Equinox 800 Metal Detector Review 2019 – 2020

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Minelab’s Equinox 800 is a metal detector that’ll find a needle in a haystack from 2 miles away. Perhaps I’m exaggerating slightly, though this detector is sure to get any keen detectorists heart aflutter. With the TV show piquing interest, is the Equinox 800 right for someone keen to give the hobby a go?

In short, no, something like the Garrett Ace might be best for a few laughs down the park. The Equinox is serious business.

The 800 has multi-frequency capabilities and is considered an all-purpose detector. It is perfect for the dedicated detectorist, and can even sniff out some golden nuggets thanks to the specialist Gold Mode.

  • All-terrain and fully waterproof to 3 meters
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Multi-frequency technology up to 40kHz

Design and Features

The Equinox 800 is a detector for someone with a chunk of change to spend. It has a sleek yet sturdy design which is waterproof to three meters, as well as great connectivity and well-designed user interface.

Minelab have a bevvy of accessories which work with the Equinox series. Upgrade the coils, the skid plate, and find replacement grips or handles.

The Equinox 900 weighs just 1.3kg, it’s easy on the arms and it feels good on your hands. The design is crafted to minimise stress and carpal tunnel from holding all day. You’ll be able to quickly change settings without having to bolster the detector. 

All-Terrain and Waterproof

The last thing you want is to fall short of your target because it happens to be in a river or a body of water. Thankfully the 800 model is waterproof up to 3m, fully submerged detecting means you can take this to the lake bed, and scoop up some booty.

Aside from the wet stuff, the 800 has four preset modes, which are easy to adapt for different target types and whatever prevailing ground conditions you come across.

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Target ID

Choose from park, field, beach or gold and get searching. These different settings are augmented by Target ID. This programmatic system helps you to avoid picking up garbage and improve the chances of spotting those valuables hidden amongst the debris. 

As well as the presets the Equinox 800 allows you to build eight different search profiles. These customised settings are ideal for creating a wide-ranging profile. Switching between profiles is easy to do, thanks to the layout of the buttons and the clear LCD display.

Multi-IQ Technology

The old detector would work on a single frequency, meaning you can find only certain objects or metals. The Equinox 800 has sophisticated tech, allowing you to see ‘all the colours, all the time’. No more switching, no need to have psychic abilities, the IQ will provide you with a full range of information on the content, size and composition of whatever you happen to be picking up on under the ground.

Wireless Audio

You can choose how you’re alerted to your targets with the Equinox 800. Either connecting to the WM-08 wireless module, for alerts out loud. Or connect to your favourite set of Bluetooth headphones using the port.

The detector is fitted with aptX Low Latency support, for instance, tracking and targetting alerts. It will sync with any headphones of this type, but does ship with a pair which will work.

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Charging and Batteries

The Equinox package comes with a magnetic USB charger lead – this means the detector can charge up using a simple phone plug, from a laptop or a battery bank. It is great that the charger is universal in this way, you’re less likely to run out than with a proprietary plug involved.

Performance Detecting Targets

As mentioned in other portions, the 800 has multi-frequency capabilities. These frequencies run at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 40kHz. Either choose these as individual frequencies, or let the multi-frequency IQ system do its thing.

Depending on conditions, the detector will hunt for objects up to 40cm beneath the surface. It isn’t quite as powerful as the Minelab CTX3030, but it has no trouble sifting out bad noise to search on wet or black sand.

Gold Mode

Specifically ground cancelling, the Gold Mode will deal with any noise caused by mineralised ground, while still putting out a high frequency. Gold needs a high-frequency detector for consistent results, and 40kHz will certainly get you on the way, not as strong as the CTX3030, so be sure to check out our review of that detector too.

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Understanding the Interface

The display is a backlit LCD screen which uses the space to great effect. You can quickly see how much battery you have, if your audio is connected and which profile you’re currently using.

Buttons are used instead of any touchscreen, they’re tactile and clearly labelled. One dedicated button will allow you to hop through detect modes, another will allow you to accept or reject signals and alerts as they come through. 

Multi-notch discrimination is clearly displayed as an arc, allowing you to interpret the frequencies as they come back to you. There’s not a steep learning curve, unlike some other Minelab products.

Brand Quality

Minelab have been making detectors since 1985, their long time in the field has served them well, and they’ve produced a few great detectors. Aimed more at the serious enthusiast than the curious beginner, a Minelab, and especially this high-grade Equinox 800 detector will provide years of treasure finding fun.

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The Equinox 800 has a great range of features which appeal to the serious detectorist. It is fully waterproof, the thing is fixable and can be modded, you get a range of frequencies to play with – and they’re all capable of firing at will.

Whilst costing a bit more than something like White’s Treasure Pro, the Equinox has enough features to tempt those looking into a slightly higher bracket.

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