What Garmin Units Work With LiveScope? (2023 List)
UPDATED 13 SEPTEMBER 2023
by Robert Ceran
Garmin LiveScope provides some of the finest live sonar imaging in world, and is a game changer for any angler who takes advantage of it.
But if you want to use Garmin LiveScope, you first need to set it up correctly, and a key part of this is choosing the right Garmin unit that works with LiveScope.
In this article we’ll walk you through all Garmin units that are compatible with LiveScope, and will also cover the differences between different LiveScope transducers.
List of Garmin units compatible with LiveScope in 2023
|Garmin unit||LiveScope LVS32 compatible||LiveScope LVS34 compatible||LiveScope LVS12 compatible|
|Echomap CHIRP 70CV/70SV/90SV series||No||No||No|
|Echomap Plus 70CV/70SV/90SV series||Yes||No||No|
|Echomap UHD 70/90 series||Yes||Yes||No|
|Echomap Ultra series||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GPSmap 701/800/1000 series||No||No||No|
|GPSmap 702/902 series||Yes||Yes||No|
|GPSmap 1002/1202 series||Yes||Yes||No|
|GPSmap 1202/1202XSV Touch series||Yes||Yes||No|
|GPSmap 7400/7600 series||Yes||Yes||No|
|GPSmap 702/902/1202 Plus series||Yes||Yes||No|
|GPSmap 8400/8600 series||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|GPSmap 8000 series chartplotters||No||No||No|
The table above lists all Garmin chartplotter series, as well as their compatibility with all three Panoptix LiveScope transducers: the LVS32, LVS34, and LVS12 transducers.
In general, LiveScope is compatible with most Garmin chartplotters, but not with smaller sonar units, such as the Garmin Striker series.
However, this doesn’t automatically apply to legacy chartplotters, such as the Echomap CHIRP and Plus series, since Garmin doesn’t update the software for these units any more.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Garmin LiveScope compatibility varies depending on which version of Livescope you want to use (and hence which LiveScope transducer you’re going to be using), and we’ll cover this in full detail further down.
Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv
With a 10″ touchscreen, this is the best Garmin unit for LiveScope that comes at a great price.
What all is needed for Garmin LiveScope?
In order to run Garmin LiveScope on your boat, you need two main components: a LiveScope transducer, and a Garmin LiveScope compatible unit that can display the sonar data produced by the transducer.
In general, it’s best to choose a head unit with the biggest display possible, since that gives you a better view of the amazingly detailed sonar data produced by LiveScope.
So if you want to get the very best LiveScope quality, then a big GPSmap unit in the 8400/8600 series with a 22 or 24 inch display is the right option for you.
However, if you are limited by budget or space constraints, a 9 or 10 inch display size works fine for most purposes, though you can also go with a 7 inch unit and still get acceptable results.
One thing to keep in mind is that the head unit does not need to come with its own transducer, as you just need it to plug in the black box of the LiveScope system, in order to view the sonar signals.
This means you can opt for a pure chartplotter unit that doesn’t have any sonar capabilities, which helps to reduce the cost.
A popular unit used in this way is the GPSmap 1022, which comes with a 10 inch screen and very high screen resolution producing excellent results with LiveScope data, but doesn’t have sonar capabilities of its own.
Alternatively, you can also opt for a sonar capable chartplotter, but purchase it without a transducer, which also helps to reduce the cost.
The most popular unit used in this way is the Echomap UHD 93sv, which comes with a 9 inch screen and also produces great results with LiveScope data.
If you’re thinking about getting LiveScope, but are on a tight budget, check out our article what is the best LiveScope setup for the money?
Garmin LiveScope compatibility of different LiveScope transducers compared
Garmin currently makes three different LiveScope transducers, the LVS32, LVS34 and the LVS12. It’s essential to be aware of these different transducer options, since Garmin LiveScope compatibility varies between them.
The LVS32 is part of the original Panoptix LiveScope System, and requires a black box in order to work, while the LVS34 is part of the new LiveScope Plus System, which also requires a black box. In contrast, the LVS12 transducer doesn’t require a black box, and can be plugged directly into compatible head units.
While the LVS32 is compatible with most Garmin chartplotters, including the majority of Echomap and GPSmap units, the LVS34 isn’t compatible with Echomap Plus units, and the LVS12 is only compatible with the Echomap Ultra series and the GPSmap 8400/8600 series.
So if you already have an existing Garmin chartplotter on your boat, this may restrict your choice of LiveScope transducer, since most units are only compatible with the LVS32 transducer, but not the LVS12.
The nice thing about the LVS12 is that it doesn’t need a black box in order to work, and can be plugged directly into a chartplotter unit. In contrast to this, the LVS32 can only be used with a black box, and the latter is then plugged into the chartplotter.
If you’re not sure yet, if this is worth it for you, take a look at our article: is LiveScope worth the money?
What Garmin units are compatible with LiveScope?
Now let’s take a closer look at the different Garmin chartplotter units and their LiveScope compatibility.
Echomap CHIRP series: this series is not compatible with any LiveScope transducers, but has also been discontinued by Garmin a few years ago.
Echomap Plus series: While the Echomap Plus series has been discontinued by Garmin, it is still compatible with the LiveScope LVS32 transducer, but not with the LVS34 or LVS12. So if you have an Echomap Plus on your boat, you can use it with the LVS32 together with a black box.
Echomap UHD series: this series is compatible with both the LVS32 and LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
Echomap Ultra series: these units are compatible with all 3 LiveScope transducers, though you need to keep in in mind that the LVS32 and LVS34 require a black box to work with an Echomap Ultra, while the LVS12 can be directly plugged into the head unit.
GPSmap 701/800/1000 series: this series doesn’t work with either LVS32, LVS34 or LVS12.
GPSmap 702/902 series: this series works with LVS32 or LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
GPSmap 1002/1202 series: this series is compatible with LVS32 or LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
GPSmap 1202/1202XSV Touch series: this series works with LVS32 or LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
GPSmap 7400/7600 series: this series is compatible with LVS32 or LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
GPSmap 702/902/1202 Plus series: this series works with LVS32 or LVS34, but not with the LVS12 transducer.
GPSmap 8400/8600 series: this series is compatible with all 3 LiveScope transducers, though you need to keep in in mind that the LVS32 and LVS34 require a black box to work with an Echomap Ultra, while the LVS12 can be directly plugged into the head unit.
GPSmap 8000 series chartplotters: this series doesn’t work with any of the LiveScope transducers.
In general, the Garmin chartplotter series that aren’t compatible with LiveScope are the ones that were discontinued before LiveScope was introduced, which means you only have to worry about this if you have legacy models still in use on your boat.
What Garmin units are compatible with LiveScope plus?
LiveScope plus requires using the LVS34 transducer, which is compatible with the same Garmin units as the LVS32 transducer, except for Echomap Plus units or the GPSmap 701/800/1000 series (all these units are compatible with LVS32 but not LVS34).
This concludes our article on Garmin LiveScope compatibility, which hopefully will help you to figure out which unit is right for your purposes. Tight lines and see you on the water!