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Garmin echo 551dv Review

Garmin echo 551dv has an average rating of 4.11 out of 5 based on 9 user reviews.



The echo 551dv is a new fishfinder from Garmin that offers both traditional broadband sonar and down imaging. It produces probably the clearest image among fish finders in its price range. Garmin echo 551dv also stands out from the crowd by giving the user the ability to view the output horizontally or vertically. Zoom is available in both display modes. There is also split screen mode that puts broadband sonar display and down image side by side. The screen has a 5 inch diagonal with 480 x 640 resolution and it is the same display that is used in the older 500 and 550 echo models.

Garmin echo 551dv comes with a 77/200 kHz dual beam transducer that also provides DownVü capabilities. The transducer has 500W of power and can reach the depth of 2300 feet. The echo series fishfinders are known for the great accuracy and sensitivity and 551dv model is no different. It provides excellent bottom tracking and target separation. Garmin DownVü scanning sonar displays almost a photograph of structure and fish underneath the boat. 551dv also supports 50/200 kHz dual frequency transducers.

There are several features that make the Echo 551dv a premium product. The features include Utrascroll – a mechanism that helps display fish arches at higher speeds. There is also bottom lock that adjusts the output so that bottom is always displayed. Another feature is Smooth Scaling that provides seamless transitions as the boat moves from shallow to deep water. Adjustable depth feature indicates the depth of objects in the display. It has a whiteline to identify hard or soft bottoms and AutoGain technology that automatically adjusts gain settings to minimize clutter in the sonar returns.

The Echo 551dv is also waterproof to keep you from worrying about dropping it in the water. It also has audio alarms to alert fisherman to be on the ready to cast and catch. The installation is made easy with a quick release swivel/tilt and low profile trolling motor and transom mounts. There is also flush mount kit (sold separately) if you need to mount it in the dashboard. The Garmin Echo 551dv is an advanced fishfinder that offers the users the latest technology in fish detection, sonar clarity, and increased visibility. You can get a great deal on Garmin echo 551dv here.

 Lowrance Elite-5x HDIGarmin echo 551dv
Screen Size5 in5 in
Screen Resolution480 x 480 pixels480 x 640 pixels
Display Type256 Color TFTColor VGA
Imaging2D and Down Imaging2D and Down Imaging
Transducer TypeTransom Mount/Trolling MotorTransom Mount/Trolling Motor
Transmit Power250W RMS, 30,000W Peak to Peak500W RMS
4000W Peak-To-Peak
Sonar Frequency(50/200 kHz or 83/200 kHz) 2D
455/800 kHz Down Scan
50/77/200 kHz, DownVu
Maximum Depth1000 ft/2500 ft 2D
300 ft Down Scan
2,300 ft - 77 kHz freshwater

User Reviews

Posted by Joe Dodd

  • 5/5

I highly recommend this fishfinder. I’ve used Humminbird and Lowrance units in the past, this unit is way better than anything I’ve used before. Down imaging looks just as good in real life as in the pictures on the internet. I fish in a lake with very diverse bottom areas, echo 551dv works perfectly fine in all these areas. The 2d sonar is also great, all you have to do is drop the lure where fish arches are showing.

Posted by fishon

  • 5/5

If you don’t need GPS or huge screen, this is the unit for you. I spent weeks researching different models online and in stores and I’m certain echo 551dv is the best unit in this price range. The sonar accuracy and down imaging detail is way better than Humminbird or Lowrance. It’s also easier to use, you don’t have jump through hundreds of menus to get it setup.

Posted by VA Hunter

  • 5/5

I’m not very tech-savvy so I was looking for something simple to use. Didn’t want to deal with side-imaging because it’s difficult to read. This unit is great. It does what is advertised – it shows you what’s below the boat, nothing more, nothing less. I’m very pleased with the purchase.

Posted by Bill T.

  • 5/5

I bought this unit to replace old Lowrance x-85. The 551dv is a great unit but it doesn’t go as deep as Garmin claims. It stops reading at about 250ft. Works perfectly in shallow water.

Posted by C. Anderson

  • 5/5

This unit has a great display, you can see the difference when you check it out with other units side by side at a store. There is absolutely no reason to buy Humminbird or Lowrance after Garmin added down imaging. My only complaint is the short power cable, only 5ft long, the display needs to be installed near the battery.

Posted by redhills

  • 5/5

This fishfinder has a great screen, high resolution and very bright. In the past I’ve always had problem with interference with my old fishfinders, not with this one. It has a great trolling motor bracket that fits perfectly and the unit shows zero interference with the motor. The unit is lightweight and easy to use. Thumbs up for me.

Posted by David G

  • 5/5

Bought the Garmin551dv for the front of my bass boat and have been very impressed with it so far. Great unit for the money.

Posted by asim

  • 1/5

the Garmin551dv is very good in 2D and very bad in the DownVü it is just for 25m only and not that nice accuracy

Posted by crabman

  • 1/5

Paid almost 400 for this meter . My first comment about it would be lack of accuracy it has a 45 degree beam which is twice as wide as other fishfinders and no option for a more narrow beam. So if you want to know whats under the boat or close to the boat you wont get it. You have a 50 50 chance of what your seeing on the screen being close to the boat. The down VU is a joke and in no way even resembles the display Garmin puts on its website for clarity and since other brands have 400 and 800 mghz frequency for their down scan and garmin has 200 which is a standard frequency. I will never own another Garmin

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