What Is Sound Masking and Why You Need It

What Is Sound Masking and Why You Need It

Sound masking is a technique that adds unobtrusive background noise to an environment and specifically aims to cover up and mask human speech. Sound masking essentially reduces the intelligibility of speech, adding privacy and making conversations across the room less noticeable and bothersome.

Sound masking can make buildings, offices, waiting rooms, and other places more comfortable and private. While sound masking is often called white noise or pink noise, the sound masking spectrum is more sophisticated and tailored for covering up speech while producing pleasant noises for occupants. Sound masking is often used in corporate and health care settings in places like patient exam rooms, waiting for areas, conference rooms, and office spaces. 

Haverford Systems’ integration team can install or upgrade sound masking systems and speakers while giving users the flexibility to control sounds and noise. But before getting into installation, let’s take a closer look at sound masking.

Sound Masking Benefits

The actual noise emitted by sound masking systems registers at the same frequency as typical human speech, allowing speech and many other sounds to be blocked or lessened. The actual noise emitted is also designed to be pleasant but passive, meaning that occupants will typically “forget” that they’re hearing any noise after a short while. 

Sound masking enables greater privacy and can prevent the spillover of confidential information, which is important for industries such as health care, government, law, and finance. By protecting customer and consumer information, employee information, and ensuring privacy during meetings and conversations, sound masking has become an important tool for industries that deal with sensitive information and must conform with regulations. 

Sound masking can also boost productivity. By reducing distractions and noises, sound masking is a solution for employees who can’t focus in a noisy environment or workplace with chatty coworkers. Even the occasional distant conversation or ringing telephone can interrupt concentration. Here again, sound masking can help to reduce audible interruptions. 

Speech privacy is also an important consideration for employee satisfaction. A workplace that lacks privacy can lead to lower employee satisfaction and negatively affect job performance.

Deploying Sound Masking

Sound masking is typically deployed via speakers installed in or above the ceiling. The speakers connect via a cable that further connects to a control mechanism within a server closet or similar space. 

Sound masking can be deployed directly into spaces for a consistent ambient sound through direct speakers. Some spaces incorporate speakers above ceiling tiles that point upward and reflect sound downward, creating a more indirect sound masking effect.

Open ceilings also permit the installation of sound masking speakers. Still, the best sound masking system will depend on your ceiling architecture and height, music and paging needs, and building layout. While sound masking systems often operate uniformly, some systems enable volume control and different settings for individual speakers and rooms. 

Implementing Sound Masking in Your Space

Haverford’s team can install IP controllable sound masking systems that permit users to still play music and send paging notifications while making an area both more private and productive. Haverford is also qualified to conduct site surveys for installed sound masking systems. We can recommend needed upgrades or look at the logistics behind installing a new sound masking system that stands alone or integrates with existing speakers and audio needs.

If you’re ready to look at installing sound masking for your spaces or if you still have questions about sound masking’s abilities and suitability, Haverford can answer your questions. Feel free to book a meeting with us in order to learn more about sound masking, its benefits, and how it can enhance your work area.