How Sound Masking Works

Imagine working in an open office where every conversation, phone call, and keystroke is heard loud and clear. It can be incredibly distracting and even impact productivity. This is where sound masking comes in. By adding carefully-crafted background noise, unwanted sounds are masked, and privacy and productivity are improved.

Newport Network Solutions is Southeastern Wisconsin’s leading network solution provider with an expert team that provides the best possible experience for your network, security, and audio/visual needs. Keep reading as we explore the ins and outs of sound masking, how it works, and why it’s essential in today’s workplaces.

What Is Sound Masking?

Sound masking is a technique used to reduce the impact of unwanted sounds in a space by adding background noise. The background noise is designed to match the frequency and tone of the surrounding sounds, making them less noticeable to the human ear. This technique is commonly used in offices, healthcare facilities, and other public spaces to improve privacy and reduce distractions.

Why Do You Need Sound Masking?

There are two significant reasons NNS Inc is typically asked to install sound masking systems:

  • Improved Comfort and Concentration – Open office environments are more common than they used to be but are often noisy and distracting. The chatter of everyone talking and the various sounds their devices–or others around them–produce as they do their work can decrease focus and productivity. Sound masking can help mitigate this and, in the process, make the area more comfortable for employees to work in.
  • Speech Privacy and Compliance – This is a significant reason businesses use sound masking. In some industries, speech privacy is vital to protect sensitive information. Because the ambient sounds used in sound-making specifically target the human vocal frequency, they make it harder for conversations to be overhead and increase the area’s privacy. This is especially important for industries where laws or regulations require privacy protections.

How Does Sound Masking Work?

Sound masking protects speech privacy by adding a low-level, constant background sound that reduces the intelligibility of conversations. Because the sound is designed to be similar in frequency and amplitude to the human voice, it makes it harder for someone outside of a conversation to distinguish words or phrases. In addition to having carefully crafted sounds to mask speech, the speakers that produce the sound are strategically located throughout the workspace to provide the best results.

Where Is Sound Masking Commonly Used?

Sound masking can be used anywhere privacy, concentration, and comfort are important. Some of the most common environments you’ll find sound masking systems include:

  • Open offices – Whenever an office space has more than a few people, the ambient noise of their talking can get loud and distracting. Even with few people, privacy may be desired for conversations.
  • Private offices – It may seem as though private offices already provide privacy. However, it’s often still possible to hear conversations through the walls or ceilings in these offices. Sound masking further enhances privacy.
  • Healthcare facilities – Patient privacy is of the utmost importance in healthcare facilities. Sound masking often prevents people from overhearing conversations between medical professionals and patients.
  • Call centers – Call centers tend to be a specific type of open office environment, with many employees talking on the phone simultaneously and ringing constantly. Sound masking can increase comfort levels here.

Sound Masking Solves the Speech Privacy Problem

Across industries, the need to keep conversations private is essential for companies to consider. There are many steps to fully solving the problem, but sound masking should be one of the tools used in any scenario where speech privacy is a concern. Regardless of whatever other methods are put into place, a well-installed sound masking system will improve outcomes and provide better privacy.

Invest in Privacy & Productivity with Sound Masking Services & Products from NNS Inc.

The speech masking systems installed by Newport Network Solutions, Inc. are highly effective. Any conversation over 15 feet away will fade seamlessly into the ambient noise produced by the systems we install. To keep your conversations more secure, contact us today to learn more.

Image Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock


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