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      01-10-2017, 12:47 PM   #1
DJsirkit
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2017 HK system vs 2014 HK system F32

Hello

I recently dropped my 2014 428i xdrive for service at the dealer. I was given a loaner 2017 440i xdrive(So much fun mad that I bought a 428 an not the 435 or 440).

Both cars are equipped with the BMW Harman Kardon system. After setting the EQ tune in the 440 to what i normally have in the 428. i noticed that the 2017 system sounded much louder and better.

Did the system change in anyway?
Is the new iDrive the cause of the better sound quality?

Any input would be appreciated.


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      01-10-2017, 02:08 PM   #2
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No one knows?
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      01-10-2017, 02:46 PM   #3
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I have to agree. I took my car in for an oil change yesterday and was given a loaded 2016 228i with the HK and M-Sport packages. Was a damn fine car to have fun in but I noticed one issue and one enhancement: No temp gauge????!!! I hate to assume all 2 series are like that! I also noticed the mids and bass were exceptional in the loaner but not on my pre-LCI car with the same system:/ Sound levels were also through the roof, lol....had it at 1/4 and it was blasting! (I usually have mine at 1/2)
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      01-10-2017, 03:04 PM   #4
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I had a chance to drive the 320i Msport last month with the HK speakers and I still prefer my FY14 built vs. the FY17, even with the same EQ set up but the FY14 sounds better IMHO.
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      01-10-2017, 03:10 PM   #5
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The source means everything so my previous comment meant squat, lol. I was listening to XM in the loaner, which has the new module with better clarity so of course it would sound better. In my car, I mainly use the HDD so the quality and clarity are mixed. OP, were you using the same source in both tests?
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      01-10-2017, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc83 View Post
The source means everything so my previous comment meant squat, lol. I was listening to XM in the loaner, which has the new module with better clarity so of course it would sound better. In my car, I mainly use the HDD so the quality and clarity are mixed. OP, were you using the same source in both tests?
Yes, both Bluetooth Audio from spotify (Music is downloaded on phone)

I also noticed the 2017 does the connected drive apps ex. spotify, M laptimer over bluetooth.

The 2014 does not it requires the phone to be plugged in to use apps. Spotify still plays over BT audio but you cannot scroll through and select playlists from idrive.
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      01-10-2017, 06:36 PM   #7
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With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
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      01-10-2017, 06:53 PM   #8
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Anyone had problem with BT audio volume ? I had to crank my iPhone way up for the volume.
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      01-10-2017, 07:01 PM   #9
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      01-10-2017, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc83 View Post
The source means everything so my previous comment meant squat, lol. I was listening to XM in the loaner, which has the new module with better clarity so of course it would sound better. In my car, I mainly use the HDD so the quality and clarity are mixed. OP, were you using the same source in both tests?
XM Chips in 2016+ vehicles versus Sirius Chips in 2015 and lower.
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      01-10-2017, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad karma View Post
With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
Is that fact? Because when I plug the iPhone via USB the iPhone itself is the DAC, not the CIC. I do not find that USB is worse than BT.
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      01-11-2017, 09:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc83 View Post
I have to agree. I took my car in for an oil change yesterday and was given a loaded 2016 228i with the HK and M-Sport packages. Was a damn fine car to have fun in but I noticed one issue and one enhancement: No temp gauge????!!! I hate to assume all 2 series are like that! I also noticed the mids and bass were exceptional in the loaner but not on my pre-LCI car with the same system:/ Sound levels were also through the roof, lol....had it at 1/4 and it was blasting! (I usually have mine at 1/2)
I swear that our f30 with hk was quite loud at 1/4 volume and unbelievably loud at 1/2 volume. Then we received the 2nd key that was missing upon delivery and everything changed. Even the Misses noticed that to get the same volume output previously at 1/4 she had to crank to 1/2 full volume. Weird. Maybe the second key introduced a different parameter? Maybe BMW engineered exceptional sound parameters for the first 3000 miles? Idk but if the misses notes the same thing as me the anal retentive typical forum dude then something is up...
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      01-11-2017, 10:21 AM   #13
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Something changed because it's day two back in may car and it still sounds worse than the loaner. Either that or they "beef" up the loaners to "appear" and "sound" better
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      01-11-2017, 04:23 PM   #14
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Agreed I picked my car up yesterday and it just wasn't satisfying like the loaner was. Something is up.

Bump to have this looked into. Does anyone know someone who works for BMW and can do some inside digging on this?
1. It could be that the new systems are just better.
2. The system might be loosing volume after a certain amount of time.
3. We are all crazy and its all in our head.
4. Dealer could be adjusting something to help sell newer cars.
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      01-11-2017, 05:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad karma View Post
With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
Same here, also because it sounds better than streaming over BT to me.
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      01-11-2017, 05:54 PM   #16
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Long day at the office but I might head over to the dealer tonight to check into this further. I want to try that loaner again OR another one with the same system!
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      01-11-2017, 06:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffc83 View Post
Long day at the office but I might head over to the dealer tonight to check into this further. I want to try that loaner again OR another one with the same system!
Awesome. Please post an update from your findings. I will try and see if my buddy knows anything he is a sales manager at Motorwerks BMW here in Chicago Suburbs.
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      01-11-2017, 10:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad karma View Post
With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
2012s were the last with CIC idrive so that would be a pretty small sampling. We have a 2015 335 and a 2016 340; both HKs sound the same to me.
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      01-11-2017, 10:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamRWS6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bad karma View Post
With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
2012s were the last with CIC idrive so that would be a pretty small sampling. We have a 2015 335 and a 2016 340; both HKs sound the same to me.
Incorrect. The 2013 model used CIC. It didn't change to NBT until 2014 (at least in the North American market).
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      01-11-2017, 11:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad karma View Post
With CIC iDrive I believe the bitrate was also lower when plugged in, something like 128kbps versus BT at 320kbps. Bluetooth is also louder than the USB.

I use USB with my NBT (2015+) iDrive because even though Spotify works over BT, you don't get full playlist support and browsing, just <</>> and album art. When I disconnect USB and go straight bluetooth, the source volume is definitely louder. Though no difference in quality/clarity.
I don't think this is true at all. After doing some research again. I have had lossless files play via USB. If the DAC could not handle them, they would not play.
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      01-12-2017, 02:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGONXF30 View Post
Is that fact? Because when I plug the iPhone via USB the iPhone itself is the DAC, not the CIC. I do not find that USB is worse than BT.
USB has more bitrate than BT. BT sucks for audio. Don't take my word for it, Google steve wozniak bluetooth
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      01-12-2017, 07:54 AM   #22
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BT Audio streaming sounds awful in my car, it's night and day better when you actually plug the phone into a USB port to play music.
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