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Can 7.1 Harman Kardon be improved?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Can 7.1 Harman Kardon be improved?

 
Old 07-04-2013, 05:20 PM
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Can 7.1 Harman Kardon be improved?

Hello friends,

So I got my "new" 2010 E550 last weekend and am ecstatic! This thing is phenomenal with tremendous power.

My only disappointment so far are three issues:

1. It appears that the residual heat feature has been eliminated. I used to be able to keep the A/C blower running for 30 minutes to dry out the evaporator to avoid odors

2. I used to be able to press an hold the recirculating button on the A/C system and all windows and sunroof would close. That no longer works for me.

3. I have a Harman Kardon 7.1 system that doesn't sound as full as the 5.1 system that I had in my E320. I don't get the bass sound that I used to have. Have any of you upgraded without affecting factory warranties?

I have no regrets on this car. I love it and look for any excuse to drive it!

Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:09 PM
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The Harman Kardon system is fairly good, but I agree that it lacks bass. There is a small sub on the rear shelf, but it really doesn't sound like a proper sub. The other complication is the fibre optics, but it's possible to tap into speaker wires to use as a source for a replacement sub.

You'll certainly receive more 'technical' replies than this one, but, yes, the system can be improved.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:13 AM
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Yes, and I noticed that the subwoofer is smaller than the one in my older E320. Oh well, I guess I'm stuck with this one since I'm not certain that I would be able to find a replacement that would fit in the same space. I also remember that the impedance on the speakers is unusually low.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:40 AM
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Strange you guys feel that way. I've got 2010 e550 and my HK 7.1 puts out some nice clean bass. I had a JL 13w1 in my old e500 with intensions of installing it into this new ride. But given how it sounds now - I'm debating on it.

Obviously the stock doesn't come close to the JL but it does a damn good job IMO.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:50 PM
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Congrats on the E550, welcome to the club! I have the HK system as well. Have you tried increasing the Bass and lowering the Treble? It's the only control they give us for the sound system. Other than that, you might upgrade the subs, but that's probably more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:43 PM
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a lot of todays music is so compressed it takes away from the sound quality too......I don't really care much about the stereo; works for me, but I can understand how some folks simply need more, to bad we can't have record players LOL, that's where the best sound comes from......

good luck OP
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:27 PM
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Last edited by E Classy; 03-17-2014 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:50 PM
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Thank you, I may just leave it like it is or just replace the subwoofer someday. It's a low priority right now. Thanks again!
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:44 PM
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:36 PM
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Wow, this is very helpful! Thank you for this great information. You did a phenomenal job..very professional. Thanks for the link.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:53 PM
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It looks like REST is only available on three zone systems (at least according to the PDF version of the owners manual). The manual did say REST could/would be automatically activated and run for 30 minutes after the car has been sitting idle for an hour.

This is just one more way in which Mercedes-Benz has cheapened the E class.

I turned off the Logic 7 surround sound - sounds MUCH better with it off.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:26 PM
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what are you guys talking about?

I have had several vehicles with various sound systems (Bose, JBL) and I have never heard sound as clean and pure as with this system! If you want true hi-fidelity sound, you need to purchase professional equipment and install it in a sound proof room in your house...
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:20 AM
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My 2003 E320 HK system sounds better with more bass than the HK system in my 2014 E550. I certainly don't have the skills/technical expertise that RNBRAD has to upgrade his sound system, so I was wondering if anyone upgraded their system and what they did.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:16 PM
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I'm with the OP on the HK 7.1 system. I have a 2013 and it lacks crisp sound. Instrumental sounds or drums seems to be muffled, unless it's blaring. The JBL system in our Sienna blows the HK away. I wish there was a way to upgrade the HK sound system without it becoming a major project/expense. BTW - I'm no audiophile, but I do like the sounds of crisp, clean audio.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:35 PM
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fwiw: the new Burmeister is amazing
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:45 PM
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the ELS system in our Acura MDX is outstanding compared to our HK in the benz
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:07 AM
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Not really impressed with my e550 sound either but im happy I listen music though AUX where I can adjust equalizer on my phone and it gives me bass which is okay actually.

I loved my logic 7 in bmw 545i period.

But would be nice to upgrade the sub on it..at not a big cost
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:06 AM
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:32 AM
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I went to an car stereo shop and they quoted me little over $1K to install a subwoofer and amp. However, the prefab box looks clunky and just sit in the trunk and looks nothing like the custom job RNBRAD did. I asked about replacing the stock speakers and they were reluctant.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:09 AM
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Aside from lack of real sub bass from the oblong sub on the rear deck, the only thing that bothered me with the HK system in my 2012 was the nasally and brassy midrange. I stuck a square of ensolite PS behind each mid and it smoothed the midrange noticeably.

I also installed a sub and amp and am pretty happy with the system as it is now.

One thing I noticed but was too lazy to address was that the mid which is mounted to the doorcard, is not flush with the doorcard. I think sealing the gaps might bring out a little depth to lower vocal registers.

You might try these cheap/free things before throwing alot of money at audio.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:56 PM
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Just remember the biggest single improvement you can do to the system is deactivate the Logic7 processing. It sounds horrid!!!! Add a sub and maybe some tweets and it's night and day. Mid is a little more of a challenge as it's mounted weird with no baffle so you can get refelcted sound from the rear of the mid which is not a good thing.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:09 PM
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Glad to see I'm not alone in thinking the older HK system in my 55 sounds better than the one in the 350. The difference in bass and overall crispness/quality is very apparent. I'll have to try turning off Logic 7 and see how that sounds.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:06 PM
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When buying headphones these days, some are designed to rattle that bass in your ear. Personally the HK system in my E250BT is completely fine for my standards. The rattling bass can grate on my 50 yr old nerves. Now if I was in my 20's.........
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:26 PM
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Sound is so personal and what system you've had before is a big influence. For me, this stock system is the best I've had. After tweaking the settings, I don't want to get out of the car when I arrive at work until the track is over or the seat massage stops, whichever comes first.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:34 PM
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2014 E350 & HK system

The sound on my E350 with logic-7 is real POOR compared my 2001 Honda XL, in-laws 2013 Honda, others 1995 Intrepid, or 2005 Montego.

Impress your self and others - just don't turn on the audio.

Just goona live with it.
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