December 8, 2015, 4:08 pm
As many of you on this and "that other" forum know, I am actually a multi-discipline audiophile.
I'm not going to pass judgment on the 2-series HK, other than to point out what I've seen regarding hardware and system specs.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the system is tuned for the car, for the HU (which is identical in either Hi-Fi and HK form) and to a price point. That means it is balanced to handle programming that the rest of the system produces. So what does the rest of the system produce?:
- A CD transport and output with a flat-out poor DAC and, in my car's case, suspected jitter issues
- Bluetooth streaming of no better than 360Mbps
- On the Tech Package: Music-transfer software that downsamples anything loaded to it to 256Mbps
- On the Tech Package: BMW Apps interfaces that limit streaming rates (at least in Spotify's case)
- No more than 30 WPC (300 Watts / 12) for the HK amp, with no idea if that reading is RMS or peak -- and with the stock subs being 2ohms each, they likely get more than that amount fed to them (probably @ 40 WPC)
- THE worst radio tuner -- HD, terrestrial, or otherwise -- I have personally ever heard in a car
What does all that say? That the system is tuned to maximize the perceived efficacy of mid-quality digital source material, which the majority of buyers would now be used to hearing in this digital age. What does that mean? That means it is tuned to hide deficiencies -- and lemme tell ya, judging from the appearance of the HK speakers, even those are deficient and likely part of the tuning.
That said, contrary to conventional knowledge, it doesn't take much power to make a car system sound good. What it takes it clean
power, balanced appropriately -- and good drivers to produce the sounds such power can provide. While the HK amp and drivers are definite upgrades over Hi-Fi, they come nowhere close to providing a cost-effective and value-added improvement because of the baked-in DSP and the subpar sources -- again, part of the tuning.
IMHO, the design goal of the 2-series sound systems was to effect acceptable quality to the majority of ears, but -- and this is the really important point -- without adjustments that would easily reveal the system to be inherently poor: equalization, integrated and nondefeatable ASD, etc.