Picking up the right shortwave radio antenna can make a massive difference in the quality of your signal capture. So, which option reigns supreme?
The best shortwave radio antenna to buy in the USA is the Upgrade Version Loop Antenna. You can easily install it anywhere because it’s compact and perfect for outdoor and indoor use.
This article will cover the pros and cons of the five best shortwave radio antennas when deciding which to buy.
The Top 5 Shortwave Radio Antennas in the uS
Overall: Upgrade Version Loop Antenna MLA-30+
If you’re looking for a versatile, easy-to-install antenna, the Upgrade Version Loop Antenna MLA-30+ should be at the top of your list.
This modular antenna design makes it perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Plus, its small size means you can store it away easily when it’s not in use.
The eight-shaped pattern provides deep dummy points to reduce interference further.
- 【UPGRADE VERSION】MLA-30+ plus Loop Antenna.
- 【EASY TO INSTALL】The receiving antenna is compact and can be easily installed on balconies, rooftops, and other places, featuring compact size.
- 【LOOP ANTENNA RECEIVING METHOD】 By rotating the antenna, the antenna's dummy point is aligned with the interference signal.
- 【HIGH EFFICIENCY】Excellent directivity helps reduce noise and improve SNR.When receiving traditional antennas, you can find weak signals that are submerged by noise.
- 【WIDELY USED】Ring active receiving antenna is an effective antenna for short-wave listeners (SWL) and amateur radios (HAM).
At the same time, the stainless steel ring vibrator makes installation and maintenance a breeze.
On top of that, this antenna is powered by USB and comes with a feeder for easy setup.
- Compact size: The antenna is compact, making it easy to install in various locations, including balconies, attics, and rooftops.
- Wide range: Although small, this antenna offers excellent signal reception, from 500 kHz to 30 MHz.
- Built-in amplifier: The built-in amplifier helps boost the signal strength, providing crystal-clear sound quality.
- High-quality sound: This antenna has up to 30 dB noise reduction compared to longline antennas, making it perfect for picking up weak signals.
- Not designed for transmitters: This antenna should not be connected to a transmitter as this can damage the preamplifier.
- Limited range: Despite its impressive reception capabilities, the antenna still has a limited range compared to other antennas.
- Signal strength: The signals may still be weaker in some areas due to interference from nearby electronic devices such as Wi-Fi routers, LCD TVs, and electric car chargers.
Best Outdoor Antenna: Alpha Delta HF SWL Shortwave Sloper Antenna
The Alpha Delta HF SWL Shortwave Sloper Antenna is the best outdoor antenna for those who need reliable performance at longer distances.
The SWL Sloper Antenna offers exceptional signal quality and unparalleled reception. It can cover 13-meter to 120-meter SWL shortwave bands and 0.15 to 1.6 MHz on medium wave.
It performs best when installed at 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters).
- Versatility: The adjustable design allows you to face the antenna in any direction for increased signal reception.
- High performance: SWL Sloper Antennas have low-angle radiation patterns that provide excellent DX and long-haul reception.
- Weatherproof: This model is designed to withstand the toughest weather conditions, with stainless steel hardware and 12 AWG wiring providing extra durability. Moreover, its coils and components are UV-protected for further protection from outdoor elements.
- Expensive: This antenna is one of the most costly shortwave antennas on the market.
- Limited band range: The range of the SWL Sloper Antenna is limited to 13-meter to 120-meter bands.
- Overpriced: It may be overpriced compared to other antennas with similar performance.
Best Indoor Antenna: Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna
The Sangean ANT-60 Short Wave Antenna is the best indoor antenna for those who want to improve their shortwave radio reception.
This antenna can be extended to 23 feet (7 meters) and then rolled into an easily transportable container.
The 0.14-inch (3.5-millimeter) mini plug fits any external antenna jack, so it can conveniently connect to an outdoor telescoping rod when necessary.
- Improves the performance and reception of your shortwave radio
- Extends to 23 feet and can be easily rewound into its compact case
- Has 3.5-millimeter mini plug
- Fits any 3.5-millimeter external antenna jack
This antenna is an excellent choice for picking up weak signals, as it has an adjustable amplifier and a low-noise preamplifier to reduce interference.
- Compact design: The antenna extends and can easily be folded into its compact case.
- Easy installation: The 3.5-millimeter mini plug fits into any 3.5-millimeter external antenna jack, making it easy to hook up.
- Versatility: It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor applications.
- Limited frequency range: The Sangean Short Wave Antenna has a limited frequency range and may not be suitable for some shortwave radios.
- Size: The antenna is small, which may limit its reception power.
Best Long-Range Antenna: GP Telescopic 5.6M/18.4FT Antenna
The GP Telescopic 5.6M/18.4FT Antenna is the best long-range antenna for those who want to pick up signals from far distances.
This telescopic antenna has 14 sections, reinforced stainless steel, and secondary reinforcing ribs to ensure long-lasting use and increased performance.
Its M10 threaded connector connects to a wide range of receivers.
- Long range: The telescopic antenna extends to 18.4 feet (5.6 meters) for better signal pickup at long distances.
- Easy connection: Its M10 threaded connector lets you connect it to a wide range of receivers.
- Ease of use and storage: It’s designed to be easy to fold and expand with minimal effort.
- Fragile: The telescopic antenna comprises more than a dozen sections that slide in and out of each other, making it more delicate than other antennas.
- Extendable height: It can be extended to 18.4 feet (5.6 meters), which may be too tall to use in some locations.
The Most Powerful Antenna: Demeras QRP HF Antenna Full Band Tuned Antenna
The QRP HF Portable Full Band Tuned Antenna is the most powerful shortwave radio antenna.
It’s perfect for those who need a large coverage area. It’s made of heavy-duty aluminum, making it durable and able to withstand harsh conditions.
- PORTABLE AND EASY TO USE: This is a portable small loop antenna, which is easy and fast to set up the antenna for your shortwave transceiver antenna
- PRACTICAL FUNCTION: Let you enjoy the pleasure of multi band reception and communication at indoors, window, balconies and outdoors
- REDUCE INTERFERENCE: Interference resistant, possess low standing wave, strong directionality, full frequency band
- EXTENDED USE METHOD: Remove the pull rod antenna. Connect a 20 meter long wire. The long cable frame is erected high or on the roof. Tuning method is the same as above. The launch efficiency will increase several times. This method can replace the pull rod antenna
- MAIN APPLICATIONS: Used for signal receiving and sending, aluminum alloy and steel material is durable, corrosion resistant
It’s designed with a wide coverage range of:
- 3.5 – 30 MHZ
- 50 – 54 MHZ
- 6 – 108 MHZ
- 117 – 136 MHZ
- 136 – 174 MHZ
- 400 – 470 MHZ
This makes it suitable for short- and long-range broadcasts, allowing you to pick up even the weakest signals from far away.
- Durability: The heavy-duty aluminum construction makes it able to withstand harsh conditions.
- Easy setup: The antenna is easy to set up and use.
- Powerful reception: It can pick up even the weakest signals from far away.
- Pricy: This high-end antenna is more expensive than other models.
You have various choices if you’re searching for the perfect shortwave radio antenna. Each one brings different advantages and disadvantages, so your ideal choice will depend entirely on what requirements are most important to you.