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      07-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
Can_Car
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Installed the Focal IFBMW-S speakers today

On the weekend i picked up the Focal speaker upgrade kit IFBMW-S and I had nothing better to do tonight so I installed it in my X1 which had the hi-fi stereo system.

My limited audio tests so far show that the new speakers have made a considerable improvement, getting better and better than the stock speakers as the volume goes up. I highly recommend this upgrade to anyone who has the hi-fi audio system as it is a relatively straightforward upgrade and delivers good improvement per dollars spent.

Some observations from the installation. First there are some videos on the Internet that show the installation instructions but these are all missing an important step. In my X1 I had to remove the wood trim from each door to get access to two additional screws before the door panel could be removed.

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I also took a photo of the stock speaker and the Focal side by side. Notice the huge difference in the magnet size.

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The installation took me about 3 hours but I probably lost about an hour trying to figure out why the door panel couldn't be removed before I ended up removing it and the final two screws. The 2nd door took about 1/4 the time as the first.
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Last edited by Can_Car; 07-23-2014 at 12:19 AM. Reason: edited for clarity
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      07-23-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
themishmosh
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Thanks for posting! I have the HK audio system which I assume is the same as the HiFi audio. After adding a subwoofer, it is passable but not what I would call great. There is a lack of smoothness and transparency to the mids/highs that you get with a better system. I'm going to have to think about the Focals even though it is pretty pricey!
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      07-23-2014, 02:46 PM   #3
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The Harmon Kardon setup has much better speakers and amplifier than the Hi-Fi system in my car. In theory that should mean that the the Focal speaker upgrade that I did should be less of a difference in an X1 with the HK.
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      07-23-2014, 03:06 PM   #4
themishmosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can_Car View Post
The Harmon Kardon setup has much better speakers and amplifier than the Hi-Fi system in my car. In theory that should mean that the the Focal speaker upgrade that I did should be less of a difference in an X1 with the HK.
Good to know...Thanks!
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      07-24-2014, 11:05 PM   #5
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How much were they and were they worth it?
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      07-24-2014, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aferguson7 View Post
How much were they and were they worth it?
I paid $617 Canadian all taxes included (about US$574) from a local car audio shop.

The speakers were definitely worth it and the sound improvement is considerably better than the cheapo stock speakers that I removed.
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      07-25-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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Man, it's just hard to fathom bare speaker drivers can cost $600! That kind of component cost for maybe a $4000 pair of home speakers but I'm not sure if it's worth it here. After adding the subwoofer, I'm content with my HK system for now--especially given the price of this and maybe only a slight improvement. Nonetheless, appreciate you posting your upgrade. IMHO, a good audio system makes driving a heck of lot more pleasant!!!
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      07-31-2014, 07:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the post. I've been really thinking about doing the upgrade myself.

How hard was it to get the door apart? I'm worried about snapping something, or having trouble getting it all back together.

The only videos I found were of a 3 and 1 series. do you have any links to an X1 being done?

Did you happen to take any other process shots?

Is there tweeters as well or is just for the speakers in the door?

Thanks again for the post. very cool to read your review.
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      07-31-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punchyninja View Post
Thanks for the post. I've been really thinking about doing the upgrade myself.

How hard was it to get the door apart? I'm worried about snapping something, or having trouble getting it all back together.
There's a couple of stages of removing the door panels that are a bit of a challenge. The Focal speaker kit comes with a plastic tool to help remove the door panels but I had some other similar plastic tools that I got from another speaker kit for my previous BMW. Having these extra tools helped in some areas.

The video on the Focal web site covers most things but there were two areas that differed:

1. There was no mention of that the upper trim piece had to be removed from the door panel as there are two screws behind it. See my photo above. I was able to carefully lever the flat plastic tool starting at the rear edge of the trim and it eventually popped out.

2. There was little mention about the black plastic trim that goes all along the window that contains the tweeter. It's one long trim piece and I found that removing the whole thing made it easier to pop out the old tweeter and fit the Focal tweeter securely. It actually should be possible to replace the tweeter by just removing part of that trim, enough to allow you to lever that trim piece towards the interior of the car to get access to behind it. The part of that trim that goes around the window is removed by pushing outwards, starting from the tweeter end. Having the windows down makes it easier to do this.

I should caution you that all of this is definitely a DIY job but if you end up forcing a trim piece too much it could be an expensive part to replace if it breaks. I've done stereo upgrades on two other BMWs before so I had a bit of confidence doing the X1 upgrade myself but you have to realistically assess your own skills.

I should also offer that if anyone in the Vancouver area is looking to do this upgrade I would definitely be willing to assist. It took me 3 hours to do my installation but if I did it again it would easily be about 60-90 mins at the most.
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      08-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #10
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This upgrade only consists of two speakers? I would think with some research, one could find even better speakers for a great deal less.
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      08-01-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeevette View Post
This upgrade only consists of two speakers? I would think with some research, one could find even better speakers for a great deal less.
4 total: 2 woofers, 2 tweeters. Still rather pricey. But these have OE fitment. No need to make spacers/adapters or anything.
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      08-04-2014, 09:13 PM   #12
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thanks for the info, I think I might give it a shot.
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      11-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themishmosh View Post
4 total: 2 woofers, 2 tweeters. Still rather pricey. But these have OE fitment. No need to make spacers/adapters or anything.
Nice. Subscribed for later.
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      11-19-2016, 02:34 AM   #14
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Whoa, threadus resurrectus.
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      11-19-2016, 09:30 AM   #15
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      11-22-2016, 01:44 PM   #16
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BAVSOUND

I paid $300 (USD) for BAVSOUND speakers - 2 front tweeters, 2 midrange woofers, and wiring harnesses. These were direct OEM fit and were plug and play (no need for wiring or soldering).

They sound amazing and are a major upgrade. BAVSOUND specializes in replacement speakers for BMWs and MINIs and they have instructional youtube install videos for every model. Worth every penny.
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