You know what’s better than the Mohu Leaf? A BIG Mohu Leaf. Or, at least, that’s what Mohu hopes. The Mohu Leaf Glide is the big brother of Mohu’s famous leaf, and it’s big in every way: form factor, reception range, and (unfortunately) price. Is this big boy a big deal? Let’s find out in our Mohu Leaf Glide review
Mohu Leaf Glide Review
A quick disclosure
We always tell our readers when we get free samples of products to review, and that was the case here. Getting another antenna to throw in my pile of 800 samples will not, of course, affect the objectivity of this Mohu Leaf Glide review. We do not sell review samples, use them in promotions, or otherwise profit off of them in any way.
I assume that the Leaf Glide is named that because if you grab the short sides and jump off a cliff you can parasail with it. (Note: Please do not try this, and don’t sue us if you do.) This thing is big – 12.5” x 21.8”, to be exact. It’s paper thin, however, and sturdy. It’s black on one side and white on the other, so you can choose which color to expose (unless you mount it in your window, in which case I guess you can just choose which side to subject your neighbors to). The cable and amplifier are both white, though.
The cord that connects the amplifier to the TV side is permanently attached, so you won’t be able to swap it for a longer coaxial cable – your amplifier is stuck close to the TV. That said, the power adapter for the amplifier has a pretty long cord. And you have an outlet near your TV anyway, right?
Anyway, all of this comes from Mohu, one of the best antenna companies in the biz. They have a great reputation, and we’ve been impressed by their work before. Would we be this time? Scroll on, dear reader.
Reception and range
The Leaf Glide did pretty well in my trials. It got clear reception and picked up about as many local channels as I’ve come to expect from my testing environment. Ultimately, though, I wasn’t blown away by the Leaf Glide’s range.
Is the range better than that of the Mohu ReLeaf? Yes, it is. Is it better than that of the RGTech Monarch 50 that we reviewed recently? Yes, barely. Did it whip these two by the margin that you’d expect, given that the Mohu Leaf Glide is much, much bigger than those other two antennas and advertises a notably longer range? No, it is not.
This seems to be a perennial problem with the largest indoor antennas we review, and I think it reflects a harsh truth: that if you really want to get channels from much more than 40 miles away, you’ll have better luck with an outdoor antenna. It just seems like you get diminishing returns as you keep increasing the size of these flag indoor models. The massive Leaf Glide outperforms antennas half its size, but not by so much that most people would think the large footprint is worth it. The Glide is great, but it’s not leaps and bounds better than its little brothers from Mohu and its competitors from other manufacturers. There’s not much reason to go bigger and pricier if an extra channel or two is all the Leaf Glide is offering.
Which, Mohu assures us, isn’t the case: the Leaf Glide is also 4K-ready. “Great!” I thought when I heard that. “What the heck does that mean?”
It doesn’t mean that the Life Glide picks up 4K OTA broadcasts. That would be quite the feat, because those broadcasts don’t exist yet. It just means that when those broadcasts do come along (which will happen when we move to ATSC 3.0), your Leaf Glide will be able to pick them up. Cutting edge!
Well, not really, actually, because all TV antennas can pick up 4K signals. They can pick up any signals on the right frequencies – that’s what antennas do. It’s your TV tuner that has to puzzle through the ATSC standard, and that’s the real barrier to your 4K OTA readiness.
I don’t say this to pick on Mohu. Increased chatter around ATSC 3.0 seems to have made “4K-ready” a thing in antenna marketing all over the place. Mohu isn’t the only company saying this, and this certainly will not be the last time a company boasts that the sample they’re sending us is 4K-ready. But this may be the last time we mention it in the body of the review, because, uh, it’s meaningless.
We’re bothering to wrote a Mohu Leaf Glide review because we want to help you decide if it’s worth buying. Right now, the answer to that question very dependent on the price. You’ll have to pay $89.99 for this guy, at least as of this writing. That’s not cheap. A quick Amazon search shows plenty of 60-ish mile indoor and outdoor options going for half that price or less (to be fair, most of these are on sale and some are from manufacturers that I’d trust far less than I trust Mohu). The RGTech Monarch 50, which we recently reviewed, is going for less than $25 on Amazon as of this writing – yes, it’s a difference of 15 miles in advertised range, but we’re talking about less than a third of the price!
Big price drops on Amazon aren’t uncommon for antennas, though, so it’s worth keeping your eye out. A price drop could make the Leaf Glide very appealing. So am I saying it’s not appealing now? Hold on, that’s a question for the next section.
Ultimately, the Leaf Glide is a decent antenna. Almost all of the antennas we get in are, especially when they come from reliable manufacturers (of which Mohu certainly is one). If you pay a company like Mohu or RCA somewhere between $25 and $100, you’ll get a good antenna every time. The Mohu Leaf is good (great, even). The ReLeaf is good. And the Life Glide is good, too. I expected nothing less.
But I did expect a bit more. We bother to review these things, even though they’re almost all reasonably reliable, because we want to help you get the best value. And I think that, for more users, the Glide just isn’t that great of a value.
The Leaf Glide just doesn’t beat other products by enough to justify what it asks of you in terms of price and form factor. When I took the amplifier from the Glide and used it to boost the RGTech Monarch 50, I actually got better reception from the Monarch! That doesn’t mean the Leaf Glide stinks and the Monarch is great – after all, we’re talking about the amplifier that came with the Leaf Glide – but it does me question why is the Glide needs to be so big if its own amplifier works just as well with the smaller Monarch.
While it failed, the Leaf Glide was targeting something that seems almost impossible to me. I’m not sure you’ll get a 65-mile range from an indoor antenna anywhere with trees or hills or buildings. Maybe the Glide’s target audience should settle for the 40- or 50-mile range more typically claimed by amplified indoor antennas, or maybe they should get an outdoor antenna and stick it high on the roof. But 65 miles from an antenna inside your living room seems like too much to ask. Certainly, it was too much to ask of the Glide.
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