Garrett AT Max Review 2021 – Why U Should Buy AT MAX?

Garrett AT Max Review 2021 – Why U Should Buy AT MAX?

Garrett released this amazing AT MAX by the end of the year 2017 by having the aim of making a better and more advanced machine than the previous one.

Until now it’s still one of the best metal detectors for treasure hunting because of it’s attractive features and ease of use. What makes it so desirable to serious metal detectors is, it has all the features and functions that every serious metal detector wants. 

If you need advanced user experience, max convenience, and functionality, Garrett AT MAX is really for you. 

What’s New

Garrett has been added more advanced features in AT MAX to give you maximum user experience. Here are the functions that make you feel incredible when you will be using AT MAX:

  • Z-Lynk technology that allows the users to plug in wireless headphones.
  • Backlight screen that helps you to see the display in twilight or even in the darkness.
  • You can adjust the volume level of the loudspeaker.
  • Advanced settings to improve the efficiency of various types of soils.
  • Enhanced ergonomics, mostly due to the new shape of the handle
  • Able to provide high-quality performance in underwater as well as cold and hot weather.
  • High quality, convenient headphones that provide enough isolation from the wind when searching in the field. So there is a minimal risk of missing a faint signal. 

Seeing these such features and functions don’t assume that it would be complicated to use. Instead, Garrett made it highly easy to use without limiting the advanced features.

Advanced features, easy to use, reliable and many other things without compromising the quality. 

Design, Appearance, and Ease of Use

The design of Garrett AT Max is pretty similar to Garrett AT Pro. Though they are not similar in terms of performance. Garrett AT Max some useful features than Garrett AT pro but still they are best by own performance and features. 

However, Garrett AT Max is a waterproof VLF metal detector that weighs just 3.03Ibs that ensures your comfort while using for a long time.

Besides, it’s powered by AA batteries that last a respectable amount of time and also it has a built-in pinpointing mode.

Having “All-terrain” I would say Garrett AT Max is one of the best versatile metal detectors on the market. And if you are known as a serious metal detectorist for serious hunting this machine is for you.

Moreover, this fantastic machine is also suitable for almost any environment and able to work on land and shallow water detecting with perfect depths.

Besides, it’s also a tough machine. Metal detectors can take a beating during transit and hunting on rough terrain, but the MAX can withstand almost everything you can throw at it.

Let’s talk about what are things it can detect.

Well, it can detect almost everything like relics, coins, and jewelry. But it’s better not to expect and use it for detecting gold since it has a lower frequency in terms of gold detecting. Its frequency is 13.6kHz.

However, Garrett AT Max comes with an 8.5″x11″ PROformance DD search coil as Garrett AT Pro. 

It’s a solid coil that provides great depth and target separation – especially for a stock coil. Moreover, There’s also the option of buying more specialized coils, including a 9″x12″ or a sniper coil.


Having a waterproof detector means that there is one reason among others why you should be called a serious metal detectorist.

Garrett AT Max is fully waterproof to 10 feet or 3 meters. If you want to hunt in streams, shorelines and anywhere else with shallow water, Garrett AT Max can be a great option for you.

But waterproof headphones don’t come with the machine, so you will need to buy it externally to hunt underwater. In addition, AT Max also suitable for hunting in dusty or dry environments. 

Features and Settings

Operating Frequency 

The frequency of Max is 13.6kHz while AT Pro has 15kHz which is slightly higher than max. That means MAX should have deeper penetration, but marginally less target separation.

But still, the frequency of Max is higher than many other average VLR detectors. Besides, AT MAX’s combined it with high-quality components and circuitry. 

However, AT MAX has True All Metal Mode but AT Pro doesn’t. If you consider yourself a serious metal detectorist, this feature is one of the essential features for you.

It helps to get maximum sensitivity and depth. Moreover, Garrett also claims internal electronics of MAX have been enhanced to increase depth penetration. 

By the way, it’s worth mentioning that Garrett AT MAX doesn’t have multi-frequency. 

Yes, you can adjust the frequency subtly to remove the interference of powerline and other detectors but, it’s not possible to change it significantly.

Most probably you already know that this is very common for a VLF detector if you are not beginners. 

Above all, I must say AT MAX provides really excellent depth in terms of performance and of course AT MAX can be the best choice if you are upgrading your machine. 

Digital Target ID

Like many other Garrett detectors and as a standard feature on most mid-range detectors, Garrett AT MAX also has the Digital Target ID feature.

Its large numerical target ID in the LCD panel shows ranges from 0-99 to provide a visual representation of the target’s composition. 

As long as it has the correct ground balance of the environment, it’s really quick to show target ID with high accuracy.

Iron Discrimination and Notch Discrimination

AT MAX has a slightly higher resolution than AT PRO. AT MAX has 44, besides AT PRO has 40 iron discrimination segments. Although it doesn’t make that much difference practically, it’s a nice bonus. 

By the way… If you don’t know about Iron Discrimination or you haven’t used it yet, let me tell you that higher iron discrimination basically will help you to dig fewer junk targets, for example, nails.


But sometimes higher values might cause of missing real target such as certain relics. Junk with higher conductivity, such as pull-tabs or foil, may also slip through.

In addition, you will also get notch discrimination with AT MAX. Above the IRON region, there are a number of notches that can either be knocked out or selected.

Where you will find CUSTOM mode and also COIN MODE. CUSTOM mode allows you to set your own search patterns besides, the COIN mode setting removes iron, foil and pull tabs to find coins easily. It’s a great option if you are a beginner. 

Moreover, another useful feature is the “ELIMINATION” button. If you think there is a trash to remove from the search pattern, just hold the ELIMINATION button down when hovering over an item.  

Pulse Width Modulation Audio and Iron Audio

Proportional Pulse Width Modulation Audio provides more target information to help you decide whether to dig. This is using audio is often quicker than using Digital Target IDs.

However, in order to distinguish between a true target and flat iron object, there is also an option available for switching on Iron Audio

There is a good thing about MAX is it filters iron targets by default. That is why you won’t hear them when the discrimination is turned up. It’s very helpful particularly when there is a lot of trash around. 

Another great thing about MAX’s iron audio is when switch on this, iron targets trigger a distinct tone. It’s very normal that if your machine makes one single sound for Iron, you might end up digging a tricky iron target that actually appeared something worth digging. 

Great thing AT MAX’s Iron Audio makes additional grunting noise that helps you differentiate whether it is an interesting target or something that is not worthy.   

Besides, this Iron Audio is also working into the All Metal Mode which allows you to identify discriminated iron objects even when hunting in All-Metal.

Z-Lynk Wireless Technology

I am a big fan of the Z Lynk feature. It’s basically wireless technology with wireless headphones. This wireless technology makes more convenient to use the metal detector by less interference and faster data transfer than Bluetooth technology.

What I love about Z-Lynk is there is really no delay in the audio output. So whenever you move directly on the target you hear the signal quickly. But delay in audio output is very common in many other metal detectors. Garrett AT MAX stands out on this issue. 

Moreover, AT MAX provides wireless MS-3 headphones to complement this feature. 

Getting rid of cords while using metal detectors it’s really a great feeling when you had been using cord headphones for a long time. 

Manual and Automatic Ground Balance

Adjusting the ground balance becomes very essential when you gonna hunt areas like having high mineralization, saltwater or soil conductivity.

Ground balancing helps to remove many interfering factors and thus it helps to maximize the depth and cut down on chatter. 

Being a professional detector it is really important to have both manual and automatic ground balance. Garrett did it well by providing both automatic and manual ground balance in their AT MAX model. 

By the way, where all VLF detectors struggle while hunting in saltwater locations, MAX can hunt theirs excellently. 

Using the Automatic option of ground balance is quite easy. You can do it just holding the “SHIFT” button to get the machine to automatically balance depending on the current environment.

Though automatic function does a great job, you can also choose the manual option if you are going for more difficult hunting environments. 

In addition, you can also do fine-tuning depending on soil conductivity and mineralization by using MAX’s 175 ground balance resolution points.

Other Features

  • PRO Mode Audio available on all four search modes.
  • Adjustable length (43″ – 56″).
  • Eight sensitivity levels.
  • Threshold adjustment.
  • Electronic pinpointing mode.

Control Panel and Display

The control panel of AT MAX is similar to many other designs of Garrett Metal detectors. Since this design working well and user experience is good, I don’t think it would be a good idea not to follow this design.

If you have experience of using any model of Garrett metal detectors, you will feel AT MAX belongs to your hand whenever you try it. 

However, what I like most about AT MAX’s control is that it has a backlight which really does a great job in low light conditions. And by the way, this feature is not included with AT PRO. 

Everything on the AT MAX is very clear and easy to see. You can quickly catch what display is showing. For example, coin depth and discrimination settings are always visible and Target ID numbers are large. Besides, buttons are comparatively large and clearly labeled. 

Price and Where To Buy

It’s price higher than many other VLF metal detectors and it is also true that those lower-priced metal detectors can’t beat AT MAX. 

AT MAX offers more range of advanced features than AT PRO. That is why it’s the price is higher than AT PRO. 

Considering its range of features and performance, it’s actually providing value for money.

One thing that needs to be mentioned that this metal detector is highly suitable for serious metal detectorists who want more from their machine.

If you are searching for a metal detector that can work almost any environment, the Garrett AT MAX can be a great choice for you. 

Garrett is one of the best and most popular metal detector manufacturers in the world. It’s available almost every major retailers including Amazon and Walmart.  You can check out the price of AT MAX on Amazon here. 

And by the way, if you are thinking to buy it second hand, make sure the machine is authentic and works well. 

Performance in the Field (Including Depth)

It doesn’t matter how many features a metal detector has when it’s performance isn’t worthy. 

Garrett AT MAX hasn’t dissatisfied users yet by its performance. 

AT MAX already great by its range of advanced features, its performance made it excellent and a desirable machine for serious metal detectorists. 

Especially, the fascinating performance of this machine in a range of environments makes people buy it. 

Why is it such effective? 

The wide range of discrimination options, including Iron Audio, notch discrimination, iron discrimination, and a true all-metal model, makes it mastery at filtering bad targets.

Usually, All Garrett machines are simple and convenient to use, and there is no difference in AT MAX. 

Another thing I like most about AT MAX is its fast response speed. This is very essential when you need to separate multiple targets. There are many differences between premium VLF detector and budget detector but Fast Response Speed is the biggest one.

AT MAX also provides outstanding detection stability like AT Pro. 

AT MAX does a really great job even on the surprisingly high sensitivities in many environments and it retains decent depth even when you need to dial it back.

It’s also almost always accurate when it comes to target composition.

However, I remind you again that this is not the best for gold detecting since it has lower frequency considering detecting gold.

If you are lucky you might find gold necklace irregularly, but for small nuggets? simply MAX is not able to detect.

Just because it can’t detect gold nuggets doesn’t mean that it’s not a great detector to have. Garrett AT MAX is the best detector among many others for detecting jewelry, coins, and relics. 

Comparisons with Other Detectors

Garrett AT Max vs AT Gold

Name of AT Gold implies what it was designed for, it’s particularly for hunting gold. Besides, AT MAX is for hunting coins, relics, and jewelry.

Since AT Gold is for gold hunting, it has a higher frequency (18 kHz) than AT MAX, which has 13.6 kHz frequency and also AT Gold has a smaller search coil than AT MAX. 

Besides, both detectors have some similar features, these are: 

  1. 44 Discrimination segments
  2. True All Metal Mode
  3. Pro Audio
  4. 8 Sensitivity Mode
  5. Iron Audio
  6. Digital Target ID

However, AT Gold doesn’t have adjustable notch discrimination like AT MAX. It just has some preset options to use. Furthermore, AT Gold doesn’t have Z-Lynk wireless audio, volume adjustment, and backlight. 

If you just want to hunt gold, of course, you should buy AT Gold.

Garrett AT Max vs AT Pro

I would say AT MAX upgraded version of AT Pro with more advanced features to make it the most desirable machine for serious metal detectorists.

Having more features AT Max also higher in price than AT Pro. On the other hand, AT MAX is the most expensive model in the Garrett AT range. 

Garrett AT MAX has wireless audio, iron discrimination segments, and a true all-metal mode. It has a threshold adjustment option and can also search for greater depth. 

However, there are some advantages you will get from AT Pro which you won’t find in AT MAX these are, “Standard” audio mode which is helpful for you if you are a beginner. Besides, AT MAX only has the “PRO” audio mode. 

AT PRO has a bit higher frequency (15 kHz) than AT MAX (13.6 kHz). So, AT Pro will perform little bit more effective job in finding the small target, though the AT MAX does a great job too) 

Above all, Garrett AT MAX is a serious machine for the serious metal detector, if you are a beginner, it will be a bit harder for you to get used to with it. 

Besides, Garrett AT Pro is an excellent option for both serious and beginner metal detectorists. 

Both machines are the great value of money and they never disappointed their users. 

Garrett AT Max vs Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800 is pretty similar with AT MAX and it’s closest competitors in the market.

It has similar features like submersible design, included wireless headphones, and fast recovery. But, yes there are few important differences though. 

Equinox has a true multi frequency which makes the biggest difference with AT MAX and also it has gold detecting mode. You can choose any frequency between 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz and 40kHz. 

Having that multi frequencies make it’s a highly versatile metal detector. I would say it’s a better option if you have enough budget. Because it takes more money than AT MAX does.  

Is the AT MAX Suitable for Beginners?

Sometimes it’s good to buy an entry-level metal detector for a beginner. Because it’s cheaper in price and not complicated to use because it has fewer features than high-quality detectors.

Beginners get to learn how to use it faster. So, if you don’t enjoy this hobby the waste of money would very less. 

But it’s not always like that high-end machine for beginners won’t be worthy.

Though it will take a bit more time to learn and get used to with all functions, still it could be a great decision to buy the high-quality machine if you are really serious about metal detecting hobby at the beginning. 

Final Words

Professional, lightweight compared to others, easy to use and many other things come in a complete package in Garrett AT MAX.

Improved rubber handle and classic construction together make use of use and less physically exhausting.

I know, it’s a bit more expensive than AT PRO and some others but the thing is it’s providing what really you want from a detector. It’s worth every penny.

Hope this information was helpful for you. If you have any questions and suggestion let me know by commenting below. 

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