other detection features. The unit provides beeps and voice alerts to warn you of radar or laser detection. I found the beep warnings to be intuitive - one beep or slow beeps are probably nothing to worry about, but rapid beeps mean police radar. The voice alerts will also describe the type of warning. The XRS 9960G is sensitive, and can pick up false warnings (lots of devices besides police radar use X-band, for example), but the XRS 9960G is tunable for types of radar, and city, vs. highway driving, for example, to keep the false alerts to a minimum. In addition to the audible warnings, the XRS 9960G has a small (1 3/4-inch diagonal) screen for operating the menu, and to provide visual cues for types of warnings being given.

The XRS 9960G includes has multiple laser sensors for 360-degree laser protection, including a laser coming from behind the vehicle.

Overall, I was impressed with the comprehensive protection provided, and found the unit easy to use.

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