Aux input

Any idea why TM didn't add an aux plug so we could use our ipod or phone directly?

I wondered that as well, but to be honest, after the 3.5mm audio issues I have had with the iPhone's, I fear plugging in a cord and use only Bluetooth enabled devices. The issues seem to occur when the iPhone doesn't trigger the cord has been removed so it instead will not allow audio to be passed to the ear piece (you can still hear the caller if you switch it to Speakerphone, but that's annoying).

I agree that it is a weird omission. It seems natural if not expected to have an AUX socket next to the USB and 12V sockets. You could plug a lot of things there, including (heaven forbid) a portable CD player!

Same reason there's no CD player... too 20th Century!

steven, I get what you're saying, but then again, the car does have the cigarette lighter-type outlet. A 3.5 mm jack in the same location would be discrete enough, I think.

Aren't we talking around the actual issue, though? The real reason we're asking for an AUX LINE INPUT for the Model S is to make up for the fact that Tesla doesn't support the iPod Accessory Protocol (IAP) on USB. I for one so wish they would add support for it.

I mean, just adding a LINE IN to the car means wasting the tremendous resource of the Model S 17" display, and reverting back to driver distraction, fiddling around with an IOS device interface when attention needs dedicated to operating the vehicle.

Also, the iPhone 3.5 mm jack is the wrong audio source anyway, as it's a headphone output—a mismatch for line level signals. AUX LINE INPUT needs line out impendence from the IOS device, which is gotten via the lightning connector (to USB)...

Personally, I'd take IAP support first, then Tesla could throw in an AUX LINE INPUT for good measure...

Is IAP an open protocol, or is it limited to Apple products? Apple makes great products, but doesn't have a monopoly on portable devices that can store and play music, nor does it have a monopoly on the devices that might control such portable devices.

At least bluetooth and aux cables are open standards.

I too wish there was an aux in available. It's the universal port when your vehicle doesn't support whatever oddball device you want to use.

There is an issue of line-in vs headphone. Most devices don't provide a line out, so most of the time it will be a headphone out that is used to plug into an aux in. Usually, this works okay, but aux in ports should really be designed to support headphone level signals.

If you have a device w/out bluetooth you can use an adapter like this:®-TT-BA01-Wireless-Bluetooth-Transmitter/dp/B004B8GF7Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1392396242&sr=1-2&keywords=bluetooth+audio+dongle

Yep, there's lots of workarounds, but the bottom line is, there are probably hundreds of millions of previous generation iPods out there still in use, that can't be played in this $100K car. And this is surely the only car, at ANY price, that has this shortcoming. And it's one that's easily fixed in software. C'mon Tesla!

Old School. Do you want the old or the new style Apple adaptor?


Can you use a BT connection to play your music?

Does anyone actually still use an iPod? Seems so 1990s, since almost every cell phone offers a better music capabilities, better UI, features, Bluetooth, expandability and more.

Phone does it for me with Bluetooth just leave it in my pocket auto connects its self and auto plays my music perfect been waiting years to be able to take my own record collection any where with me.

Old vs new adapter is irrelevant, since either would connect via USB. Regarding bluetooth, I have been told that it has inferior sound quality compared to a direct usb device. And this is probably the best reason why I want this. I could just leave the iPod in the car always connected to USB, and, get to take advantage of playlists, and shuffle (and, if Tesla did this right, could do both of the those via the controls on the steering wheel).

TeslaTap: Use my ipod only occasionly but use a Zune 80GB frequently for listening to books. I now have 6 audiobooks waiting to be read. The aux input would be helpful to me. When driving from Seattle to Phoenix I used a battery powered speaker with my Zune, completely independent of the car.

[quote=AoneOne]Is IAP an open protocol, or is it limited to Apple products? Apple makes great products, but doesn't have a monopoly on portable devices that can store and play music, nor does it have a monopoly on the devices that might control such portable devices.

At least bluetooth and aux cables are open standards.[/quote]

True enough AoneOne, IAP is an Apple protocol for all IOS products, but supporting it isn't a big deal and you'd be covering a big part of devices. By witness, my Camry's support for it, and many other reasonably current vehicles—not just luxury ones.

I'm not down on AUX LINE INPUT per se, expect for the fact that in the Model S it would make you deal with the device UI while driving for anything more than sequential playback (i.e., playlists, et al). And I'd really like to see driver distraction reduced.

[]Does anyone actually still use an iPod? Seems so 1990s, since almost every cell phone offers a better music capabilities, better UI, features, Bluetooth, expandability and more.[/quote]

Yes, smartphone sales are indeed slowly supplanting the iPod, but the millions of iPods sold to-date haven't simply vanished into thin air... But it matters little, since the iPhone *is* an iPod, just with added features and functions.

I actually use a current generation iPod nano for my in-vehicle music. It helps to preserve my phone battery without having to charge it all the time. BTW, it does support Bluetooth, and there is something to be said about more simple devices for dedicated purpose (music)... Although with the Model S, I'll probably be using a FLAC-populated USB key, to maximize fidelity. But unfortunately, as I understand it at present, there are limitations to non-album sequence of track playback.

@cerjor - I hadn't considered audio books. Makes sense.

@mathwhiz - It's always best to work with devices you have no matter how old. I was being a bit too down on the iPod just to have a little fun.

You are correct that Bluetooth is not ideal if you want the best music quality. For that, USB with FLAC files is one of the best approaches to having high quality sound in the MS.

Anyway, there isn't an AUX input, and I doubt Tesla is going to make any modifications in future cars to support one. That leaves you with the other options talked about already. As to specific support for Apple products, that's less clear. For the short term it seems the Tesla engineering team is more supportive of open standards like Bluetooth. Maybe 6.0 will offer something extra, but I've not heard a peep about it yet.

BTW, is this your book I'm leafing through now about the Model S? ;)

Nice work...

When I get done with it, it's going to occupy an honored location — on my coffee table.


@mathwhiz - Yep, I co-wrote the Model S book with Kim Rogers. Glad you like it!

I am anxious to figure out how to install a stereo mini-plug analog output in my Model S so I can take advantage of this tremendous device called Pono. If you haven't heard of it do yourself a favor and go check it out in detail at

Here's the output jacks it has..
The PonoPlayer has two output jacks: one is a normal mini-stereo headphone plug, and the output is specially designed for headphones or earbuds and is meant for personal listening; the second is a stereo mini-plug analog output and is specifically designed for listening on your home audio system, in your car, or as an input to your Sonos Connect, so you can share the PonoMusic experience with your friends and family.

Any ideas?

Typo - I meant to say I'm looking for a way to install a stereo mini-plug analog input (not output) :)

This is unfortunate. I have a iPod classic with a whole lot of tunes and audiobooks. A smart phone would not even come close to holding it all. This, combined with the fact that the FM reception is terrible, leaves me to wonder how the heck I'm going to be able to listen to music. I have a dumbphone (Like phone, like owner?) and dislike smartphones. So, hopefully there is a work-around. That bluetooth adapter might work.

We were driving a Toyota rental car yesterday and plugged my iPhone into the USB port I noticed in the console just below the dashboard. Magically, I found that the music on the iPhone started playing through the stereo system in the car. Why doesn't my Tesla S do that ?? Anybody know??
Thanks for any info.


Copy your ipod music over to a thumbdrive and you will be able to listen to entire music collection with ease.

I use this one:


Tesla uses bluetooth to play off the iphone. Works extremely well

Thanks. I didn't know they made them with that big of a capacity.That will work out OK.

Still, I wonder why Tesla doesn't have the capacity to use an iPod. Tesla, are you listening? Hope you all fix that by next fall, when I order my Model S. :-)

@fredtowers - Direct connect of iDevices requires the auto manufacturer to liscense the intefacing software from Apple. For reasons unknown, Tesla has never done that or possibly there is some incompatibility between the software that runs the media center and Apple's software: BT streaming is the workaround.

I have heard that BT streaming is of lesser quality than direct connection. How bad is it, or is it not very noticeable?


hahahahahaha aux cables? really? who uses those anymore? bluetooth people.

TeslaTap -
I just got your book, and read it all in one day. Nice job.

@arice, I'm not a hifalutin stereophile person, but even I notice the distortion from Bluetooth when you turn it up a bit.

@harman408, That's why. As low tech as an auxiliary cable is, it sounds better than Bluetooth.

I'm fairly certain that a 1957 Tesla Model S would have had awesome fully analog, high fidelity, monophonic sound options. Possibly even offering an optional 1/4" input jack!

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