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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:28 AM
Slick Willy Slick Willy is offline
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Harman Kardon worth the upgrade?

Ordering a 335 and saw a CNET review where the guy talked about how awful the Harman Kardon stereo was in the 3 series. He is only one guy and reviews all sorts of cars....so who knows.

Anyone that is into tunes do any extensive comparison and have any quick input for me?

Anyone done the upgrade and been happy/unhappy with it?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:50 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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I have it I have not had a chance to play with it yet nor listen to a CD. I will post when I do. the reason I got it was because my 07 E90 base system was average at best. I also have a base system in the X5, that one is better but nothing to get super excited about. I am hoping the HK is worth it.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:36 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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I'm not a huge audiophile, but I hear parts of music with the HK system that I have not heard in previous cars. It would be a "definite get" on my options list.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:48 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Willy View Post
Ordering a 335 and saw a CNET review where the guy talked about how awful the Harman Kardon stereo was in the 3 series. He is only one guy and reviews all sorts of cars....so who knows.

Anyone that is into tunes do any extensive comparison and have any quick input for me?

Anyone done the upgrade and been happy/unhappy with it?

Thanks in advance!
That guy is an idiot lol. It's one of the best cound systems in a car. On the other forum, an audiophile/installer did a massive review with instrumentation and said it's one of the best stock systems he has heard in a car

Must get.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:52 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
That guy is an idiot lol. It's one of the best cound systems in a car. On the other forum, an audiophile/installer did a massive review with instrumentation and said it's one of the best stock systems he has heard in a car

Must get.
Justin did he also give some setting for the equalizer? I remember someone did. if you have the link I am interested, I need to setup mine.
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2014 X3 35i Dynamic Handling Package| Cold Weather Package | NAV | Premium hi-fi system | Driver Assistance Package.

2013 335i Sportline | M-adaptive | HK | NAV | PDC | Heated Front seats |6-speed MT.

2011 X5 35d Great SUV gone

2009 C350 Mercedes Gone 7-31-2012, good car but boooooooooring.

2008 X5 4.8i - Turned in 1/24/11 They created the Lemon law because of this SUV.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:00 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
Justin did he also give some setting for the equalizer? I remember someone did. if you have the link I am interested, I need to setup mine.
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752647
Here is a lil tid bit from the thread
Quote:
Quote:
Is it worth upgrading to an $875 HK system?
My response is that it's one of the best OEM systems I've heard, but I would listen to it with my own music before ordering.

I find bright, forward systems fatiguing to listen to for long. The bass is a bit boomy. it's not as good as what we do, but it's one of the best stock systems out there. We will be offering a PnP trunk-sub option for this hk system as well as full cabin upgrades for the HiFi systems.


Quote:
So, you would say overall, the F30 HK system is a step up from the 2011 E90 HK system?
No. Two steps. It's very comparable to the Enhanced Premium system in the E9x M3 and M5. Bass is flabbier, less controlled, but louder.

I doubt we will get anyone wanting to upgrade HK systems other than demanding audiophiles. We will get many more wanting to add sub-bass, and of course we will get HiFi upgrade requests. If only I could get my hands on a 6-speaker car...
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:10 AM
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AndDown AndDown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
Justin did he also give some setting for the equalizer? I remember someone did. if you have the link I am interested, I need to setup mine.
It's in this thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=hk+settings

Congrats on your new ride...we also have the AW color and it's one of the easiest colors to maintain, as well as the silver or gray, IMO.
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:23 AM
Lorenzzo Lorenzzo is offline
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If you listen to I-Pods you'll absolutely love the HK system. If you are an audiophile that listens to high end stuff in an acoustically adjusted room you'll be listening to a lot of talk radio.

It is a major improvement over the last HK system I had in my 08 550.
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:18 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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Excellent thank you Justin.
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2014 X3 35i Dynamic Handling Package| Cold Weather Package | NAV | Premium hi-fi system | Driver Assistance Package.

2013 335i Sportline | M-adaptive | HK | NAV | PDC | Heated Front seats |6-speed MT.

2011 X5 35d Great SUV gone

2009 C350 Mercedes Gone 7-31-2012, good car but boooooooooring.

2008 X5 4.8i - Turned in 1/24/11 They created the Lemon law because of this SUV.
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:51 AM
g37to335i g37to335i is offline
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I have the base in my x5 and that one is awful. If its the same as the 3 series then I would get the upgrade. I listened to one while test driving and the Hk sounded really good and worth the extra 800. I intend to upgrade to the Hk system.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:14 AM
lovemy330i lovemy330i is offline
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I used to drive a 2003 330i with premium everything, including H.Kardon sound. It was amazing! I now drive a 2001 330i with stock sound...big difference, from personal experience would totally get the upgrade! It's worth it...
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:00 AM
Lsg1114 Lsg1114 is offline
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I love my HK! It sounded great right out of the box during my ED. The really nice thing about it is that it plays uncompressed music!

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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:00 AM
Deinonych Deinonych is offline
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If you enjoy audio it is absolutely worth it. You aren't going to get the same experience as a high-end audio system in a dedicated room, but you'd never get that in a car.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:20 PM
The X Men The X Men is online now
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The HK system is probably the best $800 you will ever spend on a car.
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:26 PM
boomn29 boomn29 is offline
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I'm a pretty big audio buff. I've got the HK option (it was on the car) and it's really good.

Now if I was ordering would I check the box? Not sure. I'd have to hear the base system first to compare. But the HK is very good.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:38 PM
Lsg1114 Lsg1114 is offline
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The base system is harsh on the ears. I'm not a super audiophile, but I do enjoy good sounding music. My initial order did not include the Harman kardon. I'm glad you guys talked me into getting it .

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  #17  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:49 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
The HK system is probably the best $800 you will ever spend on a car.
Yep. And it's a lot better than the one in the e90
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:06 PM
AlphaForceX AlphaForceX is offline
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I have the base system and it's a POS! Upgrade if you have the money.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:40 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaForceX View Post
I have the base system and it's a POS! Upgrade if you have the money.
You have an F30 with the base system?

I have to disagree. Although not what I would call audio nirvana, the base system is very good. Definitely not a POS. Much better than the system that came in my TSX (which I upgraded) or the systems I've heard in my friends vehicles. I have not heard the HK system in the F30 nor have I heard the systems that came in the E90.
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2012, 08:28 AM
The X Men The X Men is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukja View Post
You have an F30 with the base system?

I have to disagree. Although not what I would call audio nirvana, the base system is very good. Definitely not a POS. Much better than the system that came in my TSX (which I upgraded) or the systems I've heard in my friends vehicles. I have not heard the HK system in the F30 nor have I heard the systems that came in the E90.
A POS audio system can meaning many things to different people. If one really like loud and well defined music, then the base system is a POS because its under powered and lacks seperation. If all you listen to is talk show and music at low volume, then the oem system is fine.
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  #21  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:43 PM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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I had a chance to play with the setting today and still the jury is out for me. I can say its better than the C350s logic 7, which makes it worth it for me, but still need to fine tune it.
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2013 335i Sportline | M-adaptive | HK | NAV | PDC | Heated Front seats |6-speed MT.

2011 X5 35d Great SUV gone

2009 C350 Mercedes Gone 7-31-2012, good car but boooooooooring.

2008 X5 4.8i - Turned in 1/24/11 They created the Lemon law because of this SUV.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:14 PM
bmwf30 bmwf30 is offline
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I have the HK as well. I used to have a bose audio upgraded kit on an old Nissan I used to own with a really powerful amp. Coming from that the HK is mediocre at best. So what I'm really saying is that don't expect it to blow your mind but instead consider it just as a nice upgrade to the base system. That being said, the HK was worth the upgrade for me because if I didn't do it the only other choice that I would've been stuck with was the base system. The sounds are a bit more refined and distinctive once you play around with the equalizer settings.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:18 PM
Hockeypuck Hockeypuck is offline
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Yes. Unless you plan to upgrade on your own it is a no brainer if you listen to music.
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:05 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Originally Posted by Hockeypuck View Post
Yes. Unless you plan to upgrade on your own it is a no brainer if you listen to music.
Yes, and any good aftermarket setup will cost substantially more than the $875 HK system. Plan on spending at least a couple thousand, and probably more, for a premium quality upgrade.

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  #25  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:52 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Willy View Post
Ordering a 335 and saw a CNET review where the guy talked about how awful the Harman Kardon stereo was in the 3 series. He is only one guy and reviews all sorts of cars....so who knows.

Anyone that is into tunes do any extensive comparison and have any quick input for me?

Anyone done the upgrade and been happy/unhappy with it?

Thanks in advance!
I'm in the minority here, but because my E90 sound system was so bleak the jump to the stock F30 stock system was mind-blowingly good. In the US, the stock system is an upgrade to the base system they have in Europe, so it's better than base but below HK, somewhere in the middle.

So my advice to you is this: If the $800 is going to stand in the way of you getting a really important option like the Lighting Package or the Technology Package or PDC and the Rear Camera, skip it and use the money towards those. If price is no object, go get it.

A car's cabin is not a great place to listen to music anyway, AM/FM/Satellite/iPod is all compressed as it is, I find that it gets to a certain level of above-averageness and that's enough.

BJ
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