Sound Masking Basics

ABC_png[1]What is sound masking and why is it used?

Sound masking is the addition of a familiar sounding, air conditioning-like background sound to an environment. Masking covers up or “masks” human speech and helps mitigate the distraction of other sounds, making an environment more comfortable, workers more productive and creating speech privacy. Here’s an analogy. Imagine that you are in a darkened room and a child is flicking a flashlight on and off. The light is noticeable and distracting. Now imagine, the lights are on. The same flashlight is being flicked on and off-but without notice-it has been “masked.” This is how sound masking works.

Where is sound masking used?

Sound masking is used anywhere speech privacy or speech confidentiality is desired or required and in any workspace to reduce distractions and improve productivity. The most typical installations are open office plans, private offices, and public spaces.

Open Office Plans – Open offices are often either too quiet-hearing the occasional pin drop breaks concentration-or too noisy, the conversations of co-workers are distracting and affect productivity. Installing sound masking system is the first and most cost-effective step to improving speech privacy in your open office and a highly productive open office work environment with fewer distractions. Appropriate ceiling tiles and higher cubicle walls can further contribute to improved open office acoustics, but are often more costly and ineffective by themselves.

Private Offices – Private offices and other enclosed spaces, while appearing to provide privacy, often do not. Frequently the walls are of lightweight materials or extend only to the ceiling tiles and not all the way to the ceiling deck. Often these decisions are made for cost reasons and for flexibility of reconfiguring the office space. Adding a sound masking system to a private office greatly improves speech privacy by rendering private conversations completely unintelligible to listeners in the adjacent office, hallway or at the water cooler.

Public Spaces – Reception areas, pharmacies, waiting rooms, banks and public hallways next to private offices are all great candidates for sound masking systems. Without sound masking, private conversations can be heard in the adjacent public spaces. Installing a sound masking system renders private conversations unintelligible by nearby listeners, ensuring speech privacy. Installing sound masking is the most cost-effective way to ensure speech privacy and comply with the speech privacy requirements of HIPAA and GLBA regulations.

If you would like to discuss sound masking options, please call 770 662-0312 or email lauren@lansystems.com.

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com.

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