Cobra XRS 9960G Digital Radar and Laser Detector review: Cobra XRS 9960G Digital Radar and Laser Detector

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.3
  • Design: 5.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good A color screen on the Cobra XRS 9960G shows pleasing and informative graphics. The GPS plug-in provides alerts for red-light cameras and areas that require more driver attention.

The Bad According to third-party testing, detection performance may not have the range of competing high-end units. The case seems a little ostentatious for what we consider a stealth device.

The Bottom Line The Cobra XRS 9960G offers a feature set that goes far beyond standard radar detectors. Its detection performance works for most people, but it may come up short for faster drivers.

Editors' Top Picks

Cobra takes the concept of a radar detector to a new level with the addition of GPS technology in the Cobra XRS 9960G. With this new feature, the radar detector not only alerts you to electronic surveillance, but gives warnings about red light cameras, speed traps, and hazardous driving areas from its updatable Aura database. With its color display, the XRS 9960G features a pleasing design, but radar-detecting performance may not be up to par with the best of the competition.

Design
The case of the Cobra XRS 9960G is a little more ostentatious than other detectors, with an almost spaceshiplike form and decorative elements on top. To accommodate the color screen, which is larger than the LEDs used in other models, the oval on the viewing end has a hanging lower lip. The included RDA GPSL55 GPS Locator plugs in to a Mini-USB jack set in the side of the XRS 9960G, making for an unsightly protrusion on the otherwise sculpted casing.

The suction cup bracket for windshield mounting is pretty primitive and can lose grip. Unfortunately, these cheap brackets are pretty common on radar detectors. The companies that produce them could learn something from GPS device makers such as TomTom and Sony.

Four small buttons on top of the unit activate the menu, mute the sound, dim the display, and put radar detection into city mode. In addition, there is a volume knob on the side of the device. The four buttons on top have clever secondary functions in menu mode, letting you choose different menu screens and select various settings.

But the most impressive design elements are the graphics on the color screen. The icons and alerts shown are generally informative, yet they also have a nice aesthetic design.

Features
The Cobra XRS 9960G detects X, K, Ka bands, as well as Ku, a band used in Europe that will purportedly appear in the U.S. It also alerts you to VG-2 and Spectre devices that can pick up if you are using a radar detector. The device includes 360-degree laser detection, along with a special alert for pop-up radar.


The XRS 9960G offers a color graphic when showing an alert.

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Where to Buy

Cobra XRS 9960G Digital Radar and Laser Detector

Part Number: XRS9960G

Pricing is currently unavailable.

About The Author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.