The gravity of excellence

Did you know that the world’s leading manufacturer of active monitoring loudspeakers is based in the small town of Iisalmi, Finland? Genelec aims for the highest possible quality of sound, functional design and sustainable development.

Text: Markus Laakso

Looking from the outside, it is surprising that the arguably best loudspeakers in the world are being developed, researched and manufactured in this rather modest building located in a town of 22 000 inhabitants. The countless awards and prizes at the corridor tell an unrivalled and unique success story.

“The TEC (Technical Excellence & Creativity) Award is the most esteemed prize in our field in the world. They have been granting them annually for 30 years now, and Genelec has won 16 of them. Not many were left for others,” smiles Genelec’s CEO Siamäk Naghian.

The company’s core clients consist of professional audio operators such as TV and radio stations, recording studios, film productions and people, including megastars like Madonna and Kanye West, who need audio monitoring as a tool to guarantee the quality of sound. However, especially in Finland, the “civilian” home users are a growing market group.

“With a little investment, you can build a computerized home studio. More and more people are well versed of the recording software.”

“The whole music distribution and usage field has changed immensely during the last decades and so has music production. With a little investment, you can build a computerized home studio. More and more people are well versed of the recording software, and this cluster is very significant for us.

At the same time broadcast is moving towards IP, cloud, software-based technology and business platform, where Genelec has been a frontier. We have recently published world first IP monitor loudspeaker, 8430A.”

Siamäk Naghian. Photo: Markus Laakso

80 percent of Genelec’s revenue comes from export. The company has distributors in 75 countries and subsidiaries in the USA and China. Despite the costs, the company has made a strategic decision to keep the production in Finland. This brings significant added value to the product development interface, because the new prototypes can be manufactured and analyzed efficiently in the same building. The key words of the production strategy are agility, adaptiveness and modularity.

The latest flagship is the 8351A, the result of a four-year development project and the winner of a TEC Award (2016). It is the most advanced active monitoring loudspeaker in its range, armed with auto calibration, a flawless
coaxial element, two bass elements, and a unique design, which combines beauty with efficiency and alignment features in an unheard way.

“Whenever we launch a new product, we must have a good reason for it. The model must provide something new to our customers. We cannot launch products like the 8351A every year, because it had so many new features in a technological sense. When we speak of sustainable development and the longevity of our products, the novelties are little but important steps, which occur within the same model,” states Naghian.

The Genelec Story.

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