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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw all the YouTubers are praising the bower&Wilkins sound system on the original ix 50 2022 model and just realized it is not available anymore on 2023 x50 (only with m60).

On the 2023 x50, Harman kardon is used. I am wondering what is the major difference? Would the number of speakers or placements be different? Will the "4D" sound effect still available with the Harman kardon system?
 

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No 4D effect with HK.

When I was speccing mine, my SA tried to tell me the B&W upgrade was a waste of money as the dealership had tested both and preferred the HK in the acoustics of the iX. This sounded like nonsense to me so i ticked B&W anyway, only for BMW to remove it for me as a condition of ever getting my car.
 

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No 4D effect with HK.

When I was speccing mine, my SA tried to tell me the B&W upgrade was a waste of money as the dealership had tested both and preferred the HK in the acoustics of the iX. This sounded like nonsense to me so i ticked B&W anyway, only for BMW to remove it for me as a condition of ever getting my car.
Well they also removed the option recently in my car, which I ordered with B&W, so now I also "only" have the H&K coming... I remember back a couple of years back my father was driving his F12 650ix, with the B&W system and 3 years later after he changed to a newer 650ix he decided he will save the extra money and only had the H&K ordered. To be honest it was really not big of a difference at least in this car. So I have my hopes up that even though I am disappointed with not having the best option in the car, it might in the end turn out to be a minor thing... But of course what will be missing are the 4D vibrating seats... at least I understood that the H&K does not have that, but I might be wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. All over YouTube is only BW review for ix. But funny thing is that for the review videos on Chinese TikTok, it seems that the HK is standard, they only compare ix hk with bw on other models(7 or m6 or x7). And it immediately sounds like a sales game for me, they will praise whatever they can sell( since bw is not available).
But according to the videos, the HK is good. And it should be better than the HK I have in my E400.
Another thing is that I am a Spotify guy, so no lossless sources for me. BW may not play a big part for these regular streaming music apps.
 

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I had ordered an IX and also per dealer skipped the B&W. A cancelled order with it became available and I took it to save 6 months or more. I never really tested the HK but I can tell you rhat the B&W is incredible. Best sound system I've had in a car.
 

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It's tough to communicate how good or bad an audio system is- so I thought I'd just tell you how it compares to other cars I've owned. Perhaps some of you will have heard those. For reference, I've been an audiophile since my teens- even owning Quad Electrostats.

What usually disappoints me in car audio systems is lack of high-end (treble) and clarity, lack of instruments separation and muddy midrange. I typically find car audio to be either terrible, "tolerable, but only because no other option", or "good- I like listening to this".

2014 BMW 640i vert with mid-range "premium hi-fi system" - "tolerable"- not as good as a good Bluetooth speakers
2017 MB E350 with mid-range upgrade Burmeister - "good"! - really impressed!
2019 Porsche Cayenne with mid-range upgrade "Bose Surround" - "tolerable"- (barely) I was looking into replacing treeters, poor high-end
2019 Audi e-Tron Prestige with Bang & Olufsen - "good" (not as special as MB Burmeister, but quite good"

2022 BMW iX Harmon Kardon (test drive and dealer audition)- "GOOD"- the best audio system I'd ever heard in a BMW- as good as MB's Burmeister I'd had before- quite relieved I would like listening to this particularly on better sources than XM

2022 BMW iX B&W I bought- because I took over a pre-existing order. New Classification- the best audio system I've ever heard in any car, and probably the best audio system I've ever had at home or in a car. Yesterday I heard (for the first time) the guitarist's fingers sliding up the strings on the fretboard on a Sarah McLauglin track I'd heard hundreds of times before. Remarkable detail. Bass, mids and highs are outstanding. Definitely deserves a better source than XM- Spotify good- CarPlay Apple Music "lossless" recordings fantastic.

In sum, I'm glad I've got it. If it ever resurfaced as an option for an XDrive50, I'd get it. It is not worth it for me to get an XDrive60 to get it. And if I never heard the B&W system, I'd say "with Harman Kardon, finally BMW has put a really good-sounding audio system in a car, it sounds fine"
 

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In the reviews I've read the B&W clarity and the added features of speakers within the seats really stand out, however the HK system is also strong and some prefer it for Top 40 / Hip Hop genre's of music.
 

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I have a 1200w Bang & Olufsen on a 6 series and its much better than the Harmon Kardon on my G01 X3 and the new i4, as the sound is more clean and you hear the voices and individual instruments more clearly.

I can image the B&W on the iX being even better - I test drove for 20min an iX with it and the B&W sound demo with video as very good but had very little time to play with it.

I think is a nice to have option given the high price tag, which for me is difficult to justify. The HK system is good enough to hear good quality music. But if you can get a 22 model with B&W by all means get it - as the supply/demand stands for the iX, you might end up with a price increase for 2023 higher than the B&W price!
 
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