Author Archives: Jon Page

sound masking in open office

How to Block Office Noise In An Open Office

A beautifully designed open office offers important benefits to employees. The research found that working in an environment that has natural light and views makes workers less frustrated, more patient, and productive.

However, open offices have downsides as well. A Study has shown that insufficient speech privacy is the number one complaint among office workers. People with a lack of sound privacy overhear lots of conversations that they shouldn’t, which interferes with their internal monologue and makes it difficult to concentrate.

How can you block office noise, while also having a gorgeous open office? There are several ways to reduce office noise without sacrificing the aesthetics of an open office.

1. Provide dedicated quiet spaces

A dedicated quiet space, such as an unused conference room, can be a helpful resource for employees trying to focus on an important task or project. Oftentimes, shared desks and open office layouts create a loud work environment, which makes it difficult for employees to concentrate, thereby impacting productivity.

Reduce Office Noise with Sound Masking

Sound Masking in Open Office

2. Provide loud spaces, too

Providing a “loud space” to encourage interaction and discussions such as lunchroom or game room can allow employees to take a break from work for a personal call or an informal gathering such as a team birthday celebration without disturbing coworkers. 

reduce office noise with sound masking

Reduce office noise with sound masking

3. Reduce office noise by increasing background noise.

It seems counter-intuitive, but adding more background sound to an environment can actually make it sounds quieter. It is not the noise itself that is distracting, but the unwanted speech noise is. However, words that are unintelligible are less likely to be distracting. By adding a continuous, low-level ambient sound to an environment, sound masking can help make conversations unintelligible for listeners that aren’t intended to hear them, and therefore much less distracting. Sound masking solutions are popularly used in modern open offices, as speech privacy, productivity and office comfort are the top concerns for both employees and employers.

4. Bring in soundproofing materials without sacrificing design.

Soundproofing materials, such as cubicle partitions and standard white acoustical ceiling tiles, can effectively reduce noise in the offices but are not aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, you can decorate drop ceilings or walls with different colors and shapes. Unfortunately, these materials are expensive, but can be worth the investment for offices with major office noise issues and that want to display a creative flair.

This blog post was adapted from a Harvard Business Review article.  Read the original full-length article here.

Talk to an expert –>>

What is the difference between sound masking and white noise?

What is Sound Masking?

Sound masking is the process of adding a low level, unobtrusive background sound to an environment to reduce the intelligibility of human speech and reduce noise distractions in that environment. It is a key tool to help solve the speech privacy problem.


Sound Masking System vs. White Noise Machine

Sound masking is often misunderstood as white noise. White noise in office spaces is irritating when it is amplified, sounding similar to loud AM radio static. By matching the frequencies of human speech, sound masking is specifically engineered to mask conversations for greater speech privacy and productivity. While white noise includes all frequencies at equal energy and can be distracting and annoying, sound masking creates a more immersive experience that people barely notice.

Difference between white noise and sound masking spectrum

Difference between white noise and sound masking spectrum

Download Free Sound Masking 101 Brochure

Immersive Sound vs. Localizable Sound

White noise is localizable. This means you can tell where the sound is coming from. Just like a fan, your ears can locate a white noise machine and it thus becomes a distraction. A sound masking device is a more immersive experience because the sound is everywhere. When the system is properly tuned and installed, sound masking should fade into the background. There should be no gaps in sound masking as you walk throughout the office.

Deployment option


Sound masking systems should be installed with 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. There are two deployment options for sound masking speakers – Direct field and Indirect field sound masking. Depending on the layout and the structure of your unique space, our design team will provide the best advice to create a comfortable acoustical environment for your workplace.

Where can sound masking be used? 

Sound masking systems are commonly used in open-office spaces to minimize noise distractions, increase speech privacy and optimize work productivity. Sound masking solutions are also must-haves today for hospitals, clinics, and therapy offices to protect patient privacy. The solution can help improve HCAHPS scores and help meet HIPAA compliance in healthcare facilities.

sound masking in open office

sound masking in open office



Contact us to learn about our wide selection of sound masking solutions.

Active Emitter Cluster

Qt® Active Emitter wins NSCA Excellence in Product Innovation Award


We’re proud to announce that our Qt® Active Emitter, Fusion Edition has won the NSCA Excellence in Product Innovation award in the retrofit category.

The new Qt® Active Emitter, Fusion Edition fuses QtPro direct-field technology with DynasoundPro networked sound masking, providing the most uniform coverage and precise control available in the sound masking industry. This makes it easier to mask buildings with varied ceiling architecture – for example buildings with both open-plenum and drywall ceilings — where a combination of both direct field and upward firing speakers on the same system may be desirable. It also provides integrators with more options for customized masking, music, and paging zones. And because the Qt Active Emitter, Fusion Edition is connected to the DynasoundPro Networked Sound Masking System, users get unbeatable commissioning control via the DynasoundPro Privacy Manager software.

How Retailers Are Protecting In-Store Privacy

Have you ever been to a pharmacy and shared private medical information?  Or perhaps the bank teller shares your checking account balance with you. What about sharing your date of birth or credit score as you are applying for a home loan? Today we fear credit card hackings and buying online, but what about public spaces where everyone can hear you? How do you know if your information is safe? Many retailers are starting to understand the speech privacy problem in their brick and mortar locations. Billions are spent on cyber security, but what is preventing someone from overhearing you as you share your most sensitive personal information?


Sound masking is an advanced acoustical technology to protect speech privacy. Specially tuned to the same frequency of human speech, sound masking is an airflow-like background sound that makes conversations fade into the background and more difficult to be overheard. Many retailers have used sound masking to protect speech privacy in their corporate offices, but now they are understanding the value it has for their customers in their brick and mortar locations. Trust is key for any business, and sound masking is the perfect solution for protecting that trust by protecting customer privacy.

Over 20,000 companies trust sound masking technology to protect private meetings and conversations in their corporate offices. That same acoustical security technology is available for retailers to protect their customers in brick and mortar locations.

Want to learn more? Download our free retail industry brochure