Why Upgrade your BMW's Amplifier?

Bart Donda
Oct 20, 2020

The perfect BMW sound system upgrade is not only limited to adding or replacing speakers or mounting a subwoofer in your trunk. If you are looking for a louder, cleaner/clearer and more accurate sound, an amplifier is simply a MUST.

Why Upgrade your BMW's Amplifier?

What is an amplifier and how does it work?

The purpose of an amplifier is to receive a small electrical signal and amplify (enhance) it. It receives a tiny electrical signal and increases its strength many times so it is powerful and audible enough.

BimmerTech’s amplifier is known for its unique sensitivity. It has 9 channels: 8 speaker level channels and 1 rca line level (for an additional subwoofer in a trunk should you feel like having one). Thanks to our amplifier designed for BMW’s the analog signal gets converted into a digital one, processed and converted back to analog before it goes into your speakers. What this means is you can tweak all kinds of advanced settings such as delay, crossover, and EQ. The latter is worth noticing: you’ll be able to custom tune your audio to your exact musical taste. Prefer stronger bass? Quieter vocals? No problem. However, all this extra tuning requires expert knowledge and a bit of measurement equipment (or a good ear). Fortunately, if you’re not experienced, we’ve saved you the trouble and offer the BimmerTech Premium Amplifier pre-loaded with a custom tuning file for its 64-bit fully user-adjustable DSP to give you the most from your OEM or upgraded speakers. Find out why DSP makes such a difference to your car's stereo system. Last but not least — our amplifier was created to generate minimal heat, which can't be said for all types of digital amps.

How to adjust BMW amplifier settings?

First of all, you are provided with a preloaded DSP tune file. DSP stands for Digital Signal Processing and you can easily load this (or any other) tune file onto your amplifier via USB. Should you still feel the need to tweak your music experience once you do it, our Support Team will be of great assistance. While tuning the amp all by yourself you must keep in mind that BimmerTech’s Premium Audio System amplifier has a higher power output than the head unit, i.e. your car radio. This means that the majority of factory speakers may not be able to handle all this extra power. Thus if you love listening to music at a really high volume, it will be necessary to use common sense and not overload the speakers. Our amplifier is capable of blowing out most aftermarket speakers with when set up accordingly.

BMW audio system

Does an amplifier make a difference?

The primary role of an amp is to increase the amplitude of an audio signal, effectively making your music louder. This doesn’t just mean higher overall volume though. For example: outputting more power to the OEM woofers with a custom tune preset for these exact OEM woofers, means stronger bass, without even changing your underseat woofers. In the image below, you can see the difference in output power per channel between the factory BMW amplifier and the BimmerTech Premium Audio System.

BMW Speakers Upgrade

What else? With BimmerTech’s BMW amplifier, your speakers will play music the way it’s supposed to be heard, enabling you to hear the reverberation in the vocals and identify each individual instrument. (This is provided you don’t have the tweeter-less Base audio option described below; in that case, we strongly recommend a speaker upgrade first.). The Premium Audio System will also make the sound significantly more natural and cleaner.

Last but not least — an amplifier is essential in order to achieve HiFi sound.

Below you will find some precise specifications & features of the Premium Audio System amplifier:

Output Power RMS/Max Frequency response DSP processing power DSP resolution
at 4 Ohms 8 x 55 Watts / 110 Watts 20 Hz - 22.000 Hz 295 MHz 64 Bit
at 2 Ohms 8 x 70 Watts / 140 Watts      
No. of inputs THD Technology Inputs/Outputs
6 x Highlevel, 1 x Optical, 1 x Remote In < 0.015 % 8 separate configurable amplifier channels for maximum flexibility Optical S/PDIF input 6 – 192 kHz with an integrated sample rate converter
    56-bit DSP technology and 24-bit AD/DA converter from BurrBrown USB-on-board for direct connection to a PC
    Extremely powerful DSP with virtually limitless sound adjustment options freely configurable via PC - Tool software (Windows) Freely configurable 2-channel PreOut for the connection of additional amplifiers
    Proprietary Class HD Technology for peerless sensitivity and minimal heat generation Plug jack for optional cable remote control, functionality configurable via PC software

See also what our expert says about our Sound System Upgrade:

Is BimmerTech’s amplifier compatible with my BMW?

This is a very justified question. Once you enter your VIN or select your vehicle on our webshop, whatever audio option you see is personalized for your BMW model and factory audio system.


Your personalized VIN number will determine whether you need an OEM BMW amplifier replacement or you already have the highest possible option. It will also give you a hint about the available speaker upgrade. There are three standard OEM versions of the audio equipment fitted in BMWs:

  1. Base (Stereo), including no amplifier (the car’s head unit plays this role instead by amplifying the sound) and only basic speakers. This would mean that starting with an amplifier upgrade is the best idea. However, this option is factory installed neither in the U.S. nor in Canada.
  2. In those two countries the upgraded Hi-Fi option is the lowest available equipment level. If this is your situation, your car is equipped with a 6-channel simple amplifier and speakers of a higher standard than in the Base version, so this is the moment to upgrade your amplifier and replace it with BimmerTech’s Premium Audio System.
  3. Your car may also be equipped with Harman Kardon BMW Surround Sound System, including BMW Harman Kardon’s amplifier with 10 channels, a graphic EQ, as well as a surround sound option and a set of advanced speakers. Here you can deepen your knowledge on the original OEM BMW sound systems. If after entering your VIN number you only see the option below, it means that either our amplifier is not compatible with your BMW model or you have Harman Kardon’s high standard amplifier and there is no need to upgrade it. Nevertheless, looking for a speaker upgrade is still worthwhile.

PP 86DSP Amplifier

We recommend that you also read this article about BMW amplifier and speaker upgrades.  You will find out when you should do just the speaker upgrade and when it is crucial for your BMW to get some powerful audio with an amplifier upgrade.

Can an amplifier affect a car battery?

Yes, it can and will providing the vehicle is not in motion. Since an amplifier draws a lot of power from the battery, it will eventually drain it if the engine is off, and your battery will go flat sooner than if you were just listening to music without an amp. However, given normal, regular driving, nothing will happen.

How to install an amplifier in your BMW?

We made an amplifier upgrade one of the quickest and easiest upgrades you can do. Unless you have the most basic audio option in your BMW, installation takes no longer than an hour and doesn’t require any advanced technical knowledge. It will take longer if you have the Base option since it requires a complete installation of an amplifier and harness and not only replacing it. This makes it a perfect choice if you want to upgrade your audio without the extra hassle that comes with replacing your speakers.

Prior to installation, you should plan the wire routing to avoid any possible damage to the wire harness. The cabling should be protected against possible crushing or pinching hazards. Also, avoid routing cables close to potential noise sources or high power accessories. Once you order your audio system upgrade at BimmerTech, you will get detailed instructions for your vehicle, yet here you may already find a detailed online manual with a 10-step instruction guide.

Check the installation video we made for you:

Now you have all the necessary knowledge to make a good decision ;)


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