Speech Privacy (“Sound Masking” or “White Noise”) is the process of introducing ambient noise that gently overrides the sounds that ceiling panels do not completely eliminate, making a work space more comfortable and productive.
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.
Sound masking is the only acoustical treatment that addresses all sound paths. The acoustical effect of walls, carpets and ceilings are static; sound masking can be tuned and adjusted as needed. Adding sound masking to an open office space is the acoustical equivalent of tripling the distance between workers.
The goal of a well-designed Speech Privacy System is to reduce voice intelligibility in an office environment. 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 on 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
Speakers are installed in the ceiling plenum or under the raised floor such that one cannot discern where the masking sound is coming from. Typically, upward-firing speakers installed above suspended ceilings uniformly fill the occupied space below. Speakers can be installed above suspended ceilings, below raised access floors and in open structure.
Speech Privacy systems reduce conversational distractions while increasing worker concentration, productivity, accuracy and satisfaction. Today’s green buildings introduce new acoustical challenges. Adding white noise can help solve the lack of privacy caused by decreasing workstation heights and less room absorption.
Wisconsin Audio Video operates locally, in and around Madison, Wisconsin Dells, Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Wausau, Janesville, Hudson, Beloit, Rockford, IL Dubuque and throughout Wisconsin.
Sound masking is set one or two decibels above conversation level. It provides a random sound that does not carry information, and is non-directional and harmoniously uniform. Sound masking provides voice privacy, confidentiality, and protection of proprietary information as required by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.