4 Tips for Proper Acoustical Control With Sound Masking Technology

Sound masking technology works best when the acoustics in an office is ideal. Before installing a sound masking system, you should assess the acoustics of your space to make sure the sound masking technology works in conjunction with the physical configuration you have in place.

Certain acoustics principles can reduce speech privacy in your office, which is where sound masking can help if you don’t have the budget to enhance the physical environment.

Take a look at four tips for proper acoustical control with sound masking technology. 

1. Ceiling Reflections

Open office designs thrive on having a relaxed, airy feeling between workstations compared to traditional cubicles. To reduce noise transmission, consider having non-reflective ceiling tiles and light fixtures to help with sound masking.

For example, parabolic recessed light fixtures dramatically reduce ceiling reflections compared to standard, flat-panel fixtures. Absorbent ceiling tiles also reduce distracting noises.

Related Post: Sound Masking FAQs

2. Line-of-Sight Sound Transmission

Perhaps the most prominent way sound transmits through an open office comes from the line-of-sight transmission. While open offices are great where speech privacy isn’t needed, you should never have a line-of-sight path between two employees where you want to achieve speech privacy.

The solution is to have physical barriers between workers where they cannot see each other. Barriers should comprise absorbent materials such as cloth or foam to interrupt the sound in the room, and so sound masking technology can work properly. Shelves or files also offer good sound interruption.

3. Partitions

You’ll need quality, sturdy partition walls when workstations are adjacent to each other, and you don’t have a lot of space. Partition walls should be at least 66 inches tall (5’6”) and have quality materials to block sound. 

When shopping for suitable partitions, look for items with a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) rating of as close to 1 if you want to absorb the most sound.

4. Wall, Floor, and Window Reflections

Look for sound-reflecting problems from the walls, floors, and/or windows. Hard, reflective windows, glossy walls, and reflective floor materials all make sound masking more difficult. 

Consider sound-absorbing artwork to hang on the walls, curtains, drapes, or blinds for windows, and then rugs or commercial-grade carpeting for the floors. All of these items can improve sound masking for your facility when speech privacy is a concern.

Related Post: What Is Sound Masking?

Ready for world-class sound masking technology?

American Sound, with offices in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Louisville, can install sound masking technology for your office, corporate headquarters, medical office, bank, or attorney’s office. 

Call us at (859) 261-9024 for more information on what our professional team can do for you.

Noise Masking Sounds FAQs

Sound Masking FAQs

How Sound Masking Technology Works

Sound masking uses modern acoustic technology to make a quieter space for everyone. This technology comes in handy for protecting speech privacy, improving workplace acoustics, and reducing noise distractions. In today’s blog from American Sound, we explain how sound masking technology works.

Related Post: Sound Masking Terminology You Need to Know

We Add Sound

It seems counterintuitive, but sound masking works by adding ambient sounds to the existing environment. The added sound disrupts the way soundwaves travel and reduces the intelligibility of human speech. Less speech in the immediate environment makes the space quieter and less distracting. It also creates better privacy for clients, customers, and employees. The sound you hear is similar to air flowing and moving about the room. But this noise is special: It’s precisely tuned to disrupt human speech.

Precise Wavelengths

Sound masking technology works at specific wavelengths of sound. Not only do we have to take into account the volume of human speech, but also the acoustics of the building. As we install sound masking technology, our technicians measure the masking sounds at ear height in the room. Then we adjust the volume and equalizer accordingly.  

Properly Placed Speakers

The beauty of sound masking technology is that no one should ever notice it’s there. Speakers are unobtrusive, usually blending in with the existing ceiling or fixtures of the room. The speakers are small. They’re designed to overlap throughout the room at precise radii. A dedicated computer program manages all of the speakers at once.

Computer Controlled

Variations in noise levels can impact sound masking technology. That’s why a special computer program monitors everything while the system is turned on. Speakers should have a tolerance range by which they are allowed to deviate from the target sound frequency. Some speakers may change the frequency of sound output by a very little bit to compensate for more or less noise in the room. Testing for the optimal sound disruption level may take a few hours, but this process creates the best results.

Related Post: Who Benefits From Sound Masking?

Sound Masking Installation by American Sound

Sound masking technology not only improves the privacy of your building, but it also makes ambient conversations far less distracting (and therefore improves productivity). We can install sound masking technology in new and existing structures. Contact American Sound or call (859) 261-9024 for more details on what we can do for you.

Who Benefits From Sound Masking?