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X1 E84 (2011 - current)
The new to the US BMW X1 will arrive at BMW dealers in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year. Get your X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or get the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i dDrive.

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  #26  
Old 10-17-2012, 10:53 PM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Genname View Post
Right, leave the "head unit" and replace the amp(s), crossovers and speakers, pretty much one-to-one. You'd be stuck with their DAC, I suppose, but that should be OK. The audio upgrade packages on the market just seem to be sets of matched components and installation instructions. True?
True. The premium price we pay for this stuff is for the integration rather than the technology present in the upgrade. The only thing special about the discontinued Blaupunkt plug-n-play amp series was the cable they also made that plugged right into the back of the head unit.

I'm not sure the stock head unit is totally OK though. The one in my E60 sends a signal that is far from flat and attenuates the auxiliary input signal a bunch. I have it sounding OK as long as the source material is really good. I think I would need to spring for some post-preamp signal processing to get it where I'd want it to be. On an 8-year old car that probably won't be happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Genname View Post
I've already been looking at aftermarket replacements for iDrive/nav, because I will not pay $2,500 for the Technology package. There are Chinese products for $500 that seem to offer about the same feature set. In terms of the interface between iDrive and the audio system, am I correct that the audio system owns its own UI and merely sends a video signal to the iDrive display? That is, what BMW calls iDrive consists of a display, controller, wire harness and top level menu system, and that each menu option knows how to format its own data and ouput video and audio signals?
Unsure, and swapping components that far up the signal path seems like it might confuse IDrive and send error codes to the computer, which would just be a pain in the ass.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2012, 11:40 PM
Eric Genname Eric Genname is offline
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Good point about signal processing. After all, we're talking about trying to get "natural" sound while sitting in a small, noisy box a few feet from speakers that are pointed in all manner of directions. And it's not like you can choose your listening position.

I traded e-mails with the folks below. They are really knowledgeable on BMW audio. For those who would prefer to put money into sound rather than trim and wheels (or who can afford to have it all!), they're worth a look:

http://www.musicarnw.com/

I was encouraged they find the HiFi "head unit" to be acceptable. That makes a DIY upgrade a manageable task.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2012, 09:54 AM
kosmo kosmo is offline
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Previously, I would have said standard is perfectly good for non-audiophiles.

Now that we no longer have the melodious inline-6 to listen to, I'd so go for the upgrade!
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:17 PM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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I've heard the HK and the standard audio systems in the X1. HK has fuller bass and sounds much clearer than the standard Audio system. I highly recommend the upgraded sound system if you can afford it. I consider myself a bit of an audiophile- its not the best Audio system out there, but it's quite good.
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2012, 09:55 PM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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Originally Posted by faustas View Post
I am considering that upgrade as well. Common consensus on the forum seems to be "bring your music and try it out yourself."
Couple reasons for that:
-Music quality is very subjective.
-The baseline speakers good (per multiple reviews).
-The upgrade isn't cheap.

I will post a reply when I get to try it out myself. Will probably try out multiple kinds of music, including jazz, classical, trance/techno, pop.
Would love to hear your results!
The HK system is almost a show stopper for me, and here's the quirk.
The 28i in Canada (AFAIK) has no option for HK, but the 35i does.
So if I wanted Hk, I need to spend the extra $ for a 35i.

I'm not close to a dealer so I can't run down and test the stock sound.
I'm on the fence for a 28i vs 35i, but want a premium sound system regardless.
argh!, what is a guy to do?
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  #31  
Old 10-27-2012, 10:03 PM
Tirpitz Tirpitz is offline
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I am an audiophile and I decided to go with the stock system. I had some concerns about the HK setup and how it handles the signal. My intention is to spend the money the HK would have cost doing upgrades to the stock system. I will probably live with the stock stereo until BSW issues their package for the X1. Or until I get tired of waiting for BSW! When I get my X1 I will report on my thoughts about the stock system and what upgrade options might make sense.

FWIW I used to have a Honda del Sol that I had extensively modified purely for sound purposes. I was designed to be a basic two way system with very good tweeters in kick panels and 8" woofers in the doors. The doors were heavily modified to make them acceptable speaker enclosures. Since it was such a small car a pair of 8" woofers was more than enough bass and I never felt the need for a subwoofer. An excellent amp and crossover/EQ went into the trunk. Everything was stealth- you would never know there was anything expensive in the car just looking at it.

That system had an amazing stereo spread and because it was a two seater you did not have to worry about how it might sound in the back seats. Now with a wife and child I'll have to do something that is a bit more of a compromise in terms of sound but I'll still want to keep it as stealthy as possible.

Last edited by Tirpitz; 10-27-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2012, 03:39 PM
faustas faustas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonex1 View Post
Would love to hear your results!
The HK system is almost a show stopper for me, and here's the quirk.
The 28i in Canada (AFAIK) has no option for HK, but the 35i does.
So if I wanted Hk, I need to spend the extra $ for a 35i.

I'm not close to a dealer so I can't run down and test the stock sound.
I'm on the fence for a 28i vs 35i, but want a premium sound system regardless.
argh!, what is a guy to do?

See my "quick impression" post here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...5&postcount=16

Basically, I want something better than the stock sound (but not eager enough to want to do aftermarket stuff) so I'm leaning towards the HK. But like others have pointed out, you can find better aftermarket solutions that seems clearly superior to the HK sound.

I can tell the difference because I play the piano, have crappy stock speakers in a noisy old SUV, and a set of B+W speakers in my living room.
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:24 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Originally Posted by faustas View Post
What reviews/articles do you have to back that up or compare them side by side?

I can tell you from an objective POV that the entry level systems use sub standard materials for their sound systems. I have seen entry level ford focus with better standard systems.

Example: In the X3 they use a paper cone and plastic basket for the door speakers, the head unit was built in Czechoslovakia, and the amps circuitry does not dissipate heat well (heat is a contributor to distortion). Most speakers are made of a plastic or alternate material that will take the constant heat, cold, and moisture you subject your sound system to. Think about this: Go home take your bookshelf speakers throw them in the freezer overnight, then take them out, hit them with a blow dryer, and then crank them up. This is essentially what you do on a cold winter morning everytime you start up your car. Paper just isnt designed to handle that stress and in most cases neither is generic plastic.

A simple set of $50 Alpine speakers sound much much better.

I am in the crowd that gets the entry level stuff and upgrades it. however, everyone is different and way too many variables to make a hard and fast recommendation for you. Find a CD you really know well and hear for yourself.
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  #34  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:47 AM
IAS IAS is offline
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I hope BMW is listening and paying attention, their stock sound is terrible at that price point of x1, x3 and 3 series, consider this you could have a crappy sound on $50k vehicle if you do no pick h/k audio which many 1st buyer could choose expecting the stock radio better than a compact 15k car. Audi, Nissan and even Cadillac ATS has closed the gap on BMW, as cars and drivers said in the review so far BMW is ahead but they need to pay attention.
I want to have total experience of BMW and sound system is big part of it. Most luxury cars stock sound is very good and optional premium is really premium.
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  #35  
Old 04-27-2013, 06:37 PM
Funkypapa Funkypapa is offline
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Stock audio system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richman View Post
Looking to order an X1 and am not sure if the HK stereo is worth the extra $. Can anyone comment on their experience. I am an avid Jazz fan and would look forward to hooking up my ipod. thanks
Hey I love jazz and use my iPod/phone and I am very happy with the sound!
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  #36  
Old 04-28-2013, 07:11 AM
MrT-Man MrT-Man is offline
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I got my X1 with the base (HiFi) system recently, and I'm a little disappointed. I'm an audiophile. I'd describe it as being the minimum acceptable quality, where I can listen to music & not get TOO annoyed at how bad it is. But I do really wish I could have gotten the HK upgrade. (it wasn't an option for me -- I got the 28i & in Canada you can only get the HK on the 35i)
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  #37  
Old 04-28-2013, 07:12 AM
LePew LePew is offline
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I was in a newer X3 loaner this week and couldn't believe how bad the stock sound was compared to my stock X1. Are there differences between the two?

I'm very happy with my stock x1 stereo.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Bimmer App
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  #38  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:45 AM
kbass kbass is offline
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I am a professional classical musician with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Ctr. - Got the HK audio. It has it's pluses and minuses. The plus side is that it is relatively clear on the upper end down side is the boominess of the low end. It takes quite a bit of fiddling with the EQ to get it to sound good. I do think that it is worth the price, but really it is not a super high end system. It was definitely not engineered for classical music. I wish there were EQ presets that could be customized.
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  #39  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:56 AM
dgkfl dgkfl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbass View Post
I am a professional classical musician with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Ctr. - Got the HK audio. It has it's pluses and minuses. The plus side is that it is relatively clear on the upper end down side is the boominess of the low end. It takes quite a bit of fiddling with the EQ to get it to sound good. I do think that it is worth the price, but really it is not a super high end system. It was definitely not engineered for classical music. I wish there were EQ presets that could be customized.
I have had HK audio on 3 BMW's: a pre-LCI E90, my wife's 2012 X3 and my new X1. On both the E90 and the X1, I found the bass to be unsatisfactory. You call it boomy, I would call it "thumpy" (not in a good way). I've found I need to set the EQ to reduce the low end. I suspect the problem is poor reproduction of sound below 100 hz or so (as opposed to just too much bass altogether). Perhaps the woofers are just not large enough. For whatever reason, the X3 does not seem to have that problem.

However, I still think the HK is worth it for both the high-end clarity and the fact that you get the EQ in the first place. It's a real pleasure compared to my 335d which was one of the ones that had the base (below HiFi) system.
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  #40  
Old 05-13-2013, 11:31 AM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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I love the HK sound, and love the surround feeling it gives.
Its nice also to have the option to turn the surround off.
I think some prefer it this way.

But I find it strange there is no volume meter. You can turn it up, and up, and up, but how high will it go.
What if you have it loud, and then push it off with the volume knob.
Does it come back that same loudness the next time you get in your car and turn the system on? I should probably try it.
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