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Did you ever measure your Model X Cabin Noise

Harvey Danger

Member
Mar 2, 2021
59
57
The Pacific Northwest
I did.

Actually on two different X's. One was a little quieter than the other.

I used a phone app. All you golden eared audiophiles, please don't hate. If the device has a modern microphone and the app can do a frequency weighted profile it's probably enough to get you *something* useful, certainly enough to do a simple A vs B test.

NIOSH (a unit of the United States Center for Disease Control) makes a free phone app that measures noise (using "Profile A" by default).

My most recent results with this app were very much in line with what these people (a German site?) found:

Any time you do this I fully realize it mostly matters what speed you are driving and what kind of road surface you are driving on, next most important is probably tires, then all the other highly variable stuff like wind and rain and other cars nearby and HVAC (and radio!) and so on, but anyway I'm trying to be intelligent about averaging multiple readings, discarding outliers, trying to characterize a *range* of different readings, not just doing a single snapshot and assuming it applies to anything beyond that moment.

Anyway if you wanted to know some numbers to start the conversation, my old 2016 X 75D with newish Nokian G4 tires traveled a normal-condition stretch of I-5 at 75 mph registering readings from 54 to 62 and averaging around 59dB

My 2016 P90D with oldish Nokian G3 tires did the same stretch of road at the same speed on the same day registering anywhere from 58 to 64 and averaged 62dB

Don't know about you but the difference between 59 and 62 seemed noticeable.

For a car with no engine noise, 60 seems fairly loud. I did see a thread about newer X's supposedly being quieter. I've also seen remarks about how the foam lined OEM tires don't really do a lot. This seems like an oppportunity for Tesla.

Anyway, have you ever (safely) looked at a sound meter while driving your X?
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Bigriver

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,000
4,616
MA, NH
SPL meters are useless.

They listen for the loudest peak. That peak might be out of your hearing range or a non obtrusive frequency. Patterns matter.

You can play calm classical music with louder peaks than lower punk rock and the classical might sound less annoying. Or more depending on your taste.

It can vary per person what “noises” are uncomfortable.

It’s a very complex thing to measure. SPL number means almost nothing.

You could also move the meter a few inches or degrees and get different readings. You’d have to measure multiple spots around your head and average them.
 

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,283
3,558
San Diego
The Model X noise is highly correlated with the tire size and the type of air suspension.
22 inch wheels are noisy - low profile, tall rims on the very heavy and fast X is going to be noisy.
Adaptive air suspension reduces road noise.
Also, Tesla doesn't do enough (anything?) to dampen road noise. Lexus packs sound absorbing foam around the car. It works both way with the noise - a person on bluetooth in a parking lot in their Tesla can be heard pretty clearly outside of the car. No sound deadening
 

Harvey Danger

Member
Mar 2, 2021
59
57
The Pacific Northwest
SPL meters are useless.


It’s a very complex thing to measure. SPL number means almost nothing.
Sigh. I knew someone would try to throw cold water on this. I'll just say I'd rather have a conversation about how loud this or that aspect of driving a Model X is with a person who *tried* to actually put a number on it rather than someone who is just guessing. I know *I* personally learned a lot just by going through the exercise of measuring things.
It works both way with the noise - a person on bluetooth in a parking lot in their Tesla can be heard pretty clearly outside of the car. No sound deadening
This! I have to caution other people in my family that total strangers standing nearby will be able to clearly hear their phone conversations. Specifically, the person *in* the Tesla doesn't get amplified much, but the *other* side of the call is broadcast to the world outside the Tesla loud and clear. Annoying and, unless someone takes the trouble to alert you to it, a huge hidden privacy risk.
 
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07e92

Member
Jan 15, 2020
106
40
N. California
don't need a meter, I can easily detect it with ears by switching between X and other vehicles I own. And in particular, the road noise coming from underbody is significant louder.
 

ngng

Member
Jul 23, 2018
527
206
Bay Area
SPL meters are useless.

They listen for the loudest peak. That peak might be out of your hearing range or a non obtrusive frequency. Patterns matter.

You can play calm classical music with louder peaks than lower punk rock and the classical might sound less annoying. Or more depending on your taste.

It can vary per person what “noises” are uncomfortable.

It’s a very complex thing to measure. SPL number means almost nothing.

You could also move the meter a few inches or degrees and get different readings. You’d have to measure multiple spots around your head and average them.
im gonna measure with a spl meter now, just because
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,401
4,603
New Jersey - Morris County
Eh. Measurements and all that don’t really mean squat to me. What matters more are the noises that I hear that aren’t rhythmic.

The whistling from either the driver’s door or mirror, for example. Both my 3 & X do it, and both cars, the service center says it’s normal. Maybe they’ve never driven a Buick but that thing is quiet as a library.

Or the random rattle from the trunk area somewhere. Not too often, but it’s there.

The one that gets me is the “Can’t reproduce” creak in the driver’s seat. If I move the right way, it creaks.

Love my X to death but these few small sounds are orders of magnitude worse to me than any road noise ever will be. Those are rhythmic and easy to tune out. The others require XM treatment. (IE - turn up the radio.)
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,181
6,680
Canyon Lake,CA
My X is relatively quiet, but I notice a tremendous difference over different pavement surfaces. it can go from ultra quiet to pretty noisy with just a change in pavement.
The latest adaptive suspension seems to quiet things down significantly as well.
I imagine the new refresh with included active noise supression will bring the quiet interior to a completely new level.
In addition, Tesla has introduced new, more efficient tires with this refresh. Imagine that will make the Model S & X some of the quieter cars on the road.
 

Harvey Danger

Member
Mar 2, 2021
59
57
The Pacific Northwest
Agree, 07e92 above mentioned road noise from the "underside" of the car seems to be predominant. So road surface condition would be the biggest factor. Wind noise not as much. Speed increases both, so it's hard to say if that counts as an independent "factor".

Very curious to hear about the noise canceling interior when (if?) that materializes in future versions of the X.

Not sure how much tires can be changed to be much quieter without affecting some other aspect of tire goodness. With tires it's always about tradeoffs.

Look, people, the app is free. Just get a number and you'll have something concrete to talk about. Not interested? Don't do it.

Yesterday I went over a patch of newly surfaced road at a moderate speed and it was wonderfully quiet. Obviously we don't *need* a number to know it sounded different. But when I did measure it (yes, yes, being careful not to cover up the microphone, and holding the phone in the exact same position and orientation inside the vehicle blah blah) I got 57 which is a full 5 dB less than my usual freeway average. That's a way of knowing *how much* quieter it was.

It's something, more reliable than the memory of a sensation, that I can use later when I want to compare this or that.

It certainly revealed that I was wrong in my perception that both of the X's I've owned had the same amount of cabin noise. They didn't. Feel is not real.
 

ngng

Member
Jul 23, 2018
527
206
Bay Area
Try a funny one next time.
Screen Shot 2021-04-09 at 11.52.55 AM.png


:eek:
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,849
2,982
Northern California
If noise is an issue just order a 2021 refresh. They are coming with Active Noise Cancelling as standard equipment. I wonder if it will make the sound-sucking out of the world noises like my ANC headphones when you start up.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: Harvey Danger

07e92

Member
Jan 15, 2020
106
40
N. California
If noise is an issue just order a 2021 refresh. They are coming with Active Noise Cancelling as standard equipment. I wonder if it will make the sound-sucking out of the world noises like my ANC headphones when you start up.
Hmmm... how would Active Noise Cancelling reduce the noise? All my other cars have it and it in fact more of increasing the noise by raising the radio/music volume up when it senses the interior becomes nosier.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,849
2,982
Northern California
Hmmm... how would Active Noise Cancelling reduce the noise? All my other cars have it and it in fact more of increasing the noise by raising the radio/music volume up when it senses the interior becomes nosier.
The Tesla ANC system is integrated with the audio system, so it should be able to determine which frequencies are coming from the radio/music and which are come from outside the audio system. But, until we hear it no one knows for sure.
 
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