Premium Radio vs standard

Premium Radio vs standard

I ordered my MX with a standard radio. I'm beginning to think I made a mistake. Can anyone give me some advice on this matter. I can still change to the premium but now it'll cost me $3,000.00.

inconel | 18 février 2017

Have you tried listening to both back to back at a SC? This is probably the best way to determine for yourself if the difference is worth $3k

carlk | 18 février 2017

I have standard audio in my S and premium audio in my X. In the beginning the premium sounded significantly better than the standard. However 8.0 upgrade made both sound better, more so for the standard than the premium probabaly because it's already very good.. The difference between the two is smaller now. You need good music source, such as from lossless USB FLAC files, and good ear to hear the difference. I'd probably still have the premium since I've already put so much in the car but it's probably no longer a must have now.

tommyalexandersb | 19 février 2017

I like a lot of bass in my music. I listened to both back to back at the showroom, full volume, and could barely tell the difference.

COrich | 19 février 2017

I was on the fence with this so I listened to both before ordering my X. I could definitely tell the difference but my wife couldn't. Since I am going to be using the X more, I went with the upgraded audio. If you have good hearing, then you will be able to tell the difference. Otherwise, don't spend the money.

cica3838 | 19 février 2017

I have not tested the difference between the two systems, but I have owned multiple high end cars, and even the best systems are still stock stereo systems and have been unimpressive. | 19 février 2017

If you need XM radio - you'll have to buy UHFS package. Otherwise, the main advantage of the UHFS is a bit more amplification and more lower-end bass. My first S didn't have UHFS, and I ended up adding a subwoofer, which really helped. My replacement S, I went with the UHFS, as installing a Sub is a major project. Now the UHFS doesn't have quite the bottom end bass my old car had, but it is reasonable. Some people don't care about the bottom end bass, so that may shift your decision.

The best way to tell if it will matter to you, is to test it in the showroom. Close all the doors, and bring a USB with your music - best if it a few FLAC (loss-less format) songs you are familiar with and has some deep bass. Be sure to check the equalizer settings and make them the same in a car without UHFS and the one that has UHFS. Also turn off dolby (at the bottom of the screen).

This article has a picture of the equalizer screen (and some good suggestions):

joe_jet | 20 février 2017

When we test drove the X we listened to both systems to confirm what we read here. That was in Oct prior to the softwrae update. There was a noticeable difference when listening to hip hop. My listening time is probably split 70% hard rock, 15% hip hop, 10% Classical, and 5% talk radio, comedy, news etc.. I figured I would add the subwoofer for far less than $3k. After taking delivery of our X 15FEB, it seems to have much higher fidelity and more bass than I remember. I am going to fore go the subwoofer install.

inconel | 20 février 2017

I am impressed by Tesla continuous improvements. I thought that the software updates would be mainly for newer versions of Auto Pilot but the fact that they spend time for example to continue tweaking and improving the audio in existing cars is to me totally unexpected and worthy of praise.

poloX | 20 février 2017

How can a s/w update make the audio sounds better? isn't this the H/W thing? Amplifier, good and high power subwoofer, high quality speakers?

TeslaNinno | 21 février 2017

@Polo, with the addition of the two equalizer adjustments you can dial it in a little better and have a little more control

PartyOf5 | 21 février 2017

I got the premium radio and when I went to activate the XM I was told that XM can't find my car - they tried radio ID and VIN. What a joke. I think the $3k is money wasted to be honest

Side question - how do we get Slacker password?

TeslaNinno | 21 février 2017

I think a lot of people ditch XM after they have slacker unless you have to have The King of All Media... You can log on to Slacker and create an account on line and get a password but you wont need it with your Tesla, i thought i needed it at first but everything started working fine

PartyOf5 | 21 février 2017

TeslaNinno - Slacker says the account you create online is different than one in car. Tried that route

I like having Sirius in my Jeep for the NFL and Springsteen stations. Plus in my jeep it powers my RT traffic info | 21 février 2017

@poloX "How can a s/w update make the audio sounds better?"

They improved the codecs. This part of software converts lossy compressed content (i.e. mp3 and others) into listenable audio. There isn't a perfect process to do this, but software can be improved to do a better job. Sources like lossless flac or FM radio would not befit from this change, but compressed sources like XM, Slacker and USB with lossy formats could get better. XM uses their own compression techniques, and I doubt any change was made to that codec. Tesla never stated which codecs were improved other than it was more than one.

I didn't notice any change from v7 to v8 software, but I mostly listen to FLAC via USB.

PedanticOne | 21 février 2017

TT where do you get your FLACs from? I have some FLAC files, but most are aac. | 21 février 2017

I was rather old-school and had a ton of CDs I ripped directly to FLAC. A quick Google search did fine these 6 stores that sell FLAC downloads:

Maybe 2% of my library is mp3, due to out of print or otherwise unavailable except as download. A few artists seem to have completely abandoned CDs too, limiting your choices. I still buy a few CDs a month, that I rip to FLAC. I've never been a fan of lossy music, although at the higher bitrates it can start to sound good.

PedanticOne | 21 février 2017

I was generally pretty happy with aac until I got some Boards of Canada on FLAC. Wow.

Maybe this means I need to go back and rip all my CDs again :-O

Howrayg | 21 février 2017

I opted for the premium sound in my X soley because I wanted XM radio. After 6 months, I cancelled the XM because I use Slacker and Tune In much more. In my opinion, unless you need XM, save your money.

MasterT | 21 février 2017

@PartyOf5, I read on TMC that you need to call Tesla support and ask for your car's slacker user name and password (which can use to login to Slaker from a PC and update streaming quality)

Errol_martinez | 21 février 2017

I love the premium sound worth it I love loud speakers and had a BMW X6 with Harmon and this is better.

Viking2k12 | 22 février 2017

There must be more than just a noticeable difference when the premium sounds adds more speakers AND a subwoofer??

TeslaNinno | 22 février 2017

Well said, I wonder if the Gentleman that was having issues with Audio books was helped out after the update??

MyXinTx | 24 février 2017

I could not justify the extra $2500 for XM, more speakers, and the subwoofer, especially when at over 65 MPH the system is battling with the wind noise from the windshield.

A loaner Sig Model confirmed I made the right choice for me... but we are all different in perspectives.

Uncle Paul | 26 février 2017

Not sure about the wind noise you are experiencing. In my X the interior is still almost silent compared to the Grand Cherokee I traded in.

I do not even to turn up the radio louder when traveling 80 mph. Pretty quiet interior. No need to raise my voice to speak to passengers, either in front seat or 2nd row at highway speeds.

Most noise I hear is from tire noise, and it changes depending on the type of road surface.

david | 27 février 2017

Go for the standard option and either save the money or buy another option for that amount (maintenance contract or winter tyres or...)

I was having a subwoofer in my previous (non Tesla) car and got a splendid opportunity to purchase a MX90D with 50 miles that only had a few days in the showroom. Problem: configuration is fix and can't be changed (since it was already delivered).

Spending 20'000 miles at least/year in my car, it was obvious I would NOT compromise on sound quality compared to what I used to have.

Well I took my "sample song" (Aero Chord - Surface) in the MX90, tweaked the bass around 7.5 and it was already after 30 seconds clear to me that STANDARD is more than sufficient ! No need for a subwoofer or whatsoever. I had the chance to counter test with a loaner (having UHFS) and really I can't really say what's make it so much more expensive, besides the fact that I didn't like having Dolby Surround turned on that loaner.

So again, you will be amazed with the standard sound. I signed my contract for the MX90 just after listening to it.

GoGreen1 | 27 février 2017

Concur with folks who say that there is not much difference in sound quality between standard and premium audio. However, if you are going to have passengers in the last (3rd) row all the time, then if you opt for the standard package, you WILL NOT HAVE any speakers located in the cabin for the 3rd row. I learned this the hard way; numerous calls and emails to SC and a few posts in the forums confirmed this... 3rd-row passengers will have to settle with audio coming out of 2nd-row speakers... I never thought a $100,000 car will deprive the 3rd-row passengers this way... but that's the reality... However, when Tesla was fixing my MX for known issues, I had a fully loaded P90D MX as a loaner for several days, including Premium audio. The subwoofer placement almost in the ear of the 3rd row passenger/seat (right) was more annoying than help, in my opinion.

campusden | 28 février 2017

I am glad the latest update actually fixed maybe only temporarily the folders for XM radio back. Makes looking for a specific basketball or hockey game coverage much better.

cica3838 | 28 février 2017

I got my X yesterday and would say the standard sound system is better than any of the 10 Lexus and Mercedes I have owned. It's really good, but I've never compared it with the premium sound option.

johngilmour | 1 mars 2017

Light Harmonic makes a few sound system upgrades. Larry Ho makes some high end DAC , the DaVinci DAC. . He and a former Musical Inteface Technolgies employee ( they make some pretty remarkable cables) Gavin Fish make a drop in upgrade. Also if you go for a more "sparkling sound" you could also go to Reus Sound (they come to you actually) and have an upgrade. I have heard the Reus Sound version, and it is a bit more animated twhen the Tesla system which is unfortunately well behind even the base model Caddillac ETS system,

On the East coast Don Amann of unexpected Creations in NJ has top of the line replacement speakers and amplification. In Allston Massachusetts Derek Kenny of Sound In Motion , does excellent work- by far the best in the area, they are wizards with MDF , he builds quality crossovers from scratch and can get excellent sound from Coupe like cars using the car natural acoustic for sonic advantage . Derek did a sound system for Wes Phillips of The Absolute Sound , ass well as Tom Brady's systems and a bunch of other athletes rigs. Highly recommended and honest and fair and on time. Much like Don Amann.

info | 5 mars 2017

I want to thank everyone who responded to my question of premium or standard radio. I read each and every comment with intense interest. I take delivery of my MX90D at the end of this month and have decided to go with the standard radio. Thank you