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      01-19-2020, 10:17 AM   #1
Techworks
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M Sport Exhaust (noise of 50i vs M50i)

I'm trying to choose between the 50i and M50i. I like the aesthetics of the M50i and a little extra HP would be fun on occasion. However, I spend ~2 hours per day on the highway, so I'd like to understand the difference in noise at cruising speeds. I know I would enjoy the power and noise on short bursts, but on my daily commute, I'm looking for the quietest and most comfortable option.

1. Is M Sport Exhaust on the M50i always loud? Does it have a baffle or moving parts that are automatically tuned to quiet when in Comfort?
2. I saw one review of the M50i that said exhaust sounds are piped in through the speakers. I know BMW has done this before on other vehicles, so I assume it's true here. Is this a good assumption? Does the amount of noise amplified by the speakers differ between Comfort, Sport, ans Sport+ modes?
3. If the M50i has exhaust sounds through the speakers, does the standard 50i also have them?
4. Aside from the M Sport Exhaust, are there other mechanical differences between the M50i and 50i? Is the suspension of the M50i as comfortable as the 50i when in Comfort mode?
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      01-19-2020, 11:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techworks View Post
I'm trying to choose between the 50i and M50i. I like the aesthetics of the M50i and a little extra HP would be fun on occasion. However, I spend ~2 hours per day on the highway, so I'd like to understand the difference in noise at cruising speeds. I know I would enjoy the power and noise on short bursts, but on my daily commute, I'm looking for the quietest and most comfortable option.

1. Is M Sport Exhaust on the M50i always loud? Does it have a baffle or moving parts that are automatically tuned to quiet when in Comfort?
2. I saw one review of the M50i that said exhaust sounds are piped in through the speakers. I know BMW has done this before on other vehicles, so I assume it's true here. Is this a good assumption? Does the amount of noise amplified by the speakers differ between Comfort, Sport, ans Sport+ modes?
3. If the M50i has exhaust sounds through the speakers, does the standard 50i also have them?
4. Aside from the M Sport Exhaust, are there other mechanical differences between the M50i and 50i? Is the suspension of the M50i as comfortable as the 50i when in Comfort mode?
Good questions. I own a 2019 X7 50i (luxury trim) and the exhaust note at cruising speed is not to loud in Comfort Mode. Of course if you punch it the note is louder as it would be with most V8's. I test drove a 2020 X7 M50i and felt the exhaust note was about the same as ours when cruising on the highway in Comfort Mode. Hopefully others with more knowledge of muffler baffles and/or exhaust sounds pumped through the audio system can reply about those questions. All-in-all the exhaust note of the 50i and M50i sounds about the same at cruising speeds in Comfort Mode (IMO).
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      01-19-2020, 12:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techworks View Post
I'm trying to choose between the 50i and M50i. I like the aesthetics of the M50i and a little extra HP would be fun on occasion. However, I spend ~2 hours per day on the highway, so I'd like to understand the difference in noise at cruising speeds. I know I would enjoy the power and noise on short bursts, but on my daily commute, I'm looking for the quietest and most comfortable option.

1. Is M Sport Exhaust on the M50i always loud? Does it have a baffle or moving parts that are automatically tuned to quiet when in Comfort?
2. I saw one review of the M50i that said exhaust sounds are piped in through the speakers. I know BMW has done this before on other vehicles, so I assume it's true here. Is this a good assumption? Does the amount of noise amplified by the speakers differ between Comfort, Sport, ans Sport+ modes?
3. If the M50i has exhaust sounds through the speakers, does the standard 50i also have them?
4. Aside from the M Sport Exhaust, are there other mechanical differences between the M50i and 50i? Is the suspension of the M50i as comfortable as the 50i when in Comfort mode?
If my memory serves me, there was a thread a while back discussing a configuration option in the car to "tone down" the exhaust on the M50. I don't have mine yet, so can't confirm. Perhaps another M50 owner can comment.
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      01-19-2020, 12:35 PM   #4
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All modern BMWs use some form of exhaust valve control for both performance and sound control. Although in IMO, the valves are more for sound control. The valve is controlled based on the mode you choose to drive: Eco, Comfort, and Sport (mode names vary slightly by model, but those are the basic modes), and also where you are driving (i.e. cruising on the highway vs driving around town). In general, regardless of where/how you are driving, the valves will be closed more in Eco mode and open more in Sport mode. Also, valves will typically be closed when cruising on the highway to help minimize any drone noises. Of course, if you want max sound from your exhaust with the valves open all of the time (and don't want an aftermarket exhaust), there are both aftermarket software and hardware solutions available. I have a hardware solution on my M3 where I can open and close the exhaust valves on my car with the press of a button on a remote key fob (I like to keep mine open all of the time ...).

Regarding engine noises being piped into the cabin, BMW has been doing this for a while, with BMW's more sporty models having more prominent sound piped into the cabin. If your BMW has an "M" in the title, you will most likely have fake sound in the cabin. That said, opinions on the fake sound are somewhat subjective. For example, there are several in the M3/M4 forums that have coded it off. I personally don't mind it and my M3 sounded almost too quiet when I coded it off. So most likely, there should be an aftermarket coding solution in the X7 to turn off the fake noise if it really bothers you.

Every model is different so I would recommend you take the M50 out on a good test drive, in Sport Plus mode, on both the highway and around town. My guess is that mode should be the "loudest" you will experience, and then you can judge your preference from there.
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      01-19-2020, 02:30 PM   #5
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The m50i to us not loud at all inside the cabin. Outside, especially on startup, it commands attention.
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      01-19-2020, 03:13 PM   #6
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Somebody mentioned that there is actually a setting in the IDrive menu where you can select the sound(level) of the M Sport Exhaust.

Ha, found the thread:

https://g07.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...u#post25507333
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      01-19-2020, 03:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 760Lifan View Post
Somebody mentioned that there is actually a setting in the IDrive menu where you can select the sound(level) of the M Sport Exhaust.

Ha, found the thread:

https://g07.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...u#post25507333
Yup you can change the exhaust note in the general settings menu in the m50. The cold start sounds amazing. I've kept mine in sport the whole time and it sounds great.
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      01-19-2020, 03:57 PM   #8
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I test drove 50i M Sport, then bought an M50i.

Sound: I don't think it will bother you at all on the highway, the car is amazingly quiet on the inside, especially in comfort mode. It is loud on the outside though!

Ride: Very smooth. I have the 22" rims, and this thing is so much more comfortable than our previous GL450 or our current Yukon Denali. But if you want to really be sure it rides well, go with the 21" rim option (this will save you $ when it comes to other tire options too).

I think you'll be fine with the M50i regarding sound and comfort. Just up to you if you think the looks/power/exhaust note are worth the extra money.
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      02-06-2020, 04:40 PM   #9
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Does anyone on here know if the exhaust on the M50i is any different than the exhaust on the 50i M-Sport?

It looks the same, it sounds the same at start up to me but curious if there is a different p/n or if it is the exact same part for both vehicles.
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      02-06-2020, 07:39 PM   #10
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I find the exhaust sound on the M50i to be underwhelming coming from a 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with factory sport exhaust.

I was expecting a bit more volume judging from the Youtube clips in the M50i, but it's adequate. The ride in the M50i is smooth in comfy mode, but I still think the Range Rover is King in the suspension ride category. They got their suspension dialed in like no other!
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      02-17-2020, 12:08 AM   #11
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Someone just posted a new car and driver article. They got an M50i for a long term test. They mentioned that at highway speeds itís only 66 decibels, which ties the s-class. Pretty good!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.car...y-maintenance/
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      02-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefflikescars View Post
Someone just posted a new car and driver article. They got an M50i for a long term test. They mentioned that at highway speeds itís only 66 decibels, which ties the s-class. Pretty good!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.car...y-maintenance/
Panorama LED roof is ďenlargedĒ?
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      02-17-2020, 08:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefflikescars View Post
Someone just posted a new car and driver article. They got an M50i for a long term test. They mentioned that at highway speeds itís only 66 decibels, which ties the s-class. Pretty good!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.car...y-maintenance/
Agree, 66 decibels is very good. However, in C&Dís earlier review of the 40i and 50i, they measured 64 dB.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a28006624/bmw-x7-quiet-interior-test/

I think they are at a range though where tire size and tread design as well as road surface are factors. C&D put blizzak snow tires on their long term M50i, but their article isn't clear if those were on during the sound test. If they were, 66 dB is incredible. I have blizzaks on another vehicle and they are extremely noisy compared to most all season tires.

I was finally able to test drive the 40i, 50i, and M50i. I couldn't discern much difference in noise between any of them at highway speeds. The 50i and M50i seemed noiser to me accelerating around town and from 0 - 45 MPH. I bought a noise meter, but it was lower end and I found it wasn't repeatable enough in my testing.

I ended up choosing the 40i for 3 primary reasons:
-the extra range is simply more convenient for me.
-my perception was the 40i is slightly quieter around town, and certainly at startup. Again, the difference at highway speeds is pretty hard to differentiate.
-I prefer the ride of non-runflats, and the 21" w/non-runflats flats are factory options on the 40i and 50i, but not the M50i

There will be days I'll wish I had the extra noise and power, just for the occasional grin. But for my daily commute and hauling the kids, I was trying to minimize noise and maximize comfort. I'll have to get a play car to more driving excitement on the weekends.
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      Yesterday, 11:23 PM   #14
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I keep the iDrive setting in "Reduced" mode around town and never really hear it. If that isn't good enough you there's a code available to turn off the audio-enhanced engine sounds. I haven't tried it but happy to do it and take a reading for you...
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