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best headphones for metal detecting

Is there a better wireless technology with zero lag?

Must headphones be used when metal detecting?

Whether you’re looking for wired or wireless, buds or muffs, cheap or expensive, you may find that only one type isn’t enough.

There’s no objection to having more than one pair of headphones especially if your hunting style varies throughout the year.

If you’re looking for an upgrade, a new addition to your collection, or you’re starting from scratch with your first-time buy, you’ll need some info.

Learn what headphones work, what’s new and hot, and what design features may become a user preference.  

Best Metal Detecting Headphones

Best Overall
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Best Wireless
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Best Budget Option
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Best Overall
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Best Wireless
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Best Budget Option
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black

When no one else is about, you don’t have to be restricted to using headphones, but that is usually not the case.

Using headphones when you’re hunting is part of metal detecting etiquette.

Not everyone appreciates hearing the beeping – enough said.

But, the best reason to use headphones is to improve your ability to hear all signals, especially the weak and faint ones that could indicate a valuable or very deep object.

Having mini speakers in your ears that blocks out ambient noise is convenient and can improve productivity.

The hardest part in choosing headphones will be the factors that you as a user find important.

Here is a lineup with headphones that each have their perks. They’re also good examples of the variety of headphones available to hobbyists of all skill levels.  

Best Metal Detecting Headphone Reviews

1. Best Overall: Garrett Clear Sound Easy Stow Headphones

Clear sound, comfort fit, decent length, and adjustable volume. It’s all you need in a good set of headphones.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Price

✔️ Can wear with glasses

✔️ Adjustable volume

✔️ Almost 7” length cable

✔️ ¼” plug

❌ No adapter

The Clear Sound Easy Stow Headphones are lightweight, comfortable, and durable. Most people fit them well enough, but they can be tight for larger heads. For those who fit them just fine, you can also wear them without messing with your glasses or sunglasses.

The volume control is built right into the cable cord itself – convenient. But, it does mean that there is no individual ear control. The sound is quite sensitive, so be easy cranking it up.

The headphone plug is ¼”, so it’ll fit right into any metal detector with a ¼” jack. Get an adapter if you have the smaller size.

As headphones that have been around the block, are still relevant and popular today, is affordable, and provides the basics without the fuss, they’ve earned their place in this lineup.

2. Best Wireless Headphones for Metal Detecting: Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk

Garrett is the authority in the headphone accessory industry for metal detecting. Their hot product right now is their wireless Z-Lynk tech.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Z-Lynk

✔️ Comfortable headband

✔️ ¼” plug

✔️ Volume control

✔️ Metal detector compatible

❌ Not waterproof

The headphones themselves are wireless, have an adjustable, comfortable headband, and one volume control that governs both ears. What makes them super expensive is the Z-Lynk technology. The headphones come with a wireless transmitter that connects to the metal detector. The two sync together and you’re ready to go.

The difference between Z-Lynk and comparable wireless headphones is the near zero delay. There is a 17-millisecond delay, but your ears will not be able to discern the lag. It’s almost six times faster than Bluetooth and can make all the difference with wireless headsets.

These are not waterproof headphones, so they cannot be submerged. However, they are water-resistant, and a little rain won’t hurt it any.

Built-in lithium batteries in both devices are charged via USB cables, it takes about five hours, and will provide up to 30 hours of operation.

With the ¼” headphone connection and Z-Lynk transmitter, you could use this with almost any detector even if you need the adapter.

After using the Z-Lynk, you may never go back to wired headphones again.

3. Best on a Budget Headphones for Metal Detecting: KOSS UR20

Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
  • Frequency Response - 18Hz-24kHz and Impedance - 16 ohms

The Koss headphones may not be from a metal detector manufacturer, but they’ve been highly praised by hobbyists as high-performing and affordable headphones for metal detecting.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Price

✔️ 1/8” plug

✔️ 8’ cable

✔️ Wired

✔️ Sling headband

❌ No volume adjustment

You won’t need a volume control on your headphones if your metal detector has one, and if you thought it comes with a ¼” adapter, I wouldn’t count on it. Most people don’t receive it and end up buying one separately.

These budget headphones are advertised for their deep bass and treble clarity benefits. How this rolls over to the hobbyist is ensuring that each tone the metal detector provides is heard with its distinct characteristics while helping to keep external noise to a minimum.

The 8-foot-long cable is extremely useful for when you’re putting down the detector to pinpoint, dig, and claim your find. The sling headband is simple in design, but it works and is especially convenient for when you want to keep one cup on and one off to the side to listen to your surroundings for wolves, bandits, or stalkers.

4. Califone 3068AV Stereo/Mono Headphones

Califone 3068AV Switchable Stereo/Mono Headphones (6-Pack Bundle)
  • Switch between monaural and stereo modes for optimal sound quality for your application

Here is another example of an excellent, underdog brand that is killing it in the market especially so for hobbyists.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Price

✔️ Mono/Stereo

✔️ Volume control

✔️ Included ¼” adapter

✔️ Adjustable headband

❌ Snug band

A consistent complaint is that the adjustable headband still feels a little snug for users. Some have rigged the setup to maximize comfort. So, if you have a big head, both literally and figuratively, these aren’t for you.

It has a Mono/Stereo switch, volume adjustment for each ear, and the plug has a 1/8” size. Good news, it comes with a ¼” adapter in the buy if you need it.

Because they’re so cheap, its build quality will not be that of a pair twice its price. However, it will get you through the Summer to hear more tones, dig more goods, and expand your collection.

These budget metal detecting headphones do the job and do it well without having to put a lot of money down upfront.

5. DetectorPro Grey Ghost Ultimate Headphones

It might not have the extra bells and whistles that you would expect for the price, but the build quality will ensure these will last for a long time.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Comfortable

✔️ High-quality

✔️ Volume control

✔️ ¼” plug

✔️ Good noise blocker

❌ Price

For the price, you’re buying quality. In this case, it’s the synthetic plastic material that keeps it lightweight and easy to wear all day long. These are durable, long-lasting, and you can feel the difference in handling, stability, and comfort. Even the cable has a heavy-duty feel with a coil design.

The headphones have a rotary dial for adjusting volume to both ears. It also has two switch buttons in shielded positions under the cup that is a design improvement over a knob.

When it comes to sound, that’s been upgraded too. It provides greater sensitivity to the smaller objects with greater power at max volume. This is all thanks to the custom elements in the speaker and fine-tuned headphone cavity design.

These are excellent headphones that will set you back a pretty penny, but when you want to hear more signals and less ambient noise, tune in with the Grey Ghost.

6. Garrett Submersible Headphones

When you start getting into the specialized headphone market, you’ll find that they will be metal detector specific when it comes to compatibility. Special connections will only work on specific metal detectors. One such example is the submersible headphones by Garrett.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Submersible

✔️ Padded ear cups

✔️ Coiled cord

✔️ Adjustable

✔️ Rated to 200 feet

❌ No volume control

These waterproof headphones are rated to be submersible down to 200 feet. The snug blue cups keep water out, so you can hear more signals including the weak ones that might indicate deep, lost treasure. The cord is coiled long enough to get below the waves and explore freely.

There is no volume adjustment, so this is a drawback to this set. If you have a Garrett ATX, AT Max, AT Pro, or Sea Hunter Mark II metal detector, the special, waterproof plug will be compatible with your detector.

There is no need to fear your headphones getting wet. They’re made to be submerged in either fresh or saltwater environments. Whether you’re wading waist deep or taking a dive, you’ll want waterproof headphones to see you through it.

7. XP Deus WS5

XP Metal Detectors WS5 Wireless Headphones for Deus, Shower Proof and Designed to fit Comfortably Over Your Ears. Can be Used to Directly Control The XP X35 and HF XP coils
  • Audio signal transmitted to your XP metal detector with a 10 Times faster wireless technology compared to Bluetooth low latency technology using the XP patented radio protocol system.

The WS5 are no ordinary wireless headphones, but they’re in this list to give you an idea of what type of tech is out there. Check it out.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Control box

✔️ Larger display

✔️ Larger keys

✔️ Long battery life

✔️ Weatherproof

❌ Only compatible with XP Deus

These wireless headphones function independently of the metal detector as it communicates directly with the searchcoil. In this manner, the headphones have a screen and keypad that allows you to access every feature that is available on the conventional control box such as DISC, volume control, sensitivity, ground balance, and multiple tones and frequencies.

It has a fast battery charge time of 2 hours and a long-lasting operational time of 27 hours. They’re designed to be weatherproof and provide excellent control of external noise.

You can always default back to the conventional control box if you just want your headphones to be just headphones. If you want to upgrade your Deus, the WS5 is the way to go.

What to Look for in Metal Detector Headphones

It’s mostly the design features of headphones that will have a large effect on your ability to feel comfortable and still acquire acceptable hearing of all tones – weak and strong. Here are some different points to think about.


Headphones can be as cheap as a few bucks or as expensive as a high-end, entry-level metal detector. You will be the budget setter because it’s entirely up to user preference and your specific styles of metal detecting that will determine what you need. It goes without saying that you’ll be spending a lot of time with them on, so comfort and the ability to hear the tones should be the priority.

Ear Buds VS Ear Muffs

Ear buds are more comfortable to use during the Summer heat because of the smaller footprint on your ears – no sweaty, hot ears. Comfort is a non-issue with buds because there are many different styles and some have soft, silicone pads around the speakers.

Muffs or cups have padding and are easier to use because you’re not having to align small buds within the ear canal. They’re great for Winter hunts, and they make up the majority of the specialty headphone market for metal detecting.

Bluetooth VS Wired Headphones

Wired headphones are a favorite for many even though they must be removed when putting your metal detector down, they get snagged in brush, branches, and other obstacles within proximity, and the exposed cable is likely to get damaged easily. However, there is no lag, they’re affordable, and there are different cable designs for extended lengths and durability.

Bluetooth headphones need to see some upgrades before they can be highly recommended for metal detecting. The number one issue is lag. That delay between the detector detecting an object and you actually hearing the tone can make it difficult and frustrating to pinpoint.

With any kind of wireless linking/communication system between the headphones and the metal detector, it should be specialized specifically for metal detecting. One such example is Garret’s Z-Lynk technology. It’s 6 times faster than Bluetooth with unnoticeable delay.

Adjustable Volume & Other Features

Some metal detectors don’t have a volume control. The built-in speaker in the control box may be too loud or quiet for some users. Headphones with volume control will take care of that. You will also do double-duty in conserving metal detector battery life as the built-in speaker is disabled when headphones are engaged.

You can also look for specialty features that provide protection for overly loud signals, can transmit faint and weak signals, noise-cancelling, moisture-resistant mylar speakers, and more.

Headphone Jack Connection Size

Most metal detectors have a 1/8” headphone jack, and yet many headphones come with a ¼” plug. It’s also true to see this example reversed. The adapter will most likely be a must-have accessory.

Waterproof Headphones for Underwater Metal Detecting  

There are waterproof headphones, waterproof headphone jacks, and waterproof control boxes that allow some protection and some level of submersion while metal detecting in water. These features are seen in amphibian and underwater metal detectors and have a special connection that is usually not compatible with other metal detectors outside of the brand.

You will notice the control box on a metal detector made for diving will lack a visual LCD display. It has potentiometers with another method of signal indicators like LED lights and vibration. With scuba gear on, it would be difficult to hear a tone underwater anyway.


Do you Need Headphones for a Metal Detector?

You don’t have to use headphones for metal detecting if the metal detector has a speaker, but it is highly recommended to use them if you have them. To metal detect seamlessly amongst crowds, use headphones to hear your tones clearer and louder over all the noise sources from people, traffic, waves, etc.

Can you use any Headphones for Metal Detecting?

Most of the time. The connection jacks are usually 1/8” and it pays to determine if it has a mono or stereo output. There are wireless headphones available that are convenient given all the movement throughout detecting and possible obstacles that can snag the cable on wired headphones.

What does Tone Mean on a Metal Detector?

Tone refers to the pitch of the sound the metal detector provides when it detects a metallic object. Most metal detectors will have at least two tones to differentiate between ferrous and non-ferrous objects.

The pitch, speed, and other characteristics of provided tones can help with fast identification of possible target types and location upon detection. However, a tone’s volume is only as loud as the signal’s strength, hence the need to be able to hear weak and faint tones which is better acquired through headphones.

When One Isn’t Enough. . .

Whether you’re wired or going wireless, underwater or on land, wearing buds or cups, you want to be able to hear those tones loudly and clearly. One set of headphones may not be enough to get you through the year.

Build a budget and expect to have at least two, great pairs for various activities. For example, you may have one pair for land detecting and another pair for detecting around water. Buds for Summer and muffs for Winter.

How comfortable, compatible, and how much they cost will play a factor in what you end up choosing. User preference is king here.

Best Overall
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Best Wireless
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Best Budget Option
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Best Overall
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Garrett Clearsound Easy Stow Headphones
Best Wireless
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones KIT Metal Detectors
Best Budget Option
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Koss UR20 Over-Ear Headphones, Flexible Sling Headband, Black
Further Reading

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API