2007 Mini Cooper S: Buy the Premium Stereo
February 06, 2008
A few editors, including myself, have written about the Mini's stupidly designed audio controls. Last night I discovered that the stereo has sound quality to match. For reasons too uninteresting to discuss, I still carry around a full catalogue of CDs with me and last night I decided to pop in the new Muse album I downloaded from iTunes recently. It sounded awful, with virtually no mid range and the speakers sounded as if they were encased in mud. Having never listened to the CD before and knowing iTunes files can differ in quality, I immediately popped in a store-bought Coldplay CD and it too sounded awful...
There are violins in the song "In My Place," but you can't hear them in the Mini. I fiddled with the equalizer levels, but nada.
I remember the last-generation Cooper S having poor sound quality, so I'm venturing to guess this is typical. Hopefully it's a speaker problem (there's six), because there's certainly no way to replace the head unit. There's a 10-speaker Premium Hi-Fi Stereo option available for $500, or you can get it bundled in the $1,500 premium package that includes a panaramic sunroof and automatic climate control. Either way, it's an absolute must-buy because the base stereo is garbage.
James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 11,142 miles