Garrett AT MAX Metal Detector Review


Garrett's AT MAX is the most powerful of the AT line of metal detectors. It's not meant to be a replacement for the AT Pro, but it does add a few additional features for treasure hunters who need more from their equipment and are willing to invest a little more.

The AT MAX features wireless audio through Z-lynk, an all-metal mode, upgraded electronics for increased sensitivity to deep targets, Digital Target ID, Iron Audio, and both manual and automatic ground balance.

This metal detector is designed to be easy to use while also allowing users who need more control to customize settings.

Search Modes

Garrett AT Max control box

On the left side of the LCD screen, you can toggle between All Metal, Coin, Custom, and Zero modes.

Since All-Metal mode makes no distinction between metals, you will detect every form of metal, even undesirable types such as bottle caps. However, it has the advantage of having the highest sensitivity and detection depth. As a result, even very subtle signals emitted from the tiniest buried target will not be missed while hunting with the mode.

You can save your favorite discrimination pattern in Custom mode. That is, if you are not looking for coins, you can save your custom settings and it will remember the configuration for future use.

Coins mode can more effectively miss trash and junk, such as foil or pull tabs, as the settings are specifically tailored to coin shooting. You will be more likely to miss trash, such as foil or pull tabs, with this mode. However, you're more likely to miss small jewelry.

When you don't know what you're looking for and are open to finding anything, Zero mode is the best choice. Logically, one has to question what the difference is between Zero and All-Metal mode.

In Zero mode, the metal detector produces different ID tones for various metals, making it easier to figure out what's hidden underneath the soil.

Operating Frequency

This Garrett AT Max uses high-quality components and a dependable electronics to provide accurate detection of a wide variety of artifacts, including coins and jewelry, brass and nickel relics, and more.

If you're deciding between the AT Pro and the AT Max, keep in mind that the AT Pro uses a higher frequency of 15kHz compared to the AT Max's 13.6kHz.The Garrett AT Max theoretically has a greater penetration depth but a slightly lower target separation distance.

The Garrett AT Max features a true all-metal mode that offers optimum depth and sensitivity. This feature is absent from the Garrett AT Pro, and it could be a deciding factor in your choice between these two metal detectors.

Digital Target ID

Garrett AT Max, like the majority of mid-range detectors, includes a Digital Target ID display.

The numerical Target ID's displayed on the LCD panel displays ranges from 0-99 to demonstrate the target's composition visually.

As long as the environment's ground balance is right, it's extremely easy to know what you should expect to dig up by referencing the Target ID.


discrimination graph

Iron discrimination enables you to adjust the settings so that certain forms of ferrous targets are ignored depending on the item being sought.

If you increase the level of iron discrimination, you can detect a smaller number of junk targets.

This Garret AT Max has 44 discrimination segments to increase the chances of obtaining valuable products.

Included Accessories

Garrett AT Max metal detector kit


Wireless MS3 Z-Lynk headphones are included in the Garrett AT Max package.

The headphones communicate with the metal detector through patented Z-Lynk technology, which has a signal delay of just 17 ms. That is 6 times faster than Bluetooth.

The headphones are simple to use and have a volume mode that can be adjusted. MS3 Z-Lynk headphones come with a 12-month warranty of their own.

The headphones are not exclusive to the AT Max and are compatible with any Garrett metal detector that features Z-Lynk.

Included Pinpointer

The Garrett MAX kit includes a pinpointer which I have found to be very reliable. Simply place the search coil over the designated area while pressing the pinpointer button, then begin digging at the center of the coil. It doesn't get any more straightforward than that.


The AT MAX can be submerged to a depth of 10 feet (3 meters). As a result, it's ideal for hunting in lakes, shorelines, and other areas with shallow water. Underwater hunting, however, would necessitate the purchase of separate wired headphones and I would suggest that you read our page about underwater metal detectors.

It's also dust and water resistant, making it ideal for metal detecting in dusty, dry conditions.

Ground Balance

ground balance diagram

If you want to make sure your detector is displaying the correct target, you'll need to enhance the accuracy of your readings, which is where ground balance is useful. The ground balance settings on the AT Max can be changed manually or automatically, depending on your needs.

When metal detecting in areas with saltwater, high soil conductivity, or high mineralization, it is important to adjust the ground balance settings.

While the AT Max is capable of hunting in saltwater areas, you should be aware that nearly every VLF detector has difficulty in high-salt conditions, restricting your depth. Fortunately, setting the AT Max to automatically ground balance is as simple as pressing and holding the “SHIFT” button. However, this alternative is better suited to current soil environments with low mineralization.


The Garrett AT Max has proven to be an extremely reliable piece of equipment for seasoned metal detectorists. It does not miss deadlines and, in contrast to its predecessors, goes a little further.

It is designed to operate in a wide variety of environments, so if you are in heavily mineralized soil the metal detector will not let you down. It will continue to locate and perform.

The overall design is excellent and the housing is durable but lightweight, allowing you to spend the whole day outside without feeling exhausted.

In contrast to the AT Pro and AT Gold, Garrett appears to have improved the performance of the AT Max handling salt water, making it an ideal for metal detecting at the beach.