Minelab’s latest metal detectors, Equinox 600 and 800, feature a revolutionary multi-frequency technology called Multi-IQ, which redefines all-purpose metal detecting for serious metal detectorists.
That means you can operate your metal detector across the full spectrum of frequencies at the same time, allowing for maximum results.
However, they have some important differences that you should know about. Choosing the wrong metal detector for your needs can prove costly and ruin your metal detecting experience.
So, which model is better for you?
Similarities between Minelab’s Equinox 600 and 800 metal detectors
Both the Minelab Equinox 800 and 600 metal detectors are waterproof up to 10 feet.
This means that the search coils on the detectors are waterproof. The coils are the elliptical or round things found at the very end of the metal detector.
What you need to know is that both the Equinox 600 and 800 can detect metal in the rain, whether in the field or at the beach. Yes, the experience might not be enjoyable, but the rain should not stop you from detecting and finding metal objects.
Can you use the Equinox 600 and 800 metal detectors in the snow? Yes, you can go metal detecting with both detectors in the snow. But, if the snow is very deep, the detector’s frequencies will not penetrate the snow or ground as far as you’d like. To metal detect with better results, try to keep the detector as low to the ground as possible.
The Minelab Equinox 600 and 800 have the 11-inch round Double-D coil, which provides all-around performance for metal detecting.
It works by transmitting an electric current that creates a magnetic field between the ground and the search coil. As the magnetic field bounces back, the search coil receives the signal and analyzes it. In turn, the metal detector alerts you via the control center that it found metal.
As aforementioned, the coils are waterproof. They provide a good balance between ground coverage, weight, and sensitivity. Each Double-D coil weighs 510 g and comes with a protective skid plate. This brings the total weight of the detectors to 1.34 kg with the coils attached.
Thanks to the smart coil that comes with both metal detectors, you can expand and take your treasure hunting to another level. So, no matter what you’re searching for, this search coil will help you uncover it.
Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries allow for multiple uses. This reduces waste and provides a long-term investment for users. With this in mind, Minelab fitted the Equinox 600 and 800 with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
On a single charge, the batteries provide 10 to 12 hours of run time. Both metal detectors come with a USB charging cable that features a snap-on magnetic connector. To fully recharge the metal detectors, it takes 4 hours.
All you need to do is plug the supplied charging cable into any USB-A port. Then connect the magnetic connector to the charging interface of the metal detector. If done correctly, a green status LED light should flash slowly on the top left of the control panel.
As the metal detectors charge, the light will keep flashing, and once fully charged, it will remain on. Since both the Equinox 600 and 800 come with LCD panels, they display the battery status indicator. When the rechargeable lithium ion battery level is critically low ( below 5%), bF will appear on the screen, indicating the unit needs charging.
Backlight Monochrome LCD Display
Both the Minelab Equinox 600 and Equinox 800 metal detectors have a backlight monochrome LCD. Readable and easy to use, the display comes in handy for treasure hunters and gold prospectors.
How, you may ask.
The large display provides lots of information, such as target ID, battery status indicator, and pinpoint, making metal detecting a breeze. It also displays the tracking ground balance, depth gauge, frequency display, settings menu, and more.
Both detectors offer the same adjustable sensitivity (1-25), target volume (0-25) and threshold level (0-25).
Under the settings menu, you can access functions such as noise cancellation, ground balance, volume, target tone, and others. You also have access to advanced settings like threshold pitch, tone pitch, iron bias, tone volume, and tone break.
To access more functions, update the metal detector software via USB. Basically, you can hook up the metal detector to your PC running Windows or Mac OS and then update it.
Differences between Minelab Equinox 600 vs 800
One major difference between the Minelab Equinox detectors is that the 600 has three detection modes ideal for the beach, field, and park, while the Equinox 800 has four detection modes. They include the three above and one more – gold mode.
So if you’re interested in gold prospecting, the choice between the two metal detectors is easy, because the Equinox 800’s extra gold mode is optimised to find small gold nuggets. Each mode has two settings and you can save your favorite settings for use when metal detecting. So, in total, there are six custom search profiles for 600, and eight custom search profiles for Equinox 800.
A User Profile button on the Equinox 800 metal detector allows the operator to switch directly to an alternative Detect Mode. On the Equinox 600 metal detector, this can take multiple button presses.
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You have Park 1 and Field 1 that maximize ground balance, allowing the Equinox 600 and 800 to achieve the best signal-to-noise ratio. This is beneficial in coin shooting and general park detection.
You also have Park 2 and Field 2, which are sensitive to high frequency and low conductivity targets. Basically, this setting has more ground noise than the previous custom search profile. Other search modes include: Beach 1 and Beach 2, Gold 1 and Gold 2.
Equinox 800’s Advanced Settings allow finer tuning of assorted options. Both models have automatic noise cancel, but the 800 features a manual override for noise canceling. This setting will prove useful, especially when you get electormagnetic interference or you are near other metal detectors.
If you’re looking for wireless headphones in the box, you should go with the Equinox 800 metal detector.
The Equinox 800 includes wireless headphones with bluetooth technology and also has enhanced, super-fast aptX Low Latency technology for minimal time delay. The Minelab Equinox 600 only comes with wired headphones but is Bluetooth compatible, so it can be used with wireless headphones separately.
Both offer 4 target tones (1, 2, 5, 50) and 5 depth indicators. The Equinox 600 offers tone break, pitch, and volume but only for ferrous metals, while the 800 offers them for both ferrous and non ferrous metals.
Minelab incorporated Multi-IQ simultaneous frequency technology into the two detectors. With the Equinox series, you can operate across multiple frequencies, providing you with better results.
Why is Multi-IQ technology revolutionary? Well, it combines the performance advantages of both VFLEX and FBS. It’s not a rework of the single frequency VLF, nor is it an iteration of other technologies like BBS/FBS.
Unlike the latter, Multi-IQ uses a different group of frequencies to generate a wide-band multi-frequency signal. This signal is more sensitive to high-frequency targets. Also, it’s less sensitive to low-frequency targets.
However, the Minelab Equinox 600 metal detector has three single frequencies, namely 5 kHz, 10 kHz, and 15 kHz, while the Equinox 800 offers a choice of five frequencies. They include 5 kHz, 10 kHz, and 15 kHz, plus two additional frequencies – 20 kHz and 40 kHz.
The difference between the two metal detectors is not insignificant. Usually you’ll find the Equinox 800 is about $300 more. The variations in prices depend on demand/ supply, and vendor. Also, from time to time, there are different promotions, so be sure to check the latest prices.
And the Winner is…
Both the Equinox models are two of the best metal detectors ever made by Minelab. They can locate a vast majority of targets with high precision. However, the Equinox 800 metal detector offers more advanced features and precise control. With this information, the clear winner is the Equinox 800.
However, you will have to make a decision based on your experience and needs. The Minelab Equinox 600 metal detector, having less options is better suited for beginners. The Equinox 800 is better for more advanced users and specifically for gold prospecting.
1. Which Minelab metal detector is the best?
The Equinox 800 is better than the Minelab Equinox 600 and even the Minelab CTX 3030. Not only is the 800 a faster machine, it is lightweight and easy to manage. The metal detector has the capability of identifying iron and also handling heavy mineralization.
2. Which Minelab detector is the best for gold?
The best gold metal detector on the market is the Minelab CTX 3030. Weighing 5.2 pounds and waterproof up to 10 feet, the CTX 3030 comes with a state-of-the-art search coil that detects all metal types, including gold. Besides the search coil, the metal detector has an ergonomic design that allows you to stay in the field longer with less fatigue when metal detecting.
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