Mohu Blade HD Antenna review

The Mohu Blade antenna adds style and substance to the cord-cutting lifestyle

Mohu’s Blade is a tough, attractive antenna that will fulfill your HD-TV needs.
Mohu’s Blade is a tough, attractive antenna that will fulfill your HD-TV needs.
Mohu’s Blade is a tough, attractive antenna that will fulfill your HD-TV needs.


  • Clean, minimalist design
  • Highly durable
  • Simple installation


  • Performance varies depending on installation location

The rabbit ears of years past have been replaced by sleeker, flat and simple antennas that can hang out in windows or on walls, but they still can be an eyesore. At the very least, having a large black or white square blocking out part of a window is less than ideal when you want an unobstructed view of outside.

Popular Antenna maker Mohu has tried to mitigate this problem, designing many of its products to be used in different parts of the home, but its latest HD antenna, the Mohu Blade ($45), is one of its first to meld an innocuous look with engineering that enables it to work both inside and out. The Blade is designed to allow you to put it almost anywhere, but as we found out, some locations are still better than others.

Out of the box

The Blade comes in a box with a sturdy cardboard shell that’s simple and no fuss, a philosophy that seems to influence just about every facet of setting up and using the antenna. Within the box is everything you might need for setup, including the Blade itself, a 10-foot coaxial cable (about average for antenna pack-in cables), a coax L-bend adapter, a USB power cord and USB to AC adapter. There’s also a “kickstand” for the antenna, plus wall-mounting equipment.


The Blade looks unique, and easily stands apart from the many window-mounted HD antennae that are common these days. Designed as a solid rectangular slab of metal, the Blade lives up to its name, looking almost like a stubby, flat blade from a primitive weapon or gardening tool. Don’t let our imagination fool you into thinking this is an ornate device by any means, though. In fact, it’s utterly plain and in this case we mean that in a good way.

Mohu Blade HD Antenna review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The Blade’s finish is a dark, matte grey that will easily match just about any entertainment system with a dark color scheme, or hide in plain sight when mounted outdoors. Mohu designed the Blade to resemble a small soundbar, and while we see the resemblance, you probably won’t mistake it for one – it looks more like a bit of minimalist decoration.


Designed to blend in, the Blade was also built with flexibility in mind. There are several ways to set it up, all of which are straight forward.

The Blade lives up to its name, looking almost like a primitive weapon or gardening tool.

The first and easiest method is to set the Blade on a flat surface, either under your TV or within range of it and an AC or USB outlet. The Blade can either lay flat, or be propped up with the included kickstand, which slots into one of two notches under the antenna. Similarly, it can be wall mounted, depending on where you get the best reception. The L-bend adapter is helpful, especially if you’re running cable through walls or behind furniture, but you don’t need it.

To help boost reception, the Blade relies on a USB power cable, which is as convenient as it gets for a powered antenna. If you’re using a device like the AirTV or a PC, for instance, you don’t even need to worry about getting close enough to your TV or a wall outlet. Otherwise, the AC adapter is a welcome addition.

Mohu Blade HD Antenna review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Once connected, the next step is to scan for channels on whatever device you’re watching with. From there, you’ll be able to watch free TV over the air. How many channels and the reliability, of course, will depend heavily on both where the Blade is positioned in (or outside of) your home, and your home’s location.


The Blade is omnidirectional, meaning it can ostensibly pick up channels regardless of its orientation, but we noticed better reception in windows than at the center of the room. This isn’t surprising – most antenna models tend to do best when positioned as close to a window as possible – but it is a bit disappointing as it limits the usable range. The Blade has a 40-mile reception, which is well within the range of our nearest tower, but performance varied heavily depending on where the antenna was situated.

The Blade can ostensibly pick up channels regardless of its orientation, but we noticed better reception in windows.

Under the TV, we were able to pull in a total of 20 channels, only one of which, NBC, is a major network. When we put the antenna in the window as you would a Mohu Releaf or ClearStream Eclipse, the channel count jumped up to 33, including all major network channels, save the Fox affiliate. Given the sizable boost gained by moving the antenna to the window, we wager it would perform just as well, if not better, in outdoor set ups as well, though our by-the-book apartment management company made such a test impossible.

Compared to other amplified antennas the Blade’s reception is respectable, but by no means the top performer. For instance, the $45 Antop’s Paperthin Smartpass, which boasts a similar “install anywhere” design as the Blade, pulled in 40 total channels and all available networks in either the window or next to the TV in our testing. The only difference between the two is that the Antop is indoor-only. On the other hand, by installing the Blade by the window, it was able to out-perform the $70 ChannelMaster indoor/outdoor Smartenna’s 30-channel pull in the same location

Mohu Blade HD Antenna review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

It’s worth stressing here that, while the Blade does almost as well as the Antop when placed in the window, the Antop’s mid-room numbers are twice as high as the Blade’s. We will stress here that your results may vary due to your distance and directionality from the signal tower, but from our experience the Blade will serve you best as a window or wall-mounted antenna, rather than placed under a TV or hidden on a book shelf.

As for reliability, the Blade is excellent at any installation. Other than some occasional minor stuttering or artifacting (which you’ll get with just about any antenna) the picture came through clearly, and maintained a smooth, consistent signal regardless of placement.

Warranty information

Mohu offers a one-year limited warranty covering workmanship and material defects for all their products. A 30-day return period is also offered for a full refund, but only on products purchased directly from Mohu.

Our Take

At $45, the Blade’s design considerations and solid performance make it a solid choice, but we were a bit disappointed that, even with a boosted signal, the antenna relied on setup near a window for best performance indoors. That hamstring’s one of its defining features – the ability to mount it anywhere. Still, it’s a good antenna with excellent durability. That alone helps it stand out in a crowded market.

Is there a better alternative?

The are ­many antennas out there, and while some might be better tuned to your specific location or setup, the one that comes closest to a true alternative in terms of design is Mohu’s own Curve, which starts at just $30.

As for performance for the money, we’d point to the $45 Antop Paperthin Smartpass mentioned above which pulls in more channels and works in more locations — though the design isn’t as seamless.

How long will it last?

Since the Blade is essentially a short, sturdy sheet of metal, longevity and durability shouldn’t be issues. It’s built to work both as an indoor and outdoor antenna, and we anticipate this device will last you quite a while.

Should you buy it?

There are many antenna models on the market, but the Mohu Blade’s durability, small footprint, and generally solid performance make it a worthy contender on the list of potential choices.


Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.

New rumors suggest the iPhone 2019 will continue to use Lightning over USB-C

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Home Theater

8K TV: Everything you need to know about the future of television

4K TVs may seem relatively new, but there's another even higher-resolution display technology already here: 8K TV. Should you upgrade? We've got the answers to that question and more.
Home Theater

Focal’s new crazy-expensive Stellia headphones are utterly clear, remarkably open

Focal unveils its latest testament to mobile audiophilia in the new Stellia, a $3,000 pair of closed-back headphones. It's no surprise that the Stellia are luxurious inside and out, but what is surprising is the vast openness of the sound.

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Movies & TV

From Roma to Isle of Dogs: Here’s where to watch 2019’s Oscar nominees online

The 2019 Oscar field is a strong one, and if you missed some of the films in theaters, you may be in luck: Several of them are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Here's how to turn off subtitles on Netflix, no matter the device

Subtitles are great if you want or need them, but they can be a major headache if you’ve somehow turned them on by accident and can’t figure out how to get rid of them. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.

Walmart drops prices on Samsung 4K TVs during Presidents’ Day sale

With 8K TVs on the horizon, the cost of owning a 4K Ultra HD television has dropped pretty significantly in recent years, and this Walmart Presidents' Day sale is offering some great prices.
Product Review

Focal’s ultra-clear Sphear Wireless bring sexy back to banded Bluetooth buds

Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price, making them some of the only non-true wireless earbuds we’d consider buying right now.