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April 12, 2017 Guy Stuff

The Science of Sound: Mark Levinson, Lexus, and the Audio of Your Dreams

Mark Levinson Lexus

Mark Levinson audio products are legendary. Featuring cutting-edge sound reproduction technology fit for only the most passionate of audiophiles, this audio equipment manufacturer has been bringing the best to your ride for more than 15 years, partnering with luxury car maker Lexus to bring its revolutionary surround sound audio systems to the world of ultimate performance.

Recently we had a chance to go behind the scenes at Harman International, Mark Levinson’s parent company, for a tour of its state-of-the-art experimental facilities in the San Fernando Valley. Here’s how it went.

Mark Levinson Harman 3

The Cutting Edge

If you know audio equipment, you don’t need us to tell you how important it is to Mark Levinson to provide impeccable sound reproduction and quality. All of Harman International’s car accessory brands – AKG, JBL, Harman Kardon, Lexicon, and Revel – are near legendary, but none capture the true audiophile’s passion as well as Mark Levinson.

We were able to see a rare glimpse behind the curtain at the Harman facility, guided by some of the most talented and brilliant audio engineers on the planet. These research and development specialists showed off just some of the cutting-edge testing facility.

Harman Anechoic Chamber

Our favorite was the anechoic chamber – a specially designed room that absorbs almost every single sound wave thrown at it, eliminating echoes and providing a pristine environment for testing. The difference was eerie – sounds inside were incredibly crisp and clear, and it was so quiet that we could hear our pulses pounding in our veins!

Mark Levinson Harman 2

Heart-Thumping Mobile Audio

All this technology used to create, test, and evaluate audio speakers has paid off, as Mark Levinson has been able to create some of the most advanced and revolutionary mobile audio systems you’ll even encounter.

A number of modern Lexus models feature precision-engineered Mark Levinson sound systems, and these things are beasts. These 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound systems can feature anywhere between a dozen and a dozen-and-a-half speakers, and the Lexus LS or LS hybrid has up to 19 of them, pumping out 450 watts of some of the clearest, most well-reproduced sound you’ve ever heard anywhere, much less in a car audio system.

Mark Levinson Lexus 2

How do they do it? Nearly all Mark Levinson car audio systems feature no more than 0.1% total harmonic distortion, which beats the pants off the 1.0% industry standard. The difference is astounding, and it left us speechless!

Ultimate Sound Performance

Lexus: the brand is synonymous with the ultimate in luxury performance. It’s only fitting that one of the most sophisticated car manufacturers in the world equips its vehicles with stereo systems from one of the most sophisticated audio companies in the world.


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