Where the RX65 gets interesting is its capability to break down different radar guns monitoring your car. In programming mode, you can change it from its simple display to Threat display, which shows if there are different radar bands detected and their relative strengths. To get even more down and dirty, the RX65 has a Tech display, which shows the strongest radar band and its frequency. While this display is cool, we're not sure of its actual utility.
The programming settings also let you turn the voice notification off, disable specific radar band detection, and change the start-up sequence to a fast mode. The standard start-up sequence flashes the display between all its detection messages while sounding off with many annoying beeps. The start-up sequence will probably be the major catalyst for most people to try out the programming mode.
The RX65 also has the capability to receive Safety Warning System messages, although it is turned off by default. SWS messages are sent through radar, and let you know of incidents like roadwork ahead, weather-related problems, and emergency vehicles. Beltronics turns off this feature by default because SWS isn't in wide use.
Although our performance testing was experiential, Radarbusters.com published the results of a battery of tests comparing several radar detectors, including the Beltronics Pro RX65. In K, Ka, and X band tests, the RX65 ranked with the other top radar detectors, consistently seeing radar at over four miles distance in these five mile range tests.
Although the RX65 is supposed to intelligently filter out false alerts, we received many low level X-band warnings while driving through urban areas. These types of X band signals are often transmitted by burglar alarm motion detectors. These signals were reduced substantially be putting the RX65 into City mode.
On the freeway, we received alerts of K-band monitoring that ranged from a weak signal that immediately dropped out, to a quickly rising signal, moving up to full strength. We only actually saw one police car while the RX65 alert sounded, but that doesn't mean they weren't around.
The RX65 gave us its most abrupt warning as we drove through mountains on a winding, four lane highway. The detector was completely silent until we came around a corner into an open area with turn-outs on either side. At this point the RX65 sounded off with a full-strength K-band warning. The mountains around this wide spot obviously shielded the radar signal, so the RX65 couldn't give us a better advance warning. (And if you were wondering, no, we didn't get a ticket, as we were traveling at the same speed as the moderate amount of traffic around us.)
Although we weren't crazy about the volume button, it was made up for with the easy programming functionality, cleverly giving dual uses to some buttons. The display isn't pretty, but it works. We were more impressed by the features of the RX65, with its different monitoring displays and variety of programmable settings. As for effectiveness, it does well in comparison tests by other reviewers under controlled circumstances. Our own tests showed a number of false alerts and one instance where we had no warning before a full strength alert. Of course, that incident was a mountain situation where no detector could have provided a warning. We like the peace of mind offered when the RX65 isn't showing any radar monitoring.