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View Poll Results: Harman Kardon acoustic enhancement (speaker button): On or Off?
On.... it kicks a lot o' ass 54 79.41%
Off.... it sounds like doo doo 14 20.59%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:37 AM
rwnilsen3 rwnilsen3 is offline
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Harman Kardon acoustic enhancement (speaker button): On or Off?

I can't tell if I like the sound of the system better with the HK button turned on or off.... what setting do you have it on?
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:40 AM
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Too personal for me to answer. Private matter.
  #3  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:41 AM
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I think it depends on the particular thing I'm listening to.

But in general, it sounds much better OFF.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnlew
Too personal for me to answer. Private matter.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:52 AM
bluer1 bluer1 is offline
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I have a hard time understanding why they even bothered with the button.
  #6  
Old 10-29-2002, 10:54 AM
jk330i jk330i is offline
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I always had thought the button was there to refresh and distribute better amplification through all 12 speakers.

IMO, it sounds just a tad better - kind of seems like it is turning on an addional speaker set/tweeter for greater audible clarity. I leave mine on.... I doesn't hurt does it
  #7  
Old 10-29-2002, 11:11 AM
TranceLvr TranceLvr is offline
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From what I can tell (and correct me if I am wrong) this button turns up rear speakers that are focused to bounce of the front windshield. I think this draws the sound toward the rear and makes the imaging more fuzzy. I have never liked rear speakers in cars. After all at home, a true 2 channel stereo arrangement is just speakers in front of you.

I vote keep it off.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2002, 06:40 PM
bmwguynj bmwguynj is offline
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Wow, most of you are actually saying to turn it off. This is a button to enhance your listening experience!

You would figure with all those speakers and subs around you in that small cabin, that you would get an amazing sound. Sometimes I feel that it's muffled at times even when adjusting the bass and the treble.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good system, but for some reason, the Bose and Mark Levinson systems out there sound a lot better.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2002, 07:18 PM
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I turn it off when I'm listening to talk or news stations, and turn it on for music.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jetfire
I turn it off when I'm listening to talk or news stations, and turn it on for music.
Do the same in 540, not available in CIC
  #11  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:12 PM
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Plaz Plaz is offline
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I like the spatial enhancement effect most of the time. I usually turn it off if I'm listening to anything I've been a part of creating, however, since it does seem to affect the overall mix of the music -- and I get far too ANALytical when listening to my own stuff.
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plaz
I like the spatial enhancement effect most of the time. I usually turn it off if I'm listening to anything I've been a part of creating, however, since it does seem to affect the overall mix of the music -- and I get far too ANALytical when listening to my own stuff.
Your own stuff - do you mean amateur or pro?
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:24 PM
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Plaz Plaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jetfire


Your own stuff - do you mean amateur or pro?
Either. I've done a lot of the former, and a little of the latter.
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2002, 08:24 PM
rwnilsen3 rwnilsen3 is offline
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The more I listen to it, the more I like it with the acoustic enhancement turned off. It seems to me when the enhancement is on, the sound is coming from somewhere to the right of the driver... and when it's off, it seems that you can "hear" the drivers side door handle speaker better.

It seems in audiophile land, more often than not people try to keep their tone controls flat and avoid any effects that color the music in any way.

I think i vote off.
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2002, 01:01 AM
Faheem Daddy Faheem Daddy is offline
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BMW is smart, this is their ploy:

While the H/K Button is off, the radio is set to play the music in crappy quality, thus making the speakers sound like they're missing something.

But when the H/K button is turned on, the radio plays at the level/quality it's supposed play at, thus making the driver (consumer) think that the extra $$$ they paid for the H/K upgrade is worth it.

Agree/Disagree?

_Faheem
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  #16  
Old 10-30-2002, 05:52 AM
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Chris330Ci Chris330Ci is offline
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Both settings suck IMO. I usually keep it off and listen to music in my other car which has a nice aftermarket system that makes the HK sound like an AM transistor radio.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2002, 04:46 AM
Raptox Raptox is offline
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The button just configuren the frequencies to your speakers.
When the button is ON al low frequencies are filtered out of the other speakers, and send to the sub. When u put it off... the subs are deactivated, and the low frequencies are send to the regular speakers. It is possible to change the frequency range of any speaker in the car, don't know how anymore...but it is possible.

Greetz
  #18  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:15 AM
TranceLvr TranceLvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Raptox
The button just configuren the frequencies to your speakers.
When the button is ON al low frequencies are filtered out of the other speakers, and send to the sub. When u put it off... the subs are deactivated, and the low frequencies are send to the regular speakers. It is possible to change the frequency range of any speaker in the car, don't know how anymore...but it is possible.

Greetz
I don't think this is correct. I never have the button on and the subs still work. Also pushing the button has no affect on the subs or woofers in my car. It really seems to affect the mid to high frequencies in the rear speakers. Here is what the manual says the button does:

Press the button to activate and deactivate
the acoustic enhancement.
The system creates the acoustic
impression of a much larger passenger
compartment accompanied by
improved stereophonic sound at all
seating positions.
The system responds to poor reception
conditions by repeatedly alternating
between the stereo and monophonic
modes. You should then switch the
system off.
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:24 AM
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On
  #20  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:26 AM
Raptox Raptox is offline
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Aha, so it just changes the frequencies.
Anyway, I put it always on !

I have the impression that the HK in the E46 2002 sounds much beter than in the original E46.

Greetz

Quote:
Originally posted by TranceLvr


I don't think this is correct. I never have the button on and the subs still work. Also pushing the button has no affect on the subs or woofers in my car. It really seems to affect the mid to high frequencies in the rear speakers. Here is what the manual says the button does:

Press the button to activate and deactivate
the acoustic enhancement.
The system creates the acoustic
impression of a much larger passenger
compartment accompanied by
improved stereophonic sound at all
seating positions.
The system responds to poor reception
conditions by repeatedly alternating
between the stereo and monophonic
modes. You should then switch the
system off.
  #21  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:29 AM
TranceLvr TranceLvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Raptox
I have the impression that the HK in the E46 2002 sounds much beter than in the original E46.
This is what I have read at edmunds. They said they 323/328 HK was crap, but the 325/330 HK is MUCH better. I would have to agree, although it's not great, it sure is good for stock.
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  #22  
Old 11-01-2002, 07:53 AM
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Spiderm0n Spiderm0n is offline
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I leave it on 100%, but I don't listen to much talk radio. CD's sound great with it on...
  #23  
Old 11-01-2002, 02:35 PM
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Josh (PA) Josh (PA) is offline
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Convertibles don't have a choice do they? Mine doesn't. According to the F-ing Manual (that I did RT), it knows when the top is up or down and changes the EQ accordingly
  #24  
Old 11-01-2002, 03:27 PM
rcc rcc is offline
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The Edmunds data on the sound of the early e46 vs. late model e46 has to be taken with a *huge* grain of salt. The problem is that the first e46 328i that Edmunds ordered for their long-term testing had the navigation system. That also meant it had the cassette instead of the CD. Reports indicate that the HK with CD sounds a *lot* better than the HK with cassette. And if you read the long-term reports on that 328i, their #1 complaint was it had no CD player .

However, I had a 2000 328i with HK and now have a 2003 300i with HK. Personally, I think the HK engineers tweaked the system a bit. Some people may like it better; I don't. I think the newer systems have the treble boosted and may have less well-defined bass. I used to run with the treble boosted a notch and now I suspect I'm going to wind up running it turned down a notch. At least, once I tried turning it down, I could listen to it and relax instead of wincing. The problem is that the higher end frequencies on the BMW soundsystem are present but very harsh. I can hear it and if it's too loud, I can't ignore it anymore and it drives me crazy. In the old car, I was fine unless I cranked the volume. In the new car, even a slightly lower than normal volume was too much until I tried turning down the treble using the tone controls.

Now that I think I might have the treble under control, I'm going to pay more attention to the bass. It might be the same (or close enough) -- the treble was distracting enough that it was hard to pick out what was going on there.

On the other hand, I have what most folks (although probably not true audiophiles ) would consider golden ears so what I've heard in my 330i probably won't bother most people.

- Ray
  #25  
Old 11-01-2002, 03:54 PM
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doeboy doeboy is offline
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Hmm.... I guess I'll add my 2 cents....

I was listening to one at my dealership as I wanted to see if it was any good....

Overall, from what I understand, the drivers of a bit better construction (metal speaker baskets) than the regular system, etc.

For a STOCK system, I thought it was decent. Not great, but decent...

As for the HK button, I was a bit confused to what was happening to the sound as I changed the settings. But I personally felt the system sounded better with the button off. Having it on seemed to make it sound "artificially" enhanced... (kind of like how TVs in a showroom are always super bright and the color is always cranked to be richer than its supposed to be so they can sell more sets)

I'll have to experiment with it some more once I get my E46 before making final judgement. I want to listen to it with some music I'm more familiar with too before I decide for certain which I like better, but at this point, I vote "OFF".
 

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