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      07-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
speedf
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Very poor audio experience

Hi,

I've got "standard" BMW audio on my F30 320d SE but with the DAB radio. I've had the basic audio options on many cars before (VW, Fiat, Rover, Ford) so thought the BMW would be O.K.

However, I'm really unimpressed with the audio and wondered whether there is actually something wrong (although dealer says otherwise). Basically, two problems; firstly the bass is EXTREME - even with the bass slider turned down in the tone settings, it's still quite noticeable. When set to the default level in the tone settings, it quite obviously causes speaker buzzing and distortion. Second problem is that maximum volume level is still not overly loud when set to max and, when it is at maximum, audio range is poor - bass is overpowering, and tone range limited.

On a different note, I've noticed that when I loose DAB signal, the radio doesn't automatically switch to FM, even though the option is set on the radio. Again, other cars that have had DAB seem to cope with loss of signal causing a switch to FM.

Any advice?
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      07-26-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Afraid to say the BMW standard system is awful

Sorry to sound smart but as you specced the car you should have got harmon surround system

I know it's another 1.5k or whatever it is

Also the bad news is it can't be retro fitted we'll BMW dealers will not touch it
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      07-26-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Wheelie,

Wish I'd known this before I bought. Guess going to have to look at some kind of aftermarket solution then. Any good advice - I need to keep bluetooth/dab/steering wheel controls though.
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      07-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Tbh is way above my knowledge if you go none BMW aftermarket stuff

I have an E92 with basic system ands it's awful

Before I got it was looking at getting a new E92 had heard the surround system in an M1 in the dealership and was top notch

But decided to get a second hand one, you can get an alpine upgrade with L7 subs under the seats which gives you an amp and better speakers

But ain't to sure what you can do with the new models

Try the audio section I think it's on the USA bit of the site
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      07-27-2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf View Post
Thanks Wheelie,

Wish I'd known this before I bought. Guess going to have to look at some kind of aftermarket solution then. Any good advice - I need to keep bluetooth/dab/steering wheel controls though.
If u wait a bit there should be a dealer fit Alpine kit coming soon, it's similar to the one on the E90.
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      07-27-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelie good View Post
Afraid to say the BMW standard system is awful

Sorry to sound smart but as you specced the car you should have got harmon surround system

I know it's another 1.5k or whatever it is

Also the bad news is it can't be retro fitted we'll BMW dealers will not touch it
New F30 June, 2012 the HK Surround Sound 688 was 650 inc VAT.
For that you get 600w digital amplifier, equalizer, centre speaker and 16 looudspeakers. Seems a good deal!
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      07-27-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yer that's much better than the old E92 upgrade I think it was about 1.2k
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      07-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carjack View Post
New F30 June, 2012 the HK Surround Sound 688 was 650 inc VAT.
For that you get 600w digital amplifier, equalizer, centre speaker and 16 looudspeakers. Seems a good deal!
Poor speedf he be kicking himself now as it was only 650 squids more if ordered with car - oopsies
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      07-28-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Got to say I agree - I've got the 'default' audio system too and the tone is not great. If you crank up the bass it just overwhelms everything, dial it back and the system sounds 'thin'. I've got some tracks that really suffer when played in the car because the mid-range just seems to disappear.

If BMW release an Alpine upgrade option I'll be very interested. They did this for the 1 Series and it was sooooo much better than the standard system.
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      07-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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Take a look here too.
They usually comes out with a nice kit for all models. So maybe they have one, but haven't updated yet or it is in the works.

http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/ca...261/0/Catalog/
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      07-31-2012, 11:21 AM   #11
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I've got the standard audio too and I agree with the comments on its limitations. very disappointed!

maybe a speaker only upgrade could improve the sound, without having to mess around with the actual stereo.

to me it does sound like its the speakers that can't handle the output at loud levels.
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      07-31-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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Spoke to dealer today (car is already experiencing problems - media display keeps showing "No Signal" message). He advised that I could "upgrade" to the HK for 1200 (parts) + labour *gulp*

Aftermarket solution now looks most cost effective - but am interested in rt10415's point about speaker upgrade. Not sure whether poor performance is HU/speakers/something else. Do know that the old E46 basic audio really benefitted from new speakers. Anyone got opinion/experience?

Again, have to express my extreme suprise for a supposed "luxury" car manufacturer to have such a bad basic audio system!
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      08-01-2012, 03:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelie good View Post
Afraid to say the BMW standard system is awful

Sorry to sound smart but as you specced the car you should have got harmon surround system

I know it's another 1.5k or whatever it is

Also the bad news is it can't be retro fitted we'll BMW dealers will not touch it
Have to agree, I have ordered it on the F31 3.0D M Sport (coming soon).
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      08-03-2012, 05:33 AM   #14
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Have just taken delivery of my new 320d sport. Utterly delighted with the interior/exterior, the way it handles and the engine is lovely and punchy, if a little loud. I too have the 'standard' audio system and in making the brand switch from Audi to BMW (previously had the A4 S-Line TDI 170bhp) i'm a little sickened at just how bad the BM's standard audio system actually is!!! So shocked that a car costing circa 30k is provided with a base audio system that you'd be disappointed with, if it came in a Fiat (no offence to Fiat drivers!). Surely there's an aftermarket upgrade out there somewhere?????????
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      08-03-2012, 06:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1974 View Post
Have just taken delivery of my new 320d sport. Utterly delighted with the interior/exterior, the way it handles and the engine is lovely and punchy, if a little loud. I too have the 'standard' audio system and in making the brand switch from Audi to BMW (previously had the A4 S-Line TDI 170bhp) i'm a little sickened at just how bad the BM's standard audio system actually is!!! So shocked that a car costing circa 30k is provided with a base audio system that you'd be disappointed with, if it came in a Fiat (no offence to Fiat drivers!). Surely there's an aftermarket upgrade out there somewhere?????????
Have to agree here, I originally came from a Volvo and to compare the 2, I felt BMW audio seemed to be stuck somewhere back in the early 1990s!

I went from the Volvo S40 to a E90 (2010) and upgraded from the Standard audio to the Midrange (if thats what its called), and I was disappointed. It left me tweaking the bass and treble adjustments.

I have learnt my lesson and now with the F30 i've gone with the HK audio and can finally say its on par with the Volvo I owned over 4 years ago!!
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      08-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #16
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I called into my local dealer at the weekend, to ask about after market upgrades. The sales guy did not want to know at all, his attitude being "you should've specified the HK audio, if you didn't, well that's tough!"

Then went on to tell me that if I wanted the HK audio system retrospectively, it would cost over 2,500 excl VAT!!

All ideas are welcome!!!!
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      08-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #17
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Makes the original 650 upgrade price seem like a bargain!
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      08-09-2012, 09:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1974 View Post
I called into my local dealer at the weekend, to ask about after market upgrades. The sales guy did not want to know at all, his attitude being "you should've specified the HK audio, if you didn't, well that's tough!"

Then went on to tell me that if I wanted the HK audio system retrospectively, it would cost over 2,500 excl VAT!!

All ideas are welcome!!!!
Best way around this is to get a good speaker set from Amazon/Ebay and take it to your local car mechanice (who's good at electrics) to have it fitted.

Ive spotted a decent Pioneer speaker system with an amp and sub woofer for about 400 but this will have to be shipped to me from Asia. My cousin has installed it in a Honda CRV and the output is fabulous. Being good with vehicle electrics I might just be able to fit this myself or get someone to do it if its too complicated. I might not get the subwoofer which would make it even cheaper for me
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