Sound Masking

Studies conducted by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) and others shows that poor acoustics is the number one cause of workplace dissatisfaction and the most significant factor affecting employee performance. According to research:

  • 59% of office workers’ time is spent trying to do individual, focused tasks
  • 64% are interrupted up to 20 times per day
  • 70% say they would be more productive in a less noisy environment
  • 72% are dissatisfied with their speech privacy

If you can relate to these statistics, you’ve come to the right place.

Most people are familiar with the idea of using walls and doors to physically block noise, as well as the benefits of installing ceiling tiles, wall panels and soft flooring to absorb it.

However, even after implementing these strategies, many facilities still fail to achieve speech privacy and noise control because they are missing an appropriate level of background sound. In fact, the background sound level in most offices is so low that conversations can easily be heard from as much as 50 feet (15 meters) away.

A sound masking system is the only acoustic treatment that can control the background sound level. This technology basically consists of a series of loudspeakers installed in a grid-like pattern in or above the ceiling, as well as a method of controlling their output. The loudspeakers distribute an engineered sound that many people compare to softly blowing air.

The premise behind this solution is simple: the new ambient level covers up any noises that are below it and reduces the impact of those above it by lessening the degree of change between baseline and peak volumes in the space. Disruptions to occupants’ concentration are diminished. Similarly, conversations are either entirely masked or their intelligibility is reduced, improving speech privacy.

There are many familiar examples of this effect: the sound of running water, an airplane engine, rustling leaves, the murmur of a crowd in a busy restaurant. Of course, when introducing a masking sound to a workplace, it’s vital to ensure that it’s as comfortable and unobtrusive as possible. Otherwise, it runs the risk of becoming a source of irritation as was the case with ‘white noise’ systems in the 1970s.

Sound masking systems have come a long way since that time, particularly with the introduction of the LogiSon sound masking system just over a decade ago (2003). Its networked architecture allows one to easily customize the system’s design and function to specific applications, optimizing comfort and effectiveness. It also provides clients with the ability to quickly make adjustments when needed, without incurring significant cost or disruption to their operations.

The LogiSon sound masking system is also easy to retrofit. However, early inclusion in your facility’s design can result in construction savings, eliminate the need for deck-to-deck walls around private offices, and reduce the requirements for other acoustic treatments.

Contact us to learn more about sound masking today!