(This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.)
In this article, I’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions about headphones and metal detecting.
You can use the table of contents to navigate directly to the answer of your question.
If you don’t find what you are looking for here, feel free to ask me in the comments section below.
Table of Contents
Can any headphones work with a metal detector?
Many are wondering if they can use any headphones for metal detecting. And the answer is simply yes. You can use any headphones or smartphone earbuds with your metal detector. But you need a 1/8’ to 1/4’ adapter.
Most headphones have a 1/8’ plugs and the crushing majority of detectors have 1/4’ sockets that’s why you need the adapter.
However, if your headphones are wireless, it’s not recommended that you use them for metal detecting. They usually work with Bluetooth and there is a lag time.
If you’re listening to music, your wireless headphones are doing well. But, when you watch TV, I think you’ve noticed that the audio is lagging behind the video.
This delay makes them unsuitable for metal detecting because you will hear the audio signal after the coil passed over the target, pinpointing will be diffcult.
For this reason, you need something made specifically for metal detecting like the Garrett Z-lynk.
Z stands for zero delay. It’s really a few milliseconds but practically it is not noticeable and the signal transfer can be considered to be instantaneous.
Best headphones for metal detecting
Metal detectors have an onboard speaker, using headphones have some pros (and cons too).
They will extend battery life. If they’re well insulated, they will help you get rid of the ambient noise and focus better.
They’re also a must if you are a gold prospector, using them will help you listen to the weak signal caused by tiny nuggets that you can’t hear otherwise.
The beeps can be annoying for bystanders. With earbuds, you suppress the noise.
The downside is that the cable will be on your way when recovering targets, you can’t put the detector down comfortably (you may have to take off your headphones).
If there are trees around, they’ll keep snagging on branches. The solution to this is simple: go wireless!
The other con is that ear cups will make your ears hot in the summer. In this case, earbuds are the best to use.
With this in mind, I think it is good to have earbuds, headphones that cover the ear entirely and a wireless system together.
You can swap between the first two items depending on the weather. As I said earlier, earbuds are better to use in the summer time.
Which brand should you choose? For earbuds you can use whatever you want (the ones that come with your smartphone are fine), the same for headphones as long you use the 1/8’ to 1/4’ adapter.
There’s no best, trust me. Any standard good quality general-purpose earpiece will do the job required.
You only need a very accurate earpiece only if you are a professional gold prospector using an advanced (and expensive) metal detector.
In this case, the detector’s beep will be proportional to the strength of the signal. And you need to be to hear the weakest signals coming from the smallest nuggets.
If you want to pick ones that are made specifically for your metal detector, I would say that the best headphones for metal detecting are the bounty hunter HEAD-PL. They’re made by the same company that made the most popular metal detector on the market: bounty hunter tracker 4.
You can switch between stereo and mono and you can adjust the volume. There’s a knob on each side. Although, in my humble opinion, one would suffice.
The headband is adjustable and it is covered with leather for more comfort. The earpieces cover the whole ear, they’re padded and their angle is adjustable.
The cable is curled. But this is not very important because I highly recommend using a wireless system that will make your hunts more enjoyable.
The best system that crashes the competition Garrett Z-Lynk. It’s easy to install and to use. It will certainly take you hunting experience to the next level. You’ll get rid of the frustration caused by the dangling wire.
It is composed of a transmitter and a receiver. They’re similar in shape and in size but the transmitter has a grove on its back so that you can mount it on the detector’s shaft with an elastic band.
Instead of plugging the headphones into your machine’s control box, you plug it in the receiver which you can put in your pocket or clip it to your belt.
Both of these devices are rechargeable with standard USB cables. They can run for 30 hours if they’re fully charged. Charging doesn’t take a lot of time (a few hours).
The time needed to transmit the audio is signal is about 17 milliseconds. This is almost instantaneous which means accurate pinpointing.
Noise canceling headphones for metal detecting
One of the advantages of headphones’ usage while metal detecting is isolating your ears from the background noise. This way you can focus better on the audio signals emitted by your machine.
However, not all of them can do this task well. I didn’t do extensive research and test all the brands available on the market because there’s an overwhelming number of them.
But, I can say with confidence that Koss QZ-99 is a great noise canceling earpiece for metal detecting.
The noise reduction is passive, not active. And it’s affordable. You can switch between mono or stereo. The volume control is on the earcup.
The connector is 1/8’ but with the help of an adapter, you can use it easily.
And don’t forget to use the Z-lynk system to go cordless and make your hunt easier.
Waterproof headphones for metal detecting
The crushing majority of metal detectors have waterproof search coils. So you can submerge them up to the control box, which must be protected from water damage.
Few models are fully waterproof and can be used up to a few feet underwater. Some work well on fresh water, others on seawater.
You can use them relying only on the onboard speaker or with the help of waterproof headphones having special connectors.
Each brand has its own earpiece, so you don’t have to waste your time looking for universal waterproof headphones for metal detecting.
For example, the INFINIUM LS SEA HUNTER MKII is compatible with the Garrett AT Pro.