The Lexus NX will introduce a world-first audio technology from Harman called Clari-fi, which significantly improves the sound quality of compressed audio:
Unlike other solutions in the market today, Clari-Fi does not simply add equalization and boost bass, or focus only on leveraging high-resolution file formats on a proprietary device, according to Harman. Harman said Clari-Fi analyzes digital audio signals in real time and rebuilds them during playback. It does not mask the effects of heavy compression by adding new effects, but instead uses an algorithm to put back what is lost during the compression process.
The Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System in the Lexus NX incorporates Clari-Fi technology across 14 speakers in 12 locations, carefully designed and located strategically throughout the vehicle cabin, to create what Harman said is an optimum listening experience. It’s all powered by an 835-watt, 12-channel ML5 amplifier.
The 2015 Lexus NX equipped with the available Clari-Fi-enabled Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio system is expected to launch in Asia and Europe later this year.
The Lexus NX will be the very first production vehicle to incorporate the new technology, though from the phrasing of the press release, it sounds like Clari-fi won’t be coming to North America right away.
Melissa Riofrio from TechHive had a chance to sample the audio difference:
I previewed this technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. As I sat in a well-insulated room, nattily dressed Harman executives played an MP3 file, first in its regular, lossy form, and then with the Clari-Fi technology (then called Signal Doctor) enhancing the sound. With Clari-Fi doing its thing, the song sounded fuller and richer. I had the same experience in a demo car Harman had outfitted for the show.