What is Sound Masking? Not to be confused with "noise cancelling" found in consumer headphones (which actively cancels outside noise to one listener), Sound Masking is a passive system that raises the noise level at common speech frequencies in an entire room or open office. It may seem counterintuitive to add noise to reduce distraction, but the masking noise is in fact dismissed by the human ear as HVAC noise. Here's how it works...

There are several artificially generated noises in the professional audio field commonly referred to as "white noise" or "pink noise." Both of these are audio signals carrying the same energy across all frequencies or octaves (white vs. pink) for the purpose of testing or callibrating sound systems. By contrast, the Sound Masking noise is targeted specifically across the human voice frequency spectrum, ~180-1100 Hz, which allows a higher level of noise without causing alarm, or even for one to take notice. When a person enters a room where this noise is being generated, the mind assumes and dismisses the noise as air handling. This causes them to continue to speak at a comfortable, regular volume, making it harder to a) overhear a conversation, and b) have a nearby conversation cause distraction.

Sound Masking is a key part of controlling a sound environment to bolster productivity and confidentiality. The features in systems from our partners at Cambridge Sound Management - such as paging integration, over-the-network management, and background music with the Active Emitters - add to the practicality of implementing this purpose-built hardware into your facilities. Contact us for a consultation. 

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