Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv Chartplotter Review

The Echomap Ultra 106sv is the high-performance Garmin fish finder chartplotter combo designed for avid boaters and anglers. It features a 10-inch display, providing clear and detailed visuals of the underwater environment.

The Echomap Ultra 106sv is paired with the GT56UHD transducer and supports a range of sonar capabilities, including ultra-high definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars, alongside traditional high wide chirp sonar. This enhances the fishing experience by making it easier to identify fish, structure, and bait. 

The functionality is enhanced by the fishfinder’s high-contrast sonar color palettes that aid in distinguishing fish from other underwater structures. 

This model comes preloaded with Garmin Navionics+, offering comprehensive mapping of both coastal and inland waters. Additionally, it offers innovative features like Quick Draw Contours for creating custom maps and seamless integration with the Active Captain App for easy updates and chart management.

Overall, this fish finder is a robust device for enhancing the fishing and boating experience, offering advanced navigation and sonar capabilities.

Key Specifications:

Display Size10 inches
Resolution1280 x 800
Sonar TechnologyCHIRP Sonar, ClearVu, SideVu
Frequencies50/77/83/200/455/800/1000/1200 kHz
Waterproof RatingIPX7
Price (MSRP)$2,299.99 USD


  • High-Resolution Display: 10-inch screen offers clear and detailed visuals.
  • UHD Sonar: Supports ultra-high definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars, and high wide chirp traditional sonar.
  • Vivid Color Palettes: Enhances the distinction between fish, structure, and bait balls.
  • Detailed Maps: Comes with Garmin Navionics+ for comprehensive coastal and inland mapping.
  • Quick Draw Contours: Allows users to create their own detailed maps on uncharted waters.
  • Integrated with Active Captain App: Facilitates easy software updates, chart management, and community interaction.
  • Wireless Networking Capabilities: Supports multi-display setup and sharing of data across a network.


  • Cost: Can be relatively expensive, especially when bundled with high-end transducers.
  • Size: The 10-inch display might be too large for smaller boats or limited spaces.
  • Learning Curve: May require time to fully understand and utilize all features.

Display Quality

The display quality of the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv is considered to be excellent, combining size, clarity, color, and technology to provide an effective tool for navigation and fishing. Key aspects of its display quality include:

  • Screen Size: The 106sv features a 10-inch screen, providing ample space for viewing detailed maps and sonar readings.
  • Resolution and Clarity: Garmin’s Echomap Ultra series boasts high-resolution displays and the 106sv also offers clear and crisp imagery, enhancing the visibility of charts, sonar data, and navigational details.
  • IPS Technology: The inclusion of In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology in the display ensures wide viewing angles and strong visibility even in bright sunlight. This is particularly important for outdoor use on the water.
  • Vivid Color Palettes: The 106sv uses high-contrast vivid scanning sonar color palettes, which greatly aids in distinguishing between different underwater structures, fish, and bait balls, making the sonar imagery more intuitive to read.
  • Touchscreen Interface: The 106sv typically comes with a touchscreen interface, which is responsive and user-friendly, adding to the overall ease of use and interaction with the display.
  • Waterproof and Durable: As with most marine electronics, the display is designed to be waterproof and durable, suitable for the harsh marine environment.
garmin echomap ultra 106sv unit

GT56UHD Transducer

The GT56UHD transducer, which comes with the Echomap Ultra 106sv, is a versatile and advanced Garmin sonar accessory designed to enhance your fishing and boating experience. Here’s an overview of its key features:

Frequency Ranges:

  • Traditional High-wide CHIRP: Operates in the 150-240 kHz frequency range. CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) technology sends out a continuous sweep of frequencies, providing a more detailed and refined view of the underwater environment.
  • ClearVü: Uses frequencies between 455, 800, and 1000 kHz. ClearVü provides a nearly photographic view of structures and fish beneath your boat.
  • SideVü: Also operates in the 455, 800, and 1000 kHz frequencies. SideVü offers a clear view of structures and fish to the sides of your boat.

Maximum Depth Capabilities:

  • Traditional Sonar can reach depths up to 800 feet in freshwater, ideal for deep-water fishing and exploring.
  • ClearVü is effective up to a depth of 400 feet, allowing for detailed imaging of underwater structures and fish.
  • SideVü has a maximum depth capability of 500 feet, enabling expansive side scanning for comprehensive coverage.

This transducer is specifically designed to provide broad coverage and high-definition scanning, making it easier to identify fish and underwater structures. Its high-resolution capabilities and wide frequency range make it a powerful tool for anglers looking to maximize their effectiveness on the water.

garmin echomap ultra 106sv sonar
Ultra High-Definition SideVu and ClearVu sonar in 106sv with GT56UHD

Ultra High-Definition SideVu

Ultra High-Definition SideVü sonar in the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv provides exceptionally clear and detailed images to the sides of a boat. It is highly regarded in the fishing and boating community for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Resolution and Clarity: The Ultra-High Definition (UHD) technology offers superior image clarity and resolution compared to standard SideVü. This means you get much finer details, which is crucial for identifying fish, structures, and the bottom contour.
  • Improved Target Separation: UHD SideVü excels in separating targets, making it easier to distinguish between fish, bait schools, and underwater structures. This precision is particularly useful for anglers looking to identify potential fishing hotspots.
  • Wider Range of Scanning: The SideVü technology scans to the sides of the boat, covering a broad area. The UHD enhancement means this scanning is not just wide but also highly detailed, giving a comprehensive view of the underwater environment.
  • Depth Capability: While the exact depth capability will depend on water conditions, UHD SideVü generally provides strong performance at various depths, making it versatile for different fishing environments.
  • Useful for Navigation and Safety: Beyond fishing, UHD SideVü is also beneficial for navigation, helping to avoid underwater hazards and safely navigate in unfamiliar waters.
  • Integration with Other Technologies: When used in conjunction with other features of the Echomap Ultra 106sv, like CHIRP sonar and mapping capabilities, UHD SideVü offers a powerful toolset for anglers and boaters.

Overall, the Echomap Ultra 106sv is considered a top-tier Garmin SideVu fish finder suitable for serious anglers and boaters who demand high-quality, detailed underwater imaging.

Ultra High-Definition ClearVu

The Ultra High-Definition ClearVü scanning sonar of the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv is highly praised for its advanced capabilities in providing detailed and accurate underwater images. Here’s an overview of its effectiveness:

  • Exceptional Image Clarity: The Ultra High-Definition (UHD) ClearVü sonar offers significantly improved image clarity compared to standard sonar technologies. This results in nearly photographic images of what is beneath your boat.
  • Enhanced Target Resolution: With UHD ClearVü, users experience superior target resolution. This means that individual fish, groups of fish, and underwater structures are displayed with greater separation and detail, making it easier for anglers to identify and target specific areas.
  • Wide Scanning Area: ClearVü technology scans a wide area beneath the boat. The UHD enhancement ensures that this wide scan does not compromise on the quality of the imagery, maintaining high-resolution details over a broad area.
  • Real-Time Imaging: It offers near-real-time imaging, allowing anglers to see what is happening under the water almost instantly. This feature is particularly useful for making quick decisions while fishing.
  • Integration with Other Sonar Technologies: When used in combination with traditional CHIRP sonar and SideVü scanning on the Echomap Ultra 106sv, ClearVü provides a comprehensive view of the aquatic environment, enhancing the overall fishing and navigation experience.
  • Usefulness for Different Types of Fishing: Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or coastal areas, the UHD ClearVü scanning sonar is versatile enough to provide valuable insights into a variety of aquatic environments.

In summary, the Ultra High-Definition ClearVü scanning sonar of the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv is highly effective, offering anglers and boaters exceptional image clarity, detailed resolution, and comprehensive underwater views. This down imaging technology significantly aids in efficient and successful fishing, making it a favorite among serious anglers.

Mapping Features

The Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv offers several advanced mapping features, making it a versatile tool for both inland and coastal navigation:

  • Preloaded Garmin Navionics+: The 106sv comes with preloaded Garmin Navionics+, which integrates both coastal and inland mapping. This provides extensive coverage for various water bodies.
  • Detailed Charts with One-foot Contours: The device offers detailed charts that include up to one-foot contours, providing precise and detailed depth information useful for fishing and navigating in shallow waters.
  • Depth Range Shading: This feature allows users to assign colors to different depth ranges, making it easier to view and interpret depth contours and quickly identify desired fishing depths.
  • Auto Guidance Technology: The 106sv includes auto guidance technology, which suggests the best paths to follow based on boat size and other parameters. This feature aids in safe and efficient navigation.
  • Quickdraw Contours: A standout feature of the 106sv is its Quickdraw Contours mapping. This allows users to create their own personalized fishing maps with one-foot contours by driving the boat over uncharted areas. These maps are stored on the device and can be shared with the Quickdraw Community.
  • Daily Updates and Subscription Service: The device includes a one-year subscription for downloadable daily updates, ensuring that the maps remain current and accurate.

These features make the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv a comprehensive GPS fish finder combo for navigation and fishing, providing detailed and up-to-date mapping data that enhances the boating experience.

Livescope Compatibility

The Echomap Ultra 106sv is designed to be compatible with Garmin’s LiveScope system. This means it can connect to and display the real-time sonar images provided by LiveScope technology. 

The LiveScope sonar system (sold separately) needs to be installed on the boat and connected to the Echomap Ultra 106sv. This typically involves mounting the LiveScope transducer on the boat and linking it to the fishfinder via a compatible network.

Benefits of of the 106sv with Livescope include:

  • Enhanced Fish Finding: LiveScope offers a significant advantage in locating and identifying fish. The real-time aspect allows anglers to see fish reactions to lures and adjust their approach accordingly.
  • Improved Understanding of Underwater Structures: The clarity and detail provided by LiveScope make it easier to understand underwater structures and environments, which is crucial for successful fishing.
  • Increased Situational Awareness: Real-time imaging helps with better understanding the water depth, bottom contour, and other environmental factors, leading to more informed decisions while fishing.
  • Versatility in Fishing Techniques: LiveScope supports various fishing techniques, from ice fishing to vertical jigging, making the Echomap Ultra 106sv a versatile tool for different fishing conditions.
  • Dynamic Viewing Angles: LiveScope systems often offer different viewing modes (like Forward and Down) providing diverse perspectives of the underwater world, enhancing the angler’s ability to locate and target fish effectively.

Wireless Networking

The Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv offers wireless networking features that enable it to share information with other compatible ECHOMAP Ultra 2 or ECHOMAP UHD2 chartplotters on the same boat. This wireless connectivity enhances the functionality and integration of devices in the following ways:

  • Sonar Sharing: The 106sv can wirelessly share sonar data with other compatible ECHOMAP devices. This means that if you have multiple chartplotters installed on your boat, each one can access and display the sonar readings from any of the others, providing a comprehensive view of underwater conditions.
  • Waypoint and Route Sharing: You can seamlessly share waypoints and routes between the 106sv and other compatible ECHOMAP units. This feature is particularly useful for navigation, as it allows you to plan your route on one device and then access it from any other compatible device on your boat.
  • Enhanced Collaboration and Planning: The ability to share data wirelessly between devices allows for more effective collaboration and planning, especially when navigating challenging waters or coordinating fishing strategies.
  • Ease of Use: Wireless sharing eliminates the need for physical cables and connections between devices, simplifying the setup and reducing clutter on your boat.
  • Real-Time Data Access: With wireless sharing, you get real-time access to the data from all connected devices, which can be crucial for making timely decisions while on the water.

These wireless networking capabilities make the ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv a more versatile and effective tool for boating and fishing, allowing for a more integrated and user-friendly experience.

Is Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv worth the money?

The Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv, priced at $2,299.99 USD, is a significant investment, and it is particularly worth the cost for certain groups of users who would greatly benefit from its advanced features and capabilities:

  • Serious Anglers and Sport Fishermen: The 106sv’s advanced sonar capabilities, including high-definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars, make it ideal for serious anglers who require detailed underwater imaging to locate fish and understand bottom structure. The ability to share sonar data wirelessly with other compatible devices is especially beneficial for sport fishing where precision and real-time data are crucial.
  • Boating Enthusiasts and Professionals: For those who spend a significant amount of time on the water, whether for leisure or work, the detailed charts, mapping capabilities, and navigation tools of the 106sv provide valuable assistance in planning and executing safe and efficient voyages.
  • Technology-Savvy Boaters: The integration with the ActiveCaptain app and the unit’s wireless connectivity make the 106sv a great choice for tech-savvy boaters who appreciate the convenience of managing their device and accessing real-time data from their smartphones or tablets.
  • Owners of Larger or Multiple Boats: The device’s ability to network and share data across multiple units is particularly useful for those with larger boats or multiple vessels, allowing for a coordinated and unified navigation and fishing strategy.
  • Marine Professionals: Marine professionals, including guides, charter captains, and marine researchers, who require detailed and reliable navigational and fish-finding capabilities will find the investment in the 106sv justified due to its robust features and reliability.
  • Competitive Tournament Participants: Participants in fishing tournaments can benefit from the device’s precise sonar, detailed mapping, and quick data sharing capabilities, which can provide a competitive edge.

In summary, the Garmin Echomap Ultra 106sv is worth the cost for users who require high-end features for navigation, fishing, and boat management and who are willing to invest in a premium fish finder to enhance their boating and fishing experiences.

Garmin Echomap Ultra 102sv vs 106sv

The Garmin Echomap Ultra 102sv is another model in Garmin’s range of advanced chartplotters and fishfinders, similar to the 106sv but with some distinct differences. Here’s an overview of the 102sv, especially in relation to the 106sv:

  • Display: Like the 106sv, the 102sv features a 10-inch screen, offering clear and readable displays even in bright sunlight.
  • Transducer: It comes with the GT56UHD-TM transducer, which provides high-definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars, as well as traditional CHIRP sonar. This transducer is known for its excellent target separation and resolution.
  • Base Maps: The 102sv comes with the Worldwide Basemap, which is a basic, general map. This is one of the primary differences from the 106sv, which offers more detailed maps.
  • Sonar Capabilities: The sonar technology is similar to the 106sv, offering clear images of fish and structure.
  • Networking Capabilities: Like the 106sv, it supports networking features, allowing it to share information with other compatible devices on the boat.
  • Wi-Fi & ActiveCaptain Compatibility: The 102sv also includes Wi-Fi connectivity for integration with the Garmin ActiveCaptain app.

Comparison with the 106sv:

  • Mapping: The most significant difference lies in the preloaded maps. The 106sv comes with more detailed Navionics+ charts which support inland and coastal charts. In contrast, the 102sv has a worldwide basemap, which is more basic and less detailed.
  • Target Market: The 102sv is more appealing to a global audience or those who don’t require detailed regional maps preloaded, whereas the 106sv is targeted towards users in specific regions like North America, offering detailed charts of those areas.
  • Price: There is no difference in the cost of 2 units.

In summary, the Garmin Echomap Ultra 102sv is quite similar to the 106sv in terms of hardware and sonar capabilities, with the primary difference being the type of preloaded maps. The choice between the two would depend on the user’s specific needs regarding mapping detail and regional coverage.