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Satellite radio

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Cobra Kai, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Cobra Kai

    Cobra Kai Member

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    Quick question...

    MUST you have the upgraded sound package to get satellite radio (Sirius/XM) on the Model S?
     
  2. siai47

    siai47 Member

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    Yes, it is part of the package. It is a XM (not Sirius) based radio. I know they are the same company, but the receivers are different. I have the XM in the Tesla, but based on the way it sounds compared to the other choices, it is barely in use. Also, the XM signal seems to be really weak coming from the antennas in the Model S (lot's of drop out near trees, overpasses, etc.). I still would have gone for the upgraded sound due to the larger speakers and the subwoofer but many on this forum think the $2.5k can be applied to aftermarket solutions that blow the sonic socks off the Tesla system. It's a matter of choice.
     
  3. Cobra Kai

    Cobra Kai Member

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    That's a pretty steep option! I'm surprised that with how advanced the car is technology-wise, that it wouldn't come as a standard option. I'm not an audiophile, and with my Model X becoming the main family car, I don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles. I just wish I could continue to enjoy XM radio (even with a subpar audio system) without having to cave in to another 2.5k. I'm assuming the options for the X will be the same as the S in terms of options for the most part. It's a tough call.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I tried XM in my Model S for the first time over the weekend. The sound quality is dreadful. I wouldn't waste a dime on it.
     
  5. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    What's humorous/sad is that if you use their Internet Radio option, the sound quality is vastly improved. They don't need to compress the Internet streams as much as the satellite feeds. Of course, in the Tesla you're forced to send the audio over Bluetooth, so it may be a wash.
     
  6. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I really regret not getting it. I thought I'd be happy with internet radio but I'm not at all. I'm not an audiophile so poor sound quality does not bother me. If you like satellite radio and can afford the upgrade, I recommend you do it, or you may end up like me and really regret it later.
     
  7. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I was about to go into a description of how HD Radio single-handedly eliminated any desire I had for XM, but then I saw you're in Canada :(
     
  8. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    I'm shocked the satellite radio reception has such terrible sound quality. Maybe where the oem antenna is placed? Curious if a universal XM or Sirius Unit would be better, only downfall is having to mount it elsewhere and use it through the touch screen. Hopefully they figure out a way to make this better
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I tried satellite radio (not in the Tesla) once. It was pretty bad for sound quality, was very expensive, and didn't have anything I wanted to listen to anyway.
     
  10. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    No, it's digital. It either works, or it doesn't. The problem is that XM/Sirius has a limited amount of bandwidth to send their entire compliment of channels. Back many years ago they went crazy adding channels to cater to everyone, and the sound quality, while never great, suffered horribly. Indeed they allocate more bandwidth to the music channels, and even more to channels where quality matters most: like the classical music channels. The talk channels are severely compressed, which is why the Comedy stations, in particular, always sound absolutely awful.

    Assuming you have a good data connection everywhere you go, you can get around all of that by simply using their Internet Radio option, which is cheaper anyway. Much better sound quality, and a huge improvement over the actual satellites. Though, again, still not anything approaching a lossless source. The problem is that Tesla hasn't yet given us a good way to get that audio into the car.
     
  11. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    When I bought a new vehicle in 2008 I paid $500 for a lifetime subscription (no longer offered) and that can be transferred twice to new units so cost is not an issue. I thought I'd want to keep it in my 08 Tahoe Hybrid, since I need that vehicle for winter driving and towing, and I thought internet radio would be fine, but after driving the Tesla for a 3 months, it kills me to drive that old beast, and internet radio sucks, so I wish I bought the upgrade sound so I could transfer my sub to it. I'm going to look into after market.

    Yep, that's how it worked for me. I never had a problem with the sound quality of satellite radio. Then again, the sound from an old scratchy needle on a turntable never bothered me. It's the high crispness of treble and deep bass of a subwofer that bothers me (unless I'm watching a movie) but not for in my vehicle.
     
  12. LoL Rick

    LoL Rick Like Buttah

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    Probably less than optimal, but is it possible to use the SiriusXM phone app and stream the output via bluetooth to the car?
     
  13. dmunjal

    dmunjal Member

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    Yes, I do that all the time. I keep Sirius only for the news (CNBC) channels.
     
  14. aname4me

    aname4me Member

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    So the internet radio that comes with the regular sound is commercial free? Bc that is what I enjoy about Sirius/XM... no commercials on music stations.
     
  15. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #15 Canuck, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
    I guess so but that requires a monthly fee. Also, I drive a lot to my cabin and there's no cell phone coverage for much of the drive and at the cabin.

    I just bought a Sirius Stiletto 2 with a lifetime sub from ebay for $500. It has a built-in FM transmitter (old technology so no bluetooth - I guess I could plug a blue tooth transmitter in the earphone plug). It has a built-in antenna and a port for an external one but the magnet obviously won't work. I'm hoping I can get the signal through the pano. I don't want to mount it permanently since I'll use it in my home and boat too. The vendor has over 10,000 99.5% positive feedback and I read all the negatives and he explains them all. He only deals in satellite radio. So I am pretty confident in the lifetime sub but if I get ripped off I can live with the loss. When I paid $500 in 2008 for the lifetime sub, they were on the verge of bankruptcy so I risked losing it once before too. I hate paying monthly fees if I can avoid it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's slacker and tune-in. You can check them out on a desktop or your phone/tablet by downloading the apps. Some stations are commercial free and some have commercials. I've yet to find a 70's channel that's commercial free (or even one that's half decent with commercials) but I did find 80's and "80's 90's and today" but the stations seem to replay the same songs a lot, there's gaps (buffering) between songs, and just not the same as satellite, in my opinion. Also, no MSNBC, FoxNews, Stern, Dr. Laura, but I did find CNN. Most people probably don't care about these things, but I like listening to O'Reilly and Dr. Laura now and then, even though I don't often share their views. They are entertaining. Stern is also one of the best interviewers out there.
     

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