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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:06 PM
beantowncruiser beantowncruiser is offline
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Question Premium Sound Pkg. in my 2011 X5d doesn't sound that Premium

I took delivery of my 2011 X5d almost two weeks ago and am totally in love with it. What I'm not in love with is the "Premium" sound system. I can't get it to sound that great - at least to my ears. It always sounds sort of muffeled no matter how I set the bass/treble and I'm not impressed with the surround sound, and, truth-be-known, I'm pretty clueless about how the various settings on the equalizer should be set, although I've tried moving the sliders all over the place!

The one thing that I can say for it at this point is that it is earcrushingly loud - unfortunately, clear crisp sound is more important to me than the volume that it can achieve. Is anyone who has Premium Sound satisfied with it? Is there something I'm doing wrong with settings? I'm open to and would appreciate suggestions.

I may be spoiled because the A5 that I traded for the X5 had a factory Bang and Olufsen that had the most amazing sound that I've ever heard in a vehicle, without all the fancy (and confusing) equalizer settings, but still, I would think that this should still sound great.

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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:12 PM
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Audio system are not BMW's strong point.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 PM
vinsk vinsk is offline
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You will love driving your X5 more than how it sounds from inside. premium sound package should be less expensive or should be made standard on X5
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:27 PM
avalon652 avalon652 is offline
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Agreed...premium sound is great for playing loud top 40s but wont give you true highs and mids...porsche's Burmester system makes BMW look like a Sony Walkman from 1992...

There is a thread on setting the equalizer; that helped a bit!
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=5603686
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:29 PM
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hsindogg hsindogg is offline
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What is your audio source?

To me, Sirius sounds "tinny" no matter what. HD Radio sounds OK, but doesn't come close to MP3's encoded at 320kbps (LAME Codec).

Your 7 channel equalizer should look like a "C", meaning the high frequences should be almost max, as well as your low frequences. Your mid ranges should be at "0" or even negative.

For Tone, Treble, Bass, I only boosted Bass up two.

I'd consider myself above average when it comes to audio, but definitely not an audiophile and the premium sound is more than acceptable to me.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2011, 03:45 AM
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bobamoo bobamoo is offline
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I felt the same way at first, but as time has gone on, it is sounding better (speakers breaking in or just me ). I feel the audio is very accurate and clean, tho not amazing. I set the equalizer in the "C" settings as mentioned above. CDs and iPod are my source, never listen to local radio, Sirius is OK, but not great.
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:56 AM
beantowncruiser beantowncruiser is offline
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Thanks for the replies and advice. My sound source is Sirius satelite, as it was in my A5, so I'm definitely comparing apples to apples. As soon as I get the X5 back from the dealer ( I got them to add roof rails as part of the deal ) later today, I will adjust the equalizer to the "C" setting as you guys recommended.

Hey hsindogg, I like your X5 - mine is almost exactly the same except that I have the brown interior. I like the brown, but I would have gotten the oyster in a second, if they had one in stock that was similarly equipped. So, I guess that means that I'm jealous of your interior!
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2011, 05:46 PM
winterk winterk is offline
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I have the premium sound on my '11 and I can confirm everything the past two posters has said is correct. The "C" or "V" or setting of your EQ will give you a much more clear sound and you sound play with your base and treble and set it to your likings I have my treble on a 3 and my base on a 4, but I like to show off my subs/lows and highs when people get in, some people don't like much base, personal preference. "Wow" is a common word when people hear my sound. But it's no Bang & Olufsen like in the 6 series concept car...

Two other things, I was noticing the muffled sound too until I switched off the surround sound. I'm very picky about my sound so it might not bother you, but in my opinion most songs sound better with the surround sound off. It seems to just disperse the sounds throughout the car so it all sounds a little more muffled. Also, you need to chose a different source for comparing stereos if all you're listening to is satelite you're missing out on 15-30% of the frequency range (the top highs, and deep lows are lost). It's almost as bad as using a tape deck to compare sound systems. In your example, the song may vary and also the signal strength, which can affect how things sound in addition to the loss of frequency range. Pick a song that has both deep lows and great highs and use the same song in each car off your ipod or a cd to compare one system to another, that's really the only way to compare "apples to apples".
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2011, 07:27 PM
Kouper Kouper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avalon652 View Post
Agreed...premium sound is great for playing loud top 40s but wont give you true highs and mids...porsche's Burmester system makes BMW look like a Sony Walkman from 1992...

There is a thread on setting the equalizer; that helped a bit!
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=5603686
For $3500, it ought to.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2011, 10:16 PM
avalon652 avalon652 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kouper View Post
For $3500, it ought to.
Yep... I wonder if the "individual" sound is any better...honestly though what I've got is plenty good enough...there will ALWAYS be something better!
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2011, 01:50 AM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsindogg View Post
What is your audio source?

To me, Sirius sounds "tinny" no matter what. HD Radio sounds OK, but doesn't come close to MP3's encoded at 320kbps (LAME Codec).

Your 7 channel equalizer should look like a "C", meaning the high frequences should be almost max, as well as your low frequences. Your mid ranges should be at "0" or even negative.

For Tone, Treble, Bass, I only boosted Bass up two.

I'd consider myself above average when it comes to audio, but definitely not an audiophile and the premium sound is more than acceptable to me.
2nd on the audio source. Sirius sounds like poo. HD radio is a grade above that. Try some lossless audio or a CD and see if you notice a difference. The enhanced sound system will make crappy quality music louder, but not better quality.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2011, 07:16 AM
winterk winterk is offline
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One other tip, I noticed the premium system is very front heavy, meaning a lot of the sound comes from the front. Try turning the front/back fade two ticks to the back for slightly more balanced sound.

I do have a question for all of you other premium system owners, when the system is turned up about 60%+ I can hear an ever so faint pop when using my iPod interface cable like the sound a tape player makes but less noticable and not very loud. It's not something most people would pickup on, but it's there. Has anyone else experienced this? I have a November build with the new combox and iPod direct interface.
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Last edited by winterk; 01-05-2011 at 07:20 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:47 AM
NMSports NMSports is offline
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FWIW - Sirius sounds better with "Surround" off, and other sources seem best with "Surround" on.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:54 AM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterk View Post
One other tip, I noticed the premium system is very front heavy, meaning a lot of the sound comes from the front. Try turning the front/back fade two ticks to the back for slightly more balanced sound.

I do have a question for all of you other premium system owners, when the system is turned up about 60%+ I can hear an ever so faint pop when using my iPod interface cable like the sound a tape player makes but less noticable and not very loud. It's not something most people would pickup on, but it's there. Has anyone else experienced this? I have a November build with the new combox and iPod direct interface.
Mine is a May build - I don't notice any popping - is it when you plug it in, after every song, throughout the song, etc?
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2011, 11:51 AM
winterk winterk is offline
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It's probably just a bad iPod connector cable. Also audiobooks play at 2x speed which is probably just a kink with the new software since it just came out in October.
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Last edited by winterk; 01-19-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2011, 09:40 PM
winterk winterk is offline
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I've been listening to the stereo a lot recently and I cannot put my finger on it but the more I listen, the more I agree something is lacking in the premium sound. It gets plenty loud but I feel some of the mid-tones are missing the more I listen to it. Putting it in surround mode helps, but definitely something is missing in that mid-range, and yes I have my EQ adjusted. I wonder if it's due to the very small looking mid-ranges in the door?
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2011, 01:55 AM
335i 335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterk View Post
I've been listening to the stereo a lot recently and I cannot put my finger on it but the more I listen, the more I agree something is lacking in the premium sound. It gets plenty loud but I feel some of the mid-tones are missing the more I listen to it. Putting it in surround mode helps, but definitely something is missing in that mid-range, and yes I have my EQ adjusted. I wonder if it's due to the very small looking mid-ranges in the door?
I would agree - premium sound isn't perfect, but a huge step up from the base pkg. The midranges are small, and it's a larger vehicle to fill sound-wise - I love the sound in the 335i - but it's much smaller inside. IMO, it lacks in between the bass and mids - but feels almost like a dead zone for some frequencies. My EQ is more of a "W" - bumping a few of the mids. It seems to help, but I can't seem to get a "full" sound out of it, except for a few select songs. Quality plays a huge difference - uncompressed audio sounds much better, but even with high quality audio, I can hear the "holes".
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:46 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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I didn't get the premium sound, and didn't have it in my current X5. The regular system is adequate for what my family's needs are. But for the love of God we are paying so much money, why doesn't BMW make the premium sound package standard with say the premium package? I mean how much extra would that cost them?
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:02 AM
winterk winterk is offline
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Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
I didn't get the premium sound, and didn't have it in my current X5. The regular system is adequate for what my family's needs are. But for the love of God we are paying so much money, why doesn't BMW make the premium sound package standard with say the premium package? I mean how much extra would that cost them?
Probably quite a bit when you figure in the extra speakers, two subs below the seats, and extra amp added in the premium package, plus all the extra wiring, wholesale probably $500-$800 cost for BMW which they charge $1200 for if I recall correctly.

However, I agree the standard sound is definitely sub-par. It should be a 6 or 8 speaker minimum (and use quality brand name speaker components) for a vehicle in this price range standard. For goodness sake, my old Maxima even had 6 or 8 Bose speakers standard, and that was a 2004 model.

335i I think it sounds good, don't get me wrong I just can hear some of the mid-tones lacking. (I'm a bit of an audio snob if you can't tell ) I'm currently in-between a V and C on my EQ which helps make it more clear but I'll try the W on my EQ and see if it helps fix those dead zone frequencies. Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:08 AM
samsonitep samsonitep is offline
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Its a rip-off. Low quality system. However porsche sucks too so don't feel bad. Benz and Range Rover do it right, but I could care less. I don't pump music, just listen to my classical.

EDIT: the base system diesel and 35i are different than the base 50i. I believe the 50i has 10 speakers.
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  #21  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:53 AM
DeanLinAZ DeanLinAZ is offline
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NMSports has got it right. My "Premium Sound" sounds much cleaner (less muffled) with the Surround Sound turned off.

BMWs were made to drive, not to listen to the radio.
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:16 PM
gogatorsx5 gogatorsx5 is offline
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Best sound is from my iPod. M
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  #23  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
I didn't get the premium sound, and didn't have it in my current X5. The regular system is adequate for what my family's needs are. But for the love of God we are paying so much money, why doesn't BMW make the premium sound package standard with say the premium package? I mean how much extra would that cost them?
This is exactly the correct point. The premium sound should be the base system, and it should go up from there. Another poster said BMW is not known for sound systems and he's right. But that's wrong! I am an audiophile and I'll pay the extra to get away from the base system, but the premium system should be better for the price. It's not terrible and can be pretty good with CD and lossless, but there's no comparison to the Bang and Olufsen in the Audi - and the Burmester is in another league than anything out there. (And costs it as well....)

By the way, I think the bass in the premium system is too much at the default setting - for me. I have it down a couple of notches. Default, or up a couple of steps, is too bass heavy to my ears. Of course, I hear some cars go by with subwoofers rattling my windows and I just shake my head. No relationship to reality at all....

Cheers
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2011, 07:51 PM
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Well, I take it back on turning the bass down a few notches. Listening to "Mexico", by James Taylor yesterday I had to put the setting back in the middle. And I've kept it there. (I wouldn't go above that, though.)

And just to clarify: The premium sound is pretty good. Just not in the same league as Mark Levinson (Lexus) Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) in the Audi, etc. But I would never get the X5 without it and I enjoy it nonetheless.

Rob
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  #25  
Old 01-24-2011, 01:48 PM
ad78 ad78 is offline
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i have 50i M sport premium sound (dec build)
the sound is good but it kills the enjoyment of listening as soon as i drive the truck. so it doesnt matter for me anymore while im driving lol
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