2019 Lexus ES: sound sophistication

Whether it’s the stirring strings of a symphony orchestra, a bass-heavy dance track, or ambient music in the background, the all-new Lexus ES provides the perfect environment in which to enjoy top quality audio.

Indeed, it is the model’s ultra-quiet interior that has allowed premium audio partner Mark Levinson to develop a bespoke Premium Surround Sound system that offers the listener the sense of being enveloped by music. This world-first design is based on a new sound concept called Mark Levinson PurePlay.

Speaker grilles are finished with an organic pattern inspired by the veins of a leaf

Lexus and Mark Levinson

The collaboration between Lexus and Mark Levinson engineers begins from the concept stage

Lexus has enjoyed an industry-exclusive partnership with Mark Levinson since 2001, which has resulted in bespoke audio systems for each new vehicle launch.

Audiophiles acknowledge that high-quality sound performance does not come from hardware alone; the location and calibration of each speaker is equally important. Therefore the collaboration between Lexus and Mark Levinson engineers begins from the concept stage and continues through development to ensure each vehicle interior delivers the best possible acoustics.

PurePlay: Lexus ES audio architecture

The Mark Levinson PurePlay audio system of the new Lexus ES has a 17-speaker architecture. Fourteen of these are 90mm Unity speakers, installed at seven points around the cabin. They are placed at shoulder height for minimal obstructions between sound source and the listener’s ear and run from the instrument panel through the tops of the door panels. This line of speakers effectively surrounds the driver and passengers with a pure, natural field of sound – what’s known as an acoustic stage.

Speakers surround passengers with a pure, natural field of sound – what’s known as an acoustic stage

Bass notes are delivered by two nine-inch elliptical woofers in the lower front doors and a powerful 265mm subwoofer – the largest ever installed in a production Lexus – behind the rear seats.

The latest in audio technology is also applied to achieve superb reproduction quality and energy-efficient performance. The system in the ES uses new QuantumLogic Surround signal processing to help build a full-bodied acoustic stage with high-clarity sound definition. Additionally, digital files are reproduced with second-generation Clari-Fi technology, which restores the rich, original sound that might otherwise be lost during the digital audio compression process.

Lexus ES audio: the sternest test

Lexus realises that the human ear remains the most essential tool for ensuring the best possible audio performance. The system in ES is tuned by a team of expert acoustic engineers with exceptional aural sensitivity. Their skills help ensure that the sound produced evokes the correct depth and emotional quality of the music being played.

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