What is sound masking?

From creating personal privacy to filling the void with ambient noise, sound masking is able to create an environment that directs and redirects sound for maximum auditory comfort. Sound masking does not seek to merely cancel or eliminate sound or speech in a given space, but rather helps to reduce the distance by which sound or conversations are heard. While sound masking plays the hero in making various kinds of spaces more comfortable (like libraries or hotel lobbies), here we will explore how sound masking also helps to protect privacy and also increase productivity. 


How sound masking is protecting privacy 

Privacy is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially when needing to have sensitive conversations. While no one wants to jeopardize their personal information, there are situations where this information has to be shared. Spaces like banking centers, pharmacies and medical service lobbies require some level of information exchange while also requiring an environment to ensure the safety of that information. 


With HIPAA serving as the guideline in the medical space and GLBA in the financial space, privacy regulations have long been in place. Sound masking solutions help spaces meet compliance when there are required measures to be taken to prevent verbal communication from being overheard.


But even in spaces where there is no legal guideline for privacy, workers prefer to work where they are able to have some level of personal privacy. Studies have shown over and over that workers care more about noise level and personal privacy more than they care about anything else in the physical environment they work. Sound masking solutions help to ensure an environment that is balanced, which not only helps with privacy but also productivity.


How sound masking is increasing productivity 

While some spaces require sound masking for privacy, some spaces like call centers or open office plans benefit in the way of increasing productivity. While open office plans can be great for team building, idea sharing and interactions, it’s not always conducive to productivity. As technology beeps and chimes, conversations echo and chairs roll around on the floor, these decibels all add up and compile to make concentration, conversations and work output become strained or decreased. In some studies, this decrease has shown as much as a 66% decline.


Gently masking noise while also boosting privacy ensures that no matter the office layout, size or amount of employees, everyone can have an environment that is conducive to producing great work.



Sound masking can be an overwhelming task, but with the right audio team that understands the intricacies of sound in a space and can walk you through the purchase and lease options – it’s all very doable. 


Audio Acoustics has been outfitting all kinds of workspaces with the right sound masking for over 50 years, with clients enjoying a wide range of purchase and lease options. 


Are you ready to see what sound masking solutions could look like for your workspace?