A client from Wilson recently visited Adrenaline Autosound, hoping to upgrade his 2018 BMW X5M multi-channel audio system. He liked the way the factory system sounds in terms of creating a soundstage for both the driver and passenger. However, he felt the system wasn’t very dynamic, and it certainly didn’t have enough bass. We examined the factory B&O audio system to confirm that the vehicle uses an upmixer. With that knowledge, we suggested adding high-power amplifiers and a subwoofer as a starting point.
BMW X5M Multi-channel Audio System Integration
This BMW X5M multi-channel audio system includes 16 amplifier channels and 16 speakers. Since the client wanted to do this upgrade in two stages, we left the factory speakers in place for now. To improve the system while maintaining the factory upmixer, we used an Audiomobile LDS-2 and a pair of Wavtech link8 line output converters to attenuate the signals coming out of the factory amp and feed them to a pair of JL Audio TwK-88 digital signal processors (DSPs).
JL Audio System Amplifiers
A JL Audio XD600/6v2 amplifier powers the six front speakers while an XD800/8v2 powers the side and rear speakers. We used an XD1000/5v2 as a three-channel amp to drive the factory under-seat subwoofers and a JL Audio 13TW5v2-D4 subwoofer.
The signals going to each speaker remain similar to the original system design, except for the under-seat woofers. We applied a high-pass filter to them to serve as mid-bass drivers. We directed low-frequency information to the new JL 13-inch sub in the trunk.
Equipment Integration Process
We mounted the integration processors behind the driver’s side rear trim panel, using a bracket we fabricated out of HDPE plastic. The bracket stacks the processors in an offset configuration so we can reach all eight controls without the need to disassemble anything. The bracket attaches to factory mounting locations.
The system amplifiers, DSPs and the JL Audio subwoofer are in the factory spare tire well location. We bolted the subwoofer enclosure to the vehicle using aluminum brackets and stainless steel 1/4-20 hardware. The two-piece amp rack bolts to the factory spare tire location and the subwoofer enclosure, using stainless hardware. The upper rack mounts to the lower rack, using threaded inserts. Everything is quickly accessible and easy to service. As you can see, we take pride in ensuring our wiring is neat and tidy.
System Control Solutions
The audio system upgrade remains fully controllable through the factory source unit. Since the client asked that we provide independent level controls for the subwoofer, center channel and rear speakers, our amplifier configuration and three HD-RLC level controls provide the adjustability he wanted. We fabricated a panel for the level controls in the factory ashtray location.
BMW X5M Audio Upgrade Stage 1: Complete!
With the system configured and tested, it was time for the client to have a listen. He was stunned at the difference a real subwoofer and powerful amplifiers can make. If you are looking for a way to upgrade the performance of even the most premium of factory sound systems, drop by Adrenaline Autosound in Clayton and speak with our team. You can reach us by e-mail using our contact page for additional information.