The best indoor radio antennas

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In this article, I review 5 of the best indoor radio antennas (antennae):

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here is my recommendation:

I recommend the Antop amplified indoor Am/FM antenna. Not only is it an FM antenna, but it is also an AM antenna. It is amplified and so boosts the signal significantly. It comes with all the cables, connectors and adaptors you’ll need and its sleak modern design means it doesn’t even look like an antenna.

The importance of a good antenna

A good indoor FM antenna is very important in ensuring you receive FM broadcasts with a high level of audio quality. The antenna is the input to your receiver. It’s pointless having a top of the range radio tuner if its antenna isn’t up to the job. Garbage in, garbage out.

Antennas specifically designed to receive the FM broadcast band of 88 MHz to 108 MHz are the most effective for FM reception. The FM frequency range of 88 MHz to 108 MHz is known as VHF (very high frequency) and it can only be received within a “line of sight” distance (about 40 to 50 miles.) So that is the range of a standard FM antenna.

Reasons not to install an outdoor antenna

An outdoor antenna will generally result in the best reception but there are many reasons why you can’t have an outdoor antenna, like living in an apartment or living in a rental property and the landlord / propery owner doesn’t want to install an antenna on the roof. Maybe you live in a very windy area and you don’t want the risk of the outdoor antenna falling off. Finally, perhaps you simply don’t want the hassle of having to install an outdoor antenna on the roof and having to drill holes in walls and mess up your interior.

Indoor FM antennas work very well

There is often no need for an outdoor antenna. A good quality indoor FM antenna can provide excellent reception. In this article, I review 5 of the best indoor FM antennae and they all work very well.

Amplified indoor antennas vs unamplified

An indoor antenna may include an amplifier circuit. An amplified antenna (also known as an indoor fm radio antenna booster), will increase the power of the received signal which can improve reception. It’s important to note that if the signal contains a lot of static and interference, then that static and interference will also be amplified! Amplified antennas are very useful if you have a “clean” but weak signal.

Connectors and plugs

What connectors and plugs you need to connect the antenna to your tuner will be determined by the type of antenna input jack you have on your tuner. Most tuners have a female coax jack for FM and spring clip type connectors for AM. All the antennas that I have reviewed in this article come with all cables, plugs and adaptors suited to most tuners. 

Design

By definition, an indoor antenna will be indoors and most likely in view, so how the antenna looks is an important criteria. All of the antennae in this review look great and/or are very discreet.

The best indoor antennas

Antop amplified indoor AM/FM antenna

This antenna has a very sleek, modern black design. It doesn’t look like an antenna at all in fact! It has a built-in amplifier to boost the incoming signal and improve reception.

Main features

  • Combined FM and AM antenna for indoor use.
  • Modern curved panel design with hair-line black finish.
  • Amplified for balanced reception range.
  • Multi-directional reception pattern.
  • AM/FM Reception range: 40 to 50 miles.
  • Easy set up – Simply plug it into any power outlet with the AC/DC power adaptor. Plug it into the FM f-female coaxial antenna connector of your tuner with the FM coaxial cable (included) and plug it into the AM spring clip type connectors with the bare wire AM cable (also included). If your tuner has IEC type connector for FM, then you can connect the antenna via the IEC female to “F” female coaxial adaptor connector (included).  For all other less common types of connection, the appropriate adaptor can be ordered separately.

Size: 10.98 x 2.68 x 1.77 inches (279 x 68 x 45 mm)
Weight: 1 pound (454 grams)

In the box

  • Antop amplified indoor Am/FM antenna.
  • FM cable.
  • AC/DC power adaptor.
  • AM cable.
  • IEC female to “F” female coaxial adaptor connector.

Pros

  • Combined AM and FM antenna.
  • Comes with all the common cables, connectors and adaptors.
  • The built-in amplifier boosts the incoming signal.
  • Compact and light.
  • Modern design looks good.

Cons

  • It gets a bit warm but this didn’t affect its use.

ANTV indoor amplified FM/AM antenna

This compact ANTV stereo AM/FM antenna is designed in glossy black finish and will look good in your home. Its low-noise built-in amplifier boosts the FM signal and improves the sound quality. It has technology that will filter out unwanted 3G / 4G wireless signals.

Technical specifications

Range: 50 miles
Receiving bands: AM/FM
Frequency Range: AM: 520-1650 Khz, FM: 87-108 Mhz
Reception Pattern: Multi-directional
Gain: AM: 3dB, FM: 35dB
Output Level: 100dBμV Max
Impedance: 75Ω
Noise Figure: ≤5dB
Power Supply: DC 6V/100mA (AC/DC power adaptor included)
Cable Length: 6 feet (1.82 metres)
Connectors and cables: The antenna is compatible with FM F-female connectors and AM spring clip type connectors on your tuner.

Size: 7.09 x 4.53 x 0.8 inches (180 x 115 x 20 mm)
Weight: 1 pound (454 grams)

In the box

  • ANTV indoor amplified FM/AM antenna.
  • FM cable.
  • AC/DC power adaptor.
  • AM cable.
  • U-shaped metal bracket to position the antenna either vertically or horizontally.

Pros

  • The built-in amplifier boosts the incoming signal.
  • The antenna filters out unwanted 3G / 4G wireless signals.
  • Modern design looks great. In fact it doesn’t even look like an antenna. It can be positioned vertically or horizontally.
  • Combined AM and FM stereo antenna.
  • Comes with all the common cables, connectors and adaptors.

Cons

  • The cable length is a bit short but probably sufficient for most uses.

Ancable indoor FM antenna and AM loop antenna

This is in fact 2 basic separate indoor antennae (one FM and one for AM) sold as a package.  If you only want the FM antenna without the AM antenna, it can be purchased as a single antenna (see the review for “Ancable indoor FM wire antenna” below.)

The FM antenna is a 4.9 foot (1.5 metres) length of wire with a standard push-in F connector on the end that plugs into the back of your tuner.  It is not an amplified antenna.

The AM antenna is a larger plastic loop antenna with a plastic base so that it stands up. Its cable is 4.5 foot long and connects into the back of your tuner with a simple 2 pin bare wire. Make sure you check the type of connectors on your tuner. It is not an amplified antenna.

Size: 5.3 x 4.8 x 0.7 inches (135 x 122 x 18 mm)
Weight: 0.32 ounces (9 grams)

In the box

  • 1 x FM antenna with push-in F connector.
  • 1 x AM antenna with bare wire connectors.

Pros

  • Both antennae offer decent reception for the low price.
  • Very compact and light.

Cons

  • Neither the FM nor AM antennae are amplified.
  • The AM loop antenna is a bit flimsy in design.

TERK omni-directional indoor FM antenna

The TERK indoor antenna is a stylish omni-directional indoor FM antenna that is easy to install.

Key features and specifications

FM frequency range: 88 -108 MHz
Gamma-Loop technology – It receives more stations with less noise and static.
HD radio – The TERK antenna is compatible with digital HD FM radio broadcasts.
Easy to install – The TERK indoor antenna comes with multiple connection options suitable for different types of connectors on your tuner:

  • 75 Ohm Coaxial: Use the slip-on coaxial connector on the FM cable.
  • 75 Ohm Push-Button Connection: Use the 75 Ohm matching transformer (included).

Once you have plugged in the antenna to your tuner using the appropriate connector, it can be mounted on a wall or placed on a flat surface like a shelf.

Omni-directional – The TERK indoor antenna has patented, 360 degree omni-directional reception meaning you don’t have to constantly make adjustments to its position. Once it’s installed, there will no need to touch it.

Size:  7.8 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches (198 x 160 x 41 mm)
Weight:  0.5 pounds (14.2 grams)

In the box

  • TERK omni-directional indoor FM antenna.
  • 6 foot 75 Ohm coax cable.
  • 75 Ohm matching transformer.

Pros

  • Very easy to install.
  • It can be mounted on a wall or positioned on a flat surface.
  • Compact and light.
  • Compatible with digital HD FM radio broadcasts.
  • Omni-directional – No need to keep adjusting it once it is installed.

Cons

  • FM only.
  • This is not an amplified antenna.

Ancable indoor FM wire antenna

This is a simple 75 ohm  wire  FM antenna, 4.9 foot (1.5 metres) in length with a standard push-in F connector on the end that plugs into the back of your tuner.  It is not an amplified antenna.

(This antenna is also sold as part of a package with an AM  loop antenna. – See the review for “Ancable indoor FM antenna and AM loop antenna” further up the page.)

Size: 18 x 0.48 x 0.84 inches (457 x 12.2 x 21.4 mm)
Weight:  0.53 ounces (15 grams)

In the box

  • 1x FM antenna with push-in F connector.

Pros

  • Simple but effective antenna with good reception for the low price.
  • Very compact and light. It’s a simple length of wire with a connector on the end.

Cons

  • The antenna is not amplified.

Conclusion

So what is the best indoor FM antenna?

I recommend the Antop amplified indoor Am/FM antenna. Not only is it an FM antenna, but it is also an AM antenna. It is amplified and so boosts the signal significantly. It comes with all the cables, connectors and adaptors you’ll need and its sleak modern design means it doesn’t even look like an antenna.

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