Escort Passport 8500 X50 Review – Radar and Laser Detector


Radar detection uses a beam of light in the radio frequency range to calculate how fast an object is moving based on the speed at which the beam of light leaves the radar device, reflects off the moving target, and then returns to the device. Over the last 25 years law enforcement have used Doppler radar, many wavelength bands such as S, K, Ka, infrared laser, and now have included Pop radar into the options to catch those with a heavy foot. Of those listed, most are detectable from miles away. With the inclusion of Pop radar, detection can be reduced to hundreds of feet.

At 70 miles per hour, you are traveling at 102 feet per second. Detection measured in hundreds of feet would give you just a few seconds to react to Pop radar detection. How to counter-act that reduction in detection? You need the best radar detector for Pop radar which is the Escort Passport 8500 X50.  With this Escort Passport 8500 X50 reviews, we’ll give an overview of the radar detector, how it works, the functions available, and our overall opinion.

Standard Features:

  • 360-degree radar and laser detection
  • Completely immune to the VG-2 “detector-detector”
  • 3 high-resolution meter modes
  • Advanced reprogrammable digital signal processing
  • Ultra-bright red or blue matrix display with 280 LEDs
  • AutoSensitivity mode automatically reduces false alarms
  • Multiple high-performance laser sensors
  • Built-in earphone jack
  • EZ-Programming allows instant customization
  • 1-year limited warranty

The 8500 X50 is one of the many detector models available from Escort. Twenty five years ago, Escort released the original 8500 and it was hailed as the most revolutionary detector on the market. The 8500 X50 blue vs. red is the next generation of detectors released from Escort, and the 8500 X50 blue vs. red is slated to become the next benchmark product to which all others will be compared.

Radar Receiver / Detector Type

  1. Superheterodyne, Varactor-Tuned VCO
  2. Scanning Frequency Discriminator
  3. Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  4. Laser Detection
  5. Quantum Limited Video Receiver
  6. Multiple Laser Sensor Diodes

The 8500 X50 now contains a V-tuned radar receiver that provides the ultimate in detection for all law enforcement radar, conventional radar, and the newly included “instant-on” Pop X-band radar. Beyond those, there is an additional increase up to 50% more detection on K and Ka bands.

Escort Passport 8500 X50 Boxing

Programmable Features

  • Power-On Indication
  • Power-On Sequence
  • Signal Strength Meter
  • AutoMute
  • Audio Tones
  • City Mode Sensitivity
  • Display Brightness
  • Dark Mode
  • Radar / Laser Bands

Auto Calibration Circuitry
Mute, AutoMute and SmartMute

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The 8500 X50’s digital signal processing (DSP) offers maximum detection range while traveling with minimum false alarms and includes the patented AutoSensitivity mode that will distinguish between other sources of radar and real threats to virtually eliminate false readings.

The 8500 X50 laser sensors offer off-axis protection against law enforcement laser radar and additionally has three high-resolution meter modes: a standard bar graph, exclusive ExpertMeter, and SpecDisplay.

Display Type

  1. 280 LED Matrix/Text
  2. Bar Graph
  3. ExpertMeter
  4. SpecDisplay
  5. 3-Level Dimming, plus Dark Mode

In ExpertMeter mode, the Passport 8500 X50 can identify which band is detected and its relative signal strength to you on up to eight radar signals concurrently. The SpecDisplay mode shows the frequency of the radar signal detected additionally. Insane passport 8500 X50 range live test check now.

One of the most dynamic features of any detector is the audio alerts when a source is detected.  The 8500 X50 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. When a signal is detected, the warning tones emitted will progressively get louder as the signal source approaches, and owners can customize the tones volume level to their liking.

Each radar band has its own distinct tone which will make it easy to understand which band has been detected. The included AutoMute function also lowers the volume level after a short period of time.

Operating Bands

Whenever it detect a signal, this detector will give a alert by beeping tone. There are four different types of audible alerts –

  1. X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz [It’ll give a single beep tone]
  2. K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz [It’ll give a raspy tone]
  3. Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz [It’ll give a double trap tone]
  4. Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth [It’ll give a solid tone]

Owners will find the nine built-in customizable settings easy to use and toggle between on the LCD display.  Settings include display brightness, audio tones, automatic mute, and power modes. You can also disable any of the bands from being detected.

One of the unique features includes a VG-radar detector detection protection which will stop the 8500 X50’s oscillator and prevent law enforcement detecting the use of a radar detector. That will greatly benefit owners living in an area that bans radar detector use, or perhaps in other regions that bans their use.

Additional Features


  • Housing color – silver
  • Display color – brilliant red or bright blue

Power Requirement

  • 12VDC, Negative Ground
  • Escort SmartCord® Included

Sensitivity Control

  • Highway, Auto and City

Size of the Detector

  • 1.25″ H x 2.85″ W x 5.32″ L
Escort Passport 8500X50 Black Radar Detector, Red Display
  • Blistering All-Band Protection
  • 360-Degree Radar and Laser Detection, Advanced Digital Signal Processing, AutoSensitivity Mode Automatically Reduces False Alarms, EZ-Programming Allows Instant Customization
  • Operating Bands : X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz, K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz, Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz, Laser 904nm, 33 MHz Bandwidth.
  • Radar Receiver / Detector Type : Superheterodyne, Varactor-Tuned VCO,Scanning Frequency Discriminator,Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Laser Detection : Quantum Limited Video Receiver,Multiple Laser Sensor Diodes
  • Enhanced Radar Protection:Our enhanced "V-Tuned" radar receiver provides extreme long range warning on all radar: conventional and "instant-on" including POP mode, X-band, K-band, and SuperWide Ka-band. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) provides maximum range, with minimum false alarms
  • Exclusive AutoSensitivity Mode:ESCORT's patented AutoSensitivity mode intelligently identifies real threats from other radar sources. Plus, our exclusive Traffic Signal Rejection (TSR) software rejects interstate traffic sensors making it quiet to own and operate
  • High-Performance Laser Protection:PASSPORT's multiple high-performance laser sensors provide maximum laser warning, with superior off-axis protection. For the ultimate in laser protection add the optional ZR4 Laser Shifter
  • Three-Levels of Brightness Control:Choose between Dim, Medium, or Max brightness levels, or fully dark for discreet night driving
  • Three High-Resolution Meter Modes:PASSPORT provides three types of meter displays: Standard Bar Graph, exclusive ExpertMeter, and our unique SpecDisplay

Escort Passport 8500 X50 Review – Radar/Laser Detector Unboxing

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Frequently Asked Questions[FAQ]:

Question-1: What is included in the Passport 8500 X50 box?

Answer: The Passport 8500 X50 detector, an EasyMount windshield mounting bracket, a SmartCord with cigarette lighter adapter on one end and an RJ11 modular plug on the other end, a travel case, an owner’s manual, an accessories booklet, a customer letter from the Escort CEO and two Escort DS decals

Question-2: Can the 8500 X50 detector be used overseas?

Answer: Escort does not monitor the frequencies used by other agencies overseas, but customers have reported traveling abroad with their 8500 X50 detectors.

Question-3: What is the Expert Mode on the 8500 X50?

Answer: Expert Mode will show up to 8 radar signals at the same time and will show relative signal strength and associated Band of each signal.

Question-4: Are radar detectors illegal to use?

Answer: Radar detectors are legal to use in a non-commercial environment in 49 states, but not legal in Washington D.C. and Virginia. They are also not legal in a commercial application and also banned in all Canadian provinces.

Final Verdict

Overall the Escort Passport 8500 X50 offers you tremendous technology and radar detection in a compact unit that is easy to use and customize to your individual preferences. We recommend the Escort Passport 8500 X50 for its unique features, especially the “instant-on” Pop radar detection which can save you from sneaky detection and also prevent your detector from being identified by law enforcement while traveling. If you are looking for Bluetooth/GPS please check the reviews on the Escort Passport 9500ix

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Last update on 2020-01-23 at 10:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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