Sound Masking Technology2018-04-18T15:15:17+00:00

When determining how to improve a Research and Development facility, two factors to consider are distraction and confidentiality. Researchers need a distraction-free and safe workspace. Their expertise will be maximized with fewer distractions. Both concerns are addressed by achieving speech privacy with sound masking technology.

How Is Speech Privacy Achieved In Sound Masking Technology?

The Privacy Index

Speech Privacy is a defined premise and, according to ASTM standards, you can measure Speech Privacy in two ways that related to sound masking technology:

  • Articulation Index (AI), measures how intelligible speech is
  • Privacy Index (PI), measures the unintelligibly of speech
  • They are both saying the same thing, just rearranging the words.
Speech Privacy’s ABC’s

The tools to improve the Privacy Index score are commonly referred to as the ABC’s:

  • A – Absorb sound through wall or furniture panels, or high NRC-rated ceiling tiles
  • B – Block sound through wall construction
  • C – Cover up by utilizing a high-quality sound masking technology

Many facilities focus on the A and B of speech privacy, and these two elements along will not achieve a decent Privacy Index score.

Sound Masking: The Ins and Outs

The C of the ABC’s is based on an introduction of background noise at a low level to the environment. Thus, intruding speech and noises are less intelligible. “White noise” is a widely used term referring to speech privacy or sound masking systems.

Sound masking technology was the realization by engineers and scientists that oral privacy is actually a matter of making speech unintelligible. In simpler terms, if each of us can’t understand what the other is saying, we have established oral privacy- even if we can still see and to some extent hear each other.

Where is the proper placement to achieve this? Answer- you mask the area where the speech is heard, not where it is spoken. This is important for the two reasons listed below:

  • Confidentiality
  • Distraction

Speech privacy is key when trying to keep researcher focused, less stressed, error-free or protecting their work. With a properly installed speech privacy system, workers can stay focused, safeguard their work and their conversations.

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