Sound Masking Systems
Sound masking is the process of adding a low level, unobtrusive background sound to an environment to reduce the intelligibility of human speech and reduce noise distractions in that environment. Adding noise to the acoustic environment to make a workplace less noisy seems counterintuitive. However, speakers emitting background noise on the same curve as human speech achieves this quieting effect by dampening the sounds of speech originating from outside the “radius” of the speaker. Think about what grabs your attention: it’s rarely the volume or direction of a distraction, it’s the intelligible content of the noise. When speech is more difficult to comprehend, it’s just another unregistered background noise.
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. Contrary to some misconceptions, sound masking is not “white noise.” White noise’s frequency is actually something that, when amplified, would be extremely unpleasant to listen to (think of a radio station playing nothing but static).