All-Terrain Excellence: Navigating with Garrett’s AT Max Metal Detector

This review is about Garrett AT Max, a metal detector that was designed to substitute AT Pro. How did the device change? Let’s take a look.

Garrett AT max vs AT Pro

Since there are three metal detectors in the product line and they are very much alike, it is really hard to say what is the difference between them. You are welcome to read about Garrett AT Gold vs AT-Pro comparison in our reviews.

So, let’s briefly discuss the differences between Garrett AT max and AT Pro, since these devices are very similar.

First of all, Garrett AT Max has wireless headphones, which are included into the device package set. You can’t submerge them, but absence of wire is a very big advantage in this case. Those who tried them, they know what I mean.

Another important difference is a new operating frequency. Garrett AT Gold has 18 kHz operating frequency, for AT Pro it is 15 kHz, while AT max has operating frequency equal to 13.6 kHz.

You can see the difference when using 15 and 18 kHz frequency, but between 15 and 13.6 kHz…. it is rather questionable.

In my opinion, this is just pure marketing stuff. There is no significant change in the device performance; just the depth of signal penetration into the ground has slightly increased.

The metal detector search depth increases as well, which is the 3rd important difference, announced by the manufacturer.

And you have a question – due to what? The device has the same coil, but the software was improved a bit. In general, it seems to be another marketing trick. As for the fine adjustment, not every detectorist will be using it.

Threshold – is rather important setting, but it is also one of the device fine adjustments. Not every user knows its purpose. Besides, Garrett AT Gold has a Threshold function as well.

The display backlit is rather useful thing, especially for those who go treasure hunting in bright sunlight, since in this case you can’t see anything on AT Pro display.

And… volume adjustment. There was 100500 complaints from AT Pro users about it and finally Garrett decided to add this function!!!

I won’t make any conclusions instead of you. So, you are welcome to decide on your own basing on the real facts, which model of the metal detectors suits your needs better.

  1. Waterproof Design: The AT Max is fully submersible and can be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments. The control box, coil, and stem are waterproof, allowing for underwater metal detecting.
  2. All-Terrain Performance: Designed for use in various terrains, including fields, parks, beaches, and shallow water.
  3. Z-Lynk Wireless Technology: The AT Max is equipped with Garrett’s Z-Lynk wireless technology, allowing for fast and reliable wireless audio without any signal delay.
  4. True All-Metal Mode: The detector includes a true all-metal mode for maximum depth detection and sensitivity.
  5. Adjustable Frequency: Users can choose from multiple frequency options (such as 13.6 kHz or 15 kHz) to reduce interference or customize performance based on the detecting conditions.
  6. Iron Audio: The Iron Audio feature allows users to hear discriminated iron targets, providing additional information for more precise target identification.
  7. High-Resolution Ground Balance: The AT Max features an adjustable and high-resolution ground balance to handle varying ground mineralization.
  8. Digital Target ID: The detector provides a numerical target ID on the display, helping users identify the type of metal they’ve detected.
  9. Adjustable Threshold: Users can manually adjust the threshold tone to their preference, allowing for a more personalized detecting experience.
  10. Backlit LCD Display: The detector comes with a backlit LCD display, making it easy to read in various lighting conditions.
  11. Iron Discrimination Segments: The AT Max often includes adjustable iron discrimination segments to help users customize their discrimination settings.

Last update on 2024-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Source: Amazon Affiliates

ModelGarrett AT Max
Weight3.03 lbs (1.4 kgs)
Length (Adjustable)43″ to 56″ (1.09m – 1.4m)
Batteries4 AA
Headphones Included, wireless
Warranty2 year
Circuit Type VLF
Standard Searchcoil8.5″ x 11″ DD PROformance
Operating Frequencies (kHz) 13.6
Water resistanceWaterproof metal detector
Submersion Depth up to 10 feet
Iron Discrimination Segments44
Ground Balance Manual
Search Modes 4 (all Pro Audio)
Audio Threshold Yes
Sensitivity/Depth Adjustments 8
Electronic Pinpointing Yes
VDI (0 to 99 scale) Yes
Build-in flashlightYes
Enhanced Detection DepthYes
True All-Metal ModeYes
Auto Ground Balance WindowYes
Iron Audio™ (Disc. Modes)Yes
All Metal Iron AudioYes
Fast Recovery Speed Yes
Target Depth Indicator Yes
Battery Condition Indicator Yes
Updatable SoftwareNo


Garrett AT Max was manufactured at the end of 2017 and nowadays it is the most advanced and usable device among all metal detectors of Garrett product line.

Garrett AT Max has settings, which we didn’t have in previous models of Garrett AT metal detectors (namely Pro and Gold).

The shaft

As Garrett states AT Max is better balanced due to the improved design of the device case and the handle if compared to Pro and Gold devices.

In terms of design Garrett AT Max rather slightly differs from AT Pro: it has an S-shaped shaft and an armrest, a control unit and a coil.

The only noticeable difference is a rubber handle, which substituted the impractical foam one. This change has really made using the device more convenient.

The device shaft length can be adjusted within the range from 43″ to 56″ (1.09 m – 1.4 m).

The coil

Nothing has changed here. You can read about the coil in details in AT pro review.

Currently the device is using low operating frequency 13,6 kHz (if compared with 15 and 18 kHz). Such an operation frequency enables beach hunting with higher sensitivity level and with less number of phantom signals received from highly mineralized soil.

The headphones

Garrett AT Max package set includes wireless headphones MS3 Z-Lynk, which work both in a wireless mode and with a wire.

The headphones connect to the metal detector not by means of Bluetooth, but using the branded Z-Lynk technology, which provides only 14 мs signal delay.

The headphones are easy and convenient to use, they have an adjustable volume mode. The frequency range varies from 30 Hz to 18 kHz, which almost completely includes all range of sound detectable by a human ear. MS3 Z-Lynk headphones have a separate 12-month warranty.

The headphones weren’t designed only for AT Max and they are compatible with any model of Garrett metal detector, but to function the headphones require a special wireless communication unit GARRETT Z-Lynk to connect with the device.

The headphones are boxed and they also have a USB cable and a manual included in the set.

The battery

The device power supply uses 4 AA batteries; maximum operation time of the batteries is about 20 hours.

There is no power supply module in the device package set; the cable has a standard USB connector.


Like AT Pro, AT Max can be completely submerged. The maximum submerging depth is up to 10 feet deep. Waterproofness requires not only the device coil and its control unit be leakproof, but the cable entries as well.

Therefore, be careful when plugging the cable in; don’t forget to check the sealing elements and grease them with silicone grease from time to time.

The control unit

Garrett AT Max control differs from that of AT Pro. The control unit design seems to be quite alike, but many buttons have different functions.

The mode of device operation is in the left vertical segment. The same segment on the right contains the target depth scale. In the bottom there is a battery change and sensitivity level indicator, while the discrimination scale in on top. In the middle of the screen a VDI number is displayed (large digits).

IRON DISC – is for iron discrimination adjustment (I) and using the same button together with holding Shift button you can adjust NOTCH settings.

MODE – is for selecting the mode of operation (discrimination mode) and also turn the device on/off when holding the button (1 sec).

IRON AUDIO — the function allows to detect ferrous targets and not to dig phantom and doubtful signals. This function is especially helpful in Pro mode. The device produces a tone signal when detecting an iron-containing target and creates additional signals of various tones.

SENSITIVITY – has two control buttons: «+» to increase, «-» to decrease the sensitivity level. If you push and hold Shift button, you can adjust the sound volume.

PINPOINT — this is a precise target detection mode. When pushing the button, in the right corner of the display you will see the target depth value.

THRESHOLD — is used to adjust the threshold tone. This setting of Garrett AT Gold allows changing the threshold noise level; also, it maintains the detection depth of the device.

GROUND BALANCE – automatic ground balance function; use NOTCH button for manual ground balancing.

FREQ — allows slight shifting of the operating frequency to escape from electric interference caused by high-voltage power lines or other metal detectors working nearby.

Together with holding Shift button, it works with NOTCH to include or exclude some segment of the discrimination scale.

By pushing simultaneously IRON AUDIO and FREQ buttons the wireless headphones get connected to the device.

Modes of operation

The metal detector has 4 modes of operation – Coins, All Metal, Zero and Custom. The modes purpose is clear from their names.

All Metal and Zero modes are very much alike, but there is a difference — in All Metal mode you have constant background noise, in Zero mode you don’t have it.


  • easy to learn all features
  • backlit screen
  • it is waterproof to 10 feet


  • headphones aren’t waterproof


So, what can I say about AT Max? In my opinion, this is a bit improved AT Pro.

The detection depth is a bit higher, but the difference is not that significant. The wireless headphones are a benefit for those who like metal detecting using headphones. Since this is really convenient, when you don’t feel like ‘a bird on the wire’.

The battery charge is enough for one day of work, the device is well balanced, it has clear sound signals. What else a detectorist might wish for?

However, the question is – whether all these improvements are worth the money paid. This is for you to decide. If you think that they aren’t, then get AT Pro, since it is almost the same.