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Audio connectivity, Qobuz, Hi-res?

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
11,930
16,463
NC
Sorry. But this really, really sucks. I just don't get why they made it so impossible to get any good sound into this.

They didn't make it impossible- they just only offer one method.

Put uncompressed high quality audio on a USB stick.

I've got 250 or so gigs worth in my Tesla. Plays beautifully.



For a brief while I put into my minivan my DIY desktop speakers with a small SMSL amp and AQ Dragonfly DAC. I could do that again but the M3 is a lot smaller than a minivan and it would take up some room. It wasn't permanently installed though so I could just try it. The one thing is the power requirements of the small amp was met with a plug in 12vdc to 120vac inverter in the car. I'm not sure the Tesla could handle it. I guess I have a task for this week to give it a try.

The 12v in the center console is rated for 16 amps peak, 12 amps continuous FYI- though you'd want to possibly look into wiring into the penthouse area for a more permeant install as many who've added their own car stereo amps and subs have done.
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
405
167
NJ
Sorry. But this really, really sucks. I just don't get why they made it so impossible to get any good sound into this. They had to go out of their way to make it so impossible. By default it should just work. I'd rip out the whole system if it weren't so integrated with everything else. Every other audio system I have will tell me bit depth and sample rate, pass as much through as the hardware allows and mostly up to 32/384 these days. Yet here we are back to the early days of portable players with MP3 or less quality. It makes me worry that if Tidal ever gets implemented with the car it will still be limited in quality.

I suspect you are right. If Tesla ever does offer Tidal it may well be at a low bitrate and therefore useless. The problem is that streaming high res audio would use up a lot of their 9.95/mo cellular bandwidth.

What we really need is a simple analog input jack so we could use our phones (and of course any DAC you like).

There must be a way to tap into the analog circuitry just before the preamp of the installed system. Have you looked into this?
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
There must be a way to tap into the analog circuitry just before the preamp of the installed system. Have you looked into this?
I did look into this, I logged in here! I was hoping someone else had already done it. Even if you could, how would the input be selected? We'd also need to add some sort of switch. My minivan had 4 selectable inputs and I tapped into the 4th one with a harness specifically designed for my car. It then left an open RCA jack pair to plug the output of the DAC.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
The 12v in the center console is rated for 16 amps peak, 12 amps continuous FYI- though you'd want to possibly look into wiring into the penthouse area for a more permeant install as many who've added their own car stereo amps and subs have done.
I'm going to try my setup in the car and see how it sounds to see if it would even be worth investigating putting in an independent system based on it.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
I just played some Qobuz in 24/96 using the web browser and it actually sounded pretty good, much better than the squizzy compressed BT versions. Maybe it is just the compression that I hear that make the whole system sound bad. I wish I could just download a bunch of playlists to a USB drive, but Qobuz doesn't support that as it breaks the copyright rules. I can download to play locally but only through the Qobuz player. And the other thing is that as soon as I put it in reverse the car cuts the audio even though playback continues on the browser. I've read there is a way around this? Yet another avenue that is probably full of dead ends. :confused:
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
405
167
NJ
We’re you also using a Qobuz player and exact same tracks when testing both the Bluetooth method and the web browser method? Reason I ask is I have noticed there are different versions of albums with different mixes. Some are mixed hotter (louder) when compression is expected.

So be sure to compare 24/96 Qobuz through the web browser vs same 24/96 track through the Bluetooth. Of course BT will compress this to AAC 256 on the way out of your phone.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
They were always the same versions, just played on the browser vs. streamed over BT from my phone. Both were set to play back at 24/96 but the BT compresses by default.

It was Norah Jones from a track at 24/192, Taylor Swift at 24/96, and Vijay Ayer at 24/96. Swift and Ayer are both new releases which came up on top of the Qobuz app. Norah Jones I've always used for testing out changes so it was familiar. It was a quick test, not a serious A/B listening session.
 
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JDMerica

Member
Mar 18, 2021
188
181
Virginia
That was my experience as well with the youtuber browser using youtube music. Steaming set to High quality. Back and forth to phone with same songs/playlist with an extremely noticeable difference. I feel like even beefing up the BT codec could make a huge difference, not sure what it's using right now. Is there a way to force LDAC or APTX or something? Even Sony's WH1k's can sound pretty good wireless.
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
405
167
NJ
That’s what surprised me. I like high res audio but the Bluetooth link in my current car sounds pretty darn good. I wonder why the Tesla BT is maybe not as good? I read Tesla usees AAC protocol on the link. Not sure how to tell what my current Prius uses.
 

gnomen

Member
Mar 22, 2021
7
2
UK
Another Qobuz user here. Just read through this thread from the start and very disappointed that USB is the only choice. I stopped doing that 15-20 years back.

Have owned my M3 for 4 weeks and the sound system is okay for car audio. But the choices for getting material into the sound system are prehistoric. Given the Tesla reputation for uber modern software, I am appalled. It also looks like an aftermarket sound system is difficult and expensive to install and there are no improvements due any time soon.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
If you have Qobuz then you understand. Over 50% of what I play these days is in hi-res, except for in my car now. I never used MP3 even for portable audio as I would record my CDs at full resolution and I always thought iTunes downloads sounded bad. When I'm using my home system with Qobuz I upsample any CD quality to either DSD or 24/176.4 and it sounds a little better. And consider that CD quality is already above what we can get in the car now.

Elon Musk must never have had the time nor inclination to listen to good audio.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
11,930
16,463
NC
If you have Qobuz then you understand. Over 50% of what I play these days is in hi-res, except for in my car now. I never used MP3 even for portable audio as I would record my CDs at full resolution and I always thought iTunes downloads sounded bad. When I'm using my home system with Qobuz I upsample any CD quality to either DSD or 24/176.4 and it sounds a little better. And consider that CD quality is already above what we can get in the car now.

Elon Musk must never have had the time nor inclination to listen to good audio.



Or he just keeps high quality stuff on USB.

He's a billionaire, he could probably afford to pay someone to update his key with new stuff regularly if he gets too busy :)
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
405
167
NJ
But it makes no sense.

it just goes against the whole “Tesla means modern tech” association to see such primitive audio input options.

something is wrong with this picture.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
Qobuz has 70 million tracks to choose from according to their website. That's a lot to download to a USB drive! And Qobuz is probably the smallest streaming service. Once you have access to it you don't want to be bothered with anything else. I've made this point a number of times on the AudioAsylum when people ask about ripping their CDs to a hard drive in addition to getting a streaming service. Don't bother with the hard drive as it is likely to be on the streaming service. Just do the few CDs you can't find. I'm ready to throw my CD collection into the trash, nevermind ripping it.

As both Gnomen, rjpjnk and myself have said, this limitation in the Tesla is archaic.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
11,930
16,463
NC
For some perspective, the second best subwoofer in my house cost more than my first car, so I like quality audio.

That said- last #s I can find say Qobuz has 200,000 subscribers total, 25,000 in the US... (story is a bit dated but can't find any #s more recent).

So it's not like OMG HOW DO THEY NOT OFFER THIS SERVICE EVERYONE USES?



They already offer multiple music streaming services- including 2 with vastly more actual users.... (spotify is like 150-350 million users)

Supposedly the next SW version is adding several more, again all vastly more used than Qobuz- one of them offering similar hi-res music (Tidal- which also at last report also has WAY WAY more users than Qobuz)


As to size and USB... I just looked at a random FLAC album (Bowies Next Day) files are mostly 20-30mb, so let's say ~4 songs per 100mb, or ~40 per GB... or about 40000 per TB.

Billionare musk could surely afford say an 8TB USB drive, for 320,000 songs.

No, that's not 70 million. But you don't listen to 70 million. Not in a lifetime. You don't even listen to 7 million in a lifetime unless you literally do it for a living.

In the average time you own a car (roughly 1/10th average human lifespan) you're probably not even gonna listen to the 320,000 that USB drive can hold.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
138
60
NYC
They offer 2 services with vastly more actual users and they both sound like crap.

And why does it even matter? Audio companies are falling all over each other putting Qobuz on their systems, companies much smaller than Tesla. I don't think the technical expertise needed is all that great. I can put it on a lowly Raspberry Pi.

And let's say it takes 1 minute to put that album on the hard drive, that is still a lot of time.

I don't care if Elon Musk can afford to have someone do it for him. I'm not Elon Musk.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
11,930
16,463
NC
They offer 2 services with vastly more actual users and they both sound like crap.

And why does it even matter? Audio companies are falling all over each other putting Qobuz on their systems, companies much smaller than Tesla. I don't think the technical expertise needed is all that great. I can put it on a lowly Raspberry Pi.

There's roughly 793 bajillion different streaming services.

Why it matters that yours has VASTLY fewer users is that you can't put them all on a single device without the interface turning into bloated garbage.... (not to mention tying up developers who have to maintain the software, legal folks who have to keep up with the agreements with each service, and so on).

Instead you curate what is offered to cover as wide an audience as you can for as little additional marginal cost and effort.

If "UBER QUALITY AUDIO" is your thing, Tidal has massively more interest (and actual users), and is actually coming to the car

I'm also not terribly convinced companies are "falling all over each other" to add yours- given I'd never even heard of it before this thread. (Tidal I'd heard of quite some time ago in contrast- ditto all the other services Tesla has on the car, and all the ones we know they're going to add in the next big SW update).


And let's say it takes 1 minute to put that album on the hard drive, that is still a lot of time.

I don't care if Elon Musk can afford to have someone do it for him. I'm not Elon Musk.


...you realize if you copy your music collection to a drive, you don't have to sit there and watch the copy, right?

I can't tell you how long it took to fill up my USB music storage I keep in the car- because I just started the copy then went and did other stuff. Later, it was done, and I moved it to the car.
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
405
167
NJ
I don't think anyone is asking for Qobuz to be added to Tesla Knightshade. At least that is not my understanding. The gripe is the lack of audio input options.

The only path presently to stream external music is a bluetooth link using lossy compressed AAC encoding. If Tesla added a simple analog input anyone could play back their own source from a phone at a much higher quality. Another option would be if they provided a high speed digital input via USB port.

I don't think a preloaded USB stick is really a contender for this discussion. The streaming capability is an essential part of the operation. Also, one would have to own the music before they could copy it to the stick I believe.
 
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