Lexus ES Issues with 2019 Lexus ES 350 Stock Audio System

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I can't help the average know nothing consumer has no clue how surround should sound like and what a properly tuned car stereo should portray.
 

MAH

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This discussion thread has 51,000 views. That's a lot of consumers that know that the new ES 350 has NO surround sound at all and NO ability to adjust the sound with the useless fader. We all know that this is completely different from previous cars we have had where we enjoyed the sound system. Apparently this is true of even the 17 speaker ML system! I think we know who the KNOW NOTHING is.
 
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There is sound coming out of all the speakers. That is surround by definition. True surround doesn't have the same audio volume level coming out of the rear speakers and should portray most of the sound coming from the front or dash.
 

MAH

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There may be sound coming from the other speakers but you cannot hear it because the front is so loud and cannot be adjusted by the fader. Have you driven around in the car and listened to it? The passenger side is even worse for some reason. If audio "experts" believe that hearing only sound from the front speakers is best, fine with me. The whole purpose of the fader is to let each individual adjust the sound to what they like. Isn't that what a fader is supposed to do? It used to do it in the 2015 ES 350. I want the sound to fill up the car and be non-directional. That is the way my Acura MDX sounds and the way our prior ES sounded. It did not occur to us that we had to check the fader when we tested the new ES. I wish we had checked the reviews. Lexus screwed this up. This is NOT a premium sound system and does not belong in a luxury car.
 
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Hi there....Just returned from my Lexus dealer. They replaced the amplifier in my 2019 300h and I can honestly say I now have surround sound in my car. There is more power coming from the back speakers, not just the tinny sound that I used to have, there is bass coming from the back also and you can actually FADE from the front to the back, it just doesnt cut out like it used to and you do not have to crank up the volume as much. Thank you LeeSoFL for posting the TSB on this problem. Had I not seen this, I never would have known. Lexus is not advertising this and this is wrong. Everyone with a 2019 ES350/300h should have gotten a first class letter in the mail like Lexus headquarters said if there would be a fix. I urge everyone who is dissatsified with the sound system to contact their Lexus Dealer and get this new amp installed. It takes less than an hour and is covered by the warranty.
 

Sulu

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So this is a head unit (or at least one part within the head unit) change -- remove the old head unit and replace with the new one?
4167

It looks like the fix should already be in newer models.
4166
 

MAH

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I also just had the amp replaced in my 2019 ES 350 stock radio and agree with all of Pam's comments. If you push the fader all the way to the rear one or two notches, you can adjust the sound better than before. Some may think it is a modest improvement, but I am satisfied until I can get rid of the lease.

I had to talk with several people at my dealer and even provide them the TSB number before they would acknowledge the problem. Be persistent if they stonewall you.

I have been a long-time fan of Toyota because they were a leader (perhaps THE leader) in automotive quality and fuel efficiency. This has really disappointed me. First, they put this sound system in the car apparently without field testing and then tried to defend it for over a year as a design "feature" even while they were changing the 2020 model. Why change it if was working by design? Without consumers complaining in forums like this, they probably would not have.
 
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I also just had the amp replaced in my 2019 ES 350 stock radio and agree with all of Pam's comments. If you push the fader all the way to the rear one or two notches, you can adjust the sound better than before. Some may think it is a modest improvement, but I am satisfied until I can get rid of the lease.

I had to talk with several people at my dealer and even provide them the TSB number before they would acknowledge the problem. Be persistent if they stonewall you.

I have been a long-time fan of Toyota because they were a leader (perhaps THE leader) in automotive quality and fuel efficiency. This has really disappointed me. First, they put this sound system in the car apparently without field testing and then tried to defend it for over a year as a design "feature" even while they were changing the 2020 model. Why change it if was working by design? Without consumers complaining in forums like this, they probably would not have.

I, too am satisfied. Its nice to hear the sound coming from all over the car, not just the tinny sound coming from the dash. Its been a long road, but I think we have prevailed....LOL
 
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Armed with the TSB posted on the forum, the service center replaced the old amp with the new one, and wow the difference is night and day! As Pam and MAH mentioned, the sound now actually fills in the entire car and I can hear noticeable bass coming from the rear where before there was absolutely nothing. I even sat in the backseat to test things out and the entire rear of the car was shaking and vibrating from the bass of the subwoofer lol. I also didn’t have to put my ear right up against the rear speakers to hear no more than a whisper of audio coming out like before. This now is much better, and I can confidently say that IMO, is the best audio system I have had out of my two previous Lexus vehicles. Even the sound in the front is now more evenly distributed with stronger bass and clarity. Given that there are 7 front speakers and 3 in the back by design, there still will always be somewhat of a front bias as I’ve honestly found in all my previous Lexus vehicles. Nevertheless, you can actually fade to the rear now and adjust the system more to your liking. I am no music expert, but I currently have my fader set two notches to the rear with surround and ASL ON, treble +1, Mid +2, and Bass +3. I listen to hip hop and I enjoy heavy bass. This system now sounds great. I also use Apple Car Play to listen to all my audio, so the source definitely does matter. I urge everyone to print out the TSB and get this done asap. Thank you to everyone for your persistence and for fighting for what’s right. We all paid a lot of money for this vehicle, and it’s only fair that we should finally be getting what we have deserved this entire past year. Best of luck to everyone
 
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There have also been some complaints about similar problems with the ML system, although not as many as it is not as widely installed as the 'premium' system. Does anyone know if the ML issues have also been addressed in the new model year?
 
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