Most probably you are thinking about the differences between Garrett AT Pro and Garrett AT Gold metal detectors if you are heading to buy one of these.
Since you are here, you are literally in the right place to yourself clear about the differences between these two machines.
Well, enough preface! Now, let’s get started on the real thing…
Features and things that are common in AT Pro and AT Gold
AT Pro - Choose from easy to learn standard modes or advanced Pro Modes for more target information and depth. Can be sumbmerged in either saltwater or freshwater. Great for coins, jewelry, relics and gold
AT Gold - It's higher frequency, True all metal mode, and small search coil make it hot in tiny gold nuggets, relics, and samll jewelry. It's advanced ground balance feature make it ideal for prospecting and freshwater hunting.
Z-Lynk Wireless (integrated)
Iron Discrimination Segments
True All Metal Mode
6 (Standard 3, Pro 3)
3, all Pro Audio
Standard Binary Audio
Fast Recovery Speed
Iron Audio (Disc. Modes)
Iron Audio (All Metal Mode)
Digital Target ID
Ground Balance, Auto/ Manual
Ground Balance Window
Waterproof 10 feet (3m)
15 kHZ, adjustment
18 kHZ, adjustment
Auto Tune ID levels
Target Depth Indicator
Standard Search Coil
8.5” x 11” DD PROformance
5” x 8” DD PROformance
43" to 53" (1.09m - 1.4m)
43" to 53" (1.09m - 1.4m)
3.03 lbs (1.4 kgs)
2.8 lbs (1.27 kgs)
4 AA (Included)
4 AA (Included)
Battery condition indicator
Let’s start the review of these two machines with the similarities:
- Both of these machines rated high by serious hobbyists metal detectorists.
- Being the all-terrain and rugged machine you can use them on land and in freshwater.
- Both offer the Digital Target ID feature using a scale from 0 – 99 based on the metal’s conductivity.
- Both of them can be used up to 10 ft. of freshwater. But do not use headphones in the water that come with the package, these are for land use. However, you can purchase a waterproof headphone to use these machines in the water.
- To reduce the detrimental effects of ground mineralization both offer Auto and Manual Ground Balance.
- Both machines have High-Resolution Iron Discrimination and Iron Audio to allow you to audibly identify the trash objects like bottle caps and washers.
- Both also offer a fast recovery time for a greater ability to pick out good targets amid trash and distinguish between multiple targets.
How the AT Pro Metal Detector is Different
Now, let’s review how the Garrett AT Pro differs from the AT Gold model.
- The AT Pro can be used on land, in freshwater, and also in saltwater.
- Notch Discrimination: Its Adjustable Notch Discrimination allows you to set which target to accept and which not.
- Price: The price of AT Pro is lower than AT Gold.
- 8.5” x 11” DD PROformance Double-D submersible search coil comes with the standard package.
- Target ID Meter: It shows probable target indications for common items and coins such as Quarters, Dimes, Nickels, and Pennies.
How the AT Gold Metal Detector is Different
Let’s see the features that you will find from Garrett AT Gold:
- High Frequency: It comes with 18 kHz frequency that helps to detect small gold nuggets, coins, jewelry, and relics.
- True All Metal Mode: It helps to detect in the deepest depth and increase the sensitivity so that you can hunt the smallest gold nuggets.
- Adjustable Audio Threshold: In order to better hear the targets you can adjust the audio threshold which has constant background sound.
- Submersible Search Coil: 5” x 8” DD PROformance Double-D submersible search coil included in the standard package
- Target ID Meter: it shows metal ranges for Gold, Silver, Iron, and Foil.
The AT Gold comes with a frequency of 18 kHz while AT Max comes with 15 kHz, now you might be thinking how does this affect the performance?
Having higher frequency in AT Pro makes outstanding all-rounder. It’s excellent for detecting targets like coins and relics in a variety of conditions, and that is made it very popular among the detectorists.
A metal detector is less sensitive to smaller objects when it has a lower frequency like AT Pro. But, however, having less sensitivity, yet it is still able to provide greater depth and is better for detecting higher conductivity targets like silver.
On the other hand, higher frequency provides more sensitivity to small targets like gold nuggets. Higher frequency means it provides less depth than the AT Pro though. By the way, it’s also better at hunting lower conductors such as buttons or bullets.
Both detectors include similar LED Displays and Controls and both displays don’t have a backlight option. ( The AT MAX does have a backlight though)
But the screen is clear and easy to see but not having backlight would be an issue while hunting in the low light conditions
Here’s a quick overview of the information provided:
- Mode – The left side of the screen displays various search modes of the detectors. You can check it out by using the “MODE” button.
- Target ID – Both detectors display a numerical target ID depending on metal conductivity. This is displayed as both a large Target ID in the center of the screen and as a segment with an estimate of the type of metal.
- Depth Indicator – Both detectors have a coin depth indicator with a maximum of 10”.
- Sensitivity – The sensitivity of both detectors can be easily adjusted. The current level is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
- Battery Level – Both detectors display a current battery level at all times.
However, there are some differences in the button configuration, though the displays of both detectors provide the same information.
Both detectors have plus and minus buttons for sensitivity and iron discrimination, along with “Iron Audio” and “Pinpoint” buttons.
By the way, AT Gold doesn’t include notch discrimination, but AT Pro does. AT Gold instead has a threshold function that gives you the control of the audio so that you can hear the sound of the target easily.
Target Identification and Discrimination
Garrett provides the Digital Target ID feature in both AT Pro and AT Gold machines. Depending on the target’s conductivity this Digital Target ID feature shows a number between 0 and 99 in the display.
Digital Target ID is quite a useful feature that can save time digging unwanted targets. Most of the mid metal detectors in the market have this feature and it’s become a standard feature now.
There are 3 search modes available in the Garrett AT Gold: True All-Metal, Discrim 1 and Discrim 2. These all use the “Pro” audio mode.
On the other hand, Garrett AT Pro has 3 discrimination patterns: Coins or Zero and Custom. And however, you can use each of these in both Professional and Standard modes.
By the way, I should mention to you that AT Pro doesn’t come with a True All Metal Mode. Though there is a Zero mode available which is pretty similar to All metal mode when you are not using discrimination.
But I would say still, these two are not equivalent considering the technical level. You can use notch discrimination settings to get the worthy targets though.
While AT Gold has a true all-metal mode, it doesn’t include adjustable notch discrimination though. Having all-metal mode AT Gold is able to do maximum detection of depth and sensitivity, specifically for Gold Nuggets.
Its name implies it is actually for Gold hunting. If you are a gold hunter and need a gold detecting machine then AT Gold can be your ideal choice.
Garrett provides pinpointing mode with both models. Pinpointing mode helps you to get a more accurate target location.
Though both models include pinpointing mode, serious detectorists prefer an external pinpointer.
Garrett usually doesn’t provide both manual and automatic ground balance in the cheaper detectors but they, fortunately, included both automatic and manual ground balance in their AT Pro and AT Gold. Having both ground balance allows you more control over the detector to handle the mineralized ground.
If you are looking for gold prospecting then buying a detector that includes both manual and automatic ground balance is highly recommended because the areas where gold is often found have tough ground conditions.
Iron Audio and High-Resolution Iron Discrimination
Garrett offers 40 levels of iron discrimination to all models of AT series. This discrimination setting allows you to set which targeted should be avoided or filtered.
Moreover, Garrett also included it’s trademarked “Iron Audio” system both in AT Pro and AT Gold. Iron Audio feature helps you save plenty of time and get rid of frustration by allowing you to pick out the trash items like bottle caps next to iron.
Suitability for Underwater Hunting
Both Garrett AT Pro and Garrett AT Gold are suitable for underwater hunting, both machines have submersible coils and waterproof control boxes.
So you will be able to hunt in shallow rivers, streams, lakes or creeks. They are suitable for use in freshwater up to a depth of 10 feet.
By the way, there is another difference between AT Pro and AT Gold is, AT Gold can’t ground balance to salt. That means it’s not suitable for use in saltwater.
Beside, AT Pro can ground balance in the salt though. AT Pro is your obvious choice if you’re gonna hunt at the beach.
By the way, one thing needs to be noted here that standard headphones of both AT Pro and AT Gold are not waterproof.
So if there is any chance of using headphones under the water is please make sure you are not using standard headphones that come with the package. You can buy waterproof headphones from the market externally.
- Audio: Both AT Pro and AT Gold have Pro Mode Audio. But AT Gold doesn’t come with Standard Binary Audio. You can switch your mode in the AT Pro. Pro mode makes tones that vary by depending on the characteristics of the target such depth and target size. Besides, the standard mode doesn’t include proportional audio but easier to use for a beginner.
- Ground Balance: Garrett included it’s Ground Balance Window feature to the AT Gold. This feature allows you to spread the ground balance for a range of values. It helps you to handle the mineralized ground that forms of varying soils and rocks, each of which requires a slightly different ground balance. The AT Pro doesn’t include this feature.
- Both detectors can be adjusted from 43” up to 56”. The AT Gold is marginally lighter at 2.8lbs compared to 3.03lbs.
- Like most Garrett detectors, there are several detachable parts for easier transportation and storage.
The standard package of AT Pro includes an 8.5” x 11” DD PROformance search coil. It’s able to provide excellent depth and allow you to cover ground fast.
Since the AT Gold is made for smaller items like gold nuggets, it has a smaller 5” x 8” DD PROformance search coil.
This coil is more sensitive to smaller targets and provides great target separation than it AT Pro does. Besides, this coil can’t provide the same depth as the coil provided with AT Pro.
Both models included basic headphones that are not submersible. In order to use headphones underwater, you will need to have a different pair of submersible headphones that you can buy externally.
By the way, it would be good to inform you that Garret did include wireless headphones feature to it’s AT MAX model but not to the AT Pro and AT Gold.
Garret AT Pro price is higher than Garrett AT Gold. You might be thinking that does AT Gold provide that value of money as it’s charging more money than AT Gold?
Well, if you are thinking for gold prospecting then, of course, Garrett AT Gold does provide value for money. Besides, you don’t need a higher frequency you can go for AT Pro then.
Since you have read the whole most now you are clear about the features, function, settings, and use of these two metal detecting machines.
It’s pretty simple if you have a wish to detect gold nuggets or smaller targets then you should go for Garrett AT Gold.
On the other hand, if you have a wish to detect the bigger targets or you need a fully waterproof metal detector with expert level features and can be used in all terrains and also at an affordable price then you should go for Garrett AT Pro.
Hey! This is David a Car Audio lover, Car Audio Installer. I got interested in metal detecting years back, tt’s been fun. Now I really love my metal detecting hobby.