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Germany’s Auto Motor & Sport calls Model S sound system “extraordinary"

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by gpetti, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Tesla tweeted this today: Germany’s Auto Motor & Sport calls Model S sound system “extraordinary". Beats Audi A7’s Bang & Olufsen for 1/3 price.

    I haven't seen any more on this but it seems pretty surprising. I've never really has a concern with the sound system but my ears are dulled from years of excessive volume in my misspent youth. I do know that even among the more enthusiastic Tesla lovers there has been lukewarm enthusiasm for the sound system (including the Ultra High Fidelity enhancement). Thus to see that a German auto magazine is raving about the Tesla sound system, (apparently most magazines there tend not to be pro Tesla) is amazing.

    https://pic.twitter.com/A5xA5TSCi0
     
  2. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    Yes, this is odd. The tesla system is good, but far from great, both in terms of features and sound quality.
     
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Agree. It's ok...but I didn't opt for it the second time around when the price went (way) up.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Are we sure that the Model S they tested didn't have the Reus system installed:)
     
  5. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Anything is possible. I'm hoping someone will check out the issue and translate it. I guess sound systems are a very subjective thing though specs can be compared I guess. Don't think I've ever seen any specs on the Tesla system.
     
  6. Alipapa

    Alipapa Member

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    I have the upgraded system, not satisfied.
     
  7. 60TTuC

    60TTuC Member

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    Bang&Olufsen Advanced Sound System in Audi A7 vs S1nn Ultra High Fidelity Sound in Tesla Model S (12 speakers, 20cm woofers in front doors, subwoofer in 25 liter box, 12 chanell 560 watt power amplifier )

    B&O S1nn
    resolution:
    10 ... 8
    tonality/ balance:
    9 ... 8
    bass foundation:
    6 ... 10
    dynamic:
    8 ... 9
    spatiality:
    8 ... 7
    fun factor:
    7 ... 9
    sound in the back:
    9 ... 6


    S1nn UHFS benefits from Tesla's uniquely stable power supply ( due to power being drawn from battery pack), does making basses more powerful ( compared to B&O by 10 db at 40 Hz). It loses out against B&O in finer sounds, because off higher quality speakers in B&O system. Tie-braker is S1nn's better value for money ( 2300 € vs 6000€).
     
  8. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    thanks! Was that from the article?
     
  9. 60TTuC

    60TTuC Member

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    yes
     
  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Tesla's upgraded sound system is the best that I've had in any car. Article is spot on and Reus is a waste of money. Saying the sound system is bad is like saying the paint is soft. It's one of those oft repeated talking points that doesn't appear to have any real basis in fact.
     
  11. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    But if, in my opinion, it's significantly worse than other premium systems I've owned in various Mercedes and Audi's, then that must stand for something (and I'm not a lone voice here). I have many tracks I can play at a reasonable volume (ie 6 or 7) and experience horrible resonance from the A-pillar and door speakers - to me that makes it a poor 'premium' system, although perhaps things have progressed since my early(ish) VIN.

    On a pure SQ comparison, the B&O system in the A7 is superior, but I'm not sure it's 6x better than my studio sound, which it would have to be to make the value proposition level.

    My next Model S will have standard sound.
     
  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    And, notably, if that table is correct (Twitter blocked from here), it lost in almost all the technical categories to the B&O. It made up the deficit with its bass performance (and fun factor, however they've defined that). To me, that's far from a decisive victory.
     
  13. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I'm glad that you're happy with your upgraded sound system. In my opinion, it's no better (perhaps even less impressive) than the JBL sound system that came with my 2005 Toyota Highlander.
     
  14. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    I agree with AmpedRealtor and the article. The upgraded sound is fantastic HOWEVER only with volume setting 9 and higher. With 2012 Audi I hardly ever listened to music because it was so bad. With my MS its rock concert every day. As an early buyer I paid 900 $ THAT was a bargain !
     
  15. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    #15 trils0n, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    I only have the standard sound. It sounds excellent to me, when the car is not in motion. Once I'm driving, the roar from the tires seems to cancel out lots of the bass and low mids, and makes it sound average. It is very sensitive to the source. FLAC sounds worlds better than mp3 or streaming.

    As to resonating A pillars and doors at high volume, that can be corrected, or at least it was in my car. I took it in for squeaks in the A pillars when driving over bumps, and after the squeaks were fixed the resonance went away.

    Edit: My buddy who does studio music recording says my car's sound system sounds fairly neutral -- that is, it does not artificially emphasize many of the frequency ranges that speakers/audio systems commonly emphasize to make music "sound better".
     
  16. Thud

    Thud Member

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    I'm listening to Spotify or podcasts all the time so the upgraded sound system wasn't worth it for me. I do miss having a little extra punch in the bass from the subwoofer I had in my BMW (Harmon Kardon sound system). The base sound system in the MS is *way* better than the base sound I had in other cars, although I'm noticing some static from one of the speakers that I need to get addressed (just took delivery 2 days ago).

    You're right on about the road noise. IMO there's a point of diminishing returns with car audio, because a car is probably the worst environment for an audio system. All the insulation in the world can't get rid of the ambient noise when the car is moving. It would be like putting a $15,000 system into your living room and leaving a window air conditioner running in the same room.

    For this reason, music is mastered differently these days with much more dynamic compression than there used to be (meaning limited dynamic range). So there aren't any "quiet parts" to let the ambient noise through.
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Sound is a subjective thing for sure. We have the upgraded JBL sound in our 2010 Highlander Hybrid Limited Edition and it can't hold a candle to the Model S. Here is a snippet from a review regarding the Highlander sound:

    "I was not particularly impressed by the Highlander’s JBL stereo; in spite of being a brand name and having a subwoofer and a fairly-high speaker count (nine), it did not provide expected levels of clarity or power, particularly at higher volumes."

    Since Model S is heavily dependent upon streaming audio and USB files, I think part of why some people think it's outstanding while others do not has to do with the wide variability of digital source material. For instance, newer songs on Slacker sound incredible while older songs from the 80s and 90s sound tinny and lack dynamic range and bass response. Without good source material that is not highly compressed, you can't really hear how good a system really is. Also, doesn't streaming audio from your smartphone add a 2nd layer of compression over Bluetooth, further degrading audio that has already been degraded by iTunes compression?

    If one is going to compare sound systems, one must use the exact same source material for the comparison to be valid. Listening to a CD track in one car while streaming the same track in another is not apples to apples.
     
  18. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Well put.
     
  19. majorlance

    majorlance Member

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    #19 majorlance, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
    I just turned in my leased 2013 MB S550. It had the "standard" system (Harman/kardon premium brand stereo system). I loved it... Lots of definition at lower volume levels and a thumping bass and clear highs/mids when turned up all the way. Played through an attached iPod in either 256 kb aac or 320 mp3's. Mostly rock/alternative... Sirius satellite sounded decent but is so compressed (and low bit rate) that you wouldn't want to turn it up too loud.

    (My Tesla arrives later this month). I tested a Tesla loaner car with the upgraded sound system using a flash drive and it sounded good enough. I'm not certain if it was better or worse than the MB S but I went with it.

    As a side note, I just converted any CD I had to FLAC (labor of love that took a month to convert about 2,000 songs)... curious to see if this makes a difference in the Tesla. If the Reus Systems guy ever comes back to DC I'd consider an upgrade...

    I just wish the Tesla had shuffle on the USB drives!

    Also, bluetooth audio will always be bandwidth limited vs. a direct connection. Perfectly fine for streaming services but a big compromise for any higher quality lossy (compressed) or lossless (uncompressed) files.

    My two cents! And everyone's taste is different...
     
  20. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I absolutely find FLAC worthwhile in the Tesla. The Tesla system, to my ears, is particularly sensitive to low-quality sources, making the flaws in the source material more prevalent. With a good high-quality source, this sound is crisp and even up through the 8/9 volume range, where it starts to distort a bit. I'll sometimes use Bluetooth for 320kbps (Extreme) Spotify streaming, but if I want to play something I have a lossless copy of on my iPhone I don't bother. I just keep an equivalent FLAC on my USB drive and play it from there. Much better output that way.
     

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