A client from Chilliwack recently contacted the team at Certified Autosound and Security about upgrading the sound system in his 2016 BMW 228i. He wasn’t happy with the volume capabilities of the system or the way it sounded. Specifically, the bass was weak and the high-frequency region lacked detail and accuracy. After inspecting the vehicle, one of our Product Specialists put together a plan to upgrade everything except the radio and construct a dedicated subwoofer enclosure. The client liked the plan and gave us the go-ahead to start work.
Custom BMW Subwoofer Enclosure
Our fabrication team set to work creating a fiberglass subwoofer enclosure that would fit into the corner of the trunk on the passenger side. We masked off the corner of the vehicle and applied many layers of resin-soaked fiberglass mat to form the rear. After the resin cured, the team created a front panel out of MDF and a mounting ring for the single JL Audio 10TW3-4 subwoofer. The enclosure is finished in gray carpet that matches the rest of the trunk for a factory-installed look. We topped everything off with a mesh grille from JL Audio that protects the woofer cone from damage.
BMW-Specific Amplifier Upgrade
The next step in upgrading the audio system in this BMW was to remove the factory amp and install a Match UP 7BMW seven-channel amplifier in its place. This amp is designed specifically for BMW applications and plugs directly into the factory wiring. The digital signal processor in the amp allows us to set crossovers, equalization, signal delay and very specific output level control for each speaker in the system. We added a Helix M ONE 600-watt amp to drive the JL Audio subwoofer. Our fabrication team was able to fit both amps into the area where the factory amp used to reside.
BMW Audio System Speaker Upgrade
The last step in the installation process was to replace the speakers in the car. Speakers are, by a long way, the most important aspect of an audio system. We used a set of Match MS 42C-BMW.1 4-inch component speakers in the factory door and sail panel locations. Just as with the amplifiers, these Match speakers are designed specifically for BMW and bolt in place without the need for mounting adapters or modifications.
We also upgraded the woofers under the passenger and driver seats with a set of Match UP W8BMW-S 8-inch woofers. Once again, these are a drop-in product and offer a dramatic improvement in midbass response over the flimsy factory speakers. The factory sound system uses the under-seat speakers as subwoofers, but we have deployed them to reproduce midbass frequencies – a task they can handle with much better results.
European Vehicle Audio Experts
With the equipment installed, our team set to work tuning the sound system using the digital signal processor in the Match amplifier. We placed our microphone in the driver’s seat and adjusted the output of each speaker in the system so that they would provide a smooth and natural frequency response within its intended operating range. We fine-tuned the signal delay settings in the processor to ensure that the output of each speaker arrives at the listening position simultaneously.
Once completed, the stereo sounds as though you are sitting just to the left of center at a world-class auditorium. You can visualize the music coming from the stage in front of you, and can pick out the position of each performer. Of course, we turned the sub up a little bit to make the system fun to listen to and to drown out road noise.
After three long days of fabrication, installation and tuning, the BMW 228i was ready to be returned to the client. He arrived at Certified, eager to hear the new sound system. To say that he was impressed would be a gross understatement. He was thrilled! If you live in Abbotsford, Maple Ridge or Chilliwack and want to upgrade the audio system in your vehicle, visit the team at your local Certified Autosound and Security location. You can also reach us by phone or by e-mail using the contact form on our website. We’d be more than happy to design and install a world-class audio system in your car, truck or SUV.