The ultra-quiet interior of the all-new Lexus ES provides the perfect setting to enjoy top quality audio, whether you want to travel to the stirring soundtrack of a symphony orchestra, or ease away the kilometres to a background of ambient music. The new model has allowed Lexus’ premium audio specialist partner Mark Levinson to design a bespoke Premium Surround Sound system that delivers Enveloping Sound – a performance that gives the listener the sense of being enveloped by the music.

It’s a world-first design, based on a new sound system concept called Mark Levinson PurePlay.

Lexus has a long-established auto industry-exclusive partnership with Mark Levinson to develop bespoke systems for its models that take in-car entertainment to a higher level. Mark Levinson’s involvement starts from the moment a new car concept is first imagined and developed, so it can help ensure the vehicle’s interior delivers the best possible acoustics.

Performance is not about the quality of the hardware alone, but also the location and calibration of each speaker around the cabin. In the ES there are 17 in all, two more than in the previous generation model.

Fourteen of these are 90mm Unity speakers, installed at seven points around the cabin, running in a line from the instrument panel through the top of the door panels, effectively surrounding the driver and passengers. Mounting the high and mid-range speakers along the shoulder line allows a purer and more natural field of sound to be created – what’s known as an acoustic stage. It also means there are minimal obstructions between the listener’s ear and source of the sound, supporting a true tonal reproduction quality.

The system also features two nine-inch elliptical woofers in the front doors and a powerful 265 mm subwoofer – the largest ever installed in a production Lexus – behind the rear seats.

There’s pleasing attention to design detail as well, with the visible speaker grilles finished with an organic pattern inspired by the veins of a leaf.

Mark Levinson makes use of impressive technology to achieve both superb reproduction quality and energy-efficient performance. The ES’s system uses new Quantum Logic Surround to help build an accurate and full-bodied acoustic stage and high-clarity sound definition.

The ES’s audio also benefits from ClariFi 2.0, which plays sound as close to the original as possible, particularly with music from low-quality sources, such as highly compressed digital files.

Technology apart, the human ear remains an essential tool for ensuring the best performance. The ES’s system is tuned by a team of expert acoustic engineers with exceptional aural sensitivity. Their skills help ensure that the sound produced evokes the emotional quality of the music being played.