Time for Tesla to partner with a high end audio company?

Tesla’s upgraded sound option has had a few minor hardware revisions over the years but is essentially the same system as it was when Model S began production in 2012.  However, the name of the upgraded sound system has gone through some major changes:

  1. Studio Sound
  2. Ultra High Fidelity Sound
  3. Premium Sound
  4. Custom Audio System

Unfortunately, all of these names are uninspiring especially in the sea of branded luxury car sound systems.   Really, they couldn’t even come up with something like “Tesla Audio”?  In fact, the newest name “Custom Audio System” wins the award for worst sound system name of all time and conveys a picture of this…

Tesla’s competitors partner with brands like Krell, Logic 7, Harman/Kardon, Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Burmester, Mark Levinson, Bowers & Wilkins, Lexicon, and Meridian.  Tesla’s current upgraded sound system is probably better than some of these, but there’s certainly room for significant improvement.  Luckily there are still dozens of high end audio brands that haven’t yet produced automotive sound systems and would probably be interested in a mutually beneficial partnership with Tesla.

While there may be tradition for Tesla to keep the audio system design completely in house or at least the supplier’s identity opaque, there is some precedent for Tesla calling out branded parts. For example the performance Model S and X are advertised to include Brembo brake calipers. And Recaro seats were a highlight of the very earliest P85D’s.  More recently Tesla has openly identified MobilEye, Bosch, and nVidia as key suppliers of autopilot components.

Ultimately, Tesla buyers wouldn’t mind spending several thousand dollars for any audiophile grade sound system.  But having a branded sound system would likely earn Tesla several thousand dollars more.


The following audio companies can afford full page advertisements in recent issues of Sound and Vision, suggesting they might have the resources to immediately partner with Tesla:

  • GoldenEar
  • SVS
  • Legacy
  • Martin Logan
  • KEF
  • Polk
  • Definitive
  • Revel
  • Zvox
  • Paradigm

Here are some additional high end audio companies that made the Best of 2016 list in Stereophile:

  • GamuT
  • KEF
  • mbl
  • Revel
  • TAD Laboratories
  • Vivid
  • Wilson Audio Specialties
  • YG Acoustics
  • Aerial
  • ATC
  • DeVore Fidelity
  • ENIGMAcoustics
  • Fujitsu
  • Joseph Audio
  • Marten
  • MartinLogan
  • Sony
  • Spendor
  • Technics
  • Triangle
  • Volti Audio
  • Boston Acoustics
  • Bryston
  • DALI
  • Focal
  • Line Magnetic
  • Monitor Audio
  • Nola Metro
  • Paradigm
  • PSB
  • Tekton
  • Vandersteen
  • Vienna Acoustics
  • Wharfedale
  • Canalis
  • Dynaudio
  • Falcon Acoustics
  • Harbeth
  • Sonus Faber
  • Stirling