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Noise Cancellation

Big Toys

Member
Jan 19, 2019
608
507
Florida
My previous luxury car had active noise cancelation. It felt unnatural.

I'm sure Tesla would love to make the Model 3 even quieter... the laminated side windows are expensive and do help considerably with wind and traffic noise. My 2021 is noticeably quieter than the first version I test drove a couple years ago. That said, there's more work to do, and I understand it's a constant refinement process. Rear seat is quite a bit noisier than the fronts. Noise insulation adds weight, which detracts from range... let alone the additional cost (although the laminated side windows show Tesla is not against spending money on the problem; it's probably a bang-for-the-buck thing).

In addition to road noise, I found that driving the Model 3 over 80 MPH with a crosswind produces a lot of wind noise, as if a window was cracked open. Slow below 80 and it was back to peace and quiet.

I used to own a Mazda Miata (retractible hard top). Top up, it was so noisy on rutted concrete highways that you couldn't wait to take a break. The Model 3 is heaven in comparison! So, it's all relative. I'd love for it to be even quieter, though.
Ha, I had a Miata back when it was the coolest car to have. Soft top. Poorly assembled, very noisy as expected. A cheap car. I paid $15K, which was a steal, and I almost threw up buying the most expensive thing I ever owned at the time. But, it was a blast to drive with the top down. And the girls loved it. I drove it cross-country with earplugs.
 
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Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,643
1,638
Irvine, CA
My previous luxury car had active noise cancelation. It felt unnatural.

I'm sure Tesla would love to make the Model 3 even quieter... the laminated side windows are expensive and do help considerably with wind and traffic noise. My 2021 is noticeably quieter than the first version I test drove a couple years ago. That said, there's more work to do, and I understand it's a constant refinement process. Rear seat is quite a bit noisier than the fronts. Noise insulation adds weight, which detracts from range... let alone the additional cost (although the laminated side windows show Tesla is not against spending money on the problem; it's probably a bang-for-the-buck thing).

In addition to road noise, I found that driving the Model 3 over 80 MPH with a crosswind produces a lot of wind noise, as if a window was cracked open. Slow below 80 and it was back to peace and quiet.

I used to own a Mazda Miata (retractible hard top). Top up, it was so noisy on rutted concrete highways that you couldn't wait to take a break. The Model 3 is heaven in comparison! So, it's all relative. I'd love for it to be even quieter, though.
Surprised you missed the obvious design contributors: rimless windows and glass roof. (My old Jag even had an insulated moon roof cover, adn heavily padded roof liner.)
 
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WesC

Member
Aug 26, 2018
248
99
Las Vegas
My 2018 Model 3 does feel noisier then my 2017 Volt. My experience is the road surface is making the most of difference on the noise, it is much quieter on the asphalt, and Volt doesn't have that big of difference with the road surface. I guess Tesla doesn't put any noise isolation on the bottom, just sheet metals and batteries. :(
It's probably the giant glass roof reflecting sound vs the soft roof in the volt absorbing it. I think Tesla f'd itself over by requiring the glass roof.
 

john5520

Member
Mar 3, 2020
970
690
Florida
I don't buy that. My previous Jaguar XF had slightly wider tires on the same 19" diameter rims as my Model 3, and the car weighed about the same.

That Jag was super quiet on any road surface, and had an amazingly smooth ride while still very being very sporty. I definitely miss it.

I wish Tesla would hire those Jag engineers for suspension and chassis isolation because they're just not very good in those areas.
I think the Model S would be a better comparison to the Jaguar. The demographic that buys a Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes etc expect a luxury oriented suspension and much reduced noise to the typical sedan. That's part of the attraction. I would expect nothing less if I picked up one of these, even in the lower trims.

I knew the Model 3 wasn't going to be quiet even though it's quieter than my last car which was a Camaro SS. Previous was a Mazdaspeed 3. I'm used to feeling every road bump and automatically tune out road noise so these discussions are somewhat fascinating to me.
 

ODWms

Member
Mar 15, 2021
146
82
Tampa Bay Florida
I agree, John. I’ve never noted excess noise in my Performance, 20 inch low profile tires and all. But then, I’m used to high performance cars with sporty suspensions. I’ve even been in the habit of upping the psi in the tires of all the cars I’ve owned in the last couple decades. So, no, I don’t even notice it if it does exist.
 

bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
301
300
Westford MA
Tesla knows how to make a quieter car (my MS), but they chose not to for the M3. I have one on loan for a few days (first time driving a 3) and the road noise reminds me of my $18K Chevy Volt. The "engine drone" excuse is a just that.
I had a Volt, it was much quieter when it was in electric mode, when the engine was on it was worse. I suspect it's the frameless windows on the 3 that are at fault, it always sounds like a window is open. I doubt that they could do noise cancelling as a software update, they probably need more microphones than the 2 has to accomplish that. The new S is getting noise cancelling.
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,599
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
This issue with noise was brought up by my wife and she is not happy about taking it on the road for a few hours. It seemed much more noisy than my previous Linclon or Merc GLK diesel. No a particlurily HAPPY CAMPER re road noise. Any ideas??
Hmmm, I would have hoped that to be better by now. I can identify with the wife opinion. Over a year ago my wife test drove the 3 on the interstate and came back to say she didn't want it. In her case, it was a combination of road noise and wind noise. Some folks are happy with it and some not. I wonder if extra rubber seals or anything can be added to help? Maybe not.
 

Jejunjm

Member
Mar 26, 2021
181
105
Tucson az
I had a Volt, it was much quieter when it was in electric mode, when the engine was on it was worse. I suspect it's the frameless windows on the 3 that are at fault, it always sounds like a window is open. I doubt that they could do noise cancelling as a software update, they probably need more microphones than the 2 has to accomplish that. The new S is getting noise cancelling.
Similar experience with Pacifica hybrid on electric - a much bigger ungainly creagure. Definitely at 65 mph

I wonder if extra rubber seals or anything can be added to
I've been adding additional rubber seals slowly. No (subjective) improvement imo.

@Stranger Dings I agree with stranger's assessment. My next set of tires will be a grand touring (summer?) If anyone has a suggestion I'd love to hear.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2021
82
117
Bristol
Road surface seems to be a significant driver of the road noise.

I was surprised to hear near silence at 70mph on a freshly laid road and then significantly louder when moving onto the older road surface.

An M3P with 20 inch wheels and low profile tyres is never going to be the most refined, so I’m more than happy with the overall driving experience. The car has a cracking sound system, so I always have that pumped right up anyway.

If reducing road noise was a big issue for me, I’d change wheels and tyres. But it isn’t bad. I’ve come from a Mercedes CLS, which was very refined. But the M3P has turned me into a middle aged hooligan and it’s just what I need to get through my mid-life crisis, road noise and all.
 

rincewind

Member
Nov 5, 2019
557
303
London England
I've been in cars that run similar or larger wheels and tyres, where the road noise is far more controlled. My mate has an Audi Q5 with 22 inch rims and wide tyres - much quieter at speed. Jags too, and Mercs. Tesla need to improve in this area.
 
Aug 7, 2020
752
1,520
USA
I don't know what kind of ICE vehicles folks here used to drive but I have not had one in well over a decade that made enough engine noise to even hear it at all at anything over a very slow speed. NVH and noise suppression is very good on modern ICE vehicles.
Hmm must not have had any BMWs then. My 2018 M3 had no wheel arch linings so road noise was much louder than current M3P. Engine/exhaust dominated the cabin at all speeds. Door seals creaked like an old wooden ship on uneven roads. Rear suspension was bolted to subframe so rear passengers were constantly punished. My M3P is so much better in terms of NVH.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,010
1,255
Syracuse, NY
Tesla knows how to make a quieter car (my MS), but they chose not to for the M3. I have one on loan for a few days (first time driving a 3) and the road noise reminds me of my $18K Chevy Volt. The "engine drone" excuse is a just that.
No sh**. Anyone can make a quiet car. It's how much money, insulation, and time you are willing to put in to making it quieter. Do you know how much effort Lexus goes to make their interior quiet? Don't forget weight also. Insulation is heavy.

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