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Garmin Echo 551DV Review

The Garmin Echo 551DV offers both down imaging and traditional broadband sonar. This device unit produces the clearest images among most fish finders within its price range. The Garmin Echo 551DV gives users the ability to view the outcome both vertically and horizontally as the zoom is also available in both modes. It comes with all the latest in advanced features that will surely enhance your total fishing experience.

Features of the Garmin Echo 551DV

  • Garmin Echo 551dv fish finder
  • ​480 x 640 Resolution
  • ​DownVu Transducer
  • ​4-Pin All-in-One 77/200 kHz HD-ID
  • ​Full, Vivid Colour Display
  • ​2,300 Feet Capacity
  • ​Clear Readings
  • Narrow-to-Wide Viewing Options

What’s in the Box?

The Garmin Echo 551DV comes with the unit device, trolling motor mount, transom mount, tilt/swivel quick-release mount, power cable, and an easy to read instruction manual. This unit is powered by one 12V battery and the peak-to-peak power is 4000W.

Garmin Echo 551DV Fishfinder Unboxing

Technical Specifications

  • Screen: 5″ diagonal, 480H x 640V pixel resolution
  • ​Sonar: Dual Frequency HD-ID, DownVü
  • ​Frequency and Coverage: Standard view: 200 kHz
  • ​DownVü: 455 kHz
  • ​Depth Capability:
    • ​Standard: 1900 feet
    • DownVü: 750 feet
  • ​Transducer: GT20-TM (4-pin)
  • Power Output: 500 Watts (RMS)

Display Screen

The 5” display screen of the Garmin Echo 551dv features a modest 480x640 pixel resolution. It has a VGA colour display that provides crisp images that will allow you to make out specific details of the underwater structures. This fish finding device gives you the option of viewing the output on the split screen both vertically and horizontally. You can also zoom in to get more details on the sonar.

We definitely like the smooth scaling technology as this feature makes transitions perfectly scaled – no matter if you are in deep or shallow waters.


With both the DownVu and traditional dual beam sonar, the high 500W power output allows the sonar to reach large depths. Its capability is 2,300 feet – making it ideal for deep waters fishing. The DownVu provides photo-quality images of the fish and structure located underneath the boat.


The dual-beam transducer comes with two options: a low frequency 77 kHz sonar mode and a high frequency 200 kHz sonar mode. The low frequency is used for the wide general view. The high frequency is for more defined and accurate results. The downside is that they can’t dig as much depth as the lower frequency son, making them more effective in shallow water.

This unit also comes with HD-ID technology with DownVu integration. This means that you can view fish as icons or as raw data. The DownVu sonar is highly accurate as it sends and receives sonar waves for an accurate image of what’s under you.

Various Mount Types

To ensure that your investment is worth the price, you will need a fish finder that has a mount for your watercraft. If by chance you use several different models of craft, you will definitely need multiple types of mount. The Garmin Echo 551dv comes with three mount types – the trolling motor, transom, and the tilt/swivel quick-release.

Dual-View Monitor

Most fishermen already know the importance of knowing a wide variety of information at once. With the dual-view monitor feature, this is extremely useful as you can easily access multiple screens at the same time.

This will benefit your fishing experience as you get to view more technical aspects, which sets this model apart from the rest on the market. We definitely like this feature as you can spend more time trying to catch fish instead of constantly switching between screens.


The Garmin Echo is IPX7 waterproof, which means it will resist the rain, incidental water spills, etc. While it’s not completely waterproof, it is best to avoid it being submerged in water, especially salt water.


  • Powerful sonar
  • ​Sonar history rewind
  • ​Quality images of the sonar readings
  • ​Advanced HD-ID and DownVu transducer
  • ​Zoom option
  • ​High depth capability
  • ​Split screen mode - horizontal and vertical
  • ​Water temperature sensor
  • ​Waterproof
  • ​Best in its price range
  • Additional features


  • Comes with a 15-foot long transducer cable
  • ​Small display
  • ​Users complained about not having an integrated GPS
  • ​Reports of unit to freak out in muddy, shallow, and weedy waters
  • ​High price tag
  • High sensitivity ratings lead to making weeds, rock and other elements for fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this model compatible with salt water locations?

A: Yes! The Garmin Echo 551dv is highly compatible with saltwater locations, though you must make the appropriate adjustments to the reading settings for it to properly function.

Q: Do you need to haul the boat just to install the transducer?

A: The transducer should be attached to the transom of the boat below the waterline. This means it is best to have the boat on the trailer for best installation.

Q: Do I need to buy a separate mount kit?

A: Everything you need to install the mount is provided in the box.

Consumer Viewers

With the average rating of 4.5/5 stars, the Garmin Echo 551dv has built a reputation for quality. Consumers praise the price when compared to other similar products. Most reviews are overall positive. However, there are some users who have had slight issues with the device. One customer reports that although the unit works well for depth readings, it may not read in less than 6 feet of water.

Other customers have not reported any other problems as the majority of the reviews say things such as “Such an awesome unit with so many features” “Operation is fast and easy and we are not catching a lot more fish.”

Overall, the Echo 551dv is a great fish finder. Garmin has put a lot of effort into this powerful sonar fish finder with its high-quality screen. With a competitive price, you will definitely get a top level performance that puts this model on top of the market. With the additional features such as the auto scroll, auto gain, and others, these features will make it easy to get the maximum fish finding results.

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