Minelab Equinox 800 – Our Review Of This Professional Metal Detector!
I welcome all my fellow detectorists, readers and visitors to my blog! It is true that we have a lot of reviews, and that is, of course, good. Detectors and other detecting equipment should be checked, tested and written about, and there will be drawn conclusions, which someone might not like. But what can we do about that? We really need to write reviews so that you, the detectorists, know which detector you can trust, and which to stay away from.
One of our friends has recently acquired the new metal detector Minelab Equinox 800, apparently – he succumbed to the advertising. I could not pass this opportunity by and I asked him to help the blog a bit- he gladly lent me his detector so that I could test it, dig with it, see what it is and how it works. And therefore – meet the review on the famous Equinox, “Nox” or “Egginabox”, as some fellow detectorists have named it.
Equinox 800 Kit
The 800 model of the metal detector Equinox comes in a fairly rich bundle!
There is a great difference between the 600 and 800 models, and this difference consists in the absence of several search programs and frequencies for the 600 model, and in a slightly different kit. The 800 comes with good extras, which are very useful for detecting.
As you can see – everything is packed very firmly, thoughtfully and there is no need to worry that the contents of the box may suffer during shipping. The detector is completely protected from most of the problems that can occur during delivery.
In addition to the metal detector itself with the 11″ round coil, as in the photo below:
The metal detector comes with a user’s manual, and there is a small guide included (hint) – A start-up guide that fits easily in your pants or jacket pocket when you go detecting, this helps you remember the settings and quickly understand the controls of the metal detector.
The main difference between the 600 and the 800 models is the presence of a wireless adapter and a set of headphones in the 800 model.
It should be noted immediately that the wireless headphones in the Equinox work via Bluetooth technology, and the wireless adapter WM 08 works on WiFi technology. The headphones have a very minimal delay, which is interesting, during the detecting with the Equinox I repeatedly tried to notice at least the slightest delay in response through the headphones, but I luckily failed – the headphones are fast, despite the Bluetooth/aptX Low Latency technology. The second, equally important bonus of these headphones is that they can be connected to your smartphone and you can
receive and answer incoming calls during detecting, which allows you to stay away from removing your gloves every time and once again make the phone dirty, answering a call. A small but nice bonus. You can also listen to music through them, but during detecting, it is not wise to do so – you will skip all the good signals. ? listen to music
Since the metal detectors have a built-in battery, the chargers are also magnetic, they are really comfortable and are easy to attach to the charging socket. They fly off quite uneasy and I’ve had a couple of difficulties to unhook the charge from the nest, you just need to easily adapt to this process.
Also, there are “transparent” stickers provided in the kit that you can fasten on the screen. The main task for them is to give the user an understanding of the functions in the menu, because in the menu in the detector there is no text, only icons, and the second function of the stickers is to protect the screen from scratches. We solved the problem more radically – we bought a cover and stuck a sticker on the cover. Still, the metal detector looks better in the cover, and the control panel itself will be protected from scratches and dirt.
Metal detector design
The equinoxes are built on a fairly simple scheme – a straight stem with a protruding handle. There is also a built-in rechargeable battery in the handle.
This design has its pros and cons. From the pros – it is very compact, allows easy assembly/disassembly, the handle with the control panel can simply be unscrewed and installed on another stem, the main thing is that the diameters of the stems should be the same.
Of the cons – with such a stem it is more difficult to achieve a good balance for the metal detector because the coil pulls the entire weight of the metal detector. If on the S-shaped stem the balance is regulated by putting the weight on the palm, then in the straight stem when a heavy coil is attached, the entire weight falls on the armrest. Part of this problem can be solved by adding weight on the armrest, for example – by installing a cover with a power bank in it, there will be a small counterweight that will help.
The clamps on the stem are very strong and easy to twist. Self-unscrewing of the clamps was not observed, everything holds on for a long time and the construction here is strong.
Of course, the balance in the direction of the coil is felt and there will be a need for a little refinement that each will decide for him/herself.
The armrest is moderately strong, made of plastic. There were no shortcomings in it, the hand fits in tightly even with the jacket. The armrest was subjected to certain weight pressure and it did not break, something which should be checked.
The metal detector is assembled quickly, the bolt for the coil is sturdy, the rubber washers for the coil are drop-shaped and cannot be inserted incorrectly, the rest of the metal detectors usually have round washers. A disassembled Equinox fits in a regular 30-liter backpack, along with an 11” coil and a case with headphones.
Menu and characteristics
The menu is very simple and easy to remember, especially during the constant changes of characteristics during detecting to check the effectiveness of certain settings.
The Equinox 800 has 4 search programs – park, field, beach, and gold, and each program has two additional sub-programs, totaling in 8 search modes.
The modes are switched by one button – it is very convenient, there are no extra or additional pushes.
This mode is intended for detecting in littered places, especially those that are full of modern garbage, and this can be foil, corks, pull tabs, beer cans and so on. It is recommended to use this mode for studying the metal detector, especially if you are taking the first steps with it. I did not use this mode for long, because I mostly walked in scarcely littered fields, but if you dig fields along roads that are very littered, then I recommend this mode with the sub-mode 2 – Jewelry, so the metal detector becomes more sensitive to small items like ancient medieval coins.
I do not recommend using discrimination, all useful and interesting finds, depending on the type of metal, size, and depth, very often fall into those segments that other diggers and even the manufacturer recommend cutting out. Dig more, find more. ?
This is the mode in which it is necessary to detect as much as possible and more often, if only because it is the most universal. It does not matter if you are looking for a good spot, or finishing a good location, this mode should be used as the main one. I mostly used the “Field 2 (Old Coins / Artifacts)” mode. Of course, preinstalled programs are better to always modify for your detecting conditions and soil. In the Field Mode it is recommended to search for historical relics and ancient coins, but in our soil, all the finds are mixed and the “Field” mode is nevertheless more suitable for our conditions than other preset modes.
You do not need to be Einstein to understand that this mode is designed for detecting on the beach. Its main difference from others is a finer tuning to the ground – on the salty sand, wet sand and shoreline (wet sand + salt). In addition, this mode is used for detecting underwater (the Equinoxes can be submerged underwater). It has two sub-modes – wet/dry sand and underwater/shallow water.
This is the mode for finding gold nuggets with fine ground tuning. You can use it to empty a promising place, especially if the ground conditions are difficult. It has two sub-modes – normal ground and difficult ground.
Of the interesting modes in the menu that you should use, you have the functions in the extended settings. For example, the correctly set sound will help you not miss a useful target after the third hour of the detecting, the tone pitch correctly selected for your hearing will help you better hear this object, and the volume of the tone (iron/non-ferrous metals) will set the metal detector for maximum effect while detecting on trashy sites. Do not be too lazy to look in the start guide.
Also, your settings can be saved in the User Profile and used at any time when your own program may suddenly be needed on a detecting.
Of the standard functions for professional metal detector functions, there is a pinpoint function in all the Equinox models, as well as ground balance and threshold tone, as it should be.
Frequencies are changed by pressing a single button – also very convenient. I mainly use the Multi-IQ, but sometimes I did go for the low frequency – 5 kHz, which perfectly detected middle sized coins in a grassy field. I did not use the frequencies of 20 and 40 kHz, they are more good for beach detecting, which I do not often do.
My experience with the Equinox 800
I managed to go to at least 10 detecting trips with the Equinox so far, and this is enough for me to understand all the main pros and cons of a metal detector. Of course, the longer you use the detector, the better you understand it and some disadvantages or advantages can only be revealed after one or two seasons, but this is relatively rare. I have long been convinced that the best detector is the one that the user knows best and knows how to detect with it. A lot of fellow detectorists are running around in search of the best detector, but this detector does not exist in the world, otherwise, most manufacturers of metal detectors would long ago die out with the arrival of a panacea detector.
Of course, if you compare a professional metal detector and a detector for beginners, the difference will be obvious, but comparing professional metal detectors with each other is often an ungrateful and unnecessary comparison. Each detector is more or less made for its kind of detecting, and a universal metal detector is an average option for searching for antiquity, on the beach, and to search for gold nuggets. And the average version has the corresponding characteristics.
In fact, the Equinox saw the objects deeper than I thought. At first, we all thought that the Equinox would be a further development of the X-Terra 705, with new features and improvements. But no, the Equinox is a new development and the things it has in common with the 705 is only a new armrest and stem clamps out of the common. The Equinox in all modes stably sees a 20 Kopecks Coin made out of silver (from the times of the Russian Empire) at 25 cm, and this is a good result for a professional metal detector. For example, the Deus cannot see this object in all modes, but the Deus is very sensitive to small things and small objects.
Another big bonus of the Equinox is the avoiding of false signals. It is well detuned from interfering with other metal detectors, power lines, and other interferences, but it is not necessary to test it in your house – no metal detector is protected from these interfering signals. But other metal detectors very often react to the Equinox, so stay away from this detector while digging.?
I was digging with the Equinox in different soils. I walked along the beach, plowed fields, swamps, and fields with different soils – the detector always worked quietly and steadily. In the wireless headphones, it is generally a pleasure to walk around – you can hear any weak signal and you do not have any problems with skipping finds.
I have found interesting things in places where it seemed to everyone that everything had already been found. But do not forget – there are no “empty” places, my experience confirms this too. The detector can see copper coins stably up to 30 cm deep, depending on the size.
Interestingly, I dug in one field, where the edge of the field next to an old drinking house is simply strewn with a fine aluminum dust of incomprehensible origin. My fellow detectorists just could not dig there and just left a little deeper into the field, but I stayed to check this place. As a result – literally in forty minutes I found three old coins, and the Equinox freely coped with the discrimination of this garbage, although I dug most of it anyway – such stable signals simply cannot be skipped, you will dig out trash 100 times, and the 101 time it will be some interesting and rare find! It may sound funny, but it often happens. I have heard a story of a person who dug on a littered forest path, among rubbish and pull tabs, and there he found a silver treasure.
The battery in the detector, though built in, lasts for a long time. I dug for three days and did not charge the battery, but then I decided to recharge it anyways; I do not like to walk with a half-empty battery. The manufacturer assures that the battery lasts for 12 hours, and for additional recharging, you can use a portable battery.
The headphones fit tightly around your head, so much so that if you dig in a place with a strong wind, you will hear the detector’s signals well, which is very important. Also, with headphones, you can receive calls from your smartphone and talk, and this is another great bonus. The batteries on the headphones are enough for a day of the detecting, for sure; I always recharged them after detecting, always, as I advise you to do. There is no delay in the signal; this is also confirmed by the fact that I never used the pinpoint button with the Equinox, even when digging out small targets.
My conclusions for the Equinox 800
The Equinox is a true professional metal detector that can be used for all types of everyday detecting. It does not matter if you are digging relics, a local park or on the beach, for most of your tasks this detector will be enough. One of the key factors is the price, be it a little lower, then the detector would be even more interesting, but this is Minelab, their technology is rarely cheap, but it works well. I saw a few people on Facebook that had problems with this detector, but they were solved fast and the users were happy. In addition, the number of problems was within reason. My fellow detectorist – the owner of this detector, have had no problems with this metal detector so far.
In general, I have good impressions from this metal detector. Yes, a certain “hype” was created around this detector. I personally did not build many expectations about it, but I waited for the moment when it would fall into my hands. The detector passed my testing with excellent results. As a first detector, I would not recommend it, but if you look at it with a budget, the 600 model is good for most types of detecting. The 800 is better to take when you already want to buy the wireless headphones in addition, which will be very expensive on its own.
Do you use this metal detector? Is there something more to it? Write it in the comments – we will discuss it!
I have had problems in my area since the soil is loaded with small hot rocks, very rocky underneath the soil. the 800 sees everything and reacts with a lot of chattery noise. I have noise cancelled, ground balanced, reduced sensitivity to 17-18 (afraid to go lower), changed frequencies. I’m not sure of what else to do. I use the Field 1 mode mostly.
Looks like in this area nothing will help, only old PI detectors!
Great review! If you wouldn’t mind clarifying why this is not a good first detector? Is it based on cost? May I ask what you see as a better first detector under a grand
Hi! Yep, the point is the cost of this unit. Most of the new detectorists just buy a first detector which has to be cheap, because if they will understand that this is not a good hobby for them – it would be faster to sell. Just ordering the unit about $900+ is not the wise idea to start this hobby. But, if you have a friends-detectorists, who can help you with this detector and will also explain to you a lot about our hobby and assist/help you – then why not?
As a first detector, there are good Garrett ACE series or Fisher F series models.
Thank you! You’ve given me a great deal to consider! Greatly appreciate this
You are welcome, Matt 😉
Well what if you have no experience but know you will love it and live in a target rich area? Is there too much of a learning curve? What do you suggest?
In this case, I suggest the Garrett AT MAX.
I near to buy a new MD to find “coins”, what you suggest from NOX800 and DEUS?
If you are an experienced user you can choose between Deus a Nox. Both are great detectors! Nox is better for beach detecting, Deus is better for small and tiny coins, depends on your area and type of detecting. There is no universal detector for all applications on a market.
I have a few questions that you might be able to answer. It was reported on YouTube that the Equinox 800 could not detect large silver coins or rings on their edges accurately. Does the Equinox 600 also have the same problem? Did Minelab fix the problem in the 2019 machines? There was a software update that seemed to help some, but not completely. The second question has to do with the multi-frequency mode for both the Equinox 600 and 800. I was under the impression that in multi-frequency mode the detectors could only detect in the single frequencies found on the machine. For instance, the Equinox 600 could only detect in three frequencies all at once in multi-frequency mode. However, a metal detector dealer told me that was not the case. He said in multi-frequency mode, the Equinox 600 could detect in several frequencies all at once and not just the three individual frequencies offered on the machine. Then, of course, that would mean the Equinox 800 would perform the same way in multi-frequency mode. I was leaning toward what that person said as being true because of the review that was given for the Minelab E-Track on here. The review stated the E-Track detects in 28 frequencies all at one time ranging from 1.5 to 100 kHz. So, if that is the case, then it would stand to reason the Equinox would detect the same way in multi-frequency mode. 1.5 to 100 kHz would cover every possible good target rather it be small or large or gold or silver. After all, the Equinox 800 would not be an upgrade to the E-Track if it detected in few frequencies and in a lesser range in multifrequency mode. This is all confusing too me, could you shed more light on this for me?
Well, as far as I know, and see, from my personal experience, Equinox series detects only on Frequencies which Equinox has. If Equinox 600 has 3 freqs, then Mulity-IQ operates on this 3 freqs.
Using 28 freqs in one time makes no sense, to be honest.
Hope it helps!
There’s a software update on Minelab’s site that is supposed to help with the problems detecting silver in some situations.
where can I buy that camo tape? or what is that?
I bought it directly from China on AliExpress, lol! But I highly recommend to buy a normal covers, as I’ve upgraded already to fully coated covers.