Are metal detectors loud?
It is a fact that all land based metal detectors produce an audio signal when they pass over metal targets. It is also true that when you first hear these signals, they seem to be shockingly loud. So, it would naturally seem to follow that a metal detector's external speaker should be totally sufficient. Why then do experienced detectorists always use a set of very good headphones? Furthermore, what makes a headphone "very good" in combination with a metal detector? Let's explore some of the reasoning involved in headphone usage.
Do metal detectors need headphones?
Picture yourself lying back on a lounge, soaking up the sun in a local park or at the water's edge. Someone comes along, sits down five feet from you, and blasts a boom box during the time you had set aside to unwind. What an inconsiderate thing to do! Sports and hobbies are all governed by etiquette and ethics, as well as a sense of fair play. The practice of metal detecting is no different, and hovering around someone while your detector beeps away is quite discourteous and offensive. If you persist in this, you could provoke someone into summoning someone with the authority to exclude you, your detector, and other detectorists from the area.
On the other hand, let's assume that you are not an especially socially conscientious person. Well, okay... what you really care about is finding a lot of STUFF! So, now we come to one of the greatest reasons to use a headphone. You will be able to better hear those faint, deep signals, and more easily discern smaller items which might be lying on edge. This will allow you to find more items. Additionally, many distracting exterior sounds such as wind, waves and wolves will be muted. Okay, If you insist upon hearing the wolves, leave one ear-cup askew! As beginners getting in to the hobby, you have lots of considerations. From choosing a digger to choosing sandscoops. So let's get to the details of selecting the best metal detector headphone so you can get that off your list.
What is the difference between metal detecting headphones and stereo headphones?
If you are fiscally oriented in the same direction as many detectorists, then you have an economical streak in you. Well, the use of a headphone will save you money by allowing the batteries in your detector to last longer. This is because the speaker in the detector is turned off when the headphone is plugged in to it and so, no energy is required to drive the detector's external speaker.
Wired versus Wireless Headphones
Wired headphones come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. They provide among the best sound quality of all types of headphones. The direct connection through the coiled cord from the headphones to the metal detector provides clear sound. Keep in mind, you will be connected to the metal detector by the cord. With wireless headphones, the signal is transmitted over the air. Unlike traditional blue tooth headphones, wireless metal detector headphones transmit the signal faster and with less distortion and no delay. The freedom of hunting with out wires is fantastic and allows you to move effortlessly.
Weatherproof versus Waterproof Headphones
When metal detecting on land it is important to have a headphone with water-resistant, weatherproof speakers. Traditional stereo headphones used for home listening to music on home stereos contain paper cone speakers. While this type of speaker provides a great range of audio sound, they will absorb moisture when used out doors. Save your premium stereo headphones for listening to music indoors. When hunting underwater you will want to invest in a pair of fully waterproof headphones. Each set of underwater headphones includes a unique waterproof connection for use with your underwater metal detector.
Top 12 Features to look for in a Metal Detecting Headphone
The best metal detecting headphones are specially designed to produce the best results with any metal detector, regardless of its components or frequency. Most metal detector headphones come with a selector switch or adapter so that you can use them with any detector you own. Some have internal electronics that will convert the signal to stereo sound. Metal detector audio can be processed with specialty headphones for maximum depth, while protecting your hearing from excessive levels of noise. Let's take a look at the specific features to look for in a metal detecting headphone. A well designed headphone will reduce outside noises.
Weatherproof mylar coated moisture resistant mylar speakers are thebest option for outdoor use. Home stereo headphones typically have paper cone speakers as they provide a wide range of audio. The issue with paper cone speakers is that they deteriorate from moisture and eventually mute soft signals. So keep your home stereo headphones in doors.
When selecting a metal detector headphone, you will want to be sure that it has adjustable volume controls. Some models will have an individual volume control on each ear cup and others will have one volume control that adjusts both sides. Some metal detectors include a volume control, but most do not. Adjusting the sound on your headphones keeps you from getting your ears blasted by overly loud signals.
Electrical resistance is measured in Ohms. Metal detectors must match the output power of headphones with a specific impedance. Metal detectors have to process this output capacity before headphones can deliver optimal sound. Quality metal detecting headphones will match the impedance or audio output of your metal detector for complete audio compatibility.
4. Stereo Mono Switch
Most detectors have stereo headphone jacks for use with stereo plug on the headphone. Some models have audio jacks. For this reason it is ideal to have a pair of headphone with a mono stereo switch so that you will hear stereo sound or audio in both ears. Unless of course you want to keep one ear open to listen for wolves, rattle snakes or other noises in the environment.
The majority of metal detectors contain a 1/4" or 6.33mm headphone jack. For this type of connection it is important to use a right angle versus a straight plug. This will reduce the chance of catching the connector while metal detecting. For headphones with a 1/8" connection a straight jack is fine. If your metal detector has a waterproof connection or a proprietary connection you will need to select a headset with that type of connector.
6. Cable Style and Length
A coiled cord is ideal as it will expand or contract to fit comfortably. Some headphones come with a straight cable which would need to wrapped to keep any excess cable out of the way as you dig. For this reason a coiled cord is the best option to select in a good set of headphones for metal detecting. A 6 foot coiled cord is a comfortable length of cable.
Many quality headphones have an adjustable headband that includes padding and are made of soft leather or simulated materiel for comfort. Headphones can be full sized, light weight or even in the form of ear buds. Larger full sized headphones are better for blocking out exterior noise. Some larger headphones are even noise isolation style headsets that reduce external noises. Larger headphones will be warmer in hot climates or on hot days and keep your ears warm on cooler days. Light weight headphones will be cooler on those hots days. If you enjoy wearing hats or ball caps take that in to consideration as you are selecting a phone.
Most full sized devices weigh in at about nine to twelve ounces. Consider the weight of the headphones you select as you will be outdoors for long stretches of time.
Treasure hunters headphones will have a wide range of frequency response. Typically in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hz which is well above and below human hearing. This is important as it will allow you to easily hear the full range of target responses produced by modern metal detectors. The two earpieces each contain a speaker that will transmit this sound directly to your ears. Good quality headphones used by metal detectorists will make it easy for you to hear the weak signals produced by deeply buried targets. These are typically the older more valuable coins
10. Audio Processing
Some of the best metal detector headphones include electronic circuits to process the audio before it reaches your ears. Some will amplify the weak signals and limit the audio of the loudest signals. All in all they work together to provide you with safest audio levels for detecting.
In light of the fact that you will be using your headphones outdoor and in extreme conditions, you will want a warranty you can rely on. Some models include a 1 year warranty while others like the Detector Pro brand are backed with a lifetime warranty. While you may be required to pay return shipping, knowing that your headphone is backed with a good parts and labor warranty coverage.
12. Power Source
Most metal detecting headphones do not require a battery source for power. With that said, wireless headphones and those with audio circuits will require a battery source. Many utilize internal rechargeable batteries. Some units will utilize a small alkaline battery for power. You can check the product specifications for complete details. If your unit is battery powered be sure to check the battery life so that you are not caught out in the field without power.
Review Of The Best Headphones For Metal Detecting
Our editors and field testers have compiled our list of our top picks for a range of different budgets and needs. We have tested each headphone across a wide range of the most popular metal detectors. The models below were selected as best in class and have our thumbs up. We have also included detailed reviews from actual users for each model of headphone below. You will not find these verified reviews on any other website or forum as they are submitted by directly actual users and their purchases are verified. You can learn the pros and cons of each model by reading over these product reviews.
1. The Best Headphones For Metal Detecting Under $50
Audio Headphones for use with Metal Detectors
Price: $39.95 Reviews
The Audio headphone is an advanced design, full-sized, lightweight headphone. Use this headphone with any brand of metal detector.
Foldable Wired Backphone for Use with XP DEUS and ORX
Price: $14.00 Reviews
These lightweight Backphones are a great option to keep on hand as a backup in the field. Contains a rugged headband for extra durability.
2. Best Best Headphones for hearing impaired
If you have diminished hearing, a headphone with an expanded volume range will make the hobby more enjoyable for you. With the ability to hear the deeper signals, you will find more things in the field and be more successful.
DetectorPro Black Widow Headphone
Price: $135.00 Reviews
The Black Widow headphones made by DetectorPro are engineered to be particularly helpful for those with hearing problems or for use in environments where ambient noise levels are extraordinarily high. These metal detector headphones also feature independent volume controls for each ear so you can adjust them perfectly to meet your unique hearing needs.
3. Best Best Headphones for Gold Prospecting
Gold nuggets can be quite elusive and difficult to locate as their small size can only be heard with extremely sensitive headphones. The price of gold is on the rise, so investing in a good set of metal detecting headphones makes sense. Some models will only have one speaker. It allows you to hear dangers in the environment like rattlesnakes and other wild animals with one ear free. Choose a headset with a wide audio frequency range and impedance that matches the audio output of your metal detector.
DetectorPro Rattler Headphone
Price: $85.00 Reviews
Gold nugget hunters in particular who frequent arid, untamed environments are sure to enjoy the Rattler headphones by DetectorPro. While one ear is covered by an ear cup, the other is left free to hear what’s around you. This way no matter where you go treasure hunting nothing unexpected, like, for example, the headphone’s namesake - the rattle snake - will surprise you and cause your metal detecting trip to become a whole lot more!
4. The Best Headphones For Metal Detecting Under $100
Price: $89.00 Reviews
These headphones can be used with all Fisher metal detectors. Reduce background noise and hear those faint, deep signals.
4. The Best Headphones For Metal Detecting Under $125
DetectorPro Original Gray Ghost Headphone
Price: $107.00 - Reviews
Hear the “ghost signals” others are missing when you use the Original Gray Ghost headphones by DetectorPro. These top of the line headphones are the choice of serious jewelry, relic, and coin hunters because they’re made “by detector people, for detector people”
5. The Best Headphones For Metal Detecting Under$150
Whites ProStar Headphones
Price: $150.00 Reviews
Whites ProStar Headphones a premium headphone by White's specifically for use with all brands of metal detectors with a standard 1/4" headphone jack.
DetectorPro Original Gray Ghost Headphone
Price: $107.00 Reviews
Hear the “ghost signals” others are missing when you use the Original Gray Ghost headphones by DetectorPro. These top of the line headphones are the choice of serious jewelry, relic, and coin hunters because they’re made “by detector people, for detector people”.
6. The Best Waterproof Headphones
Having a fully waterproof headphone is crucial when metal detecting underwater. Whether you are hunting on lakes or diving in saltwater, a waterproof metal detecting headphone is a wise investment. As you select a model, make sure it has the correct waterproof connector for your model. Each brand of underwater metal detector uses a different connector.
For Garrett Metal Detectors
Price: $150.00 Reviews
The Gray Ghost Amphibian II underwater headphones from DetectorPro are designed to be used exclusively with Garrett AT Pro, AT Gold, AT Max, Sea Hunter Mark II, ATX and Infinium metal detectors. Suitable for use up to 30 feet underwater these metal detecting headphones are also built for use on dry land as well so you only need one set of headphones no matter where you go metal detecting.
Garrett Submersible Waterproof Headphones
Price: $84.95 Reviews
These waterproof headphones are for use with the Garrett AT Pro, AT Gold, AT Max, Sea Hunter Mark II, ATX and Infinium LS metal detectors.
For Minelab Metal Detectors
DetectorPro Gray Ghost Underwater Amphibian II Headphones for Minelab CTX 3030
Price: $175.00 Reviews
Designed specifically for the Minelab CTX by DetectorPro, these Gray Ghost Amphibian II underwater metal detecting headphones are ideal for all underwater or wet conditions. With maximum sensitivity and sound clarity these metal detecting headphones are also made with full ear surround muffs so you’ll hear everything your metal detector hits on no matter where you’re hunting.
Detector Pro Gray Ghost Underwater Amphibian II Headphones for Minelab Equinox
Price: $160.00 Reviews
The Gray Ghost Amphibian II underwater headphones from DetectorPro are designed to be used exclusively with the Minelab Equinox metal detector. Suitable for use up to 30 feet underwater, these metal detecting headphones are also built for use on dry land as well so you only need one set of headphones no matter where you go metal detecting.
For Nokta Makro Metal Detectors
Detector Pro Gray Ghost Underwater Amphibian II Headphone for Nokta Makro Underwater Metal Detectors
Price: $150.00 Reviews
The Gray Ghost Amphibian II underwater headphones from DetectorPro are designed to be used exclusively with Nokta Makro Under Water Metal Detectors. Suitable for use up to 30 feet underwater, these metal detecting headphones are also built for use on dry land as well so you only need one set of headphones no matter where you go metal detecting.
Nokta Makro Waterproof Headphones for Kruzer, Simplex + and Anfibio Series
Price: $109.65 Reviews
The Nokta Makro waterproof headphones will enhance your treasure hunting experience. Hear the older deeper targets with this professional quality headphone and your Makro Kruzer, Multi Kruzer, Gold Kruzer and Anfibio metal detectors. Corded headphone with waterproof connector plug.
Honorable mentions go to the following
Waterproof Headphone Adaptors
A waterproof metal detector can be used with a headphone that does not have the appropriate waterproof connection if you buy an adapter. The connectors are proprietary to each manufacturer. If you purchase one of the below headphone adapters, you can connect your favorite headset to the following underwater detectors. You should keep in mind that while the connection between the detector and the headphone is waterproof, your headphone itself may not be. This setup allows you to detect in shallow water with your detector and headphones as long as your head is not submerged.
Garrett Headphone Jack Adapter for AT and ATX Series Metal Detectors
Price: $33.95 Reviews
The Garrett headphone adapter will allow you to use your favorite land headphones or any brand of land headphones that have a standard 1/4" jack connector. One end of the adapter connects securely to the Garrett waterproof 2-pin connector of the Control Housing.
Garrett Ace Apex ¼" Headphone Adapter
This Garrett Ace Apex ¼" Headphone Adapter is an accessory that enables headphones with a 1/4" plug to be used with the 1/8" jack of the ACE Apex metal detector.
Nokta Makro 1/4" Headphone Adapter for the Kruzer, Multi Kruzer, Gold Kruzer, Simplex+ and Anfibio
Price: $24.65 Reviews
The Nokta Makro Headphone Adapter will allow you to use your favorite headphones with a 1/4" plug on the Makro Kruzer, Multi Kruzer, Gold Kruzer, Simplex + and Anfibio Metal Detectors.
Wireless Headphone Kits
Even if your metal detector does not have a built-in wireless transmitter, you can still enjoy wireless metal detecting by purchasing an accessory transmitter and receiver. Garrett's MS-3 headphone kit includes a transmitter that plugs into any metal detector's headphone jack. Using Garrett Z-Lynk technology, it wirelessly transmits the audio signal to the full-sized MS-3 headphones.
Garrett MS-3 Wireless Headphones with Z-Lynk Transmitter Module
Price: $161.46 Reviews
Take your metal detector and go wireless with the Garrett MS-3 Wireless Headphones with Z-Lynk Transmitter Module! This wireless headphone system is nearly universal, designed to work with almost any metal detector brand or model. Plus, the Garrett Z-Lynk response speed is fast, meaning you will hear your target signal while the search coil is directly over the target. This model can also be ordered as the Garrett Z-Lynk™ Wireless Kit with MS-3 Headphone and Pro-Pointer AT pinpointer.
Metal detecting is a lot more enjoyable when you don't have to worry about cables or wires getting in the way. Metal detecting headphones use proprietary wireless transmission technologies instead of Bluetooth. Using bluetooth headphones transmits several features not required for metal detectors and slows down transmission. Metal detector headphones transmit much less information back and forth and are therefore much faster. With your metal detector, you'll be able to pinpoint targets more precisely with a fast audio response between your detector and your wireless headphones.
Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk Wireless Headphones
Price: $101.96 Reviews
This is a replacement and the original headphone that comes standard with the Garrett MS-3 Wireless Headphones with Z-Lynk Transmitter Module kit. This is also a replacement wireless headphone to be used on Garrett wireless-enabled metal detectors such as the Garrett AT Max and Ace Apex.
Gray Ghost Wireless Headphones for Garrett AT Series metal detectors with 2-Pin connectors
These Wireless Gray Ghost Headphones are designed to be used exclusively with the following models of Garrett metal detectors: AT Pro, AT Gold, AT Max, Sea Hunter Mark II, ATX and Infinium LS. These metal detecting headphones are built for use on the dry land. Ships complete with Wireless module and rechargeable battery and charger.
XP ORX WSAudio Wireless Headphones
Price: $99.00 Reviews
Complete XP ORX WSAudio wireless headphones. Includes backphone headband and electronic control. This is a replacement for the standard ORX wireless headset from XP Metal Detectors. These headphones are NOT compatible with the XP DEUS.
XP DEUS WS-5 Wireless Headphone
Price: $299.00 Reviews
This full size headphone is for use with the XP Deus wireless metal detector. This is a replacement for the headphones that come standard with the Deus. This is NOT compatible with the ORX.
XP Deus WS-4 Wireless Headphones
Price: $249.00 Reviews
This medium weight back-phone style headphone is for use with the XP Deus wireless metal detector. This is a replacement for the headphones that come standard with the Deus. This is NOT compatible with the ORX.
© 1989 Detector Electronics Corp - Revised October 16, 2021