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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 02-11-2015, 11:41 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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2015 X3 Hifi vs Harmon Kardon

Hello, my vehicle was manufactured May of 2014 after the LCI changeover and came with the standard hi fi stereo. It does lack umph! I was looking at various parts sites and it shows that the hifi speakers are the same as the harmon kardon speakers. Can anyone confirm this? If so can I just purchase the harmon kardon amplifier and swap out the hifi unit? If speakers are the same then the one main component that is different is the amp.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2015, 01:24 AM
jgroarke jgroarke is online now
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I'd be f*cking amazed if that were true - please do keep us posted :-)
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:08 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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That is not true, HK speakers are an upgrade from those cheap base cardboard speakers.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2015, 08:43 AM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Yes you guys are right... was real fuzzy last night. the standard is 65139240642. The HK is 65139209185. I wonder if I can get any improvement by just putting an amp in there without swapping the speakers. That has always a problem for BMW, you pay so much for vehicle to get crap sound.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2015, 08:53 AM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Depends on how the stock speakers are rated. Throwing an amp on garbage speakers might not help your cause. You need to know their power rating and frequency response just as a baseline.

Additionally, the HK amp is wired to run more speakers that your car does not have. As far as using BMW components to modify the base system, not sure if you want to even bother.

You would be better served to replace your base speakers and amp. Or, you can start with just a speaker replacement and see how it sounds running off the stock amp and go from there.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2015, 02:03 PM
Bradsx3 Bradsx3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick2015 View Post
Depends on how the stock speakers are rated. Throwing an amp on garbage speakers might not help your cause. You need to know their power rating and frequency response just as a baseline.

Additionally, the HK amp is wired to run more speakers that your car does not have. As far as using BMW components to modify the base system, not sure if you want to even bother.

You would be better served to replace your base speakers and amp. Or, you can start with just a speaker replacement and see how it sounds running off the stock amp and go from there.
+1 on above...thats what I'd do...
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2015, 02:05 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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If you cannot change out both the speakers and the amp, swapping out those cheap base speaker will get you more bang for the buck in my option. After all, the speakers are where the rubber meets the road as they say.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2015, 05:40 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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Does a company make direct speakers for the x3? I searched and couldn't find a company.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:33 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
If you cannot change out both the speakers and the amp, swapping out those cheap base speaker will get you more bang for the buck in my option. After all, the speakers are where the rubber meets the road as they say.
Have you had any experience with a stage 1 system from bavsound? They will have one for the X3 in April. One of the major issues is when I am listening to spotify or itunes the music crackles in higher volume. it did not do it in my x5 previous x5 or my wife 335 with harmon kardon. Drives me nuts... now I just listen to the radio with hollow sound!
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2015, 07:13 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw23112 View Post
Have you had any experience with a stage 1 system from bavsound? They will have one for the X3 in April. One of the major issues is when I am listening to spotify or itunes the music crackles in higher volume. it did not do it in my x5 previous x5 or my wife 335 with harmon kardon. Drives me nuts... now I just listen to the radio with hollow sound!
I have heard the base system with bavsound speakers on a 5 series, its definitely an improvement over the base speakers, but not as good as the HK system. The X3's base system sounds ok at low volume, but at moderate or loud volume, it will be distorted. With the bavsound speakers, it will sound better at moderate volume but at high volume, the base amp will start to distort. You can always start with the speakers and if you not satisfied, then change the amp. You might also want to look into a digital signal processor.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2015, 10:02 AM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw23112 View Post
Have you had any experience with a stage 1 system from bavsound? They will have one for the X3 in April. One of the major issues is when I am listening to spotify or itunes the music crackles in higher volume. it did not do it in my x5 previous x5 or my wife 335 with harmon kardon. Drives me nuts... now I just listen to the radio with hollow sound!
Since you indicated that your source of music is iTunes or spotify, crackling music isn't so much a result of the audio system as it is the poor stream quality of what you are listening to. Also be sure to use a direct connection to the system whenever possible. USB or Aux. Depending on how you connect your audio player, iPhone will cause significant distortion if you are connectiting via AUX and using the iPhone volume control at max. Lower the volume a bit and the "crackling" will go away. The level on the BMW Aux line is very high which causes distortion almost immediately if the phone is on max volume. This is not an issue when connected via USB.

That audio quality, when played loud, will demonstrate not only audible distortion, but also magnify the mediocre audio stream. You will hear digital artifacts, hiss, interference, etc., as the audio system itself is amplifying the noises that do not belong in the music. Any poor quality music source will sound even worse when played at higher volume and create potential for damaging your speakers.

HK does a good job to make bad audio sound better, but as many people know, satellite radio still sounds horrible, amazon streaming is ok but poor volume and shoddy connection quality, etc.

Your best bet is to replace the speakers, see how the system sounds, and go from there. You do not necessarily need any digital processors if you buy a good amp.

Last edited by maverick2015; 02-13-2015 at 10:07 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2015, 10:36 AM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Also be sure that if you are using Spotify, to set the Music Quality to at least High - however, I do recommend the Extreme setting as this is 320/kbs a second. Sound quality should be close above average to excellent and you will not hear any if at all digital audio breakdown.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2015, 11:11 AM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Thanks for all the info. Yep when streaming I have it set on extreme and volume on the iphone turned to medium. It just seems that these imperfections are great exacerbated with the new base system. When connecting via USB the crackling goes away, just a pain to have to plug in and unplug everytime rather than the auto stream whenever my bluetooth connects. The dealer made a really gd deal when I picked it up last month, I just never tested the streaming. Since my family and I are a volume customer they are looking into swapping the vehicle out.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2015, 11:16 AM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw23112 View Post
Thanks for all the info. Yep when streaming I have it set on extreme and volume on the iphone turned to medium. It just seems that these imperfections are great exacerbated with the new base system. When connecting via USB the crackling goes away, just a pain to have to plug in and unplug everytime rather than the auto stream whenever my bluetooth connects. The dealer made a really gd deal when I picked it up last month, I just never tested the streaming. Since my family and I are a volume customer they are looking into swapping the vehicle out.
We had to replace our Aux in the 2014 3 we have due to similar issues. Stay away from the Aux if you can..really causes detriment to the sound. Like you noticed, run everything through USB whenever possible. Are you saying you have sound crackling through BT streaming or the Aux line?

I still cannot find a fix or solution to exit a Podcast through iDrive. Anyone? Once a podcast is playing and on the screen, there is no way to get back to the music screen (playlists, now playing, etc) unless I am a complete idiot. I have to close out the podcast app on the phone, and engage the music app manually for iDrive to recognize.

Last edited by maverick2015; 02-13-2015 at 11:19 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2015, 12:06 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Its through streaming. I don't normally listen to podcats.. I can try it out when I have the time and see. I got a call back from my dealer, they are willing to "swap" it out.. would have to pay sales tax and processing again. The newer vehicle is more expensive since it is a higher msrp. We may end up doing it since by the time I get speakers, am etc it will be a couple of thousand anyways.
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2015, 01:09 PM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Sounds good. I do not think you will be disappointed with the HK. My lingering issue with the system is that you really have to unwind it. So at least half volume or higher. In that range, I have little complaints. The EQ works well. The only thing missing is independent levels for the center and subs.

The DSP is so-so, really depends again on the audio source and how each track has been mixed. Some sound excellent with Logic 7, some sound worse. You will probably find yourself leaving it on or off entirely.

Go here for a good breakdown of the system, scroll down a bit and select X3. Looks like they left out the center channel in the diagram though.

Last edited by maverick2015; 02-13-2015 at 01:11 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2015, 07:44 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw23112 View Post
Its through streaming. I don't normally listen to podcats.. I can try it out when I have the time and see. I got a call back from my dealer, they are willing to "swap" it out.. would have to pay sales tax and processing again. The newer vehicle is more expensive since it is a higher msrp. We may end up doing it since by the time I get speakers, am etc it will be a couple of thousand anyways.
Would it consider a trade and you pay sales tax on the difference in price?
As much as I like the HK system, an aftermarket system with bavsound speakers will sound much better. I have tested out the HK system in the X3, it not bad but does not sound as good as the 5 series and the X5. My advice is go to the dealer and test out the HK with your music medium, sometimes the problem is garbage in garbage out. That's why I have a few test CDs I bring to the dealer to test out audio systems. I still have the free satellite subscription in the my but I do not list to it because the quality is low. If you have the ability to choose the podcast's bit rate, obviously, you should choose the highest.

Last edited by The X Men; 02-14-2015 at 07:53 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2015, 05:47 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Tested out the HK at the dealer, streaming same songs and spotify as well with no crackle issues like the basic system. I went ahead and did the trade. This one has more options so cost a bit more. The dealer went over and beyond to make me happy. They all but essentially absorbed most of the negative of the trade. I moved my black grills to this new one as well! Very happy with it!
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2015, 06:34 PM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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Congrats. I think you made the best decision under the circumstances. You should find the HK pretty awesome.
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2015, 06:43 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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Originally Posted by maverick2015 View Post
Congrats. I think you made the best decision under the circumstances. You should find the HK pretty awesome.
Thanks. Did you ever get the black grills?
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2015, 06:45 PM
maverick2015 maverick2015 is offline
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With all the snow that we have gotten over the last month +, I put it on the back burner. My car has been absolutely filthy for so long.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2015, 07:29 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw23112 View Post
Tested out the HK at the dealer, streaming same songs and spotify as well with no crackle issues like the basic system. I went ahead and did the trade. This one has more options so cost a bit more. The dealer went over and beyond to make me happy. They all but essentially absorbed most of the negative of the trade. I moved my black grills to this new one as well! Very happy with it!
I am glad everything work out for you, sounds like the DSP and the speakers fixed the crackling problem. What additional option did you get? Usually when a dealer is willing to do a trade like that, they probably made a lot of money off your sales, after all, they are not in the business to lose money.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:12 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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The one we traded in we actually got 12.75 percent off Msrp. It had been sitting for about 10 months. In addition to the tech, driver assistance with lane departure surround view, this one had the lighting package, premium package and of course HK. It did not have the xline like the last one did, so we moved the wheels from the "old" one over to this one. If you looked at the monthly payment it would seem I only got 4 percent off Msrp on the latest one.... But if you looked at the actual details with trade and all it was well above the 12.75 I got the first time round. My family buy an average of 2 from them a yr, so we would be categorized as a "good" customer :-)
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2015, 03:44 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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12.75% is a phenomenal discount for the X3. Sounds like your dealer took good care of you. It is strange that your last X3 had driver assistance with lane departure and surround view but not lighting package or premium package, almost seems like someone order it and then change their mind. The strange options or lack there of might be the reason why it has been sitting on the lot for a while. It sounds like you pay an extra $3500 for the 2nd car which is a great deal considering that the invoice price for the additional options is around $4500. If you subtract the $1400 for the X-line package, the invoice for the 2nd car should be around $3100 more than the 1st. That would mean the dealer only charge $400 for trading in your car which is pretty much an even trade.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:21 PM
bmw23112 bmw23112 is offline
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The X Men... you are absolutely right. They were trying to get the MSRP of the vehicle below a certain price point. They actually had 2... one had HK, Nav and Heated Seats... the other had xline, Tech, Driver assistance package plus. So I chose the latter. it was almost like the lesser than 2 evils. The irony is the one I am in now is the one I originally wanted if I were to move from a X5 to a X3, but in the interest of moving the old inventory (actually 9 months old not 10) they made the numbers really ugly on the one I wanted. ... fast forward I am happy now with the purchase versus the previous one where I would dread getting into it after 2 days. The production date on this one is about 7 months apart, both still 2015, what I thought was interesting was that they moved the start button higher up on this one and the engine feels more responsive than the previous one. Perhaps they did some fine tuning/fixes in the later one. I always thought they would wait till the next release year before making changes.
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