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Standard vs Premium sound system

I just placed an order for a Model S and am in my 2 week change period. Anyone with advice on the standard vs premium sound system? Is it worth the extra $2500?

If you want more power, more speakers, and especially a subwoofer, then yes.

If you only listen to AM radio, talk on blue tooth, then you don't need a subwoofer, then the answer is no.

I'm not quite sure how the normal ones are but I upgraded to the premium and the sound is totally decent for me. The sound is great in my P85 and I don't regret upgrading.

Also if you want XM.

Yep. Dallas is right. That's also why I got the upgraded system. I use XM.

I did't upgrade as I listen to audiobooks, Spa and piano solo music. Did play rock music on it - it's OK surprisingly. But if you care for base, perhaps upgrade should be done. It depends on how much you care vs how much budget constraints that u have.

Love the premium sound in my MS. Definitely worth it. Haven't heard the standard system, but without the sub woofer, I think it would suck.

I have a standard stereo & it is perfectly adequate for me. Since Model S is so fun to drive, I tend to turn off the music & enjoy the drive, to be honest.

Also, you should know that no engine sound = you can hear the music much better.

It comes down to how much you want to spend for extra goodies. I'm a semi-audiophile, but I decided that the standard is good enough... and it is.

If you love music, and own a nice Dolby 5.1 theater sound-system at home, go with the studio-sound system.

Otherwise, if talk-radio is more your thing, and or a you typically listen to music via a small table-top system at home, then the standard-sound system will serve your needs.

I have the Sound Studio in my car and consider it worth the $950 it cost at the time. However I do not consider it worth the $2500 it costs now. Were I to order now it would be with the standard sound system.

I drove a loaner with standard sound again last week for a couple days. I spent a very long time playing around with the sound system this time, comparing it to my car's system and tweaking it for best all around sound on a variety of genres. My source was lossless FLAC via USB.

I have been blessed with a good ear and appreciate distinctions important to audiophiles. IMO the standard sound system sounds best with both bass boost and to a lesser extent treble boost to compensate for its speaker configuration. But it should do a creditable job for most non-audiophiles.

FWIW these are the system settings that I now prefer with the standard sound system. You see a lot of people crank up the equalizer across the entire spectrum of bass, mid and treble but that is not much different than just increasing the volume.

7.5 Bass
0.0 Mid
3.5 Treble
0.0 Fade
0.0 Balance

What is needed with this system on most source material is compensation in the lows and highs relative to the mids. Increasing lows and highs also compensates for the human ear's decreasing sensitivity to highs and lows at lesser volumes which is an added benefit.

If you do this type of compensation with the system's equalizer and are not an audiophile or a titanic volume meister you should be able to save $2500 and be plenty happy with this system.

Love mine but I only paid 950 for upgrade..have not listened to the base system. Best car I have EVER owned!!

We have the upgraded sound system (now called Sound Studio Pkg) in my husbands Sig MS. The sound is terrible from the rear speakers, especially if the Dolby is ON. We turn the Dolby off and it's ok. Yes, the subwoofer puts out more bass.
BUT I just got the regular system for my MS and I'm pleasantly surprised. The sound is really good and I don't miss the XM. I use Slacker and Tunein for my radio selections almost always. I use the bluetooth and my iPhone to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I'm not disappointed at all with the regular sound.

ddruz - Do you recommend those equalizer settings for the folks (include me) that have the original +$950 system? Thanks for your input.

@Cattledog - For the Sound Studio I use and recommend the following:

Lossless FLAC USB sources (my mainstay)
Dolby ON
+10.0 Bass
+ 0.0 Mid
+ 2.5 Treble
- 7.0 Fade
+ 0.0 Balance

All other lossy sources
Dolby OFF
+8.0 Bass
+0.0 Mid
+2.5 Treble
-7.0 or more Fade
+0.0 Balance

Lossless FLAC sources are improved with Dolby ON. There is a richer bass and a more nuanced, open, breathing sound field. The rear speakers are intentionally not so loud. Their primary function is to provide simulated reflected sound off the walls of the concert hall.

Non-lossless compressed sources (Slacker, streaming Bluetooth, FM, etc.) sound much better with Dolby OFF, however, IMO. The bass is louder though not clearer, the volume is louder, and the sound stage shifts more to the front compared to Dolby ON.

So when switching from FLAC lossless to lossy media I turn Dolby OFF, lower the volume a bit, drop the bass a couple notches and sometimes even move the fade back a bit more.

If I to listen to FLAC lossless with Dolby OFF I use the same settings as for lossy media with Dolby OFF.

When I dropped my car off for service I got a loaner with premium sound.

I was concerned for a while that I made a bad choice going cheap and not getting the upgraded sound since I love driving my MS everywhere.

Good news though....I get an extra storage spot in the trunk for my vacuum (where the sub woofer is) and the music from slacker didn't sound any better to my "untrained" ears.

I'm glad I didn't spend the extra $$$$$

I'm regretting not getting the upgraded sound. AM and FM radio reception is poor, and sound (even adjusting the equalizer) is mediocre. My Prius has much better radio reception and sound quality.

You cannot activate Dolby for internet audio (Slacker, TuneIn) or for HD Radio.

Those who are judging the audio system using sources from Slacker may wish to use different material. Slacker is compressed and so is anything you stream via BlueTooth. Compression takes its biggest chunk out of the low end/bass response, so it's only natural that streamed sources are going to sound anemic on any system.

I used @ddruz's recommended settings for the standard system and it made a huge huge improvement. I had been having regrets that I did not upgrade, but not anymore. I am no audiophile but I am now very very happy with the standard system in my P85.

I would definitely not upgrade for $2,500; for that price you would be better off spending a little more for an after market system like Reus.

@ ddruz - Are you sure about those bass values? I can't turn my bass up more than +3 without it beating like a drug dealer's hoopty. At +8 to +10 on the bass your car must hover! :P

@AmpedRealtor - Absolutely not true. It's only AM*/FM*/XM that you can't turn Dolby on. I use primarily Slacker and Dolby is most definitely on and sounds great. Yes, it's compressed, and yes, and uncompressed source would sound even better.

* and their HD radio equivalents

I just don't see it worth $2,500. I would have been in for $950. I just listen to music on low most of the time. Is there any after market systems?

My only regret about my car is going with the standard sound system.

It's hard to upgrade later cause nobody knows what they're doing aftermarket when it comes to the cars electric system. $950 was definitely worth it. $2500 I'm not sure about (all they added was the subwoofer). But I'd probably still do it.

If the only reason for upgrading to the premium sound is for xm then there is a work around for xm. If you already have an xm subscription for another $3/mo you can get xm via the Internet. Load the xm app to your phone and you can listen to it via Bluetooth in the car. I've already checked it out in my S with the sound upgrade. Since this approached worked we didn't order the sound upgrade for my wife's S. She primarily listens to talk. Delivery in 3 weeks.

Follow up to earlier comment in this thread from @pvetesla: Does the location of the subwoofer with the Ultra High Fidelity Sound package impede capacity that would otherwise be available? Just want to make sure that with the subwoofer, I can still keep my golf clubs in the back without having to make any seat adjustments.

where exactly is the subwoofer located in the trunk? I have the premium sound package but don't see a subwoofer that PVETESLA talked about but I do have an indented space, one on each side of the trunk? Asking because I thought that perhaps Tesla mistakenly left out the premium sound in our - just chenking - love the car anyway the stereo sounds -

Hint: Try for access to many other threads on this topic.

My son is the only one to have used the back seat and he says that the standard sound doesn't reach back there. In the front seat the sound is better than my BMW 540i "Premium" sound was.

There are a couple of threads on the Reus sound upgrade which people rave about. I think it cost about $4000 for East Coasters, which included travel/shipping for the guy coming from California. For myself, I'm no audiophile and I've been happy with the standard sound. My impression is the true audiophiles have been unhappy/underwhelmed with the Sound Studio upgrade.

If I were buying the MS now, I'd get the base system & upgrade to an aftermarket system. I'm on the East Coast & had the Reus System installed. Sig improvement.

@sunrunner - The subwoofer was there before in the old premium sound package too. There is no functional change between the old Sound Studio Package and the new Ultra High Fidelity Sound Package (or whatever they're calling it now).

I listened to both systems before I locked in.. I bought the standard system and I'm totally delighted with it. I have to "smiley up" the 3 band eq a lot.. in order to get decent bass and highs.. and it doesn't blast quite as loud as the premium system.. but for me.. the delta in cost did not anywhere NEAR justify the delta in sound.. I don't care about satellite radio, we have plenty of HD radio stations in Phoenix and the reception has been perfect! no problems whatsoever with the tuner in this car for me. (must be the antenna ground issue being resolved). I stuck a 64GB USB stick in full of my best collection and with that and slacker, etc.. I have PLENTY to listen to! Spend the money on other options.. or just save it to help pay sales tax. :)

Details regarding your aftermarket system?

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