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Audio connectivity, Qobuz, Hi-res?

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
In my current car I listen to a service called Qobuz which provides hi-res audio at 24 bit/96 khz resolution (CD is 16/44.1 by comparison) over my iPhone with a lightning/usb adapter and an AudioQuest Dragonfly thumb DAC into a standard mini-plug. It sounds phenomenal even over the stock audio in my Odyssey. Bass is deep and distinct but not boomy, there is clarity to the sound. Even playing CDs in the car was never nearly as good, and I haven't used CDs in there for a long time.

I remember during the test drive the guy put on some music to demo it and I wasn't all that impressed but even my Odyssey was vastly better when I fed it my own signal.

So what are my options on the 3? Can I plug directly in with an analog mini-plug cable as I do now through an analog AUX input? Does it have USB input? Is it BT only? Can I get Qobuz directly on screen? I'm not a Spotify nor Pandora nor Amazon nor XM user and think they mostly sound like crap. Is the built in Audio DAC capable of hi-res?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,877
Riverside Co. CA
1. There is no mini input in a model 3, so you can not plug analog to mini cable
2. Audio is available through the USB port, from music on a "storage device". It does not support music from any smart type devices, only storage. if your device is basically a hardrive and nothing else, it would likely work over usb. If your device is "something else" (like your iphone) it wont work.
3. Audio from an iPhone is bluetooth only, unless you have done something to your iphone to have it have a simple storage partition, like a standard USB drive
4. no this will not appear on the tesla screen.

I believe it will play flac, and maybe some other lossless format directly from a USB / storage device (not a phone). Your best bet on getting the best out of the tesla audio is copying the music you want to listen to, to a thumb drive and inserting that into the USB port and playing it.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,460
1,448
Nashville TN
The above is all correct. I will add that while you can stream qobuz via bluetooth, the bluetooth driver in the model 3 leaves much to be desired - you get mid-level mp3 quality at best.
 
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Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
I don't get it. EVERY car sold today has an aux input. We all have our own devices and our own services.

And here's the thing, my Odyssey was old enough that it didn't have an aux input so I added it myself. It took me about an hour and that included opening the box the unit came in and reading the instructions, and then watching a youtube video on installation. I googled this and haven't found anybody that's done it to an m3 yet though. I'll keep checking, or I'll be buying something else. The whole install cost me maybe $25.

Are there any after-market installations that can be done? It can't be impossible. And what is the maximum resolution that a USB file can have since that sounds like the only stock way to get decent quality into it.
 
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Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Aug 11, 2019
1,939
1,927
Brea, CA
I don't see any advantage to running an analog input via mini jack into a digital system.

The UX of the Tesla audio system leaves a lot to be desired, particularly in the control of music off of a USB drive. But currently, that is the way to get the best sound into the system.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
I don't see any advantage to running an analog input via mini jack into a digital system.

The UX of the Tesla audio system leaves a lot to be desired, particularly in the control of music off of a USB drive. But currently, that is the way to get the best sound into the system.
But you just said it yourself. The audio system leaves a lot to be desired, whereas I have a system on my phone that will provide an analog signal that will sound better. In the end all audio is analog and nothing I've read yet on this forum or anywhere else tells me that M3 has anything above mediocre digital audio processing. I would prefer to bypass all of its digital and plug directly into the analog. The BT is not high quality audio, the streaming services they provide are not high quality, but I do have a high quality device with no way of connecting it. If Tesla had a hi-res service I'd be fine with that too, but they don't and that is just ridiculous in this day. I saw on another thread that Tidal may be available soon, and that would be an improvement, except I cancelled Tidal and opted for Qobuz instead.

And Sirius/XM is also a joke with sound quality. I've rented many cars with it and I always just turn it off. But I guess the M3 doesn't have that either in any case.

This is a huge step back from where we are with streaming today. I can stream 24/192 files to my 20 year old kitchen system with a Raspberry Pi but can't stream it to a car that is supposed to be revolutionary in its design?

What I have isn't big either, it fits in my pocket with my phone, just a USB adapter for the Lightning port and a USB thumb drive sized DAC.

If you have any decent sound system at home with a separate DAC (now I'm getting above 95% of the people out there) give Qobuz a try with their free trial and desktop software.
 
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Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Aug 11, 2019
1,939
1,927
Brea, CA
But you just said it yourself. The audio system leaves a lot to be desired, whereas I have a system on my phone that will provide an analog signal that will sound better.

No, I said the user interface was poor. That means the usability/controls of the Tesla system are horrible.

By introducing an analog connection into the system, you are instantly handicapping it - the signal will never get better. Aux jacks are a thing of the past.

And there are two systems currently available: Semi-Premium (meaning "Standard") which is what comes in the SR+ and the Premium which comes in the LR and P models. For the majority of folks, these systems (particularly the Premium) are very good. Personally, I had an aftermarket high-end system installed in my car (see my signature). 98% of my listening my car is from a USB stick. Mostly FLAC and WAV but I still have too many MP3 in my collection.
 
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Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
OK, but I'll disagree with you on the analog signal. Audio is my hobby and I've spent a lot of time setting up a home system for both digital and analog. The analog signal produced from my phone and the DAC attached is far superior to what is likely in the built in system. I've used it with headphones and it is a clear improvement over the phone + dongle, and I've used it in my home system with good results too.

If the built-in DAC can handle hi-res streaming via the USB I'd be happy enough, but I'm reading the USB won't be able to read it, only sticks with FLAC or WAV. It would be a software change to make that work is my guess. I saw that Tidal is possibly in a coming release so maybe I'd go with that as it can be hi-res but my guess is it wouldn't be implemented that way because of MQA. I ditched Tidal because of it for home use.

Hmmm, maybe a driver in a stick could fool the M3 into thinking it was reading a stick with a single track?? Sounds possible.

Everything else about an M3 seems to blow the competition away, what little there is.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,460
1,448
Nashville TN
FWIW it is possible to McGyver an aux jack - If i can find the thread I'll post a link. It involves replacing the antenna input on the radio module with a switcher unit. Can be done with fairly inexpensive, readily available parts - I got all the stuff to do it on amazon, but haven't done it yet. Supposedly it works well and sounds as good as the USB source.

But your premise is right - it's absolutely ridiculous that they don't provide a dedicated aux jack. During the development of the car back in 2017 I started a petition to get them to add one, after Elon famously said one wasn't needed, as "everyone streams from their phones now". It got a lot of signatures, but got nowhere otherwise.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
"Everyone streams from their phones now" but then didn't allow that to happen. They want the streaming to happen through the console, and then have you pay for it. Maybe it is just that I'm using the oddball service...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,877
Riverside Co. CA
"Everyone streams from their phones now" but then didn't allow that to happen. They want the streaming to happen through the console, and then have you pay for it. Maybe it is just that I'm using the oddball service...

the "everyone streams from their phones now" is in relation to streaming bluetooth from the phone to the car, which is free. Thats likely what he was / is talking about.

Note, I am not making any representation that is "better" (its not, for an audiophile) but for "most" people, streaming bluetooth from their phone is something they already do at home to various devices, and is easy (even though it doesnt sound better).

"good enough" is good enough for most, but not for anyone that actually cares. I am not an audiophile so its good enough for me. I AM a videophile though, and have a high end 8k 85 inch TV, a full 7.4.2 atmos setup with in ceiling speakers, and a high end 4k bluray player thats not even made anymore but was best of breed when it was.

I still buy movies in disk for my movie collection. I have a netflix account mostly to watch things during lunch in my car, I wont watch any movie with decent effects streaming. For most, though, youtube or netflix is "good enough", but I can hear the difference in the audio from a streaming movie to one on disc. Surprisingly enough, the video isnt that much different, but the audio is.

Anyway, I realize I am rambling, but for most, streaming bluetooth from their phone is "good enough" and for those who dont want to do that, they likely are going to do some audio upgrades etc, so I understand why tesla didnt do this.

FWIW, I am fine with netflix in the car, when I stream it there, it sounds surprisingly good for streaming media in a car.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
137
60
NYC
In my house I can stream through the wifi in full bit perfect 24/384 or DSD512 but usually not more than 24/192 using DLNA. I never even thought to use BT. My daughter will use Airplay from her phone to the same endpoints on occasion and that is limited to 16/44.1. Apple has a newer version but hasn't licensed or published it for others to use. I can mix and match whatever I want using this system and it is free and easy, only the hardware costs money but not much. As a videophile maybe you can appreciate that I still use my Panasonic Plasma as my regular TV. It'll be a sad day when it dies. At the time it was high-end too, but plasma was on the way out.

My audio is all DIY tubes with the exception of the digital part. Speakers are DIY too. I could never afford the speakers that I really wanted so I built some myself using the same drivers that the super expensive ones use, with a crossover designed by one of the experts out there. No Bose nor Bang&Olafsen for me. I always cringe when I hear someone bragging about their car system based on those.

So yea, this may be a nitpicky point about the M3, but I take it seriously. I guess I can live with it unless it sounds truly bad.

Digital is whatever the standard is of the day but analog is forever...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,871
9,877
Riverside Co. CA
In my house I can stream through the wifi in full bit perfect 24/384 or DSD512 but usually not more than 24/192 using DLNA. I never even thought to use BT. My daughter will use Airplay from her phone to the same endpoints on occasion and that is limited to 16/44.1. Apple has a newer version but hasn't licensed or published it for others to use. I can mix and match whatever I want using this system and it is free and easy, only the hardware costs money but not much. As a videophile maybe you can appreciate that I still use my Panasonic Plasma as my regular TV. It'll be a sad day when it dies. At the time it was high-end too, but plasma was on the way out.

My audio is all DIY tubes with the exception of the digital part. Speakers are DIY too. I could never afford the speakers that I really wanted so I built some myself using the same drivers that the super expensive ones use, with a crossover designed by one of the experts out there. No Bose nor Bang&Olafsen for me. I always cringe when I hear someone bragging about their car system based on those.

So yea, this may be a nitpicky point about the M3, but I take it seriously. I guess I can live with it unless it sounds truly bad.

Digital is whatever the standard is of the day but analog is forever...

Yes, I had (2) of those panasonic plasmas actually (lol). I still have one, its just in a bonus room now, the other one is with my daughter. Even my 8k sony TV is only "close" to the picture quality that TV has, at least when viewed off center. Of course, MY seat is on center, so....

Anyway, I get what you are saying. For me, its kind of funny, because I dont care about music much at all. I usually am listening just on my iPhone through its speakers while working from home, or through bluetooth headphones, and its "good enough for me". I dont have any passion around listening to music. I dont even have 2 channel setup "properly" on my sound system, but spent a couple hours crawling on the ground around my family room, playing a specific song, while I was balancing my subwoofer(s) output for movie watching.
 

Kevy Baby

Dis-Member
Aug 11, 2019
1,939
1,927
Brea, CA
OK, but I'll disagree with you on the analog signal. Audio is my hobby and I've spent a lot of time setting up a home system for both digital and analog. The analog signal produced from my phone and the DAC attached is far superior to what is likely in the built in system. I've used it with headphones and it is a clear improvement over the phone + dongle, and I've used it in my home system with good results too.
When I said that introducing an analog path would degrade the signal, I was specifically referring to how the Tesla system currently operates. In home audio, there are a lot of cool things you can do with analog (including a completely analog system). Yes, somewhere exists discussions in these forums hacks for installing a mini jack but unless you also hack the circuitry you will have a degraded signal.

The head unit in the Tesla does a pretty decent job - it's all the amplification and drivers that need the improvement (well, and the user interface as mentioned previously).
 

Doug_U_AGrave

Member
Dec 28, 2020
30
49
Sacramento
The above is all correct. I will add that while you can stream qobuz via bluetooth, the bluetooth driver in the model 3 leaves much to be desired - you get mid-level mp3 quality at best.
I concur. Took delivery two weeks ago and for a few days used Iphone over bluetooth and the quality was very unimpressive. I finally formatted a SSD, partitioning it for separate cam/sentry and music partitions (find the thread for this pinned in the most helpful posts of these forums). The sound quality from the USB setup is night and day better.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
11,897
16,413
NC
Is it possible to run Qobuz from the browser? There is a browser version of Qobuz after all...


AFAIK browser audio doesn't work when car is not in park

Best current solution to high quality audio in the car is FLAC on a USB stick.
 

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