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Category: BMW Sound System

BMW Amplifier or Speaker Upgrade? What to Buy First

Agata Przewozna

Aug 10, 2023

BMW Amplifier or Speaker Upgrade? What to Buy First

Listening to music is very individual. And this is how we treat it. This is why BimmerTech offers you a customized Alpha One Speakers & Amplifier upgrade.

Ready for a real sound studio in your BMW?

Have you ever wondered if you are really satisfied with the sound your current audio stereo system provides in your BMW? We feel that driving and not being able to listen to your favorite sounds is like going 20 mph while the top speed of your car is ten times that. Sooo...:) If you are dreaming of a perfectly clean and crisp, natural and accurate sound, we are here to guide you through all the possible solutions, such as: speakers upgrade, amplifier replacement or DSP adjustment.

Alpha One kit

We will lead you through the whole process, from learning more about your car equipment, to personalizing your upgrade decision, some useful installation video manuals too.

STEP 1: What is the OEM BMW audio system I have?

Depending on the factory OEM equipment you have in your vehicle, you will be provided with different purchase options. Your unique VIN number will allow us to determine the number and kind of BMW speakers your car is equipped with.

Decode Your VIN Number

There are three standard OEM versions of the BMW audio equipment potentially fitted in your vehicle. The trick is: you cannot easily upgrade one version to a higher one, but you can still upgrade the standard equipment you bought your vehicle with an aftermarket replacement. What factory stereo version might you have, then?

Base (Stereo)

Base is the lowest-level sound system, not including any amplifier whatsoever (with a head unit responsible for amplification) and with basic speakers. In the U.S. and Canada, this system is never installed and HI-FI is the lowest available OEM version. It is composed of an amplifier and usually 4 midrange speakers and 2 underseat woofers. Tweeters are not included, meaning high tones are not audible enough.

You happen to have this option? Good news! We offer you a variety of upgrade options to play with.

Hi-Fi (Audio option: S676A / S674A)

Hi-Fi is one step above the Base option and is a noticeable upgrade usually adding at least 2 tweeters and a 6-channel amplifier. There is, however, no graphic equalizer option. In addition to the base option, Hi-Fi also often includes a midrange speaker for the center-channel dash (depending on which vehicle you have). The amplifier will ensure higher volume, and the head unit is of a better quality, resulting in a cleaner audio signal. The standard of the speakers is also considerably better than in the Base option, but still many people look for some upgrades and purchase BimmerTech's Alpha One speaker kit.

Top Hi-Fi/Hi-Fi Professional (Audio options: S688A for newest, S677A and S752A for older BMW models)

We offer Alpha One amp upgrades for all of the above top-of-the-line factory options. Our UP10 Amplifier covers post-2018 Harman Kardon systems (688), while for the pre-2018 HK, Individual Audio, and Hi-Fi Professional we have our Lightwave Amplifier. 

As the first high-end direct upgrade amplifier for Top Hi-Fi optical audio systems, the Lightwave has a built-in transceiver for minimal conversion and accurate quality. Although meant for slightly different audio systems, the Alpha One UP line of amplifiers still boasts hefty power gains over the stock setups, combined with sound optimization adjusted to your musical taste. In each case, you can be sure that with Alpha One you’ll get the best possible option for your car.

Regardless of the factory audio, a BMW speaker upgrade is still worth considering if you want an audio system on the highest possible level. Read more on the original OEM BMW sound systems.

Now that you know what you have in your BMW it is time for…

STEP 2: What are the sound system upgrade options for me?

You should take into account two criteria:

  1. The custom audio upgrades available for your specific vehicle.
  2. Your personal feelings about your needs.

Let’s determine what we mean by those.

Available personalized sound system options

What is truly essential is to have a close look at what you've already got in your car and what we can offer to you. You can easily do thisby simply entering your BMW's VIN on our speakers and amplifier for BMW page and decoding it to verify your BMW audio system options in a few seconds.

If after entering your VIN you see this recommendation...

Available personalized sound system options means you have your choice of amplifier, speakers or both.

Why an amplifier? Its primary role is to increase the amplitude of an audio signal — making your music LOUDER. But not only that, it also enhances the speakers' limited qualities, e.g. improved reverberation of the vocals or better separation of one instrument from another. The Alpha One Amplifier will also make the sound significantly more natural and cleaner.

Depending on your stock audio setup, our BMW amplifier has from 8 to 10 separately configurable channels + 1 dedicated channel that can be used to drive an additional subwoofer mounted in a trunk (as for some bass admirers under-seat woofers are still simply not enough).

Thanks to their DSPs (Digital Signal Processors), our amplifiers also come pre-loaded with up to 10 tuning files which you can switch to adjust the music to your liking – adding more or less bass, treble, etc. And if you still feel the need to personalize your beats even further, our audio engineer will tweak the amp settings for you.

Alpha One Amplifier

Still uncertain about your choice? Read why we think upgrading your BMW amplifier to our latest Alpha One Amplifier is worth considering. You might want to have a quick look at the online manual although you will also be provided it via email once you order your new sound system.

BimmerTech Alpha One Speakers upgrade. Designed for BMW’s acoustics to meet the highest expectations of any audiophile, as well as budding DIYers with their easy Plug and Play installation. What you can optionally install (or replace in your car) are: tweeters (giving you incredibly clear high tones), midranges (handling midtones) and underseat woofers (allowing extra low tones). Their undeniable advantages over many other market solutions are increased clarity, power and bass, dedicated crossover and much higher power handling and output compared to the OEM speakers. They are compatible with BimmerTech and factory BMW audio systems. The speakers you may be recommended to install or replace are:

  • tweeters - 4 Ohm impedance

Alpha One Tweeter

  • midranges - 4 Ohm impedance

Alpha One Midrange

  • woofer - 2/4/7 Ohm impedance

Alpha One woofer

Remember - your order can always be customized, i.e. you may either take our expert recommendation or add or remove some speakers from your personalized cart depending on your needs.

Alpha One kit customization

There is also a chance that you will see this recommendation:

Alpha One speakers set

This would mean our Alpha One Amplifier unfortunately cannot be fitted in your BMW model. No worries, our brilliant Alpha One Speakers and BMW Subwoofer upgrade will already make a huge difference to your listening experience. While buying any element of our car stereo system, you will also have the option of choosing to add our standardized trim tools for only $17.

Trim tool kit

STEP 3: Let’s choose something for me

Now you know what purchase options are available for you, the final decision regarding your BMW sound system will depend on what precisely you feel is still to be improved in your car sound system. Is the power not sufficient? Or are the highs not audible enough? Or perhaps your bass sounds like a midrange tone? Before going any further, you should ask yourself the question: What do I feel like improving? Below we will offer personalized guidance for your needs.

...I want a cleaner sound

We recommend you upgrade your sound system with an amplifier. Whatever OEM option you already have in your BMW — without an amplifier the sound will not be as clear and will sound way less natural so you definitely need it. Your speakers can only replicate the signal they receive.

...I want a louder sound

The amplifier will definitely do the job, since its most significant role is to increase the amplitude of the audio signal which results in making the sound louder. With an Output Power of up to 1420W peak (710W RMS), it will give you incredibly powerful sound!

...I need more bass

Our amplifier will significantly enhance your bass sound and a set of woofers will add even more satisfaction. They will give you powerful bass. We offer three different Alpha One BMW subwoofer upgrades, because selecting woofers with the incorrect impedance (ohms) may result in poor sound performance. Don’t worry though, after you enter your VIN number on our page, you will be recommended a tailor-made solution for your car.

...I want to improve sound only for the front of the car

You should buy the Driver’s Choice, which will be offered to you as a personalized combination of Alpha One speakers. It replaces the most essential speakers to provide you with the best audio options for your needs. It is a reasonable choice, especially when you are either the only passenger in your BMW or you only have one more passenger in the front.

...If you want to be able to adjust the sound

Definitely the amplifier with a 64-bit DSP pre-loaded with up to 10 tuning files. The analog signal is converted into a digital one, processed and converted again to analog. This means that you can easily play with advanced settings (delay, crossover and EQ), adjusting your sound however you feel like. If you feel like tweaking something more, our Support Team will be happy to do it for you.

Now you know everything about the options available for your sound system, why not order your equipment upgrade?

Upgrade your Sound System

STEP 4: I got my order delivered! How to install an amplifier and speakers in BMW?

From the very beginning of the buying process we support you all the way. Along with your delivered goods, you will also receive installation instructions for every product you purchase at BimmerTech. BimmerTech’s personalized sound system kit will perfectly match your BMW because it was created especially for this brand. To make installation easy, it’s literally plug & play in terms of its mounting in your vehicle. Nonetheless our BMW experts have recorded easy-to-follow videos so you can follow each step they take.

Take a look at the videos below and see how easy it actually is to install our amplifiers in your car. In most cases, it shouldn’t take you more than 1 hour. First, here’s a video for our Alpha One UP line of amps:

And here’s an installation guide for the Alpha One Lightwave Amplifier:

...and how to replace car speakers:

Remember, at any stage in case of any queries we encourage you to contact our technical support team. Do not forget to give us the last 7 characters of your vehicle's VIN number to make sure we give you help tailored to your car.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: What else affects the sound in my car?

Even if your amplifier and speakers are of the highest possible quality, there are more factors that affect your music experience. It could be the head unit, the interior itself (significantly affecting acoustics) but first of all — the way you stream music. There are several possible options of streaming:


Very convenient and versatile. Lets you pair any devices to stream music but in terms of sound quality it is still not the highest possible standard. Why? Because in every wireless solution, the audio signal is first compressed by the device you use (eg. Smartphone) to minimize the amount of data transferred, and then again decompressed by your car to be played. Inevitably, it loses a reasonable part of quality on its way there.

WI-FI based

Very convenient too, but if you feel like hearing every single detail of the music — this solution is just not for you. Another disadvantage is that you always rely on the internet connection capacity.

Analog: AUX

Compared to wireless options, AUX obviously comes with some inconvenience (cables, cables everywhere...). Despite the fact that the use of AUX eliminates sound decompression, it does not help a lot in terms of the sound clarity and quality.

Digital: USB

However archaic it may seem to some people, only a USB connection lets you hear a perfectly clean sound. If you like to go into details of the streaming quality, here you will find more info about the best ways to stream music.

Good luck!

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