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      07-13-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
blackhole
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base stereo system upgrade options

OK, so I cheaped out and ordered my new X1 with the cheapest base model stereo system available. Frankly, I was not impressed with BMW's upgrade options for the cash they wanted. They wanted a whole lot of money for a mediocre stereo package.

From what I understand, my car has a pair of 4" full range speakers in the doors (no tweeters) and the same in the rear. No amplifier either.

Now I'm looking to upgrade. Not planning to enter any car audio shows/competitions -- just looking for a moderate upgrade and hoping to keep the price tag sub-$1,000. What are my options?

Yes, I've looked at BAV Sound, but they don't offer the stage 1 kit for my cheapo base system (I suspect it's because I have no amplifier). Crutchfield offers a set of component speakers for the doors (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_091IFBM...BMW-S.html?l=C) but priced pretty steep for a brand I'm not familiar with. And what will this sound like with no amplifier? And what about the rear?

Can anyone confirm if I should expect to find any wiring in my trunk to connect an amplifier? Does the head unit have any RCA inputs/outputs for connecting an amp? Curious how hard it would be if I just ordered two pairs of Rockford Fosgate 4" Punch speakers (or something similar) and a basic amplifier.

Thanks for your input.
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      07-13-2015, 04:26 PM   #2
improvius
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Not sure about the RCA outs, but as for speakers I'd suggest you check out Focal. They have BMW-specific sets and make generally excellent speakers. I had Focals in my previous car and was very happy with the sound.
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      07-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
blackhole
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Thanks. Yes, Focal is the brand Crutchfield is offering. I've never heard of them before, and I trust your opinion of their sound. But $529 a pair?? By the time I've done front and rear, I'll be into it for one grand and I still won't have an amplifier.
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      07-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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Don't expect much connectivity with a BMW head unit. They are designed to not be modified easily. There's a fiber optic link that makes it tamper resistant.
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      07-13-2015, 05:21 PM   #5
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I would just do the fronts initially and see how it sounds after that. No reason to go crazy on rear fill speakers, unless you're really that concerned about what your passengers are listening to.

EDIT: Here's a review discussion - http://e84.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=916455
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      07-14-2015, 08:52 AM   #6
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Hey I was negligent myself too selecting audio system for my X1.. thought it wouldn't make much difference so stuck with the base one. Just recently realised it doesn't even have twitters on those A pillars and only have 5 speakers. On highways with rough tarmac I can barely hear any music and it becomes rather annoying. I am thinking of upgrading to Alpine Hi-Fi system but they are asking AUD 1500 together with installation so wondering if it's worth it.. have you gave this a thought?
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      07-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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You can see the different trim piece for the hi-fi and HK systems here: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=51_7522

So if you don't have a proper tweeter component, it might be worth it to pick up the trim piece with the hi-fi tweeter mount and go with a component set rather than sticking with coaxial. You will probably get a significant improvement just from relocating the tweeter. And it looks like the trim pieces are only about $35 US, and they should keep everything looking completely OEM.
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      07-14-2015, 12:26 PM   #8
blackhole
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Yes, I've thought about the Alpine upgrade from BMW. Haven't priced it here in Germany. If BMW is selling it, I'm sure it's not cheap. Honestly, though, I've never been a fan of Alpine stuff so I'd like to investigate other options, too.

Can anyone confirm whether my system has an amplifier hidden somewhere in the car?? It's a North American model, with the most basic stereo system (head unit says "Professional"). Crappy subs mounted under the front seats, and you barely know they're running. I can't imagine there's an amp pushing power to these things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeezzy View Post
Hey I was negligent myself too selecting audio system for my X1.. thought it wouldn't make much difference so stuck with the base one. Just recently realised it doesn't even have twitters on those A pillars and only have 5 speakers. On highways with rough tarmac I can barely hear any music and it becomes rather annoying. I am thinking of upgrading to Alpine Hi-Fi system but they are asking AUD 1500 together with installation so wondering if it's worth it.. have you gave this a thought?
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      07-14-2015, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole View Post
Yes, I've thought about the Alpine upgrade from BMW. Haven't priced it here in Germany. If BMW is selling it, I'm sure it's not cheap. Honestly, though, I've never been a fan of Alpine stuff so I'd like to investigate other options, too.

Can anyone confirm whether my system has an amplifier hidden somewhere in the car?? It's a North American model, with the most basic stereo system (head unit says "Professional"). Crappy subs mounted under the front seats, and you barely know they're running. I can't imagine there's an amp pushing power to these things.
It sounds like the one in mine. I read there's an amplifier under the rear deck.
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      07-15-2015, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeezzy View Post
Hey I was negligent myself too selecting audio system for my X1.. thought it wouldn't make much difference so stuck with the base one. Just recently realised it doesn't even have twitters on those A pillars and only have 5 speakers. On highways with rough tarmac I can barely hear any music and it becomes rather annoying. I am thinking of upgrading to Alpine Hi-Fi system but they are asking AUD 1500 together with installation so wondering if it's worth it.. have you gave this a thought?
Hi,
You can just buy the tweeters, which are plug and play- the cheapest way and sounds quite acceptable.
I've done that immediately when bought a car and happy enough.
The partnumber is 65136964012
$70-80 for the pair.
Installation is a piece of cake DIY- just having watched a video of the front door removal process.
PS
My head unit is Professional- this is also an important upgrade if someone has Business. Can be bought cheap slightly used.
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      07-15-2015, 05:40 PM   #11
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Mine looks and sounds like there's tweeters already in the door. I have the base "Professional" head unit.
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      07-15-2015, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole View Post
Yes, I've thought about the Alpine upgrade from BMW. Haven't priced it here in Germany. If BMW is selling it, I'm sure it's not cheap. Honestly, though, I've never been a fan of Alpine stuff so I'd like to investigate other options, too.

Can anyone confirm whether my system has an amplifier hidden somewhere in the car?? It's a North American model, with the most basic stereo system (head unit says "Professional"). Crappy subs mounted under the front seats, and you barely know they're running. I can't imagine there's an amp pushing power to these things.
I thought you had to get at least the Hi-Fi system to get the subs under the seats? Other wise what is the Hi-Fi upgrade, just the tweeters in the side pillars?
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      07-16-2015, 02:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooombs View Post
I thought you had to get at least the Hi-Fi system to get the subs under the seats? Other wise what is the Hi-Fi upgrade, just the tweeters in the side pillars?
I thought the same, but subs are definitely under the seats. I suspect the Hi-Fi system includes tweeters and an amplifier.
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      07-16-2015, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooombs View Post
I thought you had to get at least the Hi-Fi system to get the subs under the seats? Other wise what is the Hi-Fi upgrade, just the tweeters in the side pillars?
I thought the same, but subs are definitely under the seats. I suspect the Hi-Fi system includes tweeters and an amplifier.
I think with basic setup there's only one sub under front seat as there are only 5 speakers as per the spec and hifi adds another sub and 2 twitters making it the total of 8 speakers and the amp.
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