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Amanda Reed

Written By Tony Ware

Updated Feb 17, 2023 1:07 PM

If you’ve ever woken up and, groggily lumbering toward the bathroom, started the day by tripping over an iPhone charging cable, you know you felt no shame audibly cheering the first time you used a MagSafe accessory. MagSafe, Apple’s magnetic connector for electronic devices, started as an improvement for MacBook power cords in 2006. But it was with the introduction of the iPhone 12 in 2023 that the MagSafe name became synonymous with the much wider world of wireless power transfer and magnetic attachment products. Having a phone and a MagSafe-compatible charger saves you the problem of having the right cord with the right connector that’s the right length to be lined up just right; when that green circle lights up the iPhone screen, one less worry fills your mind. Not every MagSafe accessory involves power but they do all involve that feeling of security. Here’s our selection of the best MagSafe accessories to make sure your iPhone is fully charged and fastened when and where you need it to be.

How we chose the best MagSafe accessories

As gadget geeks and serial upgraders, many of us have a recent iPhone. And considering how many devices we regularly test, requiring us to keep track of yet another interconnect, being able to wrangle one less tangle is a godsend. This is why we are both fans and intimate friends with many MagSafe accessories. Combining this firsthand experience with peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user impressions, we put together a list of potential inclusions from top manufacturers—including Belkin, Mophie, OtterBox, and more—then narrowed down the dozens of options to these picks.

The best MagSafe accessories: Reviews & Recommendations

MagSafe is a quality-of-life improvement you didn’t know you needed, but once you have it, you don’t understand why you didn’t this whole time. Here are our top picks for some of the best MagSafe accessories, focusing on accessories that offer charging.

Why it made the cut: This unassuming silicone-clad slab packs a sweet suite of Apple device chargers into a low-profile accessory.

Specs

Dimensions: 9.8 x 5 x 3.66 inches

Weight: 1.74 pounds

Power: Up to 15W MagSafe

Pros

Charges iPhone, Apple Watch, and wireless earbuds simultaneously

Full 15W MagSafe charging capability

Apple Watch Series 7 fast charge supported

Apple Watch can be charged flat or in Nightstand mode

Cons

Not the cheapest charging pad

Fans of maximized minimalism will love this Belkin 3-in-1 charging stand. It’s an Apple enthusiast’s simplest solution for charging all the essentials, with dedicated spots for a MagSafe-compatible iPhone, an Apple Watch, and wireless-compatible AirPods. 

Despite being a three-device dream, it’s an unassuming silicone-clad slab—available in Black or White with a soft-matte finish and subtle chrome accents—and it’s a lay-flat design that can be easily packed for on-the-go use. The MagSafe iPhone platform offers full 15W charging, with or without an official MagSafe case on your device (an included 40W adapter ensures the full output). While the Watch puck is adjustable, allowing any size Watch to be oriented as an alarm clock in Nightstand mode—and enabling fast charge for compatible Apple Watch Series 8 models. And the AirPods panel includes an LED indicator, so you know the wireless charging is active. 

Stable without being too hefty, the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO is the top third-party MagSafe charger and fills an important gap in Apple’s own offerings.

Best charging dock: Nomad Base One Max charger

Why it made the cut: Nomad’s Base One Max is a sturdy 2-in-1 Made for iPhone-certified charger made of metal, glass, and soft-touch rubber.

Specs

Dimensions: 7.44 x 3.54 x 1.8 inches

Weight: 2 pounds

Power: Up to 15W MagSafe, Requires 30W charging brick

Pros

Beautiful design

Weight keeps it anchored

Apple Watch charges in Nightstand Mode

Cons

Pricey

Doesn’t support Apple Watch 7 fast charge

Doesn’t come with a charging brick

Nomad’s Base One Max is a hefty 2-in-1 charger that emphasizes design and utility. Available in Carbide or Silver, it features a solid metal and glass design along with subtle soft-touch accents to keep your devices protected, and it looks and feels more like a centerpiece rather than just another accessory.

The integrated Apple Watch charger props up the wearable in Nightstand Mode, while the 15W MFi MagSafe pad provides a satisfying thunk every time you place your iPhone down to charge. The charging pad is also compatible with other Qi-enabled devices so that you can charge your AirPods in between Zoom meetings.

Although the Base One Max is heavy at 2 pounds, its weight allows it to stay anchored when you reach for your device, and the rubber base ensures it won’t move around. The Base One Max comes with a 6-foot braided USB-C cable, but you’ll have to supply your own charging brick. It also doesn’t support fast charge on the Apple Watch.

While the Base One Max is pricey and not as transportable as our best overall pick, its thoughtful, high-quality design makes it one of the most elegant MagSafe options for a designated iPhone charging station.

Why it made the cut: Simplify your packing without sacrificing anything with this elegant wireless charging solution.

Specs

Dimensions: 0.4 x 12.3 x 3.2 inches

Weight: 9.92 ounces

Power: 7.5W, 15W MagSafe

Pros

Compact yet complete charging suite

Sophisticated aesthetics

Apple Watch can be oriented in Nightstand mode

Cons

As pricy as a permanent pad, but not as solid

Classy as it is convenient, the Mophie 3-in-1 travel charger with MagSafe is an easily packable trifold charger that comes with all the accessories needed, all tucked within an elegant felt organizer. Inside this backpack, briefcase, or maybe even belt bag-friendly case, you’ll find three pockets for the charger, a 30W USB-C PD wall adapter, and an included 1m USB-C to USB-C cable.

Best car mount: Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE Magnetic Wireless Car Charger

Why it made the cut: This vent-mounted charger helps you steer without your iPhone sliding around and driving you crazy. 

Specs

Dimensions: 1.68 x 3.98 x 5.43 inches

Weight: 3.35 ounces

Power: Up to 10W

Pros

Easily mounted/removed on a vehicle air vent

Keeps phone secure, accessible, and charged during navigation

Cons

Requires you to run a cable from the console to charge

Placement might require some adjusting, based on vent blades

It may not quite be the jetpacks that the future promised, but having a MagSafe mount in the car definitely changed how I travel for the better. Securing my iPhone conveniently as fast, if not faster, than I fasten my own seatbelt, not having to fish out a charging cable, then detaching the phone just as expediently when I get to my destination is perhaps the greatest expression of MagSafe’s life-changing properties. 

Easily clamped to an air vent, the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE magnetic wireless charging mount holds an iPhone firmly within sight even when traffic patterns shift abruptly. If you must keep an eye on a screen for navigation purposes (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you won’t play videos or other distractions while driving), it’s far better to situate your phone in an optimal place to the side of the steering column rather than have you fumbling for it with only one hand on the wheel. 

In addition to firmly holding the phone in place (in either vertical or horizontal orientation), the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE can be plugged into (what was once) the cigarette lighter with the included 20W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 car power supply and charge your iPhone while driving. This helps compensate for energy-intensive programs like Waze and Google Maps keeping your display and GPS continually active. The road may be full of bumps, but at least your phone won’t flip or its battery dip with this convenient accessory.  

Best phone case: Otterbox OtterGrip Symmetry Series

Why it made the cut: Enter the world of MagSafe without having to get rid of a phone grip.

Specs

Dimensions: 6.02 x 3.11 x .53 inches

Weight: 1.76 ounces

Power: N/A

Pros

Combines MagSafe compliance with easy grip

Durable

Doesn’t interfere with phone buttons

Cons

OtterGrip not a complete replacement for the PopSocket

More of a phone grip than a phone stand

Thanks to increasingly more content and the pixels needed to display it, smartphones have gotten bigger and bigger over the last decade. For people with the small, dainty hands of a 19th-century child working in a watch factory, phone grips like PopSockets provided a handle to prevent some accidental drops and smartphone pinky. However, these add-ons meant that anyone using one could never fully experience the convenience of MagSafe—an iPhone‘s back cover has to be easily accessible so that compatible accessories can sit flush and align their magnetic array. Sure, you can buy a PopSocket that attaches using MagSafe, but then you’re taking it on and off and potentially losing it. That changes with the Otterbox OtterGrip Symmetry Series case, originally announced in January 2023 at CES and now available. The OtterGrip gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to have an integrated phone grip and use any of the MagSafe chargers, mounts, batteries, etc., you see on this page. Simply pull the grip away from the case to use it, and snap it back in place when you decide to place it on a wireless charger or car mount. The grip also rotates 360 degrees for ergonomics.

If you use a PopSocket-like grip for a phone stand, however, you might want to pass on the OtterGrip case—it’s hard to balance the phone and get it to stay in place without the grip snapping back into place. The OtterGrip isn’t a one-to-one replacement for the PopSocket in terms of feeling, and there is some getting used to the experience. But being able to use MagSafe and feel more secure when you’re holding your expensive pocket computer is worth the learning curve.

Best battery: OtterBox wireless 5K mAh power bank

Why it made the cut: Two-sided MagSafe compatibility adds versatility to this potent pint-sized battery backup.

Specs

Dimensions: 6.69 x 4.25 x 0.39 inches

Weight: 6.5 ounces

Power: 5W Qi, 7.5W MagSafe

Pros

Magnets on both sides allow connections to a phone and mount simultaneously

Wireless input and wireless output

LED indicators for charge status/battery life

Cons

No magnetic stabilizing strip leaves the opportunity for the power bank to rotate 

Not the biggest capacity available in a wireless power bank

The Otterbox wireless 5K mAh power bank tops the battery category not only because of what it can hold and also how you can hold it. It doesn’t have the capacity of, say, Belkin’s equally recommendable BOOST↑CHARGE Wireless Charger 10K, but only holding half the charge means it also takes up less space—a huge plus for pocketability (though the battery has the potential to rotate/become unaligned if you’re power-walking with purpose). And 5K is enough to fully recharge any iPhone 13 once (or the iPhone 13 mini twice).

What really stands out with this power bank is that it has MagSafe on both sides, meaning you can attach it to a MagSafe charger with your iPhone simultaneously attached, topping off both in the process. I actually store one on a Satechi 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand so it’s primed and ready to easily peel off in case I’m leaving the house without my iPhone at 100%. And if I was without that convenient perch and succumbed to a cable, I could use the bidirectional USB-C port to charge the power bank, as well as to charge my phone.  

Things to consider before buying the best MagSafe accessories

If you have an iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or iPhone 14 of any size/sort, you can access MagSafe. And if you have a debit or credit card, you can access the MagSafe accessories presented here. But before you invest in new accouterments, you might have some questions. And that’s why we’re here.

So, how exactly does MagSafe work?

MagSafe uses a series of internal magnets ringing an iPhone’s charging coil to snap securely to compatible accessories. This assures that any attachments are properly lined up, which is particularly valuable for optimized wireless charging. As for how magnets work in general, that is a tale of electrons spinning and atoms aligning and a miraculous mystery for another time. But when magnetized objects of opposite poles enter each other’s magnetic fields, they are as strongly attracted to each other as a long-time Apple fan is to hearing “… and one more thing.”

Do I need MagSafe accessories?

No. If you are a connoisseur of cables—each one personally, painstakingly labeled as to what it is for—then keep enjoying those curled-up keepsakes and a Jenga-like set of power bricks. USB-A to Lightning, USB-C to Lightning … you do you. Being hardwired to the wall will continue to work … for now (we have no insight into Apple’s plans to discontinue ports on iPhones). And if you always have or prefer to secure your phone in a dashboard-mounted vice while driving, don’t switch up what works for you. So, no, you don’t need MagSafe accessories. But if you’ve gotten tired of trying to find a convenient place to plug in a somehow always slightly too short cable, or finding out that the cable you desperately need to save you from an imminent power-down has a short in it, you definitely may want MagSafe accessories. And don’t even get me started as to how convenient a MagSafe car mount is … (OK, get me started but wait till we get to our top pick in that category, please.)

Do I need a MagSafe case for my iPhone?

To charge wirelessly, no, you don’t need a MagSafe case. But to attach additional accessories to your iPhone while it’s in the case, yes, you need a MagSafe case. Plus the MagSafe system in the case helps alleviate any concerns that it might fall off.

If I buy a MagSafe accessory, does it need to be “Made for MagSafe” to work?

No, though it can’t hurt. There are plenty of “MagSafe compatible” options with the magnetic ring that lets your iPhone snap to them with the precision needed to stay and/or charge properly. We even recommend some. But the “Made for MagSafe” badge does bring some benefits. It means that the device can support 15W charging (12W for iPhone mini models), rather than the 7.5W charging of “MagSafe compatible” alternatives (and more watts=faster charging). To get maximum output, however, be sure you have at least a 20W USB-C PD adapter for the charging pad. In addition, the near-field communication between “Made for MagSafe” charging devices means you get the undeniable satisfaction of seeing your iPhone’s screen light up with the curling green MagSafe animation that guarantees authenticity and efficiency. 

Can I charge anything other than my iPhone with a MagSafe pad?

Sure, you can place anything with Qi-enabled wireless charging on a MagSafe pad and the battery will fill. However, the device won’t snap into place so you won’t know if it’s set down correctly and there’s nothing to stop it from getting knocked off the pad accidentally. There are Android devices, and optional cases, that do have magnetic rings in them, which solves that problem, but Android devices don’t replicate the alert an official MagSafe charger gives when it comes into contact with an iPhone.

FAQs

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Best Fitness Accessories Iphone Users Must Buy In 2023

Fitness Accessories for iPhone Users

From what I’ve experienced, these are the best iPhone fitness accessories for those who want to forever stay hale and hearty. Take a quick drive right in to explore the collection!

1. Apple Watch

Apple Watch is hands down the best accessory for iPhone. Whether you want to have an elegant extension of your iPhone or wish to have a superior fitness device, the smartwatch can live up to your expectation.

The smartwatch can let you make calls and send quick messages. Moreover, you can navigate through your playlists and stream Apple Music right on your smartwatch.

Check out on Apple

2. Trianium Armtrek Pro

When you talk about an essential fitness accessory for iPhone, an armband comes into the picture immediately. If you don’t want to miss important calls or messages during your rigorous exercise, it would be a handy asset for you.

Trianium has introduced a high-quality armband called “Armtrek Pro.” It’s made of soft and stretchy neoprene material. Plus, it’s water-resistant and features a small pocket to let you store keys.

Thanks to the multi-slot adjustable Velcro, Armtrek Pro can comfortably fit arm size up to 14-inch.

3. BeatsX

I like listening to music while jogging or doing exercise. It kind of motivates me to put my 100%.

Flaunting a sporty design, BeatsX is one of the finest Bluetooth earphones. With the soft earbuds, they comfortably fit in the ear.

Thanks to the highly appreciable sound-quality, BeatsX can spice up your music time. Besides, the earphones deliver up to eight hours of playtime and can run up to two hours after just five minutes of charge.

4. Fitbit Charge 3

Should you want to get a top-notch fitness activity tracker, keep in mind Fitbit Charge 3. It’s got a trendy design and works efficiently in tracking the burnt calories and heart rate.

You can use it to monitor more than 15 exercises such as yoga, biking, swimming, running and more. It monitors your sleep efficiently and also offers personalized guidance.

Charge 3 is swim-proof and can resist water up to 50 meters. One notable quality of this fitness tracker is the seven-day battery life. That means you won’t have to worry about charging it too frequently.

5. Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings is a reputed name when it comes to health accessories and this one is one of their leading accessories for iPhone. The Smart Blood pressure monitor measures your pulse-rate and tracks it over a period of time.

6. Scosche RHYTHM+

Scosche’s RHYTHM+ is a pretty good heart monitor. What makes this app stand out is the support for a number of health and fitness apps such as digifit, run keeper, mapmyfitness, Strava and more. As a result, you can use it to monitor not just your run but also many other pivotal things.

RHYTHM+ is IP67 waterproof that makes it good enough to let you enjoy swimming. The soft and stretchy construction makes sure you feel comfortable while wearing it. Moreover, you can choose this heart monitor armband in seven vibrant colors.

7. Roam Co-Pilot Bike Mount

A bike mount is one of my favorite accessories. Whenever I’m up for a ride, I make sure to use it for smooth navigation.

Roam has introduced a highly appreciable bike mount called Co-Pilot. It allows you to securely mount your smartphone on the handlebar.

Thanks to the hard plastic grip coupled with the silicone net, it keeps your device steady. Plus, the 360-degree rotation ensures you have no problem in placing your device in the desired orientation.

That’s pretty much it!

May You Forever Remain At The Top Of Your Fitness…

Now that you’ve got your favorite accessories, make the most of them to shed a lot of pounds and get fitter. But before you commit to a strict rule, let me know your top picks and also suggest the ones that are worthy of inclusion in the above lineup.

You’d like to have a look at these posts as well:

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Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

The Best Asus Monitors Of 2023

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Written By Harry Rabinowitz

Updated Nov 18, 2023 7:53 PM

If you’ve ever shopped for a gaming monitor (or laptop), chances are you’ve encountered Asus. A large computer and peripheral manufacturer, Asus makes all kinds of computing equipment but is especially well-known in PC gaming circles thanks to its two sub-brands: Republic of Gamers and TUF Gaming. Though it isn’t quite as well known, its ProArt also includes some of the best color-accurate displays for creatives. No matter your budget, Asus makes some of the best specialty monitors in every price range. The cream of the crop, the best Asus monitors, includes some of the best PC displays you can find right now.

How we picked the best Asus monitors

As a critic covering games and gaming hardware, I’ve written about computing and monitors for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and NBC Select. I’ve researched, tested, and reviewed dozens of gaming monitors, and have a strong sense of which specs are important and which are not.

To pick the best Asus monitors, we relied on my mix of hands-on testing, user recommendations, and information from professional reviews. As Asus’ biggest strength lies in gaming, we mainly focused on specifications crucial to great gaming monitors—resolution, frame rate, connectivity, and price.

The best Asus monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

The best Asus monitors offer impressive resolution and picture quality that will satisfy most gamers and creative pros. Their gaming-focused monitors feature more than enough speed and adjustability to enjoy the latest titles. And though this list features more gaming monitors, Asus’ ProArt displays shouldn’t be overlooked.

Best overall: Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: A 4K, 144Hz display with HDMI 2.1 and HDR600, the Asus ROF Swift PG32UQ is a perfect pick for PC and console players who want to see games in their best light.

Specs

Size: 32-inch

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 144Hz (155Hz overclocked)

Response time: 1ms

Ports: HDMI 2.1 (2), DisplayPort 1.4. USB 3.0, Headphone

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync

HDR: HDR600

Speakers: 5W (2)

Pros

Excellent gaming performance

Impressive brightness and HDR

HDMI 2.1, DP 1.4

Cons

No pivot adjustability

Expensive

The PG32UQ also offers great colors, contrast, and HDR for a gaming monitor. The occasional Adobe user will be more than happy with this monitor’s impressive brightness and color range. That said, we would emphasize that this is a gaming monitor. The PG32UQ’s just-average local dimming and backlight bleeding, while minor in the grand scheme of things, could interfere with the picture-perfect color reproduction that image and video editors covet.

Best for gaming: Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: A high refresh rate and wide viewing angles make this monitor fit for intense single-player and multiplayer gaming.

Specs

Size: 27-inch

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 144Hz (170Hz overclocked)

Response time: 1ms

Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2), DisplayPort 1.2, headphone

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync

HDR: HDR400

Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

4K resolution

Highly adjustable

High overclocked refresh rate

Cons

Average contrast

Low brightness

While it doesn’t reach the highest heights of 4K at 144Hz, the Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ delivers a very sensible 1440p at 144Hz, which should still allow most players to hit the ideal specs for their systems. For players with graphics power to burn, you can overclock the monitor to hit 170Hz, giving you a nice frame rate bump for less resource-intensive esports like League of Legends.

Beyond the panel itself, we like the full ergonomic adjustability of this monitor. Its wide viewing angles also make it a good option for co-op gaming. It could benefit from higher brightness and better contrast, but it still paints a vivid, immersive picture.

If you’re interested in curved monitors, it’s worth noting that there’s a curved version of this display, the ASUS ROG Strix XG32VC.

Best 4K: Asus ProArt Display PA329CV

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: Asus’ ProArt PA329CV has the resolution, color accuracy, and connectivity that creatives need.

Specs

Size: 32-inch

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 60Hz

Response time: 5ms

Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2), DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C w/90W power delivery, USB-A 3.2 (4), headphone 

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: None

HDR: HDR10 (400 Nits)

Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

High color accuracy

Front-facing menu buttons

Ample connectivity

Charges and connects to a laptop via USB-C

Cons

So-so HDR

While we see gaming as Asus’ strong suit when it comes to displays, don’t count out its ProArt creative production monitors, either. The ProArt PA329CV features high accuracy that creates strong color reproduction. Measuring color accuracy is a bit trickier than gaming performance. But the PA329CV has plenty to offer, with 100% sRGB, Delta E < 2, Calman Verified calibration, and more. If that all sounded like gibberish, it means the PA329CV can reproduce color at a higher level than most displays, making it a good fit for artists who need to discern and work with very similar colors and shading.

It’s an especially convenient pick for artists working with a MacBook Pro, or any laptop with a Thunderbolt connection: The PA329CV supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, enabling you to connect your laptop to the display through a Thunderbolt or DP Alt-enabled USB-C port. It also supports 65W charging, enough to power and charge your laptop while it’s connected. (For more on DP Alt Mode, check out our guide to the best USB-C monitors.)

Best ultrawide: Asus ROG Strix XG349C

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: The 21:9 Asus ROG Strix XG349C is a strong ultrawide gaming monitor that lets you optimize for immersion.

Specs

Size: 34-inch

Resolution: 3440 x 1440 (21:9)

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 144Hz (180Hz overclocked)

Response time: 1ms

Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2), DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C w/18W power delivery, USB-A 3.2 (2), USB 3.0 (2), headphone 

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync

HDR: HDR400

Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

Immersive 21:9 aspect ratio

USB-C peripheral charging

180Hz max refresh rate

Cons

Not all games support ultrawide

Low brightness

Gamers chasing the most immersive cinematic gameplay experiences may fall in love with a curved ultrawide gaming monitor like the Asus ROG Strix XG349C, which extends your games to the far reaches of your peripheral vision. The 34-inch, 21:9 display delivers a stunning picture and delivers a first-person experience that better simulates your actual field-of-view than a conventional 16:9 display. With HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, powered USB-C, and USB-A, you have a whole hub of ports and connections, too.

As with other lists, we feel compelled to warn people who have never tried a curved display that it is a bit of an acquired taste, and we suggest that you try the XG349C or another curved ultrawide monitor before locking in and buying one. That said, if you’re into them, the XG349C is a very solid choice for this specific niche.

Best curved: Asus ProArt PA34VC

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Asus ProArt PA34VC is a jack-of-all-trades display for casual creatives, gamers, and home office workers.

Specs

Size: 34-inch

resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 100Hz

Response time: 5ms

Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (2) w/60W power delivery, HDMI 2.0 (2), DisplayPort 1.2, USB-A 3.2 (3), headphone

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: FreeSync

HDR: HDR10

Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

4K 21:9 display

100Hz refresh rate and FreeSync

Powered Thunderbolt 3 ports

Cons

Jack-of-all-trades, master of none

The PA34VC is a unicorn in Asus’ catalog. While most of our recommendations specifically hew towards gaming or creative production, the Asus ProArt PA34VC finds a happy medium between the two. The large, 4K display features 100-percent sRGB support for high color accuracy. The 34-inch curved display helps with productivity for most office tasks. A 100Hz refresh rate plus FreeSync is suitable for casual gaming. Ergonomics and port selection are the PA34VC’s strongest elements, with the standout being two powered Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Best budget: Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: This affordable monitor has the gaming specs you need, and none of the pricey extras.

Specs

Size: 27-inch

Native resolution: 2560 x 1440

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 144Hz (165Hz overclocked)

Response time: 1ms

Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2), DisplayPort 1.2, headphone

Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjustable, VESA mountable

Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync

HDR: HDR10

Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

Affordable

Fast 1440p screen

Ergonomic adjustability

Cons

Weak HDR

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ is one of our favorite cheap gaming monitors. For around $350, you get just enough power and performance to tackle any gaming moment.

The screen has just the right specs to make mid- and high-powered systems look sharp. A 27-inch, 1440p screen that maxes out at 144Hz, it’s exactly the kind of monitor most players need. It lacks any specific flourishes, but most gaming monitors get boiled down to core visual specs, anyways. The VG27AQ gives you what you need. No more. No less.

What to consider before buying Asus monitors

Comparison shopping for monitors can get complicated very quickly. Asus’ monitors, like those from most other brands, are differentiated with long model numbers, rather than easily understood names. On top of that, the core specs for monitors can be hard to parse at a glance, especially for people used to shopping in person.

Focusing solely on Asus monitors helps narrow down our options for this list. Still, that doesn’t mean you should buy one of the best gaming monitors or monitors for color grading without understanding why they excel. Let’s go over some essential features that can help you make a choice on your own terms.

Resolution and size

Resolution and size are often thought of as unrelated, but pairing them helps ensure that you get a sharp-looking display without spending more than you need to.

Resolution indicates the number of pixels your monitor can show at once. Generally speaking, the higher your resolution, the more detailed your image gets. As your monitor’s screen gets bigger, however, you’ll need more pixels to achieve the same level of detail. You don’t just want a lot of pixels, you want strong pixel density. 

All of our recommended Asus monitors have a resolution of either 1440p or 4K. Most of the 1440p options have a 27-inch size, while the 4K ones span 32 inches and wider. If you were looking for a smaller 24-inch monitor, we’d recommend stepping down to 1080p to avoid overpaying for an enhanced resolution that you might not fully appreciate on the smaller screen.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times your monitor can draw a new image each second. Refresh rate impacts everything that moves on your screen, including your mouse cursor, but it is especially important for gaming. In a game, refresh rate correlates directly to frame rate: A monitor with a higher refresh rate will allow powerful gaming PCs to run at higher frame rates.

For non-gaming monitors, a 60Hz-90Hz frame rate is more than enough to allow for smooth animation in most PC apps. Among gaming monitors, we specifically recommend 144Hz for most players, which allows players with mid- and high-powered systems to play many games with refresh rates well above 60Hz. Competitive players may be interested in stepping up to a 240Hz monitor or higher, but it’s a niche upgrade.

Response time

Response time, which measures the small amount of input lag created by a monitor, is another spec that’s specifically important for gaming. There is always a slight delay between when you press a key on your keyboard, and when that input takes effect on screen. In modern PCs, even basic setups see only milliseconds of lag per input. Though your monitor only injects a very small percentage of whatever lag you experience, competitive players look for any way to react faster and get a jump on their opponents. Thus, response time becomes a key stat differentiating a good gaming monitor from a great one.

Panel type

The physical screen of a monitor, the display panel, comes in three different types: Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). Without getting too technical, each one has strengths and weaknesses that impact color accuracy, contrast, and response time. All of our recommendations feature an IPS panel, which manufacturers use most frequently for high-end monitors thanks to their wide view angles, and balance between color gamut, speed, and contrast.

Variable refresh rate

We have one last gaming-centric feature: Variable refresh rate allows your monitor to sync your frame rate with the output of the PC or console to which it is connected. Using it delivers smooth images devoid of any hiccups like screen tearing or visual artifacting.

Gaming monitors rely on one of two variable refresh rate formats, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. These technologies, particularly G-Sync, were designed to pair with graphics cards made by Nvidia and AMD, respectively. That said, there is wide cross-compatibility for the basic elements of the feature.

If you are a gamer or work with video graphics, we recommend buying a monitor with the variable refresh rate technology that matches your GPU. That means G-Sync monitors for Nvidia cards and FreeSync monitors for AMD.

FAQs Q: How much do Asus monitors cost?

Most of the best Asus monitors cost between $500 and $1,000. However, there are plenty of cheap gaming monitors from the brand that are satisfactory for more casual users.

Q: Which monitor is better: Asus or Acer?

Asus and Acer both have a gamer-focused catalog. But Asus has a wider range of monitor options than Acer, especially in higher price ranges.

Q: Are Asus TUF monitors good?

Asus’ TUF Gaming line includes some of our favorite budget gaming monitors. If you have between $300-$500 to spend, TUF Gaming is a great place to start your search.

Q: Do Asus monitors have cameras?

Most dedicated PC monitors don’t come with built-in webcams. Asus currently makes one model with a webcam, the Asus BE24EQK business monitor. In most cases, we recommend buying the best monitor for your gaming, productivity, or creative needs and attached one of the best webcams. If having your webcam built into your display is important, though, check out our guide to the best monitors with built-in webcams.

Final thoughts on the best Asus monitors

The best Asus monitors are primarily for gamers looking at mid- and high-tier screens with great resolution, refresh rates, and adjustability. All of their top products feature IPS panels, offering good colors and great viewing angles. While we love some of Asus’ ProArt displays, users should look at Asus as a gaming-first manufacturer, at least where monitors are concerned.

The Best Wireless Keyboards Of 2023

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Written By Amanda Reed

Updated Feb 21, 2023 12:38 PM

Whether you’ve spent the last year gaming into the night, working from home, or a little bit of both, your wireless keyboard has been there through it all. The best wireless keyboards can be a convenient switch that eases movement and alleviates wrist strain. Wireless keyboards also minimize desk clutter—a perk for gamers looking to curate an impressive wireless setup.

As we spend more time working remotely, it’s important to choose computer accessories that increase productivity and comfort. There are a lot of options out there for wireless keyboards, but we’ll help you find the perfect one for your gaming or office needs. It’s time to free yourself from cords by finding the best wireless keyboard for your needs.

How we chose the best wireless keyboards

As journalists, our entire job is typing. Our top choices for the best wireless keyboards are based on personal testing, research, recommendations, reviews, and user impressions. We looked carefully at all specs and perspectives—key types and travel, etc.—until we found the ones that fit every typing scenario.

The best wireless keyboards: Reviews & Recommendations

These wireless keyboards are ready to tackle that manuscript draft you’ve been working on for years, and the game level you’re having a hard time beating. Putting words together and demolishing cartoon villains is hard, but choosing the best wireless keyboards is easy.

Why it made the cut: This Bluetooth keyboard easily connects to an Apple device, PC, and even your phone.

Specs

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Dimensions: 10.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches

Weight: 0.90 lbs

Pros

Quiet typing

Fast connection

Portable

Cons

Computer needs a Bluetooth connection to work

Keys not backlit

Logitech’s versatile keyboard has three pairing channels that you can switch between at the touch of a button, meaning you don’t have to fuss over Bluetooth pairing every time you swap devices. The K380 comes with pre-installed AAA alkaline batteries and has an expected battery life of two years. Depending on your usage, you won’t have to worry about power until it’s time to replace the batteries. Similar to ergonomic keyboards, the K380 has sculpted keys that mirror the shape of your fingertips, a design choice that makes for fluid and quiet typing. This Bluetooth keyboard is a convenient and modern solution that won’t hold you back. And yes, it also comes in pink.

Best ergonomic: Logitech Ergo K860 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard

Why it made the cut: This ergonomic keyboard takes the weight off your wrists with pain-free connectivity.

Specs

Connectivity: USB receiver, Bluetooth

Dimensions: 9.17 x 17.95 x 1.89 inches

Weight: 2.56 lbs

Pros

Compatible with PC and macOS

Connects via USB receiver or Bluetooth

Cons

Wrist support cannot be removed

Keys not backlit

The ergonomist-approved Logitech keyboard is made for relaxing and natural typing posture. The best wireless ergonomic keyboard has all the ergonomic perks: a pillowed wrist rest with 54 percent more wrist support than normal keyboards, an adjustable palm lift, and scooped keys that compliment your fingertips. This Logitech wireless keyboard is fully compatible with macOS and PC and connects with a USB receiver or Bluetooth.

Best gaming: Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Why it made the cut: This tenkeyless keyboard combines mechanical keyboard aesthetics with gamer-friendly features.

Specs

Connectivity: USB receiver, Bluetooth

Dimensions: ‎15.2 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches

Weight: 1.79 pounds

Pros

Can charge and play simultaneously

Low profile

Cons

Expensive

Best for Mac: Apple Magic Keyboard

Why it made the cut: This white wireless keyboard is an example of Apple’s penchant for turning its devices into an ecosystem.

Specs

Connectivity: Bluetooth

Dimensions: 0.16–0.43 x 10.98 x 4.52 inches

Weight: 0.53 lbs.

Pros

Automatic pairing

No extra configuration

Cons

Keys not backlit

The best wireless keyboard for Mac? The Apple Magic Keyboard is a sleek and compact device that doesn’t require any extra configuration. The Magic Keyboard is built for precision and ease, with stable scissor switches, a low profile, and a sturdy aluminum frame. It has a built-in rechargeable battery and can connect with either Bluetooth or a USB cable. We have an entire list of other Mac-friendly keyboards in case you’re looking for options besides the Apple Magic Keyboard.

Best budget: Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard

Why it made the cut: Usability doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and this full-size wireless keyboard is proof.

Specs

Connectivity: USB receiver

Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.75 x 15.56 inches

Weight: 1.75 lbs.

Pros

Good tactile feel

Small and compact

Cons

Keys not backlit

This wireless keyboard from Logitech is reliable, sturdy, and customizable. It comes with six hotkeys and twelve programmable F-keys, and the USB receiver can connect up to six unifying devices to one receiver. The K360 is a real trooper—its two pre-installed batteries provide up to three years of use. Worried about security while working wirelessly? This keyboard protects your keystrokes with 128-bit encryption. Although this keyboard is technically compatible with Mac, it is much better suited for Windows users.

What to consider when buying the best wireless keyboards

There are a few things to factor in when searching for the best wireless keyboard. If you’re looking to update your work-from-home computer gear, you’ll want to keep style, portability, and ergonomics in mind. When you’re working all day at a desk, a wireless ergonomic keyboard can improve your typing posture and lower muscle strain. Is the local coffee shop your version of a home office? When working on the go, a wrist pad can add bulk, and a lightweight, portable keyboard will be a sleeker and more compact choice. Portability is also important for those using a Bluetooth keyboard to connect to tablets and laptops. Still a little unsure? We’ll walk you through the specifics so you can snag a good wireless keyboard.

Connectivity

A major consideration is how your keyboard will connect to your device. Some devices utilize a 2.4 GHz radiofrequency with a USB adapter, while others have Bluetooth pairing. If you’re someone who doesn’t want extra computer gear and needs to connect to multiple devices, you might opt for a Bluetooth keyboard. Can’t decide? You’re in luck—a lot of keyboards are both USB- and Bluetooth-capable.

Ergonomic wireless keyboards vs. flat wireless keyboards

Some people find that a lot of ergonomic keyboards look clunky or awkward. Fortunately, the best ergonomic keyboards retain style while providing that much-needed wrist relief.

Use case

Gamers might be apprehensive about latency in wireless keyboards, but the truth is that wireless gaming equipment has evolved past the days of lag. The best wireless gaming keyboard will have an imperceptible delay with the same features you love—mechanical switches, RGB backlighting, and quick response time. Standard peripherals might restrict your fluidity and tether you to one position, while wireless allows you to sit back and relax.

Gamers should look for a keyboard that is engineered to handle intense gaming sessions and equipped with customizable G-keys.

Portability

When you’re multitasking and on the move, a full-size keyboard can hold you down. With a portable Bluetooth keyboard, you can switch between devices with ease and travel without extra weight or tangled cables. The best Bluetooth keyboards are universally compatible with most devices and compact—perfect for those who hunker down with a laptop, tablet, and iPad. You’ll want to look for a lightweight and durable design with a long-lasting battery.

Whether you’re traveling to the office or a different corner of the living room, you need a slim keyboard that can handle the journey.

Operating system

Mac users, we didn’t forget you. You don’t always have to buy from Apple, as the majority of USB and Bluetooth keyboards are compatible with Mac computers, but you will want to make sure that any keyboard you choose fully supports Mac’s native keyboard layout. The best wireless keyboards for Mac seamlessly connect to multiple Apple devices and last for months between charges.

Budget

We know that wireless keyboards can get pretty expensive, but there are some amazing, affordable options that don’t compromise on quality. If you’re searching for a budget-friendly wireless keyboard, you will want to make sure it is compatible with your system. Keep in mind that cheaper wireless keyboards might not be equipped with simultaneous Bluetooth and USB connections.

FAQs Q: How long do wireless keyboards last?

How long a wireless keyboard will last depends on the model you purchase. A caveat to switching to wireless is that you will have to either charge your keyboard or replace the batteries at some point. Some keyboards run on built-in rechargeable batteries, while others just take battery replacements after they wear out. For example, the Logitech K380 we mentioned previously is expected to last for two years before requiring new batteries.

Q: How do I connect a wireless keyboard?

How you connect will also depend on the type of wireless keyboard you purchase. Your new equipment should come with a manual and specific instructions for connecting with either Bluetooth or USB. For most Bluetooth devices, you will turn on the keyboard, enter the Bluetooth section of your computer’s settings, and then pair your new device by entering a unique PIN. Some computers will require you to calibrate your new keyboard by pressing a few keys when prompted.

Q: How should I clean a wireless keyboard?

Keyboards are a notoriously dirty household item. The best way to clean a wireless keyboard without damaging it is with alcohol wipes. Make sure to power off your device before you disinfect it gently with a cloth dipped in water and isopropyl alcohol. If you’re worried about grime trapped between your keys, you can use a can of compressed air to push the dust out of difficult areas.

Q: What is the difference between Bluetooth and wireless?

A wireless keyboard connects to a USB receiver that plugs into one of your USB ports. A Bluetooth keyboard connects via—you guessed it—Bluetooth. Most laptops have Bluetooth connectivity built-in, making Bluetooth keyboards a suitable choice for those looking to build a desk set-up from their work laptop. A wireless keyboard is great for PC users who do not have Bluetooth connectivity. However, you can purchase Bluetooth adapters that plug into a USB port to use Bluetooth wireless keyboards with devices that are not Bluetooth-enabled.

Q: Is a wireless keyboard faster than a wired keyboard?

Wireless keyboards are just a hair slower than wired keyboards. Although it’s not noticeable, it does impact gamers who need precision sans input lag. Thankfully, wireless gaming computers, like the Razer Turret, are designed to eliminate this lag.

Final thoughts on the best wireless keyboards

The most important part of selecting a good wireless keyboard is ensuring that it is right for your lifestyle. The best part of switching is how many options there are out there, whether you’re looking for a sophisticated wireless mechanical keyboard or a weightless Bluetooth companion. Enjoy your newfound freedom from wires.

Related: How to recycle electronics

The Best Portable Wifi Of 2023

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Written By Eric Alt

Updated May 5, 2023 6:05 PM

We are living in the age of the “Internet of Things.” Nearly every device—from your phones to your lamps to your toothbrush—has WiFi capabilities, and the interconnected IoT network almost requires you to be always on all the time. This reality is one of the reasons we recommend everyone pick up one of the best WiFi boosters for their home, as there’s a lot more competition for bandwidth in the age of work/school/game/stream from home than there used to be. But what if you’re on the go and the work can’t wait? What if you’re out and about and really need to be connected? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go over your data cap as you’re going over wide-ranging terrain with the best portable WiFi options.

The best portable WiFi: Reviews & Recommendations

The TP-Link is compact, simple, looks great, and can fit in a pocket or the pouch of a knapsack. It can deliver 300Mbps WiFi speed on a 2.4G hertz band, which makes it great for streaming and online gaming. it’s compatible with Chromecast, and powers via a Micro USB port. We like it because it’s sleek, secure, and efficient.

Best battery life: RoamWiFi R10

The RoamWiFi R10 supports 4G LTE high-speed network, with a maximum upload speed of 50Mbps and a maximum download speed of 433Mbps. But its main selling point is that it provides a solid 18 hours of battery life after a full charge (which is about 3 hours). It’s small, as easy to carry around as a smartphone, and provides strong, secure connections.

Most user-friendly: GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile HotSpot

The GlocalMe G4 allows you to connect up to 10 devices at once—but the best part is how easily it allows you to manage those connections. With its smartphone-like user interface, it makes managing device usage, tracking battery life, and connecting to available signals as easy as using an app. It has its own data plan and package rates, so those not looking to deal with SIM cards will find this an added convenience.

Best for connection speed: NetGear Mobile WiFi Hotspot

To be honest, NetGear’s 400 Mbps of download speed might even be better than what you get on your home desktop. Designed to be portable and convenient, the NetGear offers 11 hours of battery life, a color LCD display, and the ability to connect to up to 15 devices at once.

Best budget: KuWFi 4G LTE

The KuWFi comes in at just under $50, but offers 4G LTE connectivity, low power consumption, and the ability to share up to 10 devices. It has a clear, colorful LED screen showing battery life, connection strength, and other pieces of information, and is compatible with a number of SIM cards and data storage cards.

Things to consider when shopping for the best portable WiFi

When you’re on the lookout for devices designed to help you be more product and more connected—which is exactly what the best portable WiFi devices are meant to do—it’s easy to fall into the trap of something big and complex and seemingly all-powerful, only to discover that you only actually need a fraction of its capabilities for your everyday use. Knowing exactly how you work, and where your own personal trouble spots are, will help you narrow your focus and get a device that does exactly what you need it to do. With the right research (which we’ve happily done for you), you can narrow down the copious options and identify the perfect portable companion for all your on-the-go network needs.

Do you want something you won’t mind carrying around with you?

It’s not shallow to say that how a device looks goes a long way towards how willing you’ll be to carrying it around with you. A clunky, brick-like device is going to become a burden, and you’ll end up not getting as much use out of it as you should. It goes beyond aesthetics, too, as a well-designed device will be user-friendly and convenient in addition to being a cool part of your portable communications system.

Your search should consider the overall size of the device, its functionality, and how easily it will mesh with your other devices. Honing in on these key factors will ensure you get a portable WiFi router you’ll use again and again.

Can it give you enough battery life if a power source isn’t available?

It’s mankind’s biggest collective struggle in the modern age—the constant raging against the dying of the battery. From phones to laptops, tiny battery icons taunt us from their top corner perches, slowly bleeding down until their red bars inform you that you’d better wrap it up, save your data, and hurry to an outlet before all of your work is lost.

Although a lot of portable WiFi devices can be powered via USB, you may find yourself in a situation where WiFi is needed but a USB-compatible device may not be available. Here’s where to find a mobile hotspot that will cover you even if you have to rely on battery power.

Are you looking for portable WiFi you can use immediately without fuss?

The main selling point of portable WiFi is convenience. Whether you want portable WiFi for travel, or you’re looking for a strong connection when you happen to be away from your home base unit, you need something you can rely on that won’t be overly complicated or difficult to manage.

Finding a mobile WiFi router that puts user interface first and foremost will ensure you feel comfortable using it again and again, and that you get the most out of it every single time. Look for devices that have easily-readable screens, simple navigating, and convenient information accessibility.

How fast do you need your WiFi connection to be?

Perhaps the biggest reason to invest in a portable WiFi router is that you intend to download or upload files on a regular basis, and need both the speed and convenience of a strong WiFi signal to do it. A smartphone alone is fine for emails and texts, but for anything bigger or more complex, you need a fast Internet connection without question.

It used to be you’d need to be hard-wired to process anything bigger than a few megabytes, but there are options available now that can deliver fast upload and download speeds even if you are on the go.

Are you a Verizon customer looking for portable WiFi?

Depending on where in the world you live, you may have a lot of public WiFi hotspots available for your use. While they allow you to access WiFi without an Internet provider, they do come with some security risks. If you have a specific cell or internet provider, you can access private WiFi hotspots that offer premium prepaid internet access that’s much cheaper than using mobile data, and more secure.

There are some mobile WiFi devices that are geared specifically for one provider—say, for example, if you are a Verizon customer. Being able to connect to a service you already use can save a lot of hassle, and help you avoid having to use insecure, public networks that could expose your data.

Best portable WiFi device on a budget: What you can get for under $50

Portable WiFi devices aren’t, generally speaking, among the most expensive pieces of technology. Even the higher-end devices usually sit under $200, so finding the best portable WiFi option on a budget isn’t too difficult.

FAQs Q: Can portable WiFi replace my home internet?

The short answer is: Yes, it can. Doing so could save you money on internet provider packages and contracts, but keep in mind that if you live in a household that tends to go heavy on internet usage (say, a family where it’s not uncommon for a TV to be streaming in one room, someone Internet surfing on another, and people playing online games in yet another), it’ll be tough to find a mobile router up to handle it all.

Q: Do I need a new data plan for portable WiFi?

Not necessarily. Most portable WiFi devices operate with SIM cards, which allow you to get internet access even if you don’t have an internet provider at all.

Q: Does portable WiFi work without service?

Yes, the purpose of a mobile router is to be the source of connection to the Internet, without having to rely on your phone’s service connection.

A final word on shopping for the best portable WiFi

The ease and convenience of a mobile WiFi router really can’t be overstated. Having the ability to connect to the internet with home computer speeds anywhere in the world opens you up to all new possibilities—whether you need it for remote work or for frequent traveling. Knowing your own usage tendencies as well as what kind of work assets you need (are you sharing simple Word Docs or do you need to traffic in heavier images or video?) will go a long way towards narrowing down your selection. Once you find the perfect mix of portable and reliable, the world is your oyster.

The Best Attic Antennas Of 2023

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Written By Will Fulton

Updated Feb 1, 2023 3:36 PM

Streaming may be king, but cord-cutters still need a TV antenna to fill in the gap left by cable and pick up regional channels to watch sports and local news. Fortunately, the technology is better than ever—from classic, spiny, yagi antennas to modern flat models you stick on your window, there’s a perfect antenna out there for you, no matter your budget. And if you have access to an attic, the best attic antennas offer convenience and reliability.

In most cases, it makes sense to either get an outdoor antenna to mount on your roof, or place an indoor antenna near a window in the same room as your TV. However, there’s a third, less obvious option that splits the difference between the two: mounting your antenna inside your attic. An attic antenna should give you a stronger signal than an in-room antenna while avoiding the hassles of having a rooftop antenna installed. It’s also the most discreet way to mount it. Besides, what are you using that space for, anyway? If you’re thinking about placing a new TV antenna in your attic, we can help you pick the right one for your space.

How we selected the best attic antennas

I’ve written about consumer technology for nearly a decade at sites like Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Lifewire as an industry journalist and critic. Most recently, I have covered home media and gaming here at Popular Science, including televisions and antennas. I also edit the Uber Engineering blog. Picking an antenna depends largely on your location, so the best antenna for a rural home would be complete overkill for someone living near a large city. Attic-mounting has more to do with placement than the antenna itself, so we’ve chosen a range of antennas at various price points and strengths, with a focus on quality and value. 

We’ve surveyed the best-selling, most reviewed, and most recommended products on the market and extrapolated a representative list of the best value options for a variety of price points and use cases. All of our recommendations are well-reviewed by customers and critics alike, and from brands we trust.

The best attic antennas: Reviews & Recommendations

Getting better signal quality out of the airwaves keeps free over-the-air broadcast TV relevant, even as we upgrade to 4K TVs and the broadcast environment shifts. You can upgrade any streaming setup with an attic antenna, which will bring free, local broadcasts to your living room without a gaudy black panel on your window or putting something on your roof. No matter your budget or needs, we’re confident that the best attic TV antenna for your home is here among these picks.

Why it made the cut: The Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie is a powerful and versatile antenna that you can tuck away in an attic.

Specs

Range: 70 miles

UHF/VHF: Both

Installation: Mast clamp

Gain: 17.4Dbi

Pros

Great performance

Flexibility from multiple aimable panels

Lifetime warranty on parts

Cons

Very large

Includes mounting hardware, but requires mast and coaxial cable

The four sizable rectangular panels of the Antennas Direct 8-Element Bowtie antenna are its greatest strength, and also make it well-suited for tucking away in an attic. Because the panels are mounted on two independently rotating masts, you can either spread them out to capture signals in different directions or focus them to better capture in a single direction. That versatility, paired with its 70-mile range and 17.4Dbi gain, makes it powerful enough for most situations. The only real tradeoff for all that power is its commanding size, at 3 x 4 feet, which is why it’s particularly perfect for hiding in your attic if you have the room, rather than commanding attention on your roof.

Best for rural areas: Free Signal TV Marathon Plus HDTV Long-Distance Antenna

FREE SIGNAL TV

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Why it made the cut: The Marathon Plus HDTV Long-Distance Antenna offers great reach in a compact form.

Specs

Range: 110 miles

UHF/VHF: Both

Installation: Wall, pole, floor, ceiling

Gain: 40 dBi

Pros

Long range

Compact

Flexible installation

Cons

Expensive

The Marathon Plus HDTV Long-Distance Antenna looks more like a Wi-Fi router than a TV aerial but that sleek, compact appearance belies some serious power with a 110-mile range. Its compact, rectangular form also makes it extremely versatile in its installation, letting you clamp it to poles like most antennas, but also hang it on the wall like a picture frame or place it on the floor. It’s expensive, but the performance and form factor are worth the investment if you want something powerful and discreet.

Best compact: Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: Compact and dependable, the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V offers a great balance between size and power.

Specs

Range: 60 miles

UHF/VHF: Both

Installation: Wall, pole, floor, ceiling

Gain: 10.4 dBi

Pros

Great performance

Compact

Cons

Assembly required

Antennas Direct‘s ClearStream 2V sits in the middle of its smaller ClearStream line for windows and TV stands. The 2V stands out because of its longer range, UHF/VHF support, and pivoting mast for installation flexibility. It requires a little more day-one assembly than the other options on our list, and its unique design combining rings and a grid tends to stand out when used indoors or on your roof, but its range, features, and price are all on point, so it’s a perfect pick to set up in your attic.

Best for furnished attics: Antop AT-500SBS HD Smart Bar

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: Simultaneously large and unobtrusive, the Antop AT-500SBS HD Smart Bar will blend right in with any modern home theater setup.

Specs

Range: 80 miles

UHF/VHF: Both

Installation: Wall mount, floor stand

Gain: N/A

Pros

Great performance

Sleek design

LTE filter

Cons

Large

The Antop AT-500SBS HD Smart Bar is almost 30 inches long, but its sleek, black form is designed to blend in among any other contemporary consumer hardware, looking more like a speaker bar or heat pump than a television antenna. It configures both vertically and horizontally, either free-standing or mounted onto the wall for maximum flexibility in getting the best possible signal. It delivers great performance with an 80-mile range and all sorts of useful features, including a 4G LTE filter to block interference from cell signals, and an adjustable range dial for tuning in precisely on signals.

Best budget: GE Attic Mount HD Digital TV Antenna

GE home electrical

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Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: The GE Attic Mount HD Digital TV Antenna gets the job done and costs less than our more powerful picks.

Specs

Range: 60 miles

UHF/VHF: Both

Installation: Wall, pole, floor

Gain: N/A

Pros

Flexible installation with included hardware

Great performance

Inexpensive

Cons

Lower range

The GE Attic Mount antenna is a solid performer from a dependable brand that’s designed specifically to be hidden away in your attic. The included mounting hardware and helpful instructions should make it a breeze to install on the wall, floor, post, or ceiling. At 60 miles, it’s a lower range than the other indoor/outdoor antennas on the list, but its performance is solid within its reasonable range, especially for its price.

What to consider before buying a TV antenna

When you put an antenna in an attic, you have the freedom to set up either an indoor or outdoor antenna. Whatever you pick, make sure you’ll have the hardware necessary to secure it. Since you don’t need to worry about how it looks, an unfinished attic likely provides the most flexibility of any option. You can secure it to the floor, ceiling, walls, support posts, or a window if you have one. The higher up from the ground you can get, the longer its effective reach becomes.

Before picking out a new TV antenna, you should do a little research and find out how far away your local signals are. There are several free tools, such as the Federal Trade Commission’s DTV Reception Maps, that will let you type in your address to find nearby local stations. They’ll also show you useful information on each station, including its distance, signal strength, frequency band, and relative position. (You may need some of this to optimize your antenna position.)

For over 95% of homes in the United States, you should be able to get local affiliates of FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC, The CW, and PBS, plus any nearby local channels. Your ability to watch faraway channels will depend on the signal strength of the station and your antenna’s range.

HD and 4K

Gone are the days of coaxing an image out of crackling white static by delicately manipulating set-top antennas like a locksmith. In 2009, a federal government mandate forced all over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcasts in the United States to transition to digital signals, rather than the older analog format. Digital broadcasting is much more information efficient (only sending changes from frame to frame, rather than replicating the whole image every single time), so your local news and sports are likely going out in beautiful 1080p, or possibly even 4K. Many people report that the picture quality of an OTA broadcast is better than what you get from a cable provider, which compresses the signal more in order to serve it packaged alongside all the other channels.

Range and gain

The most important spec to keep in mind with a new antenna is its range, which gives you an approximate indication of how far an antenna can reach to still pick up a broadcast from a nearby station. Your actual range may vary a little bit, depending on the particulars of local interference like trees, buildings, and hills. Again, an OTA mapping tool can tell exactly what stations are in your area, and how much range your antenna needs to pick them up.

After range, most antennas will list gain, which indicates how well an antenna can pick up distant signals in one particular direction. The higher the gain—listed in dBi, or “decibels relative to isotrope”—the more focused an antenna’s reception. Theoretically, a zero-gain antenna would perfectly detect any signal on the edge of its range in every direction. In reality, every antenna will be at least slightly better at picking broadcasts when it’s pointed toward the source of the signal. A high-gain antenna is useful when you need a lot of range and most or all of your signals come from one particular direction, such as the nearest major city.

UHF and VHF

Every channel broadcasts on specific frequency bands, all of which fall into one of two categories: UHF and VHF (short for ultra- and very-high frequency). Channels operating at higher frequencies can send information more efficiently but within a slightly smaller range. Most channels take that tradeoff and broadcast on UHF now, though there are some stragglers on VHF bands. 

Most UHF antennas can pick up VHF signals even if they aren’t built specifically to receive them, so you shouldn’t worry too much about being unable to pick up VHF. That said, if enough of your stations will be in VHF, it may make sense to pick a VHF-compatible antenna.

FAQs Q: Do antennas in the attic work? 

Yes! As with any antenna placement, the particulars of your space and any local interference will affect performance, but installing an antenna in your attic is a solid option. It splits the difference between small indoor antennas designed to sit near your TV, which usually have lower ranges, and large roof-mounted antennas. Just be prepared to experiment a bit with placement to get the most bang for your buck.

Q: Can an attic antenna attract lightning?

No, an attic antenna is inside your house, shielded by your roof, so it should not attract lightning.

Q: Does putting a TV antenna high above the roof give a better signal? 

Yes, it does. Generally speaking, placing your antenna higher reduces interference and produces a better signal. That’s why an attic is a great option: You get your antenna high off the ground without actually installing it on the roof, which can be complicated and dangerous to do yourself.

Final thoughts on the best attic antennas

We live in the age of streaming, but you shouldn’t give up on broadcast TV just yet. Antenna technology keeps getting better, so now you can pick up crisp HD content without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Indoor antennas are feasible for many but, if you’ve got access, the best attic TV antennas can be a great way to boost your performance without going through the hassle of running cable outside and onto your roof.

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