Garrett ACE Apex Review

Garrett ACE Apex
Very Good
Metal Detector
  • Country USA
  • Released 2020
  • Warranty 2 years
  • Additional
  • Headphones included

Best for

  • Coins
  • Relics
  • Beach
  • Beginners

The new Garrett Apex metal detector is a recently released detector for middle-level expertise treasure hunters. Garrett already has an Ace series – Ace 200, Ace 300, Ace 400 – so this model is kinda the next variety of the series, but taken to the next level.

Garrett Apex, first and foremost, is a direct competitor to Minelab Vanquish 550, and partially it makes competition to the Nokta Makro Simplex (however, Simplex is fully waterproof, while Garrett Ace Apex is not).Garrett Ace Apex offers waterproofness only for the coil, which is not good news. On the other hand, this is the first multi frequency model for the company, and the technology promises to make this product head and shoulders above other Ace models.

If you are wondering what are the full set of features and unique benefits (if any), check out this detailed Garrett Apex review by Detect History.

Rating Explanations
All Purpose
Key Features
Easy to Use
Reviewed by
Michael Moore
  • classic but improved Garrett Ace design
  • multi frequency plus multi-salt, plus ability to use every operating frequency separately
  • adequate learning curve
  • new uniquely sized powerful waterproof DD coil
  • six search modes plus pinpoint
  • multiple frequency shift channels
  • Z-Lynk technology for wireless headphones
  • lightweight
  • rechargeable battery
  • the control box is not waterproof, only “rainproof”
  • the software cannot be updated online
  • armrest and shaft design ask for redesigning
  • Technology: Multi Frequency
  • Number of frequencies: 4 + Multifrequency
  • Frequencies: 5, 10, 15, 20 kHz
  • Search Coil: 6"x11"
  • Search Coil Type: DD
  • Waterproof: Coil only
  • Updatable Software: Yes
  • VDI (Target ID): Yes
  • Search Modes: 6
  • Search Mode Types: 5 factory + 1 custom
  • Ground Balance: Yes
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes (Auto)
  • Audio Tones: 5
  • Batteries: Lithium-Ion (USB)
  • Length (min-max): -
  • Weight:2.5 lb
  • Warranty: 2 years

Garrett ACE Apex Key Features

Multi Frequency Technology

Scanning the location with several frequencies means higher sensitivity to various targets regardless of depth, and fewer false signals due to metal trash.

4 Frequencies + Multi

The treasure hunter can use one or several operating frequencies at a time, ti hunt for specific targets, or to be able to spot whatever targets are there.

DD Coil

This shape of the coil shows maximum efficiency, and is the best for mineralized or littered locations.

Auto Ground Balance

This feature tunes the metal detector depending on the level of mineralization without additional settings by the user.

Wireless Headphones

Useful additional feature for more comfort of the user.

Frequency Shift

48 channels featuring several channels for each operating frequency provide perfect conditions for high sensitivity and accuracy without electromagnetic interference.

Noise Cancellation

Decreases electromagnetic interference from various sources of noise, and increases sensitivity to targets only, via slight frequency shift.

Waterproof Coil

Nice feature for search on the beach, on wet sand, and in very shallow waters.

Garrett ACE Apex Overview

Garrett Ace Apex metal detector is not something drop dead innovative, and many detectorists already share their negative opinion about the machine’s features, or lack of ones. However, let’s be honest – whatever Garrett makes, the thing is high quality. All machines released by this company are of exceptional quality, and they last for years without losing the productivity. So, before one dismisses the model altogether, we should actually wait for some real user experience and feedback from detectorists all over the world.

The machine was released on May 15, 2020. It is a well-known fact that the release was planned in 2019, but was later postponed. Many consider this was done to take time and see the changing trends on the market. This way, the company could redesign and improve its product after they see their competitors’ innovations.

Now, we already know that the new machine is generally a continuation of the Ace series. The first Ace model was launched 15 years ago, and today, the company promises us a game changer, a product that takes detecting to the next level of comfort and productivity.

Garrett Apex – Multi-Frequency Middle-Level Metal Detector

The main and the most discussed feature of the new Garrett is the multi frequency. The product, basically, offers four separate frequencies – 5, 10, 15, and 20 kHz) which can be used each on it own, plus, two multi frequency modes. One multi frequency mode is for standard conditions, and the other is for saltwater beaches and coasts. This one is the real deal, for sure.

Multi frequency has been a hot ticket for a while now, and Garrett used a brilliant idea to offer variety in frequencies and their usage. Such flexibility makes the machine extremely versatile, giving options for various ground conditions – even the most complicated ones.

Perhaps the best thing about this very machine is that is it created for detectorists with the middle level of skill. This means both newbies and more experienced searchers can make use of it. Such opportunity is very promising for newbies, since they can give it a try with multi frequency technology, and the learning curve will not be so steep. More seasoned treasure hunters, in their turn, will be able to apply multi frequency and other additional features like multiple frequency shift channels, without managing complicated settings and tuning every single time.

New Garrett 6×11 ACE Viper DD Search Coil

garrett apex viper coil

The new machine comes with a new coil, DD 6” x 11” Viper model. While the good news about the coil is its being fully waterproof, the rest of the machine is not, which makes the stock prices of Ace Apex drop considerably, so to say.

Secondly, the coil for Apex is not compatible with any of the previous Ace models – because it is created for the multi frequency technology, obviously. For the same reason, the existing coils working for Ace series will not function with Apex.

All this is not cool, because the company actually supports license that protects their technology from other competitors, and there are rumours that other companies will not be able, or legally allowed, to make alternative compatible coils for the new Apex. In their turn, Garrett themselves are not clear about when they release additional coils, and whether they are going to do so in the nearest future at all.

Which leaves us the users with one incompatible with other devices from the series coil which is waterproof for a non-waterproof machine.

Top Features of Apex

To give you a clearer picture of what the Apex is all about, let’s go through a list of its main benefits:

  1. Multi frequency – you can search by using every frequency separately, or using all frequencies at the same time
  2. Frequency shift – 48 frequency shift channels to avoid noise and electromagnetic interference is definitely impressive. On crowded rallies, this detector will also allow the user to get clean signal, regardless of all the peers around
  3. Automatic ground balance is a serious advantage, especially for the middle level skilled users. Considering that the whole Ace series is more for beginners, Apex definitely takes the user experience to the next level
  4. Noise cancellation – this is a huge advantage that will improve the user experience regardless of the frequency, search mode, or search grounds.
  5. In-built battery – Garrett has added this feature to its product, at last (I was already going to buy a next pack of AA batteries, but luckily there is no need to do so). Rechargeable metal detector is definitely more handy.
  6. Z-Lynk Technology wireless headphones – while the machine has a jack for wired headphones, wireless option is much more convenient. Moreover, Z-Lynk technology is six times faster that Bluetooth, which is also a huge advantage and a step forwards in the realm of middle-level metal detectors. Z-Lynk technology allows you to hear the signal from the target the moment you swing the coil above it, not seconds later when you already make a step

Control Box and Search Modes

garrett apex control blockThe control box for Apex was proudly improved, and features a better sleeker display with enhanced visibility. As we have already mentioned, there are four individual frequencies and two multi frequency modes.

The Standard Multi Frequency mode is for all kinds of search not involving water. The Multi-Salt frequency option was created specifically for beach search on seashore, where the mineralization of water and wet sand distorts the signal.

Now, there are eight channels for frequency shifts – and we mean, eight channels for each frequency option. Together, they make 48 channels for frequency shifts. In theory, this will make the machine protected from electromagnetic interference of any kind.

Talking about search modes, there are six of them – All Metal, Coins International, Coins US, Jewelry, Relics, Custom. The Pinpoint mode is also available for more accurate target finding. For all modes, the ground balance can be switched to Manual or Auto. There is an IRON AUDIO function, and the Black Iron segment of metals has eight segments for more accurate identification.

All Metal

Useful search mode for various situations when the composition of potential targets may not be identifiable easily. All Metal allows spotting some unexpected items in many cases.

Coins International

Classic coins search regime, called International in contrast to “Coins US” regime, to make the difference clear. It will be handy for spotting any type of coins, including US coins, of course.

Coins US

This is a unique search mode offered in Apex. It offers a combination of settings suitable for spotting specifically US coins made in different periods of history, with all the local specifications that may be absent in other coins.


Jewelry is always a good find, be it ancient or contemporary. Specially for this, the Jewelry mode is provided; together with Multifrequency technology, it can make the search really profitable.


Multifrequency and four additional single frequencies in this mode can assist in digging out some unique relics, even if the location has already been scanned previously.


An empty slot for a unique settings combination by the user, to meet the needs and face the conditions of a certain location, or search session for specific type of target. Custom mode allows to avoid repeated manual tuning every time.

All Features

z lynk apex headphones

Now, the following features are offered in the Apex machine. Check the full list:

As you can see, Apex has things to offer. While there may be no bells and whistles, this machine promises to be high quality and productive.

Garrett ACE Apex vs Minelab Vanquish 550 and Nokta Makro Simplex

Apex Vanqush 540 Simplex Comparison by Detect History

Click here to open this image in large size

Since Garrett Ace Apex is a direct competitor to Minelab Vanquish 550 and Nokta Makro Simplex, we believe making a comprehensive comparison makes perfect sense.

First and foremost, we have to admit that each of the machines is worth the money, and it will be unfair to underline a particular product as “the best”. So, check out the comparison and choose the most convenient option particularly for you.

ACE Apex vs Vanquish 540

Apex has more technologies applied compared to Vanquish 540 – the first one boasts Multi-Flex, Iron Volume, Multi-Salt, Z-Lynk, Apex Hybrid Audio, while the second one has Multi IQ and Iron Bias. Vanquish does not allow single frequency use, while the Apex does. Vanquish has a wider graphic scale, although the number of iron segments is smaller, which makes both detectors similar in the end. Vanquish has no ground balance feature. Both machines offer frequency shifts, but Apex has an impressively wider range of those.  Vanquish is a bit heavier than Apex, and the last but not the least – Vanquish is powered with AA batteries, while Apex is rechargeable.

ACE Apex vs Simplex

Nokta Makro Simplex metal detector is the new black in the niche of beginner level and middle level detectorists, but Apex seems to be close on their heels. Simplex is underwater machine, while Apex is not even close (waterproof search coil doesn’t count). The frequency technologies are different – multi frequency vs VLF (this just can’t be compared, this can only be preferred). Simplex has additional features like vibration mode, adjustable backlight and updatable software, while Apex has neither. In other aspects, the two machines are pretty much similar, but Apex’s price is much higher.


Ace Apex by Garrett may not be an all-time drop dead unique innovation. However, this review shows that Garrett managed to offer several strong benefits not available, or not available to the same extent, in machines by other brands. Of course, obvious drawbacks are, well, obvious, and hopefully Garrett will consider growing up from their sandbox in some aspects. Yet, other features provide strong competition, and the final verdict will be made by actual users.

Garrett ACE Apex

Garrett ACE Apex ✅ Best easy to use multi-frequency metal detector


Michael Moore

Hi detectorists! I’m Michael Moore, founder of this website, and a dedicated treasure hunter since 2013. If you want to be posted about the most recent news and updates in metal detecting, releases, and trends, subscribe!

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