Sound masking systems and their function are an increasingly hot topic in the digital age. Corporate spaces are being adjusted to accommodate such noise masking systems, and budgets are being made in their favor.
This is no surprise since the current construction of offices is mostly based on the open concept feel. This is comprised of low-rise cubicle walls and desks in the trading style. While such a system is economical and quick to set up, it does increase frustration due to increase noise. The lack of privacy is another disturbing factor in the construction of modern open concept workplaces. Sound masking systems are a way to drastically improve such environments in many ways. Let’s look at the benefits of sound masking in more detail.
Brain Signals for Maximized Benefits of Sound Masking
When someone is near a noise masking system, their brain receives a signal that is simply absorbed as background noise. It’s not alarming, nor is it distracting. However, it does help to smooth away sound from conversations and directing sound around that person. This is different from white noise systems, which could be distracting in themselves.
In Plenum vs. In Field Sound Masking
There are different solutions implemented by various systems. Systems following the ‘In Plenum’ methods have easier installation, fewer parts, and cover a large area with less equipment. They are set up above ceiling tiles of the targeted area.
‘In Field’ sound masking systems have more speakers that are concentrated in one area. They are a bit difficult to install, but get even sound effects throughout the area. They can also cover a great area overall.
Places to Install Sound Masking Systems
The benefits of sound masking systems are only apparent if they’re installed in the proper areas. Installing such a system in a conference or meeting room would make it difficult for conferring parties to hear one another.
The right areas to install a sound or noise masking system are near the employee cubicles, outside meeting rooms, and around any place where private conversations happen.
Sound Masking Safety Regulations
Noise masking is now a part of the safety precaution in several healthcare institutions and facilities. They should have such systems in place in order to ascertain PHI (Protected Health Information). This is a part of doctor-patient confidentiality that extends to oral communications.
Disclosing any private medical information to an unauthorized party is violating §164.530(c) (2) as mentioned in the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. This is also a standard in HIPAA Privacy Rules, the ISO, ANSI, and ASTM.