Mohu Blade HD TV Antenna Review: Hot Design, Lukewarm Performance

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Mohu is known for delivering innovative antenna designs such as the Mohu Curve and some of the top performers in the category like the Mohu ReLeaf. The company's latest offering, the Blade HD TV antenna ($30), follows in the footsteps of the former models, but trails with some lackluster indoor performance.

Design: Polished and solid

With a flat, matte finish and its faux-granite oblong surface, the Blade is a sturdy antenna. Unlike more common flexible flat antennas, which can be flimsy, this Mohu model is solidly constructed. A circular fixture on the back means it can be hung on a wall with supplied screws or, using a snap-in plastic kickstand, set up on a tabletop.

In practice, wall-mounting the Blade is a better option. The kickstand for tabletops would be unsteady because of how the detachable coaxial cable connects to the back of the antenna. So Mohu includes an elbow connector to obviate the problem – another example of this antenna's well-considered design.

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The Blade antenna can also be mounted outside, and would blend in nicely with a gray stucco or concrete wall. Our only hesitation about such an installation would be the lack of a supplied waterproof cable connector, but a little plumber's putty around the joint would probably suffice.

Mohu Blade HD TV Antenna Key Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Channels Received12
Rated Range40 miles
1080p ReceptionYes
Cable Length 10 feet
Size18 x 5 x 0.7 inches

Setup: Options and an amplifier

Sleek and modern, the Blade comes with all the essentials to set it up and install it indoors. Different mounting screws make it easy to put it on a plaster or wood-paneled wall. The Blade's multidirectional design means that, like most HD TV antennas, you do not have to point it at the nearest broadcast tower.

To plug it in, the included in-line antenna can draw power from a TV's USB port or via an included AC plug. The heavier gauge coaxial cable that Mohu includes is 10 feet long, allowing for flexible placement in most viewing rooms. An outdoor setup may require a longer cable, however.

Performance: Better outside than in

We tested the Mohu Blade using our test Samsung KS9000 4K TV in New York City, where there are dozens of over-the-air stations available.

An initial scan using the Blade in our standardized indoor placement turned up just 13 stations. We re-tested checking our positioning, cables, etc., but couldn't improve on the results.

Received stations included the major ABC affiliate and subchannels, as well as channels featuring reruns from the '80s and the important Spanish language Umas station. Oddly missing from the lineup were the local PBS stations and shopping channels, which we often receive without a hitch.

We also tested the Blade without the amplifier, or "power injector," because sometimes it can  negatively impact reception. However, we pulled in only eight stations without the amplifier.

The indoor reception was disappointing, especially compared to the likes of lower or comparably priced antennas like HomeWorx Digital Flat Antenna (19 stations) or Amazon Basics Ultra Thin antenna (31 stations).

MORE: 10 Cheap TV Antennas (Under $20) Ranked Best to Worst

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Mohu Blade did better outside. An initial channel scan turned in a total of 39 stations. However, only 28 of the listed channels turned out to be watchable.

Bottom Line

The Mohu Blade is undeniably an attractive antenna in a world of less-than-attractive designs. And the option of going indoors or outdoors with this model is an advantage. However, we were dismayed by its weak indoor performance. Models like the Amazon Basics Ultra Thin pulled in more than twice as many stations. True, the Blade did adequately when placed outdoors, and some urban cord-cutters may find it performs well in their locales.

Credit: Mohu

John R. Quain

John R. Quain has been reviewing and testing video and audio equipment for more than 20 years. For Tom's Guide, he has reviewed televisions, HDTV antennas, electric bikes, electric cars, as well as other outdoor equipment. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times and the CBS News television program.