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      10-30-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
happy_chrissy
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Harman Kardon sound system

I got the Harman Kardon sound system but it doesn't sound powerful. I was at the dealership the other day and was in a 328 and that sound system had bass than mine and it was a factory radio! Now, I am thinking I wasted money getting this sound system and it doesn't sound any better than a regular factory radio. Yes, I checked my speakers say Harman Kardon on them.

Maybe it is my settings? if you have Harman Kardon sound system, what do you have your settings on?
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      10-30-2014, 08:47 PM   #2
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If by "powerful" you mean loudness, the only adjustment would be volume. I believe the output between the standard and premium is pretty close. The 328 also has a small volume to fill. Manufactures increase the number of speakers rather than more powerful amps to obtain greater loudness. You may want to make sure surround sound is on.Many younger owners raised on bass heavy music have supplemented with separate subwoofer. For improve sound quality you may want to check out these posts.

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...=premium+sound-Newest setting are towards the bottom of thread.

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1041459

Last edited by Radioactive; 10-30-2014 at 09:07 PM.
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      10-31-2014, 01:15 AM   #3
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I believe from the X4 forum here there are 2 sub-woofers in the HK system, so you should get bass if you equalize correctly in theory, my HIFI option has some serious base and super crisp! See thread here ----->>>http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1050967
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      10-31-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
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I had a similar experience with an Audi A5. I spent a fortune on the Bang & Olufsen stereo and was deeply unhappy with it but the dealership constantly told me there was no problem. I was sure the volume was limited in some way because if I kept turning the volume knob up the audio volume didn't increase but I had to turn the knob a proportional amount down again before the volume would decrease.

If that doesn't make sense, imagine the knob was calibrated from 0-15. At 10 the volume would stop increasing but if I had turned it up to 15 then turning it down wouldn't make any difference until I got back to 10 again - like the output was restricted at 10.

Since then I've not bothered with the premium sounds systems - I'm very satisfied with the "BMW Business" speakers which I think are now branded as "BMW Advanced" and are about a third of the cost of the HK upgrade.
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      10-31-2014, 09:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy_chrissy View Post
I got the Harman Kardon sound system but it doesn't sound powerful. I was at the dealership the other day and was in a 328 and that sound system had bass than mine and it was a factory radio! Now, I am thinking I wasted money getting this sound system and it doesn't sound any better than a regular factory radio. Yes, I checked my speakers say Harman Kardon on them.

Maybe it is my settings? if you have Harman Kardon sound system, what do you have your settings on?
I had the 600 watt system in my 2011 X3 (wasn't branded Harman/Kardon but it's the same system) and I can tell you it gets better with time. I could crank the volume extremely loud and lose NOTHING. Highs are crisp, lows are full, and you don't lose too much bass when you lower the volume. I play my music very, very loud, and I promise that system delivers. I was never disappointed.
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      11-01-2014, 02:54 AM   #6
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Same thought here..

Coming from a 15 speakers Bose system in a Cadillac with 400watts factory + added my own 12" Kicker L7 for some extra bass.. The Premium Hi-Fi is not all that in bass but definitely in voice is great.
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      11-01-2014, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBNYC View Post
Same thought here..

Coming from a 15 speakers Bose system in a Cadillac with 400watts factory + added my own 12" Kicker L7 for some extra bass.. The Premium Hi-Fi is not all that in bass but definitely in voice is great.
I am now convinced there are different configurations and brands for HIFI some its HIFI, premium HIFI, advanced hifi, logic 7 etc etc In the X4 base is nice and deep, highs very crisp on HIFI. Came across this link on explanations, a bit older models but you get the drift --->>> http://musicarnw.com/bmw-factory-audio-explained/
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      12-04-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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Does anybody have any equalizer settings suggestions for the Harmon Kardon system for the X4?
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      12-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmonnin View Post
Does anybody have any equalizer settings suggestions for the Harmon Kardon system for the X4?
Check the my X4 thread above and ask there , you may get a response. Starting to think the power and model of HK and HIFI on X4 is different than X3 from all the comments I am seeing, go figure
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      12-05-2014, 12:07 AM   #10
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There are eq settings posted for the "premium audio" system in the pre-lci X3s, which I don't think is HK but not sure.

Does anyone know who made the pre-Lci premium system? I have it, I think its great! But not sure who makes it I've heard Dirac, some company called Leer, Alpine... the amp in the trunk is branded Harmon Becker.
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      12-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDrive35i View Post
I had the 600 watt system in my 2011 X3 (wasn't branded Harman/Kardon but it's the same system) and I can tell you it gets better with time. I could crank the volume extremely loud and lose NOTHING. Highs are crisp, lows are full, and you don't lose too much bass when you lower the volume. I play my music very, very loud, and I promise that system delivers. I was never disappointed.
Is it the same? I have this as well and love it. Interesting because I was told that it wasn't the same (and not as good) as the HK that was being offered in 3s at the time. I can share my EQ settings if anyone wants (but then again EQ can be a matter of personal taste depending on what types of music you listen to.)
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      12-05-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch35iM View Post
There are eq settings posted for the "premium audio" system in the pre-lci X3s, which I don't think is HK but not sure.

Does anyone know who made the pre-Lci premium system? I have it, I think its great! But not sure who makes it I've heard Dirac, some company called Leer, Alpine... the amp in the trunk is branded Harmon Becker.
The first link in post #2 is pre-lci. Not sure of second link.

A picture of the headunit labeled "Alpine" was posted couple of years ago, but the amps are labeled "Harman". Harman International owns Becker, Harman Kardon, AKG, Crown, JBL, Infinity and other audio companies. Although BMW did not label the premium sound "Logic 7" in US which is a Harman proprietary DSP, i believe in fact that it is. Dirac is the premium sound not in US cars and is DSP/equalization software. I don't know if they are hardware.

Last edited by Radioactive; 12-05-2014 at 11:14 AM.
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      12-05-2014, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5against8
Quote:
Originally Posted by xDrive35i View Post
I had the 600 watt system in my 2011 X3 (wasn't branded Harman/Kardon but it's the same system) and I can tell you it gets better with time. I could crank the volume extremely loud and lose NOTHING. Highs are crisp, lows are full, and you don't lose too much bass when you lower the volume. I play my music very, very loud, and I promise that system delivers. I was never disappointed.
Is it the same? I have this as well and love it. Interesting because I was told that it wasn't the same (and not as good) as the HK that was being offered in 3s at the time. I can share my EQ settings if anyone wants (but then again EQ can be a matter of personal taste depending on what types of music you listen to.)
I believe I read in the press release for the LCI X3 that the system is largely the same, and that the only main difference is the Harman Kardon branding. Harman Kardon played a part in the pre-LCI and LCI systems. I can't find the link right now, but I remember there was one key difference. The upgrade still costs $875 (a bargain for a system like this).
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      12-21-2014, 05:26 AM   #14
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I had the HiFi Individual (DiRAC Surround system) in my previous 2010 (F10) 5-er. It was okay, the best BMW had to offer at the time. The sound was a bit muddy, not so airy and clear but packed some punch.

I've had a loaner with HiFi for a couple of weeks now and the sound was actually very similar to the Individual HiFi in my old F10.
My new X4 have the Harman Kardon system and it is a step up in sound quality IMO. Clearer sound, more dynamics and less "muddy". I'm very happy with it.
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      12-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #15
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I want to comment that I find the standard sound system in UK spec X3s to be acceptable. Of course much depends on what your aspirations are, possibly because I have a couple of very good hifi systems at home, the differences between the BMW systems aren't so important to me. I also tend not to like lots of high frequency unless quality is _really_ good as it can be tiring, all the glass in cars can do nothing other than cause pesky high frequency reflections. Hence the lack of tweeter for me is a good thing. With both my X3s I was disappointed with the standard sound system at first but once the speakers had about 10 hours use at a reasonable volume level I found they greatly improved. Initially I good vocals and bass but little in the way of guitars. The sound is fine now and decently balanced. I have a 128GB usb stick with 900 albums ripped as MP3 VBR V2. I have room for about another 800 albums.
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      12-22-2014, 02:28 AM   #16
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I really like my pre-lci "premium sound system." I think it's one of the best car sound systems out there (in this price range). I cut out a lot of the 1k range and mid-bass with the eq, and boosted the high treble a little, very good eq settings. Mostly a curved dip with the most cut at the 1k. I'll post if anyone's interested.
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      12-22-2014, 05:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch35iM View Post
I really like my pre-lci "premium sound system." I think it's one of the best car sound systems out there (in this price range). I cut out a lot of the 1k range and mid-bass with the eq, and boosted the high treble a little, very good eq settings. Mostly a curved dip with the most cut at the 1k. I'll post if anyone's interested.
Well, I am very interested. Trying to improve the sound for a few months now... :-)
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      12-22-2014, 05:49 AM   #18
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Same here please post
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      12-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #19
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Guys, remember one important audio physiologic thing- before you judge any audio system, this must be kind of "burned in". You need to play heavy loud music, the best is dance, to move speakers to the limits and format amplifier capacitors.
Do not expect that new car from dealer will sound like Carnegie Hall.
And better system- longer time to burn in.
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      12-22-2014, 05:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyX3driver
Guys, remember one important audio physiologic thing- before you judge any audio system, this must be kind of "burned in". You need to play heavy loud music, the best is dance, to move speakers to the limits and format amplifier capacitors.
Do not expect that new car from dealer will sound like Carnegie Hall.
And better system- longer time to burn in.
I thought white noise was best?
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      12-22-2014, 06:48 PM   #21
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Maybe for tweeters, but playing something that gets the drivers moving is better.
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      12-22-2014, 07:17 PM   #22
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Maybe for tweeters, but playing something that gets the drivers moving is better.
I believe that is "pink" noise. Believe "white" noise is full spectrum.

Update Flash: just referred to track 44 of "My Disc" Sheffield Lab Recordings. Pink
noise is uncorrelated 20 Hz to 20k Hz. Exchange pink for white in the above statement!

Use pink for break in.

Last edited by Radioactive; 12-22-2014 at 07:49 PM.
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