The 11 Best TV Antennas to Buy in 2018

Cut cords with cable and still get reception with these top antennas

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While streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO are becoming increasingly central to the modern viewers media diet, a TV antenna offers a few advantages — namely, live television. That means you can watch your favorite sports and soaps along at the same time as the rest of the world, all without paying a monthly subscription fee.

Antennas can be intimidating as there’s often some trial and error that goes into the setup, but to save you some research, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites. We even took a few home to evaluate them based on price, reception, design, and more.

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A

Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.4

If you live in an area with poor signal reception but don’t have the will or means to install an outdoor antenna — and you want to spend as little money as possible — you should look into the Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A. This is more or less the same antenna as our top pick about it includes a signal amplifier that broadens the reception range to 50 miles. This also increases the price tag by a few bucks.

The FlatWave Amped features Clear Circuit Technology, which helps cut out unwanted signal intrusions from cell phones and radio stations, ensuring an optimal broadcast signal at very long distances. It comes with an extra long 18.5-foot coaxial cable and a USB power supply, delivering a variety of connectivity options for your entertainment setup.

Best Overall: ClearStream Eclipse

The ClearStream Eclipse from Antennas Direct is an affordable and capable indoor TV antenna that gives you a little bit of everything. It has a simple design but tries to a look a touch more pleasant than the common rectangular antennas that get mounted on walls or windows. It also comes with a removable 12-foot coaxial cable, so you’ll be ready to set it up right out of the box.

This is a multi-directional antenna, so you should have a good deal of flexibility with placement, and its 35-mile range means it should be a viable pick in most residential areas. This model is focused on the UHF end of the broadcast spectrum, so make sure the channels you want are available in UHF and not just VHF.

With a black and white side, you can set up the ClearStream Eclipse in different settings. Plus, the antenna is paintable, so you can even make it match the decor or wall paint, and the design offers Sure Grip which ensures it sticks to your walls and windows with no issue. Once it’s set up, you’ll be ready to enjoy local channels — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, and more — in full 1080 HD. If you expect to have a weaker signal, a model that includes an amplifier is also available. The ClearStream eclipse measures 0.5" x 8.8" x 10.2".

Best Budget: 1byone 50-Mile Amplified HDTV Antenna

Not only is the 1byone indoor antenna one of the best budget options on the market, but it’s one of the best on Amazon, period. It’s super easy to set up — just connect the antenna to 'ANT IN' on the back of any HDTV and place it in an optimal position — and you'll easily score you all your local channels for free. The antenna is lightweight at just 13.8 ounces, so it can be hidden and hung easily, but it’s also white and sleek so that if you don’t tuck it away, it’s not an eyesore.

The antenna comes in four different models, ranging from 25 miles to 50 miles, with the latter being the strongest and thus picking up the most channels. Either way, you'll find the product comes with a 20-foot coaxial cable, five-foot USB power cable, USB adapter, adhesive mounting stickers, and, of course, an instruction manual. Not usually one to buy a budget product? The antenna comes with a 30-day return policy and 12-month warranty which should calm your worries.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: 1byone 25-Mile Digital Indoor TV Antenna

If you’re not concerned with getting the best of the best, the prettiest, or the most powerful TV antenna, then 1byone’s low cost 25-mile TV antenna is an incredibly easy pick. It’s one of the most affordable you'll come across, yet it still boasts incredible user ratings.

Given its low price and 25-mile range, you’ll probably only want to go with this one if you live in an area with pretty strong broadcast signals. Set up is a breeze thanks to the antenna's thin, light, and multi-directional design, plus it can pick up both UHF and VHF channels.

The antenna has a 10-foot coaxial cable built in and includes 3M adhesive stickers you can use to mount it to a wall or window. Though it only comes in black, it is fully paintable, so you can remodel it to match your space. A 35-mile model is also available at an incredibly low price, so you can take your pick. A 90-day money back guarantee and a 24-month warranty prove 1byone's confidence in their product.

Best Indoor: Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna

Mohu has really made a name for itself in the modern digital TV antenna space, and that’s thanks to its wide range of tried-and-true products. The paper-thin Mohu Leaf 30 is a simple TV antenna that’ll pick up your local TV stations in full HD with little fuss — and without the need to pay a whole lot for a fancy design.

The Mohu Leaf 30 offers a modest 30-mile range with multi-directional reception, so setup is simple. The reversible design offers black and white sides to match your decor, though it’s also fully paintable if you're in the mood for a DIY project. The package includes a 10-foot coaxial cable that is detachable in case you need a longer or shorter cable.

Make sure you check which stations are broadcasting in your area, and pay particular attention to the frequencies. The Mohu Leaf 30 supports both UHF and VHF broadcasts, but the range for VHF is substantially shorter than for UHF. If you know some of the stations you want are only using VHF and aren’t nearby, you may want to check out one of the longer-range models.

Best Outdoor Multi-Directional: Channel Master CM-4221 UHF and HDTV Antenna

If you’re far from the stations broadcasting your favorite TV programs and there are multiple stations spaced out a bit, you’ll likely want an outdoor multi-directional antenna to pick up all those signals as clear as possible. Channel Master’s Ultratenna 60 is built for such a job.

This antenna can pick up UHF broadcasts at up to 60 miles. Though it’s not quite omnidirectional, you can set it up to cover 180 degrees, which should give you a good opportunity to ensure it picks up the signals from the towers broadcasting your preferred networks.

As this is a larger antenna (5.5" x 24.5" x 33'' to be exact) designed for mounting outside on a roof, chimney, eaves, or wall, it will be a little more involved to set up. But, it comes fully assembled and includes installation hardware for attaching to an antenna mount you’ll need to buy separately. Still, despite the extra effort, customers have given the Ultratenna 60 high praise, and it doesn’t hurt that it also has a low price.

Best Design: Mohu Blade

Mohu’s new Blade TV antenna does things a little differently, and that’s what has earned it a thumbs up design-wise. Rather than going with another paper-like window- or wall-mounted design, Mohu has gone with something long, sleek, rectangular — more akin to a soundbar.

The Mohu Blade has a 50-mile range and supports both UHF and VHF broadcasts. It has an amplifier built in as well, so you can boost the signal as needed. A kickstand gives you the option of standing the Blade on your entertainment console in front of your TV, or you can mount it on the wall like other antennas. With its weatherproofing, you also have the option of setting it up outside.

While this model is designed to look good with your TV, it’s still paintable like the other Mohu antennas, in case you want to hide it on your wall. And, with an included coaxial cable, you’ll be able to quickly get it set up and figure out just where you want it. While the Mohu Blade delivers full 1080 HD picture, it is also "future-proofed" to offer 4K quality.

Best Outdoor Directional: ViewTV 150-Mile Outdoor Amplified Antenna

Not all of us live close to TV broadcast towers, and that can make picking up TV signals very difficult. That’s where a directional antenna can come in handy, as they can generally pick up a signal from further away, as long as they’re positioned in the right direction. ViewTV’s outdoor amplified antenna has received high praise as a long-range, directional antenna.

ViewTV’s antenna boasts a 150-mile range, and it can pick up both UHF and VHF frequencies. You’ll want to figure out which direction your preferred stations are broadcasting from and then set it up to face toward them. But, if there are multiple stations in multiple directions, you’re not out of luck. This antenna includes a remote control that lets you rotate the device to face a different direction without having to climb up onto your roof and turn it by hand.

If long range is what you need, this is the one for you. It comes with hardware for setting it up on one-inch pole (disclaimer: you need to get your own pole, though), and has built-in support for two separate TVs without the need to purchase a separate cable splitter. Plus, if 60 feet is long enough, you won’t need to go out and buy an additional coaxial cable.

Best Low-Profile: Mohu Leaf Metro

City residents who have plenty of TV broadcast towers around them with strong signals abound don’t really need some of the larger or more elaborate TV antennas. In that case, a big rectangle on the wall would just be annoying, and might even be detrimental. That’s where the Mohu Leaf Metro comes in handy.

The Leaf Metro is a wall- or window-mounted TV antenna like many of the others, but it’s much smaller. At 11.5" wide and 4.5" tall, it's easier to hide than other antennas, and, since it's paintable, you have even more ways to hide it.

The Mohu Leaf Metro comes with everything you need to set it up on your wall or window, including a 10-foot coaxial cable. Its range is only 25 miles, but that will likely be fine in most cities. And, its low price and support for both UHF and VHF broadcasts make it that much easier a choice for shoppers.

Runner-Up, Best Low-Profile: GE 37075 UltraPro Hover Bar HD 250

GE has a crafty option for those who want a low-profile TV antenna, and it doesn’t make major signal range sacrifices to do so. The UltraPro Hover Bar HD 250 mounts to the top of a TV, where it will pick up broadcast signals like the bunny ears of yore, but with a far more modern look.

The Hover antenna can pick up signals within 50 miles, and it supports both VHF and UHF broadcasts. It includes an amplifier, and since it will be mounted directly on top of your TV, you won’t have to worry about unsightly cables running all along your walls or living room. This design likely makes it the simplest to add to your existing entertainment center without ruining the aesthetics.

The GE UltraPro Hover Bar HD 250 comes in at an affordable price, and reviews are largely positive. While mounting an antenna on your TV may not be the best way to get a clean signal, if you’re in a city with nearby broadcast towers, you’ll likely have a fine signal and be able to enjoy the minimal physical presence of this antenna.

Best Indoor/Outdoor: Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V

If you’re unsure what type of antenna will work best for you, Antennas Direct has a great option that can be used indoors and out. The ClearStream 2V boasts a 60-mile range with multi-directional antennas that support both UHF and VHF broadcasts, meaning most users in suburbs and even rural areas should find it largely effective.

The ClearStream 2V is not as visually attractive as many of the other antennas on our list, but its range is good, it comes with all-weather mounting hardware, and you can set it up next to your TV, by the window, up in the attic, or outside. This will give you plenty of options to get the best signal or go for the easiest setup.

One thing worth noting is that the ClearStream 2V achieves its range without the use of an amplifier. Some users have reported even better performance when adding a signal amplifier between the antenna and their TV. With its flexibility, the ClearStream 2V makes an especially great choice for anyone who moves frequently and may not have the same signal or installation options from place to place.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 108 hours testing one of the most popular TV antennas on the market. They watched the news, surfed foreign-language channels, and caught up on their favorite shows to find out what the strengths and flaws really were. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these TV antennas and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a TV Antenna

Range - To get the most channels, look for an antenna that can pick up signals from towers broadcasting far away. A typical range is about 25 to 50 miles, though some can reach up to 60 miles.

Budget - TV antennas can cost you $100+, but if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of good low-cost options. And to be honest, some even rival the more expensive options when it comes to range and usability.

Outdoor vs. indoor - If you live in an urban area near TV broadcast towers, you’ll be all set with an indoor antenna. However, if you live in a more rural area, you should consider an outdoor antenna, which are mounted on a rooftop and often have better range.

Test Results: Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A (Most Popular)

4.4

What We Like

  • Very easy and fast setup

  • Budget-friendly

  • Good range

What We Don't Like

  • Some stations come in clearer than others

  • Can’t be completely flat on wall because of attached cord

If you’re looking to switch from cable, the Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A is the best indoor antenna option out there, according to our testers. One reviewer, who used to pay $35 a month for DirecTV Now, said, “I think it's a great option if you’re a cord cutter that enjoys watching live TV and the news.”

The entire installation process is quick and easy. Our testers appreciated the fact that you don’t need tools or special equipment and, overall, the picture comes in clear and sharp. One reviewer did note that “the picture quality on some channels can be better than others,” but she added, “It's expected. It's free TV!”