If you're looking to pick out the best antenna, there can be an overwhelming amount of choices to pick through. Indoor. Outdoor. HD. 4K. (Thoes last two things were a trick. Whether a box talks about a 4K or HD antenna doesn't matter, by the way. An antenna is an antenna.)
What you want is the best antenna. But even then, what you really need to be focused on is getting the best antenna for your situation. Outside and up high is better. But it might be that the best antenna for you is going to be an indoor antenna.
The good news is that all of those options means you're probably covered for every situation.
Having the best antenna is just half the battle, though. As important is making sure it's facing the best way for the stations where you live. All that said, let's take a look at some of our favorites in the battle for the best antenna. None breaks the bank, and all should serve you well.
Whether you're looking for a large range or a cheap price, you could be shuffling through antennas for hours. I'd recommend taking a look at the ClearStream 1MAX outdoor antenna if you're looking for a decent antenna at a good price. Make sure to keep reading for even more information on what makes this the best overall antenna. There are several great antennas to choose from, based on what you need and what you're looking to spend on them.
The best antenna — ClearStream Fusion
I've had this antenna on my house for a couple years now. It's survived the Florida summer sun. It's gone through a minor hurricane and a couple tropical storms. That's not the best idea, by the way — I probably should have taken it down. But the point is that it's served me really well. That has as much to do with the fact that I mounted it on a mast on the side on my house, and it's facing the correct direction for my local broadcast channels. (Which, for me, is west. Your direction may well be different.)
The ClearStream Fusion advertises a 60-mile range. Don't necessarily take that literally, but it should give you an idea of what to expect. It also comes with a 20-inch mast and mounting hardware, and a 20 db amplifier with a 5-foot microUSB cable and adapter. (That part most definitely goes inside.) UHF is rated at 3.7 dBi, and Hi-VHF is rated at 1.9 dBi.
So you'll connect your coax cable to the Fusion, then run it through the amplifier inside your house, and then connect directly to your TV, or to an over-the-air streaming box like HDHomeRun. It just works. And it doesn't look like something that's meant to pick up alien traffic, which is nice.
For more, see our full ClearStream Fusion antenna review.
If you don't want to go the Amazon route, you may also be able get the Fusion on sale at Antennas Direct.
Best antenna alternative — ClearStream 2V
The ClearStream 2V another excellent alternative. I used its cousin — the ClearStream 2MAX — before switching to the Fusion, and it also performed admirably. (With these things, either they work or they don't, and it worked great.)
It's got a decidedly different profile and works well indoors or out. If you're mounting it on a mast, you won't need to be quite as concerned about wind, since it's not a single large piece and the breeze can easily get through it.
The same rules apply whether you're using it indoors or mounting it outdoors — you'll want to make sure it's facing the correct direction.
You can get the ClearStream 2V from Amazon.
Best antenna for indoors — Mohu Blade
The worst thing about most antennas — even the best antennas — is that they still generally look like antennas and aren't necessarily something you want laying out for everyone to see.
The Mohu Blade is the exception to that rule. This is the sort of antenna you won't have to have poking out from the back of your entertainment center, or alongside it on a bookshelf. (Which is exactly where I had it for my Mohu Blade review.)
The Blade is rated for 40 miles and as far as antennas go, it's designed more like a piece of art than a cheap way to watch TV. The antenna itself is flat and thin, with a small ring on the back that houses the other electronics. It looks surprisingly nice, and it also will fit neatly in a window sill, if that's the best way to go about things.
The best antenna for windows
Another popular strategy for indoor antennas is to use one that mounts on a window. That does a couple things. First, it allows you to tuck it out of the way (provided that it's a window that you're not actually, ya know, trying to see out of.) Second is that aside from the glass, it eliminates most other interior structures that could interfere with the signal.
And because most homes have windows on all sides of the house, you've got a better chance at facing one of these in the direction that's best for where you live. (Notice how we keep pointing out how important that is?)
There's a lot of surface area on this flat, 50-mile antenna, which is good for reception as well as actually sticking to the window. It comes with a 15db inline amplifier and is rated 3.6 dBi for UHF, and 2.0 dBi for Hi-VHF.
You can snag a ClearStream Flex from Amazon.
The best antenna bottom line
There are tons of antennas to choose from to fill any needs you may have for your TV experience. As for which is the best antenna? It really has more to do with your individual setup. If you're able to mount an antenna outside and on the roofline (or chimney) or higher, that's best. And if you're not able to do that, then you'll need to need to grab the best antenna for indoor use that you can.
There are a lot of antenna options out there. So many that you almost can't go wrong — so long as you heed our other advice and get it as high as you can, and as close to to the outdoors as you can.
And after that? It makes finding the best antenna so much easier.
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