Cambridge Sound Management is excited to announce that TOA Electronics Southern Africa is exclusively distributing our world leading sound masking products in South Africa, as well as East and West Africa. Like Cambridge Sound Management, TOA takes a service-orientated approach that helps their clients deliver solutions that are right for their markets. We’re excited about growing in Africa together and making more and more workplaces worldwide more acoustically comfortable!
Why Do You Need Sound Masking?
Because noise distractions are driving your employees crazy
Because the constant interruptions are making your employees less productive and losing you money
Because sensitive data is being communicated and overheard in your work environment and you are legally bound to protect it.
Most offices today feature more open spaces and smaller, and often shared, workstations. Less sound absorptive materials are being used such as lower or non-existent partitions, hard or glass surfaces, and thinner walls and doors. This creates acoustical challenges that negatively impact workplace satisfaction, productivity, and speech privacy.
Where is Sound Masking used?
Corporate: Open office, private office ,conference rooms
Healthcare: Patient rooms, waiting areas, reception areas
Hospitality: Guest rooms, lobby areas, spas
Government and Law: Secured facilities, courtrooms, law offices
Technology:: Engineering labs, co-share spaces, design studios
Finance: Call centers, retail banks, board rooms
Education: Research laboratories student centers, libraries
Venues: Houses of worship, conference centers, airport lounges
What is Sound Masking?
Sound masking is the “cover” portion of the equation. Sound masking is the addition of an unobtrusive background sound, similar to airflow, to reduce the intelligibility of human speech and reduce distractions. The resulting environment leads to greater productivity and increased privacy and comfort.
What is Speech Privacy?
Simply put, speech privacy is the inability of an unintentional listener to understand another person’s conversation. So, people with a lack of speech privacy are overhearing lots of conversations that they shouldn’t be, which is, understandably, quite annoying to employees.
When we look at acoustical related complaints of office workers, we find that most complaints center around the idea that others can hear our conversations, or that we can hear others’ conversations (a lack of speech privacy). Rarely is the problem that there is simply too much noise in the environment.
As an example, many people have no problem working in a coffee shop or other public place, but once they are in an office, the expectation of speech privacy is very different, and indeed the reality of speech privacy is very different as well. In the office, we are able to understand every word that our neighbors are yelling into their speakerphone, but in the coffee shop it didn’t seem to matter.
So when we define speech privacy, there must be an element of intelligibility. It is not practical to eliminate all conversational sounds in a workplace, but it is certainly not impossible to significantly reduce intelligible speech throughout a workplace.
WHITE NOISE VS SOUND MASKING
What is the difference between sound masking and white noise?
white noise vs sound maskingSound masking is often misunderstood as white noise. White noise is irritating when it is amplified, sounding similar to a loud AM radio static. Sound masking is different than white noise because it is band limited to only overlap with the frequencies of human speech. By matching the frequencies of human speech, sound masking is specifically engineered to mask conversations for greater speech privacy and productivity. White noise, includes all frequencies at equal energy and can be distracting and annoying. Sound masking is more comfortable acoustically, as only the frequency spectrum needed to increase privacy and minimize distraction are produced.
Why not just get a white noise machine?
white noise like a fanWhite noise machines are localizable. This means that you can tell where the sound is coming from. Just like a fan, your ears can spot a white noise machine and it thus becomes distracting in of itself. A sound masking system is a more immersive experience as the sound is everywhere. When properly tuned and installed, sound masking should fade into the background. There should not be any gaps in sound masking as you walk throughout the office and a constant sound field should be produced whether you are sitting or standing.
How can sound masking provide an immersive experience?
Sound masking should be installed with great a detailed installation plan, accounting for every light fixture, wall, and even the material of your ceiling. This is achieved by appropriate spacing of sound masking speakers (emitters) and adjusting the intensity of the sound masking. Direct field sound masking aims the sound masking downwards, so in plenum obstructions do not interfere with the sound masking. This is a newer approach to sound masking for maximum uniformity. Networked sound masking is another way to have precisely engineered sound masking. Networked sound masking system enables individual speaker level control, meaning you can adjust each speaker to blend into the room.