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Thread: Poor sound on BMW Communication System on '11 R1200RT

  1. #1
    cwal
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    Unhappy Poor sound on BMW Communication System on '11 R1200RT

    I just bought the BMW Communication system for my 2011 R1200RT and my Schuberth C3 helmet. When I play FM radio, the sound quality is relatively poor and distorted if you turn on any bass above 0, but when I plugged in my iPod, the sound is extremely distorted and impossible to listen to. I made sure the Volume limit is turned on and the EQ was turned off on the iPod. I have tried turning the Aux volume on the bike up and down and it had no effect as well.

    Has anyone had this problem and were you able to fix it??

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwal View Post
    I just bought the BMW Communication system for my 2011 R1200RT and my Schuberth C3 helmet. When I play FM radio, the sound quality is relatively poor and distorted if you turn on any bass above 0, but when I plugged in my iPod, the sound is extremely distorted and impossible to listen to. I made sure the Volume limit is turned on and the EQ was turned off on the iPod. I have tried turning the Aux volume on the bike up and down and it had no effect as well.

    Has anyone had this problem and were you able to fix it??
    Don't know if this is helpful, but when I paired my Sena headset to the R12RT, the bluetooth sound quality was less than desirable. So I bought a BMW connector, soldered a 3.5 mm plug, and connected it to the BMW rear speaker audio out. Ran the wire under the plastic tank bag connector that sits on top of the tank. I now connect my Sena via a hard wired 3.5mm jack when I want to listen to an audio source, be it Sirius XM, FM, or an Apple device. The sound quality is excellent versus bluetooth. I did have to set the fade to all rear. Otherwise, i also get sound from the main speakers.

    This is an issue with the BMW, since bluetooth sounds quality from the iPhone paired directly to Sena is excellent.
    Last edited by Zoomzoommo; 02-02-2012 at 05:57 AM.
    12 R1200RT, 12 Street Triple R, 08 Tiger 1050

  3. #3
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    The only way I can get acceptable sound through helmet speakers is having Bass and Treble both at minus 6. Why would any manufacture put out such a poor quality radio, especially when most of their competition has better audio, even in their standard products...at 35% lower price? Another part of the Ultimate Experience I guess. Gotta pay extra for that "snob appeal" though the product, at least radio wise, is trash. Why the disconnect between price and quality of overall product?
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

  4. #4
    cwal
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    I read another post (http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...=Sound+quality) and this person finally got his dealer to change the radio, and it appears that it fixed the problem. I went and paired my iPhone with the headset and it sounded great, so the problem is with the bike's radio not the headset. I am going to take it in and see what the dealer can do with it.

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    I did the same as ZoomZoom....but plugged a cheap (Ebay) bluetooth dongle to that 3.5 mm plug.... paired my helmet to that dongle and sound is perfect.... It is the BMW bluetooth that isn't good...

  6. #6
    birdmanbmw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomzoommo View Post
    Don't know if this is helpful, but when I paired my Sena headset to the R12RT, the bluetooth sound quality was less than desirable. ...<>...

    This is an issue with the BMW, since bluetooth sounds quality from the iPhone paired directly to Sena is excellent.
    This has been my exact experience with my '11 1200RT, W/radio and Sena.

    I understand the possibility-- that the radio is faulty and will attempt to go the replacement route. Paid way too much to accept a known defect.

  7. #7
    cwal
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    I took it to the dealer today and they still have it hopefully they will replace the radio. It is kind of disappointing that BMW doesn't recognize or admit to the problem.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwal View Post
    I took it to the dealer today and they still have it hopefully they will replace the radio. It is kind of disappointing that BMW doesn't recognize or admit to the problem.
    Sad to say, but while it is disappointing BMW doesn't admit to the problem, it isn't because they don't recognize there is a problem. BMW doesn't admit to known problems because it cost money to correct them. Plus they know they can still sell their products even when customers know there's a problem. Hard to figure those customers.
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwal View Post
    I took it to the dealer today and they still have it hopefully they will replace the radio. It is kind of disappointing that BMW doesn't recognize or admit to the problem.
    Otherwise, how are things in Marion? I know the Scoreboard is closed, but Thomas Park is still going - right? Lived in Marion and worked at Life Investors back in the 70's. Nice town, nice people.
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

  10. #10
    johnnywishbone
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    schuberth

    with the full schuberth setup, i have good iPod audio.. the radio and phone are acceptable.
    on my R, i got a 64 gig chip from a guy in hong kong. i put it in a nav IV. the music is in there. all bluetooth. careful research usually saves me a bit of money.
    i just lost $200 on a corbin seat. win some, lose some.



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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkyle View Post
    I did the same as ZoomZoom....but plugged a cheap (Ebay) bluetooth dongle to that 3.5 mm plug.... paired my helmet to that dongle and sound is perfect.... It is the BMW bluetooth that isn't good...
    Great idea. Do you have to recharge the bluetooth dongle or did you figure out a way to power it?

    Think maybe the BMW bluetooth doesn't have the A2DP , thus the crappy quality?
    12 R1200RT, 12 Street Triple R, 08 Tiger 1050

  12. #12
    cwal
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    Thomas Park is still going strong... I talked to the dealer on Saturday (they have been busy and just started looking at the bike late on Friday), but it looks like they are going to change the radio out. Hopefully this will get it fixed. It is really bad when a high end manufacturer like BMW does not admit and/or fix their problems, eventually when enough people make enough noise, I would hope they would do something about it.

  13. #13
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    Angry Bluetooth and service troubles

    Purchased a new 2012 1200RT in Dec 2011. Not sure the dealer even knew how to pair the equipment. They said it was simple and since it was my personal phone I would need to perform the pairings myself. Okay, if it's so simple why not do it now, but it was almost Christmas and I was in a generous mood, no problem.

    I brought it home and paired all systems without a hitch. The bike's radio paired with the BMW Comms System, NAV IV paired to BMW Comms System, and the iPhone paired to the NAV IV. All was working as expected and with good clarity and fidelity.

    Then, in the last month, I started hearing rumbling and static coming through the bluetooth connection from the radio. Thinking a reset of all pairings would not hurt, I deleted the pairings and attempted to reestablish connections. After performing the procedure repeatedly and unsuccessfully, the radio and helmet finely paired. What was that all about? Anyway it's paired, but the static across bluetooth connection remains.

    I'm thinking BMW will make it right and I can live with lower fidelity until I get the dealer, so, I tried to re-pair the NAV IV and iPhone with the Comms System. Neither would pair, no matter how I tried it. No success in pairing to this day. Yes, it's fully charged and I followed the pairing instruction verbatim, many times.

    I finally called the parts department and they were very accommodating and told me they had one in stock and will replace mine if they determine it to be faulty. Just call before I drive the 3 hours to make sure they still have the part. What else would you expect, right? So I'm patched to the service manager to arrange for what should be a 10-20 minute process of trying to pair the devices.

    Thats when I get the bad news. Service Manager tells me BMW has published a bulletin stating the dealer would not get paid for a replacement of the Comms System until BMW can determine it to be faulty. Okay, but if the service department says it's bad, they'll replace it and deal with BMW later. Nope, not happening. What followed was a lot of grumbling from the service manager about how BMW was inconveniencing the customer. Plus, his one and only expert that knows how to pair these devices is out working on another project. Apparently its a bad day, so I decide to call back another day. Overworked, stressed, burned out? Maybe all of the above, but, you would think that since I dropped $25K with this dealership, he wouldn't try to prove his point to BMW at my expense. Heck, it's a $400 item and I just ordered over $1000 worth of stuff from the parts department while on the phone with them. I won't keep you in suspense, THAT"S CANCELLED!

    Called back today and here is the wonderful plan as explained to me. Bring the bike in on his next available service date, which is about a month from now, and let them troubleshoot the system. If the dealer thinks the comms system is faulty, they will take the Comms System out of my helmet and send me home. After the Comms System is sent to BMW, we wait for the dealers resolution with BMW.

    At some later date, I will need to return for a replacement. Sure that's reasonable, I don't need the comms system and it's only a 6 hour round trip to the dealer. Not! I'm always looking for an excuse to ride, but riding for this aggravation with no resolution in sight is not my definition of fun. I offered to leave the helmet with him and he could eventually replace the item and ship it to me, but that was not accepted... he wants to make sure it works with my bike. Yea, just like he did when I drove off with the new bike in December... Come on Man!!! Are you kidding me!!!

    Okay, so enough of the rant. Sometimes equipment breaks, that's understandable, and I don't fault BMW for this, but I am regretting my decision to buy another BMW. Especially, with the pricey wiz bang radio package that requires an additional purchase of a very expensive helmet and bluetooth comms system.

    With the expense of these bikes I would expect the service to be above par.

    If anyone has any ideas, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

  14. #14
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    It is sad, but the only away around BMW customer service (lack thereof) is to buy your BMW (used) when the warranty is over. That way, you'll know up front what's wrong or could be wrong with any specific model AND you'll not have your rightful expectations of BMW's Customer Service. Just go it on your own with an independent mechanic and the money in your bank accout....left over from buying used. Sometimes having all the responsibility, of an out of warranty bike, is better than depending on a company who doesn't really care if your have an enjoyable ownership experience or not.
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

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    Thumbs up Buy used...

    Motorad... That's the best idea I've heard yet.

    How do riders who buy Ducatis and or Triumphs, from the same dealers, fair when it comes to warranty work/satisfaction? Makes you wonder...

    I wonder if this is a systemic problem with BMW or if it's really based on the particular dealer? In the case of this particular service manager, I'd say he would use the same tired excuses if I had bought a Triumph.

    Thanks for your comments...

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