modern sleek business using sound masking system for the office

The Benefits of a Sound Masking System for Offices

Office work is frequently noisy, with people talking, machines running, and activity everywhere. Background noise leads to poor work conditions and impaired productivity. A sound masking system for office environments can create quieter and more productive work environments. We look at how sound masking systems for office acoustics can help your office remain quiet.

What are Sound Masking Systems for Office Environments?

Sound masking systems for offices, such as systems sold by Atlas IED, add sounds to mask distracting noises. While adding sound to cancel sound may seem strange, the technology uses adjustable sounds known as white, pink, and brown noise to counter distracting noises.

1. White Noise

Noises, whether white, pink, or brown, have different frequency levels to create background sounds. The most common masking noise is white noise. Also known as broadband noise, it contains all sound frequencies in equal parts to create static, high-pitched sounds the human ear doesn’t perceive well. These frequencies, resembling the sounds of fans or vacuum cleaners, can improve work performance but can also be unpleasant.

2. Pink Noise

Pink noise also contains all the sound frequencies, but not equally, which makes the background noise less intense. A benefit of pink noise is a reduction of stress. Examples of pink noise are gentle nature sounds such as rain, wind, waterfalls, rushing rivers, and ocean waves. For sensitive people, pink noise blocks out background noises without sounding harsh.

3. Brown Noise

Brown noise is lower in decibels than white and pink noise, with a deeper rumbling sound like a shower, steady rainfall, or thunderstorm. The brown noise creates deep calm for relaxation and work focus.

Sound Masking Technologies

When considering the color noises for your office, choose what works best for your environment. Sound masking for office environments comes in two formats: direct and indirect. Direct masking uses speakers installed in office ceilings or placed around an office. These speakers emit sound into areas for better placement and amount of noise. Direct sound office noise masking systems are effective for open floor plans and other complex sound challenges. Indirect masking, in contrast, uses speakers on the ceiling or raised floors to push sound upwards. These noises reflect into the room, creating a spread-out sound field. Unlike the obvious installation for direct sound, the hidden equipment provides consistent background noise levels.

Sound Masking Equipment

To be effective in dispersing white, pink, or brown noises, a sound masking system for office environments has three basic parts.

1. Sound Masking Generator

Whether direct or indirect noise, the heart of sound masking for office acoustics is a masking generator. A generator creates background sound or masking. This equipment delivers a random, varying digital sound with frequencies depending on whether white noise, pink noise, or brown noise is used.

2. Speakers

An essential part of emitting sound from the generator is speakers or emitters. Speakers and emitters like those sold by Biamp/Cambridge Sound disperse focused masking sounds. Depending on preferences for direct or indirect noises in sound masking for office environments, speakers are installed in the wall or ceiling and focus on the areas needed.

3. Volume Control Devices

Volume control devices allow users to adjust sound levels. Offices can fine-tune the system for the necessary masking levels.

Networked vs. Centrally Controlled

When buying a sound masking system for your office, you can opt for networked or centrally located systems. A networked system requires connections and electrical outlets in the masking areas. With many parts to manage, maintenance in a networked system is expensive. An alternative is low-voltage systems centrally controlled with one electrical connection. The best system for office environments doesn’t require a complex setup. As a simpler setup, a centrally controlled system has less maintenance and is less expensive.

Sound Masking System and Office Layout

Every acoustical space is different. The materials you use in your office, such as carpet or bare floor, impact the acoustical profiles. Office layout can affect how and where you use masking. The physical barriers in an office often determine where you place masking. For example, cubicles do not block background noises well. Where you place sound masking equipment is critical. For example, don’t place noise machines on an office desk because sound will not spread evenly. Instead, sound masking equipment should be placed away from desks and cubicle areas to disperse sound equally. Ideal places are hallways, which link office parts and keep masking noise levels constant. Putting masking machines in the ceilings also covers wider ranges without making masking noise too direct or close. This setup emits sound waves across a greater area more efficiently.

Discover Pro AV’s Approach to Conference Room A/V Design

Choosing the Right Sound Masking System

While efficiency is a primary reason to choose a masking system, several considerations exist for designing sound masking systems for offices. The coverage area, amount of equipment, and equipment type determine a system’s effectiveness. Another consideration is the equipment’s sound quality. How well will the equipment masks sound in your office environment? The equipment you buy should have volume control to adjust sound levels. Look for systems operating with low power consumption for office energy efficiency. Find solutions to fit in with your current architecture. Ease of installation and maintenance are important aspects of a masking system. Difficult installation and frequent maintenance add to your expenses.

Where are Sound Masking Systems Useful?

Choosing a masking system is not only about being aware of coverage area, amount of equipment, budget, and equipment type. You need to be familiar with the office space you use. The most common office settings for masking systems are open offices, private offices, and public spaces. Open offices are typically too quiet or too noisy. Focus and workplace productivity are difficult when you hear everything, even someone dropping a pen in the next cubicle. Similarly, an office where you easily hear team members’ conversations is distracting. Private offices and other enclosed spaces are not exempt from confusing background noises. Lightweight walls or partitions that extend only to the ceiling tiles can create noise conflicts. Public spaces such as reception areas, education organization spaces, and waiting rooms can allow unwanted background noises. Understanding your office structure and architecture helps you make the right masking system choices.

Benefits of Using Sound Masking Systems in Offices

The main benefit of sound masking systems for offices is improving acoustics to create quieter, acoustically balanced spaces. Canceling irritating noises contributes to a more pleasant and productive work environment. Stress levels are lower in sound-masked environments because team members can hear each other and communicate without raising their voices. With focused sound levels, the ability to mask sounds can protect important and confidential information.

Sound Masking and ADA

While lowering stress is a common benefit of using a sound masking system in your office, remember strong, creative workplaces encourage diversity. Sound systems help you comply with ADA inclusiveness. The primary advantage is reducing distractions from background noise; generally, masking systems benefit people with hearing problems, attention deficit disorder, or other sensory or mental health conditions triggered or exacerbated by background noise.

5 Signs Your Current Commercial A/V System is Outdated

Finding a Sound Masking System Provider

Choosing a sound masking system for office environments requires time, effort, and money. However, implementing these systems effectively will help you have a quieter workplace. The first tip is to find a great system provider. To connect with the right professional system, define your requirements. Where you install the sound system is essential. Does your architecture support sound systems? You have to know your budget, including both installation and maintenance. The next step is to research local companies. Ask if local companies have the expertise and equipment you need. A company’s reputation is critical to the success of your sound system. Use online research and recommendations from other businesses that have implemented sound systems.

When you look for companies, search for a business that has done similar projects, with architecture like your office, and with a range of services and equipment. Ask for a portfolio of past projects from the companies you are considering. A portfolio of similar work will give you an understanding of the company’s capabilities. Reliability is essential. Sound masking companies should deliver projects on time, within budget, and with excellent customer service. Get estimates of cost and how long the company will take to deliver and install your project. An important issue is whether the company guarantees its work. Ask what warranty policies the company has to back up its work.

To find out how your project can benefit from such innovations, contact Pro AV today for a free quote or call (978)-692-5111 to arrange for a consultation.

Related Blogs

courtroom doors with digital signage solution next to it

Businesses and organizations have long used signage to share information with their target audiences. From the simple “Lemonade 4 Sale” hand-lettered message to complex, large,…

empty hockey rink with installed stadium sound system

Live entertainment brings people to a special place. They can escape from their day-to-day activities and scream, jump, and high-five their way through a thrilling…

panel with chairs and the best microphones for government

When you are thinking about buying a microphone for your business or organization, you may wonder what is the best microphone or what is the…