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When we designed our Stage 1 Audio Upgrade, we made sure the system met several key requirements and features:
How and Why the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade Works
The BSW Stage 1 Audio Upgrade was designed for you if you want to enhance and improve your BMW's sound system simply, effectively, and affordably - all through the simple replacement of your factory speakers!
(We should mention that the speakers we use are meticulously engineered and manufactured in Germany - just like your BMW! Using warm, natural sounding silk tweeters and high-resolution midbass drivers, these components have redefined our expectations of exactly how beautiful an entry level, OEM upgrade type of speaker should sound!)
By carefully selecting not only the highest quality speakers, but also very efficient speakers, we replace the weakest link in your vehicle's audio system, the speakers, without necessitating amplifier or head unit replacement. As a result, you get the biggest possible improvement in your BMW's audio system for the least amount of money, time, and effort.
BMW 3 Series E46 '99-'06 (Sedan)
Simply click the link(s) below to download installation instructions. Instructions are in PDF format. To view them, you'll need to download Adobe's Acrobat Reader (available at www.adobe.com) if it isn't already installed on your computer.
Estimated Install Time: 2.5 Hour(s)
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This guide walks you step by step through the installation process of the Stage 1 BMW Speaker Upgrade Kit for 00-06 BMW 3 Series Sedans.
1/3: BMW 3 Series (E46) Sed/Wag Speaker Upgrade Install.mov
2/3: BMW 3 Series (E46) Sed/Wag Speaker Upgrade Install.mov
3/3: BMW 3 Series (E46) Sed/Wag Speaker Upgrade Install.mov
absolutely everything you need is included!
The BSW Stage 1 Audio Upgrade is a 100% complete kit and replaces every* speaker in your BMW! All you need is basic tools! (See "Install Info")
*Excluding factory subwoofers in harman / kardon equipped vehicles.
Can I install the Stage I Audio Upgrade in my BMW myself?
Yes, you can! We ship every Bavarian Soundwerks Stage I Audio upgrade with extremely detailed installation instructions with photos and provide telephone support for the process as well. Because it's a simple installation (you're replacing speakers only) with only the most basic of skills required, you can probably do it.
If you're unsure about installing the Stage 1, we always recommend professional installation. Fortunately, because the installation instructions are so detailed and everything you need is included, if you don't feel comfortable with the installation process, any decent car audio shop can perform the installation for you without any difficulty whatsoever - probably for about $200 or less.
Will this work with my Standard or Harman-Kardon equipped BMW? Will it make a big difference?
Yes, absolutely! In your BMW's audio system, the factory speakers are the weakest link. Even in the "premium" Harman Hardon sound systems, the speakers are nothing more than compressed paper and plastic tweeters. Because our Stage I Audio Upgrade replaces that weak link, the speakers, you'll see a VERY nice improvement in sound quality in your BMW, regardless of whether you have the most basic BMW audio system or the nicest.
Does the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade improve bass response?
The answer to this question is somewhat complex. Bass response is limited by amplifier output and the range of music that a smaller speaker can play, so overall bass output (loudness) will not be increased in a significant way with the Stage 1. However, because of the higher quality components used in the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade, bass dynamics are improved, meaning you'll be able to enjoy bass notes more.
However, please note that on vehicles equipped with the Harman Kardon sound system, much of the bass response is generated by factory subwoofers which are unaffected by the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade in this regard. A subwoofer upgrade is required to improve the bass response of this component.
What type of speakers are included in your Stage I Audio Package?
Included in our Stage 1 Audio Upgrade are Rainbow Audio IQ Line speakers, highly respected and revered, made in Germany, just like your BMW. These are very, very high quality speakers, but are also very efficient, meaning they'll run very well using your stock amplifier.
Do I need to replace my factory amplifier or head unit?
No, you don't. Because we've carefully selected the speakers used in our Stage I Audio Upgrade, they're efficient enough to run off of your stock amplifier and head unit. However, we've designed the Stage I Audio Upgrade with a path for future growth of your system, so if you'd like upgrade your head unit or amplifier down the road, you can.
Will the Stage I Audio Upgrade be visible from within the car or require any permanent modifications?
No, our Stage I Audio Upgrade is completely invisible within the car. Only you and your fellow listeners will know that you've upgraded your stereo since your car will maintain a 100% factory appearance within the vehicle. And, because the Stage I Audio Upgrade requires no permanent modifications to your vehicle, it's completely reversible, meaning you can take your speakers with you if or when you sell your car.
Which speakers are replaced in my BMW?
Your 3 Series / M3 has a 10 speaker system consisting of a 3 way set in the front of the vehicle (tweeter, 2.5" midrange, and 6.25" midbass driver) and a 2 way set in the rear of the vehicle (2.5" midrange and 6.25" midbass driver). If your vehicle has the upgraded Harman Kardon stereo, you'll also find dual 6x9" subwoofers mounted to the underside of your rear deck.
Our Stage 1 Audio Upgrade replaces every interior speaker in the vehicle. The factory subwoofers, if present, will also stay. This setup allows for the simplest installation and biggest improvement in sound quality for the least amount of money.
Will my BMW audio system be louder with the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade?
While the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade provides crisper highs and richer lows as well as significantly more midrange detail, you won't see any benefits in terms of increased volume from your BMW audio system, though you may find yourself listening at lower volumes due to the improved sound quality. This is because your factory amplifier, which is key in determining the upper volume limits of your BMW audio system, is not replaced.
If you're unsure if you'll need more volume from your BMW's audio system after installing the Stage 1 Audio Upgrade, our recommendation is always to purchase the Stage 1 first to improve sound quality, then add an amplifier later if needed. Contact us for more details on amplifier upgrades.
Does the Stage I Audio Upgrade come with a warranty?
Yes, it sure does! The warranty is a 1 year warranty with Rainbow brand speakers. If you ever have any issues, we're just a phone call away. Please note that this warranty does not cover speakers blown due to excessive volumes or abuse.
What part of the Stage 1 is Plug and Play?
The e46 Stage 1 is 100% plug and play for this application
Can I get a stage 1 for standard audio?
Yes you can. The difference between the Harmon Kardon and standard audio systems does not affect the ability to add a stage 1 speaker package. We have taken the time to asses both the HK vehicles and the standard vehicles to find the best fitment of speakers to work in each vehicle.
You will receive a specially designed stage 1 based on your vehicles audio system whether it is standard on Harmon Kardon.
Do you sell the speaker rings/grills?
Unfortunately no, however the following locations are reputable BMW salvage yards that should have what you are looking for. They will sell you the whole speaker but it will be FAR less than the dealer. Unfortunately the dealer does not sell the grills/rings without the speaker.
Any other questions? Just contact us!