Feature Focus: The Lincoln MKX's Revel Ultima Sound System

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

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Would you believe that some of the best sound systems in the automotive business are found in Lincolns, vehicles that are paradoxically associated with the hearing-aid set?

Well, you shouldn’t be so surprised, because it’s actually true.

Of all companies, Ford’s troubled luxury division is pushing the listening-envelope to new heights thanks to an exclusive 10-year partnership with Revel, a firm is renowned for its super-premium loudspeakers and home audio systems.

Lincoln’s redesigned MKX crossover, for instance, can be equipped with a 19-speaker system that will knock any audiophile’s proverbial socks off, so make sure to bring an extra pair. Crank the volume to ear-damaging levels and the sound remains crystal clear without any distortion or rattles.

To achieve this, Lincoln engineers worked hand-in-glove with the folks at Revel, who specified the right hardware and optimized its placement throughout the vehicle’s cabin, small details that add up to an exceptional listening experience. Rival systems may have more speakers (the Bose Panaray arrangement in Cadillac’s CT6 sedan comes with 34), but this doesn’t always make them better.

Beyond properly placed hardware, the MKX’s Ultima sound system also features cutting-edge software that improves the listening experience. One headline feature is called ClariFi, which is music restoration technology. Typically, MP3s and tunes streamed over the air from services like Pandora are heavily compressed to keep file sizes in check. This makes them accessible without decimating your monthly data plan, but it also hurts the listening experience. ClariFi brings these tracks back to life by undoing much of the damage caused by compression.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Lincoln MKX Review

Another important element to the Revel Ultima sound system is called QuantumLogic Surround. Through advanced processing, it creates an immersive listening experience. In short, it can transform a low-quality song downloaded illegally from a file-sharing site into something that sounds like it was ripped from a CD.

That 19-speaker Ultima sound system in the MKX can be had on Reserve-trim models and above; it’s bundled with the $4,400 luxury package. If that’s too rich for your finances, you can also get a 13-speaker Revel system as a stand-alone option. It’s a much more reasonable $1,155.

SEE ALSO: Lincoln Partners with Revel for Luxury Audio

So far you can get Ultima in the MKX and MKZ sedan; it’ll also be available in the Continental, which is set to launch later this year. For more information about all of this, make sure to watch the video posted above.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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