Mohu is one of the most respected antenna brands among cord cutters, so when they release a new antenna, we pay attention. In this Mohu Blade review, we’re taking a look at a bold new Mohu antenna that combines a significant advertised range with a distinct form factor. Does the Mohu Blade live up to its billing? Will its design look as cool in practice as it does in Mohu’s promotional materials? And is the price right for this new product? We’ll answer all that and more in our Mohu Blade review.
Mohu Blade Review
Mohu sent us a free Mohu Blade review sample. That’s typical in our business, but we always take the extra step of notifying our readers when we receive free samples. We don’t profit off of our samples in any way, and we don’t accept any payment for reviews. Nobody other than the chosen reviewer (in this case, me!) has any say in the position we take in a Cordcutting.com review.
With that out of the way, let’s move onto our unbiased Mohu Blade review, shall we?
The Mohu Blade is an amplified indoor antenna. In many cases, amplified indoor antennas just look like typical flat indoor antennas with an amplifier added between the cord and the TV. The Mohu Blade’s amplifier looks pretty typical, but the antenna itself is a little unique: it’s much longer than it is tall, and while it’s fairly flat, it is thicker and sturdier than the somewhat flexible flat antennas we usually see. It measures 18″ by 4″, and it’s a bit less than an inch thick at its widest point. In places other than the thick bit with the coaxial jack it’s a quarter-inch thick, by my measurement.
The antenna can be mounted with the included hardware, or it can be stood up on one long side using a little plastic kickstand. The mounting bits and the kickstand do their business on the back of the antenna, where a protruding circular piece guards the coaxial jack and offers slots for the kickstand or mounting hardware.
Its gray, by the way: a medium gray with speckles of black and white. That’s a bit unusual for this space – antennas tend to be white or black (or both, if they’re reversible). You’ll see this antenna easily on a white wall.
A Mohu promo video has a lot to say about this design: it is “SLEEK,” “MODERN,” “VERSATILE,” DISCREET,” and “MOUNTABLE.” I’m on board with most of that. Sleek and modern is certainly is. It’s obviously mountable, and the kickstand option makes it versatile, or at least as versatile as something as simple as an antenna can be reasonably said to be. Only “discreet” really makes me pause; this is a gray antenna in a somewhat less common form factor, and I’m inclined to think that a basic flat antenna with the usual black and white options is at least as discreet, if not more so, than this one.
I don’t really see this antenna as something you hide, and – outside of that video ad copy – I’m not sure Mohu does, either. Here’s one of their promotional shots:
The idea seems to be that this sleek, modern antenna is designed to be hid in plain sight. Unless you have gray walls, its simple silhouette is probably going to be clearly visible, but the idea seems to be that the modern look makes that pretty palatable. Keep in mind that yours will have a coaxial cable, which seems to be missing from Mohu’s minimalist shot.
Whether this vibe works for you is up to you, of course. I think that the antenna looks pretty cool mounted on the wall as it is in the shot above. I think it looks alright facing out at the user from inside of or on top of an entertainment center. In some situations, though, you may end up looking at the less stylish backside of it: the coaxial jack is on the same side of the antenna as the kickstand is, so if you want to stick it on a windowsill or something you’ll probably end up putting it face-out, with the rather un-sleek rear side facing in.
That’s a minor beef, though. The bottom line is that the Mohu Blade is somewhat distinctive looking, and (as we’ll see later in our Mohu Blade review) how you feel about the form factor is going to play a significant role in whether or not you think this is a product worth buying. I usually don’t like antennas that call attention to themselves, but this one really grew on me. Plenty of people will have different opinions, I’m sure.
Reception and Range
The Mohu Blade really impressed me with its reception and range. It performed as well in those departments as just about any antenna I’ve tested before.
As I usually do in these reviews, I evaluated the Mohu Blade primarily in comparison with the other antennas I had lying around. That’s because measuring any antenna against its advertised range will leave you disappointed: with trees, buildings, and other stuff in the way, you’re sure to find channels that should be in range but aren’t being picked up. That was the case with the Blade, as usual, but the antenna really shone when pitted against peers.
The Blade narrowly beat the channel count I got when scanning with the NoCable amplified indoor antenna we recently reviewed here at Cordcutting.com, and this despite the fact that the NoCable’s advertised range is actually 10 miles larger than the Blade’s. Other competitors fell even further behind. And once the channels were in, I found that the reception was pretty consistent and clear.
The Mohu Blade will set you back $49.99. That’s an okay price, but nothing to write home about. I’ve gotten similar reception out of antennas that retail for less, and it’s not hard to find antennas that approach this one’s quality on sale for $30 or so. The Blade is better than most of the antennas I’m thinking of, but is it $20 better? The answer may depend on your environment. In a flat rural or suburban area, the Blade might deliver more bang for your buck. If channels 40 or more miles from you are rarer or more likely to be blocked by obstacles, then it’s harder to justify paying a big premium for a slightly better chance at grabbing one or two fringe channels. In the latter case, you’ll really be paying for the form factor and the brand name.
Performance-wise, I heartily recommend the Mohu Blade. It’s a great antenna that really gets the job done.
Aesthetics-wise, well, it’s up to you. It’s definitely a sharp-looking antenna in some ways, but it’s not as inconspicuous as more basic and familiar antenna styles can be, especially when you’re talking about a while antenna on a while wall. Other antennas look less special when spotted, but hide better; the Mohu Blade owns up to being an antenna, and it looks pretty good doing it. The choice is yours.
Ultimately, the only real hang-up I have about this device is that it’s still going for full price at the time of this writing. Mohu’s antennas are usually solid, and this one’s great; but Mohu’s antennas are also not particularly cheap, and this one is pretty typical that way. It’s not breathtakingly expensive, but you can get similar performance for less.
Simply put, if you spend $50 on this antenna, you will never say “I can’t believe I spend so much on a bad antenna.” It’s a good antenna! It will work! The money will not be wasted. But you may end up saying something along the lines of “I bet I could have gotten a similarly good antenna for bit less,” and that will be a fair assessment. The Mohu Blade will not disappoint you, but for it to delight you, I think you have to buy into the aesthetics. Its high performance is a matter of fact, but its hipness is a matter of opinion. If you dig it, then by all means, go buy this antenna.
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