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Steve Herschbach

21st Century Detecting - Waterproof With Wireless Headphones

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What features should be standard in a 21st century metal detector? Going forward I have a couple basic features I would like in any new detector model I get. Given the current state of the art, the detector may as well be waterproof. This used to incur a penalty by way of limited features, increased weight, or lack of coil options, but those days are past. And at this point built in wireless headphone capability is a must for above water use (hardwired phones are required underwater). The following detectors are all waterproof to at least ten feet, and all have built in wireless headphone capability. All have built in waterproof speakers and optional interchangeable search coils. Click chart for larger version.

21st Century Metal Detectors - Waterproof and Wireless Headphones

21st Century Metal Detectors (Waterproof & Wireless)
Quest 40
Makro Kruzer 14
Minelab Equinox 600
Garrett AT Max
Makro Gold Kruzer
Quest Pro
Makro Multi Kruzer
Nokta Anfibio 14
Nokta Anfibio 19
Minelab Equinox 800
Nokta Anfibio Multi
Minelab CTX 3030

All these models although waterproof feature coils that can be swapped out. Back in the day waterproof detectors usually came with only a single hardwired coil, but there is no need to settle for that now. All these models have three or more coil options available.

If a detector is truly new, less than a year on the market, then I want it to have the ability to be updated via the internet. Once a detector has been on the market over a year this is not quite as important but still desirable. All these models except the Garrett AT Max and Quest 40/Pro may receive firmware updates via the internet.

All the models listed have built in sealed rechargeable batteries, except for the Garrett AT Max, which uses removable AA batteries. Sealed batteries provide for better waterproof integrity, but eventually the batteries will have to be serviced.

The operating frequency options vary with these detectors. If the detector is to be used in or around saltwater very much, do consider multifrequency as the preferred option for most saltwater use. The Makro Gold Kruzer is a special case, with a very high 61 kHz frequency making it more an option for gold prospectors, jewelry hunters, or relic hunters looking for very small non-ferrous targets. Because of this high operating frequency the Gold Kruzer is the least saltwater friendly detector in this roundup.

Although all these models have built in wireless, they all feature proprietary systems with the exception of the Minelab Equinox, which has a proprietary system but also offers standard Low Latency Bluetooth. Right now proprietary solutions can offer less audio lag but at the price of being locked into using the proprietary headphone options, which tend to be limited. Low Latency Bluetooth is fast enough for most people and no doubt will be faster in the future, so look for proprietary offerings to fade away.

21st Century Metal Detectors - Waterproof & Wireless


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I think about, and appreciate my wireless headphones every time I gear up for the hunt. It’s hard to imagine going back to wired headphones and loosing the freedom.  My Gold Monster is not wireless but I don’t use headphones with it like I do with other threshold based gold detectors.  My SunRay’s haven’t seen use since I bought my Equinox.

Next thing I’m hoping for is wireless  pinpointers that aren’t proprietary and can be used along with my Equinox.


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Downloadable firmware updates and computer/phone programming (if necessary due to the complexity of user interface navigation and program settings - e.g., not necessary for Equinox, other detectors might benefit from this feature)

Pitch audio is a great option that I find to be really useful for unmasking.  Wish the Equinox had it in all modes.

Also like having a concentric accessory coil option.

A mineralization meter should be standard, too.

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Noise cancel feature is imo something a future 21st century detector should have.

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