Cobra DSP 9200 BT: Trickle-Down Economics

Dancing With Myself

DSP 9200 BT scanner

I first tried the DSP 9200 BT alone, without iRadar running on my phone, to see how it works as a standalone detector. The answer is, pretty darn good. It gives false alerts slightly more often than the K40 RLS2, but nowhere near as many as the detectors I used years ago. I do miss K40’s Mark to Mute function, though, which allows me to automatically mute alerts in locations that I know are false.

Some reviewers have complained that the full color screen is too dim to be seen in bright sunlight, but I had no such issues. I think Cobra took this criticism from early reviews and fixed the problem by the time I got mine. Don’t let the low-res animated GIF up there fool you – the image is bright and quite clear on the small screen, much nicer than the LED display on the RLS2 that looks the same as the last Cobra detector I used sometime last millennium.

Inspiration for the DSP 9200 BT display
Photo credit:

Call it senseless nostalgia, but I absolutely love the green bar that swoops back and forth while the DSP 9200 BT is scanning for radar. It may not be the same color, but there must be some Knight Rider fans at Cobra who recreated KITT’s scanner bar in this unit. It serves no useful purpose whatsoever, and it’s one of my favorite aspects of this detector.

Otherwise, the screen displays whether it’s in Highway, City, or City Max mode, which are increasing levels of filtering. When radar or laser is detected, the band and a signal strength meter appear. Additional information is available if enabled through iRadar, such as the actual frequency and a nifty graph display thing in “Advanced” mode. Though some functions can only be set through iRadar, those settings remain when the app is shut off.

The range of the DSP 9200 BT is quite good. Several times it warned me of approaching police radar before I could see them, giving me enough time to make sure my speed was appropriate before they saw me. The range is comparable to the K40 RLS2, perhaps even slightly better, though neither compare to the fully integrated RL360i. Unfortunately, the school zone speed signs I used to compare K40’s detectors were recently shut down because school is out for the summer, eliminating my known radar source to use for testing for the next few months.


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David Tracy

David Tracy of Jalopnik

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