Van Berge Henegouwen (VBH), the world-renowned Dutch company specializing in luxury technology and IT systems for superyachts, is working with two of the most revolutionary companies in the audio/video industry to offer unprecedented on-board cinema systems that will set a whole new standard in audio reproduction and immersive sound. Since 2000, VBH has equipped more than 120 yachts with state-of-the-art technology, to name but a few: the 75m Oceanco charter yacht ANASTASIA, the 47m Heesen charter yacht 4YOU, as well as the 46m Holland Jachtbouw charter yacht WINDROSE.
This is well timed, matching as it does the rolling-out this year of new, ultra-high resolution 4K displays up to 77-inches (195 cm) in size. While the products that make up the VBH cinema systems are highly effective independently of each other, together they make an extraordinary combination that will excite every superyacht owner who seeks audio-visual entertainment that outstrips even that found in most cinemas in its sheer quality and realism.
VBH is bringing to the superyacht sector the excitement of Auro-3D®, the latest advance in delivering true three-dimensional sound. Surround sound systems have been around for many years, but the developers at Belgium-based Auro Technologies have combined new digital recording techniques with innovations that deliver a substantially more realistic and immersive experience Listeners will enjoy a much greater soundstage, depth of sound, accuracy, and a significantly larger listening area. From rock concerts, to symphonies, to movies, to video games, enthusiasts of all ages are immersed in the action. With a number of studios now recording sound in the Auro-3D® format there is a growing selection of movies available that take full advantage of the advances made, but even content recorded in conventional formats is taken to a whole new level when reproduced through the Auro-3D® engine.
The installation required to enjoy Auro-3D® involves the fitting of speakers at three levels – lower (ear level), height (near the ceiling – 30° above ear-level), and top (in the ceiling) – for a complete wrap-around experience. Here VBH is working with California Audio Technology (CAT), maker of the some of the world’s most innovative and interesting speakers, to offer speakers that not only offer sound of the highest quality but which can be made to match any possible interior design requirements.
CAT speakers are all custom-made and can be built to any shape or size, and in any colour or material. This allows a yacht’s interior design team to specify down to the last detail their appearance and materials while CAT ensures that the audio requirements of the owner are met in full. The enclosures (exterior casings) can be made in almost any material – marble, granite, composites, metals, woods, even concrete have all been used.
The result is speakers designed and manufactured to fit into any space and which can even be asymmetric to direct sound more precisely. The core components are all made from metal, allowing them to reach very high power levels. The use of titanium and aluminium, as well as carbon fibre in certain areas, delivers increased strength, heat dissipation, accuracy, and power handling, while greatly reducing weight.
For superyacht interiors this allows the speakers to blend in seamlessly with the interior décor using identical materials specified by the interior design team, or to disappear inside walls, ceilings, the hull or even furniture.
“By bringing together CAT speakers and Auro-3D® technology, VBH can integrate, install and on-site calibrate an audio / video experience that is simply unprecedented without the need to compromise on the elegance and style of the yacht,” said Susanne Mensink of VBH. “We continually evaluate and implement the latest technologies that are available to enhance the pleasure and comfort of yacht owners and their guests. This combination represents the pinnacle of sonic realism in an audio / video environment.”