What is sound masking?
Originally used only in offices and call centers, sound masking now benefits visitors and employees alike in hospitals, medical and dental clinics, bank branches, military facilities, libraries, hotels, and a whole host of other applications.
Why sound masking? In many environments that require speech privacy, employee concentration, or both, there’s simply not enough background sound (also called ambient sound), leaving occupants trying to work in a pin-drop environment. In fact, the background sound 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’s more, confidential conversations can easily be overheard, making employees and visitors nervous about talking.
Sound masking addresses these problems.
At its most basic, a sound masking system consists of a series of loudspeakers installed in a grid-like pattern in the ceiling, as well as a method of controlling those speakers’ output.
The loudspeakers distribute an engineered background sound, raising the facility’s ambient level in a highly controlled fashion.
Benefits of sound masking
- Noise control
- Speech privacy
- Improved productivity
- Lower project costs
- Facility flexibility
- Quick ROI