Recently Minelab has dominated the metal detecting world with it’s 2x EQUINOX series of metal detectors – the EQUINOX 600 and EQUINOX 800 metal detectors – you need to see how many spots it dominates.
It’s not hard to see why.
The EQUINOX series of metal detectors have been created to compete with other top of the line detectors, but with a budget friendly price.
It’s an all terrain, multi purpose metal detector that’s perfect for beginners or seasoned experts.
Minelab EQUINOX Appearance
First off, there seems to be some confusion as to what the difference is between the EQUINOX 600 and 800 detectors.
Appearance wise, both detectors are identical, but there are some differences between the 600 and 800 that i’ll address later in this review.
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The EQUINOX Display
One of the things I love most about the display on these units is how easily readable everything this.
Not everyone has young eyes, so having easily readable displays on the back lit LCD background is a big plus.
The buttons are also easy to navigate, and everything responds very quickly when pressed.
The below image comes straight from the manual (which you can download here) and it shows all the main features of the control panel.
There is also a lot of information available on the LCD Display, with the Target ID, Frequency Display and Discrimination Scale taking up the bulk of the screen space.
Overall the display and features fit well together and is a significant improvement on many of the other Minelab metal detectors.
Price and Warranty Information
While not priced cheaply, the EQUINOX series also won’t break the bank, and I think you will agree (once you try it) that it’s well worth the investment.
Note: Both models of the EQUINOX series are also able to be purchased as a set with a Pro-Find 35 Pinpointer
The EQUINOX 600 retails for $650.
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While the EQUINOX 800 retails for $899.
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Both models come with the following Warranty:
- 3 Year Warranty for the detector
- 1 Year Warranty for the battery
Comparing the EQUINOX 600 vs 800
As mentioned earlier in this review, there is some confusion as regarding the differences between the Minelab EQUINOX 600 and 800 models.
Many people look at the price tag and automatically assume the EQUINOX 800 is the obvious choice as it’s more expensive than the 600, but it’s not quite that simple, and unfortunately the 600 model is often overlooked.
The best way to show off the differences is probably in table format, so please take a look at the table below to see just how similar the 2 are.
|Feature||EQUINOX 600||EQUINOX 800|
|Weight:||1.34 kg (2.96 lbs)||1.34 kg (2.96 lbs)|
|Length:||1440 mm (56.7″)||1440 mm (56.7″)|
|Multi-IQ frequency |
|5, 10, 15||5, 10, 15, 20, 40|
Park, Beach, Field
Park, Beach, Field, Gold
|Detect Speed||3 levels||8 levels|
|Depth Indicator||5 levels||5 levels|
|Target ID||50 Segments||50 Segments|
|Battery||Built-in rechargeable |
|Built-in rechargeable |
|Battery Operating |
|12 hours (Approx) – USB Rechargeable||12 hours (Approx) – USB Rechargeable|
|LCD Display||On / Off||Low / Medium / High / Off|
|3.5mm (1/8″) Wired Headphones||WM 08, and fast aptX |
Low Latency / Bluetooth
|Noise Cancelling||Automatic||Automatic and Manual |
(Range: -9 to 9)
|Audio||In-built loudspeaker |
WM 08 Wi-Stream compatible
WM 08 (Not Included)
WM 08 Wi-Stream compatible
WM 08 (Included)
|EQX 11″ Double-D Smart Coil with Skidplate||EQX 11″ Double-D Smart Coil with Skidplate|
Let’s call out a few of the main feature differences just so nothing is missed.
Multi-IQ multi-frequency technology
You’re probably wondering what “Multi-IQ multi-frequency technology” is, and if you even want it?
Multi-IQ multi-frequency technology allows you to operate across the full spectrum of frequencies at the same time. This means that you are far less likely to miss anything down below – cool huh?
The EQUNIOX 600 utilises Minelab 3Fx3 technology which operates at (5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kH) simultaneously.
The EQUINOX 800 utilises Minelab 5Fx3 technology which operates at (5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kH, 20 kHz, 40 kHz) simultaneously.
What that means is that the EQUINOX 800 when utilising the 20 kHz is is going to be better when hunting for gold, while the 40 kHz (also on the EQUINOX 800) is optimised for hitting small gold nuggets – this is the Gold Mode in the search mode section.
The EQUINOX 800 also has the ability to shift non-ferrous tones and volumes, which can be helpful for those who heavily rely on tones.
Finally, the EQUINOX 800 has 8 levels of detect speed tuning, whereas the EQUINOX 600 only has 3 – for most people this won’t even be a consideration.
So there you have it folks, the major reason you would want to buy the EQUINOX 800 over the EQUINOX 600 is if you want to gain access to the “Gold Mode” that’s available in the EQUINOX 800 – almost everything else (with the exception of a bit of advanced tuning) is the same.
Just to be clear – Multi-frequency operation is identical across both the EQUINOX 600 & 800 for the 5, 10 and 15 kHz frequencies.
So I’ve spoken about Gold mode above, but what are the other 3 modes all about?
Park mode is used when searching in high trash environments (park and high traffic areas) and is the default mode you should consider using if you are a beginner that is using this detector.
Field mode is great for low trash areas such as farm land. This mode is more sensitive to smaller targets that can often be found in fields. Note: It will detect more trash than park mode will.
Beach mode as the name suggests is designed for use on sand and in the water. It ground balances for salt water and sand whilst keeping a high level of sensitivity.
Minelab 600 / 800 Search Coils
Both models come standard with the EQX11″ DD search coil.
It’s also possible to purchase the EQX06″ and EQX15″ search coils.
Known Issues / Problems
The Equinox comes with a new way to charge the battery using a magnetic connector which seems a little flimsy and I have heard of at least 1 instance of the magnetic connector failing.
Videos of the EQUINOX
It’s no secret that I’ve never really been a huge fan of Minelab metal detectors. I often found them heavy, unintuitive and pretty expensive for the feature set.
This all changes with the EQUINOX 600 and EQUINOX 800 metal detectors. Minelab have done a fantasic job of hitting the mark when it comes to price vs functionality.
That changes today.
I’ve found more coins and other interesting items than ever before (hundreds more) when using the EQUINOX 800, even when going over areas that I’ve combed to death.
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This machine is the real deal, and in this price range it’s unbeatable.
If you are a fan of Garrett detectors, you might like to consider this one as an alternative.