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      03-17-2011, 03:53 PM   #1
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1M Harman Kardon Sound System

I'm interested in opinions on whether a Harman Kardon Sound System would be a good option to go for in my 1M? I'm definitely getting a Professional Radio & DAB but is getting the Harman Kardon Sound System a step too far? Am I adding too much weight? Would I be better off getting the Loudspeaker System BMW or just leaving the package standard?

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/broc...w_1_series.pdf
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      03-17-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinta View Post
Am I adding too much weight?
Are you serious?

Time for some perspective dude...the very fact that you're contemplating the sound system tells me this is not a dedicated track car. Forget the weight, get what you will enjoy....
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      03-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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it won't add enough to slow you down!
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      03-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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I got it on my 335i.
I'll get it on the 1M.

Especially the 2 (sub)woofers underneath the front seats add to the listening experience, as compared to the non-HK system.

And since I love lots of bass...
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      03-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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HK will be one of the must have options when resell comes.

I totally get the point of buying a car for yourself rather than the next owner, however, if say, you were selling a Z3M Coupe without HK, it will affect its residuals and interest.

Looking at the few threads here and on other sites about the specs being ordered, it appears that the UK cars in particular are being highly spec'ed.

Open to debate I know.......
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      03-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
Especially the 2 (sub)woofers underneath the front seats add to the listening experience, as compared to the non-HK system.
The Loadspeaker system has them also (although not as powerful).
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      03-17-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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Thanks guys that's really useful feedback
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      03-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxercup View Post
The Loadspeaker system has them also (although not as powerful).
"Stereo" (the base audio) does have 6 speakers total, with 6" speakers under front seats, stereo-channel amplifier, and analog cabling.
"HiFi" is no longer available in 2011 MY cars.
"Top HiFi" (with Harman Kardon) does have 10 speakers total, with 8" woofers under front seats, with 9 channel amplifier, including 2 subwoofer channels, and fibre optic digital audio cabling.

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/en/v...cal-coupe.aspx
*

Last edited by hwelvaar; 03-17-2011 at 06:32 PM..
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      03-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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It's actually a fairly nice option. I get compliments on it a lot...that and the AW/Coral red interior...

Definitely good for resale!
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      03-17-2011, 11:09 PM   #10
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I'm figuring around month #3 I'll be ready to turn on the sound system. Until then, the only thing I'll want to hear is the engine
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      03-18-2011, 01:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
"HiFi" is no longer available in 2011 MY cars.

*


????? How do you mean?

My order sheet says 676 Hifi speakers for 454,55
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      03-18-2011, 02:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gs/e60/1m? View Post
????? How do you mean?

My order sheet says 676 Hifi speakers for 454,55
In the US.
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      03-18-2011, 03:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavaletta View Post
Are you serious?

Time for some perspective dude...the very fact that you're contemplating the sound system tells me this is not a dedicated track car. Forget the weight, get what you will enjoy....
I think you're right, I just needed a reality Check
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      03-18-2011, 03:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicker View Post
it won't add enough to slow you down!
That's the main thing! I have looked the Harman Kardon website and it does appear that they have done everything they can to keep the package as unobtrusive as possible and distribute the components evenly!
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      03-18-2011, 07:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwelvaar View Post
In the US.
Oke !
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      03-18-2011, 07:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinta View Post
I'm interested in opinions on whether a Harman Kardon Sound System would be a good option to go for in my 1M? I'm definitely getting a Professional Radio & DAB but is getting the Harman Kardon Sound System a step too far? Am I adding too much weight? Would I be better off getting the Loudspeaker System BMW or just leaving the package standard?

http://www.bmw.harmankardon.com/broc...w_1_series.pdf
Let me take a moment of your time....

Background information: I am the kind of person who has a really kick ass sound system at home. Two really high-quality loudspeakers, which are hooked up on BI-amp (Meaning the amplify that I using to run the speakers has separate amplification units Per Speaker (the drivers in the speakers) to produce really powerful and CLEAR sound). There system is paired with a powerful Yamaha amp as well as a bi-subwoofer setup to maximize the bass and eliminate bass nodes (the absence of sound as you move throughout the room). I am also the kind of person who does not use the cheap apple head phones (opting for ear-buds or over the ear head phones of the higher quality brands). That said, I also prefer cd's to mp3's although the latter is more practical.

In sum, I like my music and know a little about sound and love having it as part of my car.

Recently I had experiance with the both the HIFI system and the Harmon Kardon system in my local BMW dealership and I have the following opinion/ findings.

Both systems have have 10 speakers and a Amp

HIFI: This sound set up is decent, speakers are located in reasonable areas throughout the cabin. However, the sound is lousy... The system cannot be played too loud and the sound coming out of the speakers is not refined enough to call it a "HIFI" system. The system has the ability to hit the high frequencies in music with easy (most systems can) but where it falls short is harmonizing any middle and bottom end frequencies. This leaves the listening experience dull and in some cases as if the music is being played under-water. Further, when you push the head unit to push the amp which will in turn push the speaker/ drivers the system lets you down big time with amplifying a significant amount of distortion. That said, you are not really able to exceed 1/2 volume on the head unit without picking up a lot of disturbing sounds coming from the speakers.

Conclusion: The HIFI system is good, not really good if you have a real appreciation for music. The system will disappoint and it really does not "Fit" the kind of product that a BMW is.


Harmon Kardon: Where the shortfalls of the HIFI system exist the Harmon Kardon system picks up the pieces - mostly. The sound system has the same set up but everything is that much more refined. The sound is more clear, across a variety of levels and music genres, the base is more refined as well in this set-up. The speaker system can be driven a little hard before the system starts to distort (around 3/4 volume ) speaker buzz is not as bad as it is in the HIFI system but you can still push the whole thing out of the comfort zone. Great things about this system is that it can produce satisfying sound right out of the box and using the manual EQ (if you know where to slide everything) you can make a really decent sound come from the speakers. That said, the system really is lacking a lot of low end and there can be some better middle frequencies improvement. The SUBS under your seat are really small, so much that they are more mid's than lows. The bass is clear but not over dominating and when pushed it too will distort and make for disturbing sound.

Conclusion: If you don't mind having a solid system for a little extra the HK system is the way to go if music is slightly important for you.

Recommendation: I am personally going to opt for the HIFI system and roll the car into my trusted Car Audio shop to upgrade (Speakers, amp, and add a custom sound box in the truck compartment left side where there is a dead space (with a small sub). Here in Canada they want $4900.00 just for the change to have the Harmon Kardon system, tied together with all kinds of shit that people don't need. That said in the US the system is an ~$900.00. My endevore will cost me $1500.00 plus Canadian Taxes.

2nd Recommendation: I am not entirely confident that truly excellent sound can be achieved in this car's cabin because it is such a small space. I think that because the volume is so compromised/ confined that sound will constructively and destructively detract from the whole experience. That is not to say that you cannot have good sound inside a BMW 1M, its just physically not possible. I am confident that with a little help from the aftermarket and a little research a buyer can improve the sound to be more than acceptable inside the vehicle.

Don't worry about weight, they car has more balls that most people are able to drive anyways. Don't worry about the re-sale market either, those people (like me cough, cough) will try to screw every penny out of you when it comes time to sell your car. Despite a sound system from the factory or the aftermarket.


Also keep in mind that once you have a home set up which is able to produce crystal clear sound without distortion everything will sound lousy... It is an old story, once you have the best or close to what the best is able to produce all other things do not fair well by comparison.

I hope I was helpful
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      03-18-2011, 07:23 AM   #17
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The current HIFI system (which is now the base system) only has 8 speakers. There are no rear tweeters....just full range 4 inchers.

The HK will add the tweeters, better speakers and better amp and it will be "tuned" better. It is definitely worth it in my opinion and will not add any significant weight over the base system.

If you are going to shed the sound system for weight reasons or upgrade it, then just get the base system...otherwise I'd go the HK.

Just want to add that I have had cars with both systems, so I'm not basing my opinion on a short demo of each system. Oh, and both have 8 inch woofers....not sixers. That was the pre 9/2010 build cars with LoFi system.

Last edited by CMSS2000; 03-18-2011 at 07:33 AM..
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      03-18-2011, 03:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapter View Post
Let me take a moment of your time....

Background information: I am the kind of person who has a really kick ass sound system at home. Two really high-quality loudspeakers, which are hooked up on BI-amp (Meaning the amplify that I using to run the speakers has separate amplification units Per Speaker (the drivers in the speakers) to produce really powerful and CLEAR sound). There system is paired with a powerful Yamaha amp as well as a bi-subwoofer setup to maximize the bass and eliminate bass nodes (the absence of sound as you move throughout the room). I am also the kind of person who does not use the cheap apple head phones (opting for ear-buds or over the ear head phones of the higher quality brands). That said, I also prefer cd's to mp3's although the latter is more practical.

In sum, I like my music and know a little about sound and love having it as part of my car.

Recently I had experiance with the both the HIFI system and the Harmon Kardon system in my local BMW dealership and I have the following opinion/ findings.

Both systems have have 10 speakers and a Amp

HIFI: This sound set up is decent, speakers are located in reasonable areas throughout the cabin. However, the sound is lousy... The system cannot be played too loud and the sound coming out of the speakers is not refined enough to call it a "HIFI" system. The system has the ability to hit the high frequencies in music with easy (most systems can) but where it falls short is harmonizing any middle and bottom end frequencies. This leaves the listening experience dull and in some cases as if the music is being played under-water. Further, when you push the head unit to push the amp which will in turn push the speaker/ drivers the system lets you down big time with amplifying a significant amount of distortion. That said, you are not really able to exceed 1/2 volume on the head unit without picking up a lot of disturbing sounds coming from the speakers.

Conclusion: The HIFI system is good, not really good if you have a real appreciation for music. The system will disappoint and it really does not "Fit" the kind of product that a BMW is.


Harmon Kardon: Where the shortfalls of the HIFI system exist the Harmon Kardon system picks up the pieces - mostly. The sound system has the same set up but everything is that much more refined. The sound is more clear, across a variety of levels and music genres, the base is more refined as well in this set-up. The speaker system can be driven a little hard before the system starts to distort (around 3/4 volume ) speaker buzz is not as bad as it is in the HIFI system but you can still push the whole thing out of the comfort zone. Great things about this system is that it can produce satisfying sound right out of the box and using the manual EQ (if you know where to slide everything) you can make a really decent sound come from the speakers. That said, the system really is lacking a lot of low end and there can be some better middle frequencies improvement. The SUBS under your seat are really small, so much that they are more mid's than lows. The bass is clear but not over dominating and when pushed it too will distort and make for disturbing sound.

Conclusion: If you don't mind having a solid system for a little extra the HK system is the way to go if music is slightly important for you.

Recommendation: I am personally going to opt for the HIFI system and roll the car into my trusted Car Audio shop to upgrade (Speakers, amp, and add a custom sound box in the truck compartment left side where there is a dead space (with a small sub). Here in Canada they want $4900.00 just for the change to have the Harmon Kardon system, tied together with all kinds of shit that people don't need. That said in the US the system is an ~$900.00. My endevore will cost me $1500.00 plus Canadian Taxes.

2nd Recommendation: I am not entirely confident that truly excellent sound can be achieved in this car's cabin because it is such a small space. I think that because the volume is so compromised/ confined that sound will constructively and destructively detract from the whole experience. That is not to say that you cannot have good sound inside a BMW 1M, its just physically not possible. I am confident that with a little help from the aftermarket and a little research a buyer can improve the sound to be more than acceptable inside the vehicle.

Don't worry about weight, they car has more balls that most people are able to drive anyways. Don't worry about the re-sale market either, those people (like me cough, cough) will try to screw every penny out of you when it comes time to sell your car. Despite a sound system from the factory or the aftermarket.


Also keep in mind that once you have a home set up which is able to produce crystal clear sound without distortion everything will sound lousy... It is an old story, once you have the best or close to what the best is able to produce all other things do not fair well by comparison.

I hope I was helpful

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I'm also into my home audio. I run an Oracle Transport, DAC Pre & Pwr plus a pair of Yamaha NS1000M speakers.

When it comes to my car system I actually listen to allot of radio ranging from current affairs to classical (BBC Radio 4 & BBC Radio3). I listen to BBC Radio 1 in the evening when things start to get interesting. This is why I'm definately getting DAB along with future proofing the car and the fact it's a gadget that I've have never had before in a car!

When it comes to CD that is a whole different ball game. Appart from the odd bit of Pink Floyd early in the morning or very late at night I pretty much exclusively listen to atmospheric Drum & Bass (Good Looking Records). It is at this stage I want a system that can deliver a quality sound with good separation and tight but not necessarily deep bass and it does not have to play loud either.

I'm really into the idea of having a factory option system that is perhaps a little bit special at the same time and from what I'm hearing on the forum the HK does seem to be getting the thumbs up.

In the UK once you opt for Bluetooth or DAB you have already upgraded to the BMW Professional Stereo which means you 765 away from having an HK System I think that's good value
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      03-18-2011, 03:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMSS2000 View Post
The current HIFI system (which is now the base system) only has 8 speakers. There are no rear tweeters....just full range 4 inchers.

The HK will add the tweeters, better speakers and better amp and it will be "tuned" better. It is definitely worth it in my opinion and will not add any significant weight over the base system.

If you are going to shed the sound system for weight reasons or upgrade it, then just get the base system...otherwise I'd go the HK.

Just want to add that I have had cars with both systems, so I'm not basing my opinion on a short demo of each system. Oh, and both have 8 inch woofers....not sixers. That was the pre 9/2010 build cars with LoFi system.
I'm definately going to add the HK to my options list
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      03-18-2011, 04:59 PM   #20
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Man, why don't people just search?!?! There have been N+1 threads on this topic.

My fingers are exhausted from re-typing the same thing over and over again. To each there own, but to me this is one option that is not worth it's money. In the 1-series application, it is not even a true Logic 7.

With very few exceptions ($8K Bang & Olufsen option on the Audi S8), car manufacturer-provided audio 'upgrades' are a waste.

Just search, and make up your mind. But spend the $850 on aftermarket plug-and-play speakers (in fact 1/2 of that), and you will have something that will leave people asking what is Harmon Kardon and why would someone even bother ticking the option box...
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      03-18-2011, 04:59 PM   #21
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Just came back from the dealer...told my salesguy i wanted to hear a diff in audio. He happen to have 2x 2011 1 series, one with stock radio and one HK. Parked them side by side playing the same song and there's a good difference. I'm probably gonna add this option.
Just wondering if the aftermarket route is worth the hassle.
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      03-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franklin Joseph View Post
Just came back from the dealer...told my salesguy i wanted to hear a diff in audio. He happen to have 2x 2011 1 series, one with stock radio and one HK. Parked them side by side playing the same song and there's a good difference. I'm probably gonna add this option.
Just wondering if the aftermarket route is worth the hassle.
You are not comparing apples to apples. The HiFi system in the 1///M is the same as the base system offered in the 2008 and 2009 model years. In a cost cutting effort, in 2010 and thereafter BMW took the HiFi audio out, and the base system you heard on the 2011 model is NOT what you will get in the 1 ///M as a base.

Listen to a base audio in a 2008 or 09 car, and compare the HK to that, not what you heard in a base 2011.
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