BMW E36 Blog

Harmon Kardon Speakers

30th June 2008

Harmon Kardon Speakers


I wrote about the BMW E36 Harmon Kardon Audio System and it seems there is a lot of confusion about the number and locations of the speakers in that system. Today, I found a photo that will show the exact locations of the 10-speakers in that audio system. Take a look:

Also, pay attention to the location of the amplifier in the trunk.

After I saw this picture, I think there are two speakers in the footwell of the BMW E36, but I’m not sure if they’re working in my car or not. I know that my BMW E30 used to have 2 speakers in the footwell (left and right) and 2 speakers in the back. In the BMW E36, I just thought that the speakers inside the doors are just a replacement for the front speakers in the BMW E30. I should’ve checked these speakers in the footwell to verify their existence when I saw them, but it’s never too late. I’ve checked them today and they’re working fine. It’s cool to discover that there are actually 6 speakers inside the non HK systems.

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posted in Audio, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

29th April 2008

BMW Harmon Kardon Audio System


Hi Guys,

I presented some Great BMW E36 Internal Lights photos in a post couple days ago. One of the things that I didn’t even know they existed in BMW E36 cars is the Harmon Kardon audio system. The cars with this optional audio system has a switch that is labeled "HIFI". In that post, I asked you about this switch and if anyone has it, so I got a reply from Seth and he was so kind to provide extra information about this option. You can read the description in his words below:

First off, it has 10 speakers (supposedly) although I have only seen 8 discussed in the forum I belong to. Maybe I was wrong about the subwoofer, because no one had mentioned it. It sure sounds like there’s one, though! (Tony: Valery, can you help?) The only major difference I remember from my first M3 without the upgrade, is the speakers in the front kick panels (granted it’s been 2 and a half years since that car, but I don’t remember any speakers down there), the HIFI switch that turns on an amplifier located in the left side of the trunk, next to the shock tower, and the different speakers with Harmon Kardon (HK) on the speaker shield.

The biggest problem with them is that the mid-range speakers in the front doors are prone to self-destruction at relatively low volume levels. The largest contributing factor is the automatic volume adjustment as the car gains speed (Tony: Wow! that’s a cool feature, isn’t it?). I blew my own that way! Adjust the volume level in the driveway, make it onto the freeway, and KA-POP!

BTW, if you have that annoying feature, I just learned how to fix it while I was researching the Harmon Kardon (HK) stereo. First, you start with the stereo off. Turn it on, and hold the "m" button for approx. 10 sec. The serial # of the radio should appear on the screen. Once it does, use the + and – buttons until you see GAL 1-6 . Then use the < and > buttons to adjust it up or down. 1 is the lowest change, and 6 vice versa. I believe that should also work on British BMW’s as well, even though it was explained for an American M3.

These are some photos of the Harmon Kardon audio system:


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posted in Audio, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 6 Comments