F30POST
F30POST
2012-2015 BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Navigation, iDrive, Audio, Video, Bluetooth, Phone, Cameras, Electronics > Base Hi-Fi to Bavsound Stage 1 Upgrade Review
GetBMWParts
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      03-20-2017, 11:39 AM   #1
BEM-S4
Major General
BEM-S4's Avatar
United_States
1186
Rep
5,150
Posts

Drives: Dinan M235, Dinan Sport Wagon
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philadelphia

iTrader: (0)

Base Hi-Fi to Bavsound Stage 1 Upgrade Review

Bavsound Stage 1 F31 328 xDrive Sport Wagon Upgrade (Base Hi-Fi no HK car)

Pros:
Much better performance than stock hi-fi speakers, sounds better than HK system
Ease of install
Excellent customer support from U.S. based manufacturer, single throat to choke in the event of problems
Warranty

Cons:
Premium pricing versus some other popular options
Cannot order a-la-carte and must purchase entire system

Upgrade Goals:
I recently completed the Bavsound upgrade on my m235 HK convertible and was pleased with the results so decided to order an upgrade kit for dad’s hi-fi wagon. We listened to both a hi-fi car and an HK car and didn’t think it was worth ordering the HK system, especially compared to the B&O system in his Allroad which is the same price but a much better system. I had relatively modest goals for this upgrade, basically what I wish the HK $ should have gotten me in the first place. So rather than spend $900 or whatever it was back then on the HK, decided to throw Bavsound half that and see what happened. Since they have a 100-day hassle free return policy, figured what the hell, all it would cost me would be some time if we weren’t happy.

Installation:
Compared to my convertible, the install was really easy. Figure 30 minutes per door to be extra careful, not break anything, and install sound deadening (I used Dynomat Extreme) while the doors are apart. Difficulty was 3/10 and I think that was even complicated by the fact that the rear doors had the sunshades installed so popping the panels off was a little more complicated but still very easy. The only challenging part was reinstalling the wood trim on the back doors, but if you get stuck there pop over to the dealer they can do it for you in 5 minutes, I doubt they’d even charge you. The video that Bavsound posted online was extremely helpful. I debated adding the tweeters to the back but decided against it – if it were my car I would have done it. Dad’s car, since I did all of this without his knowledge, I didn’t want to start drilling more holes in panels or do anything that I couldn’t convert 100% back to stock if he wasn’t happy.

Listening Impressions:
I haven’t completed the entire break-in period yet but even right away there was a definite improvement versus the stock system. Bass response was much better, mids and tweeters produced much cleaner sound with better instrument separation on my standard review tracks, and both male and female vocals were much improved.

I have listened to both base hi-fi and HK, and I think this sounds better than the HK system. It sounds infinitely better than the base hi-fi system and was $500 very well spent. If you’re not going to go crazy with upgrades and are looking for the best bang for your buck, getting the base hi-fi system plus Bavsound is without a doubt the best option.

Beyond that, I think you get into the area of personal preference and I am guessing at a bit of this since there are so many different permutations (or combinations, I forget which) of what you could do. Would Base + Bav speakers + Bav sub + Bav Amp for $2K total sound better than HK + Bav Speakers + Bav Subs for $2K + stock HK Amp? Yes, and you’re spending the same amount of $ in either case. Would HK + Bav Speakers + Bav Subs + Bav Amp sound the best? Yes, but that’s an extra $1K and a $3K total. For whatever music you like, is your personal best option speakers and amp and skip the subs so you’re at $1500 total? Very possible. The only thing I can say for sure is call Bavsound up they were super helpful and can tailor what you get to your goals and budget.

Takeaways:
Is this a perfect system? No. Does it exceed my expectations for the amount of $ and effort I was willing to invest? Yes. For what it is, for the target audience, I think it’s a great option. I’d compare it to buying Apple – sure you can build your own better performing PC for less money if you know what you’re doing, but that’s complicated and you’re on your own if something goes wrong. Apple everything is nice and pretty and it works easily, which many gladly pay a small premium for.

Since I am not chasing automotive unobtanium listening nirvana, I think base hi-fi plus Bavsound speakers is the smart money play. It’s a car, not a dedicated listening room, so my goal was livable and enjoyable not perfection. One thing I would encourage others to do, while it’s tempting to just go all-in and order everything all at once, resist the temptation and start with the speakers. The bass response is really good so you may not need to drop $500 on subs. Similar advice on the amp. I would start with speakers, live with them for a few weeks until they are properly broken in, then order the subs if you feel you need them. Then live with that for a while before going to the amp. No extra work it’s not like you have to pull the door panels twice, and it could save some money for other upgrades.

For dad’s wagon we’re really happy with just the speakers and are going to stop there. The only other “audio upgrade” we are thinking about is a resonator delete or performance exhaust!
Appreciate 2
      04-21-2017, 05:38 PM   #2
Spiderm0n
Enlisted Member
Spiderm0n's Avatar
20
Rep
32
Posts

Drives: 2015 328i M Sport
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Bergen County, NJ

iTrader: (0)

Great review!
Appreciate 0
      04-22-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
BEM-S4
Major General
BEM-S4's Avatar
United_States
1186
Rep
5,150
Posts

Drives: Dinan M235, Dinan Sport Wagon
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philadelphia

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderm0n View Post
Great review!
Thanks!
__________________
2016 M235 xDrive Convertible • BSM / CR • BBS SR • IND • Dinan Stage 2 with CAI • MPE • Bavsound Stage 2
2016 328 xDrive Sport Wagon • BSM / SB • Dinan Stage 1 with AFE Scoop • Bavsound Stage 1
2014 328d xDrive • Bone Stock • Rarely Clean
2006 330ci • Bone Stock • Always Spotless
Appreciate 0
      05-09-2017, 12:33 AM   #4
moorty
New Member
moorty's Avatar
0
Rep
22
Posts

Drives: 2014 328i
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Austin, TX

iTrader: (0)

I agree with most of your observations. I just installed stage one in my standard hi-fi 328. I wouldn't call it mind blowing difference. I would say bass is a bit more punchy, mids are somewhat clearer, but the highlight is the clarity of the tweeter at the really high frequency. Heard a few details the first time in some of the songs I've been listening to for the last few weeks!!

My system still has bass distortion problem at high volume, which I thought was mainly due to the mids. Apparently the problem was mostly the woofers.
Appreciate 0
      05-09-2017, 06:45 AM   #5
BEM-S4
Major General
BEM-S4's Avatar
United_States
1186
Rep
5,150
Posts

Drives: Dinan M235, Dinan Sport Wagon
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philadelphia

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by moorty
I agree with most of your observations. I just installed stage one in my standard hi-fi 328. I wouldn't call it mind blowing difference. I would say bass is a bit more punchy, mids are somewhat clearer, but the highlight is the clarity of the tweeter at the really high frequency. Heard a few details the first time in some of the songs I've been listening to for the last few weeks!!

My system still has bass distortion problem at high volume, which I thought was mainly due to the mids. Apparently the problem was mostly the woofers.
I put the ghost woofers in my vert they helped a lot too. Haven't and doubt I will in Wagon as dad is pleased w just speakers.

2 HK basically = 3 HiFi. So I'd give the subs a shot. Also $100 for a FiiO X1 v2 will make a huge difference for you if you switch to FLAC.
__________________
2016 M235 xDrive Convertible • BSM / CR • BBS SR • IND • Dinan Stage 2 with CAI • MPE • Bavsound Stage 2
2016 328 xDrive Sport Wagon • BSM / SB • Dinan Stage 1 with AFE Scoop • Bavsound Stage 1
2014 328d xDrive • Bone Stock • Rarely Clean
2006 330ci • Bone Stock • Always Spotless
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:02 PM.




f30post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST