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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General BMW News and Cars Discussion > Fake Engine Sound (Active Sound) is Last Straw



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      10-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #45
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I think he's just venting his self loathing for putting that lime green carpet in his rec room.
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      10-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #46
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I can't help but find it funny how the vast majority of those who have a problem with Active Sound are those who have no experience with it. Most who have cars with active sound don't have any issues because it's such a non-intrusive system you forget about it.

But I guess that's what the internet is for... so you can post as though you're an expert on something you have no experience with. Same people who have issues with Active Sound, but have never heard it can also tell us why they hate being a F1 driver and why they don't like the flight dyanmics of a F-22.
I would say most people, which are want a raw, sporty car from BMW that can be used for daily driving as well, want to hear the real engine sound and no active sound crap. I am not talking about posers and badge whores. I don't care if the ASD sounds good, if I only want a big heavy fast gran turismo car, I'd also take the M6, especially the Gran Coupe which are both very beautiful cars.

But when we are talking about the M3/4 and M2, there should be only real sound, these are the cars for the enthusiasts.

It's about the principle too, I will not accept this and turn it off anyway, but I want that BMW focus on real sound during the development. And I'm not the only one.

Most people don't know it so there's no problem for them, but if they would know, there would be one. It's ridiculous to say the car does sound so good when it's just recorded.

When we only got electric cars to choose from, then nobody will say anything against it, but now we are happily far away from that.

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      10-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by late apex View Post
I can't help but find it funny how the vast majority of those who have a problem with Active Sound are those who have no experience with it. Most who have cars with active sound don't have any issues because it's such a non-intrusive system you forget about it.

But I guess that's what the internet is for... so you can post as though you're an expert on something you have no experience with. Same people who have issues with Active Sound, but have never heard it can also tell us why they hate being a F1 driver and why they don't like the flight dyanmics of a F-22.
I would say most people, which are want a raw, sporty car from BMW that can be used for daily driving as well, want to hear the real engine sound and no active sound crap. I am not talking about posers and badge whores. I don't care if the ASD sounds good, if I only want a big heavy fast gran turismo car, I'd also take the M6, especially the Gran Coupe which are both very beautiful cars.

But when we are talking about the M3/4 and M2, there should be only real sound, these are the cars for the enthusiasts.

It's about the principle too, I will not accept this and turn it off anyway, but I want that BMW focus on real sound during the development. And I'm not the only one.

Most people don't know it so there's no problem for them, but if they would know, there would be one. It's ridiculous to say the car does sound so good when it's just recorded.

When we only got electric cars to choose from, then nobody will say anything against it, but now we are happily far away from that.
Really well stated.
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      10-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #48
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I would say most people, which are want a raw, sporty car from BMW that can be used for daily driving as well, want to hear the real engine sound and no active sound crap. I am not talking about posers and badge whores. I don't care if the ASD sounds good, if I only want a big heavy fast gran turismo car, I'd also take the M6, especially the Gran Coupe which are both very beautiful cars.

But when we are talking about the M3/4 and M2, there should be only real sound, these are the cars for the enthusiasts.

It's about the principle too, I will not accept this and turn it off anyway, but I want that BMW focus on real sound during the development. And I'm not the only one.

Most people don't know it so there's no problem for them, but if they would know, there would be one. It's ridiculous to say the car does sound so good when it's just recorded.

When we only got electric cars to choose from, then nobody will say anything against it, but now we are happily far away from that.
Will have to wait till we get a chance to experience the M4 to make final judgement, but considering it's using turbos it is likely not possible for BMW get enough real sound (while keeping out unwanted noise) into the cabin to satisfy many enthusiasts. I can't think of any new car with turbos that does.

I drove the MP4-12C and 458 back to back and I felt like the 12C was clearly the better performer, but lacked the 458's emotion from the NA V8. That said, I'd still purchase the 12C over the 458 because for me the performance makes up for whatever it gives away in exhaust note comparisons.

Who knows, maybe M4's performance and driving experience will be enough for you to overlook that it no longer produces the raw sound of a screaming NA V8.

BMW might have to develop a different solution that doesn't use the vehicle's speakers. As previously stated, a lot of manufacturers are now using sound generators but it seems BMW may get extra criticism because ASD produces recorded sound though the speakers. Maybe BMW chose that solution because it's easier/cheaper to control the sound ASD produces that way? The sound generators employed by other manufacturers may not be pre-recorded, but they're still amplifying and altering the sound so it's a stretch to say they're "real" sounds.
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      10-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #49
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I would say most people, which are want a raw, sporty car from BMW that can be used for daily driving as well, want to hear the real engine sound and no active sound crap. I am not talking about posers and badge whores. I don't care if the ASD sounds good, if I only want a big heavy fast gran turismo car, I'd also take the M6, especially the Gran Coupe which are both very beautiful cars.

But when we are talking about the M3/4 and M2, there should be only real sound, these are the cars for the enthusiasts.
I don't want to insult anyone, but I would posit the type of enthusiast you're describing is actually such a small (as in tiny) percentage of buyers that BMW has no justification to build such a car.

Why is ASD different than all the cast wheels that end up on M's, or the plastic pieces affixed to make it 'look good', or any of the options that add weight with no return on performance, ...... ?

Don't you think that BMW doesn't look at what sells? Including how people configure their cars? Just take a look at many of the sigs of those responding to this thread.

Personally, I don't like ASD, so I turned if off. Very minor change, still plenty of engine sound to enjoy.

Pick your battles carefully: weight, handling and a much longer list of other things should be what you're talking about.
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      10-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #50
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Will have to wait till we get a chance to experience the M4 to make final judgement, but considering it's using turbos it is likely not possible for BMW get enough real sound (while keeping out unwanted noise) into the cabin to satisfy many enthusiasts. I can't think of any new car with turbos that does.

I drove the MP4-12C and 458 back to back and I felt like the 12C was clearly the better performer, but lacked the 458's emotion from the NA V8. That said, I'd still purchase the 12C over the 458 because for me the performance makes up for whatever it gives away in exhaust note comparisons.

Who knows, maybe M4's performance and driving experience will be enough for you to overlook that it no longer produces the raw sound of a screaming NA V8.

BMW might have to develop a different solution that doesn't use the vehicle's speakers. As previously stated, a lot of manufacturers are now using sound generators but it seems BMW may get extra criticism because ASD produces recorded sound though the speakers. Maybe BMW chose that solution because it's easier/cheaper to control the sound ASD produces that way? The sound generators employed by other manufacturers may not be pre-recorded, but they're still amplifying and altering the sound so it's a stretch to say they're "real" sounds.
Sound is not all that's true, so I can't say which one I would take since I haven't driven one of them until now.

It's not easy with turbos I know, but with less damping, a sound tunnel from the engine bay to the cabin and something like that, we would get the real sound... maybe it's just too late to discuss about it since it comes even more and more and like bjayfan said, this type of enthusiast which I'm describing which do not accept ASD is such a small group.
I think the most people don't know it and even doesn't notice it, because BMW implanted it so good. ...but if they would know, they wouldn't want it.

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      10-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #51
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I don't want to insult anyone, but I would posit the type of enthusiast you're describing is actually such a small (as in tiny) percentage of buyers that BMW has no justification to build such a car.

Why is ASD different than all the cast wheels that end up on M's, or the plastic pieces affixed to make it 'look good', or any of the options that add weight with no return on performance, ...... ?

Don't you think that BMW doesn't look at what sells? Including how people configure their cars? Just take a look at many of the sigs of those responding to this thread.

Personally, I don't like ASD, so I turned if off. Very minor change, still plenty of engine sound to enjoy.

Pick your battles carefully: weight, handling and a much longer list of other things should be what you're talking about.
Maybe you're right and the group of this enthusiasts is too small. I don't know but like I said one post before "I think the most people don't know it and even doesn't notice it, because BMW implanted it so good. ...but if they would know, they wouldn't want it." So I think they sell it just because people don't know it.

Since a M car is no real sports car in my eyes like for example a 911 GT3, I've got no problem with some good looking plastic pieces or something like that. Except it's an fake air breather or an empty power dome... etc.

Yeah for sure there are some other even more important things than the ASD, but that's something myself and some others have a big problem with. If I can turn it off too on my next BMW, I'll do it. But when BMW takes only the easy way to get the sound, then we will hear almost nothing when it's turned off.
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      10-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #52
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Will have to wait till we get a chance to experience the M4 to make final judgement, but considering it's using turbos it is likely not possible for BMW get enough real sound (while keeping out unwanted noise) into the cabin to satisfy many enthusiasts. I can't think of any new car with turbos that does.

I drove the MP4-12C and 458 back to back and I felt like the 12C was clearly the better performer, but lacked the 458's emotion from the NA V8. That said, I'd still purchase the 12C over the 458 because for me the performance makes up for whatever it gives away in exhaust note comparisons.

Who knows, maybe M4's performance and driving experience will be enough for you to overlook that it no longer produces the raw sound of a screaming NA V8.

BMW might have to develop a different solution that doesn't use the vehicle's speakers. As previously stated, a lot of manufacturers are now using sound generators but it seems BMW may get extra criticism because ASD produces recorded sound though the speakers. Maybe BMW chose that solution because it's easier/cheaper to control the sound ASD produces that way? The sound generators employed by other manufacturers may not be pre-recorded, but they're still amplifying and altering the sound so it's a stretch to say they're "real" sounds.
Active Sound shows that BMW has contempt for true enthusiasts, and because of it,their sales will soon plunge to 0.

But until then, if they don't equip all their cars with LED lights (at N/C), they'll fall behind Audi and Merc. Who, by the way have softer seats, so we should have them. But Porsche has better bolsters on their seats, so maybe we should have them.

Then again, these present, badge whore BMW buyers mostly use that newfangled DCT, which was created by Satan, and not the Be One With Thine Machine 6MT, which cowboys used to herd cattle and Patton used to beat Hitler.

And these F32's have those hideous Bimmerangs, so a good alternative is the C 07, with the gigantic Cheverangs. And i might have to get a GT-R because of that god awful hood cut line, even though the GT-R has it too.

I'll NEVER get rid of my NA V8 either, even though the F8X will outperform it in every way. It's like listening to a symphony! Even though i did get the enhanced sound package...which btw should be standard on a $70K car!

And don't get me started on that glued on iPad nav screen, instead of the beloved hump.

Maybe I'll get an M4 and put a RSGT3AMG badge on it, so people will think I'm an enthusiast.

...or maybe I'll just bitch about everything...yeah, that it!
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      10-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #53
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Do you have a need for a stranger on the internet to buy/lease the new F8x M? I'm cool with you not being bothered by Active Sound.
Just a pretty weird "deal breaker". I can understand drivetrain, weight, price, appearance, gas mileage, power, boosted or not, safety, AWD, hell even phone integration, etc... being a "deal breaker". But one option in iDrive that you don't have to have activated? It's like if I bought an Audi over my current car because I don't like having album art on my media screen.
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      10-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #54
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Do you have a need for a stranger on the internet to buy/lease the new F8x M? I'm cool with you not being bothered by Active Sound.
Just a pretty weird "deal breaker". I can understand drivetrain, weight, price, appearance, gas mileage, power, boosted or not, safety, AWD, hell even phone integration, etc... being a "deal breaker". But one option in iDrive that you don't have to have activated? It's like if I bought an Audi over my current car because I don't like having album art on my media screen.
I don't believe you will be able to turn it off without hacking the car.
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      10-14-2013, 12:53 AM   #55
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Active sound is pretty cheesy, but would never be a deal breaker for me
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      10-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #56
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I know that "real car guys" are a diminishing breed and some may just prefer to call us "old school" but fake engine sound is the last straw that shows the BMWs lack of caring for real car guys. I must admit that they grudgingly put manual transmissions in their cars for us but deep down BMW resents it. Life would be much simpler for them with just an automatic that lets you "shift" or drive in full auto but at least they do it and I still own a BMW for that reason.

Lexus on the other hand doesn't do it on their IS 350 and I will not buy one because of it BUT after having read that Active Sound is mandatory on the new M cars.......I am puzzled and seriously saddened by it.

This is the new height of poserdom. I cannot buy a car with fake engine sound and to make matters worse you cannot disable it without disabling the stereo system. I have been seriously holding out of M235 or M2 but I don't know if I can overcome this. I would be embarrassed if other car guys found out I was driving with fake engine sound track.

Not only is there the embarrassment but more importantly the it is one more loss of connection to car. I listen to my engine! As some have called it, I have "mechanical empathy" and I listen to it. Every ping when accidentally lugged, every VANOS rattle when the idle drops to low and the crescendo of mechanical music when making serious power. Even turbos and wastegates are part of the "rhythm" when you are autocrossing or cruising on a mountain road. That is a another connection lost. With automatics, you do not control or manage the engagement so you lose that connection, then the new steering racks further detach you from the road feel and now you cannot "really" listen to the engine.

Sad. I know most of you don't feel the same way, I understand, since you grow up with iPhones that are set to the "old" analog phone ringer and think it's quaint.

I was just wondering if there were any of you out there that are also sad about fake engine sound?


Well, that obviously makes you one rare exception of a driver. I salute you. But what the both of us believe does not matter to BMW shareholders. Sales is the name of the game. If other people are doing it, they will do it and do it better to move another car off the lot.


Having said that, and I am not saying that I agree with this technology, but I could barely tell it's even there in my 2013 GTI. I am very pleased with the way the car sounds. The active sound (sound-aktor) is not at all intrusive. So it may be worth giving the next generation of M's the benefit of the doubt? It goes without saying that some will like it, and some won't.


Let's not forget that one of the early complaints form f10 M5 owners was ... wait for it ... not enough cabin engine/exhaust sounds.
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      10-14-2013, 02:45 PM   #57
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Interesting you mentioned the Focus ST as I just purchased one to use as a commuter car. The sound symposer system sounds good, but IMO it's not implemented as well as active sound in my M6. For example, in the ST if you slowly accelerate pass 3,000 RPM you can clearly hear the symposer activating similar to valved exhaust systems. I've never been able to clearly hear active sound coming on in the M6 so it's difficult for me to differentiate what's actually coming from the engine bay and what's coming from the speakers.

Loved the ST! Nice car!
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      10-14-2013, 03:03 PM   #58
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You can turn it OFF. You're probably like one of those people in House Hunters that won't buy a house because one room has green carpet.
From the quotes I have seen from Jason, it isn't that easy to turn off though, correct? There is no button to push, no fuse to pull, unless I am mistaken.

I also thought that to get it "OFF", portions of the audio system were no longer operational?

Regardless, I am of the mind that if the sound is REAL--aka, coming from my own engine, and they're piping into the cabin, that's one thing and is more acceptable.

However, if the sound is coming through the speakers and is recorded....well, that's just stupid. Almost as stupid as creating such a system without an ON/OFF button that doesn't require an internet tutorial from a forum member to figure it out.

This feature won't keep me from buying the car. But it's pretty bogus, and based on the principle that if you want the car to sound nice in the cabin, then build the cabin in a manner consistent with that result in mind. Not a tough principle to see, at least in my opinion.

My $.02
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      10-14-2013, 03:57 PM   #59
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My $0.02 is the party responsible for this silliness is the same uptight Europeans that also passed legislation that gave us the overly cautious pedestrian impact regulation/bulging hoodline. The real issue is the strict sound level laws vehicles have to adhere to.
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      10-14-2013, 06:40 PM   #60
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It's SUPER easy to turn it off and with all the complaining, I'm sure all these people will do it.

Step 1: Strip your interior (including stereo)
Step 2: Enjoy your uncomfortable but faster BMW


Now THAT'S an M Car. All that sound deadening, electric whizbangs... Yuck!






Put your money where your mouth is.
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      10-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #61
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Just curious, is it possible to remove sound deadening without wrecking the interior?

I thought about doing this years ago with old acura for a totally different reason. Water got into the interior of the car from driving though deep water, and was concerned about having soaked sound deadening that would never dry.
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      10-15-2013, 05:52 AM   #62
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Just listen to the natural sound inside the cabin of the BMW 1M Coupé in this video: (BMW starts at 2:17)


It isn't as good/loud as in the past M3's, (because of the Turbo's, we all know that) but it has no ASD and in my opinion it sounds very good. That's what I want for the upcoming M2 (GC) (and for the M3/4 as well), but I fear there will be no choice when it comes from the factory, but there will and must be a way to turn that off.
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      10-15-2013, 07:57 AM   #63
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Loved the ST! Nice car!
I agree. I had spent almost a full day going from dealer to dealer test driving cars while looking for a DD. My last stop was a Ford dealer as I wanted to test the Fusion. The ST caught my eye so I figured what the hell, I'll take it for a quick spin. Lol, that was it... I knew I was going to buy it just 5 minutes into the test drive. Insanely fun hatchback that makes my commute more enjoyable.
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      10-15-2013, 08:41 AM   #64
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Just listen to the natural sound inside the cabin of the BMW 1M Coupé in this video: (BMW starts at 2:17)


It isn't as good/loud as in the past M3's, (because of the Turbo's, we all know that) but it has no ASD and in my opinion it sounds very good. That's what I want for the upcoming M2 (GC) (and for the M3/4 as well), but I fear there will be no choice when it comes from the factory, but there will and must be a way to turn that off.
God it's easy to love the 1M.
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      10-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #65
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      11-12-2013, 09:41 PM   #66
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So this past week, I drove an Audi SQ5, which also has active sound. It is my understanding that it is also an amplification of the current engine sound, not pre-recorded. You even can set how much volume you want to hear.

I have to say, did not sound unnatural at all. I have heard this engine many times in the S4, and I have to say that it simply sounded like an S4 with an exhaust system. Quite good.
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