The paper-thin, easy-to-hide Mohu Leaf delivers powerful digital TV signals to your set without overpowering your room. However, while it looks better than some alternatives, it might not perform better than some much cheaper TV antennas.
The Mohu Leaf delivers what it promises. Since the earliest days of TV, the marketing of "gimmick" TV antennas has been far more based on fantasy than on actual performance. Maybe that's why some are truly shocked that the paper-thin Mohu Leaf actually does what it's intended to. The company says this antenna is designed for UHF channels primarily but can receive VHF channels in areas where signal strength is high, and that's confirmed in reviews. The omnidirectional design means you can just put it in place and forget it. A version that includes a signal amplifier is available. Reviewers say that you should give the unamplified version a try first, however, as the amplifier (all signal amplifiers, in fact) can harm performance if it's not actually needed. However, tests show that the Mohu Leaf Ultimate (Est. $70) does boost reception in some circumstances.
Disappearing act. Its super-thin depth makes it easier for the Mohu Leaf to blend into a typical room than most other DTV antennas. One side is black, the other is white, and you can show off the side that better fits your décor. The alternative is to hide it behind your TV, which is what several reviewers do. But there's a caveat: Although the Leaf seems less placement-sensitive than some DTV antennas, the short 6-foot cord somewhat limits your options. If that's a problem, you can extend the cord yourself easily enough.
Good performer, but cheaper antennas might perform just as well. Reviews say the Mohu Leaf largely delivers what it promises, especially for UHF reception. However, whether it performs better than some cheaper antennas like the RadioShack Budget TV Antenna (Est. $15) is more a factor of where you live relative to your TV broadcasters than anything else. If some stations in your area still use VHF, other antennas -- including that budget RadioShack model -- might be better choices. That said, the more unobtrusive design of the Leaf might make its price premium worthwhile to some.
Currently, no expert reviewer spends more time delving into the performance of indoor DTV antennas than Putman. In this face-off he puts five passive and four amplified antennas through their paces and thoroughly documents the results. After all is said and done, the Mohu Leaf ties for second (behind a basic UHF bow tie), while the amplified Mohu Leaf Ultimate performs even a bit better.
Review: Once More, Back to the -- Window??, Pete Putman, March 25, 2013
DigitalTrends.com tests the Mohu Leaf Ultimate antenna and gives it an Editors' Choice award. However, testing in various locations around Portland reveals that omitting the amplifier and just using the basic Mohu Leaf antenna provides generally better performance.
Review: Mohu Leaf Ultimate HDTV Antenna Review, Caleb Denison, Oct. 7, 2013
Tom's Guide reviews the Mohu Leaf and Mohu Leaf Ultimate as part of a comparison test with two other antennas. All antennas perform similarly, but the Mohu Leaf Ultimate pulls in a few extra channels compared to the unamplified Leaf. That, and its unobtrusiveness, makes the Mohu Leaf Ultimate the winner in this test.
Review: Get an HDTV Antenna for Free TV, Mike Kobrin, Oct. 1, 2013
This review covers the Leaf Ltd. (a no-longer available configuration that added a molded stand and a 16-foot cable to the basic Mohu Leaf) and the Leaf Plus (a version of the antenna that adds a signal amplifier, and that has since been updated as the Mohu Leaf Ultimate). Maxwell tests them in a couple of locations in her home, and both perform reasonably well. However, the unamplified Leaf antenna gets top billing, at least for those who live no more than 35 miles from TV transmitters.
Review: Mohu Leaf Ltd. Indoor HDTV Antenna Reviewed, Adrienne Maxwell, Sept. 18, 2012
The Mohu Leaf doesn't quite win the performance crown in this head-to-head comparison of five indoor antennas. However, Albro calls it the "best choice if you care about how your living room looks," and it performs well enough to finish in second overall.
Review: Kiss Your Cable Bill Goodbye with These HDTV Antennas, Edward N. Albro, Dec. 19, 2011
While this review is longer on background on the Mohu Leaf than on actual testing, the antenna does get put through its paces. Murphy can pull in 50 stations at her New York location, and she appreciates that the Leaf needs no repositioning.
Review: Review: Why New Mohu Leaf Antenna Is Worth the Hype, Samantha Murphy, Nov. 15, 2011
Like the review at TechNewsDaily.com, this one spends a lot of time on the whys and wherefores of the Mohu Leaf before addressing how the antenna performs. Goldberg admits that his "ideal" location relative to the TV transmitters in New York City makes a full evaluation a bit unfair, but the antenna does work very well.
Review: Hands-On Review: Mohu Leaf HDTV Antenna, Ron Goldberg, Not Dated
Nearly 4,000 owners post opinions of the Mohu Leaf, and it earns 4.1 stars out of 5. While most enthusiastically praise the antenna, there are a fair number of disappointed buyers, many foiled by the geography of where they live. Others say the Leaf works, but not any better than other antennas. The Mohu Leaf Ultimate is listed elsewhere on the site. Feedback is far lower, though still substantial at more than 530 reviews. Satisfaction is lower -- 3.7 stars out of 5. Some buyers see an improvement in performance over the unamplified Leaf or other antennas; some do not, and some report that the antenna does not work for them at all.
Review: Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013