BMW Equalizer Tweaks - G* Chassis

With the recent shortages around premium audio options on BMW builds (and for those like me who’re just generally tinkerers and like unlocking everything BMW hid away), the below may be helpful to code the higher-end equalizers into G* chassis vehicles. While of course the biggest overall upgrade would ultimately come via hardware, I certainly feel that there has been a marked improvement with the B&W profiles + updated equalizer settings especially at higher volumes, and I don’t think it’s just a placebo effect (though the new visuals are kinda cool too). :stuck_out_tongue:

(Credit to Bimmerpost member Woolly for the introduction to the idea, though I have additional parameters coded versus the initial post - warning: YMMV, and all updates in BC expert mode or esys are done at your own risk - PM me and I can attempt to help if you run into any issues - I strongly recommend parking in an openly accessible spot prior to starting any coding work on your vehicle)

For reference, I’m working with a 2019 G05 that has the HK Logic7 system:


Post Update Pics:


(I don’t think the volume controls showed the B&W speaker pattern before?)


EQ Settings:


Bimmercode Update Parameters (all accessible in expert mode under HU_MGU):

Hi-Fi → HK Equalizer coding settings (untested):
HU_NBT_EVO > AUDIO_TUNER_TRAFFIC 3002 > AMPLIFIER_VARIANT = most
HU_NBT_EVO > AUDIO_TUNER_TRAFFIC 3002 > AUDIO_SYSTEM = hk_surroundsound
HU_NBT_EVO > AUDIO_TUNER_TRAFFIC 3002 > AUDIO_SYSTEM_VAR = variant1 [Default]
HU_NBT_EVO > AUDIO_TUNER_TRAFFIC 3002 > EQ_VARIANT = variant5
HU_NBT_EVO > AUDIO_TUNER_TRAFFIC 3002 > MULTICHANNEL = nicht_aktiv [Default]
HU_NBT_EVO > HMI 3000 > LOGIC7_SYMBOL = aktiv
HU_NBT_EVO > SYSTEM_EINSTELLUNGEN 3004 > EXTERNER_MOST = aktiv

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Alpinas come with base sound systems?!?

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Haha good question - nope, this is a 2019 X5 40i xDrive (G05), not an Alpina.

I just really like the Alpina cluster colors/theme, so I’ve enabled that via Bimmercode (don’t need expert mode for this one - relatively innocuous update). Another option is the M cluster, but that has some text alignment issues at the moment.

I can add some screenshots on that later as well, since it’s a quick change that has a pretty big impact.

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Quick little bit on updating your dash cluster layout (note that this affects your HUD layout/theme as well):

The DKOMBI4 panel:

Cluster options:

M layout (note the off-center nav text at the bottom that I was referring to)

Next up, trying to figure out how to override the brightness settings for the cluster via esys… given up on finding the control in Bimmercode. :frowning:

What happens to hud when you do this?

Also I’m not sold yet on hud - the only thing it does is flash how I’m going over the speed limit and gives me more guilt than I had getting into the car.

can’t you turn off the excessive speed notification in settings?

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You can turn off the flashing alert, yes, and there’s a way to turn off the red line display in the cluster as well, though I don’t know why anyone would want to do the latter.

I’ll post instructions on this as well as the different HUD layouts later!

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The original post has been removed as it is no longer applicable as all is functional again - please ensure you have updated your Bimmercode app before performing this upgrade

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Has the lack of availability for premium audio been an issue since May? BMW just now pulled it from the configurator for basically all models just a few days before I submitted my factory order. I was fine with it at the time but I am slightly disappointed not getting the Harman/Kardon especially considering it’s a custom-made specialty car.

Even earlier, likely February/March, tbh. They started by pulling it from the mass market models (3s, 4s, most 6 cyls) and were initially trying to protect the MSport and M (higher end) inventory from the looks of it, but eventually repercussive effects hit all around.

Do recall that regardless of brand, HK, Bowers, etc. (I.e. most vehicle audio systems you’ve ever heard of - JBL, Mark Levinson, Revel, and more) - almost all of it remains Samsung at the end of the day.

See Samsung Electronics to Acquire HARMAN, Accelerating Growth in Automotive and Connected Technologies – Samsung Global Newsroom

(edit: updated link to Sammy site directly)

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Honestly the base stereo on those models is already surprisingly good with simple EQ. It’s a dramatic difference compared to previous generations.

I ordered an i3, which I’m excited about, but the base stereo only has 4 speakers and I’m probably the most outspoken fan of the Harman/Kardon system on that car so it is hampering my excitement a bit. Hopefully they add it back soon, I’ll keep an eye on the configurator since it’s only been gone for about a week.

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Removed as N/A

Interesting take. I drove a B&W, HK, and base back to back a few weeks ago and tbh it’s a really bad idea. You feel so much worse not having the B&W after hearing it… :joy:

May I recommend Bavsound for your i3? Did the HK upgrade on my G05 and it’s fantastic!

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The HK in my m340i isn’t all that impressive, I’d hate to be stuck with hifi. Honestly it sounds cheap.

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It’s going to take me some time to finish the revisions to the coding logic here as I’m going to be offline for a few days - if anyone is dealing with bricked bluetooth connections post RSU to 03.2021, send me a PM and I can help you out individually in the meantime. Sorry about that.

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I’m extremely particular about sound (I have multiple headphones including the $799 Audeze EL-8 Titanium designed by the BMW Designworks i8 team — of course purchased at a deal from the manufacturer) and I find the Hi-Fi sound system on newer BMW models to be surprisingly adequate. It’s more exciting than the Hi-Fi system in my 2018 3 Series, which I’ve grown to enjoy.

It’s also surprisingly versatile. I find SiriusXM is equalized oddly well, as if the sound engineers worked closely with SiriusXM specifically to make the compressed satellite radio sound good, so it takes advantage of the various components. There’s a nice deep bass boost, and I also feel like there’s extra equalization going on to maximize usage of the tweeters.

The amount of clarity presented with lossless files is of course where the system shines, as the quality is largely dependent on the source. However, there’s also a lot being done to make satellite radio sound good — it sounded terrible as it should on my previous i3’s Harman/Kardon system whereas AAC and lossless were absolutely amazing.

Granted, it can seem slightly tinny and “cheap-sounding” with a flat EQ as the default sound signature is too flat and lacking dynamics.

I’ve found in my 2018 3 Series that the bass presentation can be incredible at +7 on the bass and +0 on the treble as the upper frequencies are already being pushed enough to give it the “Hi-Fi” sound signature. Any higher than this and the bass loses its tightness and becomes sloppy, whereas at + 7 it’s making up for being flat without becoming overpowered and is quite a strong, enjoyable experience. It’s also worth noting that newer BMW’s have an insane amount of bass. I was able to measure a bass boost of as much as 30dB with some EQ on a 4 Series. The bass region focuses on a deep sub-bass and easily extends down to 20Hz, which makes it premium.

Harman/Kardon and B&W sound systems are where it’s possible to have even more fun, as I found in my i3 I could push the bass to +10dB with no issues. Clarity was lacking slightly in the treble with the bass boosted so I also pushed that to +3dB, which made it sound great for electronic/pop music.

Maybe it’s just the excitement of a test drive, but thankfully I found the bass on the standard i3 sound system to be similar to what I was used to if not stronger than I remember on the Harman/Kardon. I’m not sure if they made this adjustment to the i3 but in general 2020+ BMW’s have sound systems tuned for a strong bass. It did seem like it could get slightly distorted when there’s a lot going on in the mid-range which is understandable considering there are only four speakers total, but it was still enjoyable enough. I’m just going to have to deal with not having the Harman/Kardon since BMW pulled it and the i3 is being discontinued at the end of July.

I measured this on a 2020 4 Series with moderate EQ (probably +10 bass) on SiriusXM radio:

There’s basically a ~ 45dB boost in the sub-bass range, which is insane and also amazing for listeners that appreciate bass such as myself. This is significantly more bass than my 2018 Hi-Fi system, which is already a sub-bass monster in its own right.

I’ll consider it once I’ve spent some time with the base stereo. Thankfully the bass performance is still powerful enough to provide some noticeable thump to the seat and steering wheel. I’m convinced leaving my EQ settings in the car I test drove helped the dealer sell it lol. Focal also made speakers for the 1 Series some time back that would fit in an i3.

I’ve found the source matters dramatically. With regular spotify stream sounds pretty average. With tidal or new Apple Music hifi it sound amazing. I know CarPlay is capped at CD quality stream but to still sound fantastic. I love the HK.

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Yeah I use spotify via carplay mostly for ease and convenience. It doesn’t sound bad, but expected better.