Which BMW Models Have Active Sound?

BMW has acknowledged the inclusion of ASD in its vehicles and is more transparent about its usage of the technology.

During drives, the Active Sound Design technology from the company plays back recorded engine noises through the car’s speakers.

Drivers won’t likely notice anything because the sound delivery matches variations in engine speed.

Your tame V4 engine may sound like a powerful V6 engine thanks to the Active Sound Design included in BMW vehicles.

BMW’s ASD also makes it easier to determine when to shift gears by emphasizing engine noise.

According to our research, BMW uses the ASD system on models that are designed for performance, such as the i8 hybrid sports car and the M Series.

Additionally, the BMW X3 M40i, X4 M40i, and X6 50i SUV models all include Active Sound Design.

How to adjust the BMW M235i’s Active Sound volume in the video

“Active Sound Design” is a feature that is standard on the majority of new BMW models. It is essentially the sound of your car’s engine being amplified and fed via the speakers within the cabin. It was first introduced on F10 vehicles. According to BMW, this was a required feature because modern vehicles are so well-sound-insulated that the engine can hardly be heard at all. Additionally, the sound coming from the back of your automobile isn’t really helpful because laws require quieter exhaust systems.

BMW had to take action in order to maintain the aural experience or keep it as close to the genuine deal as possible, despite some BMW enthusiasts’ complaints about the way things are done. The Active Sound Design function wasn’t always as “efficient” and “accurate” as it is now. The sound didn’t exactly like the genuine thing; it had a deep, artificial vibe to it. It was unsettling when, for example, some straight-six engines would sound like V8s.

They have improved in recent years, and the video below demonstrates how you can even change the ASD settings by using a sub-menu in the infotainment system. You must access the “Car” menu, scroll all the way down to “General Settings,” select “Engine Sound,” and then alter the sound’s volume. Depending on the driving mode, the car will by default modify the Active Sound Design level. Basically, the sound will change anytime you switch to Sport mode if you don’t fiddle with these settings while driving.

If you don’t like that, you can change the settings manually. Active Sound Design is always available in Sporty mode. Depending on your desire, it can also be Balanced or Reduced. Now move along and configure your car as you choose.

On a 2020 BMW M235i Gran Coupe, we put it to the test.

The interior of the 2020 BMW M235i Gran Coupe is filled with phony engine noise. At this time, pretty much every new BMW does. Customers want a cabin that is silent on the highway and an engine that is powerful and delicious sounding at full blast. These objectives conflict with one another, therefore the result is BMW Active Sound.

The volume and type of sound entering the cabin have never been manually adjustable in the past. The phony engine noise was left up to the enthusiasts to cope with or get around. That’s changing now that BMW has tucked away a feature that allows you to alter the volume of engine noise deception heard inside the vehicle. There is a setting called “Engine Sound” several menus deep. You can choose Reduced, Balanced, Sporty, or Depending on Driving Mode from this point.

Reduced comes quite near to turning off the Active Sound system, but BMW still needs a setting with the title “Off” that does just that. The car sounds considerably more realistic in this setting, and you can hear the actual exhaust better. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 301 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque powers the M235i Gran Coupe. That exhaust system itself is also passably good. The last few minutes of the video at the top of this piece give you a taste of it. It sounds akin to BMW’s far louder engines in terms of popping and crackling, and is actually much louder than we anticipated. When you switch to the Sporty option, some of that noise is muffled by a deep bass that sounds like a drone. From the driver’s seat, the noise level is noticeably different; nevertheless, our microphones didn’t pick up on this variation as much as our ears did. However, if you pay great attention, you may hear it.

Between Sporty and Reduced, Balanced mode is in the middle of nowhere. Even though there is a slight increase in buzz inside the cabin, we will always turn back to Reduced. We might like it more if the noise that is piped in when in Sporty mode were better. But as it stands, the sound on throttle and on the overrun is typically just a loud monotone.

We are happy to see this new setting from BMW, despite the tuning possibly being a little off. We’ve been wanting to be able to adjust how much false noise enters the cabin for a very long time. We can turn off the fakery and still enjoy a decent sounding automobile because this 2.0-liter turbo produces a fairly aggressive natural noise.

ASD is always available for the 40i F series. The technician at the dealership informed me that the 2 series vehicles had stronger ASD sound than the 3/4 series cars and that the MPPSK has greater sound from ASD compared to the 35i MPPK.

It doesn’t use its own speaker to play the ASD, though. If so, how challenging would unplugging it be?

It’s not difficult—I believe there is a thread here—and it’s in the back, but coding it out is simpler. NB You may also alter the volume.

I’ve always believed that when they fit the MPPSK, the active sound is programmed out. identical as when they installed an MPE on the M135i/140i

If ours still has the active sound, I most surely am not aware of it because the exhaust is already so loud; active sound is the absolute last thing it needs!

If ours still has the active sound, I most surely am not aware of it because the exhaust noise is already so loud. Active sound is the absolute last thing it needs!

When fitting the mpe to the 140i, absolutely no coding is done; I’m not sure about mppsk.

According to the comments, it appears that installing the MPPSK software turns off all active sound, which, in my opinion, is ideal.

Why, in the first place, would they want to inject false noise into a vehicle powered by a B58 engine?

My 440i’s false sound was eliminated. It came factory tuned to sound like a V8 M3. Why they wanted it to sound like a V8 when the straight 6 engine already has a great sound is beyond me.

According to the comments, it would seem that installing the MPPSK software removes any active sound, which, in my opinion, is ideal.

Ask when it was installed or get a local expert to inspect the coding. It’s fake on the m3/4; I wouldn’t expect the mppsk to be much different.

Since Performance Exhaust is so loud and violent, I assume they will all be the same. ASD is no longer required.

No matter what settings I choose—F30/B58 or any other M3/M4 combination—there is zero sound emanating from my speakers—internally.

I modified my left pipe to be open so that in Comfort mode, I can hear my exhaust a little bit more.

actively created sounds

In order to modify or improve the sound both inside and outside of the car, active sound design is an acoustic technology concept utilized in motor vehicles. To create a simulated vehicle sound, active sound design (ASD) frequently employs active noise control and acoustic augmentation techniques.

The typical applications of ASD range from altering an existing sound to completely producing a new one. There isn’t a single uniform model for ASD, hence several software or hardware solutions may be used depending on the vehicle manufacturer. ASD is known by a variety of names, including Active Sound Control in Acura, Active Sound System in Kia, Soundaktor in Volkswagen, and Acoustic Management System in QNX.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) was first used in vehicles in 1992 when Lotus installed it in the Nissan Bluebird. In order to develop an enhanced ANC system that removed noise from the road, tires, and vehicle chassis, Lotus teamed up with Harman International in 2009. Recent customer demand for vehicles with fuel-efficient and cleaner combustion engines has increased the efficiency of engine systems but decreased their audible appeal. Electric and fuel cell vehicles lack the distinctive sound of a traditional combustion engine and instead function with high-pitched tones. By enhancing the quality of interior and external vehicle sound with ASD, combustion and electrical vehicle producers want to increase customer acceptance of these vehicles.

Are active speakers found in every BMW?

The greatest place to start looking for Active Sound Design in a car is the BMW model type. The BMW M240i and BMW M235i are two M performance vehicles that are most frequently affected by fake engine noise. Nowadays, automotive sound simulators are nearly standard equipment on all contemporary BMWs with a performance focus. For instance, the BMW i8, BMW M5 F10, BMW X3 M40i, BMW X4 M40i, or BMW X6 50i SUVs all come standard with ASD.

Are BMW’s exhaust systems active?

Modern BMW diesel engines are on par with the brand’s petrol engines in terms of power and performance; the only discernible differences are in the desired sound. BMW currently offers the BMW M Performance exhaust system Active Sound to make up for this sonic discrepancy.

This brand-new integrated system, which consists of an exhaust, sound system, and control unit, was created specifically for the current BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, and 4 Series diesel vehicles and is perfectly tuned to the fundamental acoustics of each engine.

The Driving Experience Control function allows for individual sound control: The system creates a clear, transparent sound in the ECO PRO and COMFORT settings that is appropriate for long trips, consistently convincing in regular traffic, and emphasizes the car’s dynamic appearance. The Active Sound System reveals its whole auditory spectrum in SPORT or SPORT+ mode to ensure maximum emotionalism. Therefore, BMW gives drivers—especially those with sporting aspirations—the chance to further customize their vehicle’s overall sound and engine.

In addition to having a sporty sound, the new sports exhaust system also has a striking appearance since its twin exhaust and chrome BMW M Performance tailpipe trims seamlessly match the style of the car. Vehicles with 18d engines and all 20ds produced before to July 2015 are equipped with an additional tailpipe in conjunction with the BMW M Performance exhaust system Active Sound. A bigger diameter exhaust visibly distinguishes the more potent engines.

The system, which BMW designed, is made in Germany and satisfies the brand’s high standards for material selection, design, and workmanship. There is no need for additional clearance or entries.

The following automobiles and engines are compatible with the BMW M Performance exhaust system Active Sound:

From September 2015 to March 2016, the market introduction of the BMW M Performance exhaust system Active Sound for the aforementioned cars will take place in stages.