What is The Difference Between HDS Carbon and HDS Live?

Lowrance HDS Carbon VS. HDS Live
Rate this post

HDS Carbon and HDS Live are both Fishfinders created by the company Lowrance. HDS Live is the newest model of the two and was designed with the angler in mind. It has all of the features of the HDS Carbon, plus a few extras.

GPS and WIFI allow you to mark your fishing spots, share them with other anglers, and see your position on the map in real time.

If you are looking for a top-of-the-line fishfinder with all the bells and whistles, then the HDS Live is the one for you. However, if you are looking for a more basic model that will still get the job done, then the HDS Carbon is great.

Difference Between HDS Carbon and HDS Live

With the release of the Lowrance HDS Carbon, many consumers are wondering what the difference is between this unit and the previous HDS Live. Both units offer great features and benefits, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

Also, read: How to Clean a Fish Finder Screen

Here, we’ll take a look at both units in order to help you make a decision.

The Lowrance HDS Carbon was released in 2017 and was very well-received. It featured a new SolarMax HD display with a 1280×800 screen resolution, a dual-core processor, and dual-channel CHIRP capability.

Additionally, the GoFree wireless module was built into the unit, allowing for a connection to a smartphone via Wi-Fi and simplifying software updates.

With the new processor, the Carbon was able to run the then-new StructureScan 3D, VesselView Link, and Lowrance Outboard Pilot systems.

However, the Carbon had a short lifespan, as Lowrance announced the fifth generation of the HDS series – the Live – just one year later. This was a disappointing turn of events for many consumers who had just purchased a Carbon unit, only to have it replaced by a “new and improved” model a year later.

Lowrance took notice of the negative feedback and, as a result, the current Live units are approaching four years old.

The Live units offer many new features, including programmable keys, an ultra-powerful quad-core processor, the ability to see smartphone data via LiveCast, and six-panel split screen capabilities.

For those running the 9-inch and smaller Live units, most of the changes were cosmetic. The 7- and 9-inch models in the Live series have the same dual-core processor and none of the aforementioned features.

One advantage of going with the Live units over the Carbon units is that Lowrance has traditionally released software updates for the previous generation to allow them to run the new tech which comes with the new generation.

So, when Lowrance does eventually release a new HDS series to replace the Live, the Live units will be able to run the newer transducers and such, while the Carbon units will be left out. Therefore, if you’re looking for a model that will be current for a longer period of time, HDS Live might be the way to go.

We hope this has helped you to better understand the difference between the Lowrance HDS Carbon and HDS Live units. If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Lowrance support.

Lowrance HDS Carbon Vs. Live Which Unit Should You Choose?

When it comes to Chartplotters, the Lowrance HDS Carbon series is a great option that refuses to die. The units are brand new, come with a two-year factory warranty, and are able to run everything that Lowrance makes. The Carbon series is a great opportunity for those looking to upgrade to get into some very good units.

However, the Lowrance HDS Live series is the newer generation of Chartplotters and offers more features than the Carbon series. The Live series has a quad-core processor, the ability to see smartphone data via LiveCast, and six-panel split screen capabilities. If you’re looking for a Chartplotter that will be current for longer, the Live series is the way to go.


Can you network HDS Carbon with HDS Live?

Yes, you can network HDS Carbon with HDS Live. You can use the Ethernet port on the back of the HDS Carbon to connect to the Ethernet port on the back of the HDS Live.

Are Lowrance carbon units discontinued?

Yes, the Lowrance carbon units have been discontinued on 28th November 2018.

Is HDS carbon compatible with the active target?

Yes, HDS carbon and HDS live are also compatible with active targets.

How do I network my Lowrance HDS carbon?

The Lowrance HDS Carbon has an Ethernet port that allows you to connect it to a network. You can use this connection to share data with other devices on the network or to connect to the Internet.

What does an Ethernet cable do for a Lowrance?

Ethernet cable is used to connect a Lowrance unit to another Lowrance unit or other devices on a network. Ethernet cable is also used to transfer data between devices on a network.


In conclusion, HDS Carbon requires a module for LiveSight in order to function, whereas HDS Live does not. The functionality and images seen with LiveSight are identical on both fish finders. It is worth saying that the hardware of StructureScan 3D remains unchanged at this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.