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      02-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
drp90210
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HK sound "upgrade' disappointing - solutions?

I got my X1 yesterday and love it except for the stereo. I paid $995 for the HK "upgrade," but the bass is tubby, the mid-highs are boxy and the whole thing just sounds kind of cheap, at least in relation to what I assumed an upgraded sound system would sound like.

I doubty I will change out the main unit, but does anyone have any recommendations as to what speakers or amps might fit well with the HK speaker configuration that comes with the X1?
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      02-28-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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I don't have the HK, but now that I've read your post and others like it, I'm glad I didn't plunk down the $$. Seems the stock system that comes with the NAV sounds pretty good, at least to me!

Thanks! Vince.
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      02-28-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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I have the upgrade and I think it sounds fantastic. Maybe try fiddling with the equalizer? Do a search and you will find suggestions as to the best configurations.
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      02-28-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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1st, turn off L7 Surround. 2nd, it takes a few weeks to fully break in. Last, check these threads for help with equalizer.

http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752647

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=581707
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      02-28-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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Yes, the fake surround on the HK branded system is awful. Like a bad karaoke machine.

The deep bass is too "urban" for my liking. Yes, it packs a punch, but it's not precise in any way.
The tweeters, on the other hand, are absolutely great, and makes it worth the money IMO.
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      02-28-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grovsnus View Post
Yes, the fake surround on the HK branded system is awful. Like a bad karaoke machine.

The deep bass is too "urban" for my liking. Yes, it packs a punch, but it's not precise in any way.
The tweeters, on the other hand, are absolutely great, and makes it worth the money IMO.
Well, I used to be a recording engineer so maybe I am too finicky. But the bass is very undefined (and gives me a headache because it is so loose) and mid-highs sound boxy to me. I guess the HK tweeters are better than stock but regardless of whether the spectrum of frequencies is represented I am not feeling it. I of course turned off the surround sound and messed with the EQ but can't seem to get a consistent high-end sound. If anyone has ideas about sub or speaker replacements please let me know.
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      02-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #7
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There's nothing wrong with being critical of a factory system, none of them will please everyone. The "premium" ELS system in my Acura was only ok, and the upgraded Sony stereo in my new Ford truck is almost insultingly bad (speakers apparently made out of empty Quaker oatmeal containers). Sorry I can't recommend any aftermarket replacements but I'm sure there are plenty out there.
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      02-28-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Bavarian Soundwerks is working on a speaker upgrade. It is a bit difficult to use aftermarket components in BMWs because of non-standard mounting holes and shallow depths.
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      02-28-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drp90210 View Post
Well, I used to be a recording engineer so maybe I am too finicky. But the bass is very undefined (and gives me a headache because it is so loose) and mid-highs sound boxy to me. I guess the HK tweeters are better than stock but regardless of whether the spectrum of frequencies is represented I am not feeling it. I of course turned off the surround sound and messed with the EQ but can't seem to get a consistent high-end sound. If anyone has ideas about sub or speaker replacements please let me know.

With such an ear I can't imagine any OEM system would seem satisfactory.
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      03-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nospam View Post
Bavarian Soundwerks is working on a speaker upgrade. It is a bit difficult to use aftermarket components in BMWs because of non-standard mounting holes and shallow depths.
I'm waiting to see what they come up with. I purposely bought the stock system because I knew I'd be paying for stuff like hokey surround sound that I'd hate if I bought the HK system. Better to save the money and invest in aftermarket to get what I want.

I've also seen Reus Systems mentioned positively in some BMW forums. They are based in Anaheim for those in southern CA.
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      03-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #11
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2013 BMW X3  [2.83]
Test drive a car that has a HK before buying.
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      03-01-2013, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Test drive a car that has a HK before buying.
+1. I listened to both but I decided neither are great. I'm keeping an eye open for after market solutions that provide decent audio quality, including sealed a sealed sub and not single tuned ported thumpers, so I'm not holding my breath.

I'm very picky and budget minded as well so unless the system is a good value I'll probably save the money for the next time I upgrade my theater which is a fully acoustically treated room and actually setup for a listening room first and movies second. But if there was a product like Lexicon with active eq to compensate for road noise I'd really have a hard time passing on that as road noise ruins detail listening for me.
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      03-01-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leatherpants View Post
I have the upgrade and I think it sounds fantastic. Maybe try fiddling with the equalizer? Do a search and you will find suggestions as to the best configurations.

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      03-02-2013, 11:13 AM   #14
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I have to say the HK system sounds great, however it's no Bang and Olufsen, I'm a musician and sound engineer and audiophile...lol, I would not buy a car with a horrible audio system. Quality is great and I actually love it! my only gripes are; I just wish it was louder, with more bass/lows, is it worth 900....? Eh maybe 675
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      03-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #15
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How does the X1 sound upgrade compare to the X3's upgrade?

I ordered the X1 with the upgrade but the dealership didn't have an upgraded X1 to listen to. I thought the X3 sounded great.

Edit: Dealership didn't have an "upgraded X1" to listen to (mistakenly said X3).

Last edited by DeepseaX1; 03-02-2013 at 08:55 PM. Reason: Typo
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      03-02-2013, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
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How does the X1 sound upgrade compare to the X3's upgrade?

I ordered the X1 with the upgrade but the dealership didn't have an upgraded X3 to listen to. I thought the X3 sounded great.
X1, X3, and 3 series upgrade should all be the same. New upgrade is miles ahead of all previous BMW OEM systems I've owned.
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      03-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #17
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The stock system sucks, it has no definition and body at all.
Hifi upgrade (not HK) sounds pretty good in my ears, at least, while I'm driving. When there is no road noise at all the bass is just way too much (even with less bass in the eq).
So have you listened while driving or standing still? Big difference and very difficult to engineer, especially with different tires and different tirenoise.
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