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cell phone quality is terrible, when calling through the car.

cell phone quality is terrible, when calling through the car.

Wondering if anyone else gets a lot of complaints from people they call, about how bad the sound quality is? It sounds great on my end, but I hear over and over from various people I am calling, that they have a hard time hearing me. I am not sure if I have a bad mic in the car, or if this is a bad phone to car connection or what, but I don't hear any complaints, when I use the phone on it's own. car is a 2018 S100D, 3/5/18 build.

rednairb | 5 aprile 2018

Oh, I also have 2018.10.6. This is the 3rd update, since having the car, and the phone problems have occurred on every version.

EVRider | 5 aprile 2018

Are you using an iPhone and do you also have an Apple Watch? Some people have reported their Apple Watch interfered with iPhone calls in the car. If this might apply to you, try putting the watch in airplane mode and see if the problem goes away.

rednairb | 5 aprile 2018

I have iPhone8, but no Apple Watch.

ChargeUp | 5 aprile 2018

I have the same issue on a 6 week old 75D. It has been described as scratchy on the other side. I’ve reverted to a Bluetooth earpiece. Perhaps a bad microphone or bad placement. I assume it’s in the grill that’s forward and right of the driver. Speaking closer to that area does not help. Figure I’ll ask on a future service visit.

rednairb | 5 aprile 2018

@ChargeUp. Thanks. Yes I am assuming that is where the Mic is too, but as you said, moving closer to it, does not seem to help. I think I will give service a call, now that I know it's not just me!

bishoppeak | 5 aprile 2018

Turn the volume down while on the phone, this helped a lot with my iPhone.

lilbean | 5 aprile 2018

Are the windows tinted? I just learned that some tint film may impede signals. Just a thought.

rednairb | 5 aprile 2018

The windows are tinted as of last week, but the issue has been going on since I took delivery on 3/13, so I don't think that is the case here. Again, I can hear who I am talking to clear as a bell. They are saying they can't hear me very well. I have to believe this is an issue with the microphone. If it was the signal, then I would expect the sound quality on my side to be bad as well. also, I am not sure if @ChargeUp has tint or not, but he stated it works with his bluetooth earpiece, which should not be the case, if it was a signal issue.

tigerkc | 5 aprile 2018

No complaint received regarding cell phone voice quality on my 2017 S75. I am using iPhone X.

bishoppeak | 5 aprile 2018

I know it doesn't seem to make sense, but if you turn down the phone volume with the left scroll wheel it will reduce the distortion that is making it hard for you to be understood. The fact that you can hear them clear as a bell probably means the volume is pretty high.

djlott | 5 aprile 2018

Regretfully +1 OP.

What I experience is that the people on the other end can hear EVERYTHING going on in and around the car. Turn signal noise, rain, motorcycles and cars passing, you name it. Needs noise cancelling badly but I still use it anyway. No better or worse than any other car I've ever owned though.

lilbean | 5 aprile 2018

I read on another thread, that the problem clears up when you put the Apple Watch on airplane mode.

rednairb | 5 aprile 2018

@bishoppeak I didn't think it was set too loud, but I will definitely give that a try next time. Thanks for the input!

jamesm.wpg | 5 aprile 2018

Turning the volume down works here as well.

EVRider | 5 aprile 2018

@lilbean: If you read the previous replies, you would have read that here too. :-)

lilbean | 5 aprile 2018

Lol! That must have been where I read it! :)

MarylandS85 | 5 aprile 2018

I read somewhere that turning down the volume helps. ;^)

bp | 6 aprile 2018

This is not specific to iPhones or having an Apple Watch present. We are having the same issue with two new Galaxy S9+ phones.

When speaking on the phone from inside the car, the audio picks up all of the background noise in the car, which can make it difficult for the person at the other end of the call to hear what's being said. Adjusting the car's speaker volume control may have a little benefit, but doesn't resolve it.

I had the same issue with my last ICE - a Lexus LS. There was a hidden service menu accessible from the car's console display, and by adjusting the microphone settings on the car, I was able to reduce the problem during phone calls.

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be anything similar with the Tesla onboard software or on our Galaxy S9+ phones.

The only other thing you might try is talking louder while on the phone.

Background noise reduction is something that would help considerably - and something Tesla should be able to do with the onboard audio software. If we're hearing this much background noise on phone calls, it's likely the voice recognition software is having the same problem - so using onboard software to reduce the background noise would benefit not only phone calls but also voice controls.

spuzzz123 | 6 aprile 2018

I’ve never had any luck with Bluetooth call quality on any car I’ve owned. Always seems to be crystal clear for the driver, but terrible for person on other end. 2 Infiniti’s, a volt, a Prius and a Subaru(feedback/echo). Too bad - I was hoping with tesla being quieter it would be a better situation.

TeslaTap.com | 6 aprile 2018

Not stated, but any of the following would make it more difficult for a caller to hear you:

1) Any windows open - even a crack?
2) Pano roof open - this is especially true as the mike is right next to the opening.
3) No parcel shelf and/or parcel shelf not closed. While not a large factor, being open adds some cabin noise.
4) Either rear seat folded down
5) Fan set above 5 or so
6) Front defroster on (which forces higher fan speed)
7) AWD vehicle (which has slight additional noise over RWD cars) - not much can be done on this one.
8) Worn tires or tires that were replaced with cheap alternative that generate a lot of noise.
9) Bad door seal letting in noise.

TeslaTap.com | 6 aprile 2018

I'll add I have none of the issues in my list above and I've never gotten a complaint about hearing me on my phones in two Teslas, both RWD over 5 years now. My prior Lexus LS, a very quiet car, was good for phone calls too.

GHammer | 6 aprile 2018

While I think they are all pretty mediocre sounding, the Tesla is as good or better than any other car I've had. Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Audi.

Attaran | 7 aprile 2018

@rednairb: You have a newer car... Do you happen to know if you have the newer MCU2? I have an October 2017 built S100D and have no issues with phone calls... no complaints from callers yet.

Darthamerica | 8 aprile 2018

This is one feature of the Model S that I'm not please with. As indicated by the OP and others, there's just not enough noise cancellation. When I'm not in motion, others don't complain much if at all. However once the vehicle starts moving the road noise becomes an issue. I've gotten used to using AirPods while driving to mitigate this.

I hope Tesla updates the microphone and noise cancellation technology. Along with that the Model S could benefit from an overall cabin quietening effort to go with an interior update/makeover.

TeslaTap.com | 8 aprile 2018

@Gixxxerking - You didn't state what year your car is. I've had a 2013 and a 2016 now. The 2016 is noticeably quieter than the 2013. Making the cabin quieter clearly helps with phone call background noise.

If you replaced your tires, often the non-OEM tires can be quite a bit noisier than the stock tires. Usually tires with longer tread life use harder rubber compounds that results in qutie a bit more noise. On an ICE car, the engine noise is already loud enough to make a choice of tires (and tire noise) less important.

Darthamerica | 8 aprile 2018

@TeslaTap.com this one is a 2015 P90DL, panoroof and with 21" tires like my previous Tesla. I've got ContiSilent tires on this latest car. I share your opinion that it's quieter... But there are opportunities to improve there. Even when sitting motionless, I can hear the outside world quite well. If design changes are made to acoustically isolate the cabin, the car's speaker phone feature would be greatly improved. But I want to see more than that. It's remarkable how well my HomePod can "hear" me even over loud music. An additional $500 dollar adder to get some improvement in the microphones and noise cancellation would be worth it on a luxury car in my opinion.

rednairb | 8 aprile 2018

I do have the new MCU2. I also agree with what others are saying about good quality when car is not moving. I have done conference calls from the car, while sitting at the supercharger, and have not had any complaints. The complaints so far, have always been when the car is moving.

Bill_75D | 8 aprile 2018

Yeah, sadly the Tesla is pretty noisy with wind and tire noise. My last 3 or 4 ICE luxury cars were much quieter.

Darthamerica | 8 aprile 2018

One more thing... When doing conference calls at the SC, EVERYONE can hear it outside of the car!

NKYTA | 9 aprile 2018

@ Gixxxerking, have any bluetooth enabled cars, ICE or otherwise, solved the above?

Tldickerson | 9 aprile 2018

@Gixxxerking, I too do not understand why when your on a phone call that people outside of your car can hear the person that your talking to from outside of your car. They cannot hear your voice but the other person.

GHammer | 9 aprile 2018

"When doing conference calls at the SC, EVERYONE can hear it outside of the car!"
Because you have the volume turned up too high. Happens to all cars, I walked outside my office the other day and could hear the person's phone call in the Escalade next to me clear as day.

TeslaTap.com | 9 aprile 2018

Another thought - those with a pano roof may allow more wind noise right at the same location as the microphones. I've had/have metal roofs on both my cars, which I suspect helps. I'm not sure there is a fix, but it's possible the pano roof seal is worn or not air-tight. Not sure if it can be fixed, but may be worth asking at the next service.

GHammer | 9 aprile 2018

" I too do not understand why when your on a phone call that people outside of your car can hear the person that your talking to from outside of your car"

Because the car speakers transmitting the callers voice are in the doors and the back side of the speaker transmits the sound out through the door panels. Aluminum panels may make the problem worse, after all, some speaker cones are made of aluminum.

AlphonseKarr | 9 aprile 2018

Have had a Model X for six months and never had a complaint from the other end. Just took delivery of an S with new MCU and was telling my daughter that there were wifi issues with the car, which service was supposed to fix. She said, "They'd better fix the phone, too. I can hardly understand you." I keep volume fairly low on both vehicles.

jamesm.wpg | 9 aprile 2018

"When doing conference calls at the SC, EVERYONE can hear it outside of the car!"
I heard the same comment on a guy at the local meet up, he usually prefer the volume a little higher. A buddy of mine is not having the same issue on his truck even the volume is up. I recently helped him install the new rack and tonneau cover he ordered from 4WheelOnline for kayak mount. He answered the called from inside the truck on bluetooth and the conversation is that clear to me from the outside.

Darthamerica | 9 aprile 2018

Lol @ all the apologist...

Acoustic isolation is a huge opportunity for improvement on Model S. The necessity for lightweight, cost control and inexperience are the reasons Tesla comes up so short here. This was excusable until now. But it's time to take Model S to higher standards particularly with the interior. Especially if you're positioning the S and X in the high end luxury car segment. Some of this is excusable on P versions since they are likely to have low profile tires and perhaps want to keep weight down to maximize the "P". Otherwise the 2019-2020 model years are an ideal time to do this with early 2012-2015 loans and leases coming to term. Also if you're marketing the vehicle as nearly autonomous then make the cabin as comfortable and convenient as possible.

kevin.massaro | 8 giugno 2018

Picked up my Model X yesterday and the phone quality is terrible on the freeway when there is more background noise. I'm disappointed.

rednairb | 8 giugno 2018

So I finally called Tesla about this, and they walked me through deleting the blue tooth pair from both ends (phone and car), shutting down the car for two mins (I think this was in lieu of a reboot, since the reboot function was not working at the time I called), and rebooting the phone, then pairing the phone to the car again. I did this, and the problem seems to have gone away for me.

amandaandjason | 8 giugno 2018

I am having HUGE bluetooth connectivity issues with my brand new Tesla. My previous model S purchased in 2014 had zero problems with bluetooth. This new car has not worked since I received it in March of this year. It has been back to Tesla twice and we have had 2 service call outs. I supposedly have 2 tech guys working on a solution. We have replaced the mic, replaced the foam around the mic, run every Tesla software test they have, rebooted everything they can reboot, and the issue is still terrible. Today my phone can't even connect to my car. There appears to be no solution in sight. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE failure on Tesla's part and I am extremely unhappy with how they have handled this matter.

Stiction | 10 giugno 2018

So sorry Amanda/Jason. No excuse for that...blue tooth is not that hard.
Something is clearly wrong with the car...since zillions of folks with iphones/android use it just fine.
Hopefully they'll figure it out soon.

You say "connectivity issues" but then mention replacing the mic and "foam around mic"

That would be an *audio* issue, not a bluetooth issue? Seems a bit confused. Need to debug properly.

lilbean | 10 giugno 2018

@amandaandjason It could be the phone. What phone do you have? My phone connection with my previous phone was horrible and my new phone connection is flawless. Same car, different phone.

eggbert747 | 10 giugno 2018

Definitely a Tesla issue. I have a 2014 S and today the caller said simply, "You sound horrible, just hang-up". I rarely use the phone. New tires, no window cracked, no sunroof noise. I've rebooted phone and the car. I hear them perfectly, sounds like a wind tunnel to the listener. This has been the same from day one with my car. Yes, it's fine at low speeds and while stopped. Not much doubt there is zero noise cancelation on Telsa's end. Basically I try to never make calls. My other cars aren't perfect, but I've never had people just hang up because it was so garbled. Love the car otherwise. Usually put my iPhone on hands free speaker and that sound a lot better. Go figure....

rasdagalf | 17 giugno 2018

Unfortunately, exact same problem for me as well. I have a 2 week old 75D Model S and the universal (100%) complaint from anyone I call is that there is too much background noise, and sometimes even echo. I can hear very clearly inside the car, but the other end of the line is terrible. I have tried with my Android (Oneplus 5T) and the wife's iPhone6S.

I also strongly disagree with some of the posters that this is on par with most other cars. We have a 3 year old Lexus ES and before that, a 5 year old Lexus CT. They have both been CRYSTAL clear on phone calls via Bluetooth.

It is very sad that we are all reduced to using BT headsets!

SO | 17 giugno 2018

Odd. I have an iPhone 6S and it works great with my car.

SO | 17 giugno 2018

2017 MS90D

TeslaTap.com | 17 giugno 2018

It seems very few owners have problems, but a few have significant problems. If you have problems here are a few suggestions. It may also depend if the poor quality sound is all the time (stopped or driving) or if only at speed.

1) Try another phone.

2) If you have an iWatch, try turning it off as a test. The iWatch seems to have a Bluetooth interference issue, although I think Apple now has an update to fix it.

3) Do you have any other Bluetooth devices in the car that may be interfering - other phones, earbuds, tablets, etc. Try it without these devices in the car as one of them may be the cause.

4) Where do you place your phone? Try another location (the Cubby has been noted as a poor place).

5) Do you have the pano roof? If the roof is slightly open, it will create a lot of noise right next to the microphone. If closed, it may be the weather seal is weak/poor and letting air come in right next to the microphone.

dvanlier | 17 giugno 2018

I have an iPhone X and model x 100D with horrible cell phone voice quality. Rebooting helps sometimes but usually comes back in a day or two. Kind of given up on it.

dvanlier | 17 giugno 2018

I have an iPhone X and model x 100D with horrible cell phone voice quality. Rebooting helps sometimes but usually comes back in a day or two. Kind of given up on it.

AmpedRealtor | 18 giugno 2018

Model S has terrible hands-free quality. While Tesla adds AWD, Autopilot, and a bunch of other improvements, they continue to ignore the basics that almost every other vehicle manufacturer gets right. The reason for the noise is likely due to the high level of wind noise that is audible in that area. It's a poorly designed hands free system that I doubt can be improved without some design/manufacturing changes.

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