Generic Detectors

Minelab Equinox 800 Review

11 Mins read

If you’re looking for one of the most reliable metal detectors in the market, you can count on Minelab to fill you in on the right one, especially the Equinox series.  So far, the Minelab Equinox series includes two products: the 600 series that is designed for entry-level or mid-level treasure Hunters; and the 800 series that is for the more experienced, professional detectorists. In this article, we’ll be covering the Minelab Equinox 800 metal detector in great detail.

The Minelab Equinox 800 is arguably the mother of all metal detectors. We understand that you may have heard that marketing tag over and over again with several other models. Still, this one indeed backs it up, especially with the features and capabilities that we cannot wait to unravel here in our extensive review. Every feature and attachment that comes with the Minelab Equinox 800 is intrinsic and elemental for treasure hunting.

Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
208 Reviews
Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
  • Total Weight: 2. 96 lbs (1. 34 kgs) 8 Custom Search Profiles: Each Detect Mode Features 2 Custom Search Profiles so you can Save your Favorite Settings in Each Mode : 3 Year Limited for Detector, 1 Year for Battery Operating Frequencies: Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz Fast & Accurate Target ID: Fast Recovery Speed with Accurate Target ID
  • Simultaneous Multi-Frequency For Maximum Performance, Plus a Wide Range of Single Frequencies Get Even More Control of your Audio with Advanced Settings; You Decide How Much Target Info you Hear Wireless Audio Compatible with Ultra-Fast Wireless Audio with the WM 08, and Fast aptX Low Latency / Bluetooth Headphones
  • Gold detecting mode: operates the high single frequencies of 20 kHz, 40 kHz or multi to detect gold nuggets in mineralized soils
  • Waterproof design: Equinox is fully submersible, ideal for detecting at the beach and in rivers, streams and lakes (3M/ 10-feet)
  • Factory included accessories: ml 80 wireless headphones with hard shell case wm 08 wireless audio module USB charging cable with magnetic connector USB charging cable for headphones auxiliary cable Equinox quick start guide

Minelab Equinox 800 Overview

The Minelab Equinox 800 debuted in 2017 and took the metal detection world by storm. It’s truly one of a kind in that it is lightweight, consists of so many high-quality features, while still being offered to us at a surprisingly low cost. We believe it’s fair to say that the Minelab Equinox 800 has the most satisfactory price to quality to technical specifications ratio compared to other products like it in the market – which is just a geeky way of saying that it’s the total package for detectorists. Besides that, the product has maintained overwhelming superb feedback from buyers, and experts alike from around the world.

The critical items featured with the Minelab Equinox 800 include 3-meter waterproofness, breakneck recovery speed, authentic multi-frequency operation, being able to run one of the various frequencies from that of the multi-frequency mode, and built-in wireless headphone capability. All this and many more under the relatively low price of $899.00.

Since it was released in 2018, the Minelab Equinox 800 was developed using the latest and groundbreaking, state-of-the-art technologies. Because of these innovative features, the model became one of the highest-selling and most popular metal detectors in all of 2018 and at the start of 2019. And even though it was a recent model, it enjoyed immediate trust from both consumers and critics alike. Although, this was most likely because of the brand’s solid reputation in the industry as well as the technical specifications that came with the item.

The Equinox 800 is an extremely versatile machine that is capable of highly stable and efficient performance in any terrain and any type of condition. Many who use this product say that it offers the best results when looking for relics and coins, and also provides efficient beach-searching results as well.

Features Of The Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800 is a multi-purpose metal detector that comes with no-frills features and functions that serve the very purpose of searching for precious metals and items.

One of the most prominent features of the device is the Multi-IQ technology that enables the user to search the area using the multi-frequency mode. We’ll get to this in greater detail later.

Other features include high-quality discrimination of trash and ferrous metals, along with a vast depth of reach. What’s more, is that this machine can locate items that are both small and large at varying depths.

It also features four detecting modes: Park, Beach, Field, and Gold, a 3-year limited detector warranty, a multitude of operating frequencies, fast and accurate target ID, and much more that we’ll get into.

Multi-IQ Frequency Mode

The Multi-IQ is known as Simultaneous Multi-frequency In-phase and Quadrature Synchronous Demodulation. This frequency mode features the combined performance advantages of both VFLEX and FBS to create a fusion of brand new technologies. It’s not just an updated version of a single frequency VLF, nor is it only a modified version of BBS/FBS. By creating new technology, including a brand new kind of detector from the ground up, the Minelab Equinox 800 offers both single and multi-frequency capabilities in a lightweight package at a relatively low cost as well as a considerably faster recovery speed compared to other models in the market. So it’s fair to say that you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth with this baby.

The Multi-IQ feature offers users stable target IDs and accuracies at substantial depths than possibly any single frequency detector available today, including detectors that allow us to switch between single frequencies. Nowadays, you simply can’t trust manufacturers that advertise their own detectors to be multi-frequency, especially when they’re known for using only one at a time. When Minelab uses “multi-frequency,” they truly mean it. This means that a single frequency is transmitted, acquired, and then processed at the same time. What this does is maximize target sensitivity across several terrains and pick up targets of virtually any size and type while reducing ground noise (including saltwater).

Multi IQ uses different types of frequencies than those of BBS/FBS to produce a multi-frequency transmission signal that’s even more sensitive to high-frequency targets and less sensitive to low-frequency targets. It uses advanced digital filtering techniques and the most recent high-speed processors for a rapid recovery speed than BBS and FPS Technologies. Multi IQ does cope well with beach and saltwater conditions almost as efficiently as BBS/FBS, although the latter still has the edge in locating high conductive silver coins in just about any situation.

Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
208 Reviews
Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
  • Total Weight: 2. 96 lbs (1. 34 kgs) 8 Custom Search Profiles: Each Detect Mode Features 2 Custom Search Profiles so you can Save your Favorite Settings in Each Mode : 3 Year Limited for Detector, 1 Year for Battery Operating Frequencies: Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz Fast & Accurate Target ID: Fast Recovery Speed with Accurate Target ID
  • Simultaneous Multi-Frequency For Maximum Performance, Plus a Wide Range of Single Frequencies Get Even More Control of your Audio with Advanced Settings; You Decide How Much Target Info you Hear Wireless Audio Compatible with Ultra-Fast Wireless Audio with the WM 08, and Fast aptX Low Latency / Bluetooth Headphones
  • Gold detecting mode: operates the high single frequencies of 20 kHz, 40 kHz or multi to detect gold nuggets in mineralized soils
  • Waterproof design: Equinox is fully submersible, ideal for detecting at the beach and in rivers, streams and lakes (3M/ 10-feet)
  • Factory included accessories: ml 80 wireless headphones with hard shell case wm 08 wireless audio module USB charging cable with magnetic connector USB charging cable for headphones auxiliary cable Equinox quick start guide

Minelab Equinox Search Modes

There are four search modes available with the Minelab Equinox 800: Park, Field, Beach, and Gold. Each of these programs has two extra subprograms, bringing the total number of search modes to 8. Every one of these modes can be activated by only one button without any additional methods or buttons involved.

1.    Park Mode

Park mode allows users to detect precious items in littered areas, especially the kind that consists of modern garbage like pull tabs, corks, foil, beer cans, and more. If you’re just getting the hang of the detector, it’s recommended that you start out with this mode first. If you’re going through very littered roads, then we suggest using this mode along with the sub-mode 2 – Jewelry. This way, the metal detector becomes more sensitive to just smaller items such as medieval coins.

2.    Gold Mode

As the name of this mode indicates, it’s suitable for helping you find golden nuggets, especially in mineralized grounds. The device accomplishes this by using various audio processing so the targets can respond in both pitch and volume. For this mode, a high single frequency of 20 or 40 kilohertz is required. You can use it to empty a place where you know you have a good chance of finding gold nuggets; this is if there are severe ground conditions.

3.    Field Mode

This is the mode that users used to detect as much as they want since it is the most universal out of all the other modes. This means it doesn’t actually matter how good or bad an area it is, this mode is sufficient for just about any spot you’re going to search. Its two sub-modes include old coins and artifacts. Even better is that you can modify these modes to suit the soil and detect conditions.

4.    Beach Mode

Well, obviously, this mode is intended for finding items on the beach. However, it’s different from other detectors due to its fine-tuning capabilities, especially on wet sand, shoreline, and salty beach. Furthermore, this mode can also be applied for detecting underwater. It’s two sub-modes are underwater/shallow water and wet/dry sand.

Other Features

  • Waterproof design: The Minelab Equinox 800 is entirely submersible, being able to detect not only on beach surfaces, but also in streams, lakes, and rivers approximately 3 meters or 10 ft deep.
  • Simultaneous multi-frequency: a true intelligent multi simultaneous multi-frequency for enhancing performance, along with a slew of other single frequencies.
  • Lightweight and durable: the device is both resilient and Incredibly lightweight, allowing users to enjoy long searches in any area.
  • High-speed wireless audio: The Equinox 800 comes with ultra-fast wireless audio that can be experienced using the WM 08, or the fast aptX low latency/Bluetooth headphones.
  • Fast And Precise Target ID: Rapid recovery speed along with precise target ID capabilities allows users to ensure they don’t miss their target amidst all the trash.
  • 8 custom search profiles: every detective mode comes with two custom search profiles allowing users to save their favorite search settings for each mode.
  • Monochrome LCD display
  • 5-level depth indication
  • DD 11 inches coil
  • Adjustable backlight
  • IP68 waterproof
  • 1 to 25 sensitivity
  • 0 to 25 Threshold level, Threshold pitch, and Target volume
  • Upgradable software
  • Built-in rechargeable battery, with 12-hour back up
  • Manual or automatic noise cancellation
  • Manual or automatic ground balance

Design

Every Minelab Equinox 800 comes with a reasonably simple built and straight stem with a handle coming out of it. The handle also comes with a built-in rechargeable battery feature. There are both pros and cons to this design. For the former, it’s really compact in that people can quickly assemble and disassemble it. The handle can be unscrewed and installed on another stem, just as long as the diameter of the other stem is the same.

The disappointing part about it is that this type of stem makes it harder to get the right balance for the metal detector due to the coil pulling the weight of the device. if the balance is regulated on the S-shaped stem by giving more pressure on the palm, then when a heavy coil is attached in the straight stem, the whole weight will fall on the armrest. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved by including some pressure on the armrest, like having a cover installed in it along with a power bank.

The stem’s clamps are quite strong and pretty simple to twist. From what we have observed, the clamps don’t unscrew even after long usage, and the construction behind the device is very strong.

There are a number of differences between the Equinox 600 and 800 models, and some of them include the lack of various frequencies and search programs for the 600 model, as well as a different kit. The 800 model comes with a number of other features as we’ve covered already, all of which are actually pivotal in detecting items.

When you unpackaged the Equinox 800 kit, you’ll notice that everything has been packed quite firmly, so much so that you don’t really have to worry about the contents of the package suffering during transportation. Along with the main metal detecting component, you will receive an 11 inch round coil.

A user manual can be found inside the package along with a small start-up guide that could easily fit inside the pocket of one’s jacket or pants. So if there are things that you don’t recall when using the detector, you can use the guide book for clarification, at least until you don’t need it anymore.

Another major difference that you’ll find with the Minelab Equinox 800 model that the previous model (600) did not have is a set of headphones and a wireless adapter. The wireless adapter WM 08 works via Wi-Fi, and the headphones work via Bluetooth. we tried the headphones ourselves, and you’ll be happy to know that even though it has been said that there is a slight delay in the audio, we barely noticed it.

What’s more, is that the headphones can be paired with our smartphone, allowing us to retrieve and immediately answer incoming calls and messages while we’re out hunting for treasure. It’s a very useful feature as it also keeps us from having to answer the phone with our dirty gloves, especially if we get urgent calls. Of course, we can also listen to music if we like, though realistically, it would just interfere with the detecting as you might miss out on the signals of your target.

The charging socket of the Minelab Equinox 800 is magnetic, and since the device is lightweight, users will have no trouble attaching it to the socket when it’s time for a recharge. And once the charging has finished, it’s also quite easy to unhook the detector from the socket, though it does take some getting used to at first.

The kit also provides users with “transparent” stickers that we can fasten on the detector screen. Each one of those stickers is labeled to help a user understand what function does what as there is no text on in the detector’s menu beside icons. The stickers also protect the detector screen from getting any scratches. You can also buy a cover and fasten a sticker on it if you like.

Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
208 Reviews
Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
  • Total Weight: 2. 96 lbs (1. 34 kgs) 8 Custom Search Profiles: Each Detect Mode Features 2 Custom Search Profiles so you can Save your Favorite Settings in Each Mode : 3 Year Limited for Detector, 1 Year for Battery Operating Frequencies: Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz Fast & Accurate Target ID: Fast Recovery Speed with Accurate Target ID
  • Simultaneous Multi-Frequency For Maximum Performance, Plus a Wide Range of Single Frequencies Get Even More Control of your Audio with Advanced Settings; You Decide How Much Target Info you Hear Wireless Audio Compatible with Ultra-Fast Wireless Audio with the WM 08, and Fast aptX Low Latency / Bluetooth Headphones
  • Gold detecting mode: operates the high single frequencies of 20 kHz, 40 kHz or multi to detect gold nuggets in mineralized soils
  • Waterproof design: Equinox is fully submersible, ideal for detecting at the beach and in rivers, streams and lakes (3M/ 10-feet)
  • Factory included accessories: ml 80 wireless headphones with hard shell case wm 08 wireless audio module USB charging cable with magnetic connector USB charging cable for headphones auxiliary cable Equinox quick start guide

Equinox Display And Interface

The metal detector features a clear LCD display with VDI digital for optimal convenience and visual. This means that everything on the screen is easily readable. What’s more is that these displays have a backlit LCD background, making it easier to read for those with weaker eyesight. The buttons are very easy to navigate, and each one of them responds right when they are pressed. This makes switching between modes and operating frequencies also easy.

The screen enables users to do plenty of other stuff, including:

  • Create customized mask patterns of preferred targets and ignore unwanted ones
  • View the batteries charging status and audio device
  • Allows users to activate pin-point mode to identify the precise location of their targets
  • Users can change mode, search sensitivity, and operating frequency on the fly
  • Turn on “all metals” mode to disable the actively chosen mask temporarily
  • Toggle between various basic and advanced features like ground balance, noise reduction, threshold tone level, recovery speed, receive/reject, key tone, and volume control

Recovery Speed, Iron Bias, And Sensitivity

As we are now approaching the end of our review article, we feel that it’s time to talk about three important settings of the Minelab Equinox 800: recovery speed, sensitivity, and iron bias. These are probably the only settings that you’ll need to alter based on your ground conditions or location.

Every other setting that we’ve mentioned earlier, automatically helps the Equinox adjust to how you wish to hunt, like how many tones you like, the pitches for those tones, and where the tones break off, among other things.

Iron Bias

The recovery and iron bias settings can be located by pushing the button with a cog symbol until the users get to the final right-hand spot. You can toggle between settings by holding down the button.

The Iron Bias setting was something that the Equinox 600 consumers have been waiting quite some time for. From what we gathered, the feature was finally included due to feedback from field testers.

The iron by setting keeps the machine’s sensitivity to big and irregular shaped iron. This works like the “silencer” settings on the XP machines if any of you have previously owned one. The setting helps with a ‘falsing’ signal given off if we ever detect a larger iron. The larger iron can overwhelm the discrimination settings of the detector and can give us a good signal by the end of a sweep known as a false signal.

You can find the setting only in the multi-frequency mode. A lower setting offers excellent target separation but will invite a couple of crackles and pops from horse/ox shoes and iron nails.

A higher setting will reduce the crackle and pop falsing and keep the machine quiet. However, this leads to reduced depth and target separation, as well as a potential loss of small valuable targets that require attention.

The setting for iron bias is at 0, which many users would agree is quite low. A more desirable setting is either 3 or 4 at best. This way, you’ll have a great balance between lowering falsing on small or medium-sized iron as it maintains depth and offers great target separation.

Sensitivity

Like many other detectors in the market, the sensitivity setting is crucial. You can keep it as high as you want while also keeping the metal detector stable. If you’re getting some kind of external interference from things like phone transmitters, ground conditions, or pylons, don’t hesitate to back the settings off just a little. We personally had to back down to a setting of 18 to quiet the device and still managed to excavate deep targets.

Recovery Speed

This setting enables the user to configure the speed at which the device detects between targets. A lower setting will help the user slowly recover between targets and give them greater depth. A high setting, on the other hand, will reduce our chances of excluding a target that may have been hiding behind an object that the detector rejected. However, this setting will greatly impact the depth level.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multi-IQ technology for better target ID
  • Completely submersible up to 3 meters or 10 feet
  • Weighs only 3 lbs
  • Offers more value for money
  • Powerful battery
  • Over 6 search modes
  • Switches between frequencies based on needs

Cons

  • Headphones included with the detector aren’t waterproof
  • Difficult for beginners

Conclusion

All in all, the Minelab Equinox 800 is perhaps the most complete metal detector that anyone (apart from beginners perhaps) could possibly own. Whether you’re out at the beach, the park, or underwater (10 feet deep), you can hardly ever go wrong with this detector. It’s most attractive selling points arguably are its wide assortment of intrinsic features, the relatively low price rate, and lightweight.

Among its best features is the Multi-IQ frequency function that enables users to achieve a great, stable target ID with incredible accuracy and depth than any other detector available in the market today. What’s even more incredible about this function is that once it locks onto a target, it never loses sight of it. Besides that, there are other settings that make the detector customizable for just about any location and suits virtually any search condition imaginable.

The wireless headphones prevent you from getting tangled up and help you answer phone calls without reaching for your phone. This, along with the fact that the batteries have a 12-hour backup, is reason enough to help us utilize most of our treasure hunting facilities during the clear blue skies and hot, crowded areas.

Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
208 Reviews
Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Black
  • Total Weight: 2. 96 lbs (1. 34 kgs) 8 Custom Search Profiles: Each Detect Mode Features 2 Custom Search Profiles so you can Save your Favorite Settings in Each Mode : 3 Year Limited for Detector, 1 Year for Battery Operating Frequencies: Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz Fast & Accurate Target ID: Fast Recovery Speed with Accurate Target ID
  • Simultaneous Multi-Frequency For Maximum Performance, Plus a Wide Range of Single Frequencies Get Even More Control of your Audio with Advanced Settings; You Decide How Much Target Info you Hear Wireless Audio Compatible with Ultra-Fast Wireless Audio with the WM 08, and Fast aptX Low Latency / Bluetooth Headphones
  • Gold detecting mode: operates the high single frequencies of 20 kHz, 40 kHz or multi to detect gold nuggets in mineralized soils
  • Waterproof design: Equinox is fully submersible, ideal for detecting at the beach and in rivers, streams and lakes (3M/ 10-feet)
  • Factory included accessories: ml 80 wireless headphones with hard shell case wm 08 wireless audio module USB charging cable with magnetic connector USB charging cable for headphones auxiliary cable Equinox quick start guide

minelab equinox 800

About author
Hi, my name is Richard, I've been metal detecting for nearly 10 years now. I first got into it after running into an old friend on the beach who happened to be detecting (Mind he didn't actually find anything whilst I was there), it certainly got me curious. Since then it's been my biggest hobby so I decided to start this website and help other people get into it.
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