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Principal Acoustic Systems Engineer

Los Angeles, California Job ID: 131505

HARMAN’s engineers and designers are creative, purposeful and agile. As part of this team, you’ll combine your technical expertise with innovative ideas to help drive cutting-edge solutions in the car, enterprise and connected ecosystem. Every day, you will push the boundaries of creative design, and HARMAN is committed to providing you with the opportunities, innovative technologies and resources to build a successful career.

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Success Profile

What makes a successful Engineer at HARMAN? Check out the top
traits we’re looking for and see if you have the right mix.

  • Agile
  • Collaborative
  • Inventive
  • Innovative
  • Technical Capability
  • Results-Driven

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A Career at HARMAN

As a technology leader that is rapidly on the move, HARMAN is filled with people who are focused on making life better. Innovation, inclusivity and teamwork are a part of our DNA. When you add that to the challenges we take on and solve together, you’ll discover that at HARMAN you can grow, make a difference and be proud of the work you do every day.

Additional Work Location(s) ​​​​​:None

About the Role

This role is for a Principal Acoustic Systems Research Engineer within HARMAN X. HARMAN X is the corporate research division that focuses on advanced technology development for applications across all Harman product lines including Automotive, Lifestyle (consumer), and Professional. This position is located in Northridge, California where the successful candidate will have access to world-class tools and facilities.

The Principal Acoustic Systems Research Engineer is expected to be innovative and results-driven. They must have strong analytic skills with the technical depth to understand underlying acoustic principles; sufficient exposure to the audio industry and psychoacoustics to understand what matters to the consumer; and the imagination and vision to see what hasn’t been done before, to create something better and new. The successful candidate will work within a broader team of experienced researchers but will be expected to independently design and create new products and technologies.

What You Will Do

  • Invent and mature new acoustic technologies (HW/SW) related to headphones, speakers, microphones, and beyond.
  • Design novel acoustical system architectures including concept, acoustical modeling, enclosure design, transducer development, power and signal processing definitions.
  • Evaluate existing technologies for market readiness through benchmarking.
  • Prototype audio systems and prepare technology demonstrators.
  • Quantify audio performance with robust electrical audio and acoustical testing. Create new test methods and metrics, as necessary.
  • Qualify audio performance with subjective testing and create tuning targets and methods to achieve optimum audio performance.
  • Write reports, white papers, and patents
  • Transfer new technologies to commercialization teams

What You Need

  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree in audio-related discipline: physics, acoustics, music technology, computer science, electrical engineering, etc. plus 12 years of relevant industry experience. Master’s degree plus 8 years of industry experience.
  • Mastery of theory and practice: acoustic systems design, transducer development, signal processing algorithms (microphones, headphones, earphones, or loudspeakers, etc.), acoustical environments (room acoustics), and listener perception (psychoacoustics)
  • Experience with commercial audio product development and commercial launch activities
  • Experience with industry-standard acoustical test and measurement methods
  • Experience with acoustical data analysis using MATLAB, Python, or equivalent
  • Experience with audio signal processing algorithm design
  • Critical listener with experience tuning complex audio algorithms and voicing systems
  • Extreme curiosity and intellectual honesty
  • Excellent written and verbal communication

What is Nice to Have

  • Advanced system and algorithm experience including beamforming arrays, immersive audio, HRTF processing, ANC, adaptive/dynamic signal processing, machine learning methods, etc.
  • Real-time audio processing and plug-in creation

What Makes You Eligible

  • Be willing to travel up to 10%
  • Be willing to work in an office in Northridge, CA (pending Covid safe reopening)
  • Successfully complete a background investigation and drug screen as a condition of employment

What We Offer

  • Access to employee discounts on world-class HARMAN/Samsung products (JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG etc.)
  • An inclusive and diverse work environment that fosters and encourages career development opportunities
  • Professional development opportunities through HARMAN University’s business and leadership academies
  • Internal talent management leadership acceleration programs
  • “Be Brilliant” employee recognition and rewards program

HARMAN is an Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or Protected Veterans status. HARMAN offers a great work environment, challenging career opportunities, professional training and competitive compensation. (


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Career Path

  1. Engineer

    An entry level role, the degreed Engineer knows and applies basic concepts and techniques of the profession under direct supervision and guidance. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree

  2. Senior Engineer

    A Senior Engineer provides a wider variety of technical support tasks using a combination of advanced engineering principles and techniques. They operate with little guidance/supervision as Subject Matter Experts (SME) in their defined area of specialization. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree + 5 years’ experience.

  3. Principal Engineer

    Principal Engineers are recognized as an emerging expert. They lead the conceptualization, design, implementation and testing of technologies, tools, or process while consistently demonstrating technical expertise and ingenuity. They demonstrate the ability to plan, define, and execute projects with no supervision. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree + 12 years’ experience.

  4. Senior Principal Engineer

    Recognized as a technical expert, Senior Principal Engineers consistently demonstrate high levels of technical expertise, ingenuity and creativity. They develop and apply advanced technologies, engineering principles, theories and concepts, and have broad knowledge about the design and operation of systems outside of their specialty. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree + 16 years’ experience.

  5. Distinguished Engineer

    A Distinguished Engineer has a strong record of creativity and innovation. They advance engineering principles, theories and concepts, and are recognized as a Company-wide authority in one or more technical areas. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree + 20 years’ experience.

  6. Fellow

    A Fellow is an industry recognized expert with a significant body of peer reviewed research and journal publications and frequently speaks at conferences. Acts as a HARMAN ambassador. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree + 25 years’ experience.

  7. Senior Fellow

    A Senior Fellow is the most accomplished of an elite group of engineers, widely recognized as a World renowned expert in their field of expertise. Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree + 30 years’ experience.

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Employees Say


When faced with challenging projects, I ask the opinion of other engineers, make more mockups and try as many solutions as it takes to find the best one.


I feel like our commitment to excellence drives me to make sure I collaborate with the right people and teams to deliver great results.


I work with some talented and experienced people at HARMAN. They drive me to find better solutions, and working with them helps me grow.


  • On Demand Technical
    Training Resources

    Deepen your technology knowledge in Product Security, Android, Python, System, Software, and Hardware Architecture, and System testing.

  • Career Progression

    Transparent career progression with tangible and specific goals to work towards in preparation to meet your ultimate career aspirations

  • Collaboration

    Collaborate with a diverse group of end-to-end prototyping and research engineers, interaction and visual designers, software and hardware developers.

  • Global Impact

    Work with engineers from across the Globe to create world class design and production solutions.

  • Diversity & Inclusion

    Our engineers to take pride in their unique character, cultural and work identities and are encouraged to bring this valuable perspective to their work.

  • Health & Wellness

    Local health and wellness initiatives, resources and activities are provided to help you achieve work/life integration and support maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

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