Humminbird Helix 7 Review (CHIRP MDI or MSI GPS G3N)

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Humminbird is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. They offer a wide range of fish finders, one of which is the Humminbird Helix 7 model. It’s a feature packed fish finder that comes in a convenient, easy-to-use unit. And on top of that, it’s available in different variations, such as with options of MSI or MDI. If you’re looking for a good fish finder, read this Humminbird Helix 7 review to understand what it has to offer and what are the differences between its variations.

Display and Control Features

Humminbird Helix 7 reviewAs the name implies, this fish finder comes with a 7 inch display. It’s a full-color TFT display with a high pixel resolution of 800×488. This provides amazing quality images and easy reading of all the displayed information.

Moreover, one of the upgrades of the Helix 7 model is the addition of the glass screen. This bonded glass enhances the image quality and protects the unit from splashes of water. In comparison, the Helix 5 models have a plastic screen.

The display is also equipped with LED backlighting. This ensures that you can easily read the display no matter the light conditions, whether you’re fishing in direct sunlight, in fog or nighttime.

This fish finder’s control unit is also built to withstand splashes of water and rain. It has an IPX7 rating, which means that it’s waterproof, so you don’t need to worry about damage if it gets some water on it.

For easier mounting, the display also comes with an adjustable gimbal bracket. This gimbal bracket is more straightforward and easier to use than the quick release feature available on the previous models.


Humminbird Helix 7 offers Ethernet Networking and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it is only Helix 7 G3N models that have it. Helix 7 models that end in G3 don’t offer these two features.

Ethernet Networking uses a high speed Ethernet connection that allows building a professional-grade fishing system. Using this feature, you can connect multiple fish finders, which would allow you to share information between the units. For example, you could share saved waypoints, sonar information and more.

The Ethernet Networking feature can also be used for upgrading the fish finder with additional technologies, which can include Minn Kota i-Pilot Link, 360 Imaging and CHIRP Radar. All these are available as add-ons, that you can purchase separately.

This fish finder also offers Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to sync the device with your phone or tablet and use the Humminbird’s FishSmart application. With this app, you can get wireless software updates, so you can purchase, download and access there all the premium maps.

Moreover, you can use the app to contact customer support by requesting a callback. When you do so, the app also takes a snapshot of your fish finder settings, so the customer support will have at once all the information to solve your issue.

One more advantage of the Bluetooth connectivity is that when using the app, your phone notifications will be displayed on your Humminbird device. This means that you can keep your phone safely away from water.

Sonar Features

humminbird helix 7 chirp reviewsAs we’ve mentioned earlier, there are different variations of the Humminbird Helix 7 model, each one offering different sonar features. Consider choosing the fish finder that would best suit your fishing needs. The available options include CHIRP MDI and CHIRP MSI.

The Mega Down Imaging and Mega Side Imaging is an upgrade from other Helix models. This Mega Imaging has three times the output, which takes the sonar into the megahertz range and delivers images of the highest clarity and detail. With this sonar technology, you’ll be able to easily distinguish fish from structure and easily target individual species.

Mega Side Imaging

Mega Side Imaging uses a razor-thin beam that extends out to 125 feet on either side of your boat. The benefit of Side Imaging is that it provides the best view of the lake bottom, revealing structure, cover and density of the terrain that is located in the path below your boat.

When viewing these sonar images, you can also zoom in on any detail on the screen to get a magnified view of the cover or structure. This can be very handy for locating rock and crevices where the fish might be hiding.


Mega Down Imaging

The Mega Down Imaging also uses a high frequency, razor-thin beam. However, instead of to the sides of the boat, it sends it down up to 125 feet below your boat. The image you get is similar to traditional, down-looking sonar returns. However, it provides a lot more clarity, so you can clearly see structure, vegetation and fish that is right below your boat.

The frequencies used for the MDI and MSI are in the 1075-1150kHz range. However, there’s also the option of using regular DI and SI, which can be used for getting a further reach of the scan. DI can scan 480 feet down and SI can scan 480 feet to the sides of the boat. And when using the regular DI and SI, the frequency range is 440-500kHz.


Dual Spectrum CHIRP

In addition to MDI and MSI, Humminbird Helix 7 also has Dual Spectrum CHIRP capability. It allows you to choose how you want the transducer to scan the water, which can be either in a wide or narrow mode.

The wide mode, which operates with a frequency range 140-200kHz provides maximum coverage of the underwater as it produces a wider sonar beam. And the narrow mode with an operating frequency range 180-240kHz provides a more detailed sonar image.

SwitchFire Sonar

All Helix 7 fish finders also include SwitchFire sonar. It’s a technology that allows you to choose how you want the sonar returns to appear. It offers two modes: Clear and Max.

The Clear mode allows you to remove clutter from the sonar returns. It filters out the noise when you’re fishing in agitated or shallow waters. The result is a clear image with a clear view of fish and their sizes.

The Max mode, on the other hand, provides maximum detail with information on fish, terrain, as well as thermoclines and water currents.

Navigation Features

Both Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MDI and MSI are fish finder and GPS combos. It comes with a UniMap basemap that includes both inland and coastal coverage for the U.S. These are detailed charts that include underwater terrain and different points of interest. It also offers different features that can help you navigate with more confidence. They include hazards, buoys, day markers and more.

You can also upgrade these maps to LakeMaster or Navionics maps, which offer even more accuracy and detail. On top of that, they also offer contours, highlighted depth ranges and more.

This fish finder also includes the AutoChart Live feature. It uses 2D sonar and GPS returns to create maps of your fish spots, including details of depth contours, bottom hardness and vegetation.



Humminbird Helix 7 Pros and Cons

  • Large 7 inch display.
  • Split screen feature.
  • Fast and responsive interface.
  • CHIRP, MDI and MSI sonar.
  • SwitchFire sonar.
  • Depth capability of 1,200 feet.
  • Accurate GPS.
  • Includes UniMap basemap.
  • Upgradable charts.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Ethernet Networking.
  • SD card slot.
  • Easy to use.
  • Attractive price.
  • No NMEA 2000 port.
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet Networking is only available on G3N models.
  • Features only one micro SD card slot, which means that you can’t use your Navionics SD card at the same time as you record sonar.

Final Thoughts

In all, Humminbird Helix 7 is a great fish finder for both professional and beginner anglers. It offers everything you would want in a good fish finder. It includes all the latest sonar technology, highly accurate navigation capabilities and more. By adding it to your fishing gear, catching more fish will be much easier. As you can see in our Humminbird Helix 7 review, there are only a few drawbacks. But overall, it offers excellent value for money. And if you’re looking for a portable version for ice fishing, you can also check out our Ice Helix 7 review. And if you want an improved version of the Helix 7 model, check out our Helix 9 review article.

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