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Quality of Standard Sound System

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

@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.

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.

(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.

>>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.

@GeekEV Thanks for the update!

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

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:

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

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

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.

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

@ 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...

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.

@Speed Racer 8/7.5/8 sounds so much better than any other equalizer settings I've tried. Thanks so much!

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


I would get a Reus system put in my MS in a heartbeat, even if it meant traveling down to the US from here in Canada. The only dealbreaker for me is I need satellite radio. Do you know if Reus could add it to their setup? Or is it a fixed system they've developed for the MS?

There are large communications dead zones (no AM/FM/Cellular coverage) between communities up here, so when I travel satellite is the only thing that works (and keeps me sane). Obviously bluetooth streaming the SiriusXM App, as others have suggested, only works if you have a data connection.

@TeslaTap - Excellent point. The same is true in home theater. Good quality components and speakers can actually make subpar material sound worse by revealing all it's flaws. Many systems have a "warming" or "smoothing" effect that many find pleasant, but it's just not accurate. A high end system will reproduce things much more accurately - for better or worse.

@ Mayhemm

I'm not sure about satellite radio. Contact Reus @ 800-276-8865

Thanks for your suggestion on the Standard Sound system. I followed your advice (bass/mid/treble set at about 8.5/0.0/ 2.0) and the system sounds 100 times better. I am no audiophile but my only disappointment with my MS has been the standard sound system and I have been kicking myself for not upgrading. However, now with your advice the system rocks and I now have complete happiness with the car. Thanks again!

I still think the mid needs to be at least at 5 and the treble at 7... but to each there own...

Maybe for blues and jazz (mostly what i play) the treble and mid need to be raised..

@Speed Racer

I used your suggested settings and feel it's a huge improvement.

I instinctively went for the studio sound system. I may be right or I may be wrong but it sounds great to me.
My S 85 was delivered last Wednesday and I have a Tesla smile that has not stopped since...(and my wife too)!
I am still playing and fine tuning but people I have given rides to are all of the sale opinion, the system is great!
I would add, they mean unlike what they see in most cars.
Ok, the Tesla S is not like any car, but after the accerelation , the smoothness, the quietness, the thrill, the amusement park quality.... People then focus on what else, and my experience is that they like the tech side of the car and land on the quality of the sound system among other aspects.
@amped... Go for it. I cannot say that I know the standard package but the studio sound with the tech package is great. The car is a lot of money and I just figured that the better ( more costly) system would be that...better.
I think s that Tesla is aware that premiums need to deliver and I trust that they are doing their best to provide it.
How else does a 62k car end up being 102K?

"the sale opinion" - did you plant that in them? <8)

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