Choosing proper FM antenna is a huge help in ensuring that your tuner performs at its best. You need to select and install the best FM antenna so you can keep on receiving high-quality FM broadcasts. However, take note that you can’t just pick any type of FM antenna. It is crucial to ensure that you choose that, which perfectly fits your receiving location.
To help selecting the best FM antenna easier, it’s also advisable to familiarize yourself about its different types, including the following:
a) Outdoor FM Antenna
The most common outdoor FM antennas usually include the following:
- Unidirectional Dipole
This refers to a huge dipole with two elements. This type of FM antenna is known for having a bit more gain when compared to the common twin lead dipole used indoors. Its focus is on a signal reception mostly in a single direction. You can use it if your desired stations are in a single general direction. They should also be within approximately twenty miles.
- Crossed Dipole (Turnstile)
This type aims to offer an omnidirectional receive pattern. It does so without needing to rotate the FM antenna. The problem is the crossed dipole only has low gain in all planes.
- Multi-element Array
This is another type that you can pick if you want to invest in the best FM antenna. It’s unidirectional, which can receive distant stations because it has a high gain. Take note, however, that it’s a directional gain, requiring you to rotate the antenna every time you need to tune to a station.
b) Indoor FM Antenna
There are also a few types of FM antenna that you can use indoors. Some of the most popular ones are the following:
- Amplified Indoor Antenna
The majority of FM antennas under this type come with innate tradeoffs in signal-to-noise. Aside from that, they come with negative RF qualities that might aggravate challenging receiving conditions when used in urban radio frequency environments. It can also trigger an increase in FM noise floor, which tends to degrade the tuner’s real-world sensitivity. Make it a point to consider this when planning to use the amplified indoor antenna so you’ll know whether it is indeed the best option.
- Unamplified Indoor Antenna
In this case, you have two basic configurations that you can choose from. The first one is the bidirectional dipole, which is a commonly used FM antenna indoors. The second one is the ½ Wave Vertical. Such design provides a high gain for an indoor antenna. In fact, the gain is around two times than what is provided by the bidirectional dipole.
Consider the benefits and limitations of both so you can pick the best FM antenna for your needs.
But before we go to the factors of consideration for the best choice, let’s first highlight the five best products on the market.
Compact design, which is perfect for suburban and city reception areas
Outdoor Omnidirectional FM Antenna
This product being capable of resisting the harshest weather conditions
Four Element Directional Outdoor
This product is perfect for receiving those elusive distant stations
Philips SDV1125T/27 Indoor
The product is easy to install
RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna
This product is capable of supporting a max of 1080i HDTV broadcasts
How to Make a Good Choice?
You have higher chances of picking the best FM antenna if you spent time considering the following factors before you make your final decision.
This is probably one of the most vital factors you ought to consider in your search for the best FM antenna. If you are living over 20 miles away from town, for instance, then go for a multi-element array antenna. It’s a good choice in that case as this type provides high gain. Aside from that, it is capable of receiving even distant stations.
If you’re living in urban areas or the suburbs, on the other hand, then there is a great possibility that you won’t find obtrusive and large antennas appropriate for your needs. In this case, you can go for an indoor antenna. A high-quality one is capable of receiving the best reception provided you position it correctly.
Of course, you also need to consider the gain when planning to find the best FM antenna. Take note that while it’s not possible for an antenna to raise the amount of energy it gains, it’s possible for you to manipulate it so it can focus on specific directions. Such is a good thing if you want it to offer a perceived increase in energy, or gain.
c) Mounting Location
You also have to consider where you intend to mount the FM antenna. If possible, make sure to mount it as high as possible as this is the key to taking full advantage of the line-of-sight. It is also crucial to mount it away from other antennas, as well as large objects made of metal.
Choosing the best FM antenna is also possible by considering other vital factors like the transmitter power, directional patterns, population concentrations in the area you intend to cover, local climate, and effective radiated power.
Top 5 Best FM antenna Reviews
Winegard HD-6010 HD FM Radio Antenna
If you are looking for an HD FM antenna, Winegard HD-6010 HD FM Radio Antenna is a great option. This specific radio antenna model is designed in such a way that it can receive signals on various directions. You will also instantly notice its compact design, which is perfect for suburban and city reception areas. Aside from that, it boasts of its famous turnstile design, which comes with a unique single-piece construction, thereby promoting ease in installation. You can mount it to a max of 2-inch diameter pipe.
It is also important to note that the antenna is capable of receiving VHF/UHF signals. You will also love the fact that it works well on short range (max of thirty miles) omni-directional coverage. It aids in improving reception so whether you’re surrounded by mountains limiting your line-of-site reception, you can expect it to work well and give you your desired satisfaction.
- Can receive VHF/UHF signals
- Capable of receiving signals on various direction
- Compact, making it an ideal choice if you are in suburban and city reception areas
- Works as an HD FM antenna, which means that its performance is of top-notch quality
- Boasts of a turnstile design, which is also a good thing if you want to have an easier time installing it
- Packaging needs a bit of improvement
- Lower performance in comparison to vertical radial antenna
Winegard HD-6010 HD FM Radio Antenna is still an excellent solution if you are in search of an FM radio antenna, which offers ultimate satisfaction. With its ability to receive signals on different directions, this product will surely emerge as a clear winner in this category.
Outdoor Omnidirectional FM Antenna
This Outdoor Omnidirectional FM Antenna comes from Stellar Labs. It is a rugged antenna, which you can use outdoors and is capable of providing reception for all your FM radio equipment. It takes pride of its rugged design, which you can easily install in the attic of your home or in an existing mast pipe. Aside from that, you can expect it to work effectively in receiving FM signals, such as HD radio, so tuning into your preferred FM stations while also enjoying high-quality sounds and audio is a great possibility.
Stellar Labs Outdoor Omnidirectional FM Antenna also boasts of a design, which promotes ease of assembly and installation. You just have to snap its two pieces together. You will also instantly notice its round dipole design, which you can use for a 360-degree pickup. It also features a hardware constructed out of stainless steel while being capable of resisting even the harshest weather conditions.
- Increases signal gain just by stacking several antennas
- Rugged antenna, which works efficiently when used outdoors
- Designed in such a way that you can easily assemble and install it
- Features a round dipole design, which is useful in enjoying a 360-degree pickup
- Sturdy hardware made of stainless steel – Such sturdiness of material makes the antenna capable of handling all types of weather no matter how harsh it is
- Structure is not the most physically robust out there – Fortunately, you have an assurance that it is still well-supported.
With the ability of this FM antenna to offer excellent reception for all types of broadcast stations, you will definitely find it a good buy. It is fully assembled, so expect it to be ready for installation right after you take a hold of it.
Four Element Directional Outdoor FM Antenna
Four Element Directional Outdoor FM Antenna is another reliable FM antenna from Stellar Labs. It works as a directional outdoor antenna, which can provide excellent reception for all broadcast FM stations. Of course, these include HD radio. It also boasts of a 4-element Yagi design composed of a single driven element, as well as one reflecting element and two directing elements. These elements are perfectly combined as a means of promoting impressive forward gain and directivity.
The many features that Stellar Labs Four Element Directional Outdoor FM Antenna can offer makes it ideal for use if you want an antenna, which can receive even distant and difficult to reach stations. It also boasts of its mounting hardware, which is useful in connecting it into the mast pipe. You will love the fact that its max forward gain reaches up to 7dB max. It’s a high-quality antenna, which you can use in tuning to your favorite stations without the risk of any static or interference.
- Takes pride of its 4-element Yagi design
- Guarantees impressive forward gain and directivity
- Minimal to zero risk of experiencing any static or interference
- Works well in receiving even those stations that are distant and quite challenging to reach
- Serves as a reliable directional antenna outdoors – It offers impressive reception for all broadcast FM stations
- Has some annoyance stations at the back of the antenna – But rest assured that this only happens occasionally.
Four Element Directional Outdoor FM Antenna is capable of performing its intended functions so it’s no longer surprising why it’s a top choice of those looking for a reliable outdoor FM antenna.
Philips SDV1125T/27 Indoor HDTV/UHF/VHF/FM Antenna
Philips SDV1125T/27 Indoor Antenna is another of the best FM antenna that you can choose. One of the strongest qualities of this product from Phillips is its ease of installation. It is a passive antenna designed to give impressive reception of digital broadcasts. These include over the air HDTV.
It also promotes expanded reception with the built-in VHF/FM dipoles. With the UHF/VHF fine-tuning control composed of 12 positions integrated into this antenna, you can also expect to receive the most impressive reception per frequency. It is also constructed out of environmentally free materials. In fact, it is known for being BFR/PVC free. It features a 55-km max range for TV plus you will definitely enjoy the fact that the 12 tuning positions for the UHF/VHF are adjustable.
- Made of environmentally-free materials
- Provides impressive reception of digital broadcasts
- Expands reception because it comes with VHF/FM dipoles
- Has a dozen of tuning positions that you can easily adjust
- Easy to install – No need for complex installation processes and steps
- Some users find the base of the antenna a bit big, making it quite hard to position.
If you’re in search of a reliable FM antenna with superior reception, then Philips SDV1125T/27 Indoor Antenna is indeed worthy to include in your options. It has most of the features you need from this product.
RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna, Rabbit Ears
If you’re after quality and durability, then RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna is capable of giving you just that. With its sleek design, you will never have a hard time positioning or installing it in any area. With the help of this indoor antenna, you can start enjoying your favorite shows as well as HDTV network programs without requiring you to pay any fee.
Another advantage of this FM antenna is that it is capable of supporting a max of 1080i HDTV broadcasts. Such is a good thing if you want to enjoy sounds, FM broadcasts, and pictures of top-notch quality. You’ll also love its built-in dipoles that work in extending and adjusting its analog and digital channels. It’s a great addition to your streaming players while also providing you with a reliable source in case of storms. The fact that it does not have scuff pads also offers protection to your furniture’s surface.
- Easy setup process
- Does not have any scuff pads
- Supports a max of 1080i HDTV broadcasts
- Features a sleek design, promoting ease in installation
- Has built-in dipoles to extend and adjust analog and digital channels
- Only a few channels picked up by some users – Rest assured, though, that you can resolve this by using its scan feature.
Built with high-quality and sturdy components, you have an assurance that RCA ANT111Z Durable FM Antenna can provide you with excellent reception once you start using it.
The best FM antenna is useful in strengthening weak signal receptions or getting around those strong ones. With that in mind, you really have to make a choice based on which one suits your specific requirements and which one can do its functions perfectly well.