18th June 2024

Minelab vs Nokta. Not A Good Day For Metal Detecting!


As many of you will know, Minelab recently announced the release of a new machine, the X-TERRA PRO. This is a machine with 3 x selectable single frequencies plus a dedicated 8 kHz beach mode and is fully submersible up to 5 meters. It also sports wireless audio although we now know that this takes the form of a proprietary system as used on the Equinox 700 and 900. So you will need Minelab’s ML85 headphones if you want to go wireless. The UK price has now been confirmed at £299 (without the wireless headphones) More details are here.

The main competition for such a machine must surely come from the Nokta Simplex. A single-frequency, fully waterproof machine that combines low cost with advanced features. It has proved very popular since its launch.

So far so good. Two great machines at affordable prices with some very advanced features. Surely there has never been a better time to be a detectorist. 

Nokta Simplex Ultra

However today at the IWA in Germany, Nokta Technologies representative, Dilek Gonulay launched into what can only be described as a tirade of accusations directed towards Minelab and certain Minelab users. This we assume is because of the launch of the X-TERRA PRO which not only covers all the ground of the Simplex but improves on it with multiple frequencies and Bluetooth audio.

Nokta has countered with three new versions of the Simplex. All now running at 15 kHz. Details are scarce but at least one of the models is Bluetooth enabled and they all have lighter stems with slightly revised control boxes.

It did seem like a rushed product launch because apparently the machines on display were not fitted with the correct coils and no price or expected release date could be given. And none of the machines was shown working.

Business is competitive. We all get that. And certainly, Dilek is very protective of the company she works for. But was this the best way to voice support for the brand? It made for very uncomfortable viewing. 

Products should stand on their merits. If something is not as good as the manufacturers would like us to believe it is It will soon be found out and people will vote with their money. The Simplex was and still is a good metal detector. Nokta does not need to resort to tactics like these. No matter how frustrating the competition can be, taking the low road is never the way to go.

Metal detecting has become very adversarial over the past few years. There is a lot of partisanship, strong brand loyalty and anger. Often exhibited on social media where verbal fights between people who support one brand over another are not uncommon. Do we really need manufacturers’ representatives adding fuel to the fire? Just choose the machine that is best for “you” and don’t worry about what anyone else is using. Let’s just get back to the metal detecting.


Nokta Detection Technologies




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9 thoughts on “Minelab vs Nokta. Not A Good Day For Metal Detecting!

  1. You have hit the nail on the head concerning the bitterness between brands and followers. People are coming unhinged when it’s only just a metal detecting hobby.

  2. It seems to have become more about the brands than the core of the hobby itself. Social media plays a huge part in this and is leveraged by the brands to split customers into opposing camps. Many people unfortunately have a need to be liked. So they will go with the flow, even when common sense tells them it is wrong.

    It is the psychology of the crowd. The idea is that becoming a member of a crowd serves to unlock the unconscious mind. This occurs because the super-ego, or moral centre of consciousness, is displaced by the larger crowd, to be replaced by a charismatic crowd leader. And you can see that very clearly playing out through metal detecting’s social media.

    Metal detecting has become the new football. With club rivalries, crowds chanting and each angrily denouncing the other.

  3. Hello there. This is Dilek. Thanks to Nokta, the end users today can enjoy better products at more affordable prices. What you call the ”low road” is what we call transparency, standing up for the rights of the consumers against the trolls of this industry, who with their unethical practices, try to convince end users to spend more of their hard-earned money for over-priced detectors and serving the most unaccepted aproach in any industry called ”monopoly”. We are a company for the people and we put customers before profits! THANK YOU!

  4. I quite agree that there is a lot of overpricing in this industry as there is in many others. I also understand why you felt so passionate about getting this across in your presentation. And whilst it is laudable that you are bringing the current situation to the public’s attention, it could have been done in a more subtle but just as effective manner. Most of us wanted to know about the new Simplex models but two-thirds of the presentation was taken up with a denouncement of Minelab. And again, I do understand why you felt that it was necessary. But maybe the products should have come first and the statement about Minelab second.

    I am not so naive as to believe that Minelab is blameless. But, the best way to deal with these things is to let your products speak for themselves. Nokta produces some great quality machines. I own a Legend myself. The latest firmware update is really good by the way. Nice to see a bottle cap reject in there! I shall be writing an article about it soon.

    So do not misunderstand me. By saying you should have taken the high road is to say, don’t lower yourself to their level. They want you to react in the way that you did. It all works to their advantage.

    Time will tell how this all pans out. It would be nice to think that everyone could get on and we could get back to the days of friendly rivalry between manufacturers. I think that is probably some way off though.

  5. Minelab are using Bluetooth 5.2 LE audio on the 700/900 and Xterra Pro.

    Says a lot about how progressive this company is.

    Bluetooth 5.2 uses LC3 audio which gives 5ms latency. Bye bye APTX LL.

    When LE audio headphones become more available they can unlock the pairing with a firmware update.

    I think Minelab should be congratulated on this as it’s a massive step forward in wireless audio.

  6. Certainly, LC3 is the current way forward but the difference between 5ms latency and 40ms latency is not noticeable in real-world usage. I have been out today using the Minelabe X-TERRA PRO and a Bluetooth transmitter with LL APTX headphones and it was absolutely fine. The audio was great and no “noticeable” latency. Minelab is not particularly progressive. They do things purely as a business decision not purely because it benefits the end user. They could, if they wished, have given both options by simply not id locking the onboard wireless module to the ML85 headphones. However, they know this would mean that most would not fork out the higher price for Minelab headphones. It is purely a business decision.

  7. They had to lock it as there are limited options for LE headphones. Only Sennheiser and OnePlus buds are headphones that would support it and they are $299. Hardly worth it.

    5.2 doesn’t support APTX LL, it’s old tech.

    People would have whinged their headphones had lag.

    Minelab are giving the best possible audio quality here.

  8. It has nothing to do with Minelab giving customers the best possible audio quality. There were no hoards of detectorists banging at Minelab’s doors complaining about LL APTX and the appalling audio quality. This is not “pro-audio” here. If they did it for the customer’s benefit then they would have done it when the tech was widely available, which as you rightly pointed out it is not. These advances in audio quality look great on paper but the human ear can only discern so much. I have worked in the music business for the past 30 years and I can tell you there is a huge amount of smoke and mirrors in the marketing of so-called “improved” and “advanced” audio products.

Let us know what you think?