Metal detectorists have a unique set of needs when it comes to headphones. The noise levels can be extremely high and the targets they’re looking for are often very small, making them difficult to find in the ground. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll talk about our top picks for metal detecting headphones that will help you get more from your hunts!
Best Metal Detecting Headphones in 2023
- Best Overall: Original Gray Ghost
- Best with Extra Budget: Ultimate Gray Ghost
- Best Low Budget Pick: Garrett ClearSound Easy Stow
- Best Mid-Range Budget Pick: Bounty Hunter
- Best for Kids: Garrett Treasure Sound Headphone
- Best Wireless Universal Kit: Garrett Z-Lynk MS-3 Kit
- Best for Gold Prospecting: DetectorPro Rattler
- Best for Hearing Impaired: DetectorPro Black Widow
This guide will also go over some considerations before purchasing a pair of metal detecting headphones so you don’t make a decision without weighing all of your options. We hope this article helps you find the perfect pair of headphones for your next hunt!
Our Top Picks Reviewed
The audio response needed to decipher signal tones is so subtle that you can easily miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime find due to the lack of clarity in bad headphones. Wearing headphones is also better for keeping parks and beaches a peaceful area for the general public, and they will preserve the battery life of a detector, so you can use it for longer each time.
This is why we have compiled a list of the best headphones that are made specifically for metal detecting. There are headphones designed for different types of hunts, and everything from the big, over-ear headphones, to modern, wireless options.
DetectorPro Original Gray Ghost
The best all-around metal detecting headphones on the market.
Original Gray Ghost from DetectorPro are the best all-around metal detecting headphones on the market. They’re also my headphone of choice.
Thanks to the muff design, they block out the noise of the surrounding area to 24 decibels – this is enough for you to hear the deep targets that may otherwise get away. Need a little more in your ears? They offer single rotary volume control to ensure the level stays in place throughout your hunt.
If you’re worried about compatibility, then the selector switch should put your mind at rest. It is compatible with any single-output metal detector without the need for an adaptor.
With an adjustable headband that is padded for comfort, they are ideal for extended use so they won’t be a distraction to you when you need to concentrate. The latest models even have an extended coiled cord topping off what are the best headphones for metal detecting.
DetectorPro Ultimate Gray Ghost
These headphones will change everything you know about audio—if you have the budget!
With custom adjustments, this is a higher spec to the Original Gray Ghost and a great option for anyone with a little extra money to spend.
Want increased sensitivity to uncover tiny targets and more power when at full volume? The enhanced sound quality from the speaker elements has added clarity thanks to the tuned cavity design.
Ultimate Grey Ghost metal detecting headphones are excellent for swinging your detector in busy areas because they feature a noise-reducing limiter circuit to help you pick up those small signals. But if you are exploring near water or in a hazardous area, you will want to take in a bit of the world around you as you move, so this can be disabled by pressing the button.
Even the design of the coiled cable has been enhanced so it hugs the neck and body and doesn’t snag on branches as you detect among the hedges and rugged terrain. The ¼ inch jack sits at a 90-degree angle and comes as standard – making it compatible with a variety of detectors.
The foldable design makes them easy to transport from hunt to hunt and the heavy-duty polymer muffs offer full ear surround comfort that is cushioned, and fine for extended wear.
These metal detecting headphones are perfect for anyone who takes their hobby seriously, and never wants to miss out on a find.
Garrett ClearSound Easy Stow
Lightweight, compact, comfortable, and easy to use. Our top pick when you’re on a tight budget.
Not everyone has a lot of money to spend on their headphones, but when this is the case, you don’t have to miss out on some of the essential features a metal detectorist needs for a successful hunt.
There is a volume control on the cord and although they don’t have the same clarity as some of the elite products available, they still help pick up small signals, offering nice tones for detecting, and are comfortable even when wearing them for hours on end.
The ClearSound ticks two of the most important boxes for detecting as they are both lightweight and come with a coiled cable that is long enough without getting in the way. They also fold up nice and small to go into your backpack at the end of a long day scanning the beach, park, field, or wherever you choose to put them to use.
Bounty Hunter HEAD-PL
A bestselling product and our top mid-range budget pick.
With true stereo sound, adjustable in either ear, these are an excellent choice for experienced and amateur detectorists.
When you are on the hunt for those small rare coins, you need headphones that maximize your range. This is exactly what the Bounty Hunter HEAD-PL can do, whilst preserving the battery life of the detector.
They have volume control when you need to crank things up a little and are lightweight, so fine for extended use when you feel like you want to carry on searching that field or beach for as long as the detector will allow.
Comfort is one of the main benefits of these metal detecting headphones. This is evident in the soft leather earpieces which stay in place well, and an extra-long cable to ensure they don’t get in the way as you swing the defector as you move.
In terms of performance, the large ear cups are capable of picking up faint signals which can otherwise go undetected with standard headphones.
They are not compatible with Junior Bounty Hunter detectors and the ¼ inch stereo plug is not at a right angle which can be preferable for ensuring it does not catch, but otherwise, these are up there with the best in the field.
Garrett Treasure Sound Headphone
Designed for the young detectorist in your life. Our top pick for kids.
Have a budding detectorist in the house, or want the kids to join your next adventure? Equip them with headphones that enhance their experience without breaking the bank with these from Garrett.
The soft ear cups and adjustable headband make them easier on younger ears so kids can roam the countryside, looking for treasure in comfort.
These headphones are designed specifically for metal detecting and can block out background noise so children can concentrate whilst they swing their metal detector as they roam.
To protect young ears, there is a volume control switch making it easy to adjust so the surrounding areas don’t stop them from retrieving targets. Garrett makes affordable and reliable headphones, a good combination when buying for children who are more likely to use them roughly.
Garrett Z-Lynk MS-3 Kit
The most affordable way to explore wirelessly. Our top pick for the best universal wireless headphone kit for metal detectors.
Detecting without the restrictions of wired headphones is becoming increasingly popular, and with the MS-3 kit, it is easy to see why.
These are chargeable via USB and are great for exploring areas where heavy vegetation and branches might otherwise keep pulling at cords and slow you down.
They are also among the most comfortable thanks to the adjustable headband and soft ear cushions.
Customization of your preferences is high with these metal detecting headphones, so if you feel the need to enhance a weak signal, play with the adjustable signal level and volume control to inspire confidence that you have scanned an area properly.
With a built-in receiver, up to 30 hours of battery life, and an adapter cable to make them compatible with a variety of detectors, these are affordable headphones with a lot to offer any experience level.
A headphone that lets you hear your detector’s signals through one earcup while your other ear is left uncovered to hear things such as dangerous reptiles and snakes. Our top pick for gold prospecting.
For professional metal detecting headphones look no further than Rattler. Made with the demands of gold prospecting in mind, they allow you to hear everything through one headphone, to help you stay alert.
A lot of the gold prospecting terrain means animal encounters are a genuine concern, so to hear a snake or reptile is worth avoiding, these headphones can prevent you from having a memorable hunt for all the wrong reasons.
As standard, these have a ¼” connector that sits at a 90-degree angle. They are compact when folded and pack down small for convenient transportation between hunts. It takes patience when looking for gold nuggets, and the heavy-duty polymer muff and adjustable headband means they can be worn for hours on end without causing discomfort.
We particularly like the built-in speaker that maximizes sensitivity, you won’t miss any tones because of it. This tops off what is a quality option for anyone hunting for nuggets.
DetectorPro Black Widow
Engineered for detectorists with challenged hearing and for hunting environments with high ambient noise levels.
Those minute signals can be difficult for anyone to pick up, so the hearing impaired need a little more volume and a quality signal to make each hunt more enjoyable.
They are also perfect for conditions with a high ambiance where you need a little extra help from your metal detecting headphones. The large muffs are oversized to block ambient noise so hunt sites close to the incessant noise of traffic, or the roar of the ocean won’t impact a hunt.
We like the independent volume control feature that allows detectorists to increase the volume in an ear that needs the extra volume. Just be sure to adjust the detector signal to a comfortable level as the increased volume output of the Black Widow could cause eardrum damage otherwise.
Headphone Buyer’s Guide
Wired vs Wireless
The obvious benefit of wireless headphones is that they do not get caught on branches as you swing your detector along hedgerows, but this isn’t all.
Wireless metal detecting headphones are also a better option for transmitting a faster signal than Bluetooth headphones, and also offer less distortion with no delay.
They tend to work with specific manufacturers, but for a universal option, the Garrett Z-Lynk MS-3 works with a variety of models.
Of course, both options help preserve the battery life of the metal detector but with wired
products, you will also be able to hunt longer.
Volume control is important on headphones because not every metal detector has it. The best headphones will offer adjustable controls for both ear cups as this can help you stay aware of your surroundings and increase signal volume where necessary.
For preventing discomfort from loud signals that increase and decrease, headphones must have volume control.
Connectors & Plugs
Most metal detectors have a ¼ inch or 6.3mm headphone jack meaning it is better to have a plug that comes at a right angle as it reduces the chances of the plug catching as you move.
It is also possible that your metal detector has either a waterproof connection or a proprietary connection. In which case, you’ll need a connector to match when plugging in your headset.
You’ll find that most headphones with padded ear cups weigh around 9 – 12 oz. This can be an important consideration if you are planning on taking your detector out for long periods at a time.
Most metal detecting headphones are made to be worn for hours on end, so an adjustable headband should come as standard.
The padding of the ear cups is important, and even the shape can impact just how comfortable they are. Soft leather is optimal, and if the headband is padded then this is a bonus.
Big headphones can make a hot day even warmer but will also keep ears warm when the cold
Cable Style and Length
The optimal length is around 6 feet as this gives plenty of room to move in any terrain without the cord getting in the way.
Coiled cords are ideal as they expand and contract easily meaning they remain close to the body when you do not need some added length. It’ll make reaching or moving around much more comfortable and you won’t be continually grabbing a loose cable.
Arguably the most important feature in metal detecting headphones, sound quality can be the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed.
The better the sound quality, the easier it will be to hear weak signals that are buried deep.
Also, when searching in loud areas like on beaches, headphones that reduce background noise are going to be vital. Larger headphones tend to offer this naturally, although some will also tell you about their ambient noise blocking of up to 24 decibels.
Because of the extreme conditions and environments these headphones are used in, as well as the value of many models, ensuring they come with a warranty is a must.
Most tend to offer at least a year’s warranty although other reputable brands like Detector Pro come with a lifetime warranty.
This can give you peace of mind when exploring different areas where bumps and accidents are more common.
Waterproof vs Weatherproof
Unless you are using an underwater submersible detector where underwater headphones come attached, you are unlikely to have much in the way of waterproof protection.
When using a detector that is suitable for water and land, be sure to look for waterproof headphones that are made by the same brand or that the connectors are compatible.
Stereo Mono Switch
Stereo headphone jacks are more common but audio jacks are also available. It is better to pair headphones with a mono stereo switch to hear stereo sound in both ears as you hunt.
How To Choose
Firstly, stick to your budget and get the best headphones for metal detecting that you can afford.
Choose headphones that are well suited to your surroundings and style of hunting. If gold prospecting in areas where snakes and reptiles are common, wear single-ear headphones like the DetectorPro Rattler.
Like to scan the beach for lost jewelry and the likes? Get headphones with decent noise-canceling features to block out the roar of the surf.
There are some features that everyone needs such as comfort. Look for headphones that have an adjustable headband, and plenty of padding for comfort when wearing them on lengthy hunts.
Volume control and the ability the pick up tiny signals from deep-buried finds are also important.
Do metal detectors need headphones?
All metal detectors work without the use of headphones. But for increased detecting, you need headphones that will alert you to minute signals buried deep in the ground.
Using headphones also preserves the battery of the detector so you can hunt for longer.
Can you use a metal detector without headphones?
It is possible, but the experience will be significantly worse. Because they alert you to some of the smallest signals imaginable, you could be missing out on a unique find without them.
Can you use any headphones for metal detecting?
Yes, you can, but it is not advisable. Firstly, you need a ⅛’ to ¼’ adapter to make them work, and if using Bluetooth headphones, there will be a time lag in the response which makes it difficult to locate the target when the coil passes over.
Wired versus Wireless Headphones
Both have their benefits, and although there are more options for wired headphones, wireless does give you more freedom in terms of movement.
With wireless headphones, be sure to avoid Bluetooth products as they often have a lag as well as distortion. However, you are at the mercy of the battery life with wireless headphones.
Weatherproof versus Waterproof Headphones
Waterproof headphones need to be compatible with the specific waterproof detector and usually come attached to the unit itself.
Weatherproof means they are going to be able to stand up against some adverse weather, including water, but will not have the same protection as waterproof products.
Are metal detector headphones stereo?
Most, but not all metal detector headphones are stereo. Generally speaking, an output jack that is labeled “headphone” will be stereo.
Do wireless headphones have a slower response time?
Only if using Bluetooth headphones. You will find that most wireless metal detecting headphones have a fast response time that is very much the same as wired products.
Are metal detectors loud?
They can be. Even tiny signals can be easy to pick up with headphones that have signal and volume control.
If you need extra volume in your ears, look for products that are designed for the hard of hearing and made for loud environments.
Quality headphones can be the difference between success, and missing out on that deeply buried coin or gold nugget you have been searching hours for.
Not all products are made equal, which is good news if you like to explore different terrain. No matter where you are hunting next, your time with your detector will be made a lot easier with the best headphones for metal detection. Learn more about other accessories you might need to make the most of your detecting adventures!