Windows 11 steals a great Microsoft Teams feature for better video calls

Windows 11 is set to get one of Microsoft Team’s best features, thanks to “Voice Clarity”, which will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make your voice in calls and recordings much clearer.

Microsoft Teams, an app that many people use for video calls, has a very similar feature that does an excellent job at minimizing and eliminating background noises for people in noisy environments, ensuring they can be heard clearly.

With the feature being so acclaimed, it’s little surprise to see Microsoft bring it to the wider Windows 11 operating system, which would allow the feature to work with other video calling apps. Voice Clarity was announced at Microsoft’s recent ‘Hybrid Work’ event as one of the ways the company is making its products better for people who are now spending their time working from home, as well as in an office.

While the noise-canceling features in Microsoft Teams have proved popular, there’s not a huge amount of love for the application itself, so bringing it to Windows 11 itself could prove a popular move.


Analysis: There’s always a catch

Surface Laptop Studio

(Image credit: Future)

While the idea of making Voice Clarity available to more apps and users, the catch is that at the moment, the feature will only work on the Surface Laptop Studio, a relatively niche product from Microsoft.

That’s certainly a shame, as it means that the vast majority of Windows 11 users still won’t be able to make use of the feature.

It’s a bit of a puzzling decision, and we’ve contacted Microsoft to ask why this is the case. It may be due to some hardware-specific requirements that only the Surface Laptop Studio has. Or, Microsoft could just be limiting the availability of the feature to help boost interest in the Surface Laptop Studio.

But, with an increasing number of us relying on video calls for keeping in contact with friends, family and co-workers, any tools that can help make those calls better is certainly welcome, and we’d love to see Microsoft make the Voice Clarity feature more widely available.

Via Windows Latest

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Windows 11 steals a great Microsoft Teams feature for better video calls

Windows 11 is set to get one of Microsoft Team’s best features, thanks to “Voice Clarity”, which will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make your voice in calls and recordings much clearer.

Microsoft Teams, an app that many people use for video calls, has a very similar feature that does an excellent job at minimizing and eliminating background noises for people in noisy environments, ensuring they can be heard clearly.

With the feature being so acclaimed, it’s little surprise to see Microsoft bring it to the wider Windows 11 operating system, which would allow the feature to work with other video calling apps. Voice Clarity was announced at Microsoft’s recent ‘Hybrid Work’ event as one of the ways the company is making its products better for people who are now spending their time working from home, as well as in an office.

While the noise-canceling features in Microsoft Teams have proved popular, there’s not a huge amount of love for the application itself, so bringing it to Windows 11 itself could prove a popular move.


Analysis: There’s always a catch

Surface Laptop Studio

(Image credit: Future)

While the idea of making Voice Clarity available to more apps and users, the catch is that at the moment, the feature will only work on the Surface Laptop Studio, a relatively niche product from Microsoft.

That’s certainly a shame, as it means that the vast majority of Windows 11 users still won’t be able to make use of the feature.

It’s a bit of a puzzling decision, and we’ve contacted Microsoft to ask why this is the case. It may be due to some hardware-specific requirements that only the Surface Laptop Studio has. Or, Microsoft could just be limiting the availability of the feature to help boost interest in the Surface Laptop Studio.

But, with an increasing number of us relying on video calls for keeping in contact with friends, family and co-workers, any tools that can help make those calls better is certainly welcome, and we’d love to see Microsoft make the Voice Clarity feature more widely available.

Via Windows Latest

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Rejoice! WhatsApp users on iOS can celebrate the return of this great feature

The beta builds of WhatsApp are where you tend to find new features and options to play with. From time to time, however, these preview builds also serve as a glimpse of things that are vanishing from the messaging app.

This is precisely what happened with the camera media bar recently, and this led to a wave of complaints from disgruntled users. Previously, you would be able to scroll through your images horizontally while having the camera available to shoot, but a recent update relegated this to just one image.

Thankfully, WhatsApp is very good at listening to feedback, and as such it has taken action to give people what they want. What this means is that – for iOS users, at least – the scrollable camera media bar is back.

The removal this feature caused a lot of upset as it made sending photos and videos a more long-winded process. A few extra taps here and there may not sound like much in theory, but it is something that soon gets extremely annoying in practice.

The bar is back

WhatsApp media bar

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Although the initial change that saw the removal of the camera media bar did not make the feature unusable, it did complicate the process unnecessarily. If you wanted to send out a message with a previously-taken image as quickly as possible, any extra steps could have been a major irritation.

This is far from being the first time WhatsApp has introduced a change only to backtrack on its design decision, and it almost certainly won't be the last.

This is why the return of the scrollable media bar will be welcomed by most. Anyone who is signed up for the TestFlight beta program can download and install WhatsApp beta version 22.4.0.72 for iOS.

Once installed, this version of the app restores the scrollable media browser bar, making it quick and easy to navigate through the contents of your camera rolls and select videos, photos and other images to send in messages.

Via WABetaInfo

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Got a new M1 Mac? Here’s five great games to play on Parallels Desktop

Since Parallels Desktop 17 was released earlier this year, we’ve been inspired to try out many games on Apple’s M1 Macs in how they run through virtualization.

With many tests impressing us so far, such as Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes running at full speed in 1440p on high settings, we’re still testing more games from other storefronts to see how far these Macs will go.

But you may have already received a new Mac this Christmas, and you’re already trying out Apple Arcade or games from the Mac App Store.

With this in mind, we’ve curated five games that will run great on your new Apple Silicon Mac, but are also perfect to play during the Christmas holidays.

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair, on a MacBook Pro through Parallels Desktop

(Image credit: Future)

Released in 2019 by Playtonic, a team of ex-Rare veterans and more, this is the second entry into the Yooka Laylee series after the first game had a successful Kickstarter, and was released to positive reviews.

This entry is 2D based, which is inspired from the Donkey Kong Country games of Rare's past. Here, you run through a series of worlds and levels to collect quills and T.W.I.T. coins, as well as to free a member of the 'Beetalion' crew. These will grant Yooka and Laylee additional 'hit points' to use when you reach the final level.

While you can play this game on Steam, we also saw no issues in playing the game on the Epic Games app within Parallels as well. Everything played well on high settings on both the M1 Mac mini and M1 Pro MacBook Pro, so if you want a great 2D platformer to pass the holidays with, Yooka and Laylee can greatly help with that.

Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain

Playing Ground Zeroes on a M1 Mac mini

(Image credit: TechRadar)

To date, an entry from the Metal Gear series has not seen a release on the Mac, but thanks to Parallels, you can play the fifth game with little issues.

Released in two parts – Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain that are available on Steam, you control Big Boss, or Phantom Snake as he's called here, where you need to infiltrate certain bases to rescue or recruit crew members to build out an army at a base called Outer Heaven.

While there are rumors pertaining to this day of the final game being unfinished, due to a missing chapter at the end, that doesn't make the game feel any less fun. The story, while confusing, is made up of the amount that you can do during a mission, You can drop in or be picked up in certain areas, and complete the tasks in different ways.

On the M1 Macs, you can easily run the game at a 1440×900 resolution at medium settings and have a great time. However, if you have a Mac with the M1 Pro or Max chip, you will be able to run the game on its highest settings with no issues.

Everything runs as expected, and over the holidays, it's a great game to lose yourself in.

Grand Theft Auto IV

GTA 4 on a MacBook Pro in Parallels Desktop

(Image credit: Future)

While many are waiting to hear about a Grand Theft Auto VI, the fourth entry is one that gets overlooked the most from the series.

The first in the 'high-definition' series, its purpose was to remake Liberty City, the location from the third game, into this wide-sprawling city.

You control Eastern European war veteran Nico Bellic this time, where you're on a mission to help your family and friends by working with the local Mafia. Across four districts, you're soon flying helicopters and arranging dates to build up your reputation across the city.

The control is arguably better than Grand Theft Auto V, where driving has a better feel here, with more heft and better variation when you drive different vehicles across the city.

While the multiplayer mode was removed in 2020, the single-player mode available on Steam is still a lot of fun. On an M1 Mac, you can expect to play the game in high settings with no issue, but with an M1 Pro/Max Mac, you'll be able to play the game at a 2540×1440 resolution with no issues.

Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider Legend on Parallels Desktop 17 on an M1 MacBook Pro

(Image credit: TechRadar)

With 2021 marking the 25th anniversary of the Tomb Raider series, you may have a favored entry that you go back to for some Lara Croft nostalgia.

However, while you can play the first three Tomb Raider games in Parallels with no issue, the seventh game, released in 2006 on Steam, is worth a playthrough over the holidays.

It's the first entry created by Crystal Dynamics, where Lara receives a soft reboot in her story and appearance, but with the gameplay being updated for the mid-noughties.

The controls here are much looser here than before, where you can play the game with a keyboard and mouse and have a good time.

Sprawled across 10 levels, from Bolivia to Kazakhstan, you're on a quest to find King Arthur's Excalibur in order to find Lara's missing Mother. It's a simple story, but it's where the gameplay shines. You're given a grappling hook that can attach to ledges and blocks to solve a variety of puzzles, alongside finding secret treasures that can unlock costumes for Lara.

For a game released in 2006, it still plays well today, and especially so on an Apple Silicon Mac. You can play the game at high settings, on a high resolution with no issues here.

Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations running in Parallels Desktop 17 on an M1 Pro MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Future)

This was a game that was designed to celebrate Sonic's 20th anniversary back in 2011 on Steam. Sonic Generations is one of the few 3D Sonic games that's fondly remembered, mainly due to how it honors the series' past.

Every level here is a remake of what came before, from Green Hill Zone in Sonic 1, to Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic 3. There are nine stages, with an additional stage of Casino Night Zone, from Sonic 2, where you merely collect enough rings in a pinball machine to complete the level.

Every level is as entertaining as the last, where you play a 3D and a 2D version of it, depending on the type of Sonic you pick. There's also plenty of collectibles that you earn by finding hidden red rings across the stages, which can unlock music, skills and more.

Running the game on an M1 Mac, it can stutter if all settings are on high, especially with the shaders. But when running in medium settings on a 1920×1080 resolution, you'll be running across Chemical Plant Zone with no issues.

However, playing Sonic Generations with an M1 Pro / Max Mac, you can easily play with high settings at a 2560×1440 resolution with rarely any stutters.

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The best Microsoft Surface Go alternative right now is great for remote working

Chuwi’s UBook Pro is probably the best alternative to the Surface Go that Microsoft seems to have retired. All stocks of the diminutive tablet are currently out of stock and have been so for a while. You can still get it from third parties, often at a much higher price.

Gearbest sells the Chuwi UBook Pro for $ 399.99 (or £340/AU$ 670) when you use the coupon code GBCHUWI123. Exact prices after the discount in other territories will vary depending on the day’s exchange rate. Gearbest ships to most territories worldwide via expedited shipping although you may be levied additional charges and fees by customs.

Add the capacitive stylus pen and the original keyboard cover and the price creeps up to just under $ 470, which is still far lower than the 128GB version of the Surface Go (that comes without accessories).

What do you get for your money? A Gemini Lake-based Intel Celeron N4100 that is significantly faster than the Pentium 4415Y (based on CPUBenchmark numbers), 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD – that’s twice the storage capacity of the Surface Go, a 12.3-inch display with a full HD resolution.

The Surface Go has a smaller display size so, understandably, it is lighter and has a smaller footprint. The camera sensors on Microsoft’s tablet have a higher resolution but the UBook Pro has more connectors (including a useful HDMI one). This means you won’t mean any docking station to connect to a monitor.

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The best Apple Watch bands: our pick of the great Apple wearable straps

Not content with being one of the best smartwatches money can buy, the Apple Watch has the best selection of official and third-party bands on the market. Paired with the choice in size and color of the watch itself, new Apple Watch bands can totally personalize the Apple Watch so it’s right for you.

It also means you can have several different straps that you can rotate depending on if you’re at work, the gym or at a fancy dinner. When the bands are so easy to switch over, you can change your look in seconds.

There is a huge selection of Apple Watch bands, from Apple’s many official offerings to a whole host of silicone, fabric and metal straps made to fit by other companies. There are even NATO-style straps here, though you can’t have an actual NATO strap as the material would cover the Watch’s heart rate sensor. 

The great thing about the Apple Watch is that despite the new design of the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5, older straps will still fit. The 38mm straps designed for the Apple Watch 1, 2 and 3 will fit the 40mm newer models, while the 42mm straps will fit the newer 44mm models.

New 40mm and 44mm straps are therefore backwards compatible with older 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches respectively. 

The versatility afforded by such a wide selection of straps is great, but it means there are far too many to choose from. That’s why we’ve picked our twelve favorites – there’s something for every taste here. 

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections, ranked from cheapest to most expensive, takes into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

Best Apple Watch bands and straps at a glance:

  1. Clockwork Synergy Classic NATO Band
  2. Casetify Printed Apple Watch Band
  3. Southern Straps Nylon Apple Watch Band
  4. Hoco Original Stainless Steel Strap Bracelet for Apple Watch
  5. UAG Active Watch Band
  6. Apple Nike Sport Band
  7. Apple Sport Band
  8. Apple Sport Loop
  9. Ullu Skinny Strap for Apple Watch
  10. Apple Leather Loop
  11. Apple Leather Modern Buckle
  12. Apple Milanese Loop
  13. Apple Link Bracelet band
  14. Hermès Fauve Barenia Leather Single Tour band

Best Apple Watch bands and straps

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Clockwork Synergy

Pedants would argue that these aren’t NATO bands, because that describes a very particular kind of strap that runs under the watch itself, whereas these are two-part Apple Watch straps. But screw those guys! 

These NATO-a-likes look very much like the real thing and come in a range of designs clearly designed to cover all bases – so there’s a good old-fashioned US flag right next to a brightly colored Pride rainbow (although unlike Apple’s Pride band there’s no charity benefiting here), and plenty of other options too.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Casetify

Casetify’s printed bands are tons of fun, and probably cheaper than you might expect. Made from cruelty-free faux leather, the bands come in a dizzying variety of designs and colors from animal prints and bold florals to geometric patterns, emoji and flags.

There should be something here to suit all tastes and all kinds of looks: for example, there’s a beautiful black strap with dark red and grey florals that would go well with a nice frock, or you could relive the 1990s with fluorescent smiley faces.

Straps come in both watch sizes and you can choose between gold, black or silver fixings and buckles.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Southern Straps

You don’t get many Apple Watch straps offering a five-year warranty, but then you don’t get many Apple Watch straps made as beautifully as this.

Handmade in San Francisco from a single piece of nylon and with hardware that’s noticeably higher quality than the majority of similar products, these straps come in a variety of colors including NATO-style stripes in sober and fun colors.

There are 84 possible combinations – and they’re bigger than some: if you’ve got larger hands you’ll appreciate the fit of up to 25cm.

Fascinating fact: Southern Straps was the first company to put NATO-style straps on the Apple Watch without obscuring the heart rate sensor.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Hoco

If you like the look of Apple’s Stainless steel bands but also like being able to afford to eat, Hoco’s bands are an attractive and affordable alternative: this is around 1/10th of the price of Apple’s link bracelet.

As you’d expect it’s not quite up to Apple standards – the dark ones still have edges where the original metal is peeking through and their finish is prone to scratching – and while there’s a link removal tool to get the right fit the process is really quite fiddly.

But it’s nice on and it both looks and feels better than similar-looking but cheaper competitors.

Best Apple Watch bands

If you’re the outdoorsy type then this is the strap for you. Available in orange, black and camo and made of a high strength nylon weave, it’s the perfect Watch band for the active lifestyle.

Compatible with all Apple Watch series of both sizes, the look is finished off with a big stainless steel buckle. It isn’t the most subtle of straps but if you dig the look then this will make a great wrist addition. 

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Apple

The official Apple/Nike Sport Band has the toughness and design simplicity of the normal Sport Band, but it also has those compression-molded perforations – or what we like to call "holes”.

Those holes make a big difference to the long-term comfort of the Apple Watch because they enable your skin to breathe under the strap.

The range of colors isn’t quite as exhaustive as for the normal Sport Band and some, like the Black/Volt one, are a little loud for wearing outside the gym, but there are still some subtle shades such as Teal Tint, Smokey Mauve and Spruce Fog.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Apple

If you’d rather not have a band full of holes the original Sport band remains an excellent all-rounder.

It’s pricey because Apple, but it’s also made of nicer materials than the knock-offs you’ll find on certain auction sites – and that means you’re not going to end up with odd things happening to your skin after a few hours of wear.

It’s available in fifteen colors to suit most outfits and there’s a charity-helping Product Red version too. You don’t need to worry about getting the right size, either: you get S/M and M/L straps in the same box.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Apple

Yes, it’s another official Apple strap and that means official Apple money – but we’ve found Apple’s nylon bands to be really hard-wearing and comfortable. The Sport Loop is made from double-layer nylon and has a clever design on the skin side that uses larger loops for cushioning and breathability.

Because it’s a sports design the colors can be on the bright side, but the Cerulean, Product Red and Pink Sand versions are a bit more subtle and there are some suitably sober blacks and greys too. It’s a useful option for fans of NATO straps who don’t want to cover their Apple Watch’s sensors.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Ullu

Here’s a slightly cheaper alternative to Apple’s leather bands. Ullu’s Skinny Strap is made from good quality Italian leather and comes in eleven colors, all of which have been hand-colored – although unfortunately the lugs and buckles only come in stainless steel.

Because it’s real leather it will get more interesting over time as the leather ages, and that means no two straps will ever be the same. If the Skinny Straps seem a little too thin, Ullu also makes a padded version that uses the same kind of leather, comes in a similar range of colors and costs the same.

A pricey official strap but an excellent one, the Apple Leather Loop comes in yellow, brown or black. Its party trick is its clever segmented magnetic closure that means you can get a precise and comfortable fit every time. 

This is the Watch band to buy if you like wearing your Apple Watch to formal events or for work and feel a standard rubber one isn’t quite the right look. That’s what you get with leather that;s hand made in Arzignano, Italy.

Note though that this strap is only a 44mm option – so it’ll only fit the larger 44mm Apple Watch 4 and 5 and only the 42mm Apple Watch 1, 2 and 3. 

Best Apple Watch bands

Image credit: Apple

At $ 149/£149 they’re hardly cheap, but Apple’s leather Modern Buckle options are genuinely beautiful and are so much cheaper than the Apple/Hermes options. 

The Modern Buckle is a smooth leather with a large rectangular buckle that echoes the shape of the Watch itself, and Apple keeps different colors in stock depending on the season.

It's a great option if you want an official leather band from Apple with a non-magnetic design. 

Best Apple Watch bands

Image Credit: Apple

Possibly the most sought-after Apple Watch band, the attention that the Milanese Loop band receives is warranted.

At a similar price to the Leather Band, owners can get their feet wet with a cool-to-the-touch stainless steel band that ekes elegance and simplicity in its design.

You'll know at first glance if this band is for you, and if it is, you can choose between traditional silver and black options.

Best Apple Watch bands

 Image Credit: Apple 

OK, now we're getting up there in price. Apple offers up its brushed stainless steel Link Bracelet, but it isn't going to be cheap.

Build materials aside, this couldn't be any more different than the Milanese Loop. Rocking a look akin to high-end analog watches, the Link Bracelet possesses a sophisticated sheen that the others don't.

Equipped with a watch tool, you can customize the size to perfectly fit your wrist and if silver doesn't suit you, it's also available in black. Paired with the Apple Watch, this is probably one of the slickest bands you can make your own.

Best Apple Watch bands

Image Credit: Apple 

One look at the name and you know this is going to be pricey. For your money, you're getting industry-leading Hermès design in a band, complete with master-class fabric stitching and leather quality that's unparalleled in the vast batch of Apple Watch bands available. 

It might cost a lot, but if you're a watch aficionado, there's not substitute for quality.

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The best indoor TV antennas 2020: 7 great digital TV antennas for inside your home

If you're ready to cut the cord, your first step is buying an HD antenna. Depending on where you live, these inexpensive replacements for rabbit ears offer more than a dozen over-the-air channels that you can get without paying a dime. 

Unfortunately the fact that TVs can receive these channels is a fact that has largely been obscured by cable companies that are all-too-eager to sign you up for an expensive cable plan. That said, while over-the-air broadcasts are much more limited than any cable package out there, they're totally free and still usually carry the biggest sports match-ups (the NFL on Sunday, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup), plus sitcoms, dramas and comedy shows from NBC, ABC, CBS and more. 

But which HD indoor antenna is the best? Well, that's exactly what we wanted to find out, so we called in a whole bunch from various manufacturers and put them to the test. What you'll find below is, in our opinion, the definitive round-up of the best indoor TV antennas for your money in 2020.

Best indoor TV antennas at a glance

  1. AmazonBasics Indoor Flat TV Antenna (35-Mile Range) 
  2. TERK Trinity Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna 
  3. Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse 2 
  4. Antop HD Smart Bar AT-500SBS 
  5. Antop HD Smart Antenna SBS-301 
  6. Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A
  7. Mohu Blade Indoor/Outdoor Bar Antenna

Best indoor TV antennas 2020

Best indoor TV antenna: AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Antenna

It's right there in the name: Amazon's own antenna option is basic indeed, with a very thin, paper-like slab of plastic that mounts to your wall with the included double-sided adhesive pads. This one isn't amplified, so there's no power plug needed—it simply plugs into the coaxial input on your television.

In our testing location, we consistently saw stellar results with the AmazonBasics Indoor Flat TV Antenna, which is rated to reach sources up to 35 miles away. There were occasional discrepancies, though, such as struggling to get the local PBS channels. You may need to play around with positioning in your space to maximize the reach, but that's true with most indoor antennas.

If you live close to a major city, for example, this could be all you need. And at an asking price of just $ 20, it's a great deal if it fits your situation. Amazon used to sell a longer-range, amplified antenna rated for up to 50 miles, but it is now discontinued. If you live further out from a major city or broadcast source, or you anticipate having reception issues, then you may want to opt for an amplified alternative instead.

Best indoor TV antenna: TERK Trinity Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna 

The TERK Trinity Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna doesn't look like any other TV antenna that we've seen, but it does look a lot like some internet routers we've used. We like the slim, distinctive look, plus the ability to adjust and reposition the three tri-modal antennas as needed to maximize reception.

We saw strong results in both testing locations, on the ground floor and second floor, especially with the antennas pointed towards the city. This amplified antenna is rated for up to 60 miles, which gives you a lot of range to work with, and the $ 40 price tag is great for a long-range indoor antenna that actually lives up to its claims.

Best indoor TV antennas: Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse 2 

The ClearStream Eclipse 2 is similar to Amazon's thin, plastic antenna at its core, but this very distinctive figure-eight design is one of a kind. Whatever engineering Antennas Direct did to pin down this kind of design clearly worked, however, as this amplified long-range antenna does an excellent job of picking up channels.

It's rated for 60+ miles and consistently delivered strong reception while pulling in all of the channels we expected to see. It also comes with curved double-sided tape pads that sit on the upper and lower backs of the design, ensuring a snug fit to your wall. It's a pricey option at $ 70, but that's an investment in a quality product.

Best indoor TV antenna: Antop HD Smart Bar AT-500SBS 

If you live far from a broadcast source and/or you've had trouble with other antennas, the Antop HD Smart Bar (AT-500SBS) could solve your issues—if you're willing to pay a steep price and tolerate the very large size.

The Antop HD Smart Bar is a hard-plastic antenna that measures 2.5 feet wide and can be mounted on your wall like a soundbar, or you can use the included base stand to prop it up vertically. In any case, it's much more visible than nearly any other indoor antenna on the market, but the trade-off is a much longer promised range of 80 miles. It also has a 4G signal filter, an FM tuner, and the ability to connect to a second TV, plus the reception was excellent in our testing. However, with a $ 119 price tag, we recommend trying cheaper alternatives first to see if they'll meet your needs.

Antop's HD Smart Antenna (SBS-301) keeps most of the perks as the Antop model above, but does so with a slimmer design and slightly lower price. It's a flat plastic design like Amazon's antenna, but actually looks like two of them merged together. You can stick it to a wall with the included Velcro pads or prop it up using the simple plastic stand. In our testing, it pulled fewer channels on the stand next to the TV than when it was mounted higher up on the wall.

This amplified antenna's range is slightly less than the Smart Bar at 70 miles, but it still has the 4G signal filter, FM tuner, and ability to connect to two TVs at once. The $ 89 price point is easier to stomach too, even if it's higher than all the other non-Antop antennas on this list. The signal looked great to us, but as with the Smart Bar above, this might be an option for those who are having reception issues using other antennas.

Best indoor TV antenna: Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A

Best indoor TV antenna: Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A

Winegard's amplified FlatWave FL5500A antenna checks all of the same boxes as the AmazonBasics model listed above. It offers a 50-mile range, is flat and nearly paper-thin with black and white sides, and delivers a strong 1080p signal. In our testing, it found just over 50 channels in both locations. We have no complaints about the device itself.

Really, our only issue that the FlatWave FL5500A costs more than double the price of the AmazonBasics 50-mile option, and truth be told, we couldn't tell a difference between them in use. They are nearly identical across the board, but based on current pricing, you'll save more than $ 25 with Amazon's model. It's great, but there's no clear reason to pay extra that we could see.

Best indoor TV antenna: Mohu Blade Indoor/Outdoor Bar Antenna

Best indoor TV antenna: Mohu Blade Indoor/Outdoor Bar Antenna

Mohu's new Blade antenna is a one-of-a-kind – instead of a floppy sheet, it's a thicker, rectangular plastic panel that you might not be compelled to hide. You could mount it on the wall below the TV like a soundbar, or there's a little attachable kickstand if you'd rather put it on a TV stand. In any case, it's stylish in a way that most antennas simply don't strive to be. And if you want, you can mount it in an attic or even outside.

But that style comes with frustrations. We struggled mightily to attach a coaxial cable or 90-degree coaxial adapter to the back of the antenna, because its coaxial connector is wedged so tight to the backing. Ultimately, we used a screwdriver to remove the spongey support ring on the back to give our hands a bit more room, and then had to use pliers to tighten the adapter because it wouldn't budge using our fingers. It was a real pain.

Once it was finally up and running, we searched multiple times and found fewer channels with the ground-floor TV – just 44 max, compared to 50+ with the others. None of the omissions were crucial, but it was still a difference. Upstairs, we had to play around with the location before hitting the same 50+ mark as the other antennas. The Blade is sleek and stylish, but the smaller size brings a couple of frustrations along with it.

Antenna scams you should know about

Recently there have been a number of misleading product pages on Amazon that have promised customers outrageous features like a 120-mile range and 4K resolution. Do not take them at their word. These claims are misleading and, with our current technology, impossible. 

 You can read a great breakdown of lies antenna manufacturers tell you over on TechHive, but suffice it to say that the curvature of the Earth prevents more than an 80-mile range for broadcasts and no broadcast station in America currently puts out a 4K OTA signal. That is going to be part of the next set of ATSC standards that's currently in development and is called NextGen TV. That should start rolling out by the end of 2020. 

Best indoor TV antenna: how we tested

For this piece, we tested indoor antennas that remain near your TV, both standard antennas that connect solely via coaxial cable, and amplified ones that add a USB connection or must be plugged into a wall outlet for a powered-up range boost. 

We tested several current indoor TV antennas from the top makers in the business, watching to see how many channels each antenna could find, how easy it was to set up, how crisp the signal looked, the style and size of the device, and the price and overall value.

Our testing environment was a two-story house just outside of Chicago, less than 15 miles from downtown. Each antenna was tested on two televisions: one on the first floor, and another upstairs on the second floor.

Even if modern antennas are more reliable than the old versions, they can still be fickle: your distance from broadcast towers is important, but so too is where you place the antenna, where you are in your home, and what's around it. Your experience may vary to ours, as a result, and you may need to experiment with location to yield the most channels to watch.

These are the best indoor TV antennas that we've tested so far, and we'll be adding more to the list once we try more models.

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