9 best car antennas
The main task of a good car antenna – quality signal reception. But which model to choose depends on the needs of the motorist. Some people only need to listen to the radio, while others want to watch TV programs and use a navigation device. For others, it is important qualitative work with the radio. Therefore, before buying it is important to decide on the budget, technical features and the place of installation of the device.
Not so long ago, the 27 MHz range antenna was an obligatory attribute of a cab driver, in long journeys the GSM antenna can be of great help, allowing a confident telephone connection on the “deaf” sections of the highway (cab drivers who have now switched to mobile applications should also take a closer look at this class). For a multimedia complex you may need not only a radio antenna, which improves the quality of music sounding, but also a television antenna.
We offer you a rating, which includes the best car antennas in various categories. In such a variety is difficult to sort out, so we will include in the rating a few samples of each class, which can be called the most successful and, just as importantly, widely represented in the trade network.
Rating of the best car antennas
|Best antennas for car radios||1||MegaJet ML-145 MAG-160||9.1 / 10|
|2||ANLI AW-6 UHF||9.1 / 10|
|3||Optim CB 100 Mag||8.9 / 10|
|4||Optim CB T3-27||8.6 / 10|
|Best radio antennas for your car||1||Bosch Autofun PRO||9.5 / 10|
|2||Triad 003 Mini||9.0 / 10|
|3||Ural BURAN Premium||8.5 / 10|
|Best external GSM antennas for your car||1||DIGMA BIO-G037||9.5 / 10|
|Best in-car TV antennas||1||Triad 690||9.4 / 10|
Best antennas for car radios
MegaJet ML-145 MAG-160
At one time this small-sized antenna was a hit among private cab drivers – with its length just under a half meter it was reliably held by a magnetic base (160 mm – that’s serious!) So you could not mess with hard brackets and quickly put it away for the night, and the built-in matching coil provides VSW 1.2 even after the assembly “out of the box”. Certainly, as with all magnetically mounted antennas, the exact VSWR value depends on many factors, including the owner’s attentiveness: without gluing the adhesive foil sheet, which is included in the kit, it is possible to bid farewell with the quality of communication. So it is never superfluous to read the instructions, and sufficient VSW across the entire width of the CB band this antenna is quite capable of pulling. Structurally, we should note that it is almost a complete copy of the magnetic antennas Alan, the price of which is significantly higher.
So, taking into account the more than decent workmanship this antenna deserves a mention in the rating without a doubt. If there is a thought of stationary installation (which will improve the quality of communication) – the manufacturer has in the list of proposals and inexpensive adapter for tapping into the roof.
- Reliable magnetic fixing
- VSWR is kept acceptable on the edges of the CB band, in the center – no complaints at all
- The rod at high speeds excessively bends – however, the antenna is still more of an “urban” antenna.
With Alan 5-watt station – good reception in the city, normal modulation quality. KSV not measured, and so is satisfied.
ANLI AW-6 UHF
CB-band (27 MHz) is by no means a “monopoly” for car radio communications. On the contrary, if you need communication “head” in the car with portable “walkie-talkies”, you will need UHF or VHF-band, and there are car channels on these frequencies, too. The AW-6 antenna, available for both bands (the specific one is specified in the marking suffix), in the UHF version consists of two radiating prongs (1/4 wave and 5/8 wave), the VHF uses a single 5/8-wave prong. The antenna height for UHF and VHF is 75.5 and 133 cm, respectively.
When tuning, remember that the UHF antenna has adjustable length of both pins – the upper one is shortened from the cap side, the lower one is removed from the mount for trimming (two screws with an internal hexagon are unscrewed). Frequency band at a “tolerable” VSWR 1.5 is provided in the range of 10-12 MHz, to cover the necessary frequencies is enough. VHF antenna at the same VSWR has a bandwidth of 5-7 MHz. The gain is up to 5 dBi in UHF and up to 3.7 dBi in VHF.
The antenna manufacturer offers five options for mounting (the antenna itself is “bare”): magnetic with 80 or 145 mm base, flush mounted and rotatable, on a gutter (adapter for flush mounting). Choose, as they say, to your taste. Of course, you must remember that such antennas are tuned “once and for all” – in the same place and on the same mount, as they were put.
There is a disadvantage in antennas and – lack of vibration damping, because of this when installed on the roof “whip”, swinging, creates tangible vibrations. It is especially noticeable, of course, with a longer and less rigid VHF antenna, the UHF antenna “behaves” better in this regard.
Best Car Antennas
Car owners often spend most of the day driving. Car radio antennas, which provide music in the cabin, allow you to listen to the news, weather forecast, information about traffic jams in the city, help increase the comfort of the trip. The devices are installed by cab drivers and minibus drivers for dispatchers to correct their work. Some models provide reception of analog or digital television signals. With what features and characteristics to buy a device, help to understand the rating, which, taking into account user reviews collected the best car antennas.
The Russian market is filled with devices from domestic and imported manufacturers. Each has its own pros and cons. To understand which model is better, experts recommend taking into account the reputation of the manufacturer. The review presents companies that produce the best car antennas:
- Supra – a Japanese company, makes inexpensive electronics and electrical equipment. Supra products can equip your whole house. The company operates under the motto: “Make quality things affordable. The goods meet modern standards, as evidenced by the numerous awards.
- Blaupunkt is a German company, which produces audio and video equipment. The quality of products is appreciated by the owners of Mercedes and other well-known car brands. The range of products of the brand depends on the country. The antennas are assembled in Italy.
- Saratov Electromechanical Plant – a diversified holding company, produces equipment for communication, reception, transmission of television and radio signals under the brand name REMO. Models have repeatedly been awarded diplomas in the “100 Best Goods of Russia” program.
- Bosch is a German company with production facilities in different countries. The popularity of the brand products is due to high-quality assembly, interesting design, good functionality, a full set of components.
- Triada – a company from St. Petersburg produces car antennas of all ranges and shapes. They are designed for use in Russia and CIS countries. Due to the production of a new type of products, the company changed its name to Antenna.ru, so the products will go on sale under the new or combined brand.
- Elko is a Czech manufacturer of modular electronic devices, accessories for RF Control. All products and their components are manufactured according to ISO standards. Products are valued for the quality of materials and assembly. In developing the models engineers take into account the wishes of customers.
- Sirio is an Italian company that designs and manufactures its own antennas. Products of the company are valued for reliability, quality materials and assembly. They comply with EU directives on the restriction of hazardous substances in products.
- Antenna Network Laboratory Inc. – is an American company that manufactures high-quality components for radio communications under the Anli brand. The assembly of goods is carried out in Taiwan. Supplies of materials and components is carried out by a subsidiary company in Japan. The range is represented by models of different types and ranges.
- Optim is a Russian company that designs and manufactures a variety of radio antennas with a good price-quality ratio. They have good characteristics, high mechanical strength, can withstand strong wind loads.
Rating of car antennas
Classify devices into passive and active. The first are not equipped with their own power supply, so they are advised to choose for use in urban areas. Their price is lower, but the quality of the signal depends on the location of the radio station, the number of objects on the way of transport. Problems also arise during installation due to the large size. The plus side of the choice is a good resistance to third-party signals. Active devices have their own power supply, signal converter, so the sound will be clearer. The presence of an amplifier allows you to receive radio waves on long-distance trips. It is easier to install it, but a more complex device increases the price and reduces the reliability of the model. Which car antenna for radio is better, helped determine the results of comparative tests of the following characteristics:
- Mounting method;
- Frequency and radio signal standard;
- Gain factor;
- Cable length;
When selecting, we took into account the difficulty of installation, the quality of signal reception. All the nominees are divided into 2 categories according to the principle of the place of attachment of the device. Each section gives a description of the models, according to the analysis of user reviews highlighted their pros and cons.
The best car interior antennas
Internal devices for receiving and transmitting radio signals are attached with a suction cup or adhesive tape on the windshield, rear window of the cabin. They are often chosen by drivers who want to avoid drilling into the body of the car, the cost of buying car accessories after the theft or damage. These models usually have built-in amplifiers, which provide a greater range of signal reception. The disadvantages include insufficient mounting reliability, interference from cell phones, navigators, partial cluttering of the viewing area. By comparing the main characteristics in this review category out of 10 nominees were the 5 best models.
Supra Saf 7
The body of the active car radio antenna is made of black plastic. The kit includes an adhesive tape for attaching to the windshield. Easy installation is due to the good cable length, which is 2.5 m. The model is designed to receive the signal in VHF, VHF, SW, FM bands. It can be used together with any type of car radios. While working it consumes less than 12 mA. The possibility of multiple installation is due to the lack of the need to install whiskers.
- Ultra-sensitive reception;
- Works well in urban interference, away from radio stations;
- Low price;
- Compact size;
- Low weight.
- Tinting in the car affects the radio waves.
Opinions about the quality of signal reception by the antenna users are divided. Some argue that even within the city limits in the air constant interference. Others point to the need for proper installation, compliance with the rules which helped to solve the problem.
Blaupunkt Autofun Pro
The round case of the model is made of durable plastic. Due to the compact size of the device the driver does not experience discomfort when driving, only a small part of the viewing area is closed. The cable length is 2.9 m, which ensures easy mounting of the device in almost any car. The antenna receives a signal in the VHF, UHF, fm bands. In the center of the body is a blue LED.
- Quality signal reception;
- Bright backlighting;
- The kit includes an adhesive tape for attaching;
- Low weight.
Most users note the quality of the build, better signal reception than Bosch models. Pleased with the presence of backlight, which if you want can be turned off. Negative reviews about the nominee are not fixed.
- Low weight;
- Good signal reception outside the city, in industrial interference;
- High gain;
- Compact size;
- Receives analog and digital signals.
In their reviews, the owners of the top nominee note problems when watching TV channels. The signal is often lost, a lot of interference.
It is advised to choose this antenna only for radio frequency amplification, it copes with this function on 5. Noises disappear and the stations appear that were not available before.
Bosch Autofun Pro
The design of the device mount allows you to position its shoulders at an angle of 90 degrees, which provides a reliable fixation on the windshield. The compact model does not obstruct the driver’s view, he can well control the movement of other vehicles. Bosch Autofun Pro car antenna has a plastic case with a built-in amplifier. The latter provides high sensitivity, clear reception of radio stations, which are located at a great distance from the car, in AM, FM bands.
- No noise, no noise on the air;
- Qualitative processing of high-frequency signals;
- The voltage stabilizer protects the model from breakdowns at overloads;
- Durable casing material;
- Performance indicator;
- Good gain factor.
- Short cable;
- High price.
Experts note that most reviews about poor signal reception are due to the purchase of fakes. If you follow the rules of the installation instructions, users have no problems. The kit includes all clamps, gel for grounding.
Changes in the design of the model are related to its purpose, which is to receive digital or analog television signals. Its range is 80 km, is able to work near the TV tower. When installing the antenna body is attached to the windshield with scotch tape, and its glass-textile webs along the edge. A LED will indicate the correct connection. The kit includes adapters to connect to a TV receiver or tuner.
- Receives signals in all DVB-T bands;
- Shows from 20 to 59 channels;
- Long cable;
- High gain;
- Low power consumption;
- Compact size.
In reviews of the Triad car antenna, users note the ease of installation, good design and reception at any speed. Cases of referral to service centers to replace the device have not been recorded.
The best outdoor antennas for cars
Devices of the external type are often included in the set of the car. Their appearance is combined with the design of the vehicle, and the technical characteristics have the best parameters. This allows you to receive high-frequency radio signals from repeaters that are located at a long distance. At the same time the installation is often associated with a number of difficulties. The owner needs to cut a hole in the body of the machine, constantly remove the magnet-locks. The comparative test data allowed us to single out 4 best outdoor car antennas out of 10 nominees.
Elko Ep AN-E
Outdoor radio Czech manufacturer used to activate switching actuators RFGSM-220M, eLAN-RF-003, eLAN-RF-Wi-003, RFDA-73 / RGB, RFSA-61M, RFSA-66M, EMDC-64M, RFDEL-71M. They provide wireless control of electrical devices. Drivers use them to turn on garage or entrance gates, barriers. Operating frequency of the antenna – 868 MHz. You can fix it on the roof, the car body.
- Range – 100 m;
- Low weight;
- Metal rod;
- Long cable;
- Works at temperatures from -40 0 C to +50 0 C;
- Compact size;
- Average price.
- Little resistance to atmospheric phenomena.
The model has a good sensitivity, so users note a good perception and signal transmission antenna. The pluses include the possibility of use in harsh climatic conditions.
The device of passive type is made in the form of a pin. Receives CB radio signals at a frequency of 26.9-27.5 MHz. Mounted on the roof, the car body with a bracket. In the second case, the tuning is a little bit off. The length of the model is 62 cm, with a rubber cap with the company logo on top. Under it there is an adjusting screw with a lock nut, which is used to adjust the antenna. The kit includes foil for fixing the magnetic base.
- High-quality materials and construction;
- Good gain;
- Long cable.
- Possible fakes.
Most users advise to buy an antenna for car radios. It is easy to install, hearing in the city is good.
The disadvantages include the rapid appearance of rust in the base, the vibration of the thick pin at high speed.
Anli Aw-6 Vhf
The design and type of the model are identical to the previous nominee. At the same time, the rod length is increased to 133 cm, and the range of operating frequencies – from 136 to 172 MHz. The VHF radio standard has a greater communication range, so radios with this antenna work well outside the city, in rough terrain. Mounting the device carried out with a magnet, which is included. Radiating pin is made of high-alloy stainless steel.
- High resistance to atmospheric phenomena, UV rays;
- Easy adjustment;
- Fits most cars;
- Low weight.
- No spring to absorb the vibration;
- Build quality.
Users note good communication, but low resistance to mechanical impacts. The coil is weak to shocks, breaks quickly. Also there is no possibility to fold the antenna on the roof, you have to remove it.
Optim UNION CB RU
The model is not equipped with a magnet or a plunge base, so it is only used in trucks Man, Scania, Volvo. Installation is carried out in the factory base with male thread. It works in the CB frequency range. The height of the spiral pin is 62 cm, the diameter of the radiator is 0.1 cm. The standing wave coefficient does not exceed 1.2, so the signal loss is about 1%.
- Easy to set the minimum VSWR value;
- The rubber cap at the top of the housing protects it from water;
- The average price;
- Good gain factor.
- Small range of operating frequencies.
Experts have found that the nominee has quality signal reception. Power loss is practically not noticeable. The main disadvantage is the impossibility of use in passenger cars.
What car antenna is better to buy
The choice of device is influenced by the purpose of installation, because not every model is able to perceive television signals. Also consider the type of antenna, which determines the quality of work in high-rise buildings, out of town, in the countryside. When buying, inspect the main connector of the device, its quality affects the strength of the received waves. The presence of the necessary elements in the kit will save you costs. The following tips will help make the choice easier:
- Car roof antenna – Sirio T3-27;
- Inexpensive interior model – Supra Saf 7;
- A device for receiving TV signals – Triada-619.
When buying an antenna check the integrity of the packaging, the lack of boxes and protective packaging indicates a violation of the rules of transportation, possible damage. It is necessary and the presence of instructions with connection diagrams, which will allow you to quickly and correctly fix the model.