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Audio: Settings


Active Member
Jan 17, 2010
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Although completely subjective, I've found the best settings for my EQ as follows:


Anyone else care to share?


Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
He knows a lot more about audio than I ever will but kind of like a little more bass. Can barely hear it at +1


Model S VIN P01536
Oct 7, 2011
Portland, Maine, USA
Everyone hears a little differently; it's entirely possible that the "right" settings from to one person's hearing are skewed to someone else. If there was a truly perfect setting, we wouldn't need equalizers.


Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
Everyone hears a little differently; it's entirely possible that the "right" settings from to one person's hearing are skewed to someone else. If there was a truly perfect setting, we wouldn't need equalizers.

Great point. It's highly subjective but great to know what an expert thinks to use as a starting point and adjust to your own taste from there.


(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
In general, premium auto audio systems are tuned for clean sound (that is sound the way the artist recorded it). Consumer systems tend to be tuned for way-too-much bass. So for many, the premium systems appear to have too little bass because many folks are used to the heavy bass distortion.

It just depends on what your idea of "correct" is. The JBL system in the Prius has the same kind of complaints.
Mar 11, 2010
Humboldt/Los Altos
Depends on music a little too. I have mine set at 6.5 bass 0 mid and 2.5 treble but turn the bass up to 8 for crappy gangster rap every once in a while for part of an internet song
I listen to DI psychill usually if there is 3g, usually super mello. Or my own music which has a little of every genre


Active Member
Jul 25, 2012
Marina, San Francisco
Whoa that's a ton of bass haha. Used to have. Jl w6v12 and I have been driving in flat. The best systems can be eq flat. I'll give those settings a try though. If I listen to electronic or hip hop the bass is pretty loud already and I don't want it to take away from the rest of the song.

I have the position on 8 to the left to center on me and 0 down/up. Makes a big difference in terms of centering.

Also, Steve you gotta turn Dolby off. So much fuller with it off.

Jason S

Model S Sig Perf (P85)
Apr 20, 2012
Rocklin, CA
8 left - center?!? I'll give that a try.

The way the music all seems to come from in front of me bothered me at first because all my previous cars had the 'good' speakers in the back. I've adjusted front-back toward back @ 4.

Dolby on/off is interesting. It messes with the center rear speaker. I'm still not sure which I prefer.


Active Member
Jul 25, 2012
Marina, San Francisco
Seems centered on me with 8 left. I like the engineer settings above. I tried turning up the bass a tad, but when a hip hop song played it was pretty hard hitting in the steering wheel so I turned it back down to the ones above.

Dolby is for movies so It doesn't really work for music.

Arnold Panz

Model Sig 304, VIN 542
Apr 13, 2009
Miami, Florida
I can't believe there was an entire discussion on the benefit of Dolby and no reference to this:

This is most assuredly the (un)official movie of the Model S!
Last edited by a moderator:


Out of warranty...
Oct 22, 2012
I sent email to "ownership" basically reiterating that - on this awesome car, the audio disappoints. They responded quickly with offer of service call. Just after I'd spent a morning fooling with audio. Below is my response:

Regarding stereo... I spent about 30 minutes this am with the speaker diagram checking it out. All speakers appear to be working (including subwoofer). I believe that there are 3 elements of the audio design that make it quite different from an other auto stereo design I've ever experienced:

1) The huge balance of the speakers are forward, making the stereo very biased towards the front. Even the driver door speakers are considerably forward of driver. Most car systems have largest speakers in package shelf behind rear seat, and are therefore very biased towards the rear. In the Model S, it sounds much better with balance moved towards the rear to overcome the forward-biased design... however because the rear speakers are relatively small, if you dial it too far towards the rear, the sound degrades, and the peak volume decreases. I was pretty happy with -8 to the rear.

2) The Model S "Flat" equalization is very treble-biased. I've never before had to use equalization to get what I would consider a good "flat" EQ, but with experimentation I've found if I boost the low about +4 and mid +2, I get a good sound that I would consider flat in most systems. Without doing this, the sub-woofer barely comes into play, which is perhaps why I questioned if it is working.

3) The Dolby should only be used with Dolby 5:1 input, if at all. All it seems to do is mess up the sound of normal stereo recordings. I've used other Dolby simulation in car audio systems that enhances just about everything, but this one doesn't. It's better left off.

So, I've been able to achieve quite good sound via tweaking. But for those of us who have owned other cars with premium sound systems (which I believe accounts for vast majority of Tesla owners and reservation holders), we are not used to having to tweak to get "premium" sound quality. Expectation is it should sound good right out of the box, because that's what we're used to with other cars. I believe Tesla has 3 options: a) leave as is and let each owner discover how to adjust, b) document so owners know what to expect and how to adjust, c) change the EQ and front-rear balance "flat" settings to something more conventional - which would be achievable via software.


Mar 6, 2015
Dolby should be always off, unless a dolby sorround source is used. Focus, dynamic range, everything improves without it.
Everyone has personal tastes, but music should normally come from the front. Every live musical experience has the music coming from in front of the listener. Why should it be different in car?? Try with a proper stereo track, listen carefully. The instruments and voices should get in focus, and you'll be able to "see" them behind the dashboard. With music coming from allover you ruin the focus and reproduction of original musical event.
I find the settings pretty well balanced as they are. Consumer audio as someone wrote above is always too heavy on bass. Try with a properly recorded FLAC track and experience the bass. It is deep and full. Tune it up and you ruing everything. My only critic is that different sources seem to give different responses. The same track from internet radio or flac, is much more tuned with basses if from internet, and more neutral if flac. Don't know if this is because the net mp3s are already pre-tuned, or if the flac conversion engine in the car is a little 'too' neutral.

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