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BMW 2017 420xd GC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

had anyone already the chance to listen to the HiFi Soundsystem? (the intermediate option out of the three versions)
All the reviews i found had the HK System and I am not sure if the HiFi is also good enough (Even it is also a bit a matter of individual taste).

Thanks and greetings from Austria!
 

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I think sound quality is a highly subjective thing and what is acceptable for one person won't be for another. We went for the HK system because having a quiet EV and being a person who enjoys listening to music with a lot of dynamic range, this hopefully will be the first time ever I can enjoy music without the overwhelming signal (music) to noise (car interior noise) that comes with most cars.I didn't want to take the risk that the standard Hi-fi, would be disappointing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think sound quality is a highly subjective thing and what is acceptable for one person won't be for another. We went for the HK system because having a quiet EV and being a person who enjoys listening to music with a lot of dynamic range, this hopefully will be the first time ever I can enjoy music without the overwhelming signal (music) to noise (car interior noise) that comes with most cars.I didn't want to take the risk that the standard Hi-fi, would be disappointing.
I do have similar thoughts…
At the moment i am driving a 2017 BMW 420d GC and I do have HK in there. And there I find it is not worth the price difference. But I do not know if the sound system was improved in the i4 compared to the previous combustion engine model.
 

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I do have similar thoughts…
At the moment i am driving a 2017 BMW 420d GC and I do have HK in there. And there I find it is not worth the price difference. But I do not know if the sound system was improved in the i4 compared to the previous combustion engine model.
What is the model designation for the HK you have since that would first help determine and also how many speakers, does it have a separate subwoofer, and a graphic equalizer. Those are all features of the HK in the I4, which has 17 speakers and also has a powerful rated amplifier section .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What is the model designation for the HK you have since that would first help determine and also how many speakers, does it have a separate subwoofer, and a graphic equalizer. Those are all features of the HK in the I4, which has 17 speakers and also has a powerful rated amplifier section .
the HK in the BMW F36 Grand Coupe has 14 Loudspeaker and a graphic equalizer.
 

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For what its worth: on an dutch forum a guy had a testdrive with an I4 + hifi option.

He was super enthousiastic about it; he took the option on his car.
 

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2019 BMW M4cs
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Here are the Specs of both:

Standard "Hi-Fi"
205 watts
9 speakers
Analog input with 4 channels to Amp

Breakdown of speakers

Front Door (x2):
200mm low-frequency range, 40 watts
25mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 25watts

Center Channel:
100mm mid-range, 25 watts

Rear Door (x2):
100mm mid-range, 25 watts

Optional "Top Hi-Fi" in some markets, "HK" in other markets:
445 watt HK amp (known as "RAM")
Additional "Booster Module" to boost signal from Amp to the low-frequency speakers
Combined output 682 watts
17 speakers
Digital MOST input to Amp

Front Door (x2):
217mm low-frequency range, 134watts
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Center Channel:
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Door (x2):
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Sail/Shoulder (x2):
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Hatch:
217mm low-frequency range, 134watts

The specs on BMW HK systems are pretty standard across the board in speaker sizes, they all have 26/100mm tweet/mid-range combo's rated at 40watts, and 217mm low-frequency drivers rated at 134watts powered by the "RAM"/"Booster Module" combination. The older i-drive 5 & 6 cars had 160 watt 217mm drivers powered directly from the HK Amp.
 

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To be fair, what is now called “hifi” is completely the same as what used to be called “standard”.

I’m not completely sure why there are so many speakers in the Herman Kardon one, why didn’t they just settle for better components up front.
Maybe they’re catering to the people in their lowered BMW outside the club, pumping some bass. Or just to people who are not so into sound, who appreciate quantity over quality. Not saying it’s bad, just saying.. why so many of them.
 

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The addition of the rear hatch sub is odd when they could have just left it to the 217mm door speakers to be honest. It could be that the enclosure isn't big enough to provide deep bass notes so the left the signal to mid-bass only, while the rear hatch sub handles frequencies below say 50hz. But who knows? Once I get my hands on it, I can disconnect the rear sub and use a frequency sampler to see what the door drivers will truly put out.

There are many other car makers who use the front door to provide low-frequencies, but the result can sometimes lead to door card rattles, perhaps that could be why as well.

The rear sail speakers (the 2 extra pairs of 26/100mm drivers) generally could be switched on for Logic-7 surround moments like on the F-series cars, otherwise the main sounds will be from the center and door speakers for the most part.
 

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To be fair, what is now called “hifi” is completely the same as what used to be called “standard”.

I’m not completely sure why there are so many speakers in the Herman Kardon one, why didn’t they just settle for better components up front.
Maybe they’re catering to the people in their lowered BMW outside the club, pumping some bass. Or just to people who are not so into sound, who appreciate quantity over quality. Not saying it’s bad, just saying.. why so many of them.
17 speakers mean nothing if you go for the iX.

B&W comes with 30 speakers 1.615W and 4D sound. Okay it costs 4000 bucks more than HK but but but too bad there is no B&W for the i4.
Speakers in the roof, speakers in the head rests, speakers everywhere!
 

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I've seen companies that take care of your audio in your car: they rip out the old speakers, even the HK speakers, and put in better quality speakers and also more and better damping in the doors. Only then you will have top-quality audio.
But, all this comes at a price. And believe it or not, you are in your car people, not in your living room or audio/video center at home...
Is it all worth it?
In my opinion, the extra's that some companies do if you don't buy HK: YES!!
If you do buy HK, NO!!
But HK in an M50 is absolutely as must. It's only a few hundred $/€ more. And you definitely get a better sound.
 

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If you don’t pick an option where you get a digital signal you have to intercept the analog signals, normalize them and then feed them into an amp, so it’s harder to do. At least in the old days, the main head unit amplifier was very weak and only had special very easily driven elements . So that’s something. I guess doing these things are not something people do anymore, with the complexity and integration of modern cars. But I’ve done it plenty in the past :) wasted many hours putting vibration absorbers everywhere. Today I know a bit more about what gives an effect and not.
 

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Kona EV, 335i convertible, K1600b mc
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Here are the Specs of both:

Standard "Hi-Fi"
205 watts
9 speakers
Analog input with 4 channels to Amp

Breakdown of speakers

Front Door (x2):
200mm low-frequency range, 40 watts
25mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 25watts

Center Channel:
100mm mid-range, 25 watts

Rear Door (x2):
100mm mid-range, 25 watts

Optional "Top Hi-Fi" in some markets, "HK" in other markets:
445 watt HK amp (known as "RAM")
Additional "Booster Module" to boost signal from Amp to the low-frequency speakers
Combined output 682 watts
17 speakers
Digital MOST input to Amp

Front Door (x2):
217mm low-frequency range, 134watts
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Center Channel:
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Door (x2):
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Sail/Shoulder (x2):
26mm/100mm tweeter/mid-range combination, 40watts

Rear Hatch:
217mm low-frequency range, 134watts

The specs on BMW HK systems are pretty standard across the board in speaker sizes, they all have 26/100mm tweet/mid-range combo's rated at 40watts, and 217mm low-frequency drivers rated at 134watts powered by the "RAM"/"Booster Module" combination. The older i-drive 5 & 6 cars had 160 watt 217mm drivers powered directly from the HK Amp.
Didn't I read, that they put 8 ohm speakers in?
 

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2021 Audi e-Tron
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Do we know who sources the ‘hi fi’ system? Is that still HK or some other audio company?
 
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