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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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  #1  
Old 08-21-2013, 12:19 AM
Thochrun Thochrun is offline
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Harmon Kardon vs Stock

Curious to see if anyone has listened to a X1 with Harmon Kardon sound system vs's the standard sound system, does the HK sound light years better? is the standard sound system sound decent?
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2013, 01:26 AM
nospam nospam is offline
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Standard sound is decent. H/K definitely has better tweeters, more power, and adjustable EQ which justified the upgrade for me.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2013, 06:38 AM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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BMW's stock sound system is already really good, as you may have noticed. The upgrade will mostly depend on the type of music you listen to and how loud. To me the H/K system excels in the bass and less distortion at higher volume. In our case, we prefer jazz, classical and easy listening peppered with a few other genres. The stock sound system is more than enough for us. If you're the type who prefers party on wheels, you might want to think about upgrading.

Another thing, our salesman told us that BMW's stock sound system is actually made by Harmon Kardon and comes out of the same factory, but since it's made at lower standards for BMW, they don't put their brand anywhere. I have not been able to confirm whether this is true. Maybe someone here knows more and could confirm this.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 08-21-2013 at 06:47 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2013, 07:27 AM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thochrun View Post
Curious to see if anyone has listened to a X1 with Harmon Kardon sound system vs's the standard sound system, does the HK sound light years better? is the standard sound system sound decent?
Do you mean stock, or premium?

In the 2013 model (at least in Canada), you could get the basic stereo, the premium stereo which came with the premium package, or the HK.
I haven't heard the basic stereo, but have heard the premium and HK, and both are good.
The HK is slightly better(sounds better when louder) than the premium, and also includes an option for Logic 7 surround.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:51 AM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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^^^^
Interesting! I didn't realize they had 2 different BMW audio systems besides H/K. Maybe it depends on the country? Any way to tell them apart? The specs for mine read "HiFi Audio System with 8 speakers and 180 Watts." Is this stock or premium?
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2013, 08:10 AM
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stonex1 stonex1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
^^^^
Interesting! I didn't realize they had 2 different BMW audio systems besides H/K. Maybe it depends on the country? Any way to tell them apart? The specs for mine read "HiFi Audio System with 8 speakers and 180 Watts." Is this stock or premium?
Sounds like the premium. You have sub woofers?
I think the standard system does not have subs.
Perhaps the US X1's come with the HiFi (premium) stereo standard.

Here's the codes on a 2014 Canadian build sheet.

663 BMW Radio Professional
676 HiFi Sound System (included in package)
688 HK Sound System (Requires the ZLU which is the executive package)

Did you buy a US X1, or does Mexico get a different build option as well?
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Last edited by stonex1; 08-21-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:13 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
...Interesting! I didn't realize they had 2 different BMW audio systems besides H/K. Maybe it depends on the country? Any way to tell them apart? The specs for mine read "HiFi Audio System with 8 speakers and 180 Watts." Is this stock or premium?
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonex1 View Post
Sounds like the premium. You have sub woofers?
I think the standard system does not have subs.
Perhaps the US X1's come with the HiFi (premium) stereo standard.
http://www.e90post.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=27 for all your questions and answers. Look at the "Audio table of contents: start here" thread.

(To some degree, I'm assuming that X1 has similar audio to E9x - but that's a really good assumption.)

Yes, there are 3. All have sub-woofers under the seats. The basic stereo has only 6 speakers and no amp. The "Professional" stereo - which is the default USA stereo - has 8 and an amp. The HK has 11/13, an amp, and DSP. (There actually is another, but availability is very limited on top-end models only.)

BMW tried to downgrade the E9x system in 2010 and got hammered - it was standard for only that year. All other years the "Professional" is standard in the US.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:48 AM
nospam nospam is offline
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X1 audio appears the same as the F30 and not E9x (thank goodness).
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2013, 01:07 PM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonex1 View Post
Sounds like the premium. You have sub woofers?

Did you buy a US X1, or does Mexico get a different build option as well?
Yes, sub woofers under the seats. It sounds great, IMHO.

We bought our X1 in Mexico. You either get the standard HIFi w/ 8 speakers or you can upgrade to H/K (if you can wait 10 weeks or so.)
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2013, 02:41 PM
whitby whitby is offline
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Very subjective and, for what it is worth, my wife and I found the standard system in the X1 in the USA to be rather boxy and wooden sounding.

The HK adds some weight and certainly has a cleaner and better defined image. It is still not great, in our opinion, but it is quite respectable. Overall worth the extra $875 or so for the HK.

For reference I am very, very fussy about sound and have a considerable amount of money invested in our systems at home (Martin Logan listening system/Monitor Audio for a/v, Krell amps., Music Fidelity etc.) so I maybe a little more fussy than most. I have been known to trade a BMW in after 6 months because the standard system was so bad.
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  #11  
Old 08-21-2013, 02:57 PM
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To kinda hijack, what settings do you set your EQ too?
I haven't played around with it yet, but was going to see if different
settings made things better.
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2013, 07:38 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nospam View Post
X1 audio appears the same as the F30 and not E9x (thank goodness).
But the options are still the same: Professional or HK. In the US, there is no Base.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:13 PM
ks9mm ks9mm is offline
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I was able to test drive both HK and US base sound. I like good system and had HK in my previous 335 and X5..

However, i was very pleasantly surprised how decent base system is and decided against HK for both of my new X1 and X5.
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2013, 08:58 AM
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kpgray kpgray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ks9mm View Post
I was able to test drive both HK and US base sound. I like good system and had HK in my previous 335 and X5..

However, i was very pleasantly surprised how decent base system is and decided against HK for both of my new X1 and X5.
+1

I drive a 2013 328i and had the same findings. The stock USA sound system (which is the upgraded sound system option in Europe), is really quite good! I came from an Acura which, by the way, was the first car to have a surround sound system installed in a vehicle. I enjoyed every note for 8 years. When looking at the new BMWs, I found the BMW USA stock system as good, if not better than my Acura. After listening to the HK, although it is better, it was not $875 better. Therefore I could not justify the additional $$$ for a few watts more, two extra tweeters and a slightly larger sub woofer.
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Last edited by kpgray; 08-24-2013 at 09:00 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:00 PM
MrT-Man MrT-Man is offline
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I haven't heard the HK, but I've been underwhelmed by the the HiFi system (the U.S. base system, and the Canadian premium system). Disclaimer: I'm an audiophile. It's good for dance/electronic/techno music, as the bass is really good, but it falls short on the treble & clarity, e.g. when you're listening to jazz, classical or rock. It's good enough to not annoy me, but I wouldn't say it's great -- the HK system in my Mini Cooper was noticeably better.
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2013, 07:20 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is online now
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My X1 is stock whatever, since I only bought M Sport and MW as add-on.

I have a lot of good 10 year old trance music cd's, and today I turned the bass to -5 and the treble to +5, and thought it to be about the best car music I've ever had.

I'm a machineryophile, and only use radio while waiting for someone not driving.
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2013, 01:13 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is online now
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^ I just got my X1 from ED, and now have more info on its stock radio.

BMW added the Ipod sync cable with the car papers which I thought I might have to buy, but after using it, I prefer the single load CD player.

I have a lot of recorded MP3 on CD with several albums on each, so its seems easier to just throw in a long CD in MP3 than to load into Ipod.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:43 PM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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Congratulations in getting your X1!

When you get a chance, I highly suggest ripping your entire CD/MP3 music collection into a SanDisk Cruzer mini flash drive. The 16 GB is big enough for me, but they also sell a 32 GB capacity. It took me a couple of weekends to rip all of our CD's. I also added album covers which neatly display on the screen (i.e., if you have the Tech package.) Well worth it! No more cables or CD's to mess around with. The mini flash drive is so tiny that it totally disappears from your center console. Plus, it will give you access to thousands of songs at your fingertip.


PS. When you get your SanDisk flash drive, don't forget to format it first. Whatever formatting they use at the factory is not compatible with BMW's MP3 player. It took me a few days to figure it out.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 08-31-2013 at 02:44 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2013, 03:35 PM
0w40X1 0w40X1 is online now
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My fingers are so crippled that I can barely insert a usb plug.

When gillions of songs are micronized, it becomes less user friendly to me.

I have an Mp3 disk with 9 Enya albums that I can twist through which is small enough, since it's hard to navigate the ipos, and the device is flopping around while I'm pulling G forces.

You have good ideas and conversations, but I'm a less is more guy.

I can't believe the tech on the stock s28i; the auto wipers and lights work so well you can set and forget on quick weather change day.

They even put the GPS SOS panic button on my base X1 for safety even though I didn't get iDrive or other electronic tech.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:19 PM
Chris Pringle Chris Pringle is offline
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^^^
Absolutely! If MP3 discs works for you, then by all means. Discovering how well the MP3 player works using the USB port/iDrive combo was a game changer for me. As you say, no need for iPods or iPhones that rattle and jump all over and cables to mess around with. The nice thing is that the car allows a lot of flexibility for everyone.

I agree that the auto wipers and lights work really well, too.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 08-31-2013 at 06:59 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-13-2013, 03:37 PM
High and Dry High and Dry is offline
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If you are leasing, HK, which provides noticeably superior sound, is well worth the extra few bucks each month
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2013, 06:18 AM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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Have the standard radio and no Tech package. Must say I'm impressed with the USB flash drive feature. Sound with the compressed files is superior to FM radio and very close to CDs. Like the random play feature if I'm not in mood to listen to an entire album back-to-back. My CDs were ripped with Windows Media Player and their WMV formal. No problems with the radio reading them.
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  #23  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:54 AM
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Jealousofmywife Jealousofmywife is offline
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Harmon Kardon vs Stock

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH46 View Post
Have the standard radio and no Tech package. Must say I'm impressed with the USB flash drive feature. Sound with the compressed files is superior to FM radio and very close to CDs. Like the random play feature if I'm not in mood to listen to an entire album back-to-back. My CDs were ripped with Windows Media Player and their WMV formal. No problems with the radio reading them.
So you don't have iDrive, yes?
Does it show on the stereo display which album and song you are on then? It allows you choose which song you want, by name?


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Old 11-14-2013, 09:02 AM
Gort Gort is offline
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Originally Posted by High and Dry View Post
If you are leasing, HK, which provides noticeably superior sound, is well worth the extra few bucks each month
I was able to listen to both and decided that for me the difference was not worth $30 more a month. The stock system sounds quite good and I believe is also made by H/K. To each their own though.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:10 AM
JimH46 JimH46 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jealousofmywife View Post
So you don't have iDrive, yes?
Does it show on the stereo display which album and song you are on then? It allows you choose which song you want, by name?


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Yes, no iDrive. Options show on screen of radio. Album names when you are selecting those, then tracks when you are selecting those. Shows song title when playing, though long names are truncated. Not bad.
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