Last edited 05 Jan 2021

Sound masking in buildings

Sound masking is the process of adding a low level, unobtrusive background sound to an environment to reduce the intelligibility of human speech and reduce noise distractions in that environment. The sound is typically introduced through speakers installed in or above the ceiling. In many cases, the distractions can be significantly reduced down to about 15 feet.

Sound masking can be used in public buildings, large open office spaces and noisy work environments where distractions can cause a reduction in productivity.

The key to a successful sound masking installation is the uniformity of the sound delivery, the spectrum of the sound and the volume of the sound. Uniform sound delivery requires that the speakers not be facing towards the occupants of the space. As employees circulate through the space, they should not be able to discern the location of the speakers. A consistent sound delivery allows our human brains to filter it and push it out of our consciousness. Successfully achieving this balance of sound frequency and sound levels will determine the success of the system.

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