Lowrance’s Elite series of fish finders have always been favorites of ours, so we were extremely excited to get our hands on the next generation of Elite Ti fish finders - the Elite Ti² series.
It does not disappoint.
The Elite-9 Ti² is one of the best fish finders we’ve ever found for the price. We can’t believe that this unit costs well under $1000 - a 9” screen for under $1000 with this many features is otherwise unheard of. We’ll tell you in advance - this is going to be an absolutely glowing review. This is one of our favorite fish finders of 2021.
|83/200 (Mid/High CHIRP), 455/800 (SideScan/DownScan)
|Active Imaging 3-in-1
|9”, 800x480, HD
|300 ft max (300 feet down, 150 per side)
|US or US/Can Nav+ map
|3000, 100, 100/10000
|Memory Card Slots
|1 microSD (32 GBs)
Let’s start, as always, with the display of the Elite-9 Ti². We expect a high-quality screen from a fish finder at this price point, and this unit does not disappoint. The screen is made with Lowrance’s SolarMAX technology - it’s a well-lit, high definition touchscreen.
There’s a backlight on the unit, which means it can be used in all kinds of weather conditions - rain or shine, night or day, and even in foggy weather. The backlight is, of course, adjustable, and there’s even a night mode that automatically adjusts the backlight and the unit’s color palette for better nighttime viewing.
The 9” screen can be viewed at a wide variety of angles - that makes this unit a perfect fit for larger vessels and bigger fishing parties.
On units at this price point, we expect a split screen function - and Lowrance delivers. You can view up to four screens simultaneously on the Elite-9 Ti² - that means you can have your DownScan, SideScan, traditional sonar, and map all on screen simultaneously. You can also change the orientations of the charts so the view you think is most important you can make the biggest.
You can also customize the data overlays that you’ll see on sonar and chart pages - allowing for information like water column depth, temperature, and GPS coordinates to be read at a glance. The unit will also display the time.
All of these display features are more or less standard for a fish finder at this price point, but they’re incredibly important. We’ll talk more about some of the display features specific to charts and sonar in the Sonar, Imaging, and Mapping sections.
Now we can talk about the interface, which we absolutely love. The menu is well laid out, and easily customizable - you can select a single tool, like sonar or maps, or a combination screen that you’ve laid out.
Navigation is done via touchscreen, which is our preferred method. The one downside to touchscreens is that when they get wet, they can be hard to use. Lowrance has mitigated this problem on the Elite-9 Ti² by implementing a few buttons to the side of the unit. They are:
In other words, even if it’s pouring rain, the Elite-9 Ti² still retains most of its functionality through its buttons. The only thing we think could improve this interface is a joystick and a select button - but considering the unit’s price, that might be a lot to ask.
All in all, this unit has a gorgeous display and an easy to understand and use interface. Utilizing it should be simple enough - even if you’re new to fish finders, and we’re really impressed with the thought that went into this product.
There are two things you need to think about when evaluating a fish finder’s sonar: how good the transducer is, and how well the unit itself interprets and displays the results from the sonar.
Let’s start with the transducer. Out-of-the-box, you can get the Elite-9 Ti² with the Active Imaging 3-in-1 transducer. Better transducers than the 3-in-1 do exist, as it’s capped at 800 kHz. Nonetheless, it’s incredibly powerful, offering both CHIRP Sonar and Active Imaging (which we’ll discuss more in the Imaging section).
CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) sonar emits pulses of frequencies instead of one single frequency. Without getting too technical, the result is clearer, more accurate sonar with better target separation. It’s more or less standard on high-end fish finders - and that’s a good thing. The more accurate our sonar, the more fish we can catch!
While the transducer isn’t anything special, it is quite powerful considering the price point of the unit.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the sonar display and interpretation options. Here’s where the Elite-9 Ti² starts to really shine:
One pretty unique feature we love about this unit is the ability to select fishing modes. With fishing modes, the Elite-9 Ti² automatically chooses the best frequency and other sonar settings (like scroll speed and interference rejection) for the type of fishing you’re doing. These modes consist of:
This feature is extraordinarily useful for folks who haven’t used fish finders before, as it can be hard to figure out which settings are right for which fishing environments. Honestly, we found it pretty useful too, and we know a lot about fish finders - it will save lots of hassle, and you can always tweak the settings later.
There are a ton of other sonar settings you can play around with. All of the hits are here, from manual range and zoom, to noise rejection options, and a surface clarity option for when there’s a lot of wave action. The customizability of some of the deeper elements of your sonar is one of the things we love the most about this unit.
And when it comes to sonar display options, the Elite-9 Ti² is fantastic. You can enable split zoom mode to zoom on one part of the water column, all while displaying the whole water column on the other half of your view. You can change the colorline and the color palette. You can switch to flasher mode. You can even enable Fish ID - perfect for new users who aren’t used to reading fish arch in sonar charts.
Bottom lock, variable scroll speed - basically every feature you would want in a high-end sonar is here. Very impressive stuff - you’re probably already starting to understand why the Elite-9 Ti² gets such high marks from us.
Next up, we have the unit’s imaging - specifically, what Lowrance calls SideScan and DownScan. Here’s a quick summary - while this isn’t the best imaging we’ve ever seen, it’s truly remarkable what Lowrance has achieved at this price point.
Imaging, in our humble opinion, is at its best as a scouting tool. You use imaging to find structure and fish, then use your traditional sonar readouts to actually catch those fish. For these purposes, the SideScan and DownScan on the Elite-9 Ti² do not disappoint.
For range, you can use the 455 kHz setting, while for more accurate imaging, you can choose the 800 kHz setting. While this isn’t the best imaging sonar we’ve ever seen (there are some models that reach the mHz, which provides incredibly accurate imaging), it is still quite powerful.
Now that we’ve talked about what the transducer can do, let’s take a look at some of the imaging options. For starters, you can record both DownScan and SideScan imaging, which makes the Elite-9 Ti² an excellent tool for pre-fishing lakes. You can also use the touchscreen to scroll through the history of your imaging, making it easy to see where you’ve been (and what structure you found).
Most of the options we looked at in the Sonar section are available for Imaging, too. You can change the range (or turn on auto range), you can zoom in and out, and you can change contrast, colorlines, and the color palette. Using the DownScan, you can even enable FishReveal, which uses sonar readouts in order to display traditional sonar fish arches.
All in all, while the transducer could be a little more powerful, it’s exceptionally good at this price point, and the number of imaging features on the Elite-9 Ti² makes it a rival to units that cost quite a bit more.
When we look at mapping in our review, we’re asking three questions:
With the Elite-9 Ti², we were more than happy with the answers to all of those questions.
The map that comes with the unit is C-MAP US Inland mapping, which contains 1’ contours for 4000 U.S. Inland lakes - though our Canadian friends can opt for a U.S./Can map if they want to pay a little more instead. These maps are up-to-date, and contain basically all of the information you’d want from a chart - Hi-Res bathymetry, information about marinas, tides and currents, and a whole lot more.
We also love this unit for its compatibility with a wide variety of different charts. With the Elite-9 Ti², you can use both C-Map and Navionics charts. So if you’ve got some charts from other fish finders lying around, or you know you want to buy a chart from another company, you can rest assured - your Elite-9 Ti² will probably be compatible.
As to what you can do with the charts and GPS - well, there’s a whole lot! Your standard features are here, like being able to create routes, trails, and waypoints. You can use these features to navigate through the water. You can also, depending on the type of map you’re using, change the depth palette, overlay satellite photos, and change shading.
Our favorite feature may be Genesis Live - if you’ve read our other reviews, you’ll know that we love being able to create our own charts. In short, Genesis Live allows you to create your own 1-foot contour maps. You can also share these maps with other anglers, and you can download the maps that they’ve created. While these maps aren’t always as accurate as professional maps, they can seriously improve your chart collection - at no cost to you.
Yet another great charting feature is StructureMap, which allows you to overlay data from your SideScan imaging onto your chart. We love information density - the more we can view at a glance on our fish finders, the better - and StructureMap provides.
All in all, there are some phenomenal charting features on this unit - and we haven’t even touched on them all. Great stuff from Lowrance.
Networking is pretty straightforward - what does the Elite-9 Ti² connect to? To keep it brief, the unit has a few methods of connecting to other devices:
That means there’s a lot of connectivity with this device - you can hook it up to NMEA radar systems, you can wirelessly connect to your other compatible Lowrance fish finders, and you can even connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
The only thing that’s really missing here is an Ethernet port - and that’s not too big a problem, considering the wireless world we live in. While we’ve seen other devices with better networking (in other words, all of the above plus an Ethernet port or two), we’ve rarely seen a device with such great networking at this price point.
There are a ton of features we haven’t talked about on this unit - too many to go over here. You can, for example, connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth, then remote control your fish finder from your phone - perfect for when you’re lounging back and catching fish.
The reverse is also true - you can receive notifications from your phone on your Elite-9 Ti², and even use it for texting. This isn’t something we’ve ever done (we don’t love notifications from our loved ones showing up on a large screen for everyone to see) - but it is something a lot of folks enjoy.
Then there are all of the features you can unlock with a purchase or two. Buy a MotorGuide Xi5 Trolling Motor, and you can turn on auto-pilot or control the motor using your fish finder! You can also control PowerPole anchors using the Elite-9 Ti².
The system has all kinds of alarms in place that will warn you of dangerous situations. Depending on the charts you have, you can enable 3D mode. The list of features goes on and on - this is an extremely powerful unit.
What kind of magic is Lowrance working up in the lab? How did they create a unit this powerful, with this many features, that comes with a transducer, for this low a price?
We’re honestly kind of flabbergasted - in the best possible way. The Elite-9 Ti² has a bunch of user-friendly features that make it perfect for novices, and a bunch of heady, complex features that make it excellent for even tournament anglers.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best fish finders you can get your hands on in 2021. If you’re looking for a fish finder in the $500-$1000 range, the Elite-9 Ti² might be your best bet - whether you’re an amateur, a hobbyist, or a pro.