Lexus ES Issues with 2019 Lexus ES 350 Stock Audio System

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Here is the Speaker Layout for the 2019 ES PioneerView attachment 3150
I also have asked the dealership about this, and was told that "Lexus is aware there are complaints." "However, there is nothing in the works to change anything." So, rather than live with this substandard system until it's time to trade, I was wondering if anyone has tried an after market solution? My guess is that simply replacing the speakers isn't going to do it, that is likely the power going to the rear speakers.

I once had a Datsun B210 that had a better sounding system....
 
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The concept that we need to be considering aftermarket systems, just to have even functional sound, on a $50k car is absurd. It is so bad I actually looked at portable bluetooth speakers to keep in the car. My guess is they will continue to ignore it and, at best, silently fix it for the upcoming model year. I don't think Lexus cares one bit about those of us who have already purchased the vehicle.
 
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The concept that we need to be considering aftermarket systems, just to have even functional sound, on a $50k car is absurd. It is so bad I actually looked at portable bluetooth speakers to keep in the car. My guess is they will continue to ignore it and, at best, silently fix it for the upcoming model year. I don't think Lexus cares one bit about those of us who have already purchased the vehicle.
Yes, sad, but looks like there are no other options at this point. I had thought I would take the car home for a day before buying it, but while talking within the salesman on the test drive and enjoying the smoothness of the car, I didn't think of making sure the sound system matched the price level of the car. I didn't think I needed more time with the car... What a lesson I learned! I tried the Bluetooth solution, doesn't quite do it....
 
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Lexus ES350, 2015: The ML system is crystal clear in midrange and highs, but lacks any semblance of bass, rich, sonorous tones and. Basically, it sounds "flat". I've tried multiple combinations of settings that have been posted on various forums and verified that all the speakers are working. IMO, we've been sold a bill of goods. ML is like the Emperor's Clothes. This really hit home while driving my 2019 Ford Taurus rental car with a Sony sound system. I love listening to my music so much in the Ford that I dread going back to my ML system! Most disappointing is that my dealer claimed "they have no way of checking the quality of Lexus audio systems."
 

RAL

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Welcome @mrgarybernstein ... I understand your frustration with the "flat" sound of your ML system. I am picky about sound quality too and I had similar frustration with a 250 watt ML system in a 2008 ES I once had. It was better than the stock system, but still lacked the "sonorous" sound to which you refer. I found the best sound with treble at +2, midrange at +1, and bass at +5 with an elevated volume ... Now however, I am glad to have the ML system in my 2019 ES. It has the clear midrange and highs, but it also has the rich full-bodied tones of bass. I suppose the 17 speakers (10.4-inch subwoofer) and 1800 watts make the difference. I realize some on this thread have expressed dissatisfaction with the 7ES ML system besides the stock system, but I couldn't be more pleased ... I hope you can find some satisfaction short of trading your '15 for a '19. If you were to test drive a 7ES and check out the ML system with music familiar to you, I'd be interested to know what you think.

IMG_5313.jpeg
 
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Lexus stock systems and most anyone have been pretty average at best for sometime now. That is why a lot of effort is made to upgrade to ML. I'm sorry but you cannot be upset at Lexus that you didn't test the sound system before buying the car. That takes all of 30 seconds to do.
Yes, one can be upset with Lexus. I own the same car. And Lexus states that the Audio system is a surround system. But it's not. So one can be setup with them for not delivery what they stated they was delivering.
 
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Welcome @mrgarybernstein ... I understand your frustration with the "flat" sound of your ML system. I am picky about sound quality too and I had similar frustration with a 250 watt ML system in a 2008 ES I once had. It was better than the stock system, but still lacked the "sonorous" sound to which you refer. I found the best sound with treble at +2, midrange at +1, and bass at +5 with an elevated volume ... Now however, I am glad to have the ML system in my 2019 ES. It has the clear midrange and highs, but it also has the rich full-bodied tones of bass. I suppose the 17 speakers (10.4-inch subwoofer) and 1800 watts make the difference. I realize some on this thread have expressed dissatisfaction with the 7ES ML system besides the stock system, but I couldn't be more pleased ... I hope you can find some satisfaction short of trading your '15 for a '19. If you were to test drive a 7ES and check out the ML system with music familiar to you, I'd be interested to know what you think.

View attachment 3181
I was ready to purchase the 2019 ES350 and was fortunate to see this blog in time. I went to the dealer and carefully checked out the base audio system and the ML with a salesman to make sure I understood the controls. Bottom line... the base system is horrible and the ML is only slightly better. I might wait for the 2020 model, but otherwise will move onto Audi or Benz. Very unfortunate as the ES350 is a very nice vehicle otherwise. My sympathies to those who already made the purchase.
 

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I was ready to purchase the 2019 ES350 and was fortunate to see this blog in time. I went to the dealer and carefully checked out the base audio system and the ML with a salesman to make sure I understood the controls. Bottom line... the base system is horrible and the ML is only slightly better. I might wait for the 2020 model, but otherwise will move onto Audi or Benz. Very unfortunate as the ES350 is a very nice vehicle otherwise. My sympathies to those who already made the purchase.
Welcome @Eagle ... Looking back at this thread, it is good to have so many new members, many more than I've encountered on any one thread across the entire site. I do wish this issue was not what is bringing all of you here. But I also recognize when one feels such dissatisfaction, it is good to find a place to vent it where Lexus might take notice. I do think some of you are being hyperbolic in your criticism purely out of frustration. Once again, I wish all of you well. I appreciate how many of you have complimented the 7ES besides being critical of the audio systems. Your authenticity comes through. And Eagle, when you do choose a vehicle: Audi, Benz, BMW, or whatever; please revisit us and describe specifically how your satisfaction compares. Best regards
 
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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”?
I was one of the first to buy the new 2019 Lexus ES 350 with the 10 speaker premium sound system. Like many others the ES 350 and other models always had a decent sound system so I concentrated on the rest of the car. During delivery I said the sound system does not sound right, it was very late at night so we went home with the car with the sales manager saying bring it back if you need help and we'll make it right. That statement was so far off but I don't think they even knew or could fathom that Lexus would have such a crappy sounding no surround surround system that just has no fade capability at all! We already have a hybrid car so this would be used for comfortable trips etc... so it sat for a couple weeks in the garage unused due to bad weather so it took this long for me to be able to pull it out of the garage and really discover what a really crappy sound system this was. I tried everything and even took it to work and let everyone else play with the adjustments. It still sucked! I took it back to the dealer and started getting the same run around everyone else is and has been getting, they don't have a fix and all the remaining 2019 Lexus ES 350's on the lot sound as crappy so they say it must be normal. A TSB was submitted and they said they have heard this problem before. Since this was totally unacceptable to me paying this kind of money for a no surround surround system I contacted the customer satisfaction department and said I wanted Lexus to buy this car back. That went to Corporate where some moron could only say it is performing to specifications. I asked him to take the time, get in one and tell me he would be happy but he just kept reading off of his 3 X 5 card what he was probably only allowed to say, it is performing to specifications, what do you want me to do. I asked again for Lexus to buy back the car which took another 3 weeks to get what was required for the package. I submitted it immediately but it sat over two weeks due to XMas and New Year’s. Now from Headquarters I was told 4 to 6 weeks to get an answer. 6 weeks came by and nothing with many e-mails and voice mails from me starting at the 4 week period from the time they received the buyback package, I started getting next week maybe again and again. I has now been 9 weeks when I called in and said this has gone on long enough when I was told the case was closed. Never one bit of communication from Lexus, only someone who sits at a desk deciding that the $50k I spent on what I planned to have for a retirement car was a waste to me and the worst experience from a car purchase ever. I have had other Lexus models, my family has had several. All with great sounding audio systems . I traded in a 2016 IS 200T that I would kill to get back just over the sound system! Lexus has sacrificed one of their most popular models and so far stood behind this crappy system. Lexus customer satisfaction moto has been completely thrown out the window. My entire experience with this model has been horrible. I dislike it so much it sits in the garage unused and I have yet to get the official response in the mail of how Lexus refused to buy this back. I have had it since the 4th on November 2018, it only has 1600 miles. Yes I am that disgusted. The only satisfaction I get is knowing that I posted reviews on most major car review sites and see the numbers of people who read it and I'm sure didn't buy one. These were all probably first time Lexus buyers. The rest of us who have been Lexus loyal and counted on their quality and customer satisfaction policy have been severely cheated. I can only hope that more people read all existing reviews and not buy this model and deal with the frustration everyone else that WAS Lexus loyal until now. I'm sure a speedy fix to the solution would help but it is not likely. I never heard of a fix or a sorry during the entire buy back attempt. Good luck getting satisfaction.
 

flexus

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I think the problem occurs only in US. No mentioning in European or Japanese car media.
4:07~
 
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I just checked with my local Lexus dealer about this issue, and they said that Lexus is aware of the sound problem and planning a software fix. No ETR, but they confirmed that both pioneer and ML sound system configuration are having the same issue. Meantime, I will just enjoy driving the car as is.
Unfortunately, the dealer here says otherwise, and Lexus corporate has also said otherwise. This appears so far to have just been dealer b.s. to pacify people as subsequent comments/letters/etc. from Lexus have said the system is operating as designed and there is not a fix in progress.
 
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I think the problem occurs only in US. No mentioning in European or Japanese car media.
Hi all.
I just registered in this forum. I live in Spain, and I just ordered a new ES300H (it will be delivered in 3 to 4 months), and I could confirm that in Spain the problem is the same. I have had 4 Toyotas in recent years, and I really do not like the faults and expenses of German cars. Last mont I tried an ES300h for two days, and then I was aware of the problem. Everything in this car is impressive, except for the rear sound, and the entire media / navigation system is only mediocre. Front sound could be acceptable for me as a driver. I bought it with these problems, because here in Spain there are many cities that sometimes you can only drive in the downtown with electric and hybrid vehicles, and because the rest of the vehicle is impressive at this price (and I like sedans).

I'm an electronic engineer and I think this could be solved partially through a software update (I think the system is based on a single DSP) and may be changing the rear speakers (I could not see any details of those speakers). I say partially because the rear speakers are not enough to emit a bass sound, but there are two front bass speakers and one rear subwoofer speaker, so it could be partially solved. But this is a supossition, I'm unable to find any technical data / tech manual of this vehicle.

edit: correcting some writing errors.
 
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Hello, new here.
Just bought the 2019 300h and like everyone else here, not happy with the audio/sound ststem. My 2005 es330 sound system sounded great, my 2014 300h sounded awesome, so why isnt the 2019 sounding beyond fantastic??? Who would have thought any differently? My dealer recommended I contact Lexus to show my dissatisfaction which I did. I was assigned a case manager who would be contacting me. I missed his first call and have called him back 3 times now only to hear that he is not available to talk to me and he will try again tomorrow :(
I have to agree with DocStevenson, we have every right to be upset.
My son, who is a software engineer also feels this could be resolved with a software update of some sort.
Hopefully he is right and Lexus prevails.
To be continued......
 
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I had a better stereo in my 1990 Dodge Omni. Lexus should be ashamed at putting a stereo like this in the 2019 ES 350. I feel cheated and could be the breaking point in moving elsewhere after 20 years.
 
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I recently spoke to a case manager at Lexus HQ that said the same thing. That they were aware of the sound problem and were looking into a fix. He did also say that the Lexus dealers were all made aware of this and if and when a fix is in the works, we will be contacted by our dealers. Im not holding my breath.
 
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I also have asked the dealership about this, and was told that "Lexus is aware there are complaints." "However, there is nothing in the works to change anything." So, rather than live with this substandard system until it's time to trade, I was wondering if anyone has tried an after market solution? My guess is that simply replacing the speakers isn't going to do it, that is likely the power going to the rear speakers.

I once had a Datsun B210 that had a better sounding system....
I recently spoke to a case manager at Lexus HQ that said the same thing. That they were aware of the sound problem and were looking into a fix. He did also say that the Lexus dealers were all made aware of this and if and when a fix is in the works, we will be contacted by our dealers. Im not holding my breath.
I recently spoke to a case manager at Lexus HQ that said the same thing. That they were aware of the sound problem and were looking into a fix. He did also say that the Lexus dealers were all made aware of this and if and when a fix is in the works, we will be contacted by our dealers. Im not holding my breath.
Maybe there is hope... I had complained about the system to Lexus corporate, and today, I received a call stating they wanted to try installing a part in my car that might help.... I am waiting for the appointment and install, so maybe they are listening! My suggestion to all: Make your complaints on Lexus.com.
 
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Maybe there is hope... I had complained about the system to Lexus corporate, and today, I received a call stating they wanted to try installing a part in my car that might help.... I am waiting for the appointment and install, so maybe they are listening! My suggestion to all: Make your complaints on Lexus.com.
Let us know when you know more. I am reluctant to get hopeful, given their willingness to state the stereo was operating as designed so far. But if they actually offer a fix, obviously that would go a long way toward repairing the significant good will they have lost with customers.
 
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Maybe there is hope... I had complained about the system to Lexus corporate, and today, I received a call stating they wanted to try installing a part in my car that might help.... I am waiting for the appointment and install, so maybe they are listening! My suggestion to all: Make your complaints on Lexus.com.
Hi JGawry - did you get your appointment scheduled?
 
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