The Best Car Antenna
How often do you think about your car antenna? Probably not much. Most folks don’t pay mind to their vehicle’s antenna until it’s broken or the source of an issue. Off-roaders are some of the first automotive enthusiasts to replace their factory antenna with an option that won’t snag on tree brush or similarly low-hanging obstacles. Those who like to customize their car almost always replace their antennas with something more attractive. Even so, it likely isn’t the first upgrade on their list. Other issues posed by car covers and car washes are also things that will drive car owners to swap their antennae. Of course, there’s always the fact that one may desire better reception. So what’s the reason you want to make this upgrade? While we can’t tell you why you should replace your antenna, we can tell you what some of the best options on the market are!
Enhanced reception, a low profile design, and a great price point are why the Rydonair 13-Inch Flexible Rubber Antenna is our top pick. This antenna is much smaller than most factory options as it only measures in at 13 inches tall. This makes for a very attractive design. It will also reduce the risk of the antenna getting snagged and breaking. In the case that brush or something similar bends the antenna, its rubber construction allows it to spring right back into place without breaking or deforming. This unit is also designed to provide increased reception of AM and FM bands. Despite being small, it may perform better than the factory equipment. Rydonair offers this antenna in configurations that will work with many popular applications making it a perfect upgrade for many drivers.
We find that the low price point and high versatility of the Herdio Flexible Rubber Antenna make it the option with the best value. This antenna provides a strong enough signal to pick up AM/FM bands from up to ten miles away, which is higher than factory options on many cars and trucks. It is not the shortest antenna on the market, but it is flexible enough to resist bends and breaks, making it perfect for use on a range of applications. The use of rubber and a swivel base also makes it easy to angle and adjust without the worry of causing damage. A significant benefit of this unit is it’s resistance to water and corrosion. This makes it a perfect option for automotive, home, and even marine radios.
Some car owners want the shortest antenna available that will sacrifice as little signal as possible; the ICBEAMER 3″ Universal AM/FM Radio Antenna is extremely short and uses a powerful internal coil that provides a high-quality signal that matches or exceeds the signal strength of some factory antennas. This unit is just 3 inches tall, which is much smaller than factory options. The size ensures little risk of the antenna breaking from hard abuse that brush and carwashes will throw at it. The exterior is constructed of carbon fiber, which is extremely strong, furthering its ability to stand up to harsh environments. This also gives the antenna a very stylish look. Four useable screws make this a universal antenna that can be fitted to a wide range of applications.
Bullet-inspired antennas are very popular, and we find the Ronin Factory Bullet Antenna to be the best one on the market. The size is proportional to an actual .50 caliber bullet. This makes for an authentic feel but also makes this a very short antenna that will slip right past obstacles. Military-grade aluminum with a mil-spec hard anodized finish resists scratches and abuse along with corrosion. AM and FM reception is excellent for the size, and the antenna is also compatible with XM and Bluetooth signals. This antenna is application-specific, but it is available in versions compatible with popular cars and trucks. All necessary tools for installation are included, and because this type of antenna is desirable, thread locker is also included. This prevents thieves from being able to remove it from an unattended vehicle quickly.
Car washes pose a serious risk to antennas. The Votex Short EPDM Rubber Antenna is specifically designed to combat this harsh environment. The small size is the first line of defense, as it will simply slip past moving machinery that tends to bend or break antennas. In the case that it is hit by something in the car wash, its rubber construction will prevent it from taking any damage. This makes this a great option for other applications, including trucks that may be used off-road. Unlike competitive options, this antenna uses a highly-conductive copper coil that promises unmatched reception from other antennas of this size. In many cases, reception is just as good as the factory antenna, but results will vary. The screw-in design makes this antenna application-specific but is offered for many popular applications.