When you think about it, car stereos are often the most neglected or mistreated part of the vehicle. Those who don’t modify the system often let the components deteriorate over time and never replace them. Those who do modify the system usually install the biggest subwoofers they can afford, hook up a powerful amp, and maybe replace the mid-range speakers, but that’s it. It’s very rare for a car to be given the proper consideration for each component and to have them all matched together to create a speaker system that is balanced and neutral. The founders of Bavsound were fed up with car audio being largely inaccessible for the average enthusiast and set out to change the entire purchase and install experience.
Upgrading your audio system can be compared to the early days of exhaust modification. It used to be that to modify exhaust the average enthusiast had two options, you could go to a muffler shop and have a generic muffler installed (and maybe get your catalytic converter cut out) or you could go to a professional and pay a lot of money for a custom tailored exhaust system. Nowadays we have Cat-backs and Axle-backs tailored specifically to each car and have sound clips and dyno sheets so you know exactly what you’re buying and have confidence that it will fit without modification. Most car audio is currently in the same place as exhausts used to be. You can buy aftermarket speakers, subwoofers, amps, etc. but they usually require custom wiring and without extremely thorough research it is unlikely that all the components you buy will work together well.
That’s what sets Bavsound apart from other audio companies. They aren’t out to be another JVC or Alpine. They want to create a high quality tailored experience for BMW owners. The first step in this was doing away with the need to cut and splice wiring to accommodate aftermarket speakers. Why should installing speakers involve damaging your vehicle and compromising your warranty? Bavsound speakers use all OEM connections and mounting points so install is quick and painless. This also means that reverting the speaker system back to stock at the end of a lease term is just as easy. In addition to straightforward plug-and-play Bavsound produces high quality detailed installation videos to help you every step of the way. They even sell an optional tool kit which includes all the essentials for installing your new speakers (see below).
Bavsound Installation Toolkit
Just as a test we did a little shopping around to try to figure out what the average consumer would need to do to buy and install upgraded speakers. We decided to shop for speakers for an 2016 BMW F30 with the Harman Kardon option. The first step was to go to the biggest audio retailer we could find and have a look at their selection. Here we encounter our first problem: the top results we found were “2-way” speakers which apparently come with integrated tweeters in the mid-range drivers. This would be great if we were shopping for a car that never came with tweeters but in this case they would just complicate things. We were able to find one option for a dedicated mid-range driver and although it had good reviews it had very few of them so we couldn’t really be sure of the quality, especially since we would need to buy at least 8 of them (F30 takes 7 but they are sold in pairs).
We decided from then on not to limit our search to one site. After some quick googling we found a nice option from a reputable brand which are at this time being sold for about $100 each. So we’re now at $700 in mid-range speakers. We then looked for some tweeters to match (people generally like to buy within the same brand for compatibility) and found some for a reasonable $60 a pair. Since we also need 7 of these we will have to buy 4 sets, bringing our total to $940 for mids and tweeters. Please note that we are shopping as a consumer with minimal knowledge of audio components. There are probably better and cheaper offerings out there but these prices were on the moderate end of what we found. This puts us roughly $40 over the price of the pre-assembled kit from Bavsound so far.
Moving forward with our imaginary upgrade we come to our next issue: installation. All the aftermarket mid-range speakers we found use a mounting hole pattern of four in a square pattern whereas the BMW OEM speakers use three bolts. This would mean either drilling into the door panel or fashioning an adapter/mounting bracket out of wood or plastic (see below). Assuming we have access to the necessary tools and materials this is still a hassle and does nothing to alleviate the issue of wiring. Typically when installing aftermarket speakers on an older car you just cut and splice the wiring, but in this case we’re working with a newer vehicle that is still under warranty we’d like to preserve the OEM connectors. Our attempts to find the connector part number on the internet proved fruitless so in this case our only hope would be to remove one of the factory speakers and take it to an automotive or audio store to find the connector if at all possible.
Bracket fabricated to fit an aftermarket speaker in the OEM F30 position.
If you go to a shop which specializes in audio systems they may be able to figure out the connector and fabricate custom brackets, but you will be paying handsomely for this service. Since most shops will charge by the hour for their work the Bavsound kit being plug-and-play with all required brackets and connectors is already a huge advantage even if you’re not installing the kit yourself. So far the Bavsound kit wins in initial price (albeit by a small amount), ease of installation, and installation cost (if you lack the time or desire to install the kit yourself). Even if you find your speakers cheaper it is unlikely the savings will offset the time or money you will have to spend to get normal speakers installed.
Bavsound Mid-Range Speaker Compared to Factory Speaker
Now, if you really care about sound quality you can’t just look at ease of installation (and price to a certain extent), you want to make sure you’re getting an upgrade when installing aftermarket parts on your vehicle. Fortunately the founders of Bavsound are very passionate about music and have over 70 combined years of experience in the automotive audio industry so they know a thing or two about building good equipment. The most important aspect of good equipment is quality materials. For the mid-range speaker cones Bavsound utilize a fiberglass weave which gives a very natural sound while also having much higher durability compared to traditional paper cones (paper is used in mid-range speakers because it sounds the most natural to the human ear). The tweeters use a silk composite material for high quality high frequency sound reproduction without the harshness of a traditional metal cone. To further improve clarity and remove and unwanted vibrations Bavsound provides foam speaker surrounds and gives you the option of purchasing sound deadening material with your speaker kit.
Mid-Range Driver Installed with Foam Surround and Optional Sound Deadening Material
There is an important aspect to Bavsound subwoofers that sets them apart from other aftermarket upgrades one the market. Like with their mid-range speakers and tweeters Bavsound has taken great care to select high quality materials that will prove to be durable and produce excellent sound. These subwoofers utilize over-sized neodymium magnets and a lightweight polypropylene cone. The reason for this material choice, aside from durability over paper cones, is that with a lightweight cone and over-sized magnet the subwoofer is able to reach frequencies beyond the normal subwoofer range. These “mid-bass” ranges are normally taken care of by the OEM speakers but other aftermarket subwoofers handle only the lowest frequencies so you’re missing out on a key range of sound.
On top of all Bavsound speakers being plug and play they are also built to perfectly match the factory speaker’s impedance. Without getting into too much technical jargon this essentially means that the amount of power needed to operate all the speakers will not change when installing these upgraded speakers. We all have different needs and preferences when it comes to audio (different genres use certain frequencies more than others) so keeping the impedance consistent with the factory speakers means that you can upgrade one range of your speakers and not have to worry about the balance of the system being thrown off. Bavsound also offer an upgraded amplifier that, like their speakers, is tailored specifically to each different late model BMW. This is an industry first and further shows Bavsound’s how unique approach to aftermarket audio can benefit the consumer.
This is not to say that these speakers are the pinnacle of car audio, there are undoubtedly avid audio enthusiasts out there who can create a system with superior balance and performance. However, for the average consumer the Bavsound speakers will be more than enough. Their goal from the start was to offer a direct factory replacement speaker upgrade with high quality materials and excellent performance. They are so confident in their build quality that all Bavsound speakers are backed by a 4 year warranty. Their confidence in sound quality is equally resolute, they offer paid return shipping and a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied with your speaker upgrade after 100 days.
This is a fantastic example of a company using their knowledge and experience to make a better experience for the consumer. This philosophy is fundamental to everything we do at ModBargains, to take the stress and the uncertainty out of car modification by utilizing our own knowledge and experience to help our customers turn their car into something they can be proud of.
If you have any questions about Bavsounds products and what’s available for your BMW our Mod Experts are always ready to help. Give us a call at (714)-582-3330 or contact us by email at [email protected].