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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X3 F25 (2011 - current)

X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:29 PM
nicholascanada nicholascanada is offline
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Premium Stereo vs. Say Lexus Mark Levinson

Just wondering what the upgraded stereo in the X3 is like vs other makers premium stereos, as an example Lexus' Mark Levinson? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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In my personal opinion BMW cannot compare with most.other car mfg. Not even a chance against Mark Levinson. Not saying its bad, but to compare against ML is like comparing a honda to a BMW.

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  #3  
Old 07-27-2012, 07:24 PM
Giants84 Giants84 is offline
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Not true the dirac live has great reviews.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2012, 06:14 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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The paper cones that ML uses in my 2006 SC 430 are quite ordinary. You cannot really push them (and I don't). Most on the Lexus SC 430 forums aren't that wild about them. The head unit, in my opinion, is vastly superior to the one in my 2012 BMW X3.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:24 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giants84 View Post
Not true the dirac live has great reviews.
Stereos are so subjective I never follow them. Only use them to whittle out the real crap. The upgraded one isn't bad but not in Mark L league.

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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:00 PM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Our experience with the stereo is average or about the same as MB. Lexus and Honda are vastly superior, but our concern is the car. We have the upgraded stereo system and this is more than decent for our needs. The vehicle drive and overall quality is much better than the GLK or RX.models

Last edited by slambmw; 08-04-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2012, 07:25 PM
Pursang Pursang is offline
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All this said.............

...........what the hell happened to Harmon Kardon?

Did the two kraut companies get into a fight with each other?

I have a loaded 2013 X3 home on a test drive for the weekend.....and I gotta say the upgraded stereo leaves a lot to be desired compared to my 04 325....which IS HK!

Anybody know what the skinny is?
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:59 AM
IAS IAS is offline
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BMW's will be getting Bang & Olfson coming soon according flier at dealership. I am not sure how good it would be, I am happy with h/k I have in my 328 xi
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:48 PM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Audi Q5 offers the B&O system as a standalone for an extra $1,000. Nice to have, but not an audiophile and would prefer to use the money on other options.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2012, 02:01 PM
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Itinj6 Itinj6 is offline
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B&O has been an option on the F12/13 since last year... but they want $3,800 for it. However, you need the Premium Sound Package as a prerequisite. 1,800 (Prem Sound) + 3,800 (B&O) = ... I'm no mathematician but that looks like well over 5K to me. I'm good with the Premium Sound.
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:44 PM
knoxvolgirl knoxvolgirl is offline
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Just recently got a new x3 35i sport with the premium sound. It's fine, but NO comparison to the ML in my previous lexus vehicle. Still love my X3
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:15 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Common Question= YES
Common Answer= NO

BMW MAKES GREAT CARS IN TERMS OF DRIVING, but they don't really put it all in designing the sound system, since most of the focus is on the driving dynamics. The bimmers i have driven, they sound up to date like the base system in say a nissan maxima or toyota camary, but thats pretty much it. The premium sound isnt worth it, and Paying upwards of 4K for the B O sound just seems like a waste, since you can order other important options like better seats or m-sport.

One interesting note though, is that the ML systems, as someone pointed out are of the paper cone variety, so translation there really bad quality. However Since the setup of the soundsystem is designed by acoustic engineers from ML (as in placement of speakers, subs, tweaters and etc), they make up for the product quality being sub par. Thus you get the best sound system out there for relatively good price.

The Lexus SC was a two door convertible, its really hard to offer systems that sound good on convertibles or even coupes (the neighbors Z has 2 speakers thats it).
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:22 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoI4plz View Post
Common Question= YES
Common Answer= NO

One interesting note though, is that the ML systems, as someone pointed out are of the paper cone variety, so translation there really bad quality. However Since the setup of the soundsystem is designed by acoustic engineers from ML (as in placement of speakers, subs, tweaters and etc), they make up for the product quality being sub par. Thus you get the best sound system out there for relatively good price.

The Lexus SC was a two door convertible, its really hard to offer systems that sound good on convertibles or even coupes (the neighbors Z has 2 speakers thats it).
I pointed that out. My Lexus SC has 9 speakers. 3 in each door, 1 in each rear side panel, and 1 subwoofer behind rear seat.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:46 AM
valeram valeram is offline
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I picked the BMW because of the way it drives. The sound option is just a perk that I can live without. In my E92 M3, I seldom listen to the sound system. With all the noise and a mediocre acoustics (a lot of glass), I will just listen to my home audio system if I want to enjoy the music.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2012, 11:08 PM
nonagon nonagon is offline
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I have Premium Audio. It's decent when the EQ is tweaked a bit, but not mind blowing. You can get the frequency response fairly flat if you try. The surround function isn't useful. Mark Levinson is in a different league.
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  #16  
Old 03-29-2013, 12:05 PM
erkbiz erkbiz is offline
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Has anyone looked into aftermarket stereo systems for the 2013 X3?

I didn't buy the premium sound system and when I talked to a local auto stereo shop they said it was doubtful that anything can be done to upgrade what I have.

ERK
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2013, 04:32 PM
Bylawren Bylawren is offline
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My first X3 (2013) had BMW's "standard" system and it was so bad that my wife, on initially listening to it, said, "What's wrong with the stereo?" She later totalled that X3 (*not* due to the stereo...), and when we reordered, we got the "premium" sound system. When that system is not what I would consider "great" sound, it is a VAST improvement over stock. At some point, I may upgrade the amp and speakers, but if you have reasonably discerning ears, be assured that stock system = C-R-A-P.
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  #18  
Old 03-29-2013, 04:48 PM
IAS IAS is offline
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my X3 audio is OK not great. It should be better at this price point, Some of the cheaper cars have better sound system, I am not sure about all other Luxury cars, i have better sound system in Jetta 09, Licoln LS 2005, Nissan Murano, and even in the minivan i owned Nissan Quest and Mercury. BMW 325i 2005 had poor sound quality, 328i 07 better but not great, 328i 2011 I got H/K premium sound definitely better, When you paid almost 50K for a car you really don't have second guess for sound system, some people assume sound system is great and did not get premium sound and had buyers remorse, people don't make car buying decision on sound but would rather add it if they knew.
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2013, 04:29 AM
dudley07726 dudley07726 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudley07726 View Post
I pointed that out. My Lexus SC has 9 speakers. 3 in each door, 1 in each rear side panel, and 1 subwoofer behind rear seat.
One thing that is fantastic on the ML head unit in my SC is the volume & tuning knobs.
What a great feel they have when turning them. Nice resistance. Well machined!
They just don't spin into oblivion like the volume knob in the BMW.

Last edited by dudley07726; 03-30-2013 at 05:54 AM.
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  #20  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:30 PM
bmw2014x3 bmw2014x3 is offline
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My initial order did not had the premium sound but had to add it at the last minute after reading lot of negative feedback on the standard audio.

I could not figure out the speaker make and model. Will it be expensive to replace the main speakers with mark levinson or bang and olufsen?
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  #21  
Old 04-02-2013, 04:51 AM
Snowman73 Snowman73 is offline
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Hi - I have just taken delivery of my new 3.0d M-sport on Friday and can answer questions on the upgraded stereo. As you will all know - in Europe our standard stereo is different from the US - as we can upgrade to Business or Professional. I upgraded to Business, but then decided to upgrade to the Professional as it has DIRAC and more speakers. My previous car (E46 330d SE) had a Harmon Kardon with 8 speakers and sub woofers which was absolutely fantastic so I was expecting big things with this new upgrade.

First impressions without any changes to the equaliser - quite a basic flat sound (I am a musician - principal oboist of a symphony orchestra) but am into all types of music and have a very good ear (but understand people have quite different tastes when it comes to what they want to hear from a stereo.). I have a couple of tracks I like to use to test stereo's and decided to listen to a particular track on the old Harmon Kardon the day I picked up the new car. After changing the initial treble and bass settings it was vastly improved, but after changing the individual equaliser settings and adding on the surround sound - this is by far the best system I have listened to and I have been in friends Audi's and Lexus etc with high end stereo's. If you upgrade to the professional stereo - make sure yours has DIRAC and you will not be dissapointed - the equaliser has a very large range and you really can hear the change by moving the settings even slightly. Bass is extremely good (some forums have said it is not) but I am extremely happy with it. 605w is more than enough, and even when up loud it does not distort. Please note that I am using a USB with FAT-32 formatting. Oh - DAB radio is really good but have not travelled far to test the range yet as it should I am told re-tune automatically rather than you having to do it yourself.
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  #22  
Old 04-02-2013, 06:32 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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I have the equivalent premium audio in my 5er and I am quite happy with it. I have gotten many complements on the audio quality of that system. Based upon a thread here I went with the premium audio in our 2014 X3.
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2013, 06:46 AM
IAS IAS is offline
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As I mentioned earlier, the Audio on my X3 is OK, if I could get a vehicle with premium audio i would get it, most of the vehicles on the lot did not have premium audio, i am not sure why dealership don't order them. On my last 328i i had to really search and wait for the vehicle with premium sound (H/K), time was not on my side this time. I appreciate good sound, the detailed sound on premium audio is definitely, but from most people Stock system is very good, that was not the case with E90's though.
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:42 PM
IRBD IRBD is offline
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The premium in my X3 (and in the 335) are just ok, but still a good bit better than the basic one. Bass is thin, and my biggest gripe is that even though the brochures say it will play 5.1 DVDs, they won't. The premium system in my MDX was actually the best I've heard in any car, ML and B&O included - a sub that actually worked and was tight, and 5.1. I miss it every day, but would still rather drive the X3.
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2013, 02:02 AM
Snowman73 Snowman73 is offline
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I get the feeling that the "premium" in the US is not the same as the "professional" in Europe as we have DIRAC - as I said previously - eth DIRAC makes a huge difference and I think this is what is missing in eth US. Can anyone confirm this - I think the spec has changed as well for the 2013 model as I got paddle shifters as well as DAB as standard - they were not standard before August last year. Regardless of opinions, I love my X3 and my current pro DIRAC sound system is way better than the Harmon Kardon in my 3 series 330d.
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