Of course, I did have moments of puzzlement along the way. To help with that inevitable situation, Bavsound supplies well-written installation instructions. But the real support is online, where there are videos covering every step of every upgrade for every BMW. Thus, when I encountered a question, I simply watched the video of a Bavsound technician doing exactly what I was about to do. Another big help was the Bavsound tool kit. This is a set of specialized tools that facilitates much of the work. To sum up, if you’re reasonably handy and not intimidated by digging into your vehicle’s innards, then you can do this.
I spent $600 on the Stage One kit prescribed for my car. Although that wouldn’t be a lot to spend on a home audio system, it somehow felt a little steep for a car audio upgrade. However, after driving around with the Bavsound Stage One in place, I decided this was arguably the best $600 I’d ever spent on a stereo system. What sounded different? Only everything. The piercing highs were long gone. Now they were smooth and extended, without a trace of glare. Bass was completely transformed; it was deep and there was plenty of it. Coherence between the various drivers was also excellent, and detail and spatiality were much improved.
One of the biggest differences I noticed is when I was driving with the volume turned down. The old system sounded terrible at low volume. Pretty much the only thing that came through were those tinny highs. But with the Bavsound system I’ve found that I can enjoy music just as much when it’s turned down.
As already noted, I could have gone further. Bavsound offers a subwoofer for my car for about $500. However, after living with the bass output of the Stage One system, I feel no need to increase it. The company also offers a “Bimmertech” amp for roughly $1000, though it wasn’t an option for my particular car. Frankly, though, I wouldn’t have bought it even if that were possible. My Stage One upgrade hits the sweet spot between performance and value.
Even if your current (or future) BMW has a factory-upgraded audio system, you might still want to check out Bavsound’s options for making it even better. Based on my results with the Stage One, I can attest that these guys know what they’re doing.
BMW has been slow to offer the truly high-end car audio systems now available from other luxury marques. But if you’re willing to go DIY, Bavsound makes possible a far better audio experience for your beloved Bimmer.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Multiple dynamic drivers
Drivers: Varies by configuration
Price: Varies by model. $600 for reviewed Stage One system
PO Box 105603 #7522
Atlanta, GA 30348