Is your office space too noisy? The problem of noise and distractions in open offices has been shown to cause a drop in productivity and significantly contribute to workplace stress. Reducing everyday distractions through solutions such as office sound masking has been found to improve focus by 48%, reduce stress by 27%, and lower error rates by 10%.

Sound masking is a flexible solution that uses low-level ambient noise to mask the sounds of conversations and increase comfort and privacy in the workplace. Sound masking technology is commonly used in offices, healthcare facilities, open-plan spaces, and other settings where privacy and concentration are important. Read on to learn about the benefits and features of sound masking, the process, and how it works. To see more office storage solutions, visit our market page.

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Benefits of Office Sound Masking

Noise Reduction

office sound maskingSound masking systems help reduce the impact of office distractions by emitting a gentle, ambient background noise. This makes other sounds less noticeable and disruptive, creating a quieter and more focused working environment.

Speech Privacy

Open office layouts and private offices often lack sufficient speech privacy. Sound masking helps to mask or blur speech sounds, making conversations. This reduces the chances of sensitive or confidential information being overheard by others, preventing eavesdropping and enhancing privacy and confidentiality in the workplace.

Increased Focus and Productivity

Excessive noise and interruptions can negatively impact concentration, productivity, and employee morale. Sound masking creates a more acoustically balanced environment, improving the ability to concentrate on tasks while facilitating collaboration. This leads to increased focus, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

Employee Comfort and Well-Being

sound maskingUnwanted noise can cause stress, fatigue, and discomfort, decreasing employee satisfaction and well-being. An office sound masking system covers this noise and creates a calmer and less distracting workplace atmosphere, promoting employee comfort and well-being.

Flexible Workspaces

With the rise of flexible and open office designs, sound masking systems allow for more versatile use of space. Adaptive sensors adjust the sound masking volume to the current noise levels, whether an office is full or empty, making these systems the perfect solution for hybrid workplaces. They maintain acoustic comfort throughout the office, with the flexibility to support collaborative work and changing office needs.

What is Sound Masking?

Sound masking is a technique used to reduce the perception of noise and protect speech privacy in a given space. It involves the introduction of a low-level, ambient background sound to mask or cover up unwanted noises and create a more comfortable and acoustically balanced environment.

Sound Masking vs. White Noise vs. Noise Cancellation

Sound masking, white noise, and noise cancellation are three distinct concepts of managing and controlling sound. Here are some key differences between these three techniques.

commercial sound maskingSound masking:

  • The primary purpose is to improve speech privacy and reduce distractions by adding a low-level ambient background noise that blends with the existing soundscape
  • Generate a specific range of frequencies designed to match the frequency range of human speech
  • Strategically installed to provide an even distribution of sound throughout the workspace
  • Engineered to create a gentle, ambient background noise to mask or blend with the surrounding noise

White noise:

  • The primary purpose is to mask or cover up other sounds by providing a consistent, non-changing background noise
  • Encompasses a wide range of frequencies; does not specifically target the frequency of speech
  • Typically generated by a single source and may not be evenly distributed across an entire workspace
  • Generates a neutral sound that lacks specific patterns or tonal qualities to mask other noises

Noise cancellation:

  • The primary purpose is to actively reduce or eliminate unwanted sounds by generating an opposing sound wave that cancels out the target noise
  • Designed to identify and target specific frequencies or sound patterns for cancellation
  • Often used in personal listening devices like headphones or earbuds
  • Reacts to incoming sound and generates counteracting sound waves to cancel out the original noise

How Office Sound Masking Works

sound masking systemsOffice sound masking increases ambient noise by emitting an unobtrusive masking sound. This masking sound is carefully calibrated to match the frequency spectrum of human speech and cover up conversational speech and other ambient sounds. Sound masking speakers are distributed throughout the space to ensure even coverage and consistent masking sound levels.

Office sound masking systems contain three primary components:

  • Multi-zone controllers: power all speakers and sensors; can direct sound to the desired location
  • Sound masking speakers: output masking noise; typically mount above ceiling tiles
  • Software: controls the system with a user-friendly graphic interface

Office Sound Masking System Features

Our commercial office sound masking system offers several valuable features, including the following:

  • Adaptive sensors that automatically adjust volume based on the current noise level
  • Automatic equalization to save time and money
  • Networkable multi-zone control for flexibility over multiple office zones
  • Five types of speakers available to work with any ceiling type

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Contact Us for Office Sound Masking Systems

We provide design and installation services for sound masking systems for offices. We will also provide a free consultation to determine your needs and specifications before the design begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 800-803-1083 or send us a message today.



Business Testimonials


“Working with Southwest Solutions including Matt, Susan, and especially Brad was great. They provide amazing customer service. Brad and the install team were especially great. Very professional, easy to work with, and did the work quickly and very well with very little input from us. If we need help with carousel storage moves, parts, or new equipment we will start with Southwest Solutions. ”

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“The team at Southwest Solutions were nothing short of fantastic. First meeting with Craig, I received a customized design, in person, based on my office needs while still maintaining an efficient layout and being cost effective. Craig explained everything clearly, allowing me to understand that as modular mill-work, I would be able to move it if I ever changed offices, but without the added sales pressure to immediately make a decision. Once I had decided, I worked with Chris who assisted in picking out the finishes and scheduling the delivery and installation. The professionalism of Craig and Chris spoke volumes and I would highly recommend anyone looking to transform or fit-out an office to contact Southwest Solutions.”

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Harvey-Cleary Builders

“I want to let you know that we all really appreciated your team mentality, professionalism and dedication shown on this project. It was a pleasure working with you and your office and we look forward to many more. Please pass along my gratitude to everyone who worked on this project. Thanks! ”

Harvey-Cleary Builders
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“I just want to take a minute to let you know how good of a job your install crew did yesterday. They were quick, fast, courteous and very consensus during the install. They were awesome to say the least. Being in the service business ourselves, we know that you can never hear the words “Good Job” often enough. Please pass this along to your crew.”
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