Best Short Antenna for F150 [Buying Guide 2021]

Everything about the Ford F150 truck is cutting edge. It’s built for rugged performance on virtually every terrain you can think of without compromising on comfort, engine efficiency, and style. Despite being America’s favorite truck, there’s one glaring design flaw that sticks out like a sore thumb – the monopole antenna.

In case you have no idea what we’re on about, it’s the long metal rod on the truck’s front fender that’s present on various Ford models, including the F150. If you have it on your vehicle, you’re likely familiar with the whacking sound it makes every time you enter and exit your garage. It’s probably even bent at this point from the constant abuse it is subjected to. Even a quick run through the automatic carwash is enough to break it.

There’s a solution, though. Just get a shorter antenna. The AM and FM radio frequencies are just as good. Here are our top picks for the best short antenna for F150.

 AntennaMastsRusCravenSpeedRydonair
Best OverallBest ValueBest Durable

Length

4 inches3.5 inches7 inches

Material

AluminumAluminumRubber

Signal quality

ExcellentExcellentExcellent

Installation

Screw-onScrew-onScrew-on
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How We Tested and Compared These Products

When reviewing the various short antennas on the market, we were on the lookout for a couple of features. First, they had to be short – obviously, and from a reputable brand. We were interested in products from manufacturers like AntennaMastsRus, CravenSpeed, and Rydonair, since they have a proven track record of producing durable and reliable antennas.

We tested the signal quality by driving out of the main city to see how far we could get before experiencing a loss of reception. Those that picked up AM and FM signals father out were the winners.

We also checked for their build material. We specifically went for antennas made of rubber or aluminum since these exhibited outstanding weather resistance. We didn’t want anything that rusts.

If they met all the criteria we’ve outlined so far, the final thing we were interested in was how easy the installation process was. Any antenna that could screw onto the existing mount was a winner in our books.

Our Pick: AntennaMastsRus Aluminum Antenna – Best Overall

AnteenaMastsRus Black Antenna

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Features:

  • Length: 4 inches
  • Material: Anodized aluminum
  • Signal quality: Excellent
  • Installation: Screw-on

AntennaMastsRus is one of the largest antenna distributors in the country. The company has been in operation for close to two decades. It offers a massive collection of power and manual antennas for vehicles including Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Jeep, and several other makes.

The AntennaMastsRus aluminum antenna is a popular choice for F150 owners. It is compatible with all 2009-2021 F150 models and is manufactured using state-of-the-art Swiss technology, and it shows.

First impressions: It feels quite sturdy and lightweight, nothing like its obnoxiously tall predecessor. Its exterior is made from anodized aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting, flaking, or peeling off. The stainless steel interior threading is a nice touch as well, adding to its strength and durability. We tried to bend it, and we must say, it held up quite well.

We screwed it on to our F150 and headed toward the outskirts of the city, where radio reception isn’t as strong. We were quite impressed by how well it held up. The FM reception was pretty decent under the circumstances. We did experience a bit of static with some of the lower range AM stations, but not to the extent that would render it a deal-breaker.

For a 4 inch antenna, its performance surpassed our initial (low) expectations. All in all, it’s a worthwhile replacement for your vehicle’s tall antenna. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Pros
  • Available in eight different colors
  • Easy installation
  • Sleek look
  • Great reception
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Reception loss for lower range AM channels
AntennaMastsRus - Made in USA - 4 Inch Black Aluminum Antenna is...
268 Reviews
AntennaMastsRus - Made in USA - 4 Inch Black Aluminum Antenna is...
  • Fits: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 |...
  • 4" BLACK Aluminum Antenna - Manufactured and Anodized here in our HOME...
  • Manufactured with CARE and PRIDE using state of the art Swiss...

 

Best Alternatives

CravenSpeed Stubby Antenna – Best Value

CravenSpeed Stubby

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Features:

  • Length: 5 inches
  • Material: Billet aluminum
  • Signal quality: Excellent
  • Installation: Screw-on

Since its establishment in 2005, CravenSpeed has grown to become one of the leading manufacturers of aftermarket car accessories in the United States. Their range of stubby antennas is a testament to their 15+ years of experience.

At first glance, the antenna looks marginally shorter than most of the other brands we tested, measuring a measly 3.5 inches. We were a little concerned about how well it would hold up when drove out of town. We must say – its performance blew us away. It had pretty solid reception for most major AM and FM stations. On the other hand, the satellite reception was nothing short of outstanding, something we didn’t expect from an antenna of its size.

Next, we sought to find out how durable it is. It is pretty lightweight and feels much lighter than all the other antennas we tested. This can be attributed to its billet aluminum construction fused with corrosion-resistant steel threading on the interior surface. The aluminum exterior also makes it rust-resistant. It has a powder black coating that’s both chip and fade resistant.

The final test was a run through the carwash. Automatic carwashes are notorious for breaking and bending F150 antennas, including some of the shorter varieties. We are happy to report that the 3.5-inch stubby antenna withstood the rotating brushes and washers without incident.

Overall, the performance of the CravenSpeed antenna was pretty remarkable, especially for its size and price. It delivers outstanding value for the money.

Pros

High-quality build
Attractive mast-style design
Short 3.5-inches height
Good signal quality
Easy installation

Cons

Not available in different colors

CravenSpeed Stubby Antenna Compatible with Ford F-150 2009-2022 |...
3,496 Reviews
CravenSpeed Stubby Antenna Compatible with Ford F-150 2009-2022 |...
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Rydonair Antenna – Best Durable Option

Rydonair F150 Compatible Antenna

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Features:

  • Length: 7 inches
  • Material: Rubber
  • Signal quality: Excellent
  • Installation: Screw-on

Next up is the 7-inch Rydonair antenna for Ford F150. Rydonair is no stranger to the car accessory space. The company has been around for several years and carved out a niche for itself in the manufacture of aftermarket car parts for major brands like Ford, Jeep, Chevy, GMC, Dodge RAM, and Harley Davidson. The brand has been a top choice for many consumers due to its unmatched quality standards in the automotive industry.

We sought to find out how their range of short antennas for the F150 would hold up against the other brands we tested. The Rydonair measures 7 inches, making it double the size of some of the stubbier antennas we reviewed. Nonetheless, it is still dramatically shorter than the monopole antenna that comes with the vehicle, so we didn’t write it off.

Installing it was pretty quick and easy since it is compatible with the existing F150 antenna mount present on the vehicle. We screwed it on and hit the open road. The AM and FM reception were exceptional. The signal quality was significantly better than that of the other low-profile antennas we tested. This wasn’t surprising, though. After all, it is 7 inches long. We expected nothing less.

As far as construction goes, we like how sleek it looks, even for its height. It has a premium rubber exterior that offers excellent durability and weather resistance. The bottom portion is made of a carbon fiber column to keep the base firmly rooted onto the base. It also helps that it is easy on the eye.

While this rubber antenna is a little pricier than some of the other options we’ve explored so far, the radio reception and durability you get with it make it worth the extra bucks. It’s a solid choice for any F150 owner.

Pros
  • Easy installation
  • Compatible with Bluetooth
  • Attractive design
  • Better reception
  • Highly durable
Cons
  • Doesn’t come in multiple colors
Rydonair Antenna Compatible with Ford F150 2009-2022 | 7 inches...
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Rydonair Antenna Compatible with Ford F150 2009-2022 | 7 inches...
  • Fits through: 2009-2022 Ford F-150 / F-150 Raptor
  • Flexible Material: Premium Rubber outer construction for weather...
  • Low Profile 7” Stylish Look: Improve the look of your F150 by...

 

VOFONO Short Antenna – Best Flexible Option

Vofono Spiral

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Features:

  • Length: 7 inches
  • Material: Rubber
  • Signal quality: Excellent
  • Installation: Screw-on

VOFONO is a household name in the car accessory world. The company has grown to become one of the leading manufacturers of short antennas and programmable key fobs in the US market.

Their range of 7-inch spiral, flexible antennas for Ford F-150 trucks are some of the best-looking ones we’ve come across. The short stubby mast is made of premium rubber material with a unique spiral design running along the entire length of the exterior. It’s quite eye-catching.

The interior has a conductive copper coil that provides excellent signal reception even in the outskirts of major cities. When we put it to the test, we were quite pleased with its performance. We could tune into most of the local AM and FM stations with minimal static for the lower-range frequencies.

As far as durability goes, the VOFONO antenna’s rubber exterior gives it exceptional weather resistance. Its spiral design makes it extremely flexible as well, so you don’t have to worry about it bending and breaking even at an automatic carwash.

All in all, for a stubby antenna that retails for under $20, the VOFONO is a pretty solid option. It was a little taller than some of the other options we tested, but the flexibility it offers more than makes up for it.

Pros
  • Attractive spiral design
  • Durable and flexible build
  • Mast-style construction
  • Easy installation
  • Excellent signal quality
Cons
  • Not compatible with satellite and GPS
Sale
VOFONO Short Antenna for Ford F150 F-150 2009-2023, 7 Inch Spiral...
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VOFONO Short Antenna for Ford F150 F-150 2009-2023, 7 Inch Spiral...
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How to Choose the Best Short Antenna for Ford F150 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Short Antenna for Ford F150

 

If you happen to be purchasing a short antenna for an F150 for the very first time, there is the high chance that you are still confused. The list of all the best short antenna for F150 options above may be of little help to you if you do not know what exactly you need.

Naturally, you might not know the aspects to look for and how to appropriately assess the different antenna options. You might still be basing your purchase on the opinion of an acquaintance or solely because one of the antennas mentioned has the highest or the lowest price tag.

However, we do not want you to make random guesses and random purchases, only to suffer later. Below, we have provided a comprehensive guide on aspects to consider when hunting for the best short antenna for F150.

Types of Car Antennas

Although you will find various car antennas, there are three primary types: internal, external, and satellite. The internal car antennas, also called stealth car antennas, are multi-purpose. You can place them anywhere in the truck where it receives the clearest signals.

Normally, people install internal car antennas on the dashboard or trunk. These antennas are not disturbed by external factors and perform brilliantly. Also, they can receive both AM and FM signals.

External car antennas are installed on the vehicle’s exterior. They are exposed to the wind and other adverse weather conditions. External car antenna manufacturers provide retractors to protect the antennas when they are not in use.

With external car antennas, there is considerable signal interference. However, these antennas provide better signal reception than internal car antennas regardless of the interference.

Satellite car antennas are considered the best. These antennas have a dashboard dock and are installed on the truck’s roof. They provide exceptional signals and access to several premium channels.

You may also come across a whip antenna. A whip antenna is made of a flexible material and is a straight wire or rod. The bottom end of the whip antenna is connected to the radio receiver or transmitter.

Whip antennas are capable of providing you with better reception and performance than some other options and may be a good replacement for a factory antenna or aftermarket antenna.

Design & Build

Design & Build

Generally, there are two common variations of short antennas in terms of design. These include:

  • Mast Style
  • Bullet Style

Although a mast style short antenna belongs to olden times by now, it’s important to know how to identify them. Fundamentally, a mast-style short antenna comes with a round tip.

Today, the bullet antenna has gained popularity, thanks to its stronger build. A bullet antenna has a much longer lifespan compared to a mast style antenna.

Moreover, antennas also get classified in terms of passive and active. An active short antenna readily picks up signals with its enhanced signal reception with amplifiers. On the contrary, a passive antenna picks up passing signals only.

Material

There is a diversity of materials used by car antenna manufacturers. However, upon narrowing the list, there are only three primary materials that are often used to construct a factory antenna. These include aluminum, plastic, and rubber.

Aluminum is the most durable material. However, rubber and plastic are sufficiently strong and can withstand harsh weather conditions. These materials can get used for any factory antenna.

Signal Quality

Regardless of the brand claims, not all antennas provide good signal quality. So, before purchasing, go through the reviews and determine whether the signal quality is up to the mark or not. An antenna should be able to receive a good AM/FM signal. And, additional reception properties can prove to be a bonus.

Installation

When choosing the best antenna, do not forget to examine its installation process. Easy installation is always a plus. A difficult installation can leave you frustrated.

FAQ

Q. How to remove antenna from Ford F 150

Removing an antenna from a Ford F 150 can be a challenging task for a beginner. The level of difficulty depends on where the antenna is located on your truck. Nevertheless, here are a few general steps to help you remove an antenna.

  1. Find the coaxial cable that connects the antenna to the radio behind the dashboard. Check whether there is an extension cable or one long cable.
  2. If it’s an extension cable, then unplug it from the extension coupling. And, if it is one long cable, then unplug it from behind the radio.
  3. Unscrew the rubber piece around the antenna and loosen it. Then, take it out of the antenna.
  4. Unscrew the antenna mount and lift it off. Then, look inside the dashboard to see where the antenna got mounted onto the car.
  5. Undo the socket that holds the antenna to the vehicle frame. Slide the socket from the coaxial cable. To remove the antenna, pull the coaxial cable through the hole in the vehicle frame.

Q. How tall is an average short wave antenna?

Although there are no restrictions regarding the length of an antenna and its performance, there are some strict rules regarding the correspondence of an antenna’s length and frequencies. For best performance, make sure the antenna’s length works well with its operational or frequency range.

On average, a short antenna for cars measures seven inches or below. Ideally, the average short wave antenna should measure below 7-inches, preferably 4-5 inches.

Although you’d find no strict rules regarding the length of an antenna and its performance, there are some strict rules regarding the correspondence of an antenna’s length and its frequencies. For best performance and optimized FM AM reception, ensure the antenna’s length works well with its operational or frequency range.

Conclusion

Now you know all your best possible options when it comes to the best short antenna for your F150. You also know how to inspect, examine, and choose a suitable short antenna for your needs.

However, if you still happen to be stuck in a cloud of confusion and indecisiveness, the options we’ve reviewed in this guide would be a great starting point.

Happy buying!