Luxury on the High Seas with an Unobtrusive In-Ceiling, In-wall Audio System

The interior of a bedroom on a superyacht decked out with Genelec audio solutions.
(Image credit: Genelec)

The term ‘bon vivant’ describes someone who has cultivated, refined and luxurious tastes; a name truly befitting a 164ft superyacht. The Codecasa-crafted Bon Vivant embodies excellence; comfortably accommodating up to twelve guests across its six cabins, with a tasteful Nordic-inspired interior. To round off the on-board experience, Finnish integrator 4Business Oy was brought in to install a comprehensive AV system, containing best-in-class technology—hence 4Business’s decision to deploy Genelec loudspeakers, an audio brand that is synonymous with prestige and reliability.

4Business was given a strict initial brief detailing the need for reliable, stand-alone AV systems which were easy for the crew to use. The team implemented a centralized matrix with automated logic controls that would serve the crew and client better. Sonic clarity was the primary driver behind decisions, yet all technical equipment had to be hidden out of sight. "We worked closely with the interior architect to ensure that all the components were integrated properly," explained Janne Lankinen, chief operating officer at 4Business. "We’re used to this level of cross-disciplinary collaboration and utilize 3D modelling tools to plan the project properly and minimize the actual integration time. The entire process took almost a year."

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Bon Vivant is divided into three main areas: an upper deck comprising the lounge and bridge, the middle deck which hosts the saloon, gym, multi-functional room/office, and the master cabin, and finally the lower deck, which is made up exclusively of the remaining bedrooms. These rooms were fitted with their own Genelec audio system. 4Business devised a solution consisting of in-ceiling and in-wall loudspeakers to preserve the minimalist interior.  

"We opted mainly for Genelec’s AlC25 model, which provides the backbone of the installation," Lankinen explained. "This in-ceiling loudspeaker blends seamlessly in any room with zero compromise in audio quality—perfect for projects of this nature where discretion is nearly as important as sound quality."

A superyacht set sail on the high seas on a beautiful sunny day.

(Image credit: Genelec)

In total there are 37 Genelec loudspeakers on board the Bon Vivant: the crowning jewel, the master cabin, incorporates five AlC25s in the ceiling, with a 5041A subwoofer hidden in the wall to manage the low end. Even the en-suite bathroom has a pair of AlC25s! The VIP cabin comes a close second, sporting two AlC25s and a 7350A subwoofer, as well as a singular AlC25 in the bathroom. Each of the remaining bedrooms are also equipped with a pair of AlC25s. Beyond the living quarters, there is a multifunctional room that can double as an office or meeting room and an onboard gym, both of which are specified with identical in-ceiling loudspeakers. The upper lounge and main saloon areas required more substantial coverage, so the team installed five AlC25s in the former, and six AIW25 in-wall models in the latter.

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"We can really put our trust in all Genelec loudspeakers. The build and sound quality are unparalleled in the audio world," exclaimed Lankinen. "It's impossible not to love the story behind Genelec. It’s an extremely sustainable family-owned Finnish brand. The result speaks for itself—their loudspeakers are easy to use and don’t require users to learn new technology. Likewise, they make it easy for integrators too. Plus, we’re familiar with the brand’s many mounting options, having used Genelec numerous times before – which makes both the design and installation phase straightforward. Above all, Genelec’s neutral sound characteristics make it easy to achieve great results even in acoustically challenging environments. They also provide amazing factory support when required."

The interior of a sleek kitchen on a superyacht with audio solutions from Genelec.

(Image credit: Genelec)

Yacht-wide control was realized with a Control4 solution—an intuitive interface which connects smart devices to work in unison—providing overriding management of all the Sonos port players plus the Symetrix DSP processor and mixer, which connect all the individual areas. It also controls the video matrix and NAS drives, and finally the TV lists and preamps for multichannel audio. These elements can be accessed using a mobile app, as well as via physical remote controllers.

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"Actually, this is one of the last times we'll see the AlC25 in action since it’s now been superseded by the 4435 Smart IP in-ceiling model," explained Lankinen. "This is really exciting, since the new 4435 has all the clarity and coverage of the AlC25, but with power, audio and management delivered over a single CAT cable. The networked capabilities of the 4435 will bring us convenience, ease of installation and scalability—making our job easier while simultaneously opening up new possibilities.

"The system sounds really good in every single area—far better than is typical of superyachts," concluded Lankinen. "The audio in the upper saloon and master cabin provides a stellar immersive experience and can even facilitate karaoke sessions. Usually, customers for this type of installation are more concerned with the aesthetics, but here sound quality was equally as important."

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.