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      09-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
Tirpitz
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The stereo choices

Yesterday had the chance to test drive both a 2009 3 series wagon and an sDrive28i X1. Both excellent cars but for my needs the X1 looks to be the way to go.

The one thing I could not test was the two stereo options. The dealer only had cars with the base stereo on the lot. Has anyone had a chance to listen to both? I am a bit of an audiophile and would happily part with $875 if the Harmon Kardon system was clearly superior to the base unit.

I'm coming over from the world of Honda (my current car is a CR-V) and I checked out the Acura options before I looked at BMWs. I have to say that while the Acura TSX isn't half the car a BMW is the upgraded stereo in it is flat out amazing. If BMW had something that good I'd gladly lay down another couple of thousand for it.
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      09-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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Harmon Kardon system Rocks! is it the best of the best? No but it has thump and high mid and lows. I feel its way better than the standard. I will say this it sounded as good as my prem sound in my x6 did and that was a kick ass sounding rig
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      09-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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do it
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      09-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Clearly superior? yes.

Audiophile? not really.

Flat-out amazing? nope.

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/en/vehicles/BMW-X1/

It's worth the upgrade if you consider yourself an audiophile, but not enough of one to put in an after-market system.
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      09-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Absolutely love my HK system in my 135i.

It really makes a big difference imo.
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      09-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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Oh, hadn't seen that HK site, thanks for the link.

I don't mind going aftermarket. I once gutted my Honda del Sol and put in a killer stereo. But I'm reluctant to do that to a brand new car and I want something I can live with at least for a few years.

If I can I'll listen to both before buying/ordering the car.

I assume that both the stock and HK systems have some EQ controls? Usually I can tweak the sound enough to satisfy me.

EDIT- I see that I have to get the tech package to get the HK stereo. That makes it a more expensive proposition as I wasn't planning to go for the tech package. Hmmm, decisions, decisions!

Last edited by Tirpitz; 09-05-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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      09-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tirpitz View Post
I assume that both the stock and HK systems have some EQ controls? Usually I can tweak the sound enough to satisfy me.

EDIT- I see that I have to get the tech package to get the HK stereo. That makes it a more expensive proposition as I wasn't planning to go for the tech package. Hmmm, decisions, decisions!
Yes, there are tone and EQ controls. AFAIK, the head unit is the same for both. HK just adds an amp and better/more speakers.

I don't believe you need to get any package in order to get the HK option.
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      09-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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Do it.
The stock is good, but owners of HK will say its worth it.
Besides, if you own this car for a long time, it won't matter if you paid $48,000 or $51,000.
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      09-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #9
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The HK wasn't available by it's self when I ordered it (late July); and now I see it is.

But, if I do any upgrades I might go with: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/pr...BMW-X1-10-E84/

$200 cheaper than HK and I've heard great results from BSW.
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      09-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrahams View Post
The HK wasn't available by it's self when I ordered it (late July); and now I see it is.

But, if I do any upgrades I might go with: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/pr...BMW-X1-10-E84/

$200 cheaper than HK and I've heard great results from BSW.
So, is the HK upgrade in the X1 just a speaker upgrade? Or do they add more speakers, or add a better amp/music player?
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      09-06-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrahams View Post
The HK wasn't available by it's self when I ordered it (late July); and now I see it is.

But, if I do any upgrades I might go with: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/pr...BMW-X1-10-E84/

$200 cheaper than HK and I've heard great results from BSW.
This I like. I suspect that a place like this is more likely to be creating products that will sound good than would the HK system. One of my concerns with the HK system is that they are promoting surround sound which is problematic when all the source material is 2 channel stereo. That inevitably requires some digital manipulation and that always involves some compromises in sound quality.

I also don't mind installing stuff especially since they say everything is designed to fit perfectly and should come with the correct connectors.
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      09-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonelx View Post
So, is the HK upgrade in the X1 just a speaker upgrade? Or do they add more speakers, or add a better amp/music player?
HK adds more speakers and a better amp amp. See the link I posted above. Specifically, looking at realoem, it looks like the HK adds two tweets in the back, and the dash center speaker. Plus amp goes from 180W to 340W and all the drivers are upgraded.

Last edited by Bill B.; 09-06-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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      09-06-2012, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrahams View Post
The HK wasn't available by it's self when I ordered it (late July); and now I see it is.

But, if I do any upgrades I might go with: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/pr...BMW-X1-10-E84/

$200 cheaper than HK and I've heard great results from BSW.

This is probably better than doing nothing at all, unfortunately, its just a driver swap. The stock amp without the HK amp is kinda pathetic.

Last edited by Bill B.; 09-06-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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      09-10-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
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The BSW is made to work with the stock amp; or at least so I have been seeing. However many said that if you want to upgrade the sound, get a better amp; which will make the BSW not that great. I just don't want to spend thousands on a system. I just want to improve the quality a bit more.
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