Let’s hear it for the terrific audio system!

Let’s hear it for the terrific audio system!

The excellent sound system in the Model 3 is a terrific addition to an amazing car and was mostly a surprise to me. The audio (using the USB port) is tight, detailed and tactile! I really enjoy just sitting and listening... How big a deal is this for you folks?

I have a high-end home system that uses NAS storage with over 2TB of music, mostly CD rips, but also many 24 bit, 96+khz FLAC and AIFF files and they sound terrific in the Model 3! The AIFF do have to be converted to FLAC to work. The higher resolution and bit rate is quite audible. I copied 2GB of music to a small 2TB portable drive which easily fits in the console. The touch-screen interface is quick and functional but could use improvement. Gapless playback would be nice.

I would appreciate being directed to any technical details on the audio electronics and speakers.

ODWms | 19/05/2019

I’ve noted the lack of gapless playback too. But from a sound quality standpoint, the system in this car is better than anything I’ve ever owned, hands down.

Mike83 | 19/05/2019

Besides having the Best safety rating of all cars the cabin has excellent acoustics. Try Al Di Meola or Herbert Von Karajan or Santana. I also enjoy all types of Jazz. I can hear every instrument.

Frank99 | 19/05/2019

I fake gapless playback - My "Crime of the Century" and "Dark Side of the Moon" folders are each one (very big) 320 kbps MP3 file.

I love the audio system. My kids complain when I come home because the audio leaking out of the car and through the (solid cinder block walls) of the garage bothers them.

gballant4570 | 19/05/2019

While I have read posts on here in which people trash talk the Model 3 sound system, I happen to think a lot of it. Sounds great to me, and I have had nothing but compliments on it from others.

casun | 19/05/2019

with the exception of a few quirks (lack of gapless, crude user interface, etc) the system is great. audio quality is excellent, especially higher sample rates like 24/96 flac. i hope it continues to evolve.

aperfectecho | 19/05/2019

Audio quality is indeed excellent. I do wish for native iPhone support, like playlists, etc, without using Bluetooth. Plug and play!

Evguru | 19/05/2019

If you are interested, here is a great review of model 3 sound system.

rwade2666 | 19/05/2019

Stellar sound super quiet cabin tough combo to beat.

andrewsjra | 19/05/2019

The stereo system is excellent. I play FLAC files on my 1 TB hard drive. My only gripe about this is how glitchy it is searching artists by sliding your finger over a letter only to be off by 1 or 2. Or typing in a search and you can’t find or play the album you want or just found 1 song off the album. Using the back tab doesn’t always go back to where you left off. Also find that my usb drive occasionally loads when my car wakes up. This issue only has been happening with 2019.12.1. Didn’t have that issue previously. Would also love an option to create playlists or even shuffle songs in that matter. Good start but needs lots of work. And who wouldn’t love Spotify or Apple Music for streaming over Slacker Radio. Europe has Spotify. Waiting for TESLA to improve that as well.

M3D | 20/05/2019

Great potential! I would like better than 64K streaming. EQ per source and or presets, Better USB file handling. A method to handle plug-ins for alternate audio sources (maybe the vendors could subsidize the data cost?)…. After all it is a computer

Wilber | 20/05/2019

EVguru - thanks for the link to the review. I watched the first few minutes and seems very worthwhile. Will check it out later. I also agree the sound system is terrific. the only time i find it not to be so is if the the "Immersive sound" messes it up. I generally leave it off. but i use it for simpler music like guitar/vocal tunes, and it gives the music a nice presence. On the other hand with some of my favorite jazz tunes that are very full, the immersive thing just muddies the sound, so leave it off.

CharleyBC | 20/05/2019

@Frank99: good choices! Takes me back to my radio DJ days...

slingshot18 | 20/05/2019

It would be better if the bass didn't randomly disappear.

dwakelee | 20/05/2019

One thing I miss versus every other car I've had in the past 20 years is speed compensated volume. The car has no engine noise, but tire and wind noise is there as you drive.

Yes, easy to constantly adjust with the left scroll wheel, but just odd that this basic (and simple) feature feature is missing. It does clever things like lower the audio when you open the door, why not adjust with speed?

For those with an S and X, do those have speed compensated volume?

eplaskett | 20/05/2019

@dwakelee It's subtle, but it does adjust volume with speed - in my experience, anyways.

slingshot18 | 20/05/2019

@dwakelee I believe the Model 3 already has this per previous release notes last year. Although I think it could be stronger.

ODWms | 20/05/2019

I was thinking the same. It seems to adjust with speed, albeit subtly.

dmastro | 20/05/2019

I can hear my sports podcasts and streaming music so pretty happy with that. The system sounds fine to me.

That said, I don't get too concerned about sound quality because 1) I really can't distinguish or appreciate it and B) I assume road/wind noise and other ambient sounds while driving don't make for an optimal listening environment.

I still wish I could play my local AM station without having to resort to opening an app on my phone.

Tuning In | 20/05/2019

I will say as far as the sound quality of the Model 3 full premium package provided sound, it sounds really impressive. But it didn't when I first got the car. I thought it sounded MEH. After I took the time to scrutinize the system, I realized that two drivers and the subwoofer weren't working (I started noticing how remarkably better my wife's Model 3 sounded everytime I drove it and I realizes that it wasn't just in my mind). There could be a good chance that people who think it sounds just okay may be listening in a car that may have issues as well.

There is no way to hear the difference between a high bitrate MP3 or FLAC in the car as you are driving. MAYBE if you are sitting in a parking lot and focused on listening. However, I'd rather not take the time to convert my FLAC or manage a while other library of MP3's when storage space is pretty cheap these days anyhow.

LostInTx | 20/05/2019

The Model 3 sound system is excellent. My issue is that Slacker, which streams at a bizarrely low 96 kbps, hamstrings the great system. Through Slacker, the music in tinny, weak and sounds like it's being played through a far less capable system. Streaming through my Samsung at 320 kbps sounds far better. Even if you upgrade to whatever premium offering Slacker provides, it still pipes through at 96 kbps.

When asked specifically about this, Slacker support says Tesla is the hindrance, not Slacker. If true, I'm disappointed. .

slingshot18 | 20/05/2019

@LostInTx It's 64kbps on the model 3.

LostInTx | 20/05/2019

@slingshot18, thanks - I was told 96kbps but 64 is even worse. Slacker is ready to send 320kbps if Tesla will accept. If this is about bandwidth, simply enable Tesla owners to pay Slacker a moderate monthly fee. Just silly that we're stuck with music sounding like it came out of a 70's Kenwood system.

LostInTx | 20/05/2019

According to Tesla support (as relates to paid services to improve music quality via Slacker):

I understand. I do know we are working on bringing out an extra paid feature for these related services, but we are still working out the details. I believe it will be ready sometime this year though!

andrewsjra | 20/05/2019

They should also have a volume adjuster that automatically turns the music down when you disconnect from a phone call. I don’t know how many times it blasts after I hang up and scares the hell out of me.

Hal Fisher | 20/05/2019

It’s good, but i have a JVC with a lot of sound options and a 13 band eq. It makes even my cheesy stock speakers and a kicker sub in a 97 camaro sound amazing, far better than the tesla. The 5 band just doesn’t have enough bands to drop the right spots and bring up others.

Hal Fisher | 20/05/2019

Oh, read more posts. Yeah, im comparing cd quality, 96 kbps is considered extremely subpar. | 20/05/2019

@nsirkin - I wrote up more tech info on the audio here:

Slacker has been 128 kbps on the S/X in the past, with an option for 160 kbps. The 160 kbps option has gone away though. I've assumed the M3 also has 128 kbps, but don't have a way to verify this.

nsirkin | 20/05/2019

@TeslaTap - Thanks!

slingshot18 | 20/05/2019

Tesla and Slacker independently told me it's 64kbps on the Model 3.

rajan900 | 20/05/2019

Anyone have proper information about the technical specifications comparison of the 3 different interior sound systems please?
- basic interior
- partial premium
- full premium

mtapes | 21/05/2019


I agree with you that the jarring loud sound (the return from phone audio to music audio) when hanging up from a phone call is a problem. Would be simple for the system to ramp the audio back on after the phone call instead of switching it back on instantly. Maybe a half-second ramp, to ease us back to the music.

cmh95628 | 21/05/2019

There is a lot to love about the model 3. I agree the sound system is one of them.

rajan900 | 21/05/2019

Anyone have proper information about the technical specifications comparison of the 3 different interior sound systems please?
- basic interior
- partial premium
- full premium

rajan900 | 23/05/2019


lmorda2 | 23/05/2019

This is for the premium package I presume.....

Atoms | 23/05/2019

Cheers. I’m quite happy with the audio system except it does not fade out for navigation instructions.