Surprising Tesla Sound Secrets: Interior and Exterior Audio Fun

EVs are known for their quiet operation, but did you know that Teslas can produce over 40 different sounds and noises? From warning beeps to custom engine sounds, Teslas have a unique audio experience for drivers and pedestrians alike.

However, with the increased popularity of electric vehicles on the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has mandated that all-electric vehicles, including Tesla, must produce a fake engine noise at low speeds to alert pedestrians of their presence.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Tesla sounds and noises, find out if Teslas are even loud and how you can customize and change sounds in a Tesla among other things.

Do Teslas Make Noise?

It is a common misconception that electric vehicles are silent. This belief stems from back when the first Toyota hybrids hit the US market. These vehicles made no noise when their electric engine was powering the car. However, things have changed since.

Teslas can make fake engine noise. While there’s no engine to produce sounds, recent traffic regulation changes in the US have ensured that every electric car sold in the US has a built-in speaker that creates fake engine noises. This way, pedestrians can hear the car coming.

Like any other fully electric car on the market, Tesla has no engine that can produce sounds. Being silent was once the main selling point for electric cars. What’s better than cruising in complete silence?

If you’d like to find out why Teslas tend to make a certain noise when charging, check out this related article that I wrote. Batteries are weird sometimes!

Tesla-Make-Noise-When-Charging

However, this feature has brought up numerous traffic and pedestrian safety concerns. Recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations already mentioned have taken care of these concerns.

The same rules that electric vehicle manufacturers need to follow in the US also apply to the EU.

The changes for both the US and the EU market are the main reason why every Tesla sold since the final quarter of 2019 is equipped with a speaker that emits engine noise in low-speed traffic situations.

Sunlight-Road-Travel-Road-Trip-Interior-Design-Tesla-Modern-Interior
Whether you’re interested in making the car sound like a Ford GT, or you want to play silly noises to entertain friends and passers-by, your Tesla has you covered.

Are Teslas Loud Inside?

Before taking a better look at the external Tesla sounds, we need to discuss the interior noise levels of this luxury electric car brand. 

Have you ever wondered how much road noise Tesla models produce? To answer this question, we researched how much noise Tesla models register in the cabin while driving at 60 mph (100 kph). We’ve also added data on some electric and gas-powered rivals for comparison. 

Find out more about Tesla road noise in the table below:

Tesla ModelRoad Noise at 60 mph (100 kph)
Tesla Model S P90D60.9 dB
Tesla Model 368.8 dB
Tesla Model X P90D61.5 dB
Tesla Model Y67.7 dB

To determine whether Teslas are loud inside, we’d need to compare them to some of its main rivals. Here’s a brief table of Tesla’s electric vehicle competitors and their cabin noise at 60 miles (96.56 km) per hour:

Electric Tesla CompetitorRoad Noise at 60 mph (100 kph)
Audi e-Tron63.0 dB
BMW i366.0 dB
Hyundai Ioniq68.4 dB

Now, let’s take a look at how much road noise the old-fashioned petrol and diesel-powered cars make:

Petrol / Diesel Tesla CompetitorRoad Noise at 60 mph (100 kph)
Audi A465.2 dB
Toyota Corolla65.7 dB
Honda Civic62.0 dB

After looking at the data from these three tables, we can finally answer the question at hand: 

Most Tesla models show exceptional road noise soundproofing capabilities. At 60 mph (100 kph), a Tesla Model S is up to 10% quieter than a standard 2018 Toyota Corolla. Tesla Model 3 and the Model Y are slightly noisier at highway speeds but still on par with the competition.

Thus, according to data and evidence, Tesla’s noise-canceling features work really well. This feature is more evident in its more expensive models. The Model S and the Model X show exceptional outside noise reduction capabilities that many of their rivals can envy.

However, the more affordable Model 3 and Model Y can’t share this bragging right with their pricier relatives. While not uncomfortable, road noise at highway speeds can be an issue for these Tesla models. 

For this reason, I recommend installing a soundproofing seal kit on these cars. The Basenor Tesla Model 3 Soundproofing Seal and the Basenor Tesla Model Y Soundproofing Seal versions are available on Amazon.com. The procedure is fast and easy to do on your own.

Basenor Tesla Model 3 Door Seal Kit Soundproof Rubber Weather Draft Seal Strip Wind Noise Reduction Kit 2016-2022

If something doesn’t seem clear, you can always rely on YouTube for help:

Remember, interior noise is one of the elemental aspects that set luxury cars apart from regular ones.

What Are Tesla Driving Sounds?

Tire and road noise is not the only thing you’ll hear in a Tesla. Every Tesla produced since September 2019 has a built-in speaker that emits false engine sounds. The speakers have one main function:

Tesla driving sounds are constantly emitted from the car’s built-in external speakers. These sounds emulate engine noise to warn oncoming pedestrians and traffic. The feature is extremely important for visually impaired pedestrians’ safety.

The false engine sounds played through the speaker located outside the cabin are also played through your Tesla’s internal audio system. This shouldn’t worry the drivers, as the levels are adjustable both automatically (when you play music, etc.) and manually.

While some Tesla drivers might find that this newly required feature ruins the entire EV experience, others have found ways to have fun with it. Let’s take a look at some of these sound-related Tesla quirks:

Tesla Boombox Update

During a Christmas 2020 remote software update, all Tesla models received a new function called Boombox. This feature enabled drivers to choose various sound-related aspects of their Tesla. 

Here is a brief list of some things that the Tesla Boombox can do:

  • Allows the driver to choose different engine sounds.
  • Enables various horn sounds.
  • Plays music outside the car.

As evident from this brief list, Tesla tried to add playful elements to an update that was meant as a serious safety measure. The best part is – it actually worked!!

This feature does not only help reduce the risk of accidents involving visually impaired and unsuspecting pedestrians, but it can also reduce road rage incidents.

Realizing that they can alter their Tesla sound as they wish, more creative drivers have taken their chance and started creating a unique sound profile for their cars. Who can get mad at a person whose horn is La Cucaracha

I explored if Electric Cars Make Noise. Do they contritbute to noise pollution? Find out in this related article that I wrote. Come on, check it out! :-)

Best Tesla Boombox Sounds

The Tesla Boombox allows for numerous options when it comes to engine and horn sounds. You can make your electric Tesla sound like a V8 monster or an old tractor in a few simple steps (more on that later). The same applies to horn sounds. 

Tesla owners can choose from hundreds of sounds available online, or they can even record their own. Here is the list of some of the best and most popular Tesla Boombox Sounds that you can download and use today:

All of the Tesla sounds are just simple .mp3 files. This means that you can easily make your own sound and customize the Tesla Boombox experience even further. Read on to find out how you can do this.

How To Change Tesla Boombox Sounds

The Boombox feature is definitely an interesting way to implement a fun solution to a problem as serious as pedestrian safety. Even though it shouldn’t be hard to find, locating this Tesla feature is a mystery to some owners.

Let’s find out where the Boombox option is tucked away in your Tesla’s options and how you can adjust each of the previously mentioned features it has to offer:

How To Change Your Tesla’s Horn Sound

Here’s how you can make your Tesla unique by changing the car’s horn sound in just a few simple steps:

  1. Enter the Toybox menu.
  2. Select the Boombox option.
  3. Activate the Horn Sound option.
  4. Move the Replace Horn slider.
  5. Choose your favorite option.

Unless you enable the Replace Horn option, the sound will be played through the car’s external speaker only when you use the option from the screen. On the other hand, marking the option enables you to play the selected sound every time you press the horn.

You can also set the sound level of your horn under this menu. This is an especially handy feature when you’re sitting in your garage and testing out all of the sounds offered.

Most Tesla models come with standard options such as La Cucaracha, Air Horn, etc.

How To Change Your Tesla’s Driving Sound

If you want to make your Tesla sound more interesting when driving it around town or idling at a red light, here’s how you can personalize the driving sound:

  1. Enter the Toybox menu.
  2. Select the Boombox option.
  3. Move the Driving Sound slider.
  4. Choose your favorite option.

Stock options for the driving sound include Sneak Jazz, Elevator Music, Ice Cream Truck, and various engine sounds. This function will automatically switch off on most Tesla models once your car exceeds 12 mph (19 kph).

Pro Tip:

Tesla used to have 3 settings for the Radio or Music interface (Full-Screen, Medium Screen, and Small). The Medium interface would let you have access to your “Recents” and “Favorites”. After an update, many people thought that the size functionality has disappeared. But there is a List Icon on the right-hand side of the Music Entertainment System Bar, and when clicking on it the Medium Sized Interface will appear again along with your Favorite and Recent music.

Changing Your Tesla’s Summon Sound

Just like your Tesla’s horn and driving sounds, you can also customize the sound your electric car will play when you use the summon feature. Here’s how you can activate and change your Tesla summoning sound:

  1. Enter the Toybox menu.
  2. Select the Boombox option.
  3. Move the Summon slider.
  4. Choose your favorite option.

Once again, you have plenty of pre-loaded options at your disposal. Tunes such as Gallop, Coconuts, and others are available to choose from.

Does Tesla Make Fart Noises?

For those Tesla users who refuse to give up on the child inside, the same update that brought Tesla Boombox also offers a farting option. 

Tesla already has the classic prank of reproducing farting noises when someone takes a seat in the car. Now it can play this sound on its external speaker. 

How To Make Tesla Horn Fart

Here’s how you can make your Tesla fart:

  1. Enter the Toolbox menu.
  2. Select the Emissions option.
  3. Choose your favorite fart from the menu.
  4. Click the Speaker Icon on the right.

You can also set up your Tesla to fart on demand by checking the first option available under the list of farts. This way, every time you press the left scroll wheel, the car will enable the Emissions Testing Mode, more commonly known as farting.

Another option available under the Emissions menu is to enable the Tesla to fart every time you use a turn signal.

Adding Custom Sounds to Your Tesla

In case Tesla doesn’t offer any sounds compatible with your taste, you can always add your own songs, sounds, and noises to the car. Here’s a simple guide on how to add a new sound to the Boombox:

  1. Format a USB drive.
  2. Add your favorite .mp3 files.
  3. Plug the USB drive into your Tesla.
  4. Enter the Toybox menu.
  5. Go to the Boombox option.
  6. Select your new tunes from the dropdown menu.

You can add custom engine, horn, and summon sounds this way in a matter of minutes.

One important thing to keep in mind is that all of the .mp3 file names can’t have spaces in them. Enjoy your new favorite Boombox sounds!

Specific Tesla Sounds and Noises: More Details

Here’s another list of the sounds you might hear from a Tesla.

External Speakers:

Thanks to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations, all-electric cars sold in the US are now required to have external speakers that emit fake engine noises. The purpose of this is to alert pedestrians of the car’s presence, especially at low speeds.

Tesla owners can even customize the sound their car makes using a USB drive and the “Boombox” feature in the car’s infotainment system.

Here are some of the sounds you might hear from the external speakers on a Tesla:

  • Pedestrian warning system: A chirping sound that alerts pedestrians of the car’s presence at low speeds.
  • “La Cucaracha” horn sound: A popular custom sound that plays the tune of the traditional Mexican folk song when the car’s horn is pressed.

Internal Speakers:

Inside the car, Tesla owners can enjoy a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system. The sound system can be customized using the car’s infotainment system, including the ability to play different genres of music at various sound levels.

Here are some of the sounds you might hear from the internal speakers on a Tesla:

  • Warning chirps: A series of beeps that indicate a lane departure warning or other alerts.
  • “Sentry Mode” alert: A loud, repeating alarm that sounds when the car’s security system is triggered.
  • “Boombox” mode: A feature that allows the car’s speakers to play music or sound effects at a high volume, even when the car is turned off.

What Does a Tesla Sound Like?

In addition to the sounds emitted by the car’s speakers, Tesla drivers may also hear various sounds related to the driving experience.

  • Tire noise: The sound of the car’s tires on the road, which may vary depending on the road surface and tire type.
  • Wind buffeting: The sound of wind passing around the car, which can be more pronounced with the windows down or at high speeds.

Overall, there are many sounds and noises that you might hear while driving a Tesla. While some of them are designed to improve safety and the driving experience, others are there for the entertainment of Tesla owners and the people around them.

This is a general guide and you should always consult with your Tesla service center for a diagnosis of your vehicle.

Customizing the Tesla Fake Engine Noise

In typical Tesla fashion, they have taken Fake Engine Noise a step further by allowing owners to customize the fake engine noise through an over-the-air software update.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how Tesla owners can customize the fake engine noise in their cars:

  • Sounds from a USB Drive: The first step is to download the custom sound files onto a USB drive. Tesla owners can find a comprehensive list of normal sounds, as well as a variety of custom sounds.
  • Infotainment System: Once the USB drive is plugged into the car, the sound files can be selected through the infotainment system. The Model X and Model Y have the Boombox mode which allows the driver to play the sound files through the external speakers.
  • Driving Experience: The fake engine noise can be customized to enhance the driving experience. Sentry mode can also be set to play custom sounds when the car is parked.
  • Low Speeds: The fake engine noise is only activated at low speeds, typically below 20 mph. This is to alert pedestrians of the car’s presence, especially in areas with low visibility.
  • Custom Sounds: Tesla owners can choose from a variety of custom sounds, including goat bleating, fart sound, and even “La Cucaracha.” As mentioned, the Boombox mode also allows for the sound to be played in different settings, from a low volume to a high setting.

Does Tesla Have a Sound Emitter?


Tesla does have a sound emitter known as the Pedestrian Warning System, which serves an important safety purpose. This system is designed to emit a sound when the Model Y is driving below approximately 19 mph (32 km/h) or when it’s in reverse.

Electric vehicles tend to operate quietly, so this sound helps alert pedestrians to the presence of the approaching vehicle. It’s especially useful in urban areas where there are many pedestrians around.

The volume of the sound increases as the speed of the Model Y increases, providing a clear warning to those nearby.

It’s important to note that the availability of the Pedestrian Warning System may depend on the manufacturing date of the vehicle. Vehicles manufactured before September 1, 2020, may not have this feature.

Tesla emphasizes the significance of the Pedestrian Warning System, as its absence could potentially increase the risk of collisions and serious injuries. If you find that the sound is not being emitted or if you have any concerns about the system, it is recommended to contact Tesla immediately for assistance.

How To Make A Tesla Sound Like V8 Engine

If you want to make your Tesla sound like a V8 engine, you can either change your driving sound or your horn sound.

If you want the electric vehicle to sound like a V8 engine while driving, do the following:

  1. Enter the Toybox menu.
  2. Select the Boombox option.
  3. Move the Driving Sound slider.
  4. Choose a sound that sounds like a V8.

If you only want to sound the V8 audio when you press on your horn, change your horn sound by following these steps:

  1. Enter the Toybox menu.
  2. Select the Boombox option.
  3. Activate the Horn Sound option.
  4. Move the Replace Horn slider.
  5. Choose an option that sounds like a V8 engine.

Does Tesla Have a Subwoofer?

Tesla vehicles are known for their exceptional audio systems, and many of them come equipped with a built-in subwoofer. The subwoofer is a specialized speaker that produces low-frequency sounds, adding depth and richness to the audio experience. It enhances the bass notes and delivers powerful, immersive sound quality.

While the specific audio setup may vary depending on the model and trim level, Tesla vehicles generally offer impressive audio systems with well-balanced sound reproduction.

The inclusion of a subwoofer ensures that you can enjoy your favorite music with thumping bass and a full range of frequencies. Whether you’re a fan of booming beats or simply want to enhance your overall audio experience, Tesla’s subwoofer will undoubtedly deliver that extra punch to make your music come alive.

How To Change Tesla Bass

If you want to adjust the bass settings in your Tesla vehicle, you can easily do so through the car’s sound audio settings. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change the bass:

  1. Start by accessing the media or audio control screen on your Tesla’s touchscreen display. This is typically found in the center console or on the main control panel.
  2. Look for the equalizer or audio settings option. It might be represented by an icon that looks like sound waves or labeled as “EQ” or “Audio Settings.”
  3. Once you’ve found the audio settings, navigate to the bass adjustment section under ‘Tone.’ This is where you can fine-tune the bass levels according to your preferences.
  4. You’ll likely see a slider or numerical scale that allows you to increase or decrease the bass. Slide it up to boost the bass or down to reduce it.
  5. To find your desired bass level, you can experiment by playing some music and adjusting the setting in real-time. This way, you can hear the changes and make adjustments until you achieve the desired bass response.
  6. Once you’re satisfied with the bass level, you can save the settings if your Tesla offers a save or preset option. This allows you to retain your preferred bass settings for future use.

Remember, the specific steps might vary slightly depending on the Tesla model and software version. If you’re having trouble finding or adjusting the bass settings, referring to your vehicle’s user manual or reaching out to Tesla’s customer support can provide you with more specific guidance.

Do all Tesla cars make fake engine noise?

All Teslas sold since the final quarter of 2019 are equipped with a speaker that emits engine noise in low-speed traffic situations to improve pedestrian safety.

How does the interior noise level of a Tesla compare to other electric cars?

Teslas have exceptional road noise soundproofing capabilities, with interior noise levels at 60 mph being up to 10% quieter than a standard 2018 Toyota Corolla, according to research.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

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Surprising Tesla Sound Secrets: Interior and Exterior Audio Fun 1

Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.