New H/K Sound System to Debut on 2010 MINIs

We’ve held off reporting about the new system at the request of our sources for awhile but MINI hinted at the new system in its recent Camden press release so all bets are off. Here’s what we know. There were quite a few at MINI who weren’t overly happy with the current optional hifi audio system that replaced the venerable H/K that was found in the previous generation MINIs. Both were made by Harmon (parent company to Harman) but some cost was taken out an the sound suffered for it. Make no mistake it was a nice upgrade to the stock system, but it just wasn’t as impressive as had been hoped.

So MINI went back to Harmon and asked them to design a system in the same vein as the (now almost mythical) DPSM system available on the R50 generation. However with one big change, this new version would be available from the factory as an option rather than a very expensive dealer installed accessory.

Our sources told us a year and a half ago that the new system would be H/K branded and it would appear (again based on that mention in the 50th anniversary press release) that that will be the case. Additionally we’ve been told that the system will feature a 480 digital watt (down 80 from the previous DPSM system). Finally we’re being told the system should include up to 10 speakers all told.

As mentioned in the press release the MINI Camden will come standard with the new system for 2010. However look for the new H/K system to be available as a premium audio option (above the current Hifi option) for the 2010 model year.

We’ll have more information as we get it.


+ MINI DSPM Audio System Review / MotoringFile

  • Damn! Although I am glad to see their turned attention to more detail. The hifi really is poor in all aspects (especially the frankly horrifying bass) when compared to my H/K system in my old R52. Im a bit confused on what they offered on R50s and such after MY05 – I do remember from a quick glance at the builder online there was a blue ringed system but I never bothered to look into because the old system was just so good.

  • Shamus

    And still no apparent factory subwoofer option like this … R56 Subwoofer

  • Minipuma

    How premium is “premium”? Are we talking a $1000 upgrade? (If so… ouch.)

  • eager2own

    I got the H/K for the MINI because it was amazing in my E46 – a must have option. Unfortunately, I had the same expectations for the R52… and was horribly let down. Glad to hear that this may be an option worth getting in the future.

  • bee1000

    Any news on other changes for 2010 yet? Body changes, colors, etc?

  • Michael

    Great article Gabe, because, following the links, I was able to go back to a great review of the HK Radio from past issues of MF. I have the HK Radio in my 2008 R52, and I wouldn’t want any other radio. It’s the best!

  • BwanaYak

    I have the HK sound system in my ’06 R53, and I have never been particularly happy with it, mostly due to the lack of definition in the low mid-range. Bass lines sound boomy and muddy (to the point that sometimes it’s impossible to actually hear the bass lines), while the “thump” factor of the deep low end is pumped up too much.

    I hope that HK will do a better job on the new system, or at least give the end user more control over the sound contouring. Bass and Treble only are not sufficient EQ controls for a premium sound system.

  • J

    It’ll be interesting to see if they support some of the higher end features of the new iPhones in the 2010 MY head units. Apple says that the voice activation features really needs support from the car kit manufactures (OEM too, I assume.)

  • greg

    I love my HK! R&R!!!

  • Dr Obnxs

    Gabe, can you find out/suggest that they fix the front rear channel frequency roll off screw up? And go with some speakers that don’t have paper cones?

    but if this is to be above the “hifi” offering, it’s not gonna be cheap…


  • I have the HK Radio in my 2008 R52, and I wouldn’t want any other radio. It’s the best!

    Clearly you haven’t heard the DPSM. 🙂

  • @bee1000: Coming later this week.

  • Had the opportunity to hear the new H/K system at MINI United in the Camden… All I can say is “Wow!”

  • bee1000

    Thanks, Gabe! I want to know what’s coming up before possibly giving in to Mini’s current finance deals. 1.9% financing doesn’t make that big a difference over 36 payments, so I’m willing to wait for a 2010 if good stuff is on the way (or not wait if NFR gets discontinued or something).

  • Fred

    The HiFi in my 2007 MCSm sounded great to me — a pretty much uncolored, neutral sound with plenty of power. The HiFi in my 2009 MCCm is way too boomy in the bass. I have it set to -3, which takes the edge off, but still gives an exaggerated, tubby sound. I hope mine is not an early prototype of the upcoming HK.

  • jimskater

    Is this the system revealed at MINI United in the Camden under glass?

    If so, it sounded pretty damned good.

  • alpinamike

    Does this mean we will finally get the logic 7? Is that what they are hinting? I have the HK logic 7 at home and love it. We need HK logic 7 like the 7 ser in the MINI!

  • Mark

    Let’s see a retrofit kit for the earlier R55/R56’s too.

  • robble

    [blockquote]Clearly you haven’t heard the DPSM. :)[/blockquote]

    It’s amazing what some people will go through to get one of these isn’t it? 😉

    We wont talk about how much it cost to install but IIRC the parts alone were like $1300. That is enough to put in a pretty darn good aftermarket solution.

  • ddminikc

    I’m happy that MINI realized that the new HiFi system is not what it should have been, I only wish I had the new H/K in my new Clubman. I have the old H/K on my 05 S and the HiFi Sound System on my 09 Clubman and there is no comparison. The new HiFi system has horrible bass and only mediocre highs whereas the H/K is clear across the entire range.


    It’s about Effing time they got their act together on this. The R50/R52/R53 H/K upgrade used to bump rather nicely. A little weak in the volume area but I understand that MINI didn’t want people blowing their speakers cranking the thing too loud to the wrong tunes. A great system and they have the chance to do the right thing this go around. Let’s crank our volumes while drivin it like we stole it. Let’s MOTOR!

  • dc11

    all was great… until the article said ‘above the hifi’ system… which means instead of $500, its gonna be easily $1000… great, more unnecessary markup for something that should come stock to begin with… i mean seriously, who the heck offers 2 sub-par systems, and 1 competent one… and the competent one that will cost an arm and leg.

    in any case, i will be saving up for it… just more money i dont have – thats all….

  • C4

    I see MINI is going back to its R53 roots…LOL

    The DSPM system was junk. I knew someone that had it and only worked half of the time. She had so many problems with it that MINIUSA ordered the dealer to yank it out and give her a full refund. The dealer really, really tried to address the overheating issues but could not fix it. MINI gave up as well.

    Iike the H/K in my R53. Probably not the best “Upgrade” factory audio system, but very good nevertheless. The MINI is a noisy car full of interior hard plastic surfaces. If you want Audiophile sound quality, your money will be better spent on a home system.

  • JustinGTP

    I like to keep things accurate. It’s spelled Harman Kardon, not Harmon Kardon. In your article you have listed that the parent company to Harman Kardon is Harmon. No, the parent company to Harman Kardon is still spelled with the ‘a’, it’s Harman International!

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