Mohu Leaf Glide review: antenna provides strong VHF/UHF reception
The Mohu Leaf Glide remains one of the more expensive indoor TV antennas that specialize in getting Very High Frequency (VHF) channels.
After using this antenna since its release in 2017, my takeaway remains the same. You should buy the Mohu Leaf Glide if other indoor TV antennas failed to get VHF broadcasts that are reasonably within range.
Otherwise, there are excellent, less pricey options out there for indoor TV antennas. You can read my ongoing annual study of The Best Indoor TV Antennas for those recommendations.
Spending nearly $100 for an indoor antenna might not matter that much to you if you can’t use an outdoor antenna.
The Mohu Leaf Glide shored up VHF channels that previously came in with pixilated or frozen pictures. It also improved a couple of UHF channels.
How I tested the Mohu Leaf Glide
Since its release in 2017, I’ve tested the Leaf Glide alongside a number of other top indoor TV antennas. My testing of TV antennas happens in two places. First I set up TV antennas where I live in Boston, and later take them to a rural town about 87 miles away along the coast of Maine.
In Maine, broadcast towers are few and far between. I brought along an amplified ClearStream Eclipse for a comparison. I also had an RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi antenna mounted to a rooftop to test it against.
Mohu has been advertising the Leaf Glide as having comparable performance to an outdoor antenna with a 65-mile range. So I was curious to see how it would do in a couple of different settings.
The company invited me to test out the Leaf Glide. Mohu provided me with a free sample antenna for this review, but had no input on this review.
Leaf Glide specs
Like all amplified antennas, you’re going to need some electrical power. The Leaf Glide has the option to plug the amp into an electrical outlet. If there isn’t an outlet nearby, you can use a USB port on the back of a TV.
That’s especially convenient for wall mounted televisions. This might seem like a minor feature until you run out of outlets or try to pretty up your living room by making it look like a cordless environment.
The Leaf Glide is nearly twice the size of its predecessor, the Mohu Leaf, measureing 11.5” in height, and 21.5 inches wide. You can secure it to a wall by either using push-pins or Velcro patches that are included in the box.
The antenna comes with 16 feet of coaxial cable and rounded easy-twist connectors on each end. The connectors made setup easier on the hands. Mohu says that the Leaf has patented SignaLift technology to draw in VHF (Very High Frequency) channels better than other indoor antennas.
What’s so important about VHF channels?
VHF bands are on channels 2 through 13, where major networks broadcast in HD digital. It’s a prime piece of bandwidth that cord cutters want to tap into for local NBC, CBS, ABC affiliates and others.
There are also sub-channels that exist on the VHF band that you might want to get.
Where I live, there are genre-style channels like Escape and World that have a variety of shows and movies.
So when we are talking about channels 2 to 13, there are likely many more potential channels that will appear (like channel 2-2, 2-3, etc.) that you can get with your antenna.
Leaf Glide performance
The Leaf Glide’s performance matched the less expensive ClearStream Eclipse amplified antenna with drawing in most signals within a 30-mile range during my tests in the city.
Getting VHF channels isn’t much of a challenge here, but I was surprised when I noticed that the Leaf Glide got slightly better reception with a couple of UHF channels and sub-channels (note: not VHF) in the high 50s.
These were channels that I could get previously, but came in pixilated or frozen making them unwatchable.
So if someone was relying on their antenna to get their Clint Eastwood or John Wayne fix from a channel like GRIT, the Leaf Glide would be your antenna. The same was true for channels like iON Life and Bounce.
The Leaf Glide’s performance remained consistent at the rural home in Maine, where there were 7 OTA stations that offered 21 channels. Both indoor antennas could get six out of the seven channels. Getting those results came after scanning for channels more than once, and trying the antenna in a few different locations.
Local NBC and ABC affiliates that had towers located about 36 miles away were among the channels that came in with a clear HD picture. Getting these VHF channels may have been more difficult in Maine because I was located in a woodsy area surrounded by large trees.
Leaf Glide vs outdoor antenna
The real prize that I sought while in my vacation spot was a local FOX affiliate that was roughly 56 miles away. Despite a number of attempts with the antenna in different places, the Leaf Glide couldn’t get the channel.
After a few trips up a ladder, I also found out that the Yagi outdoor antenna couldn’t get the not-so-local FOX affiliate either. The Yagi is advertised as having a 60-mile range, so it should have been able to reach the FOX channel after making some adjustments. It just didn’t happen.
The Yagi was able to pick up one more channel (a local PBS station) that the Leaf Glide and ClearStream Eclipse could not.
Is a Mohu Leaf Glide worth it?
In all cases, the picture clarity from the Mohu Leaf Glide was crisp and bright. Moving the Leaf Glide in different directions and elevating it within the household improved its performance.
So like with any indoor antenna, it’s best to get an idea what direction most of the towers you want to draw from are located.
Being able to match and at times edge out the performance of a ClearStream Eclipse, one of the best indoor antennas on the market, is a good space to be in.
The Leaf Glide may be a worthy investment if you are restricted to use an indoor antenna, and live in a part of the U.S. where you’ve struggled to get major networks like NBC, CBS or ABC.
But it comes back to the question of price.
The Mohu Leaf Glide costs almost as much as a quality outdoor TV antenna. So if you’re struggling to get VHF channels, you’re better off mounting an outdoor TV antenna to a roof or inside an attic for better reception. Read my guide on How to Choose the Best TV Antenna & OTA DVR for more tips and suggestions on antennas.
What’s your favorite indoor TV antenna? Tell fellow readers in the comments below. For more tips on breaking free of cable TV, visit the main page of The Cord Cutting Report.
This review was originally published on 7/24/2017, and has been updated.
MENTIONED IN THIS REVIEW:
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble