Looking for the best stubby antenna? Stock antennas are often long and stick out. This becomes problematic because they can get damaged or snapped off in a variety of ways leaving you without a working radio!
The good news is that the right stubby antenna can solve all the above problems and still provide you with adequate reception!
The even better news is that this article provides a list of some of the best options available as well as things you should consider before buying!
We chose these options based on their material quality, ease of installation, signal strength, and durability so that you know you are getting the best!
If you are modifying your truck in other ways, high lift Jacks are far superior to regular jacks for such uses. Check out our review of the Best High Lift Jacks if you are interested.
Best Aftermarket Car Antenna – Roundup!
This is a quick overview of some of the best options for different vehicles so match up your vehicle with the right antenna. Keep in mind that a lot of the brands listed below have variations for different vehicles so you may still find the right one with your preferred brand.
Stubby Antenna Reviews – Top 10
1. CravenSpeed 3.2 Inches Stubby Antenna Compatible With Ford 2009-2019
This is one of the best short antennas for F150 Fords between the years 2009-2019. It can be set up in a few seconds without any tools besides your bare hands.
It has a full metal construction that ensures durability and the black powder coat means that it is resistant to the harshest conditions. Say goodbye to weather damage or corrosion! They match the durability with excellent reception in this antenna so you should not have any problems in that arena either.
This antenna may not provide the best signal in low coverage areas. However, they boldly claim to give you your cash back if you are not happy with the reception!
They are also very proud of the fact that you can take this antenna through a car wash without any problems! While this is a strange benchmark, it does speak to how robust these are! So, if you have a ford, these are worth checking out. This brand has options available for many Ford models in addition to the F-150.
If you would like to see how easy it is to install. Check this video.
- Fully Metal! Billet Alluminium!
- Powder coated and machined
- Good Reception is gauranteed by thousands of reviews.
- Also available with a bullet design if that’s your thing.
2. Ronin Factory Bullet Antenna Replacement For Dodge Ram & Ford
This is an Aluminum Bullet Antenna that has the same shape and size as an actual 50 Caliber bullet. This makes it a real statement antenna and as they put it, adds attitude to your truck!
It can be set up in a matter of minutes by unscrewing the present antenna that you have and replacing it with this one (see how easy in this video). Materials are quality and hard-wearing. They claim that the hard-anodized finish will not chip or fade!
The antenna comes with Allen wrenches for removal and installation so you need no external tools. It has a thread-locking design which makes it anti-theft.
Keep in mind, if you do not want a bullet design, there are really nice standard designs as well.
- Solid Billet Aluminum build – Military grade alluminium
- Black hard-anodized finish
- Compatible with Auxiliary audio inputs and Bluetooth
3. CravenSpeed 3.2 inches Stubby Antenna For Chevy Silverado 2007-2019
This is a wonderful replacement antenna that can be accommodated in any 2007-2019 Chevy Silverado.
As with any Cravenspeed in this list, it is made in the USA and has an all-metal construction. Furthermore, its powder coat provides resistance to wear or chipping and it has highly dependable construction.
- The antenna can fit any 2007-2019 Chevy Silverado
- It is a little less than 3.2 inches in height
- Billet alluminium with black powder coat
4. Ronin Factory Bullet Antenna for Jeep Wrangler JK & JL 2007+
This is one of the best stubby antennas for jeep wranglers. Furthermore, you get the guaranteed quality of the Ronin brand. If you like the design this is a no-brainer!
Like all the Ronin options, there are no reception issues with this one, It can safely handle car washes and it is built to last.
- Billet alluminium
- Hard Anodized Black finish – No risks of fading or chipping
- Auxiliary audio inputs or Bluetooth compatible
- It fits all JLU Wranglers, JL, JKU, and JK Jeeps after 2007 (previous models are not supported)
- Anti-Theft Design
5. AntennaMastsRus 6-inch Rubber Antenna For Dodge Ram
Although a short antenna, it offers a performance that is right up there with an original/stock antenna. This stubby antenna is one of the best and is highly recommended! It is a no-bullshit replacement that does the job.
Unlike the previous options, this is a flexible antenna that is made from highly durable rubber so it gets its strength from the fact that it is malleable. It has stainless steel threading which is of the highest quality and made in the USA.
It has an internal copper coil which makes it highly conductive, providing as they put it “unmatched Reception”.
- German Engineering
- Car wash proof
- Copper internal coil provides better reception
6. Rydonair 13 inches Flexible Rubber Antenna Replacement For Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra truck
While not strictly a ‘stubby’ antenna, this product is worth mentioning because it is an excellent aftermarket antenna replacement that is still shorter than the original. It beats the reception of its smaller alternatives and its flexibility means that it will be less prone to damage if it bumps into anything.
Furthermore, despite being a longer antenna, it remains a stylish alternative.
Like the stubby antennas, you can easily mount this antenna and install it quickly and easily. It is made from premium rubber as well as carbon fiber at the base.
The package includes an adaptor for the different Chevy and GMC models. The quality of reception is the same as OEM or even better so, you should pick up every AM and FM station.
If you are in search of something shorter than your regular antenna without sacrificing on reception, this is a good option to consider.
- 13 inches in size and has a stylish appearance
- Easily replaceable longer antenna that is usually about 31 inches in length
- Weatherproof rubber coating
7. AntennaMastsRus Heavy-duty Stubby Antenna For Ford 2009-2019
As mentioned, this brand is known for providing the best aftermarket car antennas. This design, which fits Ford F-150 models is no exception and again this is a solid, functional, no-fuss product.
As the above AntennaMastsRus review mentions, this is a flexible, rubber antenna with stainless steel threading that does not compromise on signal strength due to its internal copper coil.
They have a whole bunch of variations of antennas to choose from as well if this particular design and size is not to your liking.
- Car wash proof
- Premium flexible rubber
- German engineered copper coil
8. Mega Racer 5″ Carbon Fiber Antenna for almost any car or truck
This antenna had to be included because it is compatible with almost any car or truck due to the different screws they include with the product. Not only is it stylish and adaptable, it is also well priced.
It is made of carbon fiber with stainless steel threading. These materials provide great aesthetics, resistance to wear, and the ability to go through car washes (which has become an important benchmark).
- Super-strong stainless steel threading.
- One size fits all – 4 differnt studs and spacers are included
- 5″ in size
9. Rydonair 13 inches Flexible Rubber Antenna Replacement For 2007-2019 Jeep Wrangler JK JL
Again, this is not really a stubby antenna but it is much shorter than the stock antenna on some of the older Jeeps so worth the consideration.
It has all the good things mentioned previously like the flexible rubber material and signal quality that may exceed the OEM equivalent.
Additionally, it will actually fit 2020 and 2021 Jeep models as an added bonus.
- 13 inches in size
- Easily replaces longer antenna that is usually about 31 inches in length
- Perfectly fits 2007-2019 Jeep Wrangler JK JL
- Premium rubber coating – Durable and weatherproof
10. CravenSpeed 3.2 Inches Stubby Antenna Fits Dodge Ram 2009-2019
This is another CravenSpeed variation that fits your Dodge RAM and will add some style to your truck as well.
We’ve talked about the good aspects of this brand’s antennas but let’s cover them again briefly. It boasts a full-metal construction, hard-wearing powder coat, and of course, we can not forget our important benchmark, it can be driven through a car wash!
If you have a Dodge Ram and live in a good coverage area, this stubby antenna is a stylish and functional option so check it out now.
- 3.2 inches
- Built to last with Billet alluminium construction and black powder coat
- Car wash safe
Here is a quick overview of the considerations before we dive a little deeper into each one:
Reception – Signal Strength
Stubby antennas are intended to be substitutes for conventional, long antennas. However, these are not perfect replacements…
The tradeoff for a smaller, sleeker antenna is a reduction in signal strength.
With the options we have provided, this is generally not a problem if you live and drive in areas with good radio coverage. However, if you want to pick up a good signal in areas with low radio signal/coverage you may want to consider a longer alternative or something like the Rydonair above.
You simply want to make sure you are getting an antenna that will last. Generally speaking, the more you pay for an antenna, the higher the quality of materials so go with the best you can afford.
An antenna is an external product so it is exposed to the elements like sun, rain, etc. and these put a lot of strain on materials. Therefore, materials that resist rust such as aluminum are really good. treatments like hard-anodizing and powder coats are also excellent as providing protection against the elements.
If you are going with Rubber, you really want to go with a high-quality rubber because rubber has a tendency to get more brittle with time.
Again, our benchmark of surviving a car wash rears its head. It is a good sign if it can survive a car wash because these are generally quite aggressive.
When it comes to aftermarket Car antennas there are a few brands that stand out among the rest. Most of which are included in this list. Some of the more reputable brands when it comes to Stubby antennas include:
- Ronin Factory
The design of the antenna has a significant effect on the appeal of the vehicle you are installing it on. There are a wide variety of designs when it comes to Stubby antennas, with a big size range as well.
You may want to have a statement antenna like the bullet variations above or you may want something more understated that fits in with the style of car you drive.
As with anything, there is always a compromise between design and functionality. As a buyer, your preference will always sway toward one side or the other so, keep in mind where your affinity lies so that you can make a decision you’ll be happy with!
Ease of Installation
Look at the ease of installation and mounting. The best ones are a breeze to set up, and the installation process takes around 5 – 10 minutes with no special tools being required for the setup.
The most important thing is that a stubby antenna should be easy and non-complicated. You are simply, unscrewing an old antenna and screwing on a new one. Any more than this would be overkill and not worth your time or money.
If you are installing a whole new antenna system and linking that up to your car, it is a different story. In such cases, you have to buy antenna mounts, and then where you mount the antenna becomes important.
As mentioned earlier, you can generally expect to get higher quality materials used if you are willing to spend more money.
Higher quality materials = longer-lasting product
Therefore, it is in your best interest to buy the most expensive product you can afford (assuming the brand is reputable).
You can expect to pay between $10 – $50 for a decent stubby antenna. The higher up you go the better the design and construction materials.
Whip Antenna vs. Stubby Antenna
Whip antennas are a bit outdated these days and many modern cars have done away with them. They are much more prone to bending and breaking dues to their length and how much they stick out. This is in contrast to the stubby antenna which is small and tucked out of the way.
This video sheds some light if you want some more detail about the difference between the two types.
Should I replace my stock antenna?
Stock antennas can last for about 4 – 6 years and only need to be replaced after that time. They wear if you live close to the ocean as the salt can cause corrosion. You should keep an eye out for damage and rust to determine if your antenna needs to be replaced.
Longer antennas are more susceptible to damage due to random events, wind, etc. so this may also impact your decision to find a replacement as a stubby antenna will be more robust.
On the other hand, you may just want to upgrade the style of your vehicle, which is also a perfectly good reason to replace your stock antenna with a stubby antenna.
Do shorter antenna’s work?
Yes, they definitely work. However, you can expect some reduction in signal strength. So, at the end of the day, whether they work or not comes down to your context and how strong the radio coverage in your area is.
Can an antenna booster help boost my antenna’s reception?
If you are already getting pretty good reception and just want to increase your range for a few more stations, you would indeed get some benefit from a reception booster. However, if you have poor overall reception or none at all, the tuner of the car radio or the antenna itself could be the cause of the problem.
An antenna booster is generally not necessary if you have a good working antenna so you need to weigh the cost to benefits ratio in this case.
Will there be any compatibility issues between my factory stereo to the new antenna?
As long as you buy a stubby antenna that fits onto your current antenna mount there should be no problem.
If you cannot find one that fits your vehicle you can also consider using an adaptor. If you own a Volkswagen, Nissan, or GM, this may be your best option as these companies generally don’t stick to a standard connector.
Why Do I Get ‘Antenna Not Detected’ or ‘Antenna Disconnected’ Messages from My Radio Receiver?
If your antenna is installed correctly and you are getting these kinds of messages, the first thing to try is simply turning it off and on again. In most cases, this is enough to fix your problem.
If this fails to work, ensure that the connection has not become loose between the antenna and its mount. If the issue persists, you may have to get a car audio technician look at the system.
Can I paint my antenna?
You may want to customize your antenna by painting it to your liking. This should not be an issue as long as your paint is free of any metal or metal debris that could disrupt the signal.
Another consideration is how the antenna has already been treated. For example, if you are painting onto rubber, your paint is likely to crack very quickly. Just don’t paint onto rubber. Also, if you are painting onto a powder coat, you need to make sure you are using the right paint on top and treating the surface correctly before you do so.
Can I put a shorter antenna on my truck?
You can put a shorted antenna onto your truck as long as you pick one that fits and consider the radio coverage you have in your area. A stubby antenna is a much sleeker choice than stock antennas so it is often preferred by truck owners.
What Range Can I Expect From My Antenna?
The receiving range can depend on many factors such as the design, materials and length of your antenna. Other factors include mounting location and geographical location. It is unwise to expect a certain range. You should rather be aware of the level of coverage you get in your area and make an informed choice regarding the right antenna for your area.
Is a longer car antenna better?
In terms of reception, a longer antenna is generally better. However, this is not a hard and fast rule as a good quality shorter antenna can sometimes outperform a long stock antenna.
In terms of aesthetics, this is subjective but often a shorter stubby antenna will look better than a longer antenna.
Thus, which is better depends on your personal preference between design and functionality.
If your current antenna is broken or too long for your tastes, a stubby antenna a great option to consider. Not only do they have great aesthetic appeal, with a wide range of options and sizes, you also get great functionality from them.
There are however a few important considerations when considering a stubby antenna. The first is how good your radio coverage is where you live and drive. There is a slight reduction in the reception with stubby antennas so make sure you have adequate coverage in your area.
The second consideration is quality/longevity. Our recommendation is to go with the highest quality product you can afford.
When it comes to our top pick, we have got to go with the Ronin Factory antennas. The design is sleek and modern, the materials are durable and it has an anti-theft design.