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What is Sound Masking?

Reduce Noise Distraction In Your Houston Offices

Open office environments have been with us for a long time. We might tend to think that it is a relatively recent trend, but in some industries, it was the norm. In stock brokerage office of the past, an open floor was the norm. Who can forget the scenes from the busy bullpen in the 1980’s movie Wall Street?

If you recall that movie, you may also remember how noisy that environment was. Today, open office environments are pervasive across many industries. Open environments encourage more interaction between workers and impromptu discussions with team members sitting nearby. But these new environments also introduce more ambient noise. While the telephone is no longer the preferred way to communicate, people still talk at their desks, while walking by, and in those impromptu discussions in an open hallway. That type of noise introduces distraction that can hamper productivity.

Back in the 1980s, there weren't great solutions for dealing with ambient noise. Since that era, significant strides have been made in sound processing technology that has been used in many areas. For example, many modern automobiles employ sound canceling technology to limit harsher road and engine noises. Similar technology is available for office environments to make it easier for workers to stay focused.

Want to know more about sound masking for your Houston office spaces? Read on to learn more.

See Also: Sound on Sound? The Solution for Loud Office Spaces

What is Sound Masking?

The simple way to understand sound masking is that it is a process of adding background sound to reduce noise distraction and provide a more conducive environment for private conversations and comfort. You might think that sound masking sounds like some type of white noise, but it is more than just an overlay to drown out other noises.

Sound masking techniques add background sound that matches the frequency of human speech to have the effect of making a space seem quieter. While this might seem counter-intuitive, the added sound makes the speech outside your immediate area less intelligible, and thus less distracting.

Is Sound Masking Just White Noise?

Sound masking is more targeted than just white noise and is not meant to cancel sound or eliminate all speech noise in an environment. What it does do is reduce the ability to overhear conversations that are farther away and cut the distraction that can come from that.

As the acoustical properties of every space are different, sound masking requires some custom tuning. When implemented properly, the ambient noises fade into the background as a subtle hum, not unlike the sound of airflow from an HVAC system. It will sound natural to the ear and not something that demands focus.

Why Use Sound Masking?

Noise pollution can be a productivity killer. If workers are distracted by surrounding conversations, it can be challenging to focus on the task at hand, and more difficult to concentrate on a telephone or face-to-face conversation.

In many workspaces, protecting privacy is an issue. If workers are dealing with sensitive information like financial and medical, keeping details from being overheard is critical. Clients and customers want to be assured that their data is not needlessly shared inadvertently because of a poorly conceived physical environment.

Are you ready to elevate the quality of your Houston office spaces with sound masking? Reach out us, click the chat button below, or give us a call at (281) 907-9620 – we’d love to tell you more.