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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #26  
Old 03-03-2013, 02:20 PM
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kpgray kpgray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nerd View Post
All great points on the HK sound system....I will certainly check one out in person at the dealership to see if I can hear the difference (I'm sure I will). I just don't want to be "that idiot" who's blaring the sound system in the showroom....lol.

Regarding the ride height....I currently have an 05 545i with the sport package (RWD) and I have always swapped my larger sized, staggered wheels/tires for smaller 225/45R17 all-seasons just for the winter month of November-March and never had a problem....even in my RWD car (my normal 275/35R18 size that are on it for the majority of the year is like driving on an ice rink if I don't swap out for the winter months!). So I guess this brings up another question I had.....I was NOT planning on going with the xdrive.....will I be ok in a RWD 335i if I'm running all seasons on it? Or....maybe a better question is....will it be any worse than my RWD 545 with all seasons (which I'm already used to)?
The HK sound is a preference, I did not think enough difference to justify the $875. The 335i ordered with all season tires are a 130 MPH limiter with square wheel set up! it must be ordered with Summer Tires to get the offset wheels and high speed limiter.
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  #27  
Old 03-03-2013, 02:38 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
Why is Park Distance Control or Rear Camera critical? The most dented in and scratched bumpers I see out there are those with parking sensors, and the dent always seems to be right on top of the sensor.
Those two features are one of those things where if its on one car and not on the other one, you miss it all the time. My wife's minivan has the rear camera and parking sensors and it really saves me a lot of head turning and gives me peace of mind (little kids, narrow driveway).

It is also heavily speculated that all cars will have to have backup cameras as standard equipment in the coming years, so would future-proof the car if you want to keep it for a while and then sell it.

BJ
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  #28  
Old 03-03-2013, 02:47 PM
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The HK sounds better, definitely. Two things to know, however:

2. If the price for Harmon Kardon ($875) is going to mean you're skimping on a more critical option or package like Enhanced USB & Bluetooth ($650), Park Distance Control ($750), Rear Camera ($450), Heated Seats ($500), Xenons ($950), or Dynamic Handling ($1,000) then my advice would be skip HK over any of these if you were thinking of skipping any of these.

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Originally Posted by PeteRock View Post
Would say only the xenons snd dynamic handling aee essentials, no?
Heated seats are very important depending on your environment, would really hurt on resale in the future without them.

PDC and the Rear camera are becoming standard equipment on all cars, and once you have them on the wife's minivan it's hard to live without it on your BMW.

And if by judging BMW forums for the past 5 years is any indication, the two biggest misses that 3 Series owners complain about the most are:

1. "Why can't I stream my music and why can't I see album art?" Because you don't have Enhanced Bluetooth and USB, that's why.

2. "Boy these halogen headlights suck, why can't I see at night?" Because you don't have the lighting package, that's why.

BJ
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  #29  
Old 03-03-2013, 06:37 PM
pitzerwm pitzerwm is offline
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I'm an old fart, so buying a fully loaded BMW this time wasn't an stretch, but in the past, I found that buying a 2-3 year old luxury car with all of the bells, was cheaper than a new less than luxury car. For me owning a new car was never an ego issue. Luxury cars were usually taken car of by their owners.

Just something to think about when trying to decide on which options to get or not get. Of course you younger guys seem to have more money available than I did at your age
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  #30  
Old 03-03-2013, 06:46 PM
Deinonych Deinonych is offline
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Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
if you enjoy listening to music, the decision is easy. Get the hk.
+1
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  #31  
Old 03-03-2013, 07:43 PM
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  #32  
Old 03-04-2013, 09:02 AM
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chasfh chasfh is offline
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Originally Posted by Axxlrod View Post
The nerd needs to spend some time searching and reading.

Every new thread he's started and question he's asking has been answered countless times already.

Use the search button.
Thank you for your threadcop service, Mr. Fifty-Nine Posts.
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  #33  
Old 03-04-2013, 09:12 AM
Carnook Carnook is offline
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I am a huge music fan...
HK all the way. No question.
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  #34  
Old 03-04-2013, 10:15 AM
Eric Genname Eric Genname is offline
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"I've heard far too many aftermarket systems that don't deliver on their promise, and end up screwing up the car to boot."

I believe you. At the same time I currently drive a 17 year old SUV with a sound system I installed myself 16 years ago. Two midranges, two tweeters, subwoofer, amp, head unit, that's it. I did a direct comparison between my system and the standard (premium) sound on the F30, and the F30 sounded awful to me, unacceptably bad.

I have not heard the HK, but the emphasis on surround sound and equalization concerns me. High end home audio is always two channel and maintains straight signal paths. Why must car audio be different? On its face I would be more impressed with the HK system if they told you what brand speakers and amp they were using than bragging about how many speakers they managed to squeeze in.

All of this, of course, must be weighed against the effect of road noise. I do a lot of car camping and there are times when I listen to the stereo with the engine off. That's a nice time to play something quiet like the Goldberg Variations. But, yeah, on the freeway I'll probably have Led Zeppelin on, and just want the music to be loud and with lots of bass.

A one-for-one replacement of the stock components should not be difficult for a handy person.

Last edited by Eric Genname; 03-04-2013 at 10:17 AM.
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  #35  
Old 03-04-2013, 11:15 AM
BruceOmega BruceOmega is offline
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Originally Posted by Eric Genname View Post
..... but the emphasis on surround sound and equalization concerns me. High end home audio is always two channel and maintains straight signal paths .....
As I understand, the factory audio systems in the F30 use multiple speakers in multiple locations, with or without surround processing. My impression is the same is true of custom installations. I'm not aware of a two channel system in a car.

Bruce
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  #36  
Old 03-04-2013, 01:15 PM
Axxlrod Axxlrod is offline
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Thank you for your threadcop service, Mr. Fifty-Nine Posts.
You're welcome, Mr. 159 posts in 4 years.
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  #37  
Old 03-04-2013, 01:22 PM
hans007 hans007 is offline
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Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
If you enjoy listening to music, the decision is easy. Get the HK.
i tried a usb stick full of music on both a car with HK and a non HK car, and opted to save the $900.

it really didn't sound much worse. honestly we had a hard time telling the difference. i tried the same stickin an m6 with HK (itsl ike $4000) and at least in that car it was noticeable , but in that case i'd say not worth $4000.

maybe if the level of system in the m6 was in the 3 for $1200 it'd be worth it, but the HK system they put in there, is barely different. i think the one main difference was it was just a higher wattage system, so if you want to pump a lot of bass or play really loud it would make a difference. for normal listening it didnt seem worth it.



i suppose for me, since i didnt get HK, i was actually able to find a car on a lot pretty much the way i want it. HK is pretty rare on cars on the lot. the car i got incidentally had PDC which i originally wasnt going to get. i'd say PDC is actually pretty useful . i've scraped a bumper before on a planter, so i figure i probably could get by with it, but ill be glad i have it when it does save me from something liek that eventually.

also makes parallel parking easier. my car didnt have the camera, which im not really sure how useful it'd be (mom and dad have it on their x3 and x5) personally. its kind of a nice to have, but in the end i dont really care what i'm about to hit as long as i dont hit it.
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  #38  
Old 03-04-2013, 05:29 PM
Pappy Pipes Pappy Pipes is offline
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HK audio was custom engineered to accommodate the F30 environment. I don't believe an aftermarket mom and pop car audio dealer can reproduce the acoustics HK delivers for anywhere near the price.
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  #39  
Old 03-04-2013, 06:54 PM
Eric Genname Eric Genname is offline
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Anyone who is a music fanatic at the same level that an F30 owner is presumably a driving fanatic would end up replacing either the stock or HK system, and spend thousands doing so. All this talk about Mom and Pop stores and custom engineering is, frankly, wrong. There does exist a high end for car audio, and it's not offered directly by auto manufacturers because very few people really can tell (or care about) the difference. So there are the two levels offered by BMW and then levels above that.

If someone indicates they really care about car sound, I want to respect that assertion enough to let them know they can have even more than HK, if they want it. I happen to be one of those people. You couldn't give me leather or fancy spoke wheels for free, but I'll spend for sound.
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  #40  
Old 03-04-2013, 09:37 PM
Frzdrdhppy Frzdrdhppy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nerd View Post
All great points on the HK sound system....I will certainly check one out in person at the dealership to see if I can hear the difference (I'm sure I will). I just don't want to be "that idiot" who's blaring the sound system in the showroom....lol.

Regarding the ride height....I currently have an 05 545i with the sport package (RWD) and I have always swapped my larger sized, staggered wheels/tires for smaller 225/45R17 all-seasons just for the winter month of November-March and never had a problem....even in my RWD car (my normal 275/35R18 size that are on it for the majority of the year is like driving on an ice rink if I don't swap out for the winter months!). So I guess this brings up another question I had.....I was NOT planning on going with the xdrive.....will I be ok in a RWD 335i if I'm running all seasons on it? Or....maybe a better question is....will it be any worse than my RWD 545 with all seasons (which I'm already used to)?
If you do, don't use Sirius as the source, Sirius sound quality sucks. Bring your own CD, or even better (at least to my ears) pull in an HD FM radio station. The HD is fantastic with the H/K.
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  #41  
Old 03-05-2013, 01:15 AM
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All great comments....from what I've heard, I'm going to pull the $875 trigger and opt for the HK but I'm still going to try to hear it first in a showroom....
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  #42  
Old 03-05-2013, 05:34 AM
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I've heard both on a regular basis. You will hear a sound difference in the HK at higher volumes for sure. At lower volumes, you can still hear the difference, but if you aren't an audiophile type it may not be that big of a deal. (that being said I ordered my 335 with the HK)
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  #43  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:19 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nerd View Post
All great comments....from what I've heard, I'm going to pull the $875 trigger and opt for the HK but I'm still going to try to hear it first in a showroom....
One last thing to mention.

Source quality means everything in the HK decision. For me, I listen to AM sports radio, Sirius, and my 20,000 song iTunes collection via iPod. I never listen to FM (commercials) and I never listen to CD's (inconvenient). For my lesser-quality sources the standard F30 system is awesome, tuned to compensate for some of the shortfalls in the technology of the source material.

If you listen to CD's and other lossless source material HK is a must-have. But if you're like most of us, the standard US system (remember, it's the optional upgraded Premium system in Europe) is plenty-good.

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 03-05-2013 at 06:21 AM.
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  #44  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:30 AM
graphicguy graphicguy is offline
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Like others, I have seen a whole lot of aftermarket stereos installed, costing a boatload of money, resulting in debateable sound upgrades, and the introduction of squeaks and rattles which manifest themselves over time.

Truth is, if you tweak the HK stereo in the 3, you cna get it to sound quite good. Plus, I'm willing to bet that spending $800 on some aftermarket additions won't come near to making the sound improvement the HK does over the standard 3 stereo.
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  #45  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:52 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post
Like others, I have seen a whole lot of aftermarket stereos installed, costing a boatload of money, resulting in debateable sound upgrades, and the introduction of squeaks and rattles which manifest themselves over time.

Truth is, if you tweak the HK stereo in the 3, you cna get it to sound quite good. Plus, I'm willing to bet that spending $800 on some aftermarket additions won't come near to making the sound improvement the HK does over the standard 3 stereo.
Not to mention, these car audio relationships like Harman Kardon, Bose, B&O, and the like are just branding deals, not like HK has an army of engineers working with BMW. They're a bunch of guys in Stamford, Connecticut, get some nice coin for the licensing arrangement, not actually doing anything in Germany. It's a BMW upgraded audio system with some Harman Kardon badges on it.

BJ
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  #46  
Old 03-05-2013, 07:42 AM
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  #47  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:13 AM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
One last thing to mention.

Source quality means everything in the HK decision. For me, I listen to AM sports radio, Sirius, and my 20,000 song iTunes collection via iPod. I never listen to FM (commercials) and I never listen to CD's (inconvenient). For my lesser-quality sources the standard F30 system is awesome, tuned to compensate for some of the shortfalls in the technology of the source material.

If you listen to CD's and other lossless source material HK is a must-have. But if you're like most of us, the standard US system (remember, it's the optional upgraded HiFi system in Europe) is plenty-good.

BJ
Fixed.
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  #48  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post
Like others, I have seen a whole lot of aftermarket stereos installed, costing a boatload of money, resulting in debateable sound upgrades, and the introduction of squeaks and rattles which manifest themselves over time.

Truth is, if you tweak the HK stereo in the 3, you cna get it to sound quite good. Plus, I'm willing to bet that spending $800 on some aftermarket additions won't come near to making the sound improvement the HK does over the standard 3 stereo.
Don't bet on this one, you will lose each and every time.
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  #49  
Old 03-05-2013, 04:59 PM
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furby076 furby076 is offline
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You can get much cheaper/better speakers aftermarket then the HK. If you really want to go that route then do speakers ONLY. Under no circumstances should you try and touch the head unit. The BMW head unit does a heck of a lot more then just control the radio. This is not a 1998 Nissan Maxima.
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  #50  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:53 PM
finaloption finaloption is offline
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am i the only one who doesn't really like listening to music while driving? i find it distracting and puts me to sleep at night.. if anything, i'll listen to sports talk radio.. so i really had no use for the HK system
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