Sound Masking Systems: Reducing Office Distractions

Do you ever find yourself working in a noisy office environment? It can be challenging to focus on your work when constant chatter and noise are happening around you. This is where sound masking systems come in. These systems work to create a more peaceful and quiet work environment by emitting white noise into the room. In this blog post, we will discuss the science behind how sound masking systems work and how they can benefit your business!


What is sound masking?

Sound masking is the process of adding background sound to reduce noise distractions, protect speech privacy and increase office comfort. It works by emitting a low, steady sound that covers up the unwanted noise in the environment. The goal is to make the office space more comfortable and productive for employees by reducing distractions.


How does it work?

Sound masking systems work by creating a “sound blanket” that covers up distracting noises. Speakers are placed throughout the office space and emit a low, steady sound that is barely noticeable. This sound creates a “noise floor” that covers up unwanted sounds, such as chatter, footsteps, and computer keyboard typing.

sound masking speaker

This sound is specifically designed to cover up the frequencies of human speech, which are typically between 500 Hz and 2000 Hz. The result is a more peaceful and quiet work environment where employees can focus on their work without distractions.


What are the benefits?

There are many benefits of sound masking systems, both for employees and businesses.


Conversations more than 15 feet apart will be lost in the background, making it easier for staff to focus.


Employees may communicate more openly when they know their conversations will not be overheard by coworkers across the room or in adjacent private offices.


Sound masking allows you to create a pleasant, balanced acoustical environment that isn’t too quiet or noisy.

Employees will find that they can focus more on their work and be more productive in a peaceful environment. Businesses will see an increase in employee satisfaction and retention and a decrease in noise-related complaints. In addition, sound masking systems can also help protect speech privacy by making it more difficult for people to overhear conversations.


Will sound masking systems work in any office environment?

Sound masking systems can be beneficial in any office environment, whether an open-plan office or private offices. They are designed to reduce distractions and create a more peaceful work environment. However, it is important to note that sound masking systems will not eliminate all noise in the background. If you are looking for a complete noise cancellation solution, you might consider other options such as soundproofing.


How does sound masking differ from white noise?

Although the sounds produced by sound masking systems are often called “white noise,” their specific sound frequencies vary widely.

White noise is a term used to describe a steady, uninterrupted sound that is evenly distributed across all frequencies on the audio spectrum. It is often compared to the sound of a fan running to static on a radio.

On the other hand, sound masking systems emit a low, steady sound that covers up the unwanted noise in the environment. Sound masking, unlike white noise, is specially shaped to match the frequencies of human speech and to sound pleasant, even enjoyable, to the ear.

Sound masking should ideally fade into the background “hum” of a workplace and, at the same time, make speech more difficult to hear and comprehend.

The frequency of white noise, on the other hand, would be highly disturbing if it were amplified to a level that could mask human speech — think “loud AM radio static.” It might conceal noises of human speech, but it isn’t explicitly designed to do so.


Is sound masking the same as noise cancellation?

No, sound masking is not the same as noise cancellation. Noise cancellation systems work to completely eliminate all noise in the environment by sampling the noise and creating an opposite sound wave. This cancels out the noise completely. On the other hand, sound masking systems work to cover up the unwanted noise with a low, steady sound.


Are sound masking systems expensive?

The cost of sound masking systems varies depending on the size of the office and the type of system proposed. However, many businesses find that the benefits of sound masking systems far outweigh the cost.

In some instances, existing sound distribution systems can be re-purposed for sound masking.

In some cases, only certain areas within an office require sound masking, simplifying the requirements and reducing the cost of installation.


Things to consider

Several different factors need to be considered when choosing a sound masking system, including the size and shape of the room, the type of noise that needs to be covered up, and the typical use of the space.

It is essential to work with a qualified acoustical consultant to ensure that the sound masking system is properly designed and installed.



If you’re looking for a way to create a more peaceful and productive work environment, sound masking could be the solution you need. Contact us today to learn more about how our sound masking systems can benefit your business!



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