Architectural Specifications

  • System Overview
  • Performances and Characteristics
    • Sound masking generating system
    • Adaptive volume control adjustment in open areas
    • Paging and Music Broadcast Systems (Option)
  • Target sound masking spectrum
  • Validation method
  • Standards test methods
  • Certifications – ETL Listed 3191772
  • Supplier

Design and Installation Guidelines

Find everything you need to know to install and design the perfect sound masking project for your office environment, what ever your office configuration is, with our design and installation guidelines.

SmartSMS-NET Project Manager


With this software, the system administrator can configure all the parameters of the smartSMS-NET sound masking system.


Confidentiality, With 50% Improvement In Comfort

At NoiseCon 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI, Soft dB presented a scientific paper entitled Adaptive Volume Control for Sound Masking, written by Dr. Andre L’Esperance, et al. The paper demonstrates how the Adaptive Volume Control (AVC) feature, which allows the masking sound level to reactively vary between 42 and 45 dBA depending on ambient background noise, obtains similar levels of confidentiality and speech privacy compared to a sound masking system equipped only with a 45 dBA timer function.

However, the real difference between the AVC feature and the timer function for masking systems is seen in occupant acoustic comfort; an AVC sound masking system provides an unparallelled 50% improvement in occupant acoustic comfort during periods of moderate office activity, when compared to a timer function. Furthermore, if the upper limit of the AVC sound masking system is set to 48 dBA (CNRC-recommended upper limit) instead of 45 dBA, the level of acoustic comfort is maintained, but the confidentiality and speech privacy are improved by 15%.

Direct-Field vs Plenum Speakers: Hype and Reality

At the fall 2018 InterNoise conference in Chicago, Soft dB presented a scientific study based on measurable and repeatable experiments to demonstrate the reality, beyond the marketing hype. The conclusions of the study are very interesting:
  • Spatial uniformity of the masking sound is better (more uniform) with a plenum system than a direct field
  • In the case of a sound masking system in a plenum space with obstruction, the spatial uniformity is still better than a direct field system
Soft dB is a world class sound masking systems manufacturer and offers both configurations. Direct field sound masking speakers make sense in some office configuration where the plenum height is limited or when paging is required. However, for all other applications, a plenum system will typically be a better option for sound masking efficiency and confort.

Third Party References


“The capital and operating costs for buildings account for 8%, while the human resources costs (salaries and benefits) represent 82%. In relative terms, office design choices are inexpensive and the costs of sound investments in design can be recouped quickly in the form of enhanced occupant satisfaction and performance.”

Workstation Design for the Open-Plan Office – CNRC

“When asked about their offices, 88% of respondents noted the quality of their work environment was important to job satisfaction and 84% reported that they accomplished their best work at the office. In fact, when asked if they would be willing to work an extra hour per day if they had a better working environment, 49% of respondents said yes. “

The 2006 US Workplace Survey – Gensler

Here are examples from recent, measured, independent studies of the impact of appropriate “speech privacy” and related acoustical conditions on office workers:

1. Ability To Focus On Tasks

% Improvement

2. Elimination Of Distractions

% Improvement

3. Reduction Of Stress

% Improvement

4. Error Rates/Accuracy

% Improvement

“The masking signal was proved to be an effective intervention and should be considered a viable method of enhancing the sleep quality of patients in noisy Intensive Care Unit (ICU) environments….”

Sound masking has the most significant effect in promoting ICU patients’ sleep, producing:

% Improvement

Radius of Distraction (in meters)

  • Without Sound Masking
  • With Sound Masking

“A significant improvement in objective speech privacy occurred after the installation of masking system. The radius of distraction reduced from 13 to 6 meters.”

“Appropriate masking is necessary to reach acceptable speech privacy between two neighbouring workstations.”

“After the change, all types of work were less distracted by noise.”

“The need for further acoustic improvements became negligible because major acoustic problems no longer existed after the installation of masking.”


Effects of sound masking on workers – a case study in a landscaped office – Valtteri Hongisto

Stop Noise from Ruining Your Open Office

“By adding a continuous, low-level ambient sound to an environment (such as white noise, which sounds similar to the sound of airflow), sound masking can help make conversations for listeners that aren’t intended to hear them unintelligible, and therefore much easier to ignore.”

Stop Noise from Ruining your Open Office – Harvard Business Review

“Masking sound is an effective way to lower SII and create good acoustical conditions. Laboratory simulations have found that masking sound improves complex cognitive tasks and reduces perceived stress.”

Workstation Design for Organizational productivity – CNRC

“Electronic masking-sound systems can be designed to provide close-to-ideal noise levels to mask speech sounds and enhance privacy, without being disturbing.”

Acoustical Design for Open-Plan offices – CNRC

“The office is more than just a cost center. It can be an investment with clear benefits and a measurable return and is yet another productivity tool to be used intelligently.”

“Carefully designing your workplace to support what your people and teams do is an investment that pays off in both business terms and in positive changes in corporate culture.”

Disproving Widespread Myths about Workplace Design – BOSTI Associates

Technical Support

Assistance for individuals having technical problems with sound masking devices.

Or Call Us Now !
1-866-686-0993 Ext. 236 USA & CAN
+1-418-686-0993 Ext. 236 Intl.

Technical Support

Assistance for individuals having technical problems with sound masking devices.

Or Call Us Now !
1-866-686-0993 Ext. 236 USA & CAN
+1-418-686-0993 Ext. 236 Intl.

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