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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just (very excitedly) purchased my iX 50 yesterday. Needless to say, it is a little difficult to focus on work because all I want to do is sit in the car and play around with all of the features. I did have one question for the community. I very much value a great sound system in my cars, and when I originally built out this car, I selected the 18-speaker HK system (the B&W was not an option). However, the lead time on the build was close to a year and so when my dealer contacted me recently telling me a car had come available, I jumped on it. However, much to my dismay it did not have the upgraded sound system, just the "Hi-Fi" system. From my research, it seems the Hi-Fi system utilizes HK speakers but is a very basic system with only a 205W 8-channel amp (although I have to say it sounds better than I expected). Has anyone installed an aftermarket amp and/or speaker system on their iX? Are there reputable companies who can do this for BMW vehicles? One company I have heard of is Bimmertech - anyone have any experience with these guys? Are there any reasons why one should NOT install an aftermarket sounds system on an iX?

Thanks in advance!
 

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As far as I know, the iX50 comes with the 18 speaker HK system as standard, and the B&W is the optional upgrade. I ordered one with the B&W but it got removed from my spec list this year.

One way to check - mine has the HK system, and when i go into "sound" menu, there's an "experience HK" setting which you can press and get a demo of its capability, and it finishes with the HK logo. Maybe if you have that, you can get comfortable you have the HK. I'll be curious to see what you discover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As far as I know, the iX50 comes with the 18 speaker HK system as standard, and the B&W is the optional upgrade. I ordered one with the B&W but it got removed from my spec list this year.

One way to check - mine has the HK system, and when i go into "sound" menu, there's an "experience HK" setting which you can press and get a demo of its capability, and it finishes with the HK logo. Maybe if you have that, you can get comfortable you have the HK. I'll be curious to see what you discover.
Thanks for your response BeeBop. I don't see any options for "experience HK" in the "sound" menu. Also, there is no "Harmon Kardon" identifier next to the speakers, like I saw in the 2022 demo iX that I drove. However, the sound from my new 2023 iX is surprisingly good - very crisp and powerful bass, even more powerful than my Audi etron where I have the 16-speaker B&O system with a subwoofer. The surround sound is not as good as my Audi but the sound is much better than what I heard in a demo X5 with the stock speaker system. When I built my original iX car, there was a separate option for the upgraded 18-speaker HK system which is why I was thinking it does not come standard. I am going to try post a couple of pictures that I took of the 'Sound" menu screen, the front grill speakers and drivers side door speakers.
 

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I am staggered that the stock iX50 (which is a £100k car) doesn't come with the HK speakers. if its any consolation, I've not been massively impressed and am justifying an aftermarket upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, seems like it is the standard because I don't have the same options in my "sound" menu as you do. From what I have read, the standard speakers are also HK speakers but the lower end ones which is why they don't advertise them with the visible brand label. I completely agree - for such an expensive car, the 18-speaker surround system should be standard with the B&W system as the option! I am considering an aftermarket upgrade but wasn't sure if that would screw up any warranty coverage and mess with any of the iX programming.
 

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I am staggered that the stock iX50 (which is a £100k car) doesn't come with the HK speakers. if its any consolation, I've not been massively impressed and am justifying an aftermarket upgrade.
Yes I remember back when ordering my iX50 in January I had the option to chose the H&K or the B&W, but both were an option and the H&K has not been standard like it is now.
 

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Hi all,

I just (very excitedly) purchased my iX 50 yesterday. Needless to say, it is a little difficult to focus on work because all I want to do is sit in the car and play around with all of the features. I did have one question for the community. I very much value a great sound system in my cars, and when I originally built out this car, I selected the 18-speaker HK system (the B&W was not an option). However, the lead time on the build was close to a year and so when my dealer contacted me recently telling me a car had come available, I jumped on it. However, much to my dismay it did not have the upgraded sound system, just the "Hi-Fi" system. From my research, it seems the Hi-Fi system utilizes HK speakers but is a very basic system with only a 205W 8-channel amp (although I have to say it sounds better than I expected). Has anyone installed an aftermarket amp and/or speaker system on their iX? Are there reputable companies who can do this for BMW vehicles? One company I have heard of is Bimmertech - anyone have any experience with these guys? Are there any reasons why one should NOT install an aftermarket sounds system on an iX?

Thanks in advance!
[/QUOTEI
I have a ‘23 iXM60 on order, production the week of Oct 10, after a 7 mo wait from the time my dealer got me on the ‘list’. My current ride is a ‘22 X5 which arrived late Aug ‘21. I’m a bit of a sound freak and when I ordered the X5 the only system available was the ‘standard’, the chip shortage precluding either HK or B&W, much to my chagrin. My salesman ( I had previously bought a ‘05 E60, X6, and X3 from him ) assured me that I could upgrade the system for under $1000 at a nearby sound shop. Long story short....research led me to Bimmertech, from whom I purchased $2400 of equipment, including amp, woofers, etc., installation costing $900.
The sound is impressive but - BIG but - not immersive. Best sound system I ever had in a car was a Lexus SC400, with either of my ‘test’ recordings eliciting gasps from listeners. I can’t do that with my Bimmertech system but it definitely beats the standard system. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I also came across Bimmertech and was looking to see if anyone else had also used them. Glad to hear about your experience, thanks for sharing. My one concern is that I am not sure if anyone has upgraded an amp from Bimmertech on a BMW EV, and so wasn't sure if there were any unique issues with doing so. For example, I thought I saw in some forum that the OEM amp might be used for OTA updates, so replacing it might cause issues down the line - however, I have no idea how true this is. When you upgraded the speakers, did you just replace the existing ones or add new speaker locations? I can imagine that it would be very hard to create an immersive experience from a setup that is not originally immersive. However, yours is now just a waiting game, as I think you will be getting a stellar system on the iX M60 (I think the B&W system is standard on those vehicles).
 

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I also came across Bimmertech and was looking to see if anyone else had also used them. Glad to hear about your experience, thanks for sharing. My one concern is that I am not sure if anyone has upgraded an amp from Bimmertech on a BMW EV, and so wasn't sure if there were any unique issues with doing so. For example, I thought I saw in some forum that the OEM amp might be used for OTA updates, so replacing it might cause issues down the line - however, I have no idea how true this is. When you upgraded the speakers, did you just replace the existing ones or add new speaker locations? I can imagine that it would be very hard to create an immersive experience from a setup that is not originally immersive. However, yours is now just a waiting game, as I think you will be getting a stellar system on the iX M60 (I think the B&W system is standard on those vehicles).
The Bimmertech setup in my X5 just uses the existing speaker locations, no new placement. I’d be wary of attempting to add or re-locate speakers in an iX. That said, I found the team at Bimmertech responsive and knowledgeable. Bottom line B&W is the only way to go IMHO.
 
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