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      05-01-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
SleepTight
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Listened to the Bang & Olufsen System Today--wasn't impressed

I was considering the Bang & Olufsen audio option but thought the price was a bit steep. My dealer obviously didn't have an M5 in the showroom, but he did have a new 6 Series with the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system installed, which he was kind enough to allow me to audition. I hooked it up to my iPod and played some high bit rate recordings to give the system the best possible source material. In fairness to the system, I did not connect via hardwire, but rather, at the dealer's suggestion, used the bluetooth connection, which is obviously a more compressed connection but one that most of us are likely to use most of the time.

I wasn't very impressed. The system sounded good, but to my ears, a bit buzzy, particularly on simple vocal stuff. It's plenty loud if that's what you're in to, but I'm more interested in clarity. There are two pre-programmed digital processing settings--one for a more focused sound and one that is meant to convey the illusion of a more spacious listening environment. I liked that sound the least as it really just gave the music a more muddled sound.

It's not a bad system, but I can't see spending $3,700 for it. All I can say, is that if you are considering the system, make sure you take the time to listen to it first.
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      05-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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Good info. Thanks
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      05-01-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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I have heard a number of 6 Series owners with B&O complain that the system does not work well with modern music, but is fantastic with classical type music.


Thing is though, the system in the M5 could sound very different due to the different acoustics of the car and possible different speakers used.
These systems are also very dependent on equalizer setups for different music

Only way to know is to wait for one to test
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      05-01-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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I have the BMW professional stereo in my f10, which was a 300 quid option. The stereo is very good but unless I am very wrong I am sure my e60 stereo was better - crisper trebles and lovely warm clarity on the mids.
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      05-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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How much is it as on option in 5 series. My guess if it's not $3700 it's not the same system.
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      05-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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Music to my ears...$3700 to spend elsewhere
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      05-01-2012, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsc23
Music to my ears...$3700 to spend elsewhere
You should try to listen for yourself too. Hearing is also a matter of different tastes between different people.
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      05-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09BlkSapphire View Post
You should try to listen for yourself too. Hearing is also a matter of different tastes between different people.
I was already leaning against geting it anyhow. With free Sirius I'll be tuned to NFL radio most times anyhow.
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      05-02-2012, 01:46 AM   #9
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Testing over Bluetooth was a mistake. Even if people might use that, when the goal is to determine differences in fidelity, you don't negate the high-bitrate source aspect by forcing it over a low-bandwidth connection. I can tell a clarity difference between BT and hardwired even on crappy 128 kbit MP3s. I've read that B&O isn't worth it, but using BT removed any possibility of detecting any added value the system might offer.
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      05-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #10
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I listened to the B&O in the F12 M6. I tuned in to a few radio stations and I found the clarity and tightness to be excellent.
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      05-02-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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try a CD, dont use ipod
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      05-02-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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The hard part is finding a car optioned with it. No dealers in my area have one. So it may just have to be a leap of faith on my part.... An expensive one.
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      05-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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For 3,700 I feel like people should be going wow over it. For me there are way to many people are giving disappointing reviews on it. Unfortunately I will probably never get to hear it before I order the car.
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      05-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
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I heard it in a regular 650i Coupe and wasn't impressed either. Sounded like any normal system to me, nothing spectacular at all. I don't listen to classical music so maybe it isn't meant for me either. For the 3700 savings I'll just get the driver's assistance pack instead and still come out less than I would have with the B&O ~ $105,575 for mine.


M
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      05-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc1
I heard it in a regular 650i Coupe and wasn't impressed either. Sounded like any normal system to me, nothing spectacular at all. I don't listen to classical music so maybe it isn't meant for me either. For the 3700 savings I'll just get the driver's assistance pack instead and still come out less than I would have with the B&O ~ $105,575 for mine.


M
Sounds like the way I'm going to go as well.
Frozen black
I can't make a final decision on interior :-(
Piano black trim
Exec package
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Just waiting to be able to order. Maybe it's a good thing I can't test because I can't decide on an interior color anyway :-) (leaning towards sakhir)
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      05-02-2012, 01:02 PM   #16
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I have the "HIFI Pro" option in my 550 and in my coming M5. I think this is the best original factory sound i have had in a BMW.

A HIFI magazine here in Sweden tested car HIFI a year ago, Audi A8 with B&O, BMW 7 with HIFI Pro and a MB S Class.
The best sound was the B&O but i cost 8 time more than the HIFI Pro system in the BMW, and some of the test persons liked the sound in the BMW better than the expensive B&O. So best sound for the money were the HIFI Pro in the BMW.
The MB was not in the same class as the other.

Im interested in home HIFI and i have never heard a B&O that sounds better than other Hi end products that always costs at least half the price of the B&O...

So no B&O in my car
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      05-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #17
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I don't see the standard specs yet on the M5 but I am guessing the standard audio system is the same 16 speaker 600 watt one that is in every other car (as a $950 option of course).

Our X3 has this option and its not bad, but not great either. So many people looks at the "watts" and base their decision on that but you need to listen to it first. My C63 has a 550 watt system and it sounds a lot better than our X3, my wife agrees with me on that. I know that the X3 has more space for the sound to travel through but I was still expecting a similar sound from the two cars. I need to be able to listen to my music loud at times (helps me get rid of stress) but won't do so at the loss of clarity, the C63 does an awesome job of that, the X3 not so much.

Having said that, if I was buying a new or used M5 (which I am thinking of in the near future) it would be a tough choice to get the $3700 BO system or not because the standard isn't all that great (not horrible either though). I just think in a $90K-$100K car it better have a nice ass stereo system, at least as good as my $65K C63 has.

I have a feeling that getting a loaded USED M5 in 2 years or so is the way to go for me, let one of you guys spend the cash to get all the upgrades since they hardly add anything to the resale value
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      05-04-2012, 12:05 AM   #18
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$3700 can get a fantastic aftermarket system if you don't like the factory. Don't gamble, you can fix it if you don't like it.
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      05-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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I got to hear the base-for-US "Premium Hi-Fi" system in an M5 right next to a B&O-equipped M6 today, and here is the relevant excerpt from a post I made about the event I attended today overall:

- Customers in the US, skip Bang & Olufsen. The M6 had it, and the M5 had the "base" stereo, which for US-spec is BMW's Premium Hi-Fi system -- it sounds excellent. So does B&O, but honestly I couldn't tell much of a difference at all between the two even after rolling the windows up. For $3700 I would have expected to have my mind blown, and instead it sounded just like the base Premium system. Maybe for countries that have the lesser stereo as standard and have to choose between that and B&O it might make sense, but for the US, save your $3700 or spend it much more wisely on the aftermarket.

Full post is at http://f10.m5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=687155.
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      05-05-2012, 05:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I got to hear the base-for-US "Premium Hi-Fi" system in an M5 right next to a B&O-equipped M6 today, and here is the relevant excerpt from a post I made about the event I attended today overall:

- Customers in the US, skip Bang & Olufsen. The M6 had it, and the M5 had the "base" stereo, which for US-spec is BMW's Premium Hi-Fi system -- it sounds excellent. So does B&O, but honestly I couldn't tell much of a difference at all between the two even after rolling the windows up. For $3700 I would have expected to have my mind blown, and instead it sounded just like the base Premium system. Maybe for countries that have the lesser stereo as standard and have to choose between that and B&O it might make sense, but for the US, save your $3700 or spend it much more wisely on the aftermarket.

Full post is at http://f10.m5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=687155.
We need to see if the M5 B&O has any changes from the M6 system
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      05-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet View Post
We need to see if the M5 B&O has any changes from the M6 system
If it does, I suspect it will only be for the worse. The 6 Series is marketed (and priced) upmarket of the 5, so even if there were differences between the base and/or B&O in the two cars, comparing the 5's base to the 6's B&O should be the largest possible difference -- and I heard practically none at all.
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      05-05-2012, 08:55 PM   #22
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I would save the money for a real sound system at home.
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