Sound Masking

Can Sound help in attaining Speech Privacy?

Sound masking is the addition of sound created by special digital generators and distributed by normally unseen speakers through an area to reduce distractions or provide confidentiality where needed. The sound is broadband random that conveys no information about itself to a listener. It
is often referred to erroneously as white noise or pink noise; the sound spectrum and level are specially shaped to provide the degree of privacy desired by occupants. Masking operates by covering up or masking unwanted sounds, similar to perfume that covers up other odours.

Adding sound to space actually makes space seem quieter. It sounds counter-intuitive but it’s true. This is because the added sound reduces the intelligibility of human speech. Here’s an example of Sound Masking in everyday life. Have you ever had a conversation with someone while you are washing dishes and they are on the other side of the kitchen?
When the water isn’t running, you can hear the other person’s words perfectly. When you turn the water on it becomes much harder to hear them and understand what they are saying. The person isn’t speaking more softly, but they sound as if they are. This is because the noise of the running water is “masking” the sound of the person speaking to youS

Sound masking is often confused with noise cancellation. Noise cancellation reduces unwanted sounds. They use complex electronics to generate a waveform that is an exact negative of the surrounding ambient sounds and then mixes it with the audio signal the listener desires, usually music, whereas Sound Masking is a technology that operates by covering up unwanted sounds on playing the sound from a signal generator.

What does sound masking sound like?

If deployed properly sound masking should be barely noticeable and sound similar to the sound of gentle airflow. Generally, it should blend into the background of a workplace and contribute to workplace’s general ambiance.

Typical Sound Masking Installation Setup

Benefits of Sound Masking

• Speech Privacy : 53% of employees report having overheard
confidential company information at the office.
• Reduces Noise and Distraction.
• Increases Focus and Productivity.