2 Series Harmon Kardon - Only 12 speakers, no EQ

by Tim Jones on March 27, 2014, 12:11 pm
BMW 2 Series Harmon Kardon

We bring you the official word on the Harmon Kardon issue on the 2 series. As members have reported the HK system comes with less then what they were expecting. The issue stems from incorrect marketing materials put out by BMW that lead buyers to think they were getting a 16 speaker, 600 watt system with a graphical equalizer. This information was incorrect, the official Harmon Kardon package for the 2 series includes -
Quote:
Harman Kardon® Surround Sound Audio System with 360-watts. This 12-speaker sound system includes 5 tweeters (2 tweeters with "Harman Kardon" designation in the mirror triangles), 5 midrange speakers and 2 central bass speakers located under the front seats
It does not appear that BMW will be adjusting the HK pricing as the 12 speaker offering was intended the entire time. It was simply an error on the marketing side that lead some buyers to think they were getting more. If you ordered a 2 series based on the incorrect previous information you should contact BMW Customer Relations at 800-831-1117 for a case-by-case consultation.

Who ordered their 2 Series expecting the 16 speaker, 600 watt system with graphic equalizer? If you haven't ordered a 2 series yet will this make you change your mind about the Harmon Kardon upgrade?


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23 responses to 2 Series Harmon Kardon - Only 12 speakers, no EQ

hyperzulu commented:
March 27, 2014, 12:23 pm

I will not be purchasing the H/K option, though I was going to without question prior to this. I will save the $875 and spend it on a set of speakers that do not need the EQ to sound good. Good speakers can play flat and sound good.
ineedae46m3 commented:
March 27, 2014, 6:02 pm

Does anyone know if this will change for MY2015 or will price/lack of speakers/ge remain the same?
tim330i commented:
March 27, 2014, 6:04 pm

I can't imagine they're going to change it. This wasn't a mistake on the production side, it was what they intended to produce. The error was on the marketing side. Maybe at LCI they might change it but after a short production run for the first year I don't see them making any changes.

Tim
cukoodukoo commented:
March 29, 2014, 6:02 pm

How many did the HK option in 1 series have ....16 or 12 speakers?
Kowalski2011 commented:
March 29, 2014, 9:27 pm

If I was, then yes definitely lots of sports cars out there, doesn't have to be a bmw...hope they think this out. Just go for a primo used model.
Delnari commented:
April 9, 2014, 1:18 pm

I received a $350 credit from BMWNA paid via my dealer. Using the extra for some upgrades.
Delnari commented:
April 9, 2014, 2:45 pm

Wrong thread
Grayhair commented:
April 10, 2014, 10:11 am

How many speakers with the base radio?
tccox commented:
April 10, 2014, 12:36 pm

My 2012 128 with HK has 10 speakers, a 300 watt amp and was a $875 option when I bought it. My 2014 228I will have 12 speakers, a 360 watt amp and also cost $875. I'm OK with this

Speakers for the BMW 1 Series Coupé
10 high-performance loudspeakers with optimum position in the car.

4 x 26 mm metal-matrix dome tweeters, front & rear
2 x 217 mm woofers (central bass), below the front seats
4 x 100 mm metal-matrix midrange speakers, front & rear


Amplifier
Harman Kardon® Logic 7® DSP amplifier with a total output of 300 watts
hyperzulu commented:
April 10, 2014, 8:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayhair View Post
How many speakers with the base radio?
From what I can gather, the base radio has 7 speakers. Another forum post of the stereo upgrade indicated that the base radio did not have 2-way speakers, neither component or coax. So, that wold be one in each door, one under each front seat, center dash, rear deck left, rear deck right.
gbabichev1 commented:
April 11, 2014, 12:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperzulu View Post
From what I can gather, the base radio has 7 speakers. Another forum post of the stereo upgrade indicated that the base radio did not have 2-way speakers, neither component or coax. So, that wold be one in each door, one under each front seat, center dash, rear deck left, rear deck right.
I took a test drive yesterday with a 228i with the base system. It wasn't bad at all! They didn't have any with H/K but still.
hyperzulu commented:
April 11, 2014, 1:06 pm

I think I'll still end up taking the $875 and putting it into a modest upgrade.
gbabichev1 commented:
April 11, 2014, 1:10 pm

I am thinking the same.

Depending on how much lower my lease payment will be, I'll see.
hyperzulu commented:
April 11, 2014, 1:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbabichev1 View Post
I am thinking the same.

Depending on how much lower my lease payment will be, I'll see.
It won't go down very much. You are paying for 60% of $875 over typically 36 months, which is around $15 plus tax a month. It's more about value for me, and that I know what the higher spec'd H/K system sounds like, since I have it in my current e92. And while that system is nice, it isn't spectacular. I wouldn't mind spending double for a good system. I would prefer to roll it into the lease, but BMW doesn't seem to think this audience would want a better system.
gbabichev1 commented:
April 11, 2014, 1:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperzulu View Post
It won't go down very much. You are paying for 60% of $875 over typically 36 months, which is around $15 plus tax a month. It's more about value for me, and that I know what the higher spec'd H/K system sounds like, since I have it in my current e92. And while that system is nice, it isn't spectacular. I wouldn't mind spending double for a good system. I would prefer to roll it into the lease, but BMW doesn't seem to think this audience would want a better system.
Hey any amount lower is good!

But yeah from what I have read that the system is half as powerful as the one in the 3 & 4 series.

Not sure if it's worth it.
caycep commented:
June 16, 2014, 5:09 pm

How much of a hassle is it to upgrade it w/ 3rd party aftermarket stuff? Is it a giant pain in the butt or are there "drop in" replacements?
verybadman commented:
June 16, 2014, 9:34 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by caycep View Post
How much of a hassle is it to upgrade it w/ 3rd party aftermarket stuff? Is it a giant pain in the butt or are there "drop in" replacements?

Depends on how far you are willing to go but drop-in is definitely an option as I have dropped JL-Audio C2-400x speakers in to the front and rear. Anything else remains the same and keeps the OEM look.


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tccox commented:
June 17, 2014, 9:07 am

3 and 4 series, 600 watt, 16 speakers , 2 series, 360 watt 12 speakers so not twice the system certainly. My 2012 128 had a 10 speaker, 300 watt HK system and also cost $875. Had my 228 for 6 weeks now and I'm happy with the HK system.


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Angelbones commented:
June 17, 2014, 12:42 pm

I just saw a BMW commercial praising the HK system. Of course it was in the three series. IMO, if they are going to use that system in the 2 series, then the price should be lower. I would have gladly ordered it, but just heard too many negatives about it. Main negative was that it wasn't worth the price, not that it was necessarily bad. So list it for $500 instead of $875. They'll probably make more money just due to more volume being sold.
hyperzulu commented:
June 17, 2014, 12:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelbones View Post
I just saw a BMW commercial praising the HK system. Of course it was in the three series. IMO, if they are going to use that system in the 2 series, then the price should be lower. I would have gladly ordered it, but just heard too many negatives about it. Main negative was that it wasn't worth the price, not that it was necessarily bad. So list it for $500 instead of $875. They'll probably make more money just due to more volume being sold.
Doubt it. Most buyers are not conscious to the value proposition or believe it is still a great value.
Jamze132 commented:
June 18, 2014, 8:30 am

I've got a 14' 228i with HK and my wife has a 12' 328i with base system. The HK sounds MUCH better, especially when cranked.
MrDanne commented:
June 18, 2014, 12:59 pm

I've ordered a new 218d (you guys in the US probably don't have these kind of engines, we poor European have to pay a lot more for the fuel... hehe) with HK sound.
Really hope I will be happy with it! Haven't heard the 3-series HK sound, so I hope I won't be disappointed

Also, I want my BMW to be as original as possible without any modifications. That only lowers the value of the car!

100% BMW for me !
mifn21 commented:
July 7, 2014, 6:51 am

New to the forum, having just picked up my 8sp M235i a few weeks ago.

My advice to anyone considering the HK system upgrade is DO IT!!!!. Having had plenty of cars with expensive aftermarket systems, I would say it would cost you a lot more than the HK to get similar quality audio.

As a musician, producer and DJ my opinion is it is easily the best balanced system I've heard in a stock car, you can turn it right up with no harsh treble, and the bass drops low and deep, not "hoodrat window shaking levels", but its balanced with the rest of the audio spectrum - it doesn't drown out the actual music

I can confirm it doesn't need EQ unless your source material is crap, apart from upping the bass by +1 which makes a big difference