Quality of Standard Sound System

Quality of Standard Sound System

Can someone comment on their satisfaction with the standard (as opposed to premium) sound system?

cmlaff | 2012年12月5日

I have the premium system and was initially disappointed with it; it sounded thin. Someone posted a great tip. Turn off the Dolby ND; that helped a lot.
Can't comment on the standard system.

lajollan | 2012年12月5日

I would like to know what the difference is also. Other than storage space and dolby 7.1, Tesla gives very little info on that. I am going to test drive for third time Saturday (and to see the grey car)and intend to ask about that. I do not believe any of the testers have the standard sound package. As I intend to configure next week, this is crucial info!

stevenmaifert | 2012年12月6日

Standard system is 200 watts, 7 speakers; Sound Studio Package is 580 watts, 12 speakers.

Trekker56 | 2012年12月6日

Wonder how much more energy the additional speakers with higher wattage consume? Should be minimal delta but can add over long trips. I'm sticking with stock.

jbunn | 2012年12月6日

Geeze, Lajollan. Let somebody else have a ride. The grey cars ride just like the other ones.

; )

Pbfoot | 2013年1月7日

I received my car today (!), and it has the stock (no upgrade) stereo system. Since there seemed to be a lack of feedback on the issue of the stock sound system, I'll weigh in with my opinion. So far, have spent about 20 minutes listening to FM (HD) radio, some high bit-rate music (Apple lossless) on my iPhone, as well as some Slacker radio. Just for background, I would venture to say that I'm pretty finicky about sound, and have spent some money and time on my home setup (have gone as far as building my own interconnects, trying different spikes on speakers, and changing out wall outlets).

Personally, my verdict is that it sounds pretty damn good. Nice separation of voices and instruments in the mid and treble, not tinny or harsh, well balanced and full. Bass is punchy, crisp, and deep. I spent a good while just sitting in the car in my garage listening to music because it was enjoyable. Note that I have not cranked it up real high (nothing past level 6 on volume), since I'd like to keep my hearing well into old age and thus don't listen to music at extremely loud levels, but at reasonably loud levels I found no glaring weaknesses in the system.

From other comments I've seen, I'm starting to wonder if NOT getting the upgrade is a good move. (I decided not to buy it because I thought the money would be better spent getting an aftermarket upgrade from a good shop, after they got some experience on one or a couple other people's Teslas).

So far, I think I could even live happily with the system as it is now. (Although I'm not telling my wife that yet, just to leave some room for maneuvering).

Superliner | 2013年1月7日

The industry standard these days is to have a subwoofer in the system. However I can find no one within Tesla or anyone who has received their car to tell me if the Model S has one in either config. I've heard the upgraded 580w 12 spkr 7.1 surround system when in Phoenix and honestly was not terribly thrilled. Yes it seemingly can produce sheer volume but I felt it weak in the lower ranges "bass response" and the midrange too pronounced at low to moderate listening levels "meaning you can speak with the other occupants in the car in a near normal voice. Is this due to lack of a sub??

I found it not as appealing in that regard as the THX 300W 9 spkr "incl. subwoofer" system in my Lincoln TC when using Classical and Jazz genres (my own USB) so I could compare the different systems with the same music selections.

I have not managed to get a hold of an S with the standard system "as yet" so must digress to your revue.

Pbfoot | 2013年1月8日

Please note that I did not mean to rub salt in anyone's wound who happens to have ordered the upgraded system. Just trying to help those are are undecided, or who don't know what to expect after ordering the stock system.

I am pretty sure from other posts that the upgraded system comes with a sub. Not sure about the stock system. Honestly from what I am hearing, though, cannot imagine that there is not a subwoofer in my car. Maybe they goofed up and gave me one with the upgrade? The window sticker lists the correct options though.

jat | 2013年1月8日

I haven't used the standard sound system, but I am very happy with the premium system after 1.5 days :).

Bluetooth sync with my GS3 was easy and works great (I generally listen to Google Music from my phone), Slacker is great, and FM reception has been fine (only limited testing though).

stevenmaifert | 2013年1月8日

If you can live without XM/Sirius, and the extra flash memory storage that hasn't been activated yet, I'm sure the standard sound system is just fine.

prash.saka | 2013年1月8日

@dysong1, thanks for the post. We are getting a standard and I am glad to know that it is pretty good.

~ Prash.

DTsea | 2013年1月8日

I don't need a subwoofer, so glad I picked standard.

Bleeds On | 2013年1月8日

Has anyone researched aftermarket components? Is the standard radio receiver the weak link or is it the quality of speakers, or both?

RobS | 2013年1月8日

@dysong1 Thanks for your comments. I'm a musician, but not an audiophile. The upgraded stereo is one of the only options I didn't get as the specs looked good to me. I look forwarding to finding out first hand what it sounds like this weekend when my car arrives :)

sandman | 2013年1月8日

I just got my car delivered 1/6. I did not get the sound package primarily because I'm usually listening to sports radio, other talk radio stations, or on the phone(handsfree of course). I rarely listen to music unless my kids or wife are in the car.

I was a bit worried about this as well, but after playing with it for a while, it holds up reasonably well provided your source is decent. All of the HD radio stations and MP3's I have sound good. I found the bass a bit weak but haven't tweaked the EQ at all.

I'm glad I didn't get the upgrade now. HOWEVER, for someone who is really into music and cares a lot more than I do, I'd seriously consider it or going straight to an aftermarket place. I really need all of the extra space the car provides so I don't want some massive amp and sub in the trunk/frunk taking up the space.

brooklynrab | 2013年1月8日

Great line -- "I rarely listen to music unless my wife or kids are in the car". Sounds like me!

TonyF | 2013年1月8日

I received the standard sound package (200W, 7 speaker), and it sounds very good to me. Unusually, the best place for the fade and left/right seems to be in the center (centered left/right and centered front/rear), although you can place the sound wherever you'd like it just with a swipe of the finger. But at this point, center works best for me and has the best separation. I have played with the equalizer a bit, but nothing too far either extreme.

I REALLY like the fact that you can ask slacker(with voice commands) to play ANY song you desire, and it will go get it for you. I even had it find "Please release me" by Inglebert Humperdink (sp?) to show off the sound system for my 83 year old mother. That is her favorite song.

I am absolutely satisfied with the standard sound system, and just so you know, Inglebert Humperdink will never again ring out of those speakers. That was a one shot deal.

Brian H | 2013年1月8日

I saw someone's diagram, and the sub is at the right rear somewhere (furthest possible placement from the driver?!).

It's "defer", not "digress", btw.

jat | 2013年1月8日

@Bleeds On - I'm not sure how you would replace just the stereo, as it is all integrated into the 17" display.

Brian H | 2013年1月9日

Someone suggested the gear reproduces lousy feeds too well, so the lousiness is evident!

carl.leermakers | 2013年1月9日

Brian - That's that "rubbish in, rubbish out" argument is very valid indeed (the better your amp/speakers the more it will reveal the weakness of a source). However, I'm not sure it applies to car audio these days as an Apple Lossless file will sound great even in a home system as expensive as a Tesla, so it obviously will in a car (with all background noise) as well! (as opposed to e.g. a 1980's cassette taped with Dolby B off a poor turntable).

In my experience, it's also true that having 12 speakers and an equalizer capable of reproducing the acoustics of a medieval cathedral or a jazz bar sometimes does more harm than good; such a system would split, via filters, echoing etc., a perfectly decent and honest source signal into thousands of pieces, and then try to rearrange everything to make music out of that again... I had a premium system in a BMW 5 of which you could fully by-pass all tone controls, and it sounded much better by-passed (and also better than the Mark Levinson premium system in my current Lexus, that I cannot by-pass).

On the other hand, the sheer lack of space of a car interior does in my opinion usually justify a subwoofer. The standard MS version is four speakers, two tweeters and one "center channel speaker" (not specifying whether that is big enough to also serve as a subwoofer), so if the twelve speakers of the MS premium version add more deep bass (the website doesn't tell what the five additional speakers do) that may help. So I am really eager to hear the difference between standard and premium systems (and, given that it's not certain that I will ever be able to do so before I have to 'build' my MS, to read what others, who would have done that already, think!).

Brian H | 2013年1月9日

You remind me; one of the best bass speakers I ever heard comprised 16 small speakers in a square housing, operating in unison.

ddruz | 2013年1月10日

dysong1, now that you've had your car for a while, do you have any further comments on the standard sound system?

What about others who received the standard sound system--any comments? Any issue with diminished rear speaker sound like some folks with the upgraded sound system have reported?

Bleeds On | 2013年1月10日, I highly doubt the screen is supplying the power to the speakers. There's likely an amp or receiver that the screen simply controls. Replace the amp with a stronger one or maybe the speakers are lesser quality in the standard system. That's what I'm asking...just the speakers, amp, or both?

christine_orita | 2013年1月10日

Dysong1, thx for your feedback. I am definitely not an audiophile and have very basic radio needs. Shoots, I didn't even feel I needed Sirius on my Mercedes.

So to hear the standard works quite well for you (from your description, you do sound like somewhat of an audiophile :-) ), to me it is confirmation enough that I made the right decision to not go with the sound package.

Superliner | 2013年1月10日


Thanks Brian. But in my case I intended to use the word "digress" as at that time I meant to turn away and or move aside from the main subject or course of discussion as I had not seen proof positive yay or nay as far as inclusion of a subwoofer. Fortunately you did not take me seriously and provided the answer anyway :-) It is too bad though that Tesla has/does not provide more specifics on the components contained in each system. Most mfg's do.

(Merriam Webster; di-gress / intransitive verb / "Latin" dis- + gradi --- to step / to turn aside especially from the main subject of attention.

DouglasR | 2013年1月10日


When you told Brian that you "must digress to your revue," the picture I got was of you turning aside to watch him sing and dance. :)

Superliner | 2013年1月10日

@ DouglasR

Bwahahahaha !! Yes it does, I just went back and read my post! Hey Brian can I have some salt for the crow I'm eating now lol!!

tobys1 | 2013年1月14日

Does anyone besides me feel upset at being required to buy the premium sound system in order to get sirius/xm?

I have had xm in three cars and it normally is just part of the basic radio system. i think all radio units come with it built in. Why should i pay almost $1000 for speakers I do not want, just to get xm. It came for free in my excellent Nissan Leaf, which also has no serious software glitches.

Joyrider | 2013年1月14日

Wondering if a way around XM on the premium system only would be using your smart phone blue tooth connection since one can listen to XM on the web...

jat | 2013年1月14日

@Bleeds on - I am suggesting if you replaced the audio system, how would you control it? You wouldn't be able to use the center console or voice commands, so it would have to have its own UI. The only place I could imagine would be to take out the chin cubby and mount it there.

Robert22 | 2013年1月14日

The standard sound system is much better than I expected. The stock EQ setting definitely needs to be tweaked a little to experience a richer bass. More importantly, as was already mentioned, is the positioning of the faders. The car has unusual acoustics compared to others I've owned. The back speakers definitely do not have as much oomph as the front. I've found positioning the crosshairs in the center, just behind the front seats gives me the best immersive sound experience. I also rarely push the volume over 6, but no regrets so far. Use the savings to grab some floor mats and soflauthor's center console insert (CCI) when it becomes available.

GeekEV | 2013年8月8日

(cross-posted to reach a wider audience and dispel some myths)

Alright everyone, I've asked some very clear specific questions about the Dolby Surround features to ownership and here's the definitive answers from Tesla. Specifically, see the last question and answer. Perhaps that accounts for much of the confusion here.

Q: Both the car and website simply reference "Dolby Surround". Specifically, what Dolby mode(s) are implemented? Dolby Digital? Dolby TruHD? Dolby ProLogic? Dolby ProLogic II? Dolby ProLogic IIx?

A: Model S with the Ultra High Fidelity Sound package features Dolby ProLogic IIx.

Q: If one of the Dolby ProLogic II types, do you implement the Movie or Music mode?

A: Model S uses Music mode as a bases, but [our] ProLogic IIx is specifically tuned to Model S. In fact, we have different tuning with or without the panoramic roof.

Q: Some people are asserting that they've been told by service that they need specifically encoded multi-channel audio sources in Dolby Digital 7.1 and that the Dolby Surround ON setting is only useful in those scenarios. Is that true?

A: This is not true. The purpose of ProLogic IIx is to convert 2 channel sources into multichannel sources. There is no need for the customer to provide multichannel media. That said, Dolby is not available with AM, FM, or XM sources, which is displayed in the vehicle.

Colasec | 2013年8月8日

>>The stock EQ setting definitely needs to be tweaked a little to experience a richer bass.

I've never been a audiophile, but I'm not entirely happy with how my music sounds with the standard sound system. I have the Fade/Balance at 0/0 - what would I use for the EQ settings? I haven't found a setting that I like.

jcadman22 | 2013年8月8日

@GeekEV Thanks for the update!

AmpedRealtor | 2013年8月8日

@ GeekEV - did they say whether the new sound package was the same or different than the previous "studio sound" package?

RDoherty | 2013年8月8日

I am finding significant noise on certain songs that seems like a serious error in the Tesla System. I uploaded some test files, would appreciate it if you could check it on your system as well:

Speed Racer | 2013年8月8日

I'm under 50 and have 4 kids who all love music... I may not be a expert in audio (audiophile) but love blues and jazz and meant to order the
upgraded sysytem but forgot. I had some concerns until I got the car with the standard system... After having a few Audiophile's "play with the equalizer and the fader"... I have found that the system is very good(not excellent) but very good... for my blues and my kid's pop music.. the key has been moving the bass to 8.0 ... the mid to 7.5 and the trebble to 8.0.. also the fade to -3 to help the rear weaker speakers... I know the numbers seem high but for the standard system the bass and treble need the help... anyone have any other favorite settings for the standard? I have found these to work for me and make the system sound it's best

GeekEV | 2013年8月8日

@AmpedRealtor - I did not ask that question. Let me do that...

GeekEV | 2013年8月8日

Here ya go:

Q: Aside from a name (and price!) change, is there any difference between the old Sound Studio package and the new Ultra High Fidelity Sound package?

A: There is no functional difference. We’ve modified the price to reflect current costs of manufacturing and cost of goods. Also we’ve re-designed the package description to better reflect value. Prior to the new options, the sound system was underpriced.

stsanford | 2013年8月8日

Standard sound is meh....
Quiet, not great fidelity. Ho-hum.

AmpedRealtor | 2013年8月8日

@ GeekEV - Thank you for getting that information. This further reinforces my decision to keep my P85 order unchanged from before the pricing increases. Here's hoping for at least some software changes...

simplesolarinc | 2013年8月8日

I have the premium and the loaner I got today has standard. Everything sounds similar except I noticed the lack of low obviously from the sub. Also notice with both system, the source is very important. Radio, Internet radio, bluetooth audio sounds horrible, but FLAC audio on my USB stick sounded great.

Colasec | 2013年8月12日

@Speed Racer 8/7.5/8 sounds so much better than any other equalizer settings I've tried. Thanks so much! | 2013年8月13日

Note that when you have a rather good sound system and you play low quality material, it's going to sound bad. With a crappy sound system (i.e. most phones) you'll never notice it since everything is the same low quality.

Bluetooth is especially bad due to additional lossy compression built into the spec. Let's say you have your MP3 music encoded at a reasonable bit rate. Bluetooth re-encodes it at a lower bit rate (that you have no control over) - which really screws it up! Bluetooth is best left to voice calls.

As simplesolarinc points out, if you want to get the best out of your music files, use lossless FLAC files on a USB stick.

nsxpowered | 2013年8月13日

This standard system will rival other premium offerings. This whole car is value. Only thing is, the interior is not as luxurious, but that is not on my list of needs in a sports sedan.

cfOH | 2013年8月13日

I have the standard sound system. I played a lossless FLAC track from a flash drive today and, after tweaking the balance and mixer, I found it sounded quite good. Bass was decent and it filled the cabin nicely. I'm no audiophile, but I listen to a lot of music, and I was quite satisfied.

SamO | 2013年8月13日


Great comment. Upgraded sound was one of the few options I didn't get (although now there are a few more such as winter package and parking sensors) but regular MP3s sound so terrible on almost every sound system . . .

Thanks for the insight into the lossless.

ddruz | 2013年8月14日

My car has the Sound Studio and I'm currently driving a loaner with the standard sound system while my car is in the shop.

I have been playing lossless FLAC files exclusively to compare the two systems with the best source material available. Here are my observations in case they may be of help to some:

The Sound Studio is clearly the better sounding of the two systems. But IMO it is not worth an additional $2500. It was worth an additional $950 but those days are unfortunately gone.

If you want an upgraded system you can probably spend less than $2500 to get a better one aftermarket. Yet if you have the cash and don't want the hassle the upgraded sound system is quite good IMO. It's a question of whether it is good enough to be worth that much more money.

The standard system is respectable. Unless you are an audiophile, a musician or have a particularly keen ear you will likely be satisfied with it.

The standard system is not nearly as loud at max volume 11 as the Sound Studio is, though it is probably loud enough for nearly all situations. Neither system overly distorts at max volume.

As others have noted the standard system lacks definition and punch in the bass. (OTH Sound studio's bass is respectable.) This can be somewhat compensated for by setting the bass to at least 8.0. IMO everyone should turn up the bass in the standard system.

When I suggest turning up the bass, however, this is with respect to the mid and treble. If you crank them all up about the same amount it's similar to turning up the volume. Of course you can do that to increase the max loudness of the system.

I personally prefer the standard system with the bass / mid / treble set at about 8.5 / 0.0 / 2.0.

With the standard sound system I like the fade at 0 or -1. This is in contrast to the Sound Studio which, IMO, sounds better with the fade set between -6 and -8.

Hopefully these observations are helpful to some folks. Remember, they are based on lossless FLAC exclusively. I cannot comment on comparisons with lossy media like Slacker or streaming Bluetooth.

kickgas | 2013年8月14日

Here is an alternative for those who want an incredible sound system. Forego the upgraded stereo from Tesla and for a bit more you can have a world-class audio experience that is in league with the rest of car.
Rivals the system in the Panamara.

Cliff from Reus Audio in Ca. installed the upgraded stereo system yesterday. The parts were shipped ahead of time so all he had to bring was his toolbox. The two tweeters in the front pillars were replaced & an additional tweeter was installed in the rear view mirror facing towards tghe windshield. Also I had a 10" woofer placed in the footwell in the back. This takes up about a third of the space. An amplifier was placed in the other compartment were I store the plugs. I have an adjustment knob in the side of my drivers seat in front of the seat controls to fine tune the bass response. Overall, the installation is invisible. All prior controls are still functional.The system sounds awesome. The car now has a stereo consistant with the rest of the car. The total cost, including travel expenses was around $4K. I'm in No. Va. and I'd be happy to demo it for anyone interested.