Sound masking is the addition of sound created by special digital generators and distributed by normally unseen speakers through an area to reduce distractions or provide confidentiality where needed. The sound is broad band random that conveys no information about itself to a listener. It is often referred to erroneously as white noise or pink noise; the sound spectrum and level is specially shaped to provide the degree of privacy desired by occupants. Masking operates by covering up or masking unwanted sounds, similar to one-way windows that block the ability for a person to see persons behind them, or perfume that covers up other body odors. This is in contrast to the technique of active noise control which attempts to eliminate the unwanted sound. Sound masking is used in homes, commercial offices, medical facilities, court rooms, and in secure facilities to provide secrecy. It also can be used outdoors to restore a more natural ambient environment.
Why sound masking?
Sound masking is the only acoustical treatment that addresses all sound paths. The acoustical effect of walls, carpets and ceilings are static; sound masking can be tuned and adjusted as needed. Adding sound masking to an open office space is the acoustical equivalent of tripling the distance between workers!
How is it installed?
Sound masking speakers are installed such that one cannot discern where the masking sound is coming from. Typically, upward-firing speakers installed above suspended ceilings uniformly fill the occupied space below. Speakers can be installed above suspended ceilings, below raised access floors and in open structure.
What are the benefits?
Sound masking systems reduce conversational distractions while increasing worker concentration, productivity, accuracy and satisfaction. Today’s green buildings introduce new acoustical challenges. Adding sound masking can help solve the lack of privacy caused by decreasing workstation heights and less room absorption.
sound masking, paging, music, network control
Sound masking systems make excellent paging systems as well.
Networked systems can assign any mix of masking, paging and music on a per speaker basis.