BMW Audio Explained

Wondering what the difference is between all the audio options for your next BMW?  We’ve explained everything you need to know here. Bear in mind that there may be minor differences to the information you’ll find in this post.


Base (stereo)
The base system as the name suggests is the basic audio option. In some countries, it is replaced by the HiFi system as the standard option.  Equalizer settings here are very limited with minimal adjustments.  It’s usually composed of 4 mid-range speakers and 2 underseat woofers. Tweeters are nowhere to be found here (which can be observed by the missing mesh tweeter grilles inboard of the side mirrors).  The head unit is responsible for the amplification, reducing audio quality and maximum audio output. This may result in a lack of sufficient volume, and wishing you could turn it up more. Towards the end of the volume scale you may start experiencing distortion.

In the US and Canada, it’s not even available and is replaced by the HiFi system as the standard option.

The HiFi system is a noticeable upgrade with tweeters and an amplifier.  The graphic equalizer option is missing and leaves the listener with the same tuning options as the previous sound system – bass/treble, front/back, and left/right.  Some HiFi options will also include an additional midrange speaker for the center-channel dash.  This system has more volume due to the amplifier and cleaner audio signal as a result of a higher quality head unit.  Speakers for this audio option are considerably better than for the base (stereo) option.

Some Harman Kardon setup’s specifications are similar to the regular Hi-Fi systems, but usually have more speakers.

Top-Hifi (Harman Kardon)
Top-HiFi is the best audio option out of all standard three and is branded as Harman Kardon in all the newer models. For older BMWs, naming will vary. However, all of these setups share a similar layout.  You’ll find a surprising amount of speakers – usually about 16. Two underseat woofers, and 7 mid-ranges along with 7 tweeters. One pair is installed in the front deck, while the remaining can be found in the rear deck and four doors.  The amplifier in the Harman Kardon system has 10 channels and is connected to the head unit by a fiber optic cable. You’ll find a graphic equalizer, as well as a surround sound option in the radio menu.

Harman Kardon is a significant improvement with more amplifier power, equalization, and additional speakers that are better quality and have higher power handling.


Bang & Olufsen Audio 

Bang & Olufsen offer a premium audio system for high-end BMW models, including the 5, 6 and 7 series, as well as the X5 and X6. It features improved amplification and speakers.  The B&O system packs a punch with 16 channels and 1200 watts of power.  Speakers are located in the same way as in the Harman Kardon system. To add to its premium appearance, the side tweeters are illuminated, and the center channel speaker extends out from the dashboard.



BMW Increases it’s Carbon (Fiber) Footprint


BMW’s $100 million investment in SGL Group’s carbon fiber division in Moses Lake, WA is paying off in big ways. As their designers continue to find new uses for lightweight materials, BMW builds larger, lighter, stronger and more powerful vehicles than ever.

The new style 7-Series sets the standard for lightweight materials use. The new car is longer and lighter than the outgoing body due to the use of the new carbon core technology, high strength aluminum and magnesium.


2016 BMW 7 Series

The 7 boasts what is probably the closest thing yet to mainstream application of structural carbon fiber. Cast carbon-fiber panels are bonded over steel in the B- and C-pillars, as well as the center tunnel, adding stiffness and strength. The hat shelf behind the rear seats is a cast carbon panel. Sturdy woven tubes stiffen the sills and form the longitudinal roof rails reaching from the A-pillars back to the Cs. The roof bows are also carbon fiber. Forming so much of the upper structure from the lightweight material helps drop the center of gravity compared with the outgoing car.

Carbon fiber isn’t the lone lightweight material though. The doors—both the inner and outer panels, as well as the crash structure inside—and the trunklid are made from aluminum, as are the front and rear shock towers. The dash support is a magnesium casting spanning the width of the firewall. BMW says it trimmed 190 pounds as compared to the old style car.

3 Tips For Buying A Car Online


It’s no surprise that car buyers spend more time online than ever. Modern car buyers prefer to do all their research and learn as much as possible before taking any time to visit a showroom or they just skip the wasted time at the showroom altogether and have their vehicle shipped home.

The guys and gals here at eimports have been selling vehicles online, to long distance buyers, since 2000 and have had the opportunity to serve over 15,000 online buyers. We know a little bit about online vehicle buying and we’ve given plenty of advice over the years.

There’s three basic things to research before making the decision to make your purchase  long distance:

  1. Know the car. Make sure you know exactly what options and features the prospective vehicle has. Ask all the questions necessary to make sure you’re comfortable with that.
  2. Know the history. Run the Carfax report, run the Autocheck History Report, get the service history if possible and speak to the dealer about the history. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers.
  3. Know the dealer. Researching the dealer is just as important as researching the vehicle. How long have they been in business, do they buy and sell cars like the one that you’re interested in owning, do they have good Google reviews, good DealerRater reviews? Do they ship cars to customers regularly? How do they vet their transport companies? Are there any hidden fees associated with the purchase? How easy is it to do business with them?

Getting comfortable with these first three items is the first step to completing an online purchase.

As always, we’re here to help in any way we can. Please contact us if we can be of service to you.


BMW Classics Restores Last 1600GT on Earth


A team of BMW apprentices and instructors just completed the multi-year project of restoring the only remaining BMW 1600GT. Back in the 1960s BMW commissioned Italian bodywork designer Pietro FruGT to build only two prototypes in convertible form and one of those was crashed and totaled during testing.

This shop is located in Dingolfing, Germany and I’m pretty sure this is the same shop that took on the task of restoring the King of Rock N’ Roll’s BMW 507.




Mecum Kissimmee Event Starts Jan 3rd


Mecum’s 10 day auction and event starts on January 3rd this year and will be held at Osceola Heritage Park at 1875 Silver Spur Lane  Kissimmee, FL 34744.

Expect a huge selection of classics and sports cars this year as well as three days of auctions devoted to road art and automobilia.

Over 3,500 cars are expected, including the very last Shelby 289 Cobra that was sold to the public! That one is lot #F136 and is sure to crack the $1Million mark.


My pick of the auction though is lot # S82, a 1967 Corvette 427 Convertible with 435 HP, a four speed manual trans and side exhaust:


Check out all details and cars on Mecum’s site at :



Last minute gift ideas

Pile of colorful christmas presents isolated on white background

With less that two weeks left, finding time to finish holiday shopping is quickly passing.  Here are a few ideas to get you through the rest of the gift giving season:

1:  Monthly clubs or subscription services.  Fresh coffee, streaming and shopping services, sport and fan clubs are available in many different varieties.

2:  Smart home devices.  Whether to ask and answer questions or stay up to date on the most recent happenings, more and more people are starting to add smart devices to their homes.

3:  Flowers, chocolates, wine, gift cards.  Readily available, quick, and simple.

4:  Time, experience, or memory.  Make time for people in your lives that aren’t easy too get a hold of.  Try something new, or frame a memento from a past experience that you’ve shared with that person.