February 5, 2017

BMW Factory Systems

Before you can select any appropriate upgrade to your BMW, you have to know where you’re starting from. That means knowing which stock audio package your vehicle has, and knowing its specific strengths and weaknesses in your vehicle.

There are three main types of BMW audio system globally:

  • Base Stereo. Rarely found in the US (2010-2011 was really it). No amp, no tweeters, no 8″ woofers underseat. Really sucks.
  • HiFi Premium Sound. The most common in the US. Has a 6-channel or 7-channel low-power amp, and 8″ woofers underseat. Some recent versions lack tweeters. If a center channel is present, it’s only mono, and damages the stereo presentation. Not great sound.
  • Harman/Kardon DSP Professional (previously called Logic 7) . More power (especially recently), better speakers, louder, but still with significant shortcomings in low-frequency extension, midrange distortion, and stereo presentation. Logic 7 “surround” is a 5.1 upmixer, but the implementation is poor and the stereo presentation suffers (narrowed stage, odd vocal placement).
  • “Super Premium” – Individual Audio/DIRAC, or Bang and Olafsen. Tonally, pretty good. Sub-bass response is lacking, and the center-channel isn’t an upmixer at all and doesn’t help.

If you aren’t sure which your vehicle has, or if you’d like to know more about how BMW implemented the audio package in your specific vehicle, email us the last 7 digits of your VIN and we will respond with a good bit of information!