Many TV viewers are ready to “cut the cord” on expensive cable and satellite TV services and wish to receive free local TV channels over the air. This requires the one-time purchase of a television antenna. The best indoor TV antenna is affordable, easy to set up, and strong enough to receive local signals.
If you’re paying a cable or satellite TV company to receive local channels, you’re paying for something you can get for free. Your local channels are available over the air if you have an antenna to receive them. Lately there’s been a movement of “cord-cutters” who no longer subscribe to expensive cable or satellite TV services.
Instead, they rely on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Unfortunately, these services do not carry local programming, but you can access your local channels with the one-time purchase of an indoor TV antenna.
1. Why purchase a TV antenna?
If you intend to cut the cord but still want to get local programming, a TV antenna is essential. Even if you’re not yet ready to cut the cord, you may want an antenna as an emergency backup.
2. Is an indoor antenna better than an outdoor antenna?
An outdoor antenna may get better reception than an indoor antenna, but they are more expensive, more difficult to set up, and not feasible for people who rent rather than own their home.
3. What Is Antenna Amplification?
Amplification is a way to boost the antenna’s signal strength so that it can pick up channels from far away. Amplified antennas are more expensive and require a separate power source; they either plug into a wall outlet or a USB port on your television.
People who live in rural or suburban areas, far away from the broadcast tower, are likely to need amplification for their antenna. However, amplification can actually interfere with picking up nearby signals and result in fewer channels. If you aren’t sure whether you need an amplified antenna, we recommend buying a non-amplified antenna first as amplifiers are also sold separately.
4. What is directionality?
Directional antennas need to be pointed toward the broadcast tower in order to receive signals. Multidirectional (or omnidirectional) antennas do not.
5. Will the antenna match my decor?
Most contemporary antennas look quite different from the rabbit ears of yore. They are often a flat, paper-thin panel that either sits next to the TV or mounts near it on the wall or in a window. Most come with a different color on either side (typically black and white) to better blend in with wall color and some are paintable.
6. What else should I know before buying?
Finding the right antenna can be hit and miss, so before you purchase, check the seller’s return policy in case you need to take it back.
How We Reviewed
In order to determine the best indoor TV antenna, we judged each product based on the following criteria:
- Cord (length, detachability)
- Design & Mounting
Top Best Indoor TV Antennas
Before we get to the top ten list, we want to point out that there are dual-purpose TV antennas that can be used either indoors or outdoors. In the interest of keeping our list at a manageable ten, as well as to avoid confusion, we eliminated indoor/outdoor antennas from our list and focused on those that are only to be used indoors.
In some cases, there may be a related model of antenna that did not earn a spot on our list, either because it was similar to another model that is included on the list or because it didn’t meet our indoor-only criterion.
If you decide to purchase one of these antennas, most of them are available for purchase direct from the manufacturer’s website in addition to the retailers listed below.
- best performance among flat tv antennas in the 35 mile category [note: certain variables...
- grips to walls and windows providing the easiest installation of any indoor antenna....
- multi-directional element and double-sided black or white design: no aiming necessary
Key Features: It has a ring-shaped design, with adhesive tabs included, and a detachable 12-foot cord.
The unique design becomes a conversation piece, lets in more light when mounted in a window, and doesn’t obstruct the view. It has the longest warranty of any antenna we reviewed.
However, it’s on the pricier side of the cost spectrum for an unamplified antenna.
- Unique design
- Lets in more light when mounted in a window
- It has the longest warranty in the list
- It’s on the pricier side of the cost spectrum for an unamplified antenna.
Biling TV Antenna
Key Features: This super-thin and lightweight TV antenna is perfect for hiding behind your TV or positioning flat on a table, where it’s out of sight. The best feature of this device is that it offers high-quality digital and HD programs for you and your family.
You’ll love that there are minimal complications when you install this product. Simply place it on a window or near a wall for crystal-clear images. Connect the cable to the TV and the other to this unit. Select ‘channel search’, and this TV antenna will begin to scan and source for new channels in your area.
Compared to other TV antennas on the market right now, this particular product offers a range up to 130 miles and allows you to enjoy a multitude of shows all in 720p, 1080i or 1080p. It’ll also detect the most transparent TV channel in your area and reduce signal attenuation to prevent any disturbances.
- Offers a 90-130 mile radius for the best quality channels
- The signal amplifier transmits a HD signal
- Easy and quick to set up
- The 130-mile radius doesn’t apply to all locations
Honorable Mention: Ultra-thin design to keep your home tidy and organized.
- Watch free HDTV for life. World's first recycled TV antenna made using recycled materials...
- UHF/Hi-VHF multi-directional elements are reversible and designed to blend with your home...
- The included 10 ft. detachable coaxial cable, hooks & loop tabs and push pins allows for...
Key Features: The ReLeaf is a flat antenna based off the previous Leaf released by the same company but designed and constructed specifically to be eco-friendly.
The ReLeaf is constructed entirely of recycled materials. The plastic components (including cables) are made from recycled cable boxes and the antenna portion is made from recycled post-consumer cardboard. Instructions are printed on the inside of the box to save paper. It doesn’t come with any adhesive; instead, it has pin holes to allow it to be pinned to a wall.
- Constructed entirely of recycled materials.
- Instructions are printed on the inside of the box to save paper.
- Not that easy to install
UFO 360° TV Antenna
Honorable Mention: The Mohu Leaf was the inspiration for the ReLeaf but is too similar to warrant a separate entry.
- THE #1 COST-EFFECTIVE HDTV ANTENNA : Eliminate expensive cable and satellite services for...
- Say goodbye to endless adjustment : achieve signal complete coverage. No need to adjust...
- Delivers the correct range for YOU : ANTOP exclusive technology- SMARTPASS amplifier...
Key Features: Unlike some of the other products on this list, you can use Antop’s TV antenna for indoor and outdoor use. When searching for a short-long range, this device doesn’t have any hesitations or issues about navigating through the available channels. There’s no need to make manual adjustments on the antenna to find the best coverage and options for you.
The best feature of this TV antenna is that it creates a barrier against network and signal interference. This means it can block out 4G and 4G wireless signals to ensure you receive a clear and reliable picture. As a result, you won’t experience any noise limitations that negatively impact your viewing experience.
- Powerful and durable enough to operate indoors and outdoors
- Can block out any network interferences that impact the signal
- Quick and easy to set up
- Expensive if you’ll only use this indoors
Mohu Curve Amplified
Key Features: This is a free-standing amplified antenna with a range of 50 miles.
Its unique curved design blends in with decor and adds an artistic touch. It cannot be mounted to a wall and is relatively expensive.
- Unique curved design
- Blends in with decor
- Adds an artistic touch
- It cannot be mounted to a wall
- Relatively expensive
Key Features: It has a range of 50 miles, and the amplifier toggles on and off with a switch.
It is easy to place with a thin and lightweight design. Setup is plug and play. The cord is not detachable, meaning it cannot be swapped out if it isn’t long enough. However, at 20 feet, it is one of the longest cords on this list and this shouldn’t be an issue.
- It is easy to place
- Thin and lightweight design
- Setup is plug and play
- Cord is not detachable, meaning it cannot be swapped out if it isn’t long enough.
Mohu Leaf Metro
Key Features: Designed for small, urban apartments, the Leaf Metro has a shorter range but also takes up less room in a compact living space.
It boasts approximately half the surface area of most antennas, meaning it won’t block the light or obscure the view from a small window. It has a narrow range of 25 miles and is not intended for rural or suburban dwellers.
- Approximately half the surface area of most antennas
- Won’t block the light or obscure the view from a small window
- Has a narrow range of 25 miles
- Not intended for rural or suburban dwellers
TERK MTVGLS Indoor Plate Antenna
Key Features: This is a powerful amplified antenna with more heft than most of the other antennas
Its amplification makes it one of the most powerful antennas on this list, with a range of 65 miles. It can lay flat or stand up with the aid of the included stand, or it can be mounted on a wall. While flat like most of the other antennas on this list, it is considerably thicker at 1.2 inches and is therefore likely to be more conspicuous when mounted to the wall. It’s also the most expensive antenna on this list.
- One of the most powerful antennas on this list
- With a range of 65 miles
- It can lay flat or stand up with the aid of the included stand
- Can be mounted on a wall
- Thicker at 1.2 inches
- More conspicuous when mounted to the wall
- It’s also the most expensive antenna on this list.
Channel Master Flatenna
Key Features: Like the Mohu Leaf Metro, this antenna is geared toward city dwellers but presents a less discreet profile.
At least one reviewer found it to pull in more channels than more expensive competitors. Cord is non-detachable and rather short at only 6 feet.
- Very reasonable
- Pull in more channels than more expensive competitors.
- Cord is non-detachable
- 6 feet
Winegard FlatWave FL-5000
Key Features: This antenna comes with two 3M adhesive strips for mounting purposes, a 15-foot cord, a 30-mile range, and is reversible with white and black sides.
The design is thin, and the different-colored sides are intended to blend in with your decor regardless of your wall color. It does not come with an amplifier.
- Thin design
- Different-colored sides are intended to blend
- It does not come with an amplifier.
|Design & Mounting:||Flat, reversible, paintable, pinholes for ease of hanging|
|Design & Mounting:||Durable and weather-resistant, sleek, UV protection|
|Design & Mounting:||Freestanding antenna with unique curved design|
|Design & Mounting:||Slim design; only comes in white|
|Design & Mounting:||Smallest antenna design for cozy living spaces; two colors, reversible, paintable|
|Design & Mounting:||About 1 feet square, 1-inch thick, comes with stand to lay flat or stand up on table, can also be mounted to wall|
|Design & Mounting:||Paper thin, dual colors, adhesive strips included|
Best Indoor TV Antenna Verdict
If you need an amplified antenna, we feel that the AmazonBasics UltraThin offers everything you need at an unbeatable price, unless you need a longer range than 50 miles, in which case the TERK MTVGLS is probably your best bet.
For unamplified antennas, it is hard to choose between the ClearStream Eclipse and the Mohu ReLeaf. We are impressed by the lengths that Mohu went to in order to create an environmentally friendly product made from post-consumer waste; therefore, ultimately we would give the edge to the ReLeaf.
Last update on 2021-03-08 at 15:07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API