With Every Bell-and-Whistle Imaginable, Integrator Sound Concepts Takes ELAN® Control System to the High Seas in A Luxury Yacht.

Matthew Bail | September 30, 2021

Incredible Maritime Majesty, Quintessence, Sets Sail in Style with Unprecedented Features

Cat Toomey

Quintessence Sets Sail With Smart Automation and Unprecedented Features


Whether the owners are relaxing, fishing, entertaining guests, gaming, sleeping or exploring the shore, their majestic high-tech yacht is fully automated so they can adjust audio, video, lighting, security, navigation and shading for every past time.

The moment the owners of Quintessence step onto their 70-foot luxury yacht, an assortment of expertly designed and installed technology from Nice North America brands is there to make their stay as comfortable, convenient and enjoyable as possible. Like a digital deckhand for today, the smart systems ensure that their every need is met, whether that means fully securing the premises while they’re onshore exploring, streaming the perfect playlist to high-performance speakers during a sunset cruise or searching the seas for the perfect fishing location.

Having previously lived with high-tech amenities and an ELAN® control system in their Boston residence and on one of their prior yachts, the owners of Quintessence were no strangers to the remarkable lifestyle that smart technology by Sound Concepts and ELAN control products can lend. This time, however, they would take the familiar ELAN automation platform to the next level, integrating more products and technologies to enable control of nearly every facet this incredible new vessel. They would also stick with the same design and installation firm that handled their previous projects: Sound Concepts from Jonesboro and Little Rock, Arkansas.

An ELAN Smart Control System provides access to all AV, cameras, navigation, and more – along with face recognition


Built to Buoy in New Ways with Nice North America 

With multiple high-quality speakers, subwoofers, security cameras, personalized touchscreens, handheld remotes and more, this yacht would be filled to the gills with the latest technology and would be more advanced than the first provided by Sound Concepts. Interestingly, we found out that the first yacht had been built and delivered with automation technology in one single week!

Sound Concepts didn’t sweat it on this larger project though, as they are the consummate professionals and were able to acquire most of their products from single source Nice North America. An ELAN ELITE Dealer for decades since 2003, Ryan Heringer and his team knew the ropes. Even during the pandemic Sound Concepts had maintained a healthy inventory of Nice North America brands, ELAN controls and other equipment, which helped keep this massive 2020 project right on course.

With most necessary components on hand and the prewire design handled in-house and completed by an outside firm in Taiwan where the boat was being built, Sound Concepts was able to focus on some very trick automation features. We spoke with both Ryan Heringer, President, and Jimmy Smith, Operations Manager for Sound Concepts, about the project. “We wanted this experience to be like no other, so we really pushed the envelope of the ELAN control system, doing things we’ve never done before,” says Ryan. “Things like facial recognition and voice control that are also tightly integrated with many of the boat’s navigational systems all came together under the aegis of the ELAN smart system to create the ultimate luxury yachting experience.”


Security and Navigation are a breeze on The Quintessence with audible programs for any possible breaches.


Security Cameras for Seagoing Navigation – and Much More  

ELAN security cameras assist with navigation, video footage and highly unique audible warnings to trespassers. While security systems are generally singular in purpose, the team at Sound Concepts envisioned and crafted a system that stretched security to new levels. These cameras watch for trouble and elicit a proper alarm when necessary. Should someone step on the aft deck while the boat is docked or the crew is up front, the ELAN camera signals the ELAN system to broadcast pre-recorded audio of a rapid-fire shotgun. “If that doesn’t scare someone off the boat nothing will,” Ryan says. Should the owners prefer to issue a gentler verbal warning, they can instruct via any of three ELAN touchscreens to instead play “This is private property, please leave.”

Regardless of the context of the message, an assortment of JL Audio Klipsch, Sunfire, and Paradigm speakers installed on all decks ensures that it is heard loud and clear, no matter where the owners or crew are. In fact, the owners don’t even need to be board to know when someone has stepped onto their coveted vessel. The ELAN control system records the captured video onto a Network Video Recorder they can view later. Simultaneously, the ELAN system sends an immediate alert to their smartphones.

When the cameras aren’t watching for intruders, the yacht captain uses them to assist with navigation, another unconventional use of an automated camera system! For example, views from the cameras can be pulled onto the control monitors at the helm, and the cameras adjusted for a better look at the surroundings. “This allows the captain to dock the boat without assistance from anyone,” Ryan explains. There are also night cameras included in the yacht’s system that can put camera video onto any TV.

This same camera video, as well as navigational and mechanical information, can be shared with one Sunbrite outdoor TV and six Samsung TVs mounted throughout the yacht. The owners can see what’s happening at all times—even where the fish might be biting. Sound Concepts tied the video output from the yacht’s fish finder into the ELAN control system so the owners and guests can refer to the nearest display while casting their lines!



Entertainment abounds on The Quintessence with access to all music, video, gaming and more.


Distributed AV Creates a Floating Entertainment Oasis

Entertainment abounds on the Quintessence, thanks to her well-stocked equipment racks that slide into perfectly sized wall cavities that were created. Here, 16 different audio and video components stand ready to deliver choice content to speakers and subwoofers in 11 audio zones seven displays. The owners need only tap a few buttons on a nearby wall-mounted ELAN customized touchscreen to select what they’d like to play and where. “A favorite of the owners is being able to play head-to-head video games but with players in different rooms,” says Ryan.

To ensure the impressively large displays wouldn’t consume precious square footage or infringe on the yacht’s elegant design aesthetic, Sound Concepts also mounted several of the displays within custom cabinetry, attaching them to motorized lifts that raise them into view on command from an ELAN touchscreen or ELAN HR30 handheld remote. Motorized Hunter-Douglas shades in the galley, master bedroom and VIP suite prevent incoming sunshine from interfering with the picture or an afternoon nap.

Ahoy! Hands-Free on the High Seas Through Voice Control and Facial Recognition

The customized ELAN touchscreen interfaces are highly intuitive and easy to use as they stand. Yet Sound Concepts wanted to simplify the owner’s control even more. When users can’t get to a touchscreen, they can verbally instruct the ELAN system via an Alexa voice assistant to open or close all window blinds; go to ESPN, DirecTV, ABC, NBC, CBS; or turn on any party mode or music by area such as the Salon, Galley or Flybridge for example. Unique to Nice North America, the latest in artificial intelligence software and technology was also integrated, which enables the ELAN control system to present a customized menu of control presets personalized for each user on the boat.

Yacht helm showing navigation and DTV simultaneously for Captain.


Other Fore-And-Aft Features

Also included in the system are Apple TV, XM terrestrial through the ELAN radio product, 16 audio sources and 11 audio zones. PC outputs can go to any of the TV displays, so the owners or crew can pull up the ELAN screens on any TV and make the TV function as if it were a super large touch panel. Multiple screens such as navigation, fish finder, movies and programs are readily viewed at the same time.

Ryan Heringer, President, Sound Concepts and his Crew with Yacht Company Celebrate Success.


Sound Concepts Out in Front of Any Possible Shipwrecks

When we asked Ryan and Jimmy of Sound Concepts about the major challenges of the project, they indicated that since the boat was being made in Taiwan, both the distance and language barrier were part of the picture. “All prewiring had to be completed in Taiwan, so we had to make a specific wiring and legend and then send all the actual wiring and guide within a container to the boat manufacturer. That was unusual, but we made it happen,” shares Ryan.

Another challenge was that the Paradigm custom sound bars had to be vertically rather than horizontally mounted due to space. Paradigm manufactured the speakers completely custom to fit the yacht, and they were placed left and right of the TVs. “It’s an unconventional configuration, but they ended up sounding – and looking – great,” Ryan adds.

Master bedroom with ELAN Touchscreens, hidden motorized TVs, lighting and more.


Stellar Design with Simple Controls Deliver All Creature Comforts of Home

Calling Quintessence home for three months a year, the owners of the high-tech luxury yacht required all the comforts, conveniences and entertainment features typical of high-end homes and their residence which enjoys an ELAN control system. The integrated system was their ticket to a carefree lifestyle, affording simple control and security over every facet of the yacht’s environment and majestic journey. Music floats throughout both the interior and outside decks, sleek displays keep the owners and their guests well-informed and entertained, touchscreens and voice assistants welcome their every request, and smoothly managing it all, is the ELAN control system.

Behind the magic with the rack systems and Sound Concepts Installation and Programming Team.