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      06-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
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Changes in the sound system from E90 to F30

Does anyone know if the sound system in the F30 has been improved?
I see HK on the pricing as the top system, which is the same as E90. I wonder if they are just rolling over the same system, or did they bother redesigning the "top hifi" system, or even the hifi system.
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      06-22-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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My dad's 09 335i has the upgraded system and on our drive to Berlin yesterday, he remarked that my system sounds nicer than his. The DSP does a nicer job with the surround simulation and I felt like tone and bass response were a little better than his car. Of course, I need to get it home and tweak the EQ manually to ensure frequency response is flat all the way through, but I like what I'm hearing so far.

Coming from a car w/ a sealed 12inch sub, there is obviously less thump but I'm not as much of a bass head as I was a few years back.

Otherwise, you get 2 more speakers than the old system. Overall, I'd say it's better.
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      06-22-2012, 02:19 AM   #3
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Now, are you comparing HK with HK? or no HK to no HK, HK to no HK? Cause I've read and heard some mixed reviews about the F30 with no HK and sound quality. Some say it was actually better than the e90 and some regret not having the HK.
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      06-23-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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The base sound system has been vastly improved. It now has 9 speakers, including two speakers under the front seats, so it's not missing the "bass" that the previous base systems completely ignored. People say (I've have yet to turn the radio on in any of my 4 F30 test drives) that it sounds almost as good as H/K in the E90.

I ordered my F30 with HK because I didn't want to take any chances, and music quality is very important to me.

By the way, there are three levels of sound system:

-Standard (not available in the US)
-HiFi (9 speaker, base in US)
-harmon/kardon (16 speaker, 600w, optional)

Hope this helps
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      06-28-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahzari View Post
The base sound system has been vastly improved. It now has 9 speakers, including two speakers under the front seats, so it's not missing the "bass" that the previous base systems completely ignored. People say (I've have yet to turn the radio on in any of my 4 F30 test drives) that it sounds almost as good as H/K in the E90.

I ordered my F30 with HK because I didn't want to take any chances, and music quality is very important to me.

By the way, there are three levels of sound system:

-Standard (not available in the US)
-HiFi (9 speaker, base in US)
-harmon/kardon (16 speaker, 600w, optional)

Hope this helps
On top of adding those speakers, I believe the overall power has been bumped.
IIRC, the E90 system had 425watts of power, the new one 600watts.
In the world of sound pressure level, that power increase in rather modest and will result in barely being louder over all. But, it does represent a higher reserve of power, and that can allow a better dynamic range, which will be heard and experienced by the listener.
The new system should be able to play cleaner even at the same volume level/SPL due to it's added headroom of power.
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      06-28-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahzari View Post
The base sound system has been vastly improved. It now has 9 speakers, including two speakers under the front seats, so it's not missing the "bass" that the previous base systems completely ignored. People say (I've have yet to turn the radio on in any of my 4 F30 test drives) that it sounds almost as good as H/K in the E90.

I ordered my F30 with HK because I didn't want to take any chances, and music quality is very important to me.

By the way, there are three levels of sound system:

-Standard (not available in the US)
-HiFi (9 speaker, base in US)
-harmon/kardon (16 speaker, 600w, optional)

Hope this helps
Mahrazi, are the 2 drivers under the front seats, the subs?
Are they 8" shallow mount?

I had asked this of someone else, and I think they are, but I'd to get as much info on those drivers as I can.

I have a set of shallow mount 8" Earthquake subs in my 135i.
1 8" sub under each seat, to replace the OEM 8" subs.
The Earthquakes have a better sound and hit better.
I'm thinking of taking them out of my 135i and using them in my new
335i Msport.
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      06-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Mahrazi, are the 2 drivers under the front seats, the subs?
Are they 8" shallow mount?

I had asked this of someone else, and I think they are, but I'd to get as much info on those drivers as I can.

I have a set of shallow mount 8" Earthquake subs in my 135i.
1 8" sub under each seat, to replace the OEM 8" subs.
The Earthquakes have a better sound and hit better.
I'm thinking of taking them out of my 135i and using them in my new
335i Msport.
I am not sure if the speakers in the base system are 6" or 8" but they are bigger than the regular 4" woofers that you will find in the door panels. I know the h/k have 8" subwoofers just like before.

I'm positive that your Earthquake subs will be an upgrade to whatever the car comes with.

Hope this helps
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      07-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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I was reading some of the technical info on Harman Kardon's site and it's light on actual info, but I did learn that the 4" midrange drivers are now made of a new material (they were aluminum in the E90). The tweeters and subwoofers seem to be the same as before, although since the power rating has gone up ~7w/ch I think it's safe to assume that there have been other changes made to the amplifier as well.

I know on the F10, the base system has 6" (or 6.5"?) subwoofers under the seats while HK upgrades those to 8.54" so I would assume it's the same deal with the F30 and as I said, the subwoofers appear to be very similar if not identical to the ones used on the previous generation HK systems.
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      07-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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7 x 26 mm metal-matrix dome tweeters, dashboard, front & rear
7 x 100 mm ALumaprene midrange speakers, dashboard, front & rear
2 x 217 mm woofers (central bass), below front seats

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/en/v...technical.aspx
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      07-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossifumi View Post
7 x 26 mm metal-matrix dome tweeters, dashboard, front & rear
7 x 100 mm ALumaprene midrange speakers, dashboard, front & rear
2 x 217 mm woofers (central bass), below front seats

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/en/v...technical.aspx
Yup.
The new subs are 217mm/8.5", and the E90 3 sedan and 135i that I have, have 200mm/8" subs.

In my 135i, I installed 2-8" subs made by earthquake, better rounder bass.
Earthquake doesn't show an 8.5" sub for now. I'll send them an email to see if the 8" will fit, likely not.
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      07-13-2012, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Yup.
The new subs are 217mm/8.5", and the E90 3 sedan and 135i that I have, have 200mm/8" subs.

In my 135i, I installed 2-8" subs made by earthquake, better rounder bass.
Earthquake doesn't show an 8.5" sub for now. I'll send them an email to see if the 8" will fit, likely not.
E90 used the exact same 217mm/8.54" subs, if you follow that link and click on the coupe or convertible (which are still E92 generation) you'll see that and everything I've ever read about the E90 mentioned 8.54" subs.

But we're splitting hairs here, most manufacturers list a speaker size that is rounded up or down or that is close enough. This is true of all audio brands.
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      07-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #12
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As soon as I take delivery of my F30 hopefully on Monday 30th or Tuesday, I will post pics of the HK speaker location etc. In addition to that I will also give you some technical specification of the actual frequency response of the speakers. Being an electronic enthusiast, I do have the necessary measure equipment to measure the Hz. The subs would be particular interesting, I truly hope that they will be < 30Hz.
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      07-30-2012, 12:50 AM   #13
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The F30 HK System has improved from the E90 HK system as follows:

Power now 600w total
16 vice 13 speakers.

The "additional" speakers are:

Tweeter added to the center speaker location (I believe coaxial design)
Tweeters added to rear doors where previously only midranges existed.
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      07-30-2012, 01:16 AM   #14
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I’ve taken all of the infotainment options (609, 614, 6NF, 6NK, 688, 6AL and 6NR). I will post pics of the speaker locations of th HK. If all goes well, it will be on the 30th of August 2012.
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      07-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #15
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I'm still looking for an F30 owner in the Pacific Northwest who will let us take some measurements of the speakers and the signals. Love to hear from someone!
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      07-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I'm still looking for an F30 owner in the Pacific Northwest who will let us take some measurements of the speakers and the signals. Love to hear from someone!
Takeing delivery of my F30 this week, will be taking Hz's of HK speakers and share on forum. Got proper testing eqpt to measure.
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      08-11-2012, 12:07 AM   #17
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Has anyone compared the specs/audio quality to the E90's Audiophile system?
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      10-31-2012, 04:13 PM   #18
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Thanks all for the replies
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      10-31-2012, 04:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I'm still looking for an F30 owner in the Pacific Northwest who will let us take some measurements of the speakers and the signals. Love to hear from someone!
I will let you know when I get mine. I'm getting a fully loaded Mtech, so not easy to find...
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      10-31-2012, 08:20 PM   #20
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The 9 speaker HiFi is almost as good as my TSX's 415-watt ELS system... The fact go not missing it is a testament to what BMW did with their HiFi system.
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      11-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shag View Post
Has anyone compared the specs/audio quality to the E90's Audiophile system?
Two questions - which specs are you thinking of looking at to tell you how it sounds, and what's an "E90 Audiophile system"?
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      11-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #22
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I've now had my 335i Msport since the end of August, and have listened to the HK system quite a bit.

It's a decent system and a decent step up from the base US system.
Is it worth the over $900 up charge? That's each of us to decide, but for me I say that it shouldn't cost that much as it's that big of a quality increase.

When playing CD's the over all sound of the HK is very nice, quite good actually. It plays clean even at higher volumes. Bass sounds pretty good for OEM and it can actually move enough air so that you can feel it, and it doesn't distort at higher volumes.
Plus, it doesn't have as much "compression" of the bass volume at higher levels as many car OEM systems do in order to protect the speakers at the expense of a better dynamic range. There is still some compression to my ears but it's not as extreme as I've heard in other systems.

Playing CD's is when the HK system shines. There is nearly no need for eq'ing. My settings for CD's are nearly flat with a slight boost in the 100hz range for a bit louder thump, and a bit of boost on the high end as my aged hearing and all those years of being in rock bands have taken their toll on my high end perception.

Logic7 is worthless. It adds nothing to the quality, in fact it takes away as there is an odd 'phasing' with the high, and it ruins the aural "space" so that there is no location to where the instruments are in the sound stage.
I NEVER use it after trying it extensively.

FM sounds good too, but my reception is not so great. The antenna is weak in my system. I had much better reception of the Chicago area stations I listen to with my 135i's "Hi-Fi" system, which is a step below the HK.
The reception is so bad that HD FM doesn't hold well at all. ON a couple of the more popular Chicago rock stations, you can hear the HD turn on an off many times within seconds. HD FM does sound better than standard FM. The high end is crisper and the overall sound is richer with better clarity.
It's all ruined with the lackluster FM reception though, and that really SUCKS.

The worst is satellite. The sound "quality" makes music sound brittle and hollow. High end lacks clarity and crispness, and with the metal dome tweeters the high end is harsh and creates listening fatigue very early if you listen at high volumes for too long.
The compression used in satellite audio is awful, extremely awful. I would much rather listen to FM, but, FM doesn't offer nearly the variety and sheer volume of content. It's a shame. Satellite has a lot of content, but it's mode of operation is very lack luster.

Don't judge the HK system using satellite source, you'll come away very unimpressed. Bring a good quality CD/CD's with you during your test drive if you want to hear what the HK system can sound like.
CD's are like a richly painted colorful scene by a professional artist, and satellite is like a 30 year old faded and cracked polaroid picture, where no amount of EQ can help.
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