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Principal Acoustic Research Scientist/Engineer

Northridge, California Job ID: R-16326-2022

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
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  • 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.

About the Role:

The Principal Acoustic Research Scientist/Engineer will work on the HARMAN X team. 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.

As the Principal Acoustic Research Scientist/Engineer you will be innovative and results driven and 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 listener; and the imagination and vision to see what hasn’t been done before, to create something better and new. You will work within a broader team of experienced researchers but should have knowledge and confidence 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.

  • 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

  • 12 years of relevant acoustic science/engineering industry experience

  • Master’s degree plus 8 year of industry experience

  • Mastery of theory and practice: acoustic systems design, signal processing algorithms (microphones, headphones, earphones, or loudspeakers, etc.), acoustical environments (room acoustics), and listener perception (psychoacoustics)

  • Mastery of acoustical test and measurement methods

  • Experience with immersive audio algorithms and perception

  • Experience with commercial product development and commercial launch activities or transferring technology to commercial teams

  • Experience with acoustical data analysis using MATLAB, Python, or equivalent

  • Critical listener with experience tuning complex audio algorithms and voicing systems

  • Extreme curiosity, problem solve and intellectual honesty

  • Ability to work in a global matrixed organization and able to communicate written and verbally at all levels

What is nice to have:

  • Experience of Large Data systems and analysis with statistical and machine learning methods

  • Experience with advanced system design including beamforming arrays, ANC, adaptive/dynamic signal processing, etc.

What makes you eligible:

  • Willingness to travel up to 10% International and Domestic

  • Willingness to work in office as needed, but Harman has a Flex work from home policy

  • HARMAN will only employ those who are legally authorized to work in the United States for this opening. Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background investigation and drug screen.

What We Offer:

  • Access to employee discounts on world class HARMAN/Samsung products (JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG etc.)

  • Professional development opportunities through HARMAN University’s business and leadership academies

  • Flexible work schedule with a culture encouraging work life integration and collaboration in a global environment

  • An inclusive and diverse work environment that fosters and encourages professional and personal development

  • Tuition Reimbursement

  • “Be Brilliant” employee recognition and rewards program

#LI-RV1 #LI-Hybrid #Rem

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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