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Cabin noise compared to other luxury cars.

Hey guys, when I test drove the Model S Performance, was surprised (in a negative way) how much wind noise I was hearing from the windshield. It wasn't too bad, but definitely not luxury car quiet. Later into the drive (which was short), I didn't notice it as much anymore. Nothing was open, or changed. My only explanation is that the car has some kind of noise cancellation system. I also didn't notice the car didn't have a sunshield for the glass roof, because I didn't even notice the roof was glass. Ha ha. Yeah, it was at night, and car was black.

Just wondering about the interior noise level at highway speeds (80mph), compared to luxury sedans like a Lexus LS, Mercedes S class, Audi 8 series, Genesis G90, etc., which are around the same price as the MSP. I'd use it to travel extensively, so want the quietest car possible. Being EV would be a detraction in travel time for us, but I'm willing to sacrifice that. The other detraction is the glass rood doesn't have a sunscreen. Need to talk to a more knowledgeable salesman about options. Just found out from a retrofit thread that there're ventilated seats available, so that's no longer a detraction. Hopefully the MSP is as quiet as those, but only owners of both can comment on that. I'd greatly appreciate those comments. Thank you, and best wishes to everybody.
JC
 

David99

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 31, 2014
5,060
8,115
Nomad (mostly US)
at lower speeds you hear the wind noise more because the lack of other noise from engine and exhaust system. I have tested my Model S for noise levels and compared it to other cars. At freeway speeds there is actually no difference. That's not surprising as at freeway speeds the tires and wind is the main noise factor with any car.
Some luxury ICE cars are better sound insulated. I remember the last time I drove a Mercedes S it was just super quiet inside.
 

Happy Kappy

2017 Model S P100D and 2017 Model S 90D
Nov 18, 2017
184
52
Milwaukee, WI
Drove Lexus for 20+ years and now have 3 Model S units. There is a small difference from my LS but I usually have soft music on anyway and it doesn't bother me at all...and I am a quiet drive type of guy. I wouldn't trade back based on all the other advantages. My wife is the same...RX to Model S. Will never go back.
 
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Reactions: David99
Thank you for the great responses. Talking to my wife, we'd actually buy a smaller fully optioned model like a BMW 5 series, Lexus GS, E class, etc., which is more in line with the size of the MS. So sounds like it should easily be as quiet at those, so good news. I was suspecting the MSP had noise cancellation, but what David99 said makes more sense. In addition, if what Heinzcatsoup said works, the MS would be super quiet at any speed (please keep us posted). I was surprised to hear wind noise from the roof and windshield, to be honest. But could be a production issue, where the windshield wasn't insulated properly against the body. Who knows.

Just need to do more research on the glass roof, since I live in hot TX, and having any sun hitting my head and face in summer is a non-starter with me. I've been reading a lot about EVs, and I'm actually excited about it, after being impressed way more than I imagined, even after just a short test-drive. Also not having to do hardly any maintenance sounds really good to me, and contribute to the environment, so my 2 daughters (and future grand kids) have a better future. Thank you again for all the help. It's a huge expense, and something entirely new to us, so want to make sure it's the right decision. Greatly appreciate your patience with future EV owners :).
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,738
2,949
The biggest noise appears to be from the road itself.

Road noise at highway speeds is much less if you have the foam filled tires.

And road noise varies considerably based on the road surface material. New/smooth asphalt will be very quiet - concrete tends to be noisier.

Without any engine noise, the road surface/tire noise are much more noticeable in our S & X.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,426
7,958
MA, NH
The biggest noise appears to be from the road itself.

Road noise at highway speeds is much less if you have the foam filled tires.

And road noise varies considerably based on the road surface material. New/smooth asphalt will be very quiet - concrete tends to be noisier.

Without any engine noise, the road surface/tire noise are much more noticeable in our S & X.

Foam filled tires do nothing.

I also don’t buy the without engine noise is the reason for apparent. I used to accidentally start my Jeep a 2nd time because I could not hear tge engine.

You can’t use a SPL meter to measure this stuff. For example the loudest frequency could be out of your hearing range. So they measure equal.

At highway speeds my Jeep Summit which did have active noise cancellation and acoustic glass was still quieter than my Raven X. But the X is not bad.

Tires make a huge difference. My 19” Tesla Snow package is much quieter than the foam lined 20”.

Part of what makes Tesla’s noisy I think is the amount of roof glass.

Model 3 is pretty bad compared to the X.

A lot of Tesla’s have QA problems causing excessive noise. Make sure you drive a few models with the exact same tires and compare if you suspect it’s too loud.
 
Putting a little rubber tube in the groove between windshield and roof will take away a lot of wind noise at speed. If not perfectly in line (flat) the groove will cause a vortex.

AC6AFEA9-3FFB-40E0-B2AF-6C7EFA39BBE7.jpeg
 

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I have a 2016 dual drive model, and had the opportunity to drive newer Model S at multiple occasions. They did something to reduce noise from the front motor - I can hear mine more than in the newer models. Not badly more, but I notice the noise in city driving. On the freeway, road noise, and above 90mph wind noise masks it.
 

Happy Kappy

2017 Model S P100D and 2017 Model S 90D
Nov 18, 2017
184
52
Milwaukee, WI
Who did the sound proofing? I have the 21" turbines, and on CA's rough roads, the road nose is terrible. I'd like to soundproof the car, but not sure how to go about it
Just a note on this...I had the Conti 21's and read some stuff on how the Michelin Pilot Super Sport Acoustics were quieter and ride better. I tested them and swapped over now. I feel it is a big difference. May be placebo effect but I will never go back to the Conti.
 
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Just a note on this...I had the Conti 21's and read some stuff on how the Michelin Pilot Super Sport Acoustics were quieter and ride better. I tested them and swapped over now. I feel it is a big difference. May be placebo effect but I will never go back to the Conti.

Good to know... wish I had read this before I replaced all 4 with the Conti's just last month. :-(
 
I came from an Lexus LS 430 and 460, both exceptionally quiet vehicles. Yes, our Raven S is not as quiet but the difference isn't huge, surprisingly. I can still get lost in my thoughts while driving the S so it is quiet enough and there are not any distracting noises or sounds. Sure, the LS was more luxurious with 4-zone climate control, reclining rear seats, chill box, power rear and side sunshade, ect, but I have zero regrets "upgrading" to the Model S. I love both the LS and Model S for different reasons. The Model S is just a phenomenal car and has gotten better through several software updates.

As for the glass roof, you can either tint it for better heat rejection or purchase a removable mesh sunshade for the roof, direct from Tesla or third-party vendors.
 

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