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      04-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #1
Boomer67
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Premium Audio

Hello. For 2014, does anyone know if the premium audio package is a Harmon Kardon system? Also, how many speakers does it have and what are the specs in terms of wattage?

For those that have it in an earlier model year (in case it remains unchanged for 2014) , how does it sound?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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      04-07-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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I dont know about Harmon Kardon, but I don't like them anyway. I also don't like Bose. B&O would have been worth considering if available...

I have the system with 11 speakers (S676A hifi speaker system), probably only missing the one in the middle behind the seats, as well as the equalizer in the iDrive system. It is a nice car hifi system with plenty of power, also for top-down use. When I want to listen to loud music, and don't want to disturb others, I would often go outside to pay my car a visit haha.

The materials surrounding some of the speakers can sometimes vibrate and add audible distortion to some songs, especially piano and acoustic recordings. This problem would depend on the build quality of your particular car and not the system it self.
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      04-08-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn
I dont know about Harmon Kardon, but I don't like them anyway. I also don't like Bose. B&O would have been worth considering if available...

I have the system with 11 speakers (S676A hifi speaker system), probably only missing the one in the middle behind the seats, as well as the equalizer in the iDrive system. It is a nice car hifi system with plenty of power, also for top-down use. When I want to listen to loud music, and don't want to disturb others, I would often go outside to pay my car a visit haha.

The materials surrounding some of the speakers can sometimes vibrate and add audible distortion to some songs, especially piano and acoustic recordings. This problem would depend on the build quality of your particular car and not the system it self.
The system is unbranded.

The vibrations are a serious problem. The premium system has 14 speakers which really is meaningless considering that the sound quality and vibrations result in a completely substandard system.

Totally unacceptable from BMW.
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      04-08-2013, 05:23 AM   #4
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Order regular Audio and then have some aftermarket stuff fitted. The Audio system (Standard or Premium doesnt matter) is garbage.
You will not be statisfied.
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      04-08-2013, 06:12 AM   #5
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I must say, I'm not a musician, but I find my 11 speaker setup fantastic. Powerful and clean - and mostly with crappy compressed music.

I can't fault it, the odd rattle hear or there doesn't put me off - you can adjust your setting a little although I agree, an EQ would have been nice.

Good luck with it!
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      04-08-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezok
I must say, I'm not a musician, but I find my 11 speaker setup fantastic. Powerful and clean - and mostly with crappy compressed music.

I can't fault it, the odd rattle hear or there doesn't put me off - you can adjust your setting a little although I agree, an EQ would have been nice.

Good luck with it!
The premium system has an EQ, yet it cannot eliminate the vibration that sounds like distortion no matter how you set it.
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      04-08-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
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I think it might be or could be Bang & Olufsen...? I had posted some pics on another thread noting I got a really weird update to my iDrive after the battery recall was completed.

Scroll down, you'll see the pics of my iDrive.
Dave

http://e89.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=804928&page=3
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      04-08-2013, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWZ4 View Post
I think it might be or could be Bang & Olufsen...? I had posted some pics on another thread noting I got a really weird update to my iDrive after the battery recall was completed.

Scroll down, you'll see the pics of my iDrive.
Dave

http://e89.zpost.com/forums/showthre...=804928&page=3
Wow that looks interesting! It seems like they made a big mistake at your dealer. Will you ask them to reprogram your iDrive system, or just start bragging you got the only Z4 with B&O?
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      04-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezok View Post
I must say, I'm not a musician, but I find my 11 speaker setup fantastic. Powerful and clean - and mostly with crappy compressed music.

I can't fault it, the odd rattle hear or there doesn't put me off - you can adjust your setting a little although I agree, an EQ would have been nice.

Good luck with it!
I agree! I am not sure what options are available in the US, but you should probably get the powerful 11 speaker system which includes all the woofers - nothing more and nothing less. Without the woofers you will be missing something vital, while the top hifi systems' additional qualities might just drown in a sea of rattles, tire, engine and wind noise. Yes, you will miss the EQ, but you will survive and save some money.

I guess each car has different build quality. After-all if present, finding and killing rattles should be easier than installing anything after-market.
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Little known facts about BMW: 1) The N54 is still in production and used in the current Z4 35i and 35is. 2) In a Z4 you can get sport+ steering combined with normal suspension etc by selecting DSC=off. (Update: DSC=off also offers sports steering in the M135i) 3) All Z4s with 19" wheels are still only offered with the worst performing OEM tires ever sold with a DCT equipped BMW (Potenza RE 050 RFT).
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      04-08-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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The upgraded one probably works for 95% of the buyers maybe more. This really isn't a car to blast the stereo in (least not stock) though it does good a pretty good job out of the box. Those that say its garbage are an audiofile and rightly so as that is their passion for the rest of us the premium stereo really should be enough. I prefer hearing the engine/exhaust note of the 35iS than the stereo, especially out on the twisties and tunnels of the Swiss Alps.
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      04-08-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VailM3
The upgraded one probably works for 95% of the buyers maybe more. This really isn't a car to blast the stereo in (least not stock) though it does good a pretty good job out of the box. Those that say its garbage are an audiofile and rightly so as that is their passion for the rest of us the premium stereo really should be enough. I prefer hearing the engine/exhaust note of the 35iS than the stereo, especially out on the twisties and tunnels of the Swiss Alps.
Fair enough I guess. But there is no doubt that my 3 series had a far superior sound system. As did my e85. Noticeable to all ears. That just makes no sense considering the price point of the car. And it's a convertible, so you definitely need to be able to blast the stereo and retain reasonably crisp sound.
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      04-08-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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I have the US Premium, which is unbranded and has 14 speakers. It is excellent . . . for the money of about $1k. It is a must have in this car as the US basic is absolutely horrible. IMHO, it is very bad advice to tell you to stay with the basic and not upgrade, then opt for an aftermarket sound system. That would be incredibly expensive. The Premium is really good and much much better than the upgraded Harmon Kardon system in my X3 35i.
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      04-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChRR1000S View Post
Order regular Audio and then have some aftermarket stuff fitted. The Audio system (Standard or Premium doesnt matter) is garbage.
You will not be statisfied.
To do it right, you'll have to first undo the built-in equalization in the base system. It can be a little bit involved.
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      04-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbjorn View Post
Wow that looks interesting! It seems like they made a big mistake at your dealer. Will you ask them to reprogram your iDrive system, or just start bragging you got the only Z4 with B&O?
Definitely a strange one! I did stop by on Friday. They were totally baffled where/how I got this update, because it was the shop foreman who did my recall and he says there was definitely NO software update. He did suggest however that I may have received the update OTA....which, while possible, isn't likely because the car was stored (read: off) right up until the morning I took it into the dealer for the battery recall fix.

So...I may just leave it and claim as you suggest! One thing that's pretty weird though (and has nothing to do with the premium audio discussion here) is the Spirit of Ecstasy "feature"....I thought Spirit of Ecstasy belonged to BMW's other brand....Rolls-Royce.

Mystery of the week I suppose
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      04-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #15
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I have the spirit of ecstasy every time I drive!
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      04-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #16
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OP I think the better way to think about the question is not "how good is the upgraded system" (because the 14 speaker "premium audio" isn't spectacular) but "how bad is the base system and how much will it cost to make it acceptable"

You'll probably find that the upgraded system is the way to go unless you're an audiophile and ready to drop a $$$$
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      04-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #17
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I've been very happy with the premium sound package. Plenty of volume with the top down and, to my ears, it sounds fine. I think spending a lot on an upgraded system may be pointless if you're using it in an open air car.
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      04-08-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
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Thanks so much for all the thoughtful replies. We upgraded to the Harmon Kardon system in our recently arrived X1 and it sounds much better than the standard setup that was in the test vehicles we drove. Good to hear that most feel an upgrade is worth it.
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      04-09-2013, 01:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz
OP I think the better way to think about the question is not "how good is the upgraded system" (because the 14 speaker "premium audio" isn't spectacular) but "how bad is the base system and how much will it cost to make it acceptable"

You'll probably find that the upgraded system is the way to go unless you're an audiophile and ready to drop a $$$$
Yes.
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      04-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #20
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So, what are everyone's EQ settings for the 14 speaker system?

I know there was a thread on this a while back but it has been dormant for a while.. anyone have a good setup ?
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      04-15-2013, 11:59 PM   #21
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Oh yeah...and just out of curiosity, where are the 14 speakers located by chance?
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      04-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer67 View Post
Oh yeah...and just out of curiosity, where are the 14 speakers located by chance?

Since your curious, I'd tell you but really ....



It has been discussed many times.
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