Standard 180 Watt radio or Harman Kardon? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X1 E84 (2011 - 2015)
First generation BMW X1 availbe as a X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i xDrive.

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Wolfex Wolfex is offline
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Mein Auto: X1
Standard 180 Watt radio or Harman Kardon?

I was wondering how the standard sound system is compared to the Harman Kardon upgrade. Has anybody been able to hear the difference? The local dealer doesn't have any X1s yet so I might drive a ways this weekend to test drive. If they have one with the standard sound system and one with the Harman Kardon I'll let you know.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:32 AM
JIM2013X1 JIM2013X1 is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh
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Mein Auto: Audi A4
I find the standard to be more than adequate. It was either Motor Trend or Car/Driver that said the Harman was not worth the extra money with such a good 'standard' sound system in the X1. I had the Harman in my 2001 325 conv. and did not think it was worth the extra $$
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:11 AM
vic vic is offline
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I also read the review that said the standard stereo was very good, which is why I was surprised that I really didn't like it. I tested it thoroughly before and during my test drives. The bottom end was too boomy, the mid range lacked a little clarity, the high end was a tad harsh. Perhaps the worst thing for me was the sound stage it produced. I noticed that all the sound seemed to come from an area around my legs. There are door mounted tweeters with the base stereo, but the dash-mounted center speaker of the HK should alleviate the staging issues. I have not heard the HK to verify that it solves these problems, but I ordered it anyway. What I know for sure is that I wouldn't have been happy with the base stereo. Then again, I'm a musician and am pretty picky about sound systems. Your mileage may vary.
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2014 328d xDrive Wagon Sport/Grey/Black/Prem/Tech/CW/LP/DA
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:28 AM
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the_fox the_fox is offline
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I heard that HK has subwoofers in the seats. I'd say it depends how picky you are with your music quality. But generally, the stock BMW systems are already better than other car brands. If you spend a lot of time in your car it might be worth it. But listen and compare them, if you can.
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