Help. Do I need the premium sound system?

Help. Do I need the premium sound system?

I am very close to placing my order. I'm getting just about everything on the 85 kWh model.

I'm not an audiophile, mostly listen to NPR. Is there anyone out there who got the standard audio and is disappointed with it.

Or, are there any compelling reasons that I need to get the premium sound?

cwarner | 11. Juni 2013

I do not have the premium sound. Given the expense of the car I was looking for any opportunity to save money. So far I have not regretted my choice. I am also not an audiophile and I am certainly happy with the sound. My wife did say she was not impressed at the sound in the rear seat but I have not checked that out yet. My one true concern is that I will miss XM radio which I think only comes with the premium package. The internet radio has ably filled that void so far but only time will truly tell.

NKYTA | 11. Juni 2013

Not missing the sound package at all. The standard still "goes to eleven"! :-)
Not and audiofile, my wife and I listen to all sorts of music and it all sounds great.
Others have complained about the AM/FM radio, but it also works fine for me. In fact, the AM was really bad in my old Jetta, so when I do listen to talk radio these days, it is much, much better.

michael1800 | 11. Juni 2013

I think it depends on what your used too. If you're coming from a stock system in a previous vehicle, you won't likely have a complaint. The reverse also applies.

laurentjd | 11. Juni 2013

To me basic one is good enough
Coming from B&O in Audi A5 I am very happy with the regular
You should take your USB flash drive and listen your favorite songs in 2 model s one with audio package and one not and see if there is a difference that justify $950

HawaiiBee | 11. Juni 2013

I had a headache about this same issue...

Decided to go with it after reading that without the sound package, you do NOT get a sub woofer.

I need base ;)

michael1800 | 11. Juni 2013

Too bad all of it belongs to us.

keichhor | 11. Juni 2013

I got the sound package, and think it is ok. The AM/FM radio has a lot of feedback and basically sucks, but SLACKER internet radio is awesome!

I do like the subwoofer and the higher watts is nice especially if top down or windows open on freeway.

If I had to do over again, I probablly would have installed an after market system instead....But I am not complaining...VERY happy! ;)

mreitman | 11. Juni 2013

Didn't get the sound system and thought that I would regret it. I have had my S for two weeks. Burned about 80 songs to a USB drive and I have been very happy.

amirm | 11. Juni 2013

I am disappointed with standard and planning to upgrade with Reus who is getting raving reviews. Several owners even did the Reus upgrade with the premium package. As others indicated here it is greatly a matter of what you are used to. You can get the standard audio and see how it feels. If you later decide that it is not good enough you can do an after market upgrade later (at higher cost than premium).

pebell | 12. Juni 2013

@michael1800: LOL ;-D

privacylaw | 12. Juni 2013

simple answer. yes. | 12. Juni 2013

I consider the basic system good, but not great. I sort of wish I had got the premium system, but for NPR, the basic system should be fine. For music, you get the best sound by using a USB flash drive with songs in lossless FLAC format.

After market upgrades are a bit complex and expensive. I've been debating between a DIY project or Reus or another outside company. I would not consider anyone who has not had experience with the Model S - it's really is more complex than most cars, and Tesla does not provide wiring diagrams, so it makes for a bit of detective work to get the proper connections and power.

Also, the DC power available for aftermarket amps is not quite as much as most ICE cars. The basic system is fused for 15A and Sound Studio adds another 15A fuse. I suspect you can take a bit more, but at some point you're going to cause problems. Many bottom end amps use 30-40 amps and high-power amps far more - so you can't just slap in XYZ's power amp, as you might do with an ICE car.

It's funny that a car with 60+ KW of battery power is limited on how much you can use for accessories, but the design does actually make good sense. They could have put in a much larger (i.e. heavier and space consuming) 12v battery, but then the electronics gets larger to charge it from the main battery, thicker & heavier wires are needed. The cost goes up, and the range would go down.

stephen.kamichik | 12. Juni 2013

I have the basic sound system and I am very satisfied with it.

jbunn | 12. Juni 2013

I mostly listen to NPR. Audio in the car is quite sufficient as well as for music.

FM radio has a bit of an issue, but if you can get your NPR stations on the internet, quality is very good.

CarlE_P439 | 13. Juni 2013

I have the basic. I would think that if you are an audiophile AND you are driving alot on secondary roads (not highways) you will probably notice a difference given how incredibly QUIET the cabin is without an ICE.

carlf9121 | 13. Juni 2013

I went with the premium sound system. Depending on the song selection, some sound better than others. The radio is so-so but Slacker is great as long as there is a strong internet connection. Several long stretches of the Hwy 5 & 152 corridor from Nor Cal to So Cal are dead zones.

bostoncde | 13. Juni 2013

I am not an audiophile but the standard system is not very good. Pay the extra money for the better sound

inverts | 13. Juni 2013

The SS also adds the 32 GB of on-board storage. It is not functional yet; hope for that to get software implemented rather sooner than later. With that, I can load a music library without having to either plug in a USB drive or to BT the iphone. I made a leap of faith that the onboard storage will come through, and got the SS. Radio reception is very bad, worse than in my old Prius. There are some spots on the 101 FW in N-LA that are radio dead in the MS, but "only" had bad static in the Prius. So the 32GB storage was the most decisive factor for me. Slacker has very narrow selection; Pandora is way better, so BT that through iphone. Just a pity that I have to pay for Pandora through phone data plan, rather than take advantage of MS 3G. Oh well, "the waves at the beach house are sooo loud!" ;-)

Sean B | 14. Juni 2013

I find the premium system disappointing so I assume the standard is worse.

herkimer | 14. Juni 2013

I agonized over the premium sound system option and ended up going with the standard system. I have been very satisfied. Sound is very clean. I upped the base and mid range just a bit and it seems perfectly adequate. Never have to go to full volume. Music, books on tape, radio, all sound fine to me. I have no complaints on the sound. Someday, if I get the $$$ I may go for an aftermarket (originally thought I would get it right away), but not feeling any lack right now.

swhardy | 14. Juni 2013

I also debated this option. I ended up getting it because I figured it was worth the extra $13.81 per month to not have to second guess the decision whenever I decide to crank the music. As fun as this car is to drive I find myself doing that a lot.

fluxemag | 14. Juni 2013

I got the premium sound and am very satisfied with it. I thought it was a decent value considering the cost to upgrade aftermarket. The bass is pretty good too. I'm still going to put an aftermarket sub and amp in the rear footwell area.

Brian H | 14. Juni 2013

The louder you play your music the more you damage your hearing, which makes you play music louder, which ...

NielsChr | 14. Juni 2013

excelent sound is not about highest volume...

if you are satisfyed with the Standard sound pack functionality I would go for this.
If some of the functions in the upgraded are needed the choise is easy - for me I need DVB-T (needed in EU) witch only goes with the upgraded sound.

you can regardless of the pack always replace parts later. If you like/need it your could swap the factory supplyed midtones to a better model.

Brian H | 14. Juni 2013

Witch is a person, magical type. Which is the wrong word.

TFMethane | 15. Juni 2013

@keichor That feedback is because you have HD radio enabled. It only happens on the HD (digital) channels. Switch HD radio off, and you will have standard analog radio. The reception is negatively affected just by the fact that you have an HD radio unit, so if you are at the edge of your station's broadcast range, HD is still better. Otherwise, stick with non-HD analog signal.

Check out the wikipedia page about HD radio for more info.

J.T. | 15. Juni 2013

It has been reported that poor reception could be due to improperly grounded antenna.