April 26, 2017

BMW E46 3 Series 1999-2006 Audio System Components, Specs, Harman Kardon, Upgrades

Below you’ll find answers to many of the questions we field day in and day out – we’ve compiled years of knowledge here so you can easily understand the structure and layout of the BMW Audio system in your E46. Enjoy!



• All US-spec models equipped with 3-way components in the front doors consisting of

165mm midbass drivers, ~2.5” midrange drivers, and tweeters varying in size from

15mm mylar dome (HK) to 25mm fabric dome (Non-HK).

• Sedans and coupes have another pair of 165mm drivers in the rear deck, along with

~2.5” midranges in the rear doors (sedans) and side panels (coupes).

• Wagons have an additional pair of 165mm drivers in the rear hatch area, along with

~2.5” midranges in the rear doors (identical to sedan)

• Convertibles HK and Non-HK have ~100mm midrange drivers and 15mm mylar dome

tweeters in the rear side panels.

• HK coupes have a subwoofer enclosure in the trunk, mounted to the underside of the

rear deck containing two 6”x9” drivers powered by an amplifier attached directly to the


• HK sedans have a subwoofer enclosure on either side of the deck containing a single

6”x9” driver per side, with the amplifier for both attached to the driverʼs side housing.

• HK convertibles have a single ~7” subwoofer in an enclosure that resides between the

trunk and the cabin, behind the center backseat cushion. The amplification for this

woofer is built into the main amplifier.



• All Non-HK cars have 10 channels of amplification. HK cars have 11 channels.

• Coupes/Sedans/Wagons – Main amplifier is located in trunk/hatch, on driverʼs side.

• Convertible amplifier is located behind the driverʼs side side panel in the back seat.

• In vehicles equipped with Navigation, the radio tuner is located in the driverʼs side

trunk area and is polished metal in color.

• Coupes/sedans/wagons with OEM Sirius will have the modules located in the driverʼs

rear trunk/hatch area. The module is identifiable by the Sirius Logo or the presence of

the FAKRA antenna connections.

• 3 and 6 pin connectors are tucked behind the factory amplifier in a black padded foam

wrap in coupes and sedans if car is not equipped with CD Changer. They are always

found alone, and not with any other connections.

• 3 and 6 pin connectors are hanging out underneath the plastic floor tray on the driverʼs

side of the convertibles if the car is not equipped with a CD Changer. They are always

found alone, and not with any other connections.

• 3 and 6 pin connectors are hanging out near the factory amplifier in the driverʼs side

hatch area of the wagons if the car is not equipped with a CD Changer. They are

always found alone, and not with any other connections.


Install Methods/Tips

• Like the E36, the HK equipped vehicles are plagued with blown OEM midranges and


• Also like the E36, our sedan/wagon front HK midranges clip into the OEM housings

with the factory tabs and are further assisted by our custom clips. Non-HK cars require

a small amount of adhesive to properly secure them.

• Coupes and convertibles have HK markings on the upper speaker grille that connects

to the door handle. Sedans/wagons have HK markings on the tweeter grilles, which

are located by the side mirrors.

• Front tweeters in wagons/sedans have somewhat “hidden” connectors. Theyʼre

located behind the black foam shield that seals the inside of the door from the outside

of the door. Have the customer follow the wires down from the OEM tweeter.

• The front midbass drivers cause the front door panels to resonate, OEM or otherwise.

A quick fix is to place gasket tape along the bottom edge of the panel where it meets

the metal of the door itself. Whatʼs actually resonating is the plastic clips rattling

around in the door panel, so the gasket tape will keep the panel from resonating and

keep the clips tighter in the door from the additional outward pressure. This is more

prevalent in coupes/convertibles than sedans.

• The rubber “boots” around the motor structures of the 165mm midbass drivers need to

be removed when installing the front midbass drivers. There are occasions in older

sedans/coupes where theyʼll need to be removed from the rear midbass drivers as

well. Reassure the customer this has no effect on the sound quality.

• Rear midrange installation in the convertibles can be somewhat trying for first timers.

The entire side panel needs to come out to access the bottom philips head screw that

secures the speaker. The panel is extremely pliable, and itʼs highly unlikely it will be