3 Aftermarket Antennas for the Tacoma

Top 3 Tacoma Antenna Replacement Options (Small, Medium, Large)

Replacement Options: How to Install, Features, Benefits, and More

The factory antenna is massive. It’s big, bulky, slaps on the top of the garage, gets in the way of everything, and looks horrible.

Needless to say, I’ve wanted to replace the factory one since day one. There are a ton of options out there, and to be honest, I was a little bit overwhelmed with the number of solutions available.

We’ll discuss what to look for and which are the best ones on the market. The antennas that we are covering today were purchased based on the best reviews we have found. We purchased three different brands and tested each of them.

Find them online: 

Form or Function?

AntennaMastsRus - 6 3/4 Inch Antenna

Pictured: AntennaMastsRus – 6 3/4 Inch

There isn’t much to an aftermarket antenna, outside of looks and functionality, with functionality being the most important, or is it?

With the three options we’re looking at today, we will look at the design and then see how they perform against the factory unit.

Options

Hopefully, my purchase of all three will help someone else make an educated decision on which one might be best for them.

For me personally, It was more about looks when it came to upgrading because the factory one is ugly and I listen to bluetooth on my phone. I tested each antenna’s performance for 1 week – listening to AM/FM radio… it was a rough week.

As listed above, I tested the following:

  • AntennaMastsRus – 6 3/4 Inch
  • CravenSpeed Stubby Jr
  • KEYO1E 4.9” Short

Removal

Antenna Removal

Removing the OEM antenna could not be any easier. Take an open-end wrench and loosen the base until the threaded rod is loosened. Then pull the antenna off and out.

Installation

Antenna Installation

Pictured: CravenSpeed Stubby Jr 

Just thread the new one into place.

1. AntennaMastsRus – 6 3/4″

AntennaMastsRus - 6 3/4 Inch Antenna

I expected this one to perform the best because it was the tallest. That wasn’t the case.

How do they perform? 

The performance was on par with the rest of the lineup. In fact, all the brands tested similarly. Some performed better in random spots on the road but each brand had many moments of that “underwater” sound. It was frustrating as not one brand performed flawlessly from home to the office – not one.

Nothing produced any mind-blowing results. In zones where the audio was coming in, none of the audio was crisp.

I drove around for one week alternating the three options I purchased listening to the AM and FM radio. I did not notice a difference in terms of performance between these three options.

Aftermarket Options are Bad? 

I can’t say all aftermarket antennas are bad as a blanket statement. There might be one out there that’s on par with the OEM one, but you won’t find it here.

Instead of talking about performance, let’s just talk about looks because that’s all that matters at this point. If you’re looking for something that performs well while listening to the AM and FM radio, none of the brands on this post worked very well.

To start, the AntennaMastsRus is tall and skinny. Looks cool, and performs ok.

2. CravenSpeed Stubby Jr

CravenSpeed Stubby Jr Antenna

The CravenSpeed Stubby Jr is short and fat. Looks cool, and performs ok. I am not a fan of the stubby look. I thought I would like it the most but I disliked it the most after running it for a week.

3. KEYO1E 4.9” Short

KEYO1E 4.9'' Short Antenna

The KEYO1E 4.9” Short is my favorite in terms of design, size, and appearance. Again, no notice of “better performance” at all. If anything, this one had better performance and maybe that’s why I gravitated towards it after so much frustration. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal design and looks.

Final thoughts

CravenSpeed Stubby Jr Antenna

Pretty much all aftermarket options have poor performance compared to the factory antenna. The factory Toyota antenna supplied by Toyota has virtually zero dead spots. When connected to AM and FM radio, the audio typically comes in crisp and clean.

When you install an aftermarket option, on the other hand, you will see degradation in the audio performance. I’m not typically an AM and FM radio guy, so to me, it doesn’t matter but if you listen to the radio regularly, then going with an aftermarket option might not be a good option for you.

Additionally, all of the aftermarket units we tested had threaded rods built in. Each threaded rod would disconnect from the actual base when threaded and unthreaded. It’s not a deal-breaker as you’re not going to install and reinstall what you buy multiple times over three weeks like I did but it is something to note.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Questions or Comments?x
()
x