LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (2023)


by Robert Ceran

This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

While Garmin has been at the forefront of live sonar since 2015, Lowrance and Humminbird have recently followed suit with their own versions of live sonar.

As such, there are currently 3 best performing live sonar options on the market: Garmin LiveScope, Lowrance Active Target, and Humminbird MEGA Live.

This raises two important questions for most anglers: What are the differences between these 3 live sonars and which one is better?

LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (1)

To answer this question, we tested LiveScope vs Active Target vs MEGA Live side by side to get a clear picture of their similarities and differences.

In this article, we'll examine our findings in detail so you can decide which one is right for you.

(Video) LiveScope VS. Mega Live VS. Active Target - Which One Should You Buy?

LiveScope vs. Active Target vs. MEGA Live in direct comparison

Garmin LivescopeLiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (2)LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (3)135 x 20 degree200 pies530 - 1100kHz
Lowrance Active TargetLiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (4)LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (5)135 x 18 degree200 pies550 - 1100kHz
mega hummingbird liveLiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (6)LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (7)120 x 20 degree150 pies1050kHz

The table above compares the key specifications of the LiveScope, Active Target, and MEGA Live transducers.

As you can see, they are very similar, which is not surprising since they are designed for similar tasks.

In summary: While all 3 live sonar images provide high quality images, Garmin LiveScope and Lowrance Active Target have significantly better image quality than Humminbird MEGA Live.

And when it comes to shallow water imaging, LiveScope beats Active Target and MEGA Live to be the best live shallow water sonar on the market today.


All 3 live echosounders have high-quality live images and can be used in 3 different modes: forward mode, bass mode, and perspective mode.

Perspective mode, called Active Target Sighting Mode and Landscape Mode in MEGA Live, requires the transducer to be rotated 90 degrees sideways to scan a wide area in front of the boat.


Now let's take a look at the main differences between LiveScope, Active Target and MEGA Live.

picture quality: Garmin LiveScope and Lowrance Active Target provide more detailed images with significantly higher resolution (see photo below comparing image quality side by side).

This could be because they have been on the market longer.

LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (8)

However, when it comes to "beam splicing" (referring to the splices between sonar beams that are stitched together to form a larger image), the Humminbird MEGA Live performs better than the other two, with virtually no seams of color. make perceptible .

Balkenbreita: While all 3 Live probes have relatively similar beamwidths, LiveScope and MEGA Live have a 20 degree wide probe cone, while Active Target's probe cone is only 18 degrees wide.

(Video) Mega Live VS Livescope VS Active Target (On Ice) - WHICH IS THE BEST?

And while that doesn't sound like much, it does make it more difficult to keep the bait in the sonar cone where you can see it on the screen.

In practice, this means that you need to improve your casting accuracy when using Active Target to cast your lure right in the center of the sonar cone.

This, in turn, means that LiveScope and MEGA Live are more beginner-friendly in this regard.

Vary: While the LiveScope and Active Target have a 200 foot range, the Humminbird MEGA Live only has a maximum range of 150 feet.

Also, when it comes to comparing the range of LiveScope to Active Target, it's worth noting that the big league angling professionalJakob WheelerHe switched from LiveScope to Active Target because he claims it allows you to see your lure a bit further from the boat, helping you catch more bass on long casts.

shallow water images:Garmin LiveScope is the best option for shallow waterImage like the amount of detail and image resolution it offers with its perspective mode in shallow water between 3ft and 15ft is much better than Lowrance Active Target or Humminbrid MEGA Live.

deep sea Photos: When it comes to water depths of 50 feet or more, the Lowrance Active Target seems to provide slightly more detailed data than the Garmin LiveScope and is the clear winner in this category.

The Active Target image is also the best when it comes to spotting fish floating just above the bottom, making it a great choice for ice fishing.

compatibility: While GarminLiveScope is compatible with most of your Echomap and GPSmap devices, Lowrance Active Target is compatible with HDS Live, HDS Carbon and Elite FS fish finders. The Humminbird MEGA Live is compatible with

network capacity: Network is an important factor to consider when choosing a live sonar as you may already have other sonar units on your boat and it's usually best to stick with the same brand to give yourself a chance of use them integrated in a network.

And all 3 live sonars can be networkedcompatible drivesHumminbird MEGA Live of the same brand offers the greatest advantage in this area since it can be connected to Minn Kotafishing motorsand shallow water anchors, as well as other sonar and mapping units.

(Video) The GOOD BAD and UGLY of Live Sonar

Prices: All 3 units are similarly priced and sell for around $1,500. However, if you want to use the Garmin LiveScope's perspective mode, you'll need to purchase a mount separately, which costs an extra $100.

By contrast, both the Lowrance Active Target and the Humminbird MEGA Live come with this functionality and are therefore slightly cheaper.

Now let's take a look at each of these live sonar systems.

Garmin LiveScope test

LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (9)
LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (10)

The Garmin LiveScope system is Garmin's flagship live sonar and was released in 2018, several years before Lowrance and Humminbird released their Active Target and MEGA Live respectively.

For this reason,Garmin LiveScopeis the undisputed leader in live sonar and is currently the number one choice for many anglers.

This is especially true for shallow water imaging, where LiveScope provides superior results to the other two brands' live sonars.

The LiveScope comes with a sonar black box that converts sonar data from the transducer into a format that can be viewed on the main unit's display.

Finally, you should know that Garmin released an updated version of the LiveScope in early 2022 that brings an improvementTransductor LiveScope Plus LVS34.


  • Transductor Panoptix LVS32
  • Sonda GLS10 black box
  • Trolling motor support

Lowrance Active Target Review

LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (11)
LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (12)

Released in 2020, Lowrance Active Target has the same features as LiveScope, including progress mode, descent mode, and survey mode (which is the same as perspective mode in LiveScope).

One advantage of the Lowrance Active Target is that it comes with a separate mount for the reconnaissance mode, so you don't have to buy it separately.

(Video) First On-The-Water Test Of All 3 Live Sonars | Humminbird Mega Live, Active Target, Garmin Livescope

Another strength of the Active Target is its ability to see small objects in the water better than the other 2 live sonars, which means you can see your lure from further away from the boat.

If you are interested in this option, remember that you should consult itwhich units are compatible with Lowrance Active Target.


  • black box probe
  • Assembly of shaft or barrel for trolling motors by curricán
  • Better image quality at long distances

Humminbird MEGA live review

LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (13)
LiveScope vs. Active target vs. MEGA Live (which is better?) (14)

mega hummingbird liveit was released in early 2021 and is the latest live sonar on the market.

The great thing about MEGA Live is that, until recently, anyone with a Hummingbird setup on their boat had to purchase a separate Garmin or Lowrance device to access live sonar, but now you can do it all with a Humminbird network. .

Another advantage of this is that you can easily addhummingbird 360 picturesin the mix, which is a type of sonar image not yet available from Lowrance or Garmin.

Plus, you can easily connect your Humminbird sonar to a Minn Kota trolling motor or shallow water anchor, giving you even more options for integrating all of your boat's electronics.

But if you are thinking of getting this option, take a look.which devices are compatible with Humminbird MEGA Live.


  • You can easily switch between forward, backward and landscape modes
  • No probe black box required
  • You can mark waypoints on the MEGA Live screen

final considerations

With that, we conclude our review by comparing LiveScope vs Active Target vs MEGA Live side by side.

I hope this helps you decide which of these live sonars is best for your purposes. Line up and see you on the water!

(Video) ActiveTarget vs LVS34 LiveScope Plus Side By Side Comparison


Is Garmin coming out with a new LiveScope 2022? ›

Expected to be available in September 2022, the LiveScope Plus Ice Fishing Bundle LI has a suggested retail price of $3249.99. Garmin also added new 5” ECHOMAP UHD2 ice fishing bundles, which retail for $549.99, to its ice fishing arsenal.

How deep does mega live go? ›

Choose between Down, Forward or Landscape. It provides clarity throughout the entire view, with no gaps in coverage. Maximum range is 150 feet.

Which screen is best for LiveScope? ›

“I highly recommend the Garmin 93sv UHD unit if you are looking to get into the LiveScope game. This will give you a quality 9″ screen, which is a great size to see everything you need with your LiveScope.” Bertrand concluded.

Which LiveScope transducer is best? ›

Conclusion. The Garmin LiveScope and the Panoptix 22 are great options if you're looking for a sonar transducer. Those may be a bit more expensive, but it offers improved clarity and scanning capabilities. If you're on a budget, the Garmin GT56 22 is less expensive and still provides excellent performance.

Does Garmin have a new LiveScope? ›

The latest in LiveScope technology, the LiveScope Plus System offers improved resolution, reduced noise, clearer images and better target separation. See images clearly with improved screen clarity, transducer sensitivity and target separation.

How long does LiveScope battery last? ›

10" Screen and Livescope - 30Ah for 10 hours. 32Ah for 13+ hours. 48AH for 19+ hours. 12" Screen and Livescope - 30Ah for 8+ hours.

Who has best live imaging fish finder? ›

2022 Best Fish Finder – Quick Overview
  • HELIX 10 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G4N – Editor's Choice for best Side Imaging fish finder. ...
  • Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv – Great touchscreen unit with mHz SideVu, and LiveScope compatible.

Which Garmin should I buy 2022? ›

Best Garmin watches
  • Garmin Fenix 7. Best all-round Garmin watch. ...
  • Garmin Forerunner 255. Best affordable model. ...
  • Garmin Epix 2. Best for smartwatch features. ...
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus. Best for 24/7 wear. ...
  • Garmin Instinct 2. Best mid-range Garmin watch. ...
  • Garmin Vivomove Sport. ...
  • Garmin Forerunner 955. ...
  • Garmin Enduro 2.
Dec 12, 2022

How deep can LiveScope go? ›

Up to 200' down.

Is there a rebate on Garmin LiveScope? ›

Register your rebate online at Submit your rebate with the system's serial number and the registered receipt. The receipt documentation is required and must show the purchase date, the items purchased and the name of the qualifying Garmin authorized dealer.

Can you troll with MEGA Live? ›

The MEGA Live Imaging transducer is offered as an accessory and comes with everything needed to install on a trolling motor, including a 20-foot Ethernet cable, 10-foot power cable and trolling motor mounting bracket and hardware.

Is Humminbird coming out with a new MEGA Live? ›

Anglers will no longer need to choose between two of fishing's most powerful technologies – Spot-Lock and MEGA Live, making it easier to stay on and catch more fish. Humminbird announces the next innovation in live sonar technology with the launch of the all-new MEGA Live Imaging TargetLock.

What units can run MEGA Live? ›

MEGA Live Imaging transducers are compatible with all APEX and SOLIX models, as well as HELIX 8-15 G3N / G4N models with MEGA Imaging. For optimal performance, the MEGA Live Imaging transducer is designed to be paired with a Minn Kota Ultrex™ trolling motor.

What gauge wire should I use for LiveScope? ›

8 AWG (8.36 mm²) extension wire, up to 7 m (23 ft.)

Can you zoom in on LiveScope? ›

You can zoom in on the Panoptix™ LiveVü and LiveScope™ 2D sonar views. NOTE: The scrolling history is hidden while the screen is in zoom mode. From a Panoptix LiveVü or LiveScope 2D sonar view, spread two fingers apart to zoom in on the area. in the inset shows the location of the zoomed area.

Which transducer has the best sensitivity? ›

The 1.5 × 3.0 transducer has the highest sensitivity, its value is 1.248V.

What is the newest LiveScope? ›

The LiveScope XR System includes a compact GLS 10 black box with a LiveScope XR LVS62 transducer, along with a trolling motor barrel and shaft mounting kit, perspective mount bracket and a simple plug-and-play Garmin Marine Network connector for easy installation and integration with a compatible chartplotter.

Can Bassmaster use LiveScope? ›

To be competitive at the 2022 Bassmaster Classic, Garmin anglers relied on ECHOMAP Ultra keyed-assist touchscreen chartplotters with built-in support for Garmin's crystal-clear Ultra High-Definition scanning sonar as well as the award-winning LiveScope —the first live scanning sonar for recreational fishing to deliver ...

How many amps does it take to run a Garmin LiveScope? ›

the livescope will likely use 2 amps average, so 8 hours of use would be 16 amp hours ....or.... So you could use 30-60 amp hours per day.

What battery do I need to run LiveScope? ›

For these big power-hungry (and feature rich) models we recommend the Dakota Lithium 18 amp hour (Ah) battery or the Dakota Lithium 23 amp hour (Ah) battery or the waterproof Dakota Lithium Powerbox+ 60: Garmin Panoptix Livescope.

Do you have to calibrate LiveScope? ›

Calibration is not necessary to use the Panoptix LiveScope transducer. Note that when mounted to the trolling motor barrel, calibration will not work because the magnets in the motor produce electromagnetic interference.

Does LiveScope run better with higher voltage? ›

They should work with 11ish, but 12+ is better and the claim that they work better with more voltage is unproven. Garmin fish finders and livescope systems will operate from 10-32 vdc.

What size battery is needed for Garmin LiveScope? ›

Battery SPECs

The SPECs required for powering most Garmin Marine chartplotters is 12V 16.5Ah.

What is the easiest fish locator to use? ›

The world's easiest fishfinder, HOOK² 4x Bullet offers simple menus, easy access to key functions and Autotuning sonar. Powered by proven Lowrance® performance, HOOK² 4x features wide-angle, Broadband sonar coverage. Just plug it in and fish, it's that easy.

What company makes the best fish finders? ›

Garmin, Lowrance, Humminbird, and Raymarine lead the pack in the recreational fish finders, and they all make excellent products. Choosing the best fish finder for you comes down to fishing style and personal choice more so than brand.

Which depth finder has the best mapping? ›

The SplitShot is the least expensive of the three, while the TripleShot offers both SideScan and StructureMap, and the HDI offers the best range and depth. All three include CHIRP sonar which provides accurate information and endless mapping features.

What is the lifespan of a Garmin? ›

In terms of total lifespan, most GPS watches are lasting 7+ years. However, ALL GPS watches rely on rechargeable batteries, which do have a lifespan.

Who is Garmin's main competitors? ›

Garmin International competitors include Trimble, Fitbit and Track Group. Garmin International ranks 1st in Customer Net Promoter Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

Which Garmin is easiest to use? ›

  • Best for Beginners: Garmin Forerunner 55.
  • Best for Music: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music.
  • Best for Marathon Runners & Triathletes: Garmin Forerunner 955.
  • Best for Cross Country, Track & Field Athletes: Garmin Forerunner 255.
  • Best for Trail Running & Hiking: Garmin Instinct Solar.
Nov 16, 2022

Can you run LiveScope without the black box? ›

Garmin Panoptix LiveScope LVS12

LVS12 does not need a black box and allows to see simultaneously or separately the Down and Forward functions, by simply operating the plotter and not the manual setting of the transducer. The down side is, it is compatible only with top-end plotters.

How does LiveScope work in shallow water? ›

When using Panoptix LiveScope in shallow water, strong bottom returns will affect the image. At times, this interference will cause images to look like a dead zone or a ghost tree. Interference of this type may occur at locations where it previously did not happen.

Do you have to update Garmin LiveScope? ›

If you own a Garmin EchoMAP or GPSMAP unit and use LiveScope, you owe it to yourself to take the time to execute the software update and set aside some time on the water to adjust your settings to get the most out of this new variable. This will be an investment in your 2022 fishing season.

Does Garmin Give a veteran discount? ›

Garmin does not offer government or military discounts or quotes.

Can MEGA Live be networked? ›

The MEGA Live Imaging transducer can be connected directly to the control head or to a Humminbird Ethernet Switch (optional, separate purchase required) for networking.

Can I run MEGA Live and Mega 360 together? ›

MEGA Live and MEGA 360 can be used together. But the following conditions exist: With HELIX products, they cannot be displayed on the same view. With SOLIX and APEX they can be displayed on the same view.

What graphs are compatible with MEGA Live Imaging? ›

MEGA Live Imaging views are provided by an accessory transducer that is compatible with select HELIX, SOLIX and APEX models.

How deep does MEGA Live go? ›

Choose between Down, Forward or Landscape. It provides clarity throughout the entire view, with no gaps in coverage. Maximum range is 150 feet.

How many amps does Humminbird MEGA Live use? ›

Compatible With: AIS, AutoPilot, MEGA 360, MEGA Live, Minn Kota Built-In MEGA DI, Minn Kota Built-In MEGA SI, Minn Kota i-Pilot Link, Minn Kota Talon/Raptor, Minn Kota US2 Sonar, NMEA 2000, One-Boat Network, Radar. Power Draw: 2.4 Amps. Power Input: 10.8-20 VDC.

What is the top-of-the-line Humminbird fish finder? ›

The Solix 10 CHIRP MEGA G3N is the ultimate kayak fish finder and GPS combo because it houses all of Humminbird's top-of-the-line features in an easy-to-use and easy-to-see display.

Does MEGA Live need a switch? ›

Networking is required for MEGA Live TargetLock. The complete products comes with a power cable and ethernet cable to connect to the MEGA Live TargetLock. This product requires connection directly to a control head or to one port of the 5 port ethernet switch.

What do you need for MEGA Live Imaging? ›

What Comes with a MEGA Live Imaging Transducer
  1. MEGA Live Imaging Transducer.
  2. Trolling Motor Shaft Mount (Bracket and Hardware)
  3. 10' Power Cable.
  4. Power Choke.
  5. 20' Ethernet Cable.
  6. Foam Sonar Masks (Optional Install)
Nov 1, 2021

What units are compatible with Garmin LiveScope? ›

Garmin Panoptix LiveScope Compatible Electronics
  • SponsoredTrending. ...
  • Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93sv Touch-Screen Fish Finder/Chartplotter Combo with LakeVü G3 Inland Maps. ...
  • Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv Chartplotter/Fish Finder Combo with IPS Touch-Screen Display. ...
  • Garmin Panoptix LiveScope Perspective Mode Mount.

What units are compatible with LiveSight? ›

LiveSight™ works exclusively with Lowrance® HDS LIVE, HDS Carbon and Simrad® NSS evo3 fishfinder/chartplotters. HDS Carbon and Simrad NSS evo3 will require PSI-1 Module (000-14899-001).

What units work with LiveScope Plus? ›

LiveScope Plus is compatible with a wide range of Garmin GPSMAP® and ECHOMAP chartplotters and combo units; click here for the full list of compatible devices. Engineered on the inside for life on the outside, Garmin products have revolutionized life for anglers, sailors, mariners and boat enthusiasts everywhere.

Is Echomap chirp 93sv compatible with LiveScope? ›

ECHOMAP Plus 70cv/70sv/90sv series combos support the full line of Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers, including the Panoptix LiveScope system.

What transducer comes with LiveScope? ›

Simple Plug and Play setup in the Garmin Marine network, the Panoptix LiveScope comes with the GLS10 sonar box and the Panoptix LVS32 transducer and includes both trolling motor barrel and shaft mounts as well as a transom mount.


1. Humminbird Mega Live VS Garmin Livescope Fish Eat Live
2. Garmin Livescope Vs Lowrance Active Target!!! Side X Side Split Screen. You Decide!!!
(Garmin Guru: All Things Livescope And Fishing)
3. MEGALIVE vs ActiveTarget vs Livescope: Components and Specs
(Russell Marine Products, LLC)
4. Livescope VS Mega Live - Why Humminbird Owners Are Still Choosing Garmin
(Reel American Outdoors)
5. So You Want An Active Sonar Unit: Livescope, ActiveTarget, and MEGA Live EXPLAINED!
(Foothills Marine)
6. What is the BEST FORWARD Facing Sonar in 2021?!
(Wheeler Fishing)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated: 03/23/2023

Views: 6265

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kelle Weber

Birthday: 2000-08-05

Address: 6796 Juan Square, Markfort, MN 58988

Phone: +8215934114615

Job: Hospitality Director

Hobby: tabletop games, Foreign language learning, Leather crafting, Horseback riding, Swimming, Knapping, Handball

Introduction: My name is Kelle Weber, I am a magnificent, enchanting, fair, joyous, light, determined, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.