Audio Bluetooth quality

Audio Bluetooth quality

Hi, I just purchased a model 3 and I love it. I do have some issues though with the Bluetooth audio quality. I have a Pixel 3 XL and I subscribe to Google Play, using the high quality streaming option. However, when I compared that to the Slacker audio quality, there is literally no comparison. The Slacker is way better. I also asked my father in law to listen as well since he was an executive at GM for years on the audio team, and he agreed immediately. I know that Bluetooth compresses a lot but the difference was remarkable.

So, I began looking into Slacker options, and I couldn't figure out if it's worth buying the premium plans (either $3 or $10 a month depending on if you want on demand or not). Is the Slacker on the model 3 already one of the premium packages or do I have to purchase it? And if I do purchase it, will I even notice the difference since the streaming rate on the Model 3 is limited (I forget how much).

I like Google play, and I have the family plan so my son and wife and father in law use it to so I would hate to cancel it (and Slacker doesn't offer family plans), but it's literally a waste of money listening to audio BT in the Model 3. Any other options?


EVRider | December 27, 2018

The Slacker account that Tesla provides is a Slacker Plus account. If you upgrade to your own Slacker Premium account, you’ll get additional features such as playlists, but I don’t know if the sound quality will be noticeably better — probably not.

marlon | December 27, 2018

I too have noticed a big difference between streaming music on my iPhone over bluetooth and the same song on Slacker. For an experiment, I downloaded the Slacker app on my iPhone and played the same song on both. The song on my iPhone slacker app was a lot closer the the slacker song played via M3 integration.

My guess is that Slacker is using some kind of spatializer and something that makes the bass a bit more "bouncy"

Teslynn | December 27, 2018

Forget about slacker & google play and step up to the major leagues and subscribe to Spotify. I can assure you there is no loss of quality when streaming via Bluetooth. I’ve tested it wired vs Bluetooth and there is no difference in quality. I can’t over how good the sound system is in the model 3. Blows away the mark levinson in Lexus.

geoffdorn | December 27, 2018

Not sure what’s going on with your configuration but I Bluetooth Tidal from an iPhone and it sounds great. Sounds better than the slacker for sure.

ODWms | December 27, 2018

I’ve heard that the Model 3 premium sound system is better than the Mark levinson in Lexus also. My best friend and I swapped cars for a week, as I mentioned here before. I drive his BMW, but he has a Lexus LS 460 with the Levinson system. He said it blows it away. I love music, but honestly it doesn’t take too much to please me.

The sound system I had in my Jaguar Vanden Plas 10 years ago was great for me. I really don’t need — or can discern— any better than that.

wayne | December 27, 2018

I read that Bluetooth quality varies between phones which may use different protocols. I have an iPhone X and the quality is excellent (listening to Spotify).

stevenmaifert | December 27, 2018

Remember, Bluetooth was originally intended to carry low fidelity voice calls from your phone. The CODEC technology has improved over the years as has the audio quality of music streamed from the phone, but I'm not sure it will ever be on a par with other sources of audio like from a USB or a music streaming service like Slacker.

kumarplocher | December 27, 2018

I got my wife a Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Mini Speaker II for Christmas and it has made me 100% certain that incredibly high fidelity sound can be carried through bluetooth.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | December 27, 2018

Do I have to sign into Slacker in my M3 or is my Tesla Slacker account already up and running? I see an option to sign into a slacker account but I never created one. Lots of good stations seem to be available on stream right now. Just wondering if I’m missing out on more. Thanks!

stevenmaifert | December 28, 2018

Your Slacker account is already up and running. You have the option to use your own account if you subscribe to a high level of service than Tesla provides, but for most of us, what Tesla provides is great.

eugene | December 28, 2018

I stream Apple Music, via T-Mobile, using Bluetooth on an iPhone XS. It sounds great to me. Maybe the issue is that one of the services in your "pipeline" is reducing quality?

746 | December 28, 2018

I believe that the quality of the files you are downloading could be the issue. I have connected an iPhone 8 and an XS with lossless audio files to the premium sound system of my M3 and the sound quality is phenomenal (bass, voices, stereo, subtle details, percussion). It also has no clipping with high dynamic range sections of the music such as piano or acustic guitar. How do I know: both my Bose QC35 and my Denon receiver at home can't cope with lossless files over bluetooth and need a wired connection to play them without clipping.

ODWms | December 28, 2018

That’s impressive.

ricksli | December 28, 2018

I've been using the Slacker Premium for over a month. I hate paying the $ when I have Apple Music already, but I like being able to playing anything, especially full albums on demand. Also, I just don't want to have to start music from my iPhone all the time. I'd rather just use the Tesla screen.

shelbyd | December 28, 2018

i have iphone x, apple music via at&t and the sound quality is excellent.

russr1123 | December 28, 2018

The quality of audio through my phone via Bluetooth is far superior to the low bit rate streaming music from slacker that is built into the car. That streaming music from the car sounds like a very low bit rate and I wish they would’ve at least used 128kbps.

rob | January 1, 2019

I'm sure this has been covered before but if we're getting Slacker Plus in the Model 3, the depth of song selection per artist is disappointing at best. Am I missing something?

BobInSeattle | January 1, 2019

So, what is the consensus here among audiophiles? Does the sound quality vary appreciably among the various streaming services, like Spotify and Slacker? And what about Sirius XM? I consider myself something of an audiophile and was notably unimpressed with the sound quality of my new M3 (Dec 14 delivery), and I've been wondering what to do about it. I don't want to sound like a sound snob but I am able to discern differences and I want the best I can get. Appreciate any informed recommendations. Thanks

cornellio | January 1, 2019

@BobInSeattle, For the best you can get, load up a USB stick with lossless FLAC files. Sounds great to me.

There's another thread on Slacker, and I believe someone called their support and discovered the car's Slacker client uses low bitrate music, I think he said 64Kbps.

BobInSeattle | January 1, 2019

@cornellio, thanks, I'll set one up now. I prefer my own playlists over random streaming anyway.

zhangde.jerry | January 25, 2019

To play Google Play Music on Tesla more stable and get high quality, as for me. I usually download Google Play for free with AudFree Audio Capture for Windows, this tool allows me to stream songs to a USB drive, then I can listen to my favorite tunes on the car without Bluetooth connection. If you have an interested, please go here to learn more:

randy_abigail | June 19, 2019

Bluetooth enables users to play spotify on hifi Bluetooth Speakers without any hard cables. This is great if you don't want to be troubled with cable issues. There are many kinds of streaming music, apple music, Spotify music, Google Play music. Take Apple music for example, you can play apple music via bluetooth.