Mohu Leaf 50 Review: Indoor HDTV Antenna

The Mohu Leaf 50 offers a great blend of performance with a sleek design, and we like the option of shaving $30 off with the unamplified Leaf 30 version.

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Mohu Leaf 50 offers a great blend of performance with a sleek design, and we like the option of shaving $30 off with the unamplified Leaf 30 version.


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    Slim, unobtrusive design

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    excellent reception


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Who's It For?

This antenna is for viewers who value unobtrusive design. 

NOTE: This product was tested at an earlier date in a different location — New Orleans. Mohu has changed the name of the product, but not its design or components.

Design and Setup: Easily blends in

The Mohu Leaf 50's ultra-thin, flexible design lends itself very nicely to blending in with your decor. (It's white on one side and black on the other, so you have options.) The lightweight Leaf is also extremely easy to mount to a wall with just a couple of tacks. It comes with a detachable coaxial cable and Mohu's Jolt-powered amplifier. (You can buy the Jolt separately; more on that below.) This antenna's low-profile design also makes it easy to hide behind your TV or other furniture, provided that such placement doesn't affect reception.

Performance: Plenty of channels

As the name implies, this $70 antenna is meant to pull in stations up to 50 miles away, assuming no obstacles. Alas, in urban test settings, we couldn't push the Leaf to its limits. In our New Orleans test location, we received 24 channels, which was solid performance for that area. The farthest station the antenna could receive was still only about 9 miles away, a limitation caused by obstacles. We had to experiment moderately with placement to max out the device's performance.

You can also buy just the antenna, as the Leaf 30, for $40. This model got four fewer stations than we received with the amp. But if your local broadcasters are relatively close, the Leaf 30 might do the trick. You could also start with the Leaf 30 and buy the Jolt later for $30 if you need the boost. There's no price penalty for buying the two parts separately.

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Mike Kobrin is a freelance journalist who has written about audio technology for the likes of Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Mens Journal, Rolling Stone, Consumers Digest, DigitalTrends, Wired News, CrunchGear, CNet and PC Magazine, as well as Tom's Guide. He's also a musician, with years of experience playing the trumpet.

  • razor512
    I have one and it sucks. While it is more omnidirectional than most standard antennas, it seems to have a far lower gain. For example in Queens NY, a cheap $5 antenna (basic rabbit ears) would pickup more stations than the mohu leaf, though I had to position it carefully for different stations. The mohu leaf picks up far fewer stations but for the one it does pick up, one position can usually pick up most of them.

    The build material is pretty much the same as those really cheap laminated table mats. Inside is a thin metallic foil cut into a certain shape (essentially die cut foil)

    The actual build cost must have beenaround $1 or less.

    Since I bought it directly from them, their return policy makes it hard to get a refund. At the time they wanted a large restocking fee in addition to having to cover shipping cost. This business model allows them to sell ineffective antennas that do not come even close to meeting the advertised range, and for the people who end up with it, will be disappointed and have to choose between keeping it an hope to find a use (for me, it works well with software defined radios), or try to return it and essentially only get a partial refund (essentially giving mohu free money as they keep some of the money and get the product back to resell to another person who may then also return it. with enough work on mohu's part, they can essentially sell the same antenna to many different people.
  • g00ey
    Does anyone watch TV anymore these days?