In Reply to: HK audio posted by Faris on October 06, 1999 at 12:35:21:
I think they switched to HK with the E46. In the past, systems (depending on year and model) have been Alpine and Pioneer.
However, all factory audio (optional or base) is far inferior to what you can purchase aftermarket. No matter who makes the factory upgraded system (HK, Bose, Infinity, Alpine, Pioneer, whomever), it's still inferior to that same manufacturer's aftermarket equipment. These systems are built to car manufacturer specs (cheaply) and exist to give the car manufacturer the brand name to brag about in it's marketing literature and to justify selling a $100 upgrade for some ridiculous price. Not a single factory upgrade system is worth anywhere near it's price (even at invoice).
The best thing to do is get the base stereo and use the money you would have spent on the upgrade as a starting point on a good aftermarket system. If you don't know much in that area, get someone to give you a good recommendation on a reputable local audio shop and take their advice. The shop should be able to tell you how to best improve your sound with the money you're willing to spend.
Just my $0.02