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The Equinox 800 is a hot and popular metal detector, but the 600 model is often overlooked as if it’s inferior.
Is this true?
What’s the difference between the Equinox 800 and Equinox 600?
What is Multi-IQ?
This review will discuss the differences where applicable and will shed some light on the 600 and why it deserves to be highlighted as a competitor alongside the 800 and not beneath it.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Multi-IQ
❌ Worst Feature: Firmware updates
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Water, Beach, All Terrains, Gold, Silver, Coins, Relics, Jewelry, Beginners, Intermediates, Experts
Our Verdict: The Equinox 600 is a high-functioning multi-frequency metal detector that can stand on its own merits. It’s waterproof, highly adjustable, and offers excellent performance and features that you may never outgrow.
Who is the Minelab Equinox 600 Best Suited to?
The Equinox 600 should be an attractive detector to hobbyists of all skill levels. The intermediate and expert user will find plenty to do and will have multiple features to play with. It may not have the advanced user settings of the 800, but unless you’re fine-tuning a lot, you won’t need to upgrade. Besides, the preset modes in the 600 are exceptional that you may not be adjusting the settings too much anyway.
Beginners may find the 600 intimidating as there is a lot that is available to take advantage of. However, even with its preset modes, it’s highly suitable for beginners to learn the ropes. As they learn more about their hunting grounds and how to appropriately fiddle with the settings, they’ll find that the Equinox 600 has the power to provide custom adjustments for maximum performance.
How Does the Minelab Equinox 600 Perform?
The Minelab Equinox is a true multi-frequency metal detector that has set the standard for many multi-frequency owners out in the world. You’ll see this model mentioned frequently as it’s high-performing, set at a reasonable price, and it works in multiple terrains.
Its pre-configured settings are excellent as they are, and with multiple frequencies at work, all types of targets can be found. Noise Cancel is automatic, you have both manual and auto ground balancing, and adjustable threshold.
You also have multiple tone options from 1, 2, 5, and 50, and you can adjust ferrous volume and the tone shift between ferrous and non-ferrous items. You can also adjust detection speed with three levels. For example, hit very deep targets with poor performance on closely adjacent targets or achieve that fine target separation on close, adjacent targets but compromise on depth.
Playing with these settings will help you achieve the right type of balance you need to dig more of the good stuff in any setting.
Features & Benefits
The Equinox 600 offers four frequencies for operation. You have single frequencies of 5 kHz, 10 kHz, and 15 kHz. You also have multi-frequencies at work at 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz, and 40 kHz. You cannot use the 20 kHz and 40 kHz frequencies singly, but they are available when you enter multi-IQ mode.
With multi-IQ pumping through your searchcoil, you’ll achieve maximum results on both small and large targets.
One thing to clear up is the confusion between the Equinox 800 and 600. In multi-IQ mode, they are both functioning identically because they are both employing the same frequencies. The only difference is the 800 can employ the 20 kHz and 40 kHz frequencies singly.
6 Search Modes
The six search modes are actually custom search profiles for each preset mode. There are three detect modes: Park, Field, and Beach. With each preset detect mode, you can create two custom profiles. This may be necessary as terrains are rarely identical and you may need to modify the settings to create the best setup for your hunt in a particular area.
When you modify a profile, it will be saved and remembered by the detector. When you power it on, the detector will return to your last-used profile. You can also toggle between the search profiles and preset detect modes easily with one button.
The differences between the Equinox 800 and Equinox 600 in this feature is that the 800 model also has a Gold Detect Mode that the 600 lacks.
The Equinox comes with wired 1/8” headphones. They’re suitable for instant use and are the right size to connect directly to the 1/8” headphone socket on the control box.
However, while the wired headphones are nice, the Equinox 600 is just as compatible with wireless headphones as the 800 model – they just don’t include the wireless headphones or module as the 800 does.
The 600 is Bluetooth and wireless module compatible with the brand’s ML 80 headphones, but you can also use any aftermarket Bluetooth headphones with the metal detector. Using the ML 80 with Minelab’s WM 80 ensures you have low-latency benefits which means very little to no lag and delay.
The headphone socket on the control box is made to be waterproof, so you can use Minelab’s waterproof headphones for hunting around water or for submersion. For submerging the Equinox, you cannot incorporate wireless headphones. The WM 08 is not submersible.
However, with waterproof headphones, you can head into 10 feet of water with the Equinox 600 to find those treasures that are buried below the surf.
In the past, it seems that the Equinox 600 had trouble finding small objects on their edge. This was not a unique issue. However, the latest firmware updates have addressed this problem and Equinox 600 owners are finding targets on their sides.
This does mean that you should be keeping an eye on firmware updates released by Minelab. It’s not a negative feature, but it is one more thing you must look out for to keep your Equinox running at its full potential.
Can you Find Gold with the Equinox 600?
While the 600 does not have a dedicated Gold mode like the 800 does, you should have no problem detecting gold in Park 2 or Field 2 detect modes using multi-frequency technology. Using multi-IQ will be much better than using single frequency detectors due to the excellent, pre-configured settings.
In short, yes you can find gold with the Equinox 600. It might not be your dedicated gold prospecting metal detector, but it will get you in the game.
Is the Minelab Equinox Good for the Beach?
It’s made for handling the harsh environmental factors of the beach. It has a dedicated Beach mode, has multi-frequency technology, and it has multiple, adjustable settings that allow you to cancel out saltwater and black sand signals to hear good signals on targets.
The Equinox 600 can also be submerged into saltwater and function well on both wet and dry sand.
What Batteries does the Minelab Equinox 600 Take?
The Equinox metal detectors do not take batteries for operation. Instead, they have a built-in lithium ion battery that comes with the appropriate charging cable that plugs into any USB-A port. It provides approximately 12 hours of operation.
You also have the option of plugging the Equinox into a power bank for operation even if the lithium-ion battery is dead.
The internal battery can also be replaced if needed by Minelab or an authorized dealer.
What Comes with the Equinox 600 Metal Detector?
Included with the Equinox 600 metal detector are wired 1/8” headphones, an 11” DD searchcoil with skidplate, and USB charging cable. You will also receive everything you need to assemble the detector including the shaft, wire, armrest, and control box. Screen protectors and a QuickStart Guide are also included.
What is the Difference with Equinox 800 VS Equinox 600?
The primary differences are with the additional fine-tuning advanced settings of which the 800 has the upper-hand. The 800 also has a Gold Detect Mode that the 600 lacks. The 800 can also use 20 kHz and 40 kHz singly whereas the 600 incorporates both frequencies in multi-IQ mode.
The 800 comes with wireless headphones the WM 08 module whereas the 600 comes with wired headphones. It is appropriate to note that the 600 is compatible with the same wireless headphone technology as the 800.
For most hobbyists, the 600 will provide more than excellent performance. The 800 would be better suited to the rare gold prospectors looking for extra performance when it comes to finding nuggets.
The Equinox 600 is a very capable detector that is a high-performing workhorse for even the toughest of conditions that some hobbyists will find themselves in. Even with all its high-tech and advanced user settings, it’s unlikely you will be employing them all. Minelab has configured the best settings for most of the hardcore conditions you will ever hunt in, and if it proves to need some tweaking, the 600 can do it.
Priced at an excellent point for its features, it has incredible value. With the savings on the 600 versus the 800, you could buy yourself a smaller searchcoil or upgrade your headphones!