Author Archives: Matt Nees

How Your Modern Open Office is Destroying Your Concentration

Happy Holidays from Cambridge Sound Management! As a token of our appreciation to all of our customers, please enjoy a fun infographic on the perils of the modern open office.

How your modern open office is destroying your concentration - infographic

While office architecture and interior design have become more aesthetically pleasing over the years – sound and privacy issues have become more prevalent.  In this infographic we cover how office design changes meant to boost collaboration can also destroy workers concentration.   Adding sound masking is one technique to help increase speech privacy, reduce noise distractions, and improve worker concentration without an office re-design. Huddle rooms, glass, benching, partitions, dense work stations, office overcrowding, and offices without doors are all addressed.

Cambridge Sound Management Wins Two More Industry Awards to Wrap Up 2015

This month we learned that we won two more prestigious industry awards, a bronze medal at the IIDEXCanada 2015 Innovation Awards and a Facility Executive 2016 Reader’s Choice Award. Cambridge Sound Management has now won 7 industry awards this calendar year. We’re obviously thrilled that our products are so well regarded in the industry.

We learned we won the IIDEX Innovation Award while we attended the IIDEXCanada Show earlier this month. IIDEX is Canada’s main interior design and architecture tradeshow and industry conference. The IIDEXCanada Innovation Awards were established in 1984 to celebrate the latest and most innovative interior design and architectural products. Products are judged by representatives from the design, media, and business communities. Winners are chosen based on a long list of criteria including problem solving, budget, strategy, environmental responsiveness and marketing objectives. Our Qt Conference Room Edition, which had already won numerous best of show awards at InfoComm 2015, took home a bronze medal. This is quite an honor considering the Qt Conference Room Edition was up against any and all architectural products including office furniture, design products – even kitchen and bathroom sinks! The fact that the conference room edition was even nominated (let alone won an award) is a testament to how the interior design and architecture communities feel that sound masking an integral part workplace design.

The second award we won was a Facility Executive 2016 Readers’ Choice Award in the category of Sound Masking. Winners will be announced in the January/February issue of Facility Executive Magazine. Readers of the magazine voted for the best product or service based on aesthetics, reliability, value and customer service. The winners are chosen from a wide range of the most dynamic manufacturers by facility industry readers. Readers select companies that are the most beneficial to their work and represent leading solutions in 2015. We’re honored that facility executives chose Cambridge Sound Management as their favorite sound masking manufacturer.

We thank all of our customers for making 2015 an unbelievable year for Cambridge Sound Management. Here’s to another great year in 2016!

Cambridge Sound Management Recognized as the Leading Sound Masking Company

Commercial Integrator announced today that Cambridge Sound Management won the magazine’s Brand Leader Award in the Acoustical Treatments Category. This was an exciting award for us because we were chosen by the integrator community — winners were chosen through a poll of Commercial Integrator’s entire database of installers and asked what their preferred brand was. 46% of respondents said Cambridge Sound Management was their favorite.

From the article:

UntitledThis category was among those showing a clear leader among the respondents, with Cambridge Sound Management named by almost all of those whole filled out the survey. Auralex finished a distant second, with less than half the backing of Cambridge Sound, while Primacoustic rounded out the top three.

We’re thrilled that the integrator and installer community thinks so highly of us – we always want to be seen as the leading sound masking company. We were also pleasantly surprised to see that we were the only sound masking company in the top 3 — Auralex and Primacoustic mainly manufacture sound barriers, wall treatments, and other sound absorption materials so we don’t really consider them our competitors. I asked the editors of Commercial Integrator if any other sound masking companies received votes and apparently we won in a runaway — the next closest sound masking company was the preferred brand of only 5% of respondents.

To us though, awards like this aren’t about beating the competition or being number one (although it’s nice), but about getting validation from our partners that we’re treating them well. One of our main goals is to provide our partner network with great products and service so it’s easy for them to service their own customers. Awards like this confirm that we’re succeeding.

You can read our press release on the award here.


Sound Masking: An Essential Tool for Fixing Office Noise Problems

Buildings magazine did a feature article in their August issue titled Listen Up: Fix Your Acoustic Problems in 4 Steps. The article did a great job articulating the workplace speech privacy crisis and how it’s damaging to employee productivity and satisfaction. Several solutions to the problem are discussed, including adding a sound masking system.

The article begins by explaining how a lack of workplace speech privacy is actually detrimental to productivity, citing a Center for the Built Environment Study that found that 60% of office workers in cubicles say that acoustics directly interferes with their job performance. One stat I was not familiar with is that apparently office productivity can drop as much as 66% when employees who are trying to read or write are disturbed by nearby conversations!

Since it’s been proven that bad acoustics can result in lost productivity, it follows that improving those acoustics could result in measurable productivity gains. Our own sound masking ROI calculator plays with that notion by estimating the real dollars and cents impact for companies that install QtPro to mitigate excessive office speech distractions, assuming only a modest 3% productivity gain.

The article goes on to explain methods that building managers can make to mitigate workplace noise distractions including hiring an acoustical consultant during the building phase, investing in cutting edge ceiling titles, or adding better blocking materials. While adding ceiling clouds, wall modules, or walls that go all the way to the ceiling deck might help towards creating an acoustically comfortable environment, adding these materials to an office space can be an expensive and sometimes impractical endeavor. In fact, by the time many facility managers realize their office has a noise problem, the building has already been built and a costly acoustical retrofit is out of the question.

Sound masking provides a low impact, relatively inexpensive solution to the problem. The article mentions that sound masking is a “good option” but doesn’t delve much into how it works. Sound masking works by adding an engineered sound, similar to the sound of airflow but specifically tuned to mask the sound of human speech, to a workplace. The introduced sound covers up excess speech noise in an environment, making speech at distances from 15-100 feet away much less intelligible, and thus less distracting. Sound masking systems are typically much less expensive and easier to have installed than many sound deadening materials.

This isn’t to say that sound masking is the only way to make workplaces more comfortable, but it’s an essential, affordable tool for helping builders design acoustically comfortable environments without sacrificing aesthetics.

– Mark Hughes