Sound Masking Explained

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Workspaces are busy. People are discussing ideas and projects. Socialization is inevitable when people are together. Chairs and tables and materials get shuffled and moved around. All of this creates noise that can be distracting to a lot of workers, which makes for a less productive and less enjoyable work atmosphere.

But how do you help your employees and coworkers to focus on their work? Constructing new walls isn’t feasible. Moving people around won’t solve anything. Privacy and secure conversations become difficult to secure. Well, this is where sound masking comes in. But what does that mean? And how can you benefit from using it?

We look into the specifics of sound masking and what it can do for you and your company.

What Is It?

Sound masking solves the problem of reduced privacy and distracting noise in the workplace. The technology emits a specialized sound that doesn’t stand out. In fact, it is specifically designed to cover up human speech. It doesn’t simply drown out the noises around you. A competing, louder noise would only add to the volume level of the workplace and be distracting in itself. Instead, sound masking reduces the intelligibility of the speech around the device. This means the conversations around an employee are difficult to understand. And when we can’t understand the words being said around us, we are much less likely to pay attention to them.

Sound masking is often associated with white noise, but the frequencies used are actually quite different. If you’ve ever heard a white noise machine, you know the sound isn’t exactly fun to hear. Sound masking works to cover up speech without becoming unpleasant. This frequency is specifically tuned to be less intrusive while still obscuring conversations.

Contact Herring Technology to learn more about a sound masking system that can give you the privacy and security you need.

How Does It Work?

The sound comes through speakers which are installed either in or on the ceiling of the workspace. These speakers are arranged in a grid and are connected by a cable which runs to a control panel. This panel is typically kept in a server closet.

Sound masking can be introduced to an environment through one of two methods:

Direct

A pre-tuned sound masking signal is uniformly dispersed into the workspace. This results in a comfortable and consistent ambient sound. Once installed, this system doesn’t require a lot of upkeep like tuning.

Indirect

The speakers are placed above the ceiling and pointed upwards. The signal is projected toward the ceiling deck and reflected back into the workspace. This system allows each speaker to be controlled individually through software.

Sound masking systems can still be installed even if the space doesn’t have a ceiling using various accessories and mounting tools. The particular system that works for your space depends on various factors such as ceiling height/architecture, music and paging needs, and office layout. The good news is that sound masking can be employed in numerous types of facilities and environments.

How Can I Benefit From It?

Reduction in Noise

Office noise distracts employees from their work. This can come from many different sources, but overheard conversations are the most interruptive. Whether it’s a meeting or just a conversation in the hallway, these distractions can add up to a lot of lost time. Sound masking drowns out the noise which allows workers to focus on the tasks in front of them.

Increase Productivity

The main goal of any place of business is a positive end result. And this is more easily achieved when people can focus on the work in front of them. Thought-processes are interrupted when pieces of conversations continually being picked up. People get more work done when they’re not distracted, and sound masking reduces these distractions.

More Privacy

Office environments usually mean people are in close proximity to each other. Lack of privacy is an inextricable result of this situation. This can lead to an unpleasant atmosphere for employees, resulting in loss of job satisfaction. Sound masking helps preserve this sense of privacy even in open office settings.

Improved Acoustics

Have you ever worked in a place that is too loud? How about a place that is too quiet? These extremes can be unpleasant for completely different reasons, but they’re both still unpleasant. Sound masking helps to balance out the factors that can make a place of business uncomfortable in either direction.

How Do I Get It?

Businesses in the Nashville area can get a professional sound masking system by visiting Herring Technology. They will install a sound masking system using equipment from Cambridge Sound Management that best fits your needs. Whether you need sound masking for office comfort or privacy and security, they will help design a sound masking system that works for you.

Contact Herring Technology to see how they can help you today.

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