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Fish Finders (Sonar)

Lowrance-Elite-7-TI2-review
4.5
(42)

The second edition of the Lowrance Elite Ti (now Ti²) series is accompanied by a technical revision, which is marketed under Active Imaging. With improved hardware and a new 3-in-1 transducer, which further optimizes the structure scan process in addition to the 2-D chirp range, the Elite Ti² wants to convince. Whether this is reflected in practice, we have examined the entry-level model Lowrance Elite-7 Ti² with the new Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer.

The Lowrance Elite Ti fish finder - Out of the box

In addition to the new Lowrance Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer and the combo unit itself, you’ll also find a cover for the screen, mounting hardware for the unit and transducer, and a round base mount included.

The device unit is attached to the base of the holder with force and vice versa with some effort. The connection sits bomb-proof and wobble-free, but did not engage in our test device when a decent amount of force was applied, so the quick release handle on the back had no function.

Instructions and installation instructions are included in the scope of delivery in abridged form, and the extensive user manual and additional installation manual are available on the Internet. However, we were annoyed that the otherwise very good and detailed user manual from the web does not have a (search) index.

The hardware equipment of the Lowrance Elite Ti² fish finder

The 7″ screen

With the usual 800×480 resolution, the screen could convince us on the whole. Sharpness and brightness are impeccable, and with a viewing angle of 160° vertically and 170° horizontally, the image can be read flawlessly even when viewed from an oblique angle.

What is a little missed is the clarity and brilliance that distinguishes, for example, a Solar Max HD LCD in the Lowrance HDS series (like for example with the Lowrance HDS 7 Carbon). But that is already complaining on a high level. The Elite-7 Ti² is operated via a touch screen. In addition, there are a few buttons on the right side, which, for example, simplify the marking (waypoint) on the nautical chart or are simply additionally available for zooming (plus/minus).

Touch screens have been the subject of much discussion because of their operating safety in wet conditions and heavy seas. In extreme cases, the criticism may also be true, but no other operating option allows a fish finder to be handled faster and more efficiently than via a touch screen.

A few extra buttons and access to the SD port from the front, as on this unit, complete the whole perfectly. By the way, the SD slot is located under the rubberized Lowrance logo on the left side of the Elite Ti². The computer equipment (CPU and memory) of the Lowrance Elite Ti² is sufficiently dimensioned. The processes are consistently free of delays.

The map buildup is quick, small waiting phases after large zoom jumps and maximum map layout are acceptable. The connection options on the back of the device are limited to what is necessary. Besides a nine-pin depth sonar connector on the right, there is a combined power/NMEA183 connection on the left and a connector for NMEA2000 closer to the center. An integrated wifi rounds out the connectivity options, even wirelessly. Bluetooth is also available.

Lowrance-Elite-7-TI2-hardware
Rear side of the device with the mentioned connection options. The blue arrow in the center points to the release handle of the device holder.

Lowrance Elite 7 Ti² Active Imaging 3 in1 Transducer and Fish Finder Functions

The Lowrance Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer replaces the previous Total Scan transducer. At first glance, nothing has changed functionally, 2-D Chirp and the two Structure Scan options are integrated. Technically, however, one has turned a little on the innovation screw.

The system has been optimized by, among other things, installing separate transmitting ceramics for transmitting and receiving at SideScan, which increases the ping speed and thus the resolution as well as the page range. The manufacturer wants to collect more information for image evaluation and thus improve the overall quality of the recordings.

Lowrance-Elite-Ti2-transducer
The Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer with screwed-on metal bracket and the mounting angle, which is continuously adjustable. In the background you can see the three sonar functions that the transducer can implement.

Such technical doings naturally require space, which makes the dimensions of the transducer a bit lush. The mounting plate and the connection bracket are made of metal. The angle of attack of the transducer can be adjusted steplessly, in case of emergency at grounding but also for boat transport the transducer folds upwards to the boat.

The capabilities of the built-in sonar techniques hold no surprise. StructureScan with side- and downscan transmits in 455Khz and 800Khz, the 2-D chirp range covers the high and med chirp transmit frequencies around 200/83Khz, although the bandwidth is not openly published.

Unfortunately, even in the new edition of the Elite Ti series, it is not possible to run 2-D Chirp and StructureScan in parallel. Once Side or Downscan is running, traditional sonar in parallel is only possible with a fixed frequency. No CHIRP!!!!!

Looking at the technical data of the sonar functions, the Lowrance Elite-7 Ti² is initially suitable for freshwater fishing. For the StructureScan option, the manufacturer specifies a maximum depth of around 90 m, the traditional 2-D Chirp comes down over 300 m in freshwater and is thus also suitable for the normal fishing depths of saltwater regions.

Lowrance Elite Fish Finder – The Chartplotter, GPS and Live Mapping Functions

The Elite Ti² chartplotter is fully equipped with everything needed for safe, functional and comfortable navigation on the water. The GPS clocks 10 times per second, ensuring the boat’s movement on the screen is smooth and accurate down to common drift speeds.

Maps from C-Map, e.g. Max-N/N+ or Navionics+/Navionics Platinum+ can be used on the plotter. This covers the entire European sea area including large inland waters (lakes and rivers) in various map sizes.

Worldwide, corresponding map modules are of course also available, to which Lowrance’s own charts come, which are mainly effective in North American waters. Create your own water charts or even optimize existing ones, offer themselves with the Lowrance Elite Ti².

Virgin waters are charted with C-Map Genesis Live, existing charts with the Navionics SonarChart™LIve option. However, the latter requires a Navionics chart subscription.

Lowrance Elite-7 Ti² in practical use

Workmanship, operation, operating system of the Lowrance Elites 7 Ti²

You can argue about the design of the case – some people like it, others don’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter for the usefulness of the device on the water. Nevertheless, details are sometimes annoying if they can influence the care and external appearance of a sonar.

In the case of the Lowrance Elite-7 TI² fishfinder, it is the many corners and crevices that are difficult to clean and the all-round sealing lip of the housing that magically attracts dust and small fibers and only wants to release them with difficulty.

Of course, these are minor details, but can’t such minor details be avoided from the outset in a housing design?

Well, there is nothing to complain about functionally: The workmanship is okay, as is the quality of the materials. The mount serves its purpose, although the handling could be easier, as described. The rear ports are large and can be professionally secured with cap nuts.

A flexible connection cable facilitates work when laying on board. The touchscreen works precisely and with reliable execution. The keys reveal a good pressure feel with pleasant resistance and a clear pressure point.

The menu system of the Lowrance Elite

The user quickly learns how to navigate through the well-structured and logically structured menus and submenus, and also internalizes the operation after a few uses. The setting options are diverse, but require some time to explore the possibilities of individual options.

The transducer installation on the boat should be carried out precisely according to the instructions. To lock the angle of attack, it is advisable to select the torque for tightening the screw in such a way that the adjustment safety at high speeds and the folding function when hitting an obstacle can be reconciled.

Navigation, nautical charts and live mapping with the Lowrance Elite 7 Ti²

With the chartplotter, we went through typical fishing scenarios. First of all, the GPS was able to convince us completely. We never had to wait long for a GPS fix. Even during difficult receiving situations, the device immediately restored navigation readiness.

Compared to two competing products in the same price range, the Elite Ti² was just ahead in several tests (difficult receiving conditions). For example, it found enough satellites with suitable reception strength in a short time, while one of the two comparison models could not show a single usable satellite.

Lowrance-Elite-7-ti2-gps
The current satellite constellation can be called up in the system menu. Here, the performance of the device is shown in a rather difficult reception situation, which was mastered sovereignly.
An example of the excellent bathymetric display of the depth contours in the Navionics Platinum+ nautical charts. The course of the water bottom with steep and rather shallow slopes can be read reliably.

Marking spots, setting up routes, saving them and driving them, but also backtracking, an important function for finding your way back in case of sudden fog, work as expected with the Elite Ti² and with a very good accuracy when driving to predefined positions.

In terms of nautical charts, we used C-Map Max-N and Navionics Platinum+ and tried the autorouting options offered there. Again, everything was without any comments. Both chart options are quite comparable in our opinion, but they differ in the bathymetric chart views (fishing charts), which are important for us anglers because they make hotspot searches much easier.

Navionics offers a visibly denser depth contour and with Platinum+ also has a good handle on 3-D representations. Navionics also integrates SonarChart™Live into its chart format, allowing new personal charts to be created while the boat is on the water.

The newly recorded charts are overlaid on top of the existing chart, which means that Navionics charts with an active subscription must already be available. This also applies to the possibility of recording depth contours of virgin waters.

With C-Map Genesis Live, the Lowrance Elite-7 Ti² has another option to record and share maps. To do this, you save all the information that the depth finder transmits via the sonar log. One shares the data with the provider, who revises it and reflects it back. A somewhat more complex procedure, which can, however, a professional revision of the data as an advantage.

Fish finder functions and transducer Lowrance Active Imaging 3-in-1

At Lowrance, with the flood of new terminology, it’s sometimes hard to know what’s behind it.

Active Imaging is a term that actually hides the fact that the Elite Ti² is a technical revision of an existing device series and not a new innovative series. This is by no means to be seen critically. In the case of the Elite Ti² series, the revision has expanded the device’s capabilities and also improved weak points of the previous Ti series, as we could see.

The previous instruments with the Total Scan transducer were not very convincing in the traditional 2-D Chirp display, because Chirp worked with fixed frequency ceramic array and even for the HDS instruments Airmar transducers were therefore recommended for best Chirp images.

Lowrance-Elite-7-ti2-chirp
With the right instrument settings and CHIRP support available in solo mode, the 2-D images with clearly discernible fish arches and very good object separation could hardly be better. The fish ID, which were switched on here for demonstration, are however too undifferentiated in the optical effect due to their small size.

For the current Active Imaging transducer 3-in-1, the installed ceramic for 2-D chirp has probably not changed, but rather the control options have been optimized. And with success.

The differences to the Elite Ti are visible, fine resolution and a clean object separation with good identification of existing fish arches already come close to what can be achieved.

Lowrance-Elite-7-Ti2-sidescan
Thus, we want high-quality SideScan images that are convincing in terms of sharpness, resolution and clarity of presentation.
Lowrance-Elite-7-Ti2-downscan
The DownScan results are also crisp and object-differentiated. From the wide range of color settings, personal preferences and options can be filtered out to ensure the best possible information density.
Lowrance-Elite-7-split-screen
Even on the split screen, the information is available in all areas of the fish finder functions. In the 2-D range, which works fixed frequency related here with 200Khz, the fish arcs are no longer quite as convincing, but the FishReveal™ function in the DownScan makes up for it.

For optimum image quality, you should make use of the device’s setting options, which have been additionally expanded in the new edition of the Elite Ti. The Structure Scan section was already the showpiece of the Elite Ti in the past, but with the Active Imaging transducer they have gone one step further.

The images in the StructureScan range are of the finest. At 800 Khz, they are not far away from the high-frequency Mega Image images of the competition, even if the last bit of resolution and sharpness is naturally missing.

The developers have done a good job here with the new Active Imaging transducer 3-in-1 and the hardware update. Especially with multiple screen splits, the details in the windows are still clearly visible even with a small 7″ LCD.

We also find the FishReveal™ function very interesting, which combines the best of traditional 2-D sonar and the downscan. Here, no one needs to guess anymore whether fish are present or not (see cover picture). 

Summary review of the Lowrance Elite-7 Ti² fish finder

The revision has visibly benefited the Elite-7 Ti² Lowrance fish finder and its siblings in the series. Progress has been made in the quality of the 2-D chirp images, among other things. The Structurescan section has also benefited from the revision and has once again gained in clarity, resolution and range.

The chartplotter does not reveal any weak points in all the points we looked at, quite the opposite: the strong-receiving and highly sensitive GPS module takes a top position in the price range.

The workmanship of the device, the quality of the components and the scope of delivery also do not give reason for criticism. The screen has also been further improved compared to the predecessor. Not only the readability in sunlight or oblique top view are impeccable.

The Lowrance Elite Ti² is in an excellent position when it comes to using C-Map and Navionics and the aforementioned live mapping options. This also applies to the wireless connection options via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as the successful combination of touchscreen and button operation, even if the software update via Wi-Fi was not fully implemented at the time of testing and we had to resort to the SD card installation.

In terms of price, the device with the Active Image transducer 3-in-1 is already offered for around 930.00€. This is a very good price-performance ratio. However, the offer has to fight off powerful competition from fish sonars for angling from other sonar manufacturers, which scores with the one or other highlight and also has the nose in front in terms of price.

Read here: Our big fish finder review – which are the best fish finders?

This brings us to the end of our detailed test-review of the Lowrance Elite 7 Ti Chirp fish finder sonar and chartplotter. If you have any questions, additions or comments, please let us know – we are looking forward to your feedback – or have a look at the other fish finder reviews in our extensive fish finder test (including the newest models of all important fish finder manufacturers like Garmin, Lowrance, Humminbird or Raymarine). Have fun on your next fishing trip and “Petri Heil”! – Martin and Jens.

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average rating 4.5 / 5. Number of ratings: 42

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