Matt is a professional painter who enjoys fishing and metal detecting for old coins and relics.
Gray Ghost Amphibian Underwater Headphones
Comfortable headphones with a clear signal response are an important piece of gear for metal detecting. You'll be wearing them on your head all day long, so comfort is crucial. If you plan to go treasure hunting in the water, you'll need waterproof headphones, which don't usually come with a detector.
When I bought my Garrett AT Pro metal detector, I had to eventually upgrade from non-waterproof, stock headphones to waterproof ones so I could use my gear underwater. I actually really like the Garrett headphones that came with my detector, but if you drop them in the water, they're toast. I now primarily use the Gray Ghost headphones, keeping the stock ones in my vehicle as a backup.
Garrett sells waterproof headphones separately and at a reasonable price, too, but the dealbreaker for me was the fact that they do not have a volume-control knob. Their headphones are loud, and even the stock headphones have a knob to adjust the volume.
The Gray Ghost Amphibian headphones are designed for the AT Pro and AT Gold detectors with matching specifications to ensure a secure connection. These are submersible down to 30 feet, but I don't think I've ever dived down more than three feet with them on my head.
These are noticeably more comfortable to wear all day than my stock headphones from Garrett. The seal over my ears is tighter than it was with the stock ones, but I can still wear them for five hours without developing ear pain. The padding is soft and cushions my ears and head.
Using the Headphones Underwater
I've used them underwater multiple times in rivers and lakes without any issues whatsoever. The cables on the Gray Ghost headphones are designed to match the connection holes on the control boxes of both the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold. Water doesn't leak in, but I always check the cables to make sure they're fastened tightly to my detector before submerging them.
While I don't submerge mine in water deeper than three or four feet, I haven't had any problems with water leaking in when wearing them on my head in shallow water. These headphones are all I wear now when metal detecting on land, too. The cable is a lot longer than the one that came with my detector, making it easier to set my detector down to recover a find without the cord pulling.
The tonal sound on the Amphibian is a little different than the sound produced by the stock headphones Garrett provides. The sound of each signal is noticeably more clear and defined, which helps with accuracy.
If you've been using stock headphones for a long time, it will take a few hunts to get used to the change in the sound, but I didn't find it to be a huge difference other than signals beeping more clearly. When metal detecting near heavy traffic or rushing water, I can't hear the beeping with the volume set below five. I usually leave the volume set on seven, which is plenty.
Are the Gray Ghost Headphones Worth it?
The Gray Ghost Amphibian headphones are all I use now for metal detecting with my AT Pro on land and in the water. I've used mine now for close to two years without experiencing any problems. I can go in and out of the water without having to unscrew cables or switch gear.
You can use the stock headphones from Garrett for water detecting too, but you cannot submerge the cable connection (where it connects to the control box of the metal detector) without ruining your gear.
I definitely recommend this upgrade if you want to waterproof your gear. While I usually don't go metal detecting in the rain, it's nice knowing that a sudden storm won't ruin my headphones if they're exposed. This particular model is for Garrett detectors, but I believe there's a separate model designed to fit the Minelab E-trac.
© 2018 Matt G.
hassan on December 19, 2018: