A BMW 3-Series gets a multichannel 2-seat upgrade
A few years back, I bought a BMW 335xi GT. I really like the car, but not the audio. The “harman/kardon” system in my BMW should have sounded awesome, but it didn’t.
The amplifier can generate 100 watts per channel to each underseat 8” flat woofer. The other speakers receive 30 watts per channel. The positioning of the 4” midranges and 1” tweeters up front is excellent. The center channel and rear effects channels are derived by Harman’s Logic 7 upmixer (Harman ended up with Logic 7 when they bought Lexicon).
However, while it was loud, it didn’t sound great - and I think there were a few reasons.
The center speaker was harsh-sounding. The midrange lacked any low-pass crossover filter, and the tweeter had the standard series capacitor (which filters at the rudimentary 6dB/octave). So the sound from the most critical speaker in the car wasn’t that good.
The center channel wasn’t loud enough to create a true center, so each front-seat passenger got their own center image, biased toward their side of the car. This may have been the goal, or maybe Harman didn’t want to drive that center hard enough since it didn’t sound that great.
The midbass was lacking. This was due to the unusual decision to ask the 4-inch midranges to play down to 80 Hz, where the underseat woofers come in. Previous BMW models didn’t do this, an...
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