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Sound system

Any Model S owners tried listening to just the rear speakers? I think either something must be wrong with my rear speakers or they are just quite poor. The sound coming from my iPhone is about the same quality.

What file formats are you playing? There are several audio formats that the system is not capable of playing properly yet.
Most notably anything with discrete channels.

There is a nice bunch of folks at TMC that are testing different formats. There is a thread dedicated to the issue.

My friend who has already taken delivery had some issues with his rear speakers as well. When he panned the audio to the back seats, the volume was all but lost. He notified Tesla of the issue, and they agreed that something is wrong and they'll work to fix it. I think those repairs are happening this week, if I'm not mistaken.

Get 'em checked out!

It has also been discovered that discrete multichannel music formats will only play parts of the music or nothing at all. It appears that it treats some 5.1 files as if it is 2.0. Some 5.1 formats don't play at all.

If your friend is trying to play 5.1 music, that could be why he is not getting music through the rear speakers.

+1 Brad Holt. I also have next to no volume in the rear speakers

is this problem with the standard sound system, the upgraded Sound Studio, or both?

This is my experience also; next to no volume from the rear speakers. I will double check that this is the case with all formats. It is in the Signature model which I assume all have the upgraded Sound system.

I don't have my S yet, but on a test drive we synced to my iPhone to subjectively listen to the upgraded sound system. I was sitting in the back seat, and my first reaction when we played a song was "ruh roh, this ain't very good." So this discussion reassures me that TMC knows of the problem and is working on it. thanks.

Thanks to all for identifying this problem so my car is perfect when it arrives :)

All Signatures have the "Sound Studio Package". I thought it was called the "Premium Sound Studio Package" Did they change the name of it?

There's only one sound package, so they must be the same thing.

It is a $950 option on the Production cars but included in on the Signature.

You guys didn't hear? The hardware for the Sound Package is included, but there is a $1,000 activation fee to use it.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Don't throw rocks.

*catapults boulders instead*

+1 @Oaktowner LOL

For those not getting any sound from the rear speakers: Does this only happen when Dolby is turned on or is it always this way? A post on TMC suggests the situation only occurs with Dolby on.

Hi All, I'm Brad Holt's friend with the speaker issue... The speaker in the back sounds very muted and if the rest of the car is at volume 7 for example, it sounds like it is at volume 1 when I move the sound around on the screen. It does it with all types of files, all music options and in Dolby and normal Stereo. Tesla Ranger thinks that one of the two subwoofer amps is not connected or working. The engineers are trying to figure it out... The sounds is AWESOME from the front of the car... I LOVE the Slacker Radio and InTune Radio options. I've been playing music on a portable thumb drive and noticed it plays music I can move over directly from iTunes, CDs, etc... (was originally told on MP3s, but its plays AAC files (? - I think that's the right name, which are files moved from a CD to the thumb drive). Sorry my technical names may not be right... :-)

It probably wouldn't be a subwoofer amp. Low frequencies are pretty non-directional, so if the subwoofer were out, you would lack deep bass, but it wouldn't sound like the rear speakers were muted.

Rear speakers out of phase with each other maybe ? Then you can get weird cancellation effects.

@jkirkebo - that could definitely do it. Also depends on how much of a 'woofer' it really is and where the crossover is. If they've got mid frequencies routed to the woofers and they are out of phase that could put a serious dent in the sound.

I just checked my rear speakers and they have the same problem as described by others. No appreciable sound at all with Dolby ON. With Dolby off there is some sound, but it's very much like a little 1950's AM "transistor radio" (for those of us old enough to remember that era).

These sound system problems I'm reading about (I assume folks are reporting about the premium Sound Studio package since all deliveries so far have been Signature and it's included) are very disturbing. I expect a car (especially one like Model S which is setting a NEW standard in the luxo/performance market) should have a great, not good sound system

I will be leaving a 14 speaker Bang and Olufsen system I currently enjoy in my Audi. A crappy "AM radio" as some people are describing will be a big let down. With all that power in the floor the thing should be able to perform like Metallica's P.A.

If there is an audiophile out there who loves the system and can "cheer me up" with some positive comments, please do :)

The rear channels reproduce the sound reflected from the rear wall of the auditorium. The rear channels are merely reproducing the sound waves reflected from the rear wall of the auditorium. It seems to me that there is nothing wrong with the model S sound studio package. Remember, the original radio transmission is usually in stereo. The sound studio package is trying to produce a multichannel output from a two-channel input.

I don't agree with stephen.kamichi. I've never experienced this with nearly a dozen cars, many with upgraded sound systems. Cars are not generally designed to be 5.1 sound systems, they are designed to provide a stereo or 2.1 environment for both the front and rear passengers, not a 5.1 environment for the front.

"The sound studio package is trying to produce a multichannel output from a two-channel input."

If it's really doing this, then it has a problem, or at least a setting that is not set correctly. Movie soundtracks are created in 5.1 (or 7.1) formats. Music is generally plain old stereo and the front and rear speakers should sound about the same, as they are providing a discreet listening environment for the front and rear passengers.

I frequently listen to stereo music at home on a 7.1 sound system, emulating concert halls. The DSP does as @stephen.kamichi suggests in that case. However, you can also listen to it as straight stereo.

I won't have my car for a few more months, but I could imagine the Tesla sound system having a mode for synthesizing multichannel sound from a stereo source that might sound as reported, but I would also expect a setting that would simply mirror the front speakers to the rear (with a fade control).

Tesla may have to reprogram the DSP.

Has anyone asked tesla about this? What is the response? Just email ownership and stephen.kamichi - I think you guys have it figured out. The amplifier needs to have user-selectable modes like home systems: 5.1 surround, stereo, all-channel, etc. Right now it seems to be defaulting to something like 5.1 surround and a stereo source has nothing in the rear channels (which are usually used for movie sound effects).

From what I am hearing, it does appear that the system is operating in some type of 5.1 "enhanced stereo" mode by default. Most folks will be playing 2 channel audio sources (radio, mp3's, iPhones, etc.). When playing stereo through a typical AV receiver in 5.1 modes, the majority of the sound comes from the front L-R speakers with some in the center channel (which reduces stereo imaging). The rear speakers are for ambient & reflected sound to simulate a larger space.

However, I (and I expect most others) typically hear MORE sound from the rear speakers in a vehicle. Also, most bass is produced by the rear speakers because the trunk acts as a speaker cabinet.

As Getting Amped Soon says, the system NEEDS selectable modes like any multi-channel audio system would have - 5.1 or 7.1 native (for true multi-channel sources), 5.1 via Dolby or DTS compression, multi-channel stereo (where the stereo signal is mirrored in front & back like a typical car), etc. For a $900 stereo in a $100k car, this better be available :)

So if it did what mode would you recommend for regular iTunes files?

@Michael23 - 99.9% of music we listen to is in stereo. Meaning the standard left-right, front-back format in an automobile would sound the best in my opinion. A subwoofer would accentuate the bass.

There are new digital file formats that support multi-channel audio (like you would hear on a movie soundtrack). However, these would be need to be recorded and mixed specifically to support the format for audio. In the Model S, these would need to be in FLAC or some other multi-channel audio format which are not currently commonplace.

Until the engineers can give Model S owners selective control of the multi-channel formats, they should configure the system for standard stereo audio (with front to back and balance control). this would sound normal to most people.

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