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Quality of Standard Sound System

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

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.

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!

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

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.

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

; )

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).

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

~ Prash.

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

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

@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 :)

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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!).

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

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?, 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?

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.


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.


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. :)

@ 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!!

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.

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...