Sound Masking System
The noises you try not to hear are always the loudest, and private conversations are often not as private as you think. You can't cancel out distracting noises and voices in the workspace, but you can drown them out under a smooth, soothing ambient sound layer.Read our Blog
What is Sound Masking?
In office spaces, the background noise level is generally low. In fact, many offices are simply too quiet and as a result, employees unintentionally overhear private conversations carried around them and get continuously distracted by even the faintest noises. This is an uncomfortable situation that most employees working in open offices are all too familiar with.
To address this problem, sound masking systems generate a soft, subtle background ambient sound, similar to airflow, through specially-designed loudspeakers hidden throughout the space. The workspace's soundscape becomes more uniform, more relaxing, and noisy distractions are effectively muffled out, providing occupants with a greater sense of sonic privacy and making it much easier to concentrate on their work.
Sound Masking System Video Overview
Watch the video below to learn more about our unique sound masking technology and what it can help you achieve for your workspaces and healthcare facilities.
Sound Masking Benefits
Fewer Noise Distractions at Work
Sound masking makes surrounding conversations and common noisy distractions a lot less audible. This results in employees feeling less distracted, achieving better concentration, and becoming significantly more productive—especially with cognitively demanding tasks.
Better Acoustic Privacy and Comfort
It's simpler and cheaper to rely on a sound masking system than on standard soundproofing methods to ensure good speech privacy and confidentiality in meeting rooms, private offices, and open floor plans alike. When implemented correctly, sound masking is a scientifically proven solution for making all types of office spaces and healthcare environments feel quieter, more private, and more comfortable acoustically.
Lower Office Construction Costs
Sound masking reduces the need for specialty acoustic insulation and extra drywall layers in closed rooms requiring good acoustic privacy. It increases the soundproofing capacity of demountable partitions with no compromise on design flexibility and aesthetics.Learn more about benefits
How Good Acoustic Privacy and Superior Sonic Comfort Benefit Open-Plan Office Workers
What Sectors Benefit Most From Sound Masking?
Banks, insurers, and accounting firms have the responsibility to protect their clients' sensitive data. Sound masking helps keeping information confidential when discussed among employees, making conversations less intelligible for others.
Customers expect a comfortable and private experience when visiting their local bank branch. Sound masking improves privacy between teller stations and meeting pods where personal information is shared with advisors.
Attorneys & Law Firms
What is the attorney-client privilege without a rigid approach to confidentiality? The world's greatest law firms rely on sound masking to make their meeting rooms more private and improve acoustic comfort in open-plan areas.
Federal agencies use sound masking to reduce common noisy distractions and ensure superior acoustic privacy for thousands of employees working side by side in collaborative, flexible open-plan office environments.
The quieter a place is, the easier it is to get distracted by the faintest noise. In libraries, sound masking raises the ambient sound levels just enough to make silence more comfortable and surrounding activity less audible for all.
Sound masking is a cost-effective solution to ensure a better, smoother calling experience for both service agents and customers by muffling out concurrent phone conversations carried by neighboring call center agents.
Hotels & Casinos
Hotels use sound masking to make their rooms more private and soothing acoustically, which also improves their guest sleeping experience. Casinos use it to conceal private conversations, at the cashier desks and in staff only areas.
Hospitals and medical practices rely on sound masking for HIPAA compliance, ensuring better speech privacy and patient confidentiality in exam rooms. Intensive care units also use it to help patients sleep and recover better.
Software & Technology
Sound masking allows knowledge workers to interact effectively in open plan areas without disturbing those who need to stay focused. Software engineers can achieve flow state faster, oblivious to surrounding activity.
These Global Leaders Chose Our Sound Masking Technology
Backed by a team of dedicated professionals in business development and a network of hand-picked distributors, we're honored to have won the trust of many Fortune 1000 organizations worldwide. But no client is too small to benefit from our sound masking system.
Our Soft dB sound masking system covers 21 floors in two adjoining buildings and 14 floors in a third building. This system is an absolute pleasure to work with and manipulate when changes are necessary. I have personally operated many sound masking systems in the past and never experienced something so user-friendly with almost unlimited system functionality.
Andrew Svedin, Chief Engineer, CBRE
What Types of Spaces Should Use Sound Masking?
It's scientifically proven that sound masking improves speech privacy in open-plan offices. Employees also get a lot less distracted by surrounding conversations and incidental noises within 15 to 40 feet from where a sound masking speaker is located. Even in the absence of partitions to block sound propagation across the floor, everyone can still feel naturally at ease, concentrate on demanding tasks, and achieve higher productivity.
Private Offices & Meeting Rooms
Did you know that increasing a room's ambient sound level could make it more private acoustically, the same as using more soundproofing material? By making private rooms and adjacent spaces slightly less silent, sound masking reduces the need for soundproof doors and thicker walls. It helps you achieve higher composite STC ratings without compromising on design. Office construction costs can be reduced by up to $3 per square foot.
In hybrid working environments, no two days are alike. The soundscape tends to vary a lot based on the ever-changing levels of occupancy, from buzzing and distracting to pindrop quiet and fairly tense. Sound masking continuously evens out the office soundscape by eliminating pindrop silent moments, preventing conversations from being singled out in the space, and muffling out surrounding distractions on busier, noisier days.
LEED & WELL Certified Workplaces
Both LEED and WELL building standards provide globally acknowledged roadmaps to delivering spaces that put health and comfort of occupants at the core. And both LEED v4 and WELL v2 certifications reward design decisions made about improving acoustic privacy and comfort of spaces. Unsurprisingly, both rating systems outright encourage the use of sound masking to meet their high acoustic performance requirements.
How is Sound Masking Different From White or Pink Noise?
Unlike white or pink noise machines which attempt to hide surrounding sounds behind a staticky, high-pitched wall of noise, sound masking is specially engineered to target and drown out human speech, making private office conversations and phone calls a lot less intelligible or distracting for other office workers trying to maintain focus. Sound masking succeeds—where white and pink noise machines fail—at smoothing out the office soundscape, improving acoustic privacy, and suppressing noise distractions while remaining virtually unnoticed by occupants. And unlike white noise, sound masking is actually pleasant to the ear. We've published a comprehensive article covering the ins and outs of white noise and pink noise versus sound masking.
When Should You Consider Sound Masking Technology for Your Office?
Ever feel like employees get overly distracted by surrounding noises and conversations? Ever have meetings that need to be private without the fear of others listening in? At complete rest, is your workspace's background noise level 43 dBA or less? You should consider sound masking before spending extra dollars on soundproofing.
Does Sound Masking Work Like Noise Cancelling Headphones?
No. Sound masking doesn't cancel out distractions, but hides them under a smooth background sound layer. Noise-cancelling headphones may effectively block low-pitch noises around you, but they typically do a poor job at blocking human voices, which are mostly made up of mid to high frequencies.
How to Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Sound Masking?
Good sound masking takes into account the existing ambient noise level of the space. Instead of simply adding extra noise to the environment, it self-adapts to the space's ambient sound and evens it out to create the perfect soundscape. Good sound masking will actually make your workspace feel quieter.
How Do Sound Masking Systems Work?
All sound masking systems serve essentially the same purpose: artificially increasing the ambient background sound level of a space just enough to even out its sonic landscape, eliminate awkward pin-drop silent moments, and decrease speech perception within open work areas and between adjacent private rooms. This is achieved by spreading a specially engineered broadband sound—similar to the sound of air flowing in HVAC systems, but even smoother and much more consistent—across the space through a network of loudspeakers strategically positioned to ensure seamless, uniform coverage.
How Much Does Sound Masking Cost?
It is often assumed that a sound masking system is an extra expense that can hardly fit into an office buildout or retrofit budget that's already tight as it is. But do you know the cost of workplace distractions and lack of acoustic privacy in terms of employee productivity?Calculate return on investment
What Makes Our Sound Masking System So Unique?
Soft dB sound masking system is a proven, cost-effective solution for improving acoustic privacy and comfort in workplace, healthcare, and hospitality settings. The automatic and precise tuning of the masking sound based on the unique design attributes and acoustical conditions of individual areas covered is what makes our system special. The world's most effective yet simple sound masking technology is all about 3 key features:
Adaptive Volume Based on Office Noise Levels
Because you never really know how loud or quiet your workspace will be on any given day, our system can self-adapt to its activity levels. The masking volume automatically increases during busier, noisier periods and decreases as things go quieter. You'd rather have complete control? Just use the timer function and set volume levels on your own schedule.
Automatic Equalization Based on Room Acoustics
Our system's patented calibration process analyzes the room's frequency response in real time and automatically generates the optimal sound masking spectrum based on the unique acoustical properties, sound absorbing tiles, reflective surfaces, furniture, etc., of each zone covered. Entire sound masking systems can be calibrated in a matter of minutes, not hours.
Networkable Multi Zone Control & Source Mixing
Wired or wireless, our system makes it simple to split an office space into small, independently controlled sound masking and paging zones, at lower installation costs. You want louder sound masking in the open work area than in private meeting rooms, but only want paging and/or ambient music in the hallway and lobby? It's easy. Need to flip that around? Done!
Soft dB system and installation plan met our challenging space requirements. I’m very pleased with how our sound masking system is working, as it is making a positive impact on the quality of our work environment.
Karen Appelbaum, Operations Director, Northwest Area Foundation
Accredited Course for Architects, Interior Designers, and AV Professionals
We’ve built a simple online course to help you gain in-depth understanding of how sound masking is one of today’s most cost-effective methods of delivering an office soundscape that employees will love. The course is registered with AIA/HSW, GBCI, IDCEC and AVIXA for learning units.Take the course
7,000,000 ft2 of Office Sound Masking Installed Each Year
Chances are you've visited a space covered by our sound masking system before without even knowing it. In fact, some of your friends may be working in offices that run our system without even realizing it. And that's the whole point of sound masking: Ensuring better acoustic privacy, making distant conversations less intelligible, and helping busy employees stay in flow state—all while remaining virtually unnoticed except for the relief it provides.
New Balance Headquarters
Delivering an optimal working soundscape in America's first LEED V2009 Platinum Core & Shell certified corporate headquarter to earn all points in indoor environmental quality.
Partners Healthcare's Campus
Improving some 4200 employees’ acoustic comfort, privacy, and focus across 12 office floors in Partners Healthcare's LEED-certified administrative campus in Assembly Row.
Akamai Technologies Headquarters
Helping a global technology leader strike the perfect balance between the need for smooth interactions among teams and quiet time to concentrate on complex engineering tasks.
Make Your Workspace a Better Place With Sound Masking
Our advanced sound masking technology will help you increase productivity in your workspace by reducing noisy distractions while improving concentration and acoustic privacy. A comfortable working environment positively impacts employee mood, drive and performance.Tell us about your project