Garrett AT MAX Metal Detector Review

Maximum Depth, Wireless Technology, All-Terrain
Written By: Marc McDermott
Last Updated:

Garrett, a company known for offering quality metal detectors like the AT Pro and AT Gold, has unveiled a new all-terrain detector that you can now purchase. If you were a fan of Garrett’s AT Pro and AT Gold, you’ll want to check out this detector!

The new Garrett AT MAX combines the best of both those machines into a heavy-duty detector aimed at serious coin, jewelry, and relic hunters.

Wireless technology

This detector features built-in Z-Lynk wireless technology, and it also includes new Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk wireless headphones.

Here is why you’ll like the Z-Lynk technology — it has near-zero delay. It operates six times faster than the speed you’ll get with BlueTooth.

What this means for you as a detectorist is that you’ll get a signal when your detector is right over your target – something that’s been hard to accomplish in the past with wireless headphones

The wireless headphone is a nice touch because you don’t have to worry about pesky cords getting in your way while you’re detecting. I’m personally ready to break out the champagne over this feature!

I hate wearing headphones while I’m detecting. It honestly drives me nuts.

Every time I put my detector on the ground to check out a signal, I also have to take off my headphones because of the wire attaching them to the machine. That’s a lot of trouble when you’re on an all-day hunt hitting frequent targets.

But I don’t like to go without headphones because they are helpful to detectorists.

They help you better hear and distinguish the sounds your detector makes.

Plus, when you’re in public places like parks, headphones are essential, so you don’t always annoy other people with the chatter from your detector.

But with these headphones, you can leave them on without annoying yourself or others because there’s no cord to worry about.

What else does it offer?

You’ll get even greater depth detection because of increased transmit power and enhanced electronics.

That means if you go over your old stomping grounds with this new detector, you may find some signals you missed with your other machines because they didn’t go deep enough.

Some of my best finds have been made while reexamining grounds I had previously searched.

One of the best times to take a closer look at ground you’ve already hunted is right after you get a new metal detector.

It’s exciting to see what you missed and to daydream about what might still be there waiting to be found!

Here are some of the other features this detector has:

AT MAX features​

Optimized frequency​

An operating frequency of 13.6 kHz, which is a good frequency for all sorts of targets, including coins and relics.

It’s also sensitive enough to pick up small gold nuggets that lower-frequency metal detectors wouldn’t register.

But this is not a machine I would use for gold prospecting.

Even though the frequency is different than both the AT Pro and AT Gold, all AT coils will be compatible with the AT MAX. ​

AT MAX and AT Pro coils side by side

True ‘All-Metal’ mode​

A true all-metal mode, which gives you the best depth and sensitivity – a must-have for serious relic hunters.

This feature is not available on the AT Pro, but it is part of the AT Gold.

Backlight display

A backlight, which will help you operate your metal detector in the dark — you won’t have to quit when the sunlight does.

Adjustable ground balance​

Both automatic and manual ground balancing, which will help you hunt in mineralized soil conditions and even saltwater beaches. You can now change the ground balancing in quarter-point increments.

Ground balance window​

An automatic ground balance window, allowing the AT MAX to simultaneously ground balance to a range to account for localized change in mineralization.

Sharper audio signals​

Pulse width modulation audio response that will give you sharp signals and more information about your targets, which will help you decide whether to dig or pass them over.

Larger display​

Bigger display numbers, including the popular digital target identification numbers and the iron discrimination numbers.

Threshold adjustment

Adjustable threshold, which is nice if you have problems hearing softer, fainter targets above the hum of the machine.

Iron audio​

Iron audio to help you avoid the scourge of metal detecting — bottle caps.

All-metal iron audio, which lets you operate in the all-metal mode and hear discriminated iron targets at the same time.

Frequency adjust​

Adjustable frequency, which you can use to help get rid of interference from things like power lines and nearby detectorists.


Notch discrimination that can also help in your fight against pull tabs and other undesirable targets.

High-res iron discrim​

High-resolution iron discrimination, up to 44 points, which is a great feature because you’ll avoid things you don’t want to find like nails and other junk.

One word of caution though, don’t set this too high routinely, or you may miss some good signals too.

While there are several new features in the AT MAX that are not in the AT Pro, the controls remain pretty similar:

Search modes

With this detector, you’ll get four search modes — the true all-metal mode, a custom mode, coins and zero discrimination mode.

To help you while using whichever mode you choose, the AT MAX also has top-notch target separation and good recovery speed.

Target separation is especially important while hunting grounds that have a lot of signals — you don’t want to miss a coin because you find a nail right next to it and you prematurely give up the search.

Related: Garrett AT Pro vs AT Max

Final thoughts

This detector is a solid option for metal detectorists who are planning to hunt in a variety of soil types and terrains. It’s an all-terrain detector that can stand up to the rigors of rough conditions.

You can use it in fresh water and can be submerged up to 10 feet underwater — so you might want to invest in a good pair of goggles as well.

Note that this is not a saltwater machine, despite some of the marketing materials out there. No single frequency VLF performs well in salt.

If you go underwater with your unit, you should swap out the wireless headphones to use hardwired ones that are made to be submerged – these are sold separately and can be found here.

See all our Garrett metal detector reviews.