All of the antennas on this page have been tested very thoroughly. Each antenna was tested in controlled conditions and the results have had a large impact in what I deem to be top 5 best FPV Antennas.
It’s very hard to decide what ‘the best’ antenna actually is. It’s not just the antenna that you can fly the furthest on – there is far more to it than that. When looking at these antennas and deciding which ones to put into my top 5, I took into account my own experience, other people experience, how far they flew, the quality of their reception, the number of frames they dropped etc. Whilst the results are never going to be perfect, on this page you will find one of the most comprehensive sources of information explaining the what the top 5 FPV 5.8 GHz antennas are in 2017.
So without any further jibber-jabber lets get into the results!
The Pagoda is an open source antenna design created by Maarten Baert. In my testing, it consistently
had the best RF performance. It had the clearest picture, (even over the more well-known antennas such as the Triumph and the Axii), the greatest range and was simply the most reliable. The main downside of the Pagoda is that it is a little bit fragile. Don’t get me wrong, the can still take a crashes (I haven’t broken them yet and I’ve been using them for two months), but the little parallel plates on the top of the Pagoda will get moved about if you crash and so you need to bend them back into place and you’ll be fine. However, you can also get it with a little 3D printed cap which protects the little plates from bending. It only costs 15 bucks to buy (plus an extra 2 bucks for the 3D printed antenna cover) and easily has the overall best QC and range.
If you are looking for something more durable than the Pagoda, then the TBS Triumph is an excellent choice. It is slightly more expensive than the Pagoda but with that extra money comes strength. Now, as previously mentioned, the Triumph didn’t perform as well as the Pagoda in the range or clarity tests – however, the differences between the two were not all that significant. The reason the Triumph takes it over the Lumenier Axii is because the Triumph has a slightly clearer picture and drops less frames when flying. However, it has a slightly lower gain, and slightly worse axial ratio. This means that the Triumph is going to do slightly worse in environments with lots of multipath and it has a slightly more circular antenna pattern. This means that the Triumph might be a slightly better choice for you if your flying above yourself or high up and thus for acro and freestyle flying the Triumph is the best.
Similar to the Triumph, the Axii is a more expensive, yet durable antenna. However, the Axii has a better gain and axial ratio (hence the name) than the Triumph. This means that it is superior to the Triumph if you are flying low to the ground and therefore if you are a racer then this is antenna trumps the Triumph. Indeed, it has a perfect 1.0 Axil ratio. This means that in very high multipath environments like car parks or warehouses then Axii is potentially going to give you a better picture. So you should make this decision based on your own circumstances.
This is a fantastic antenna which has proven to be very popular in the drone community. The popular cloverleaf antenna design is pretty tough, however, you do run the risk breaking it since it remains exposed when you fly. The beauty of these antennas is that the strong reinforced nylon material will allow you to repeatedly bend it back into shape regardless of how many times you crash. However, the reason this is number four on the list is because it is rather pricey ($35) and even though you can bend it back into shape, it still is more vulnerable to break than the antennas listed above.
The Foxeer is the best budget antenna and is the antenna that I recommend you pick if you are on a tight budget. The Foxeer is much better than the Aomway (the other budget antenna) since it is protected meaning that it will be far more resilient in crashes. In terms of actual performance, I barely noticed a difference between the Foxeer and Aomway – they both have a pretty good range and are reliable. I would probably say that the Aomway performs slightly better since I received less static when flying with them, but this difference was minimal. I don’t care about how good the performance of the Aomway is if its just going to break. The main differentiating factor between these two is that the Foxeer is really super tough and thus you won’t be replacing them for a long time 🙂 There have been reports of these things having a poor radiation pattern that can cause glitches for no other obvious reason during acro flying. However, this is something that I have not experienced.
Whilst this has been a popular choice in the drone world, I certainly would not recommend buying it for one reason. Even though it performed pretty well in all my tests, the main downside is that it has naked lobes meaning you will break this antenna. Period. At 8 dollars an antenna, you may be thinking – well that’s pretty cheap there I can just replace it. But that is not the issue, the issue is I want to be flying – not switching antennas every so often. Instead, I would recommend one of the slightly more expensive Antennas above which should last much longer than the Aomway meaning you can actually enjoy your FPV flights. So regardless of how the Aomway performs, it’s not the kind of thing I would like to put on my quad and thus I would not recommend buying it.