3 ways to adjust Threshold settings of metal detectors

Detecting hidden treasures is an exciting endeavor, but understanding your metal detector’s threshold settings can make the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed. 

One such crucial setting is the threshold. But what is it, and why does it matter?

You can also read about other important settings of metal detectors that you should know before buying.

Defining Threshold in Simple Terms

Threshold in metal detecting refers to the constant background hum or sound that a detector produces. 

It’s like the steady tone you might hear in the background when turning on your metal detector.

Why is Threshold Important?

  • Constant Reference:
    • The threshold provides a constant audio reference. This means when you pass over a metal object, the change in sound or tone alerts you to a potential find.
  • Detecting Deep Objects:
    • A correctly set threshold can help in identifying objects that are deeper underground, which might otherwise be missed.
  • Eliminating Ground Noise:
    • By setting a proper threshold, you can filter out ground noises or chatter, focusing only on genuine metal targets.

3 ways to Adjust the Threshold settings

1. Start Low:

  • Begin with the threshold set to a level where it’s barely audible.

2. Increase Gradually:

  • Slowly increase the threshold until you hear a steady but soft hum.

3. Test with a Metal Object:

  • Pass a known metal object under the coil. If the threshold is set correctly, you’ll notice a clear change in tone when the object is detected.

Factors Influencing Threshold Setting

  • Environment:
    • In noisy areas, you might need to set the threshold slightly higher to differentiate target signals from ambient noise.
  • Type of Ground:
    • On mineralized soils, a fine-tuned threshold helps in distinguishing between ground signals and metallic objects.
  • Detector’s Sensitivity:
    • If your detector’s sensitivity is set very high, you might need to adjust the threshold accordingly to prevent false signals.

Benefits of Mastering the Threshold

  • Improved Detection:
    • Proper threshold settings can lead to more accurate detection, especially for deep or small targets.
  • Reduced Fatigue:
    • By eliminating unnecessary noise, you can metal detect for longer periods without getting fatigued.
  • Enhanced Focus:
    • When you’re not distracted by false signals or ground noise, you can focus more on genuine targets.

Common Threshold Mistakes to Avoid

  • Setting it Too High:
    • A threshold set too high might cause you to miss out on deeper or smaller targets.
  • Setting it Too Low:
    • If the threshold is too low, you might end up with a lot of ground noise, leading to false detections.
  • Not Rechecking:
    • As conditions change, like when moving from sandy to mineralized ground, it’s essential to recheck and adjust the threshold.


The threshold might seem like just another setting on your metal detector, but mastering it can significantly impact your treasure-hunting success. 

By understanding what the threshold is and how to adjust it, you can enhance your metal-detecting experience, ensuring that no valuable find goes unnoticed. 

So, the next time you’re out with your detector, take a moment to fine-tune that threshold and listen to what lies beneath!

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

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