The Minelab XTerra Elite

  • Date: June 28, 2024
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Minelab Xterra Elite: Your Ultimate Guide


The Minelab Xterra Elite has been causing quite a stir in the metal detecting community. But is it all it’s cracked up to be and why have Minelab launched it? This article explores what makes the Xterra Elite tick.

We’ll explore its features, strengths, and even its quirks. Whether you’re a seasoned detectorist or just starting out, you’ll find valuable insights here.

We’ll cover everything from its performance on different terrains to how it stacks up against other models. By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of whether the Xterra Elite deserves a spot in your detecting arsenal.

So, grab a cuppa and let’s unearth the truth about this Minelab detector and where it sits in Minelab’s sub £500 range.

Find the lowest priced Minelab XTerra Elite over on Amazon here.

What sets the Minelab Xterra Elite apart?

The Minelab Xterra Elite isn’t just another metal detector. It’s a step up from its predecessors, offering features that make it stand out in the mid-range market. But what exactly makes it different?

From initial reports and inspection, it seems to be the offspring between an Equinox and a Vanquish!

You can further read about the Minelab XTerra range history in my article that explores the Minelab XTerra Pro here.

Firstly, the main difference is that it’s multi-frequency technology gives it an edge in depth and accuracy.

It’s like having multiple detectors in one, adapting to different soil conditions seamlessly.

You can read more about how multi-frequency works in my article, Multi Frequency detectors – The holy grail? here.

Secondly, its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to beginners while still offering depth for experienced users. It’s not often you find a detector that caters to both newbies and pros.

Lastly, its versatility is impressive. From beach hunting to relic searching, the Xterra Elite handles various terrains with ease. It’s like a Swiss Army knife for detectorists.

But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s dig deeper into what real users are saying and how it performs in the field.

Performance in Various Terrains

Beach Hunting

The Xterra Elite shines on the beach. Its ability to handle saltwater environments is a game-changer.

A well known detectorist in Cornwall shared his experience: “Found a Victorian silver sixpence at the tide line. Other detectors struggled with the wet sand, but the Xterra Elite cut through like butter.”

Key points for beach hunting:

  • Specific saltwater settings
  • Good discrimination in wet sand
  • Depth not significantly affected by mineralization

Relic Hunting

When it comes to relic hunting, the Xterra Elite holds its own. Its depth capabilities make it a solid choice for historical sites.

A user in Yorkshire reported: “Uncovered a Roman coin in a field that’s been searched countless times. The Xterra Elite picked up signals others missed.”

Relic hunting highlights:

  • Excellent depth in most soil types
  • Clear signals for small targets
  • Multiple frequency options for better target ID

Park Detecting

For urban treasure hunters, the Xterra Elite offers good discrimination in trashy areas. Its ability to separate good targets from junk is noteworthy.

A London-based detectorist noted: “Used it in a busy park. Despite loads of bottle caps and pull tabs, I managed to find several old coins and a nice silver ring.”

Park detecting benefits:

  • Fast recovery speed for multiple targets
  • Adjustable discrimination settings
  • User-friendly for crowded areas

Minelab Xterra Elite features

Multi-Frequency Technology

The Xterra Elite’s multi-frequency technology is like having multiple detectors in one. But what why is it so important? I do urge you at this point to check out my article on this mentioned above.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • It uses several frequencies including 3, 7.5, and 18.75 kHz.
  • Switches between them automatically
  • Adapts to different soil conditions on the fly

A detectorist in the Lake District shared: “Was hunting on a beach one minute, then moved to a mineralised field. The Xterra Elite adjusted without me faffing about with settings.”

This tech means:

  • Better depth on different targets
  • More accurate target IDs
  • Less ground noise in tricky soils

It’s like having a detector that speaks multiple languages fluently. Whether you’re after small gold nuggets or big iron relics, this feature’s got you covered.

Target ID and Discrimination

The Xterra Elite’s target ID system is pretty nifty. It helps you sort the treasure from the rubbish before you start digging.

Key points:

  • 28-segment Target ID scale
  • Adjustable discrimination patterns
  • Audio tones for different target types

A user in Birmingham noted: “Was detecting in a park full of bottle caps. The ID system helped me focus on the good stuff. Ended up finding a Georgian coin among all the rubbish.”

This feature means:

  • Less time digging up junk
  • More accurate predictions of what’s underground
  • Customizable to your hunting preferences

It’s like having a metal detecting sixth sense. You’ll start to ‘hear’ the difference between a rusty nail and a Roman coin.

Ground Balance

Ground balance on the Xterra Elite is like having a superpower against mineralised soil. It’s a game-changer for those tricky terrains.

What you need to know:

  • Automatic and manual ground balance options
  • Tracks changes in soil mineralization
  • Reduces false signals from ground noise

A detectorist in Cornwall shared: “Used to struggle on the beaches here. The Xterra Elite’s ground balance sorted out the wet sand issues. Found my first hammered silver coin thanks to this.”

Benefits include:

  • Better depth in mineralised soils
  • Clearer signals in challenging conditions
  • Less frustration, more finds

It’s like having a detector that ignores the ground and focuses solely on what’s hidden beneath. No more getting fooled by hot rocks or iron-rich sand.

Pinpoint Mode

The pinpoint mode on the Xterra Elite is like having a metal detecting GPS. It zeroes in on your target with impressive accuracy.

Here’s the scoop:

  • Non-motion pinpointing
  • Audio and visual target location indicators
  • Depth estimation

A user in the Midlands reported: “The pinpoint mode saved me from digging huge holes. Found a Roman brooch and barely disturbed the soil around it.”

Why it’s great:

  • Precise target location
  • Smaller, neater holes
  • Faster recovery of finds

It’s like having a metal detecting sniper rifle. Once you’ve got a hit, you can pinpoint exactly where to dig, saving time and energy.

Adjustable Sensitivity

The Xterra Elite’s adjustable sensitivity is like having a volume knob for the ground. You can turn it up or down depending on the conditions.

Key features:

  • Manual sensitivity adjustment
  • Auto sensitivity option
  • Balances depth and noise

A detectorist in Scotland shared: “Was detecting near some power lines. Dialed down the sensitivity and still managed to pull out a nice Celtic pendant without all the chatter.”


  • Customisable to different environments
  • Reduces EMI in urban areas
  • Maximizes depth in quieter locations

It’s like being able to fine-tune your detector’s ears. You can make it whisper in noisy areas or shout in quiet fields.


Q: Can the Xterra Elite handle wet sand on beaches?
A: Yes, its multi-frequency tech and ground balance features make it quite capable on wet sand.

Q: How deep can it detect?
A: Depth varies based on target size and soil conditions, but many users report consistent depths of 8-12 inches for coin-sized objects.

Q: Is it suitable for gold prospecting?
A: While not specialized for gold, its 18.75 kHz frequency can be effective for smaller gold nuggets in the right conditions.

Q: How long does the battery last?
A: Typically, you’ll get about 20-25 hours from a full charge.

Q: Can I use it in the rain?
A: The XTerra Elite is fully submersible to 5m depth so is waterproof in the rain.

Other key features

It has specialised search modes for Parks, Fields and Beaches that have sub modes that weight the search algorhythms slightly for better performance.

It has an essential noise cancelling function to eliminate unwanted interferrence and great target tone adjustability.

The build quality as you would expect from Minelab is exceptional. It’s as robust as you’re going to get!

A huge thanks to Steff from “Steff Digs” who is an accomplished detectorist and well worth following. Based in the US, she detects on some very challenging soil conditions.

She has carried out a fantastic tear down of the XTerra Elite which I have included here.

Find the lowest priced Minelab XTerra Elite over on Amazon here.

The Good, The Bad, and The Meh

The Good

  1. Depth Detection: The Xterra Elite goes deep. It’s like having x-ray vision for the ground.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Even your gran could figure it out (no offence to tech-savvy grans).
  3. Versatility: It’s at home on the beach, in fields, or urban parks.

The Bad

  1. Weight: It’s not the lightest option out there and your arm might feel it after a really long session but it is very well balanced.

The Meh

  1. Price: It’s mid-range and packed with features, but some might find it a bit steep. It just depends on your budget and what you want your outcomes to be.
  2. Learning Curve: While user-friendly, mastering all features takes time but is worth it.


Q: How does the Xterra Elite compare to the Equinox series?
A: While both are solid choices, the Equinox offers more advanced features at a higher price point. The Xterra Elite is a great mid-range option with similar versatility.

Q: Is it suitable for gold prospecting?
A: It can find gold, but it’s not specialised for it. For serious gold hunting, consider Minelab’s gold-specific models.

Q: How’s the waterproofing?
A: The XTerra Elite is fully submersible up the 5m depth.

Q: Can beginners use it effectively?
A: Absolutely. Its preset modes make it accessible for newbies, with room to grow as skills improve.

You can find the Minelab XTerra Elite User Manual here.

Minelab XTerra Elite Conclusion

The Minelab Xterra Elite stands out as a versatile, capable metal detector suitable for various skill levels and hunting environments. Its depth detection, user-friendly interface, and adaptability to different terrains make it a solid choice for many detectorists.

Whilst only marginally more expensive than the switchable single frequency Minelab Xterra Pro, it gives you the raw searching power of the Multi-IQ system.

While it has some drawbacks, these are minor compared to its overall performance. Whether you’re stepping up from a beginner model or looking for a reliable all-rounder, the Xterra Elite is worth considering.

It strikes a balance between advanced features and ease of use, making it a valuable tool for treasure hunters across the UK. In the end, the Minelab Xterra Elite proves to be a detector that can grow with you, from your first finds to your most impressive discoveries.

If budget is a key issue for you and the XTerra Elite at around £450 is too much, the Vanquish 340 is well worth looking at also. Okay, you will give up some adjustability and features but it will still pack the raw power of the Multi-IQ search engine at a much lower cost.

You can read my more in depth article on the Minelab Vanquish range here.

It could be the only detector you’ll ever need!

Find the lowest priced Minelab XTerra Elite over on Amazon here.

Unbeatable Multi Frequency!

You can now get the ultimate power of multi frequency technology over single frequency detectors with the Minelab Vanquish range of detectors.

The entry level Vanquish 340 now gives you ultimate depth, stability and sensitivity on all target types in every soil, including wet beach sand.