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Harman Debuts Clari-Fi Technology on 2015 Lexus NX Crossover

April 22, 2014

The digital era has allowed the public to access and enjoy the music they want when they want it. Sadly, digital audio leaves something to be desired—at least in terms of quality. Fortunately, a new technology that will deliver better quality music has arrived. It is the Harman Clari-Fi technology, which was launched on the new 2015 Lexus NX compact crossover.

Harman calls its Clari-Fi technology as that which “automatically analyzes and improves the audio quality of all types of compressed, digitalized music sources.”

In a press release, the audio and infotainment company stated that while the digital files of today have replaced vinyl LPs and CDs, the former are lacking in quality compared to the latter. The compression process compromises sound quality, as it does away with “up to 90 percent of the original audio content captured in the studio.” What Clari-Fi does is restore the original audio quality of the recording and deliver to consumers the kind of experience artists intended to share with its audience.

Digital files may sound okay through headphones or earbuds, but the deteriorated sound quality becomes most apparent when these are heard through a vehicle’s audio system. Harman knew this and sought to improve one’s listening experience in the car by ensuring that the quality delivered by the tech is the same as that before the audio files were compressed.

“Clari-Fi is a significant technological advancement that transforms the listening experience for the millions of people who don’t want to sacrifice quality for the convenience of downloaded and streaming digital music,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “At HARMAN, we develop technologies that help recording artists realize their vision. We also want consumers to experience the music the way it was intended – whether at home, on the go or in the car.”

What makes Clari-Fi most impressive is that it does not simply work on or enhance the bass, equalization or effects. Rather, it analyzes digital files in real time and improves them during playback. It fights the negative effects of compression with the use of an algorithm that restores the lost content. As a result, the listener gets to hear a richer and fuller record.

This Harman technology was first introduced to the public in the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Back then, it was called Signal Doctor.

Fast forward a couple of months, and the technology with its new name was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show. The technology was launched in the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System found on Lexus’ first vehicle in the compact luxury crossover segment. The all-new vehicle equipped with the aforementioned Harman technology and the Mark Levinson audio system is slated to roll out in showrooms in Europe and Asia later this year.

The Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System integrates Harman’s Clari-Fi technology through 14 speakers situated in 12 strategically chosen locations in the vehicle cabin. It is an 835-watt audio system powered by a 12-channel ML5 amplifier.

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