I wanna talk about fake engine/exhaust noises for a bit. BMW uses them, among other auto manufacturers, to create the sound of a high-performance engine and exhaust by pumping those noises into the cabin, via speakers, to enhance driving pleasure. They do this because sound isolation has become so good in modern cars and turbocharged engines are much more muted than their free-breathing brethren, so you can’t hear the engines anymore.

Now normally I like funny gizmos and gadgets to entertain me, because I’m a small child at heart. But for some reason, fake engine sound, or Active Sound as BMW calls it, is just bothersome to me. I’m not a fan of fake anything; not of fake watches, not of fake sunglasses and not even of a fake particular part(s) of a woman’s body. Though I may be able to make an exception for that last one (or two, technically). So, fake engine noise just doesn’t do it for me.


I understand BMWs need for this and I don’t necessarily blame them for doing so, but I just wish they could figure out a better way. AMG can make incredible engine notes with their turbocharged engines, why can’t BMW? Let’s say they can’t figure out a way to provide excellent sound deadening and still provide a good engine note. Let’s say it’s impossible. Can’t BMW just give me a button to turn it off?

READ ALSO: BMW Active Sound Design

I’d rather it be as quite as a sermon for deaf church mice than have artificial exhaust pumping through my speakers. A button to turn it off would not only be better, but simple as well. It’s not a hard fix that could take months and many dollars to do. Yes, I know that if BMW didn’t tell me I would have never known.

The problem is that they did tell me. Now I can’t un-know it. I wish they didn’t say anything, this way I could be a happy, ignorant idiot, thinking to myself “WOW this exhaust sounds awesome!” But now, if I hear a BMW exhaust from inside the car, I know that it’s just speakers and computers generating it for me.

That takes some of the fun out of things.