Beltronics Pro 500

Radar detector with GPS and preloaded camera database

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  • Beltronics Pro 500


  • Beltronics Pro 500


Our take on the Beltronics Pro 500

by Dominic Devito

A well-rounded detector with helpful GPS technology

The Beltronics Pro 500 radar detector combines GPS tracking and powerful radar detection to provide unparalleled coverage. Its long-range radar and laser sensors offer first-class protection, and its GPS capability opens up a new range of useful features.

GPS for reliable alerts

GPS technology marks targeted areas and camera locations for future protection. Simply tap a button when you pass a "hot spot" and the Pro 500 will remember to alert you when you approach that area in the future. It'll also remember where a false alarm was registered — it won't alert you there again unless it senses a different signal. The Pro 500 also uses GPS to monitor your speed so it can remind you if you're going over a preset limit.

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A built-in database keeps track of enforcement areas

The Pro 500 comes preloaded with a database of red-light and fixed-position radar cameras for added security. You'll get plenty of advance warning whenever you approach any of these locations. You'll need a a Windows® computer to update the Pro 500's database with the latest targeted areas — updates are available through the Beltronics website.

Traffic Signal Rejection

Beltronics' proprietary Traffic Signal Rejection software goes even further to reduce false alerts. It weeds out strong K-band signals emitted by common highway traffic flow sensors, eliminating meaningless alarms so you can stay focused on the real threats.

All-around performance

The Pro 500 and the included SmartPlug mount stealthily on your windshield. You can track incoming threats on the 280-LED alphanumeric display, which also features tech mode and threat mode displays for advanced users, plus a voltage meter. Nine programmable features let you customize the detector to suit your driving style. This versatile radar detector is invisible to VG-2 radar-detector detection, so you can travel with confidence.

Add EscortLive!™ for extra protection

The Pro 500 is compatible with the EscortLive service, which allows you to track real-time radar threats in your vicinity using your Bluetooth® enabled smartphone and the free EscortLive app. Your phone's GPS information provides access to reported radar data from other EscortLive users in your vicinity, and you can report radar hotspots so others driving in your wake will know about potential encounters. You'll need to purchase an EscortLive cord for your iPhone® or Android™ phone, and a subscription fee is also required to use the EscortLive service.


  • radar/laser detector featuring GPS protection and preloaded database of red-light and radar cameras
  • quick-release windshield mount
  • SmartPlug coiled cord with mute button and alert LED
  • headphone jack
  • USB input
  • red 280 LED alphanumeric display includes tech mode, threat mode, and voltage meter
  • compatible with EscortLive real-time service through smartphone app
  • detects 3 radar bands (selectable) and POP
  • 360° laser protection
  • digital voice and audio tone alerts for radar, laser, and POP
  • Traffic Sensor Rejection software eliminates false alerts from roadside traffic flow sensors
  • sensitivity modes: AutoScan (speed-based), highway, and 3 city
  • VG-2 immunity (invisible to radar detector detectors)
  • 8 programmable features
  • Mute and AutoMute modes
GPS features:
  • camera database updates requires USB-to-mini-USB connection (cable not included) and computer running Windows XP or Vista
  • camera database updates available via Beltronics' website
  • "Mark Location" feature remembers points for future warnings
  • AlertLock feature remembers sources of false signals and mutes alerts

Sorry, but we cannot ship radar detectors to Virginia or the District of Columbia.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
X Band Radar Yes
K Band Radar Yes
KA Photo Radar Yes
KA Wideband Radar Yes
Laser 360 Degree
Pulse Warning Yes
VG-2 Protection Yes
Display & Alerts
Dimmer Touch Key
Dark Mode Yes
Visual Alerts Yes
Audible Alerts Yes
Mute Yes
Earphone Jack Yes
Visor Clip Optional
Straight Cord No
Coiled Cord Yes
Case Included No
Battery Powered No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Radar/Laser Detector
  • Cigarette lighter power supply with 28" coiled cord
  • Windshield mount with 2 suction cups
  • 2 Spare suction cups
  • Quick reference guide
  • Escort Live! info card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


Overview: The Beltronics Pro500 provides full detection of radar and laser, alerts from the Safety Warning System, and full VG2 immunity. It also has built-in GPS technology to alert you when you are near a known safety camera location. The Pro500 is compatible with Escort Live!, which allows you to integrate the radar detector with your smartphone. The unit comes equipped with a suction-cup windshield mount and a SmartPlug coiled power cord.

Detection Capability: The Beltronics Pro500 includes full X, K, Ka and Safety Warning System radar capability, laser detection, and a fast microprocessor for delivering alerts in 500 milliseconds or less. It features superior long-range radar and laser detection, including the new "POP" mode alerts. You can program the unit to enable all bands at once or you can select one or more bands to turn off (once you have determined there are no traffic radar units using the disabled bands in your area).

GPS Technology: The Pro500 is equipped with a SiRFstar III GPS receiver to constantly track your location as you travel. The unit must be installed with a clear view of the sky in order for the features to work properly. The following features are based on GPS technology:

  • Safety/Red Light Cameras: The Pro500 comes pre-loaded with thousands of safety camera locations, including red light and fixed position speed cameras, throughout North America. Using GPS technology, the Pro500 will alert you when you approach one of these locations.
  • Mark Location: The Mark Location feature lets you add your own speed trap or camera locations to the memory. The unit will reject future detection of the same signal and false alerts when you travel in that location.
  • AlertLock: The AlertLock feature lets you reject and lock out false alerts when they regularly appear along a frequently traveled route. For example, if a garage door opener causes your unit to alert each time you travel nearby, you can "mark" that location as a false alert and the detector will reject that signal the next time you are in that area.
  • Adjustable Radar Sensitivity: The Pro500 provides real-time radar performance based on your vehicle's speed. When in AutoScan mode, as your speed increases, the X- and K-band sensitivity is set to the maximum range. As speed decreases, the sensitivity is minimized to reduce unwanted false alarms.
  • Speed Check: The Speed Check feature provides a visual indication of your vehicle's speed during the first few seconds of an alert. This allows you to instantly check your speed without looking at your speedometer.

SmartPlug: The SmartPlug power cord has a power-on indicator, a bright alert light that warns of radar or laser and a convenient mute button right on the plug. It's a perfect solution for when your radar detector is out of reach or for discreet night driving when you are using the unit's Dark mode. An optional Direct-wire SmartPlug module, which can be wired directly into your vehicle's electrical system with a straight cord, is available.

Escort Live! By replacing the standard power cord with the SmartCord Live module, and downloading the Escort Live! app to your smartphone, you get instant access to a powerful driver alert social network of other subscribers. As you travel, you are alerted ahead of time of upcoming alerts along your route, as experienced by other drivers. The smartphone app gives you the choice of a map view or dashboard view. Escort Live! is a paid subscription service that is compatible with iPhone 5, 4S, 4, and 3 GS, and Android devices using OS 2.2 or higher.

Traffic Signal Rejection: The Pro500 utilizes Traffic Signal Rejection to eliminate false alerts due to location or certain frequencies. Radar-based traffic flow sensors, mounted along major highways, transmit strong K-band signals for a half-second approximately every minute. These signals help produce traffic flow data for personal navigation devices, but also create numerous false radar alerts. Beltronics' proprietary Traffic Signal Rejection (TSR) software, found in the Pro500, helps eliminate annoying false alerts.

DSP (Digital Signal Processing): The digital AutoScan feature continuously analyzes all incoming signals and automatically rejects unwanted false alarms. This gives you the perfect balance of long-range detector performance without annoying false alarms.

Laser Protection: The Pro500 provides 10 times the sensitivity of any imported radar detector, including the latest "POP" mode threat. Multiple laser sensor diodes, strategically positioned in the unit, continually search for laser gun signals and provide maximum range and superior off-axis protection.

Digital Voice Alerts: The Pro500's easy to understand digital voice alerts keep you informed without taking your eyes off the road. If you prefer, you can turn off the voice announcement feature and have the unit provide audible tones instead.

Audible Alerts: The Pro500 uses audible alerts for Radar, Laser, POP, and Safety signals:

  • Radar Signals: The Pro500 uses a Geiger-counter-like sound to indicate the signal strength and type of radar signal being encountered. When you encounter radar, a distinct audible alert will sound and occur faster as the signal gets stronger. This allows you to judge the distance from the signal source without taking your eyes from the road.
    • X-band: Chirping sound
    • K-band: Buzzing sound
    • Ka-band: Double-Chirp sound
    • POP: Full Double-Chirp sound
    • SWS: Double Beep sound
  • Laser Signals: Since Laser signals are a possible threat no matter how weak, the Pro500 alerts you to these bands at full signal strength.
  • POP Signals: Since POP signals are extremely fast K or Ka bursts, and a possible threat no matter how weak, the Pro500 alerts you to these bands at full signal strength.
  • Safety Signals: The Pro500 will alert you to these signals with a double-beep tone, and a corresponding text message.

Sensitivity: You can set the Pro500 to three sensitivity modes:

  • Highway Mode: detects all signals at maximum range
  • AutoScan Mode: the unit's internal computer continuously analyzes all incoming signals and intelligently filters out unwanted X and K-band false alarms. Full sensitivity is maintained on all other bands.
  • City Mode: the X and K-band sensitivity is further reduced to eliminate unwanted false alarms in congested urban areas. There are options for Low X and No X sensitivity settings.

Display: The Pro500 features a bright, alphanumeric display that consists of 280 individual LEDs, visible from virtually any angle. The unit offers three display options:

  • Signal Strength Meter: The standard bar-graph signal strength meter only displays information on a single radar signal. If there are multiple signals present, the unit's internal computer determines which is the most important threat to show on the bar-graph meter.
  • Threat Display: Designed for experienced users, the Threat Display is a miniature spectrum analyzer that simultaneously tracks multiple radar signals and their relative strengths which can help you spot a change in your normal driving environment.
  • Tech Display: The Tech Display option, also for experienced detector users, will display the actual numeric frequency of the radar signal being received.

Brightness Control: The Pro500 offers four levels of brightness (minimum, medium, maximum, and auto), plus a Dark Mode. Dark Mode uses the power-on and alert indicators on the SmartPlug as the only visual indicator.

Mute and AutoMute: The Pro500 features the AutoMute feature, which automatically reduces the volume level during an alert. Or, you can simply press the large front-mounted Mute button on the detector or on the SmartPlug during an alert to instantly quiet the audio.

Programming: There are 8 user-selectable options so you can customize the Pro500 for your own preferences:

  • Pilot (Power-on indication): choose full word (Highway, AutoScan, or City) or letter (H, A, or C) in the display. You can also display the vehicle's voltage or the vehicle's speed, if desired.
  • Speed Check: Displays current speed during alert or turns Speed Check feature off
  • Signal Strength Meter: You can select from three display options: Standard (bar-graph) Display, Threat Display, or Tech Display
  • AutoMute: turn this function either On or Off
  • Units: lets you display speed and distance in English or Metric units.
  • Voice Alerts: turn digital voice announcement On or Off
  • Bands: select between the radar detector's default setting (all bands) or choose to turn one or more of the bands off
  • Markers: lets you individually set markers on or off for red light cameras, speed cameras, speed traps, and other types of alerts

Mounting: You will get optimum performance from the detector if you mount it at a point approximately in the center of the vehicle, as low as possible on the front windshield without obstructing the view of the road to the front or rear. The supplied windshield mount adheres the detector to the windshield with two suction cups. Because of the GPS receiver, the unit should be mounted level to maximize the GPS signal.

Internet Updates: The Pro500 has a USB port (Mini B ver.2.0) so you can update the operating software and safety camera database via the Beltronics website.

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Beltronics Pro 500 Reviews

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5 out of 5

chirp chirp

Written By toby, eau claire wi on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
It chirps. It talks. I like it.
Program speedtrap locations
I can only have one.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

My first Beltronics detector

Written By Bthorn, Dallas, Tx on Thursday, June 13, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
First off the shipping was like one of the fastest and the detector was packaged up right. Good job Crutchfield! Plenty of packing material and the Beltronics packaging was top notch with some really nice padding in case shipping got rough or UPS decided to throw it around in the truck. Tried out a Passport 9500ix for a few days and it was nice but the finish on the Pro 500 blows the Passport away. Feels so much nicer in the hand and I really like the larger buttons. I think I prefer the red display as well. The passport looks really cheap with it shinny black exterior shell. I know there's a lot more to the detector then just its appearance but as many people/online sites state it's the Bel Pro500 has the exact same internals as the 9500ix but with a C note lower price tag. I can live without Auto Learn feature for 100 dollars plus I think it might be a benefit in the end so I can pick the false signals that I want to ignore. Also having someone immediately answer the phone when you call customer service with a question is nice.
Looks like a very nice detector and based of the experts reviews it performs as good as it looks.
Only thing that is a con for me in the sense is you can't mount this up really high on the windshield like above the mirror or on the visor to get the best reception and to keep it out of thieves eyesight because of the GPS sensor needing a direct up view of the sky. I do like the GPS feature so I have to work around this.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

beltronics pro 500

Written By Kennyh, Trimble, MO on Sunday, March 31, 2013
I have owned my beltronics pro 500 and just completed a 1800 mile trip to Tennessee from Missouri. I have to say that It spotted every radar trap that was there, with enough time to slow down. I even ran into a cop shooting lazer, on an overpass. I slowed imidiatly upon alert, and he did not pursue. I also have plastic covers over my licence plates and plastic lense covers on my headlights, which are the fist places that they shoot lazer. Overall I am very pleased with this detector, It also alerted me the red light speed cameras, but it falsed on the ones that were over the freeway, I think that they are working on how to determine your direction of travel so that it doesn't do that. I have a escort 9500xi also that I use as a daily driver on my work truck. I think the pro 500 is more sensitive, I was spoting radar at more than a mile in some areas. I was spoting radar over hills and around corners better that the escort. Would highly recommend.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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1 question already asked

Can I use a MAC to download the latest updates? [ Tim  Jun 27, 2014 ]
1 answer
  • Yes you can. This is how I update mine. [ SIMON   Jun 28, 2014 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Beltronics Pro 500, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_083PRO500/Beltronics-Pro-500.html ).

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