Sound masking works by producing a unique, digital broadband sound spectrum complimentary to the speech spectrum, that effectively covers speech levels. This scientifically engineered sound is amplified through special individual speakers installed above the dropped ceiling, creating a uniform field of sound ensuring temporal and spatial uniformity.
You can't operate your business in a space that's as quiet as a library, or as noisy as a restaurant. You must add a little sound to get the right "signal to sound" ratio. You know what happens when you're in a library and you move your chair or tap your pen. The same is true in our daily workplaces; we're surrounded by too many sounds within buildings designed to be quiet. That, in a nutshell, is why most offices are so noisy.
It's easy to understand why building materials like sound-absorbing wall panels are needed. What's harder to grasp is why adding sound back into an environment gives you control of sound levels overall. By virtue of this control, you improve the functioning acoustics of a space so your employees can speak without having their conversations understood by others (speech privacy); can better concentrate without distraction (greater productivity); and more. If you've ever been interrupted by your co-workers' conversations, been overly aware that other people can hear your conversation or been distracted by ringing telephones, printers and other machines, you're a prime candidate for the benefits of sound masking.
Privacy and noise are big issues in open offices. In addition, in healthcare and related service fields, protecting sensitive patient information is not just a top priority, it is the law. The potential for oral disclosure is seen by some to be the most serious of all the risks. The good news: installing a sound masking system is a cost-effective solution.
Sound masking fills the plenum and gently filters down into the space below, covering noise and conversation in open areas and improving privacy in enclosed offices.
Typical Floor Plan
Typically hung 15' on center, each sound masking unit covers 225 square feet - up to three times as much area as ceiling panel-mounted speakers, reducing equipment and labor costs.
Tips for Evaluating a Masking System's Sound
The sound from a sound masking system must do two — and only two — things:
1. It must mask speech (giving you speech privacy) and,
2. It must not be a distraction (in other words, it must produce a "comfortable" sound).