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Article updated on Jan 30, 2024

Best TV Antenna for 2024

Get free TV and save money by installing an over-the-air antenna. Here are our top recommendations for the best indoor TV antennas.

Our Experts

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Written by 
Ty Pendlebury
Joshua Goldman
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
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Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
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Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
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What to consider

Coverage

In some areas, the TV signal may be nonexistent, but it doesn’t cost much to find out if an indoor antennas is for you.

Cost

The sweet spot for an indoor antenna is between $20 and $40.

Form factor

Most modern antennas are flat and window-mounted, and while you can opt for a large desktop model, the reception won’t be as good.

Cable

Look for a model which allows a detachable cable for added flexibility.

Our Picks

$60 at Best Buy
2023-antennas-4
Best antenna overall
Mohu Leaf
View details
View details
$35 at Mohu
7dm29943
Best tabletop antenna
Mohu Gateway
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View details
$30 at Amazon
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Best antenna with amplifier
Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna
View details
View details
$20 at Channel Master
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Best budget TV antenna
Channel Master Flatenna 35/Duo
View details

There has never been a better time to cut the cord and replace it with free TV. All you need to do before buying an affordable TV antenna is make sure that you're living in an area with a good signal. You don't even need to climb on your roof, as the best indoor antennas can be hung in a window.

An over-the-air, or OTA, antenna is great for live events such as sports and the evening news, plus the next evolution of OTA called NextGen TV, You can receive oodles of free content for as little as $20 shipped. Here's the best indoor antennas we've tested.

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Detachable or captive cables. You choose!

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

What's the best overall TV antenna?

The best indoor antenna, based on dozens of CNET's tests, is the Mohu Leaf. It gathered the most stations in two different locations, and it can be yours for $35. Its sibling the Mohu Gateway was also a strong performer, and it has the advantage of tabletop use. However, if you're curious about the other options that are out there, or are interested in features such as signal boosters or detachable cables, the following are the best indoor OTA antennas right now.

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Watch this: How to Cut the Cord for $10: Installing an Indoor Antenna

The best TV antennas we tested

$60 at Best Buy

Best antenna overall

Mohu Leaf

The Mohu Leaf has undergone a recent upgrade -- a new look and some under-the-hood improvements -- and the results speak for themselves. The Leaf was the best antenna of our current crop -- beating out several more expensive models. It worked well in both of the testing environments and was able to receive the most channels. While the Channel Master Flatenna is almost half the price, the Mohu Leaf is undoubtedly worth the $15 upgrade.

My only quibble with the new Leaf is that it has lost the detachable coaxial cable in the process, and this means you'll need another cable and a male-to-male adaptor if you want a longer run to your TV.

$35 at Mohu

Best tabletop antenna

Mohu Gateway

Maybe you don't have a window or an out-of-the-way wall you can stick an antenna on, and if so the Mohu Gateway can help. This tabletop antenna was neck and neck with its Leaf stablemate on both reception quality and price. But what clinched it for us was that the Leaf was better suited for window placement, and with its integrated stand the Gateway was understandably too awkward to be attached to a window. The reception on the Gateway was also worse when sitting on an AV unit instead of in a window, but if you have nowhere else to put an antenna than on a stand the Gateway is the best choice.

$30 at Amazon

Best antenna with amplifier

Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna

In my years of testing antennas, the Gesobyte is still one of the only amplified models which has an attenuator switch. This feature allows a flexibility which none of the other models have. Live close to a broadcast tower? Turn the switch to Low. Or, if you live further away, switch it to High for an added signal boost. 

Editors' choice
$20 at Channel Master

Best budget TV antenna

Channel Master Flatenna 35/Duo

The Flatenna 35 has been upgraded with a removable cable since our original test. This antenna is great for people who simply want to test the waters, and while it wasn't the best performer, it's good for the money. If you want to find out if an indoor antenna is right for you, this is a great option.

Factors to consider when choosing a TV antenna

Several different black and white flat TV antennas laid out against a red background.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Coverage: In some places, the TV signal of some channels can be spotty or nonexistent due to faraway broadcast towers or obstructions that break up the signal. Also, unlike a live TV streaming service, OTA TV is usually restricted to a single television, and the broadcast signal from an OTA TV antenna won't work on phones or other devices. Unless, that is, you kick it up a notch with an OTA DVR that has networking capabilities. Thankfully, indoor antennas are affordable enough that you can find out for yourself how strong your signal is without a big outlay.

Cost: The sweet spot for an indoor antenna is between $20 and $40, and if you’re paying any more than this, it’s likely for features you probably don’t need. If that's you, then maybe you should consider installing an external antenna instead.

Form factor: Forget the old rabbit ears of days gone past, most modern antennas are flat and optimized to receive transmissions in a single plane. Almost every indoor antenna available is designed to be stuck to a surface like a wall or a window, and there’s even clear models if you’re concerned about the antenna blocking your view. If you don’t want a long cable messing with your living space you can opt for a desktop standing model, but the tradeoff is that the reception won’t be as good.

Cable length: If your TV is close to the outer walls of your home then you won’t need a long run, but be aware that some of these models have short, attached cables and you may require more length. Look for a model which allows a detachable cable for added flexibility.

Amplifier: Nine times out of 10, a gain amplifier doesn’t offer any benefits and instead tends to muddy the reception waters -- and add extra expense. It can be good to boost the signal of some stations, but it can also overload ones which you already receive well. The net result is less channels overall. If you do opt for an amp try it with and without it connected to see what you like best. The best advice we can give is to buy the cheapest nonamplified model you can and try it out. If you get too few or no channels, then not even an amplified indoor antenna will change that. If that's the case, then an external antenna is the next best option.

Top antennas compared

PriceNo. of channels (NYC)No. of channels (LA)No. watchable test channels (out of 14)
Antennas Direct Clearstream Eclipse 401047011
Btfdreem Smart TV Antenna -- Amplified 298110411
Channel Master Flatenna 20988611
Gesobyte Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna -- Low 309211613
Mohu Gateway 3510412811
Mohu Leaf 3510213112
Ultra Vizion HD Digital TV Antenna 441046910
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Other TV antennas we tested

  • Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse: With its ankh-shaped and multidirectional reversible compact design, the ClearStream antenna is definitely unique. This multi-directional antenna comes with sticky tabs for attaching it to your window, which is handy. And if you need more signal oomph, there's a $20 antenna amplifier available as well. A previous winner in this category, the Eclipse didn't perform as well as the Mohu units -- especially in our LA location.
  • Ultra Vizion HD Digital TV Antenna: The Ultra Vizion is one of the most striking antennas we've seen thanks to its Perspex construction. It's large, and while it performed well when presented with line of sight to a broadcast antenna it came last when tested in suburban LA. 
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The Btfdreem is a desktop antenna. Move along, please.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET
  • Btfdreem Smart TV Antenna: Have you ever bought a product off Amazon which has a good rating, but you can't work out why? The Btfdreem is one of those. Sure it looks like a rocket ship, but that's all it has going for it. While it did OK in LA, it was one of the worst performers overall in this test. 
  • 1byOne Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna: Last reviewed in 2021, the 1byOne includes a nonremovable coax cable, and at only 10 feet long, it may not work in some rooms where it cannot pick up a very weak signal. It was toward the bottom of the previous pack in terms of signal performance, but this indoor HDTV antenna was the only television antenna to pick up CBS from a TV tower at our Manhattan location. 
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The U Must Have Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna.

Sarah Tew/CNET
  • U Must Have Amplified HD Digital TV Antenna: The U Must Have amplified antenna comes with a sticky pad on the back and a relatively long, though non-removable, lead at 18 feet. The included amplifier gives the antenna some flexibility and the product feels more solidly made overall than the 1byOne, though they performed similarly. Last reviewed in 2021.
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How we test TV antennas

We tested seven different indoor antennas with prices ranging from $20 to $50 (all much less than the most basic cable TV service). The best TV antennas were able to pull in more channels than the others and delivered stronger, clearer TV signals, even on "problem" channels. Here are the seven TV antennas we looked at:

While most of the antennas were made by "name" manufacturers, the Gesobyte and the Btfdreem were chosen specifically because they were two of the highest-selling antennas on Amazon.

Much like real estate, how well a TV antenna works is based on location, location and location. We tested the antennas in two main places: in uptown Manhattan, New York with a line of sight to a broadcast tower six miles away, and in Reseda California, at least 10 miles from the closest tower. Depending on your own location, you might receive broadcasts from multiple antennas. Hills or large buildings in the way will have an effect on frequency range and reception of TV channels.

We situated each antenna in the same spot each time and connected it to the TiVo Edge, which gives signal strength data as well as a total channel count. We used two different metrics to determine which TV antenna performed best. The first was a raw measure of the number of channels it could detect, while the second involved a number of predetermined "problem channels." For these, we consulted a list of channels culled from various forums, for both testing areas, and gauged how well the antennas pulled in each channel.

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The TiVo Edge is an OTA recorder for cord-cutters.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Our list of "problem" channels in Manhattan was WABC 7.1 (ABC), WNET 13.1 (PBS), WPIX 11.1 (CW -- Manhattan only) and WNJB 58.1 (PBS -- New Jersey only). In addition we added popular channels CBS 2.1, WNBC 4 (NBC), and WNYW 5 (Fox). Meanwhile, we compiled a list of channels in LA including KCBS 2.1 (CBS), KNBC 4.1 (NBC), KTLA 5.1 (CW), KABC 7.1 (ABC), KTTV 11.1 (FOX), KCOP 13.1 (MyNetwork) and KCET 28.1 (PBS).

While the outcome will vary depending on where you live and how far you are from TV towers, in our tests the best-performing models received the greatest number of popular channels as well as local channels, radio broadcasts and Spanish-language stations.

Most of the TV antennas were based on the same rectangular design, but there was one important consideration: the cable. Did the antenna have a long, high-performance coaxial cable or, even better, a detachable one? You'll be sticking one of these in your window, which could be a long way from your TV, so longer is better.

It's worth noting that some of these antennas -- the Btfdreem, Gesobyte and the Ultra Vizion Plus -- included gain-boosting amplifiers. Based on our experiences in a number of locations over the years, amplifiers can affect signal strength in wildly unpredictable ways. The Ultra Vizion wouldn't work at all with the amp attached, while the others did. The numbers printed above are the best results with or without amplification. If you can't get TV reception with an indoor antenna, a gain amp may not actually help you, and in other cases, it could make your reception worse by overloading channels that already have a strong signal.

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Several antennas in our list include a powered amplifier, but use thoughtfully, as these may actually make a strong signal worse.

Sarah Tew/CNET
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TV antenna FAQs

Do I need an antenna for a smart TV?

Every television on the market has an OTA tuner onboard, even if most people never use it. If it doesn't have one then it's a monitor -- the tuner is the essential difference. The advent of smart TV means that cord-cutters can now connect directly to the internet and get on-demand streaming, as well as live TV. Streaming usually costs a subscription fee, while an antenna can receive free signals and without an internet connection. You don't need an antenna to use smart TV, but the two do complement each other very well.

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Do indoor antennas really work?

Depending on where you live, an indoor antenna can work really well, or not at all. If you live in the middle of a city, it's likely you're very close to a broadcast antenna. However, if you live a little further out then you may not be receiving the strongest signals and checking digital TV coverage maps first may help you somewhat.

Correspondingly, if you do live in a poor coverage area, with weak signals, an indoor antenna may not be for you. In addition to LA and NYC, we tried using the antennas at a semi-urban location in New York State's Hudson Valley and found none of the antennas worked at all -- even with the signal-boosting Channel Master Smartenna. That's why it's best to test the signal strength waters with a cheap antenna first, instead of spending a hundred bucks on something that might not work in your location.

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Will my antenna work with ATSC 3.0 or NextGen TV?

ATSC 3.0, also known as NextGen TV, is the next evolution of OTA broadcasts, and it promises higher resolutions, enhanced audio and interactivity. While these NextGen TV features are still a ways off -- the service is still in the process of rolling out -- the good news is that it's designed to be backwards compatible with the existing ATSC. So yes, your existing antenna will still work, though you will need an ATSC 3.0 compatible tuner or TV, and an active internet connection for any interactive or on-demand features.

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How do you install an indoor antenna?

Most contemporary antennas include some form of adhesive to attach them to your wall or window. If for some reason they lack this option you could try packing tape or poster putty instead.

When you install it, you will definitely need to experiment with the placement. A wall may actually be better than a window, depending on the orientation of your living area. Also, if possible, keep the antenna away from magnetic metals such as security bars or the like since they can interfere with your signal strength.

If you buy a model with a short, captive lead be aware that you may need to buy a male-female extension lead, and more coaxial cable, to get it to reach your equipment. For more on installing an antenna check out our complete guide and video.

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