Lexus ES Issues with 2019 Lexus ES 350 Stock Audio System

Messages
12
Reaction score
6
We picked this car up on Saturday and could not be more unhappy about the stereo and bluetooth issues. Both are completely unusable. We have the same exact speaker and fader problems described in this thread, cannot hear the bluetooth without turning the volume all the way up on the device and up to 50+ on the car, etc. All of the sound comes from one speaker in the car and it is very uncomfortable to listen to. We immediately took the car back to the dealer, who basically told us to fly a kite and that it was operating as designed, which is totally unacceptable for a $50k car. I can't believe I actually spent Christmas researching whether I could drive around with a portable bluetooth speaker as the stereo for my brand new Lexus (even more so that I am not the only one looking into that option). There are at least three other threads online discussing the issue, yet our Lexus dealer just acted like we were crazy. Very disappointed in Lexus and our local dealership's handling of this issue.

And to those who haven't listened to this system personally, this is not simply a "not understanding audiophile systems" issue. This is a "my car stereo and bluetooth are simply not usable" issue.
 
Messages
1
Reaction score
3
Just recently purchased a 19 Es350 with the standard Pioneer system. Have to agree with all those that have posted about very disappointing sound quality. I will be calling Lexus to voice my disappointment. I have heard that engineers from Pioneer are on site at the factory. Hopefully with enough complaints something will be done to fix his problem. Seems a software update would fix the problem. Very disappointing with the audio system, but so far loving the car. Please Lexus, do the right thing for your customers and fix this problem.
 
Messages
12
Reaction score
6
To everyone with this issue - I suggest we all write Lexus via their email incident report process (not just call) and post to their social media (Twitter doesn't have to be approved, so that is likely a good place to start for those who use it) concerning the issue. That is the only sort of attention that is likely to push them to correct the issue (although I understand the chances of them caring enough to do so are limited).
 
Messages
7
Reaction score
9
If anyone calls corporate, make sure to ask to speak with a case manager or at least open up a new case for the audio issue.
Just talking about this issue to the front line who answers the phone isn’t enough. They might not be aware of everything.
I hope this gets resolved. I’m planning on leasing a 2019 ES 300h in June. My 2018 audio system is great.
 
Last edited:

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,505
A previous poster mentioned that Lexus was working on a fix for this, but I called Lexus Corporate and they told me they have no knowledge of any problem. Super frustrating. Great audio should not be a difficult task. The ELS audio in my $36k Acura TL was INCREDIBLE and blows my Mark Levinson out of the water. If Lexus wants to compete with luxury automakers they better figure out this audio problem and ditch this whole Mark Levinson gimmick. We don’t need thumping bass; we need fullness and balance of sound. The quality of Mark Levinson is crystal clear but that’s meaningless when the sound is so incomplete and flimsy. And don’t get me started with the front/center bias. Disaster!
Pardon me folks for not welcoming you sooner ... I've had some health issues this last month which had me distracted. So, let me welcome you @richbES350 @JDC @jshap4321 @RJB1 @adf13840 @TLS and @clippersfan2019 As I have said to others, I hope you all can get some satisfaction regarding your disappointment with the stock sound system in the 7ES. I just purchased a new 2019 ES 350 with the Mark Levinson sound system. I too am very picky about sound quality. Previously I have owned/leased 7 Lexus cars/crossovers both with or without ML. In all candor, this new ML system is the best of all. I've not experienced the problems many of you are having. I am finding the quality of the sound remarkable in every regard. I would advise all of you to make appointments with the technology specialists at your dealers. Have them sit with you in your cars and go through the system addressing your dissatisfactions. Hopefully there is a solution. You shouldn't have to live with this problem in a new Lexus! I wish you the best!
 
Last edited:

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,505
Welcome! to @JDaniel @SciGuy @austinopa @mf4576 @adf13840 @Rcoke and @poorrearsound
It is a shame this issue with the sound system in the 7ES is what brings all of you to the site. But I hope a solution and satisfaction can be found by all. As some of you have said, besides the problem with the sound system, the 7ES is a great car. I agree! Candidly, I could not be more pleased with the quality of sound I am finding in my 7ES ML system. As @Ian Schmidt puts it in his classy reserved manner: "It's quite nice." I hope everyone can find their way to this satisfaction, sooner than later!
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
2,808
Welcome! to @JDaniel @SciGuy @austinopa @mf4576 @adf13840 @Rcoke and @poorrearsound
It is a shame this issue with the sound system in the 7ES is what brings all of you to the site. But I hope a solution and satisfaction can be found by all. As some of you have said, besides the problem with the sound system, the 7ES is a great car. I agree! Candidly, I could not be more pleased with the quality of sound I am finding in my 7ES ML system. As @Ian Schmidt puts it in his classy reserved manner: "It's quite nice." I hope everyone can find their way to this satisfaction, sooner than later!
one of the users here was also complaining about ML sound too...
 

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,505
So true Ian ... Every first model year refresh I have bought has had issues. This is another reason for me to wait on AWD as well.

Also, Welcome @wesley18 ... It is very unfortunate you have to deal with this problem. Sounds like the problem is widespread and hopefully there will be a solution from Lexus soon.
Well, I need to revise and extend this comment ... I just bought the ES 350! Couldn't wait for AWD. So far after 12 days and 500+ miles ... perfection. I have noticed with both the IS I bought two years ago and now with this ES ... both had logged 80+ miles on the odometer. This new ES had only just come off the truck, so no test drives. It is my hunch Lexus now logs 80 miles of post production quality control driving. Also, on my first tank of regular gasoline, with admittedly 66% highway driving, the car got 34.5 mpg. Very pleased!
 

DMS

Messages
1
Reaction score
3
The 2019 Lexus ES 350 sound system is not acceptable, from this consumers point of view. It is sub-par to say the least!. After our purchase we took the car in for service on the sound system, as we thought there must be something wrong with it. The dealership informed us that all 2019's sound like that, but agreed it sounded bad. I obtained the phone number to Lexus Corporate and spoke with a Case Manager. She informed me that all 2019 models have this sound system, unless you upgrade to the Mark Levinson system. She stated the "Premium 10 speaker Lexus sound system" is working 'as designed". After a lengthy discussion she assured me that all complaints get logged and categorized for upper management reviews. blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, this is what you get!

Shame on you, Lexus! A luxury car manufacturer that has had a reputation for taking pride in quality apparently has begun to lack said pride. This was a poor decision Lexus made to apparently cut corners on quality and the consumers have to live with it. This is simply unacceptable! Ford puts a better stock system in their stock Taurus!
 

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,505
Welcome @DMS
Posts on this thread indicate Lexus is working on a software fix. Hope it comes sooner than later!
 

TLS

Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Pardon me folks for not welcoming you sooner ... I've had some health issues this last month which had me distracted. So, let me welcome you @richbES350 @JDC @jshap4321 @RJB1 @adf13840 @TLS and @clippersfan2019 As I have said to others, I hope you all can get some satisfaction regarding your disappointment with the stock sound system in the 7ES. I just purchased a new 2019 ES 350 with the Mark Levinson sound system. I too am very picky about sound quality. Previously I have owned/leased 7 Lexus cars/crossovers both with or without ML. In all candor, this new ML system is the best of all. I've not experienced the problems many of you are having. I am finding the quality of the sound remarkable in every regard. I would advise all of you to make appointments with the technology specialists at your dealers. Have them sit with you in your cars and go through the system addressing your dissatisfactions. Hopefully there is a solution. You shouldn't have to live with this problem in a new Lexus! I wish you the best!
Already did the "technology expert" session, service advisor, service mgr and salesperson conversations before posting here. All fell on deaf ears (other than agreeing the sound quality stunk) and offered no resolution. Definitely not Lexus level service.
 
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
The 2019 Lexus ES 350 sound system is not acceptable, from this consumers point of view. It is sub-par to say the least!. After our purchase we took the car in for service on the sound system, as we thought there must be something wrong with it. The dealership informed us that all 2019's sound like that, but agreed it sounded bad. I obtained the phone number to Lexus Corporate and spoke with a Case Manager. She informed me that all 2019 models have this sound system, unless you upgrade to the Mark Levinson system. She stated the "Premium 10 speaker Lexus sound system" is working 'as designed". After a lengthy discussion she assured me that all complaints get logged and categorized for upper management reviews. blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, this is what you get!

Shame on you, Lexus! A luxury car manufacturer that has had a reputation for taking pride in quality apparently has begun to lack said pride. This was a poor decision Lexus made to apparently cut corners on quality and the consumers have to live with it. This is simply unacceptable! Ford puts a better stock system in their stock Taurus!
I also leased a brand new 2019 ES350, the sound system is terrible, brought the car back twice and told by Lexus corporate that the sound is normal. I asked her not to insult my intelligence and tell me that muffled sound from rear speakers is normal. They made it sound as if they knew nothing about any problem. This is my seventh 350 and every one has been perfect. How about the lack of push button to close the trunk unless you bought the package with the foot kick to open.
I'm still contemplating bringing it back for good
 
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
I’ve been driving my new 2019 ES 350 for a few weeks, and can’t figure out how to improve the audio, which seems only to come from the front of the cabin, above the dashboard. There doesn’t seem to be any rear speaker. The fader bar in the controls, if moved to the rear, almost completely mutes the audio.

I just turned in a 2016 ES 350 and it definitely had a better balanced audio performance.

Maybe there’s a wire not hooked up? Any other ideas?

Could this just be “the way it is”?
Lexus blundered with this sound system and they're making us think we're crazy. Mine is 2 weeks old and I'm bringing it back, no way I'm keeping a 4 yr lease with only front speakers.
 

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,505
Welcome @Joe S
As has been mentioned earlier, a fix is in the works. I realize for you it can not be soon enough!
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
2,808
Lexus blundered with this sound system and they're making us think we're crazy. Mine is 2 weeks old and I'm bringing it back, no way I'm keeping a 4 yr lease with only front speakers.
dont keep the car that you dont like... make them offer you one with ML for cheaper :)
 
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Don't buy or lease a 2019 Lexus ES 350 if you like music. The sound system is the worse. There's no surround sound! How are you surrounded by sound if the rear speaker has no sound coming out of it? When you adjust the front speakers that blasts the music at you to the rear, only the rear side speakers work. Why doesn't the large rear speaker have sound coming out of it? It doesn't matter how good the car drives, it is torture driving with the music on. You might as well have a little hand held radio in your Lexus and you'd get better sound from it. Why? Because a little hand held radio didn't cost you as much as your Lexus and you expect it to sound that way. I expected a fantastic sound system from a Lexus. It is torture and the worse sound system I have ever had in any car I've owned. Even the cheap cars I bought when I was a teenager had better sound systems. When Lexus service told me that it is true that the rear speaker has no sound coming from it and there's nothing they can do about it and that I was stuck with the worse sound system any car could have, that's when I decided that I will NEVER lease another Lexus again. This 2019 Lexus was my 6th Lexus and I WAS a Lexus customer for life. Not any more. Lexus I am done with you.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
If anyone calls corporate, make sure to ask to speak with a case manager or at least open up a new case for the audio issue.
Just talking about this issue to the front line who answers the phone isn’t enough. They might not be aware of everything.
I hope this gets resolved. I’m planning on leasing a 2019 ES 300h in June. My 2018 audio system is great.
Thank you. I am calling Corporate and asking for a case manager. I don't want this car with this sound system at all. It is torture to drive it!
 
Top