Any car can get an audio boost with better speakers and/or more power via an additional amplifier. The Model S/X/3 has two audio systems in the past, Standard and Ultra High Fidelity Sound (originally called Sound Studio) which adds a larger amplifier, 7.1 channels, and more speakers that are also upgraded from the standard. In 2018, the UHFS became standard in the Model S and X.
|Speaker Location||Standard||Ultra-High Fidelity Sound (S)|
|Dashboard||1 – 3″ center channel||3 – 3″ left, right, center channel|
|Windshield Pillars||2 – 1″ left, right tweeters||2 – 1″ left, right tweeters|
|Front Doors||2 – 6″ left, right mid-woofers||2 – 7.9″ left, right mid-woofers|
|Rear Doors||2 – 6″ left, right mid-woofers||2 – 6″ left, right mid-woofers|
|Trunk Passenger Side||1 – 7.9″ subwoofer|
|Liftgate||2 – 3″ left, right|
Check out our detailed DIY instructions:
If you have the standard system, you could elect to add a sub-woofer and related amp. NVX offers a subwoofer designed specifically for the Model S that fits on the driver’s side rear area. They also offer a combo package of the Tesla specific Sub and a class D mono-block amplifier and installation kit: Tesla Model S B.O.O.S.T Powered Loaded Enclosure Package. Note the package does not currently provide Model S specific amplifier installation instructions.
Installing audio upgrades in the Model S is not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to contend with a number of difficulties, such as where to install the amp, getting an amp that doesn’t overload the electrical system, snaking wiring through difficult places, and connections to speaker amp outputs or line-level outputs.
Some general installation tips:
- Amplifiers are typically installed in the frunk, where you’ll have somewhat easier access for power. There is one usable space for a small amp inside the driver’s side dash if you don’t have the Ultra High Fidelity Sound. On pre-refresh model S, If you don’t have dual chargers there is fairly large space under the rear seat, drivers side.
- As for power, Tesla doesn’t state how much power can be drawn from the 12 V system. The 12 V battery is charged through a DC to DC converter which uses a 250 amp fuse. Standard audio is on a 15 amp circuit, and the Ultimate audio adds a second 15 amp circuit. What this means is you can’t use a huge amp that can draw 200 amps or so or you could damage the power system. We’d recommend you only use Class-D amplifiers, as these are the most efficient and have the bonus of typically being the smallest size for the power.
- The Model 3 has a more limited 12v system, and larger amplifiers may not work at all.
There are audio specialists that have done a number of audio upgrades on the Model S and X. Upgrades are not cheap, but they do require a lot of work and expert knowledge that most audio shops just don’t have. Two shops we know of in the USA that owners have indicated do great work are:
Additional Tesla-specific audio products:
- Light Harmonic – produces Tesla specific high-end amplifier/speaker packages
- Aux Connector – allows for a 3.5mm line-level stereo input