When you picture a BMW, speakers might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Expert German engineering, yes. The iconic kidney grilles, for sure. Turn signals… OK, maybe not 😉
But with a brand that attracts as many passionate fans as BMW, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that these vehicles’ following includes its fair share of audiophiles. It’s not difficult to see why; not only were the stock BMW audio systems developed with some of the biggest names in audio, but there are plenty of BMW replacement speakers for those who demand more from their sound setup.
Not that I’ve ever been one to keep my car stock when there’s an upgrade on offer, but what exactly do the BMW sound system options include from the factory?
What speakers do BMWs use?
When it comes to the speakers, it all depends whether you decided to go for one of the BMW audio upgrade options. The standard BMW HiFi speaker system doesn’t have many bells and whistles, featuring run-of-the-mill OEM equipment. Some of the lower-spec vehicles come with coaxial speakers, but from the BMW 676 HiFi loudspeaker system and up, you’re at least promised dedicated midranges and tweeters, in addition to the woofers.
Stepping up to the branded options, the most recognizable name is probably Harman Kardon — BMW has been working with them for years. The BMW Harman Kardon upgrade obviously isn’t up to the standard of the more premium options, but it’s the best you’re likely to see on a typical dealership floor.
If your BMW has a top-of-the-line factory stereo, you might have speakers produced by some of the most prestigious names in audio, like Bang & Olufsen or Bowers & Wilkins. Of course, that’s only if you decided to shell out on one of the exclusive options…
How many speakers are there in a BMW?
Exactly how many of each BMW speaker type you’ll find in your vehicle depends both on the chassis style and which BMW HiFi speaker system it’s equipped with.
Bigger vehicles obviously need more speakers to fill them with sound, and a higher-end sound system is also going to pack more speakers in. A full setup could typically include:
- A tweeter and midrange in the dashboard.
- A tweeter and midrange in the front doors.
- A midrange in the rear doors/panels/shelf possibly with tweeters.
- A pair of underseat woofers.
- A pair of tweeters and midranges in the real shelf.
That would come to 16 speakers — understandably more than you’d expect from an entry-level system. The basic package often drops the dashboard and rear speakers, and tends to switch out the tweeter/midrange pairs for a single midrange. Fortunately, US/Canadian cars haven’t featured this underwhelming setup since 2012, but the rest of the world still has to suffer through it for now 🙁
What is the size of speakers in a BMW?
Despite that range of speaker options, the good news for anybody looking for a BMW speakers upgrade is that BMW uses standardized speaker dimensions in all its vehicles: 255mm diameter for woofers, 100mm for midranges and 25mm for tweeters. That means matching diameters and identical mounting locations, so whatever system you have, a dedicated BMW sound system upgrade is sure to fit fine.
How to upgrade car speakers?
That should make it easy to upgrade BMW sound systems, as long as you choose good, high-quality speakers to build your kit.
Companies that specialize in BMW audio equipment are the first place to turn, because they can guarantee speakers that are going to swap in easily for your BMW originals, including all the right wiring for plug & play installation. With that, the upgrade process is rarely more than removing your stock speakers and fitting the replacements in their place. What could be easier? 😉
BimmerTech is one such company, producing high-quality speakers and amplifiers for BMWs and MINIs. Their team of experts will help you figure out how many speakers you need for your BMW, and which type you require. That’s a crucial part of the process; you don’t want to fit 2 ohm woofers in a system that would perform much better with 7 ohm speakers. As a dedicated BMW audio team, BimmerTech knows exactly what’s going to be best for your BMW, including its factory amplifier.
BMW speakers vs BMW amplifier upgrade
Hold up, hold up… factory amplifier???
Well, obviously most music lovers are going to want BMW replacement speakers and a BMW amplifier upgrade. And that’s what’s going to bring about the biggest improvement in your overall sound, particularly if you match the two parts of your system together, something you can do with the BimmerTech Alpha One speakers and partner Alpha One amplifier.
But if the amplifier and car speaker replacement cost is a little too high for you to drop all at once, which is going to give the best bang for your buck?
First of all, let’s just say this: the lowest-spec BMWs don’t even have a dedicated amplifier. So in that case, a BMW amplifier upgrade (does it count as an upgrade if it wasn’t there to start with?) is going to make the most difference. Not just because of the added power, but also because a quality amp can give you more flexibility in adjusting your sound.
As you climb up the BMW sound system options, though, you start getting much more capable amplifiers from the factory. Take the Harman Kardon 688 option, for example: on the amplifier front, the BMW Harman Kardon vs standard 676 Hifi amplifier the competition isn’t even close. The Harman Kardon amplifier offers more customization options, and it might be enough for you.
That’s when a BMW speakers upgrade is going to make the biggest difference, giving more clarity and balance to an already decent sound signal.
That isn’t to say you wouldn’t notice what an improved amplifier could do, but you might be able to switch that out as step 2 of your upgrade journey. Again, choosing BMW audio specialists is going to make that process simple.
BimmerTech Alpha One Speaker upgrades — Is it worth it?
The question on everybody’s lips is whether it’s worth upgrading your BMW speakers with an aftermarket kit like the BimmerTech Alpha One speakers.
If you’re a music lover, it’s a definite yes. You’ll get clearer sound, perfectly matched for your vehicle. The installation process couldn’t be simpler, and doesn’t require cutting or modifying your BMW to fit anything in. And if you do decide to step up the amplifier too, BimmerTech’s audio technicians are going to make sure you have truly excellent sound; your amp will come custom-tuned for your chassis style and musical preferences, and there are experts on hand to help you make adjustments if you’re still looking for a little extra personalization. That’s a genuinely unique offering.
But most importantly, you’ll know you’re getting a kit that’s been put together by BMW fanatics, and lives up to the standard BMW drivers expect.