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Sound masking systems are a common part of today’s interiors, from their original use in commercial offices and call centers, to relatively newer applications such as hospital patient rooms.
Without this technology, the ambient – or background – sound levels in these facilities are usually too low, leaving occupants trying to work in a pin-drop environment. In fact, the background level in most offices is so low, you can easily hear conversations and noise from up to 50 feet (15 meters) away. These distractions make it difficult to concentrate. It takes more effort to focus, which tires you out, affecting your mood and, ultimately, your productivity.
What is sound masking?
A sound masking system basically consists of a series of loudspeakers installed in a grid-like pattern in the ceiling, as well as a method of controlling their zoning and output. The loudspeakers distribute a background sound, raising the facility’s ambient level in a controlled fashion.
Though most often compared to soft airflow, this sound has been specifically engineered to cover up speech as well as noise from general office activities and exterior traffic.
- Noise control
- Speech privacy
- Improved productivity
- Lower project costs
- Facility flexibility
- Quick ROI
How does sound masking work?
The premise behind this solution is simple: any noises that are below the new background level created by the masking sound are covered up and the impact of those still above it is lessened because the degree of change between baseline and peak volumes is smaller. Similarly, conversations are either entirely masked or their intelligibility is reduced, improving occupants’ privacy and decreasing the number of disruptions to their concentration.
Most people have experienced this effect when running water at their kitchen sink while trying to talk to someone in the next room. They can tell the other person is speaking, but it’s difficult to comprehend what they’re saying because the running water has raised the background sound level in their area. Examples are, in fact, endless: the sound of an airplane engine, rustling leaves, the murmur of a crowd in a busy restaurant. All have the potential to mask sounds you would otherwise hear.
Of course, when introducing a masking sound to your workplace, it’s vital to ensure that it’s as comfortable and unobtrusive as possible. If the sound masking technology features small adjustment zones (i.e. one to three loudspeakers) with fine control over volume and frequency like the LogiSon Sound Masking System, the sound will easily blend into your environment.
- Auto Dealerships
- Call Centers
- High Security Facilities
- Legal Facilities
- Military Facilities
- Worship Spaces
For more information about sound masking, download our Understanding Sound Masking brochure or contact us for a demonstration today!