Lexus ES Issues with 2019 Lexus ES 350 Stock Audio System

MAH

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I would like to ask any of the sound specialists on the forum whether either of these ideas is feasible to help improve the sound of the stock radio. The consensus of those who listen to the stock radio is that the sound seems to come from the center dash and there is no surround or stereo effect. The fader does little to improve the balance. I have a leased car, so any adjustment would have to be made by Lexus.

Option 1: Can the fader be adjusted to control only the front center speaker? If that speaker volume could be reduced, maybe we could all hear the other speakers. Personally, I do not hear the speakers in the doors and only occasionally hear the side front speakers.

Option 2. Can the the front center speaker be disconnected? With this option maybe we could then hear the other speakers (nine of them!) and have the effect of surround sound or stereo.
 
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I would like to ask any of the sound specialists on the forum whether either of these ideas is feasible to help improve the sound of the stock radio. The consensus of those who listen to the stock radio is that the sound seems to come from the center dash and there is no surround or stereo effect. The fader does little to improve the balance. I have a leased car, so any adjustment would have to be made by Lexus.

Option 1: Can the fader be adjusted to control only the front center speaker? If that speaker volume could be reduced, maybe we could all hear the other speakers. Personally, I do not hear the speakers in the doors and only occasionally hear the side front speakers.

Option 2. Can the the front center speaker be disconnected? With this option maybe we could then hear the other speakers (nine of them!) and have the effect of surround sound or stereo.
I'm talking about the standard 10 speakers Panasonic/Pioneer system.
Option 1: The fader does nothing to the front center speaker. Only have front-read adjust, and left-right. The door speakers does not play practically mids and none of highs, because those speakers act more as a subwoofer ( I have take some measures of this with a calibrated mic). The rear subwoofer neither have enought presence... the bass come mainly fron the front door speakers.

Option 2. May be the center speaker could be disconected, but only manually by a lexus technician disconecting their cabling (or changing something in the software inside the player). But I belive that although it is a problem, it is not the main one, but the location of the front side speakers; The sound coming from those reflect on the windscreen ant then come to our ears... and only when angles and reflections match with your head position, you will ear it correctly. A very dificult task unless you sit in the center touchpad...☹ and place your head at the right height ... So "normal" cars and "normal" speakers point the mids and highs speakers directly to the listener. (very like the mark-levinson; putting a tweeter in the high part of the front and rear doors). Alternativelly you could "disconnect" this center speaker for testing symply putting a towell or a pillow on the center speaker. This is how I'm testing the system.

Anothe problems: The rear door speakers is only for mids, have only a very few power, and don't play the whole left or right stereo channel.

The "fake-surround" system could embarrasing more this (but I do not notice any change... may be is ever activated??)... I don't like any system that pretend extract 3 or 5 channels form a 2 channel stereo signal.
 
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And I have found another great problem. When you play music from a USB key, selecting by "album", the song's order is completelly inacurate, and some of the tracks are not even shown nor played. My firsts found are that in "album" mode the player uses wrongly the internal track name tags if exists, and play it in pseudo alphabetical order (not use the track number). First the Axxx to Zxxx ant then the ones whit numbers... but something play the 10xxx before the 01 xxx. Any cheap radio card do this correctly, and on many of them you could select the play order.
If you select on USB "by folder" the order is always by filename...
Too ever put a 1 second space between tracks... terrible.
Really I can't recommend to buy this car to anybody that like to listening music when drive, if lexus does not solve it.. Looking for info, I have seen in other forums that on some other actual lexus models have similar problems (front sound, USB play order etc).
 

MAH

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Option 1: The fader does nothing to the front center speaker. Only have front-read adjust, and left-right. The door speakers does not play practically mids and none of highs, because those speakers act more as a subwoofer ( I have take some measures of this with a calibrated mic). The rear subwoofer neither have enought presence... the bass come mainly fron the front door speakers.
Not sure I understand this. My question is whether Lexus can change the fader so that the front center speaker fades allowing the others to be heard to balance the sound. Surely sound from 9 other speakers would sound better than just the one. If not, then they have 9 too many speakers in the cars.
 
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Not sure I understand this. My question is whether Lexus can change the fader so that the front center speaker fades allowing the others to be heard to balance the sound. Surely sound from 9 other speakers would sound better than just the one. If not, then they have 9 too many speakers in the cars.
Lexus probably can update the software to do this, but I think the front center speaker is not the problem. I will made further check this weekend, but in my first testing, simply covering the center speaker with a rag and a book I do not see any improvement.
About adjusting center speaker volumen... any cheap home theather system with 5 channel permits to adjust volume in every single channel. But this lexus can't do it (ever the more expensive "mark-levinson" branded)

PD: I think now that all sound systems in this car is only "brand" and "marketing" (same with BMW, Mercedes etc; any of them have their own "excelsious car sound system brand"). I don't know how to say this in english - I'm not native- but at present "Mark Levinson" belong to "Harman Kardon" and this belonges to "Samsung".... So may be some of you have a Samsung system branded as "Mark Levinson".?
And Harman Kardon own a lot of brands... , JBL, AKG Acoustics, AMX LLC, Mark Levinson, Crown Audio, Infinity, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Martin Logan, Revel, Soundcraft y Studer.

Same thoughs with the pioneer in my car... I see the logo "Pionner" in the rear subwoofer.. but the lexus software update to the sound system is from Panasonic. I can't see any relation between Panasonic and Pioneer just now.
 
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MAH

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I tried muffling the front center speaker, but then I only heard the front left speaker! The fader would have to fade all three front speakers. I can only hear sound from the front speakers. Someone said there were two speakers in each front door. Don't hear them or the rear ones.

Does anyone hear the other speakers?
 
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I tried muffling the front center speaker, but then I only heard the front left speaker! The fader would have to fade all three front speakers. I can only hear sound from the front speakers. Someone said there were two speakers in each front door. Don't hear them or the rear ones.

Does anyone hear the other speakers?
This is the main problem.. You could listen to both front speakers adjusting the left-right balance two positions to the right... but then your companion at right sit will listen only the right speaker.... . So ¿why are a center speaker here, if this is a stereo only system?

Front door speakers are only for bass. No middles nor highs from here. So you will not listen nothing from those.

Rear door speakers are almost unusable..
 

MAH

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Thank you for the reply. I am confused about where the 10 speakers are: three in dash, one bass in each front door, one rear woofer. Does that mean there are two speakers in each back door? If we could pump up the sound from them (while lowering the three front), wouldn't the sound be fuller?
 
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Its funny (or not), the different answers one is getting from Lexus HQ. Back in the spring I contacted them regarding the audio and was told they were aware of the problem and were working on a fix but nothing at the moment.
Last week I contacted them again regarding a pre production amp as one of our fellow bloggers described he got from Lexus and was basically told they knew nothing about this, and maybe the local dealers could refer to a third party who could possibly do something, but then the warranty would be void. Then I was told that the audio is working as designed and was given a picture of the speaker placement of the Mark Levinson system (which I never said I had).
So my impression now is that there is no fix for us in the works.
I bought my car, so after the warranty is up, I think Im going to dump it and get an Avalon. Should have done my homework, it was rated much better all around then the Lexus and from what I hear, has a great sound system too.
 
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Let me throw this out for Lexus to heed:

Why not just make the Mark Levinson the base system and not raise the base price of the car? Then later try to design a stereo system that can be sold for a premium and is better than a base ML system. I'm sure this suggestion will go over like a lead balloon with the Lexus bean counters. However, if the problem is not fixed in the 2020 models, they may just lose a sale from me.
 
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Thank you for the reply. I am confused about where the 10 speakers are: three in dash, one bass in each front door, one rear woofer. Does that mean there are two speakers in each back door? If we could pump up the sound from them (while lowering the three front), wouldn't the sound be fuller?
There are two speakers on each dash side, left and right (one for middles and another for tweeter/highs). So you could not ear highs from rear doors, they have only mids.
 

MAH

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Thank you. Five speakers in the dashboard. I wonder if that is why we only hear sound from the windshield. . .
 
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The sound is horrible with the stock speakers. Has anyone put in an aftermarket configuration that they are happy with?
 
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Anyone who has the sound system issue please go visiting your dealership. Lexus will start replacing the amp(confirmed) for all 19’ ES to correct the problem. And all 20’ ES will have the new amp from the factory.
 

MAH

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Interesting. I just spoke with Cindy at Lexus on Friday and she checked with the technician and told me the system was working as designed. I hope someone who gets the amp lets us know how it sounds after the amp.
 
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Anyone who has the sound system issue please go visiting your dealership. Lexus will start replacing the amp(confirmed) for all 19’ ES to correct the problem. And all 20’ ES will have the new amp from the factory.
Let's hope that this is true and that the additional amp solves the problem. Saves me $900 by not being forced to buy the ML system to get an acceptable radio. Of course, the base price of the 2020 increased by $500.
 
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Interesting. I just spoke with Cindy at Lexus on Friday and she checked with the technician and told me the system was working as designed. I hope someone who gets the amp lets us know how it sounds after the amp.

I just battled with Tiffany from Lexus about the stock sound system for the 2nd time last week and was also told all was working as designed. AND, IF there should be a fix or a recall, I would get a first class letter in the mail with instructions on how to proceed. Im not getting my hopes up.
 
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Let's hope that this is true and that the additional amp solves the problem. Saves me $900 by not being forced to buy the ML system to get an acceptable radio. Of course, the base price of the 2020 increased by $500.
The $500 price increase is for the power folding side mirrors
 
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I just battled with Tiffany from Lexus about the stock sound system for the 2nd time last week and was also told all was working as designed. AND, IF there should be a fix or a recall, I would get a first class letter in the mail with instructions on how to proceed. Im not getting my hopes up.
Your local Lexus dealerships should have already started getting customers info(name, VIN) for the replacement amps. Don't know why your service rep and technician are not aware of this. Please check with the service manager or shop foreman at your dealership again : )
 
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