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Bel STi Driver: Worth The Price?

Now that we're carrying the Bel STi Driver, we're already getting the question: "Is it worth the money?" For some people, the STi Driver is well worth the money. Most of you, however, would be fine to stick with a Bel RX65 or an Escort 8500 X50 Black and save $100.

The biggest benefit of the STi Driver is that it doesn't "leak" a signal that could be detected by "radar detector detectors" (RDDs). RDDs are used by police in areas where radar detectors are illegal to sniff out vehicles that have a detector. So, if you're in a state or country where radar detectors are illegal or if you sometimes drive through these areas, or if you drive a vehicle that is over 10,000 pounds the STi Driver could be a very wise investment. (Radar detectors are illegal in all states in vehicles over 10,000 pounds.)

On the other hand, if you're like most of us and live in an area where radar detectors are legal then you won't find much of a reason to spring for the STi Driver. Some users claim that performance is slightly improved in the STi over the RX65, but not enough for us to recommend your spending the extra cash. The feature set is very similar between the RX65 and STi as well. The biggest difference is that STi offers automatic brightness control that will brighten/dim the display based on conditions. The STi also comes with a nicer case, an external speaker, and a direct wire SmartCord. One advantage for the RX65 is that it will detect the Ku band, which is used in some European countries.

Our recommendation: If you drive a vehicle over 10,000 pounds, drive in areas where radar detectors are illegal, or if you want the best regardless of price, get the Bel STi Driver. Otherwise, stick with a Bel RX65 or an Escort 8500 X50 Black.

5 thoughts on “Bel STi Driver: Worth The Price?”

  • Jez

    I've just got a STi yesterday and have been pitting it out against the Valentine One. I think the Sti does have a slighly better range than the RX65 probably because it has the dual antennas. One is dedicatd to X band, the other to K & Ka so having a smaller frequency range per antenna should suggest increased sensitivity?
    I'm yet to go through a proper speed trap yet. Will post my findings.

    Reply
  • James

    I live and drive in Ontario - radar detectors are illegal - cops have spectre III RDDs. The Bel STI looks like the right choice except cops have eyes! They look in the front window - BUSTED. Why all the effort to make this detector undetectable then mount the thing in plain view? I must be missing something.
    P.S.
    The STI shares the same initials as my 07 WRX STI.

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  • agreed man cops do have eyes should be a stealthy unit but shit happens lol at least it works right

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  • Just tested my buddies STi with an RDD used in Ontario. Not even a whisper from the RDD even when it was only a few feet away!

    Reply
  • Xen0n

    Purely stated, the STi Driver is an outstanding RD and even if you do not live in VA, DC, or Canada, I would still highly recommend this unit. This RD will never let you down, espically when city/state government need to boost up their speeding ticket quotas. It is also one of the most user-friendly RD's out there. The only con I would give unit (mediocre at best) is the audio ramp up. If you want good audio ramp up, then get the V1 but rest assured, if false alarms agitiate you, your V1 will eith end up being tossed out of your window after driving through business districts with door openers and high end burglury alarm systems equipped with motion sensors or the alarms wil simply be useless when you find yourself not even paying attention to it anymore, even when the real threats are picked up. While no RD in this world (with the exception of the Escort 9500i's GPS "TrueLock" function, is false alarm free, the STi driver is most certainly at top of the list of filtering false alarms.

    Reply
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