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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Navigation, iDrive, Audio, Video, Bluetooth, Phone, Cameras, Electronics > Who makes BMWs standard speakers in the F30?
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      05-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
Paul Blart
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Who makes BMWs standard speakers in the F30?

When I picked up my 2015 335i m sport, the BMW genius told me Harmon Kardon makes all of their speakers and the the premium speaker package just had more speakers with more “juice”

Is this accurate?

Edit: From a business standpoint, this would make sense, one vendor typically equals better prices due to volume.
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      05-18-2018, 11:09 AM   #2
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I think the speakers are Philips. I don't think there's any difference between the Hi-Fi and HK system speakers, just that the HK has more of them. HK makes the Hi-Fi head unit and amp as well. The main difference between the two is the added power and EQ of the HK system. The stock speakers are actually pretty good. I see all sorts of claims of how much better after market speakers are but no real data to support it. Not long ago one speaker manufacturer offered a new product for user testing. I looked into it and the deal was you'd get a discounted price, but only as a rebate if you favorably reviewed them. I countered with an offer to subject them to a full spectrum of professional tests, comparing them to the stock speakers, as I am a professional acoustical engineer. I was not going to pay for them, nor would I guarantee a positive review, I'd let the chips fall where they may. I can't say if they were concerned that the speakers literally wouldn't measure up to the claims made for them, but they didn't take me up on the offer.
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      05-18-2018, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
I think the speakers are Philips. I don't think there's any difference between the Hi-Fi and HK system speakers, just that the HK has more of them. HK makes the Hi-Fi head unit and amp as well. The main difference between the two is the added power and EQ of the HK system. The stock speakers are actually pretty good. I see all sorts of claims of how much better after market speakers are but no real data to support it. Not long ago one speaker manufacturer offered a new product for user testing. I looked into it and the deal was you'd get a discounted price, but only as a rebate if you favorably reviewed them. I countered with an offer to subject them to a full spectrum of professional tests, comparing them to the stock speakers, as I am a professional acoustical engineer. I was not going to pay for them, nor would I guarantee a positive review, I'd let the chips fall where they may. I can't say if they were concerned that the speakers literally wouldn't measure up to the claims made for them, but they didn't take me up on the offer.
For the average guy without the specialized equipment you no doubt have, any suggestions on how to compare speakers? I am running the HK system but will be replacing with the brand new Alpha One speakers from Bimmertech this weekend.

For me, the difference between HK and upgrades HAS been significantly different in other cars, but of course purely subjective opinion. Going from the HK setup to upgrade kit in my X5 was mind blowing.. its a cathedral to music now with the change. (granted, there are 1,000 variables effecting the state of the HK speakers by the time I got them including, time, abuse, break in and who knows what)

I don't have your skills and no doubt tools, but any suggestions on how to review to a better degree than "they just sound better"?
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      05-18-2018, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DIY Guy View Post
For the average guy without the specialized equipment you no doubt have, any suggestions on how to compare speakers?
What it used to take $5k or more to do you can do now for the price of a USB mic that plugs into a laptop. For instance:
https://www.parts-express.com/minids...phone--230-332
You can get a mic as part of a complete testing software package for $350,

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...undle--390-800

but you can also use it with free testing software like Room EQ Wizard, which has extensive support.
https://www.roomeqwizard.com/
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      05-18-2018, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
What it used to take $5k or more to do you can do now for the price of a USB mic that plugs into a laptop. For instance:
https://www.parts-express.com/minids...phone--230-332
You can get a mic as part of a complete testing software package for $350,

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...undle--390-800

but you can also use it with free testing software like Room EQ Wizard, which has extensive support.
https://www.roomeqwizard.com/
Really appreciate that.. any pointers if I don't have those tools on hand for this weekend?
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      05-18-2018, 04:02 PM   #6
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Don't trust your ears alone. Engineers don't. Here's why:
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      05-18-2018, 07:56 PM   #7
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I really like the “basic” speaker system. I mostly listen to news, podcasts, and music peppered in between- so I don’t need anything too crazy. I’m just curious as to who makes the speakers.

Billfitz how do you know it’s Phillips? Thanks!
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      05-18-2018, 09:01 PM   #8
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Here's an article on Harmon Kardon Logic 7 Surround Sound System for F30.
There is no mention of Phillips being a supplier but others are mentioned.

https://news.harman.com/releases/top...d-sound-system

The speakers are better quality with Harman Kardon than with base HiFi as verified by GlennNY who is an audio engineeer as well. I have HK system in my 2014 F30 and it is hands down superior not only the sound quality but also the volume of the sound with the 600 watt amp. At 1/4 volume it blows out your ears with modified EQ settings which base HiFi system does not have. I listen to my music from the hard drive built in which is fast and can hold up to 20K mp3 songs so I don't have to use my iphone or any other external device.

Last edited by tympj; 05-18-2018 at 09:08 PM.
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      05-18-2018, 10:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Billfitz how do you know it’s Phillips?
By the label on the magnet that says 'Philips'. I had to look at a picture of them to refresh my memory.
If you search 'BMW speaker brand' you don't find anything, but if you google 'BMW Philips speakers' there's plenty of links and pictures.
They're by no means cheap drivers. One might get that impression from the small magnets, but said magnets are neodymium, which are 1/8 the size and weight of equivalent ceramic magnets but cost twice as much.
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      05-19-2018, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
By the label on the magnet that says 'Philips'. I had to look at a picture of them to refresh my memory.
If you search 'BMW speaker brand' you don't find anything, but if you google 'BMW Philips speakers' there's plenty of links and pictures.
They're by no means cheap drivers. One might get that impression from the small magnets, but said magnets are neodymium, which are 1/8 the size and weight of equivalent ceramic magnets but cost twice as much.
That is solid evidence, thank you!
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      05-19-2018, 07:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
By the label on the magnet that says 'Philips'. I had to look at a picture of them to refresh my memory.
If you search 'BMW speaker brand' you don't find anything, but if you google 'BMW Philips speakers' there's plenty of links and pictures.
They're by no means cheap drivers. One might get that impression from the small magnets, but said magnets are neodymium, which are 1/8 the size and weight of equivalent ceramic magnets but cost twice as much.
None of the HK speakers have Philips marked on them, you're thinking about older systems. On the F3X platforms the speakers are made by one of two manufacturers, Harman Becker (Harman) and D&M PSS. The Harman Kardon units have HBAS (Harman Becker Automotive Systems) on their stickers. Worth noting that the words Harman Kardon are not synonymous with quality in the audio industry. Harman Becker is a subsidiary of Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung (since their recent purchase). Becker however used to be quality in car audio, Harman Kardon used to produce decent home theatre equipment. Neither do this now.

The base and HiFi speakers are made by D&M Premium Sound Solutions: https://www.premiumsoundsolutions.com/ they're OEM manufacturers for a LOT of car audio systems. They make crap systems, they make great systems, it's all determined by the customer's requirements and budget.

It's also worth noting that you absolutely cannot rate the speakers in a car based on the manufacturer. Nor can you rate the manufacturer based on the speaker. The drive units will have been made to a budget and that is what determines the quality. Both manufacturers above would be capable of designing top end drive units if they needed to. I suspect the only reason the HK system uses Harman units is for licensing/copyright.
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