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STEM kits that don’t look like STEM kits

LittleBits Base Inventor Kit (8+)



This might be one of the best introductions to electronics for budding inventors, with plenty of options to “think outside the box” — though the “box” itself is pretty cool too. Kids can build and customize a voice-activated robotic arm and innovate from there or just invent whatever they’d like. In addition to the robotic arm, the kit comes with a power supply, slide dimmer, sound trigger, proximity sensor, LED, buzzer and other goodies for hours of play and learning. The littleBits app has some good ideas, too, if your kids need some suggestions.

Don’t let the recommended age of 8+ limit you: You can guide much younger kids with this one. I play with my five-year-old, and older kids get just as much joy out of it as their younger counterparts.

Kiwi Crate (All ages)

Kiwi Co.


Every month, my kids leap for joy when they see that the green box has arrived. Kiwi Crate excites them — they can’t wait to bust it open and get to work.

There are a bevy of STEM subscription-box options out there. Here’s what’s great about Kiwi Crate: It offers a line of accessible and exciting STEM and STEAM (that’s STEM with “a” for “art”) projects for infants through high school students. It’s won a bunch of awards too.

My kids currently share the Kiwi Crate, designed for ages five through eight, and they work on it together without my help. Every month, they receive a themed box of three STEM activities that require them to follow directions, build a project and use it. Kiwi Crates also come with a supplementary magazine, which they enjoy. Their favorite so far? Kiwi Crate’s rocket launcher. They’ve already worked out the perfect launch angle best suited to hitting me with projectiles while I make dinner.

If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription service, you can test out its products by buying one kit at a time too. It also offers chemistry sets, electronics projects and other options for onetime purchase.

Wonder Dash and Wonder Dot (6+)

Amazon (Dot Creativity)


Amazon (Dash Workshop)


Both of these coding robots from Wonder Workshop deserve a place on this list, despite the fact that they’re screen dependent. They’re that awesome.

My seven-year-old son came home from school the other day and said, “I can’t wait to write a story about Dash and Dot. I want to make them sing!”

“Who are Dash and Dot?” I asked.

“Robots!” he shouted. “I play with robots at school!”

“Awesome,” I said and immediately emailed the tech coordinator, who confirmed that yes, indeed, Dash and Dot are making a splash across the K-8 spectrum.

In addition to being a playful introduction to coding and robotics, Wonder Workshop’s two robots offer myriad possibilities for storytelling and creative play. While they require tablets, mobile devices or laptops for coding, the opportunities for collaboration outweigh their reliance on screens. My son loves making Dot and Dash carry objects, draw and even play the xylophone! They’re also Lego compatible, which makes them even more spectacular.

Lego Education WeDo 2.0 Core (6+)



Speaking of Lego, its WeDo 2.0 Core kit takes a discovery-based approach to design, building and coding, and it’s perfect for little kids through the end of middle school. While older kids may prefer something from Lego’s Mindstorms line, the WeDo 2.0’s ample possibilities for building outside “the box” make it a good investment for all ages. The set comes with 280 building elements including a SmartHub and motor. As Lego does brilliantly, there are opportunities both to re-create pre-made projects using its app and to free build, which I heartily encourage. Whatever kids build, there’s always the chance to code some part of the project using an app similar to ScratchJr, MIT’s lauded coding program for kids ages five through eight.

Lego Education’s lesson-plan page is super helpful for parents, too, as you can filter ideas by kit and approximate age and grade.

My kids have enjoyed re-creating some of the 50+ projects that Lego recommends and then tweaking them. I love hearing my favorite kid-scientist question: “What happens if I do this?”

Makedo Toolkit (6+)



There’s just something about a cardboard box.

The most innovative of this lineup, the Makedo toolkit is also the lowest tech and least expensive. It allows kids to amp up their cardboard-box play by designing, creating and building worlds from the recycling pile.
Its starter kit includes one “scru-driver,” 28 “scrus” in two sizes and a safe-saw. Makedo offers some project suggestions and an iPad app, but you don’t need any of it. All you need is a splash of imagination and a kid with the desire to transform cardboard into a space pod or an ice cream truck or a playground or a windball or a…

Tech Will Save Us Synth Kit (12+)



Have a kid into music, electronics and building? Check out one of the coolest electronics kits ever: the Tech Will Save Us Synth Kit! Tech Will Save Us offers great STEM kits for kids ages four and up. Its goal? To “empower kids through open-ended play.” I’m all about it. I love its kits, and its age ranges are spot on.
With a focus on coding and electronics, Tech Will Save Us’ Synth Kit, designed for kids ages 12 and older, offers middle schoolers the chance to build a synth that actually works. While kids can use a tablet to follow the directions, they don’t need to interact with screens at all. The kit comes with enough pieces to build three synths — a Dub Siren, Stutter and Atari. Three potentiometers control volume, pitch and frequency, and kids can create the most wonderful of noises… I mean music. Rock on.

Elenco Snap Circuits Basic Electricity Kit (8+)



This has been a hit in my house since my son got it for his third birthday. My daughter, now five, plays with it regularly by starting with her favorite circuit — the loop — and then tweaking it by messing with lamps and meters.

The kit comes with nine projects, a snap-on base and the opportunity to expand from there. Elenco’s Snap Circuits Basic Electricity Kit is simpler than some of the other kits and toys on this list, but it offers an accessible, easy introduction to the concept of circuits and electricity. Plus there’s plenty of room to grow, no screens required. It’s worth taking a look at its DIY and maker kits and electronic instruments for older kids too!

Thames and Kosmos CHEM C3000 (12+)



This list is incomplete without a good old-fashioned chemistry set, the kind you can use to blow things up in the bathtub. With more than 300 experiments, this fun approach to high school chemistry includes an alcohol burner, multiple test tubes and liquids, and powders of varying colors, textures and viscosity. What’s not to love? Kids get a chance to play with molecules and atoms, the stuff of life. No screens required, although Thames and Kosmos offers apps for its equally impressive robotics kits.

We’re not quite here with this in my house yet, but as it is with most things, I suspect it’s only a matter of time.

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Best Outdoor TV Antenna [2019]

How We Picked

Have you been looking into cord-cutting options recently?

Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Cutting the cord can save you tons of money on your bills (though that much should also be obvious).

Most cord-cutters look into two options:

  1. Video streaming boxes (i.e. Roku)
  2. Outdoor TV Antennas

Today, we’re going to talk about outdoor TV antennas.

An outdoor TV antenna can receive free channels that are broadcasted over the airwaves (OTA). And these aren’t just your local PBS channels. These are your local broadcast stations, news channels, and entertainment channels. While the OTA channels won’t include paid programming and/or pay-per-view, it’s a great way to enjoy your TV without spending a fortune.

Below is a list of our favorite outdoor TV antennas. We’ll explain some of the technical mumbo-jumbo and then we’ll explain why we like them (and why others do and/or don’t).

So, are you ready to see which outdoor antennas made the list?

#1 Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608


  • Range: 120 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF/FM
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

If you want to maximize your chances of picking up ALL the channels available via OTA, then the TNB-WA2608 should be on the top of your list. It has an amazing range, covers a huge frequency spectrum, looks good, and even comes with a few accessories to make life more convenient.

It used to be that you wanted to see Magnavox or RCA when you were looking for an antenna, but those days are gone! Now, there are some “new kids on the block” that are looking to change everything – for the better. While Tree New Bee sounds like a funny name, there’s nothing funny about the TNB-WA2608 – it’s all business.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 installed on roof

First thing’s first, the TNB-WA2608 is built for distance. Under the right circumstances, it can pick up a signal from over 120 miles away. It is amplified to help with any noise in your setup and/or connections.

It is a directional antenna, so it has the common and almost bland look that almost all directional antennas have. Still, it does look pretty cool (the x-crosses give it a nice touch).

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 and accessories

When you buy the TNB-WA2608, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Amplifier
  • Rotor Control Box
  • IR Remote Control
  • Power Supply
  • 40ft of Coaxial Cable

It does not come with any mounting hardware, so you’ll need to purchase a mounting kit separately.

What we like about the TNB-WA2608 is that it’s not a big as some of the other 120-mile outdoor antennas we’ve seen, but it performs as good, if not better. Plus, it comes with a lot of “extras” that make having an outdoor antenna enjoyable. The included rotor control box with remote control makes it easier to adjust the direction of the antenna without having to go outside in bad weather or after it’s dark.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 mounted

When looking through what others think about the TNB-WA2608, the consensus is the same. This is one of the best outdoor antennas you can find that isn’t MASSIVE. In fact, some users have even installed theirs in the attic and it still outperformed others that were installed outside.

One negative that we can vouch for is the remote control and controlling the direction of the antenna. It seems that you can’t choose which direction you want to turn. Instead, the antenna will turn one direction until it hit the 0-degree mark, then it will reverse course until it hits the 0-degree mark again. It seems that Tree New Bee anticipated this because the unit does spin rather quickly.

Overall, if you want a GREAT long-distance antenna with some extra perks included, then the TNB-WA2608 from Tree New Bee should be on the top of your list (and your home).

#2 Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805


  • Range: 150 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF/FM
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Almost everyone knows what it’s like to have a BIGGER brother who just seems to be stronger, faster, better looking, etc. Well our first pick- the TNB-WA2608- has a bigger brother who seems to always show and he’s stronger, better looking, and has even more range.

As you can see, Tree New Bee isn’t playing when it comes to their outdoor antenna lineup. And for the money, there isn’t much left to talk about – but we will.

The TNB-WA2805 adds to what it’s little brother could do by another 30 miles, bumping total distance to a WHOPPING 150 miles in the right conditions. As with the TNB-WA2608, it is amplified to help reduce noise and signal degradation. But, the TNB-WA2805 also adds in a filtering technology called Pure Vertex Technology that helps to reduce signal interference from cell phones, microwaves, other electronic devices, and even AM/FM transmissions.

In the styling department, the bigger brother looks more refined with fewer extras like the x-cross bracing of the TNB-WA2608. But, it still looks pretty gnarly nonetheless. If we were picking based on looks, the little brother would win.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805 and accessories

When you buy the TNB-WA2805, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Amplifier
  • Rotor Control Box
  • IR Remote Control
  • Power Supply
  • 40ft of Coaxial Cable

Again, there isn’t any mounting hardware included so you’ll need to buy that separately.

The TNB-WA6805 is a little bit bigger than the TNB-WA6208, but not by much (a few inches maybe). Installed outside, with a clear line of sight, it can reach up to 150 miles away. When compared to other larger, directional antennas – well, there’s no comparison. We love the fact that Tree New Bee throws in so many extras such as the remote-controlled rotor box, amplifier, and coaxial cable.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805 outdoor

What we don’t like is the fact that no mounting hardware was included. This was the same problem that the TNB-WA2608 had as well. Hopefully, they’ll fix this at some point in the future. The only other negative we had was the fact the remote still only turns the rotor until it hits the 0-degree mark. Surely this could be fixed for a few more dollars …

Even so, the TNB-WA2805 proves that the BIG brother is always better! If you live in a REMOTE place where life doesn’t exist, this is the antenna you’ll need.

#3 1ByOne High Performance

1ByOne High Performance


  • Range: 85 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K, 3D

1ByOne is fairly new, but obviously they knew something that we didn’t. Their high-performance outdoor antenna is pretty strong! Plus it’s ready for some super-high resolutions with support for 4K and 3D signals. It’s got a small footprint and it’s not very obtrusive, which is just a few of the reasons why it’s on our list.

1ByOne High Performance mounted outdoors

The 1ByOne High Performance antenna is strong. While it doesn’t break the 100-mile range, it does comfortably stay in the 85-mile range which is great considering its size. It is amplified to help with signal quality and noise reduction (up to 23db on VHF and up to 28db on UHF).

Stylewise, the antenna is pretty muted. It’s another directional antenna so it still looks like a toy from Star Wars, but it’s not nearly as gnarly as the ones from Tree New Bee. For the most part, it is black with just a little bit of chrome and/or gray coloring on the ribs and fins.

When you buy the 1ByOne High Performance Antenna, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Supply
  • 1.5m Coaxial Cable
  • Mounting Kit
  • 21-Inch J-Shaped Pole
  • Mounting Base
  • Mounting Hardware
  • User Manual

While this antenna does come with mounting hardware, it does not appear to come with a rotor box to help turn the antenna. If you can’t get all the channels you want, you may need to purchase an additional rotor box that can be controlled via remote to access all the available OTA channels around you.

1ByOne High Performance mounted on wall

What we like about the antenna is the fact that it is not very big at all. It is a good bit smaller than the Tree New Bee antennas, but it still performs well. We also like the fact that mounting hardware is included with the antenna so you don’t have to buy other equipment just to get it “up and running”.

1ByOne High Performance mounted indoors

What we didn’t like about the antenna was the fact that it did not come with a rotor to help turn the antenna. Since this is a directional antenna, it will pick up channels it is facing better than the ones it’s not facing. Therefore, you may have to turn your antenna from time to time. An option to add a rotor would have been nice. Also, you aren’t going to enjoy this much if you try to hide it in your attic. While it will still work, the number of available channels will drop.

If you are looking for a good, reliable outdoor antenna that blends in with its surrounding, then the 1ByOne High Performance antenna is a great option. It’s a very cost effective antenna that comes with a few features such as 3D and 4K support.

#4 1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept


  • Range: 80 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

And here’s another outdoor antenna from 1ByOne, but this one is a little different. If you’ve got drinking buddies, you may want to keep them away from this at night (don’t say we didn’t warn you). This omnidirectional antenna has some serious range for such a small antenna and it looks great. All that could make it better would be a great price – oh wait!

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept packaging

Omnidirectional antennas are good, but their range generally suffers. However, the new omnidirectional antenna from 1ByOne is trying to prove all the “haters” wrong with their New Concept antenna.

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept mounted

The 1ByOne New Concept antenna can reach out a staggering 80 miles, which is only 5 miles less than the previous directional antenna we just talked about from them. It does get a little help from a stronger amplifier (32db vs 28db).

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept mounted

Stylewise, it looks like a UFO floating next to your house. Earlier we alluded to keeping your drinking buddies away, this is why. While it probably won’t be mistaken for a UFO, it’s ready to reach out and touch someone – in this case, OTA channels. It’s white, with a rubberized anti-UV covering to protect it from the elements and should look great for years to come.

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept accessories

When you buy the 1ByOne New Concept antenna, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Supply
  • USB Power Cable
  • Optional Power Adapter
  • Mounting Kit
  • 20ft of Coaxial Cable
  • Instruction Manual

This comes with everything you need to get up and running. You won’t need a rotor because this has a 360-degree sight radius.

What we like about the 1ByOne New Concept antenna is the fact that it comes pre-assembled, minus the hardware. It’s literally just a matter of minutes from opening your package to be connected and ready to go. Something else we really like about the antenna is that you can install it in the attic and you only lose about 25% efficiency (performance drops down to around 60 miles).

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept setup

Some users reported that the antenna mounting kit is not built for high winds as it flexes some. If this is an issue where you are, you might want to invest in some longer bolts and install it directly to a mounting stud.

For someone looking to get away from the raygun-styled antennas, this is a great option. For an omnidirectional antenna, the range is phenomenal. Not to mention, you can tuck it away in the attic and still do pretty good for signal reception.

#5 Channel Master CM-4228HD

Channel Master CM-4228HD


  • Range: 80 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Well, with a name like Channel Master, you’d expect them to pick up some channels, right? And with a name like EXTREMEtenna 80, you’d expect it to be extreme, right? Well, it can pick up channels and it’s EXTREME, extremely big. But it’s another outdoor antenna that will work great for you.

So, we’ve finally got to one of the BIG boys! The EXTREMEtenna 80 is big, but it works amazing. While the manufacturer only claims a range of 80 miles, we believe they are being “humble” (so rare these days). What they meant to say was 80 miles of range with flawless reception. It does get a little help, with just 12db of amplification. Unfortunately, it’s still a directional antenna with 180-degrees of signal reception so you may need to use a rotor (we hope not) to turn this beast.

Channel Master CM-4228HD front

Stylewise, this looks like a giant bug zapper on steroids! But, it definitely looks like an antenna and that’s the point. Since it’s BIG, it does attract attention. How big … it’s almost four feet tall and three feet wide.

Channel Master CM-4228HD mounting

When you buy the EXTREMEtenna 80, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Hardware Kit
  • Instruction Manual

This will not come with a mount … and you’re going to need a mount, a STRONG mount at this weight; a whopping 10lbs!

What we like about the EXTREMEtenna 80 is the ability to pick up flawless signals from the longest of distances. Like we said, we think they underreported their maximum distance to be “safe”. The image quality is amazing and if it sees a signal, it picks it up clean (HD-clean).

Channel Master CM-4228HD mounted

What we don’t like, and what other users reported too, is that the EXTREMEtenna 80 is heavy – it weighs 10 pounds! You will need a strong mount, on a strong support wall or pole. With this much weight, enough wind can create some problems. The other issue we wanted to address is that it does not come with mounting hardware or a rotor. While it does have a 180-degree signal radius, you may still have to turn this and without a rotor, that’s going to be hard.

But, the EXTREMEtenna 80 by Channel Master is very reminiscent of the old antennas that worked for years. If you believe that bigger is better, this is the perfect antenna for you.

#6 Antennas Direct DB8e

Antennas Direct DB8e


  • Range: 70 Miles
  • Type: MultiDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K

So, you thought we couldn’t find a bigger antenna? Well, you thought wrong … The DB8e is big, equipped with multi-point axis rotation so you can adjust your antennas for better signal pickup. And it doesn’t look like a giant bug zapper, but you will look like you’re trying to establish contact with another planet.

Antennas Direct DB8e rotated

So, let’s be direct … the DB8e from Antennas Direct is what the “old guys” would have foamed at the mouth from. It’s big, it’s got a lot of metal, it has a lot of reception elements, and it has that space-age look that reminds us of the ‘80s and ‘90s. But it has some new equipment that they never would have had, so it’s a big deal.

The DB8e claims a paltry distance of 70 miles of crystal-clear reception, which is hard to believe based on what we’ve seen. This is another one of those cases where they underclaim in order to overdeliver. And the DB8e overdelivers! It does have a 17.4db amplifier to help clean up some of the weaker signals and reduce overall noise. And while it’s multi-directional, it’s still directional which means you’ll need a rotor to help point it if you can’t capture the signal in the direction your facing.

Antennas Direct DB8e mounted outdoors

Stylewise, this is another form of the bug zapper mentioned above. But it’s not identical. Instead, this one looks more like the antennas you see on the naval ships in the Gulf of Mexico. It has four separate antenna boards, attached to a pivoting axis to give you a wider reception spread. It is mostly gray, with highlights of black and red. And it’s absolutely massive – it’s 4ft wide by 3ft tall!

When you buy the DB8e, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • 2 28-Inch Coaxial Cables

And that’s it! You will need mounting hardware and/or a rotor to help turn this beast. And the mounting hardware better be strong as this weighs over 12 pounds.

Antennas Direct DB8e mounted indoors

What we like about the DB8e is the picture is absolutely crystal-clear. Just like the EXTREMEtenna 80 above, it doesn’t seem to have a distance issue. It also reminds us of the old-school styled antennas that we have learned to love.

What we didn’t like about the DB8e is that it’s HEAVY. At 12+ pounds, mounting it can be difficult (you’ll need a buddy to help). Plus, it has a lot of surface area for the winds and other factors (i.e. birds) to affect its positioning. If you do need to turn it, you’re going to want a rotor to help as it’s very heavy.

Again, if you want a BIG antenna that will do the job well, this is an antenna you should buy. Antennas Direct has built a quality antenna that gets to the point – directly!

#7 RCA ANT751E

RCA ANT751E Mounted indoors


  • Range: 70 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Just when you thought we had forgotten about the raygun-styled antennas…

Remember when we were talking about Magnavox and RCA? Well, here’s one from the originators and signal reception and quality. The ANT751E is a compacted antenna that can work inside and/or outside, though you’ll want to use it outside for the best performance.

The ANT751E is built to pick up channels as far away as 70 miles. It does not have an amplifier of any type to help with the signal, so a preamp may be required, if your signal is not perfect. It is directional, so if it’s locked on, it’s locked on! You will need a rotor to help you lock in on signals not in the sight-line.

RCA ANT751E mounted indoors

Stylewise, it’s not that pretty (but it’s functional). Since it is compact, it’s not nearly as much of an eyesore as some of the other directional antennas on our list. It is basic, with exposed metal on the whole antenna. If looks matter too much, you can hide it away in the attic, but your signal reception will suffer badly.

When you buy the ANT751E, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Mast
  • Locking Clamp
  • Instruction Manual

You will still need coaxial cable and a rotor to control it during bad weather and/or just to make it easier to adjust.

What we like about the ANT751E is the fact that it works so well. While it only claims a 70-mile signal range, it’s a little more powerful than that. Again, RCA doesn’t like to overclaim so this is expected. The signal quality is nearly flawless and the HD is truly HD. It is compact, and isn’t that obtrusive, which is good as it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself.


What we didn’t like about it was the fact that once it hits the signal range limit, it’s done. There is no maybe it’ll pick it up – it doesn’t. There were some channels that this one couldn’t reach that others would at least “draw in”. Also, we wish they would have included some coaxial cable so it would be ready to go out of the box.

Ultimately, RCA has always been a trustworthy brand, and the ANT751E is a great option if you need something basic, small, and cost friendly.

#8 GE 33692

GE 33692


  • Range: 60 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K

GE is another of those reputable companies that have proven themselves in the antenna market. The GE 33692 is another great example of that commitment to quality and design. Its multi-element design paired with a directional antenna works great in such a small package.

GE 33692 side

The GE 33692 is strong enough to pick up channels over 60 miles away. GE also didn’t include an amplifier with it, but they rated it for use both indoors and outdoors so the 60 miles is a GOOD rating. It is directional so it will work best when it’s pointed towards the broadcasting station you want to see.

Stylewise, it’s not ugly at all. Honestly, we were a little surprised as it uses a rounded-type look for the main elements along with a directional raygun-styled pointer. They did a great job of using black and gray elements to really give it a contemporary look. It’s not something you’ll want to hide away, but you could if you needed to.

When you buy the GE 33692, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Instruction Manual

Again, GE leaves out extra coaxial cables and a rotor to help with pointing your antenna.

GE 33692 install

What we like about the GE 33692 is the fact that it is small, looks good, and actually performs well both inside and outside. The 60-mile radius seems correct, even inside of the attic.

GE 33692 mounted

What we didn’t like about it is the fact that the directional antenna works great as long as it is pointing right at the broadcasting station (other users felt the same way). It seems that they worked on getting a lot of distance out of a small package by reducing the spread radius.

As long as you know right where you want to pull signal from, this is an excellent option. If you aren’t turning it too much, you’ll love it. If you’re turning it a lot, you’ll want to look elsewhere.


GE 33692

GE 33692

  • Compact
  • Looks Great
  • Locks Onto Signal Well

#9 Mohu Sky MH-110585

Mohu Sky MH-110585


  • Range: 60 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Mohu has changed the look of outdoor antennas completely, using naval technologies to help increase their effective range. What they produced with a cool looking, super-small, powerhouse.

The MH-110585 is able to pick up channels from over 60 miles away, using unique technologies from naval studies and the Mohu research team, paired with a 15db amplifier. In fact, there are times where everything lines up and it can reach past 60 miles pretty well. Since it is omnidirectional, it doesn’t have to be turned which makes the 60-mile radius that much more impressive.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 mounted outdoors

Stylewise, it looks like two boomerangs glued together in the middle (forms a rounded “x”). It looks cool, and it’s definitely something you would want to show off to your friends. It is coated in a cool grayish color that looks modern and contemporary at the same time.

When you buy the MH-110585, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • 30ft High Performance Cable
  • Power Supply
  • Instruction Manual

It’s an absolute all-in-one package and we love that!

Since we’re talking about what we like, we love that it comes with everything you need to be “up and running” in just a few minutes. Plus, the omnidirectional antenna works better than we expected, even with the “naval” technology. As far as image quality, it’s true HD even on some of the further channels.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 mounted indoors

What we didn’t like about it is that it feels cheap. It’s very light and feels like the elements are covered in plastic. If it were to be hit by flying debris or an animal, it might end up damaged.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 packaging

Even so, this is a great antenna that looks pretty cool. All of your friends will definitely want to talk about your new antenna, which is crazy when you think about it.


#10 Antop UFO

Antop UFO packaging


  • Range: 65 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

And finishing out our list is a UFO … literally! Antop absolutely decided to be direct about it, this looks like a UFO. But it works well, for your home and/or RV.

The Antop UFO is able to pick up channels at over 65 miles away, while still being an omnidirectional antenna. It uses an amplifier paired with a smartpass filter to help reduce signal noise and block out interference from 3G/4G devices. Stylewise, it looks like a UFO from the movies. No, it doesn’t have LEDs glowing all around, though that would look cool, but it’s white, round, and floats in the sky.

Antop UFO

When you buy the Antop UFO, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Adapter
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Instruction Manual

You will still need some coaxial cable to finish out the package, but that’s nothing.

What we like about the Antop UFO besides the fact that it looks like a UFO is that it can be set up in less than five minutes. Everything comes pre-assembled and ready to go, except for the mounting aspect. The signal quality is great and it picks up channels in any direction as it should.

Antop UFO mounting

What we didn’t like was that they couldn’t include the coaxial cable (for real). As it is omnidirectional, it does suffer from high trees and/or building. If it doesn’t have a clear line of sight, it does struggle a little bit.

The Antop UFO is a great omnidirectional antenna that will work for most homes, but best for homes just outside of the city. It’s a great antenna to put on your RV and travel, but it’s not going to pick up a lot of channels from the far-away broadcasting towers.

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Outdoor TV Antenna

There are a lot of options to look through, and picking the BEST one for you can be difficult, but using this buyer’s guide, you should be able to narrow down your options quickly. Of course, we believe one of the ten options above are great and will work for you, but if not, here’s what you need to look for in your next outdoor TV antenna.


When it comes to antennas, size really does matter. Understandably, the larger the antenna, the more “unsightly” it is as it’s a little hard to miss. But, if you really want to pick up the far away channels, or lock in on the weaker signals, you’ll need the biggest antenna you can find (in most cases).

While it may look like you’re trying to conjure aliens from another planet, the larger the footprint, the better the performance (generally).


Remember those old rabbit-eared antennas that your mom and dad used to have on top of that old TV – who are we kidding, you’re not that old!

Getting past that, these look nothing like the old antennas that your parents and/or grandparents used. Instead, most of these either look like a UFO or like a raygun designed to shoot the UFOs out of the sky.

The best antennas tend to look like a raygun (these are directional). They tend to focus their reception/signal in one direction with a small spread radius. The next type tends to look like UFOs but are omnidirectional – they receive signal in a full 360-degree spread.

If you are worried about looks, the UFO-styled antennas tend to look less obtrusive, but not nearly as gnarly as the directional antennas.

Omnidirectional Or Directional?

Getting beyond looks, let’s talk about where you’re pointing.

As we briefly discussed, a directional antenna points in one specific direction (i.e. North). In doing so, they increase their ability to receive signal significantly. Omnidirectional antennas, on the other hand, get their signal from all sides, but they sacrifice the ability to receive from far distances.

If you live in the city, an omnidirectional antenna makes the most sense as you’re surrounded by a lot of broadcasting signals. But if you live in the country and/or a remote area, you’ll most likely want to get a directional antenna.

On a side note, a directional antenna can be converted in a semi-omnidirectional antenna using a rotator which can be remotely controlled and used to turn your directional antenna wherever you want on command. So you can “get the best of both worlds” with a directional antenna and a remote-controlled rotator.


This determines how “strong” the antenna is, but really it helps to identify how sensitive the antenna is.

The higher the gain (dBi) rating, the more likely you can pick up those far away signals and/or weaker signals that your neighbors can’t seem to lock in on. This is not a “boost” that makes it easier to go further out, but it can detect weaker signals that are broadcasting from a longer distance. This should not be confused with amplifier gain which is used to mitigate noise from your connections, splitters, cable length, and other electronics.

Outdoor TV Antenna on house

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Install An Outdoor Antenna In The Attic?
A: You can, but installing an outdoor antenna in your attic will reduce the effective range quite dramatically. In order to compensate for the signal degradation, you should find an outdoor antenna that is designed to work at longer distances and/or looking into purchasing a pre-amplifier to help improve the signal reception.

One big downside to installing an antenna in the attic is the limited space. If you have a LARGE antenna, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to use a rotator with it to pick up other channels easily.

Q: Can I Use One Antenna For Multiple TVs?
A: Yes, you can use one antenna to provide signal to multiple TVs. To do this, you’ll need to use a splitter. But, depending on how many TVs you are sending signal to, you may want to use a powered splitter to maintain a high-quality signal.

Q: My TV Is Old, Will It Work With An Outdoor Antenna?
A: Well, that depends. Most TVs have an ASTC digital tuner built into them and can work without any extra parts to make them work. In the past, an ASTC digital tuner was not necessary because OTA signals were analog only. Now, OTA signals are digital only.

If you try to use your outdoor antenna and it does not work, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to purchase an OTA digital converter box. Older, tube-style TVs don’t have ASTC digital tuners so you’ll need an OTA digital converter box if you want to use an outdoor antenna.

Q: Why Is My Picture Bad For Some Channels And Not For Others?
A: This can be caused by any number of reasons, but we will address the two primary reasons.

  1. The antenna is pointed in the wrong direction. If your antenna is pointed North, it will pick up OTA signals coming from that direction the best. Which mean that signal coming from the South will be very weak and/or non-existent. If you were to point the Antenna south, the OTA signals from the South would be very strong while the signals from the North would now be weak.
  2. The antenna is not strong enough to pick up weaker signals that are farther away. This can be affected by a number of factors including mounting location, antenna position, clear line of sight, weather, distance, and more. In general, if a channel you know is in your area isn’t clear and/or consistent, you may not to upgrade to a bigger, more powerful antenna or install a pre-amplifier.

Q: Some Outdoor Antennas Are BIG! Is Bigger Actually Better?
A: In almost every case, the bigger the antenna, the better the reception. Bigger antennas are able to gather more signal when compared to their smaller counterparts. Smaller antennas tend to be limited in range. If you are in a remote area, you’ll most likely need a BIG outdoor antenna.

Q: What Equipment Will I Need With My Antenna?
A: In general, you’ll need a mounting kit to install your antenna to your roof and/or house. Next, you’ll need a LOT of coaxial cable to connect your outdoor antenna to your TV and/or splitter.

After that, you might need a pre-amplifier to help fix any signal issues. Plus, you might need a powered splitter for distributing your signal to multiple TVs. And, if your TV is older, you might need to purchase a digital OTA converter box to convert the digital signal into an analog signal (not too likely if your TV is newer).

Q: Should My Outdoor Antenna Be Grounded For Lightning Prevention?
A: Yes! While grounding your antenna will not keep it from being struck by lightning, it will help to protect your home and/or connected devices from being fried. Remember, lightning tends to strike at the highest point – your antenna will be pretty high.

While grounding will help to protect your home and/or wiring, you should still use surge protectors on all your connected devices as another means of protection. The more protection you have, the better off you’ll be.

Q: How Many Channels Will I Get With My Outdoor Antenna?
A: This is totally dependent on your area, the number of available channels, the distance you are from the signal, the size of your antenna. We cannot tell you that you’ll get 50+ channels as we don’t know about your area. But, if there is a signal available, you should be able to pick it up with the right outdoor antenna and the proper installation.


A lot of cord cutters are looking to streaming digital boxes and outdoor antennas to stay connected without paying “out the nose” for their favorite shows and/or channels.

An outdoor antenna is the best way to receive OTA signals that are FREE. While they can’t pick up paid programming and/or pay-per-view events, they can give you enough options that you won’t feel like you are missing out.

Remember, an outdoor antenna is a one-time investment that doesn’t continue to cost you month-to-month like cable and/or satellite subscriptions.

So, did you find the perfect outdoor antenna?