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Sound Masking Systems FAQ’s

ABOUT SOFT dB SOUND MASKING SYSTEMS

Building Systems Solutions is a regional representative for Soft dB Sound Masking Systems. Soft dB offers specialized services and products in acoustics and vibration. We have sold their sound masking systems for over 8 years and are Soft dB’s largest representative in the United States. To learn more about their system components or view spec sheets please visit our Soft dB Products page.

The video below provides a quick overview of the Soft dB Sound Masking components and a visual demonstration on how the system works.

THE ABC’s OF WHITE NOISE AND SOUND MASKING

There are three ways to address sound issues within a facility: You can Absorb sound, Block sound, or Cover the sound. In many cases, the most cost effective and efficient means to address sound issues within a facility is to use a white noise system to cover the background noise.

WHAT IS WHITE NOISE?

White noise is the addition of random sound waves into an environment to cover entire spectrum of human hearing. White noise reduces or eliminates awareness of ambient sounds in a covered area and can make a work environment more comfortable so workers can better concentrate and be more productive, all while ensuring speech privacy for employees and clients.

White noise is an essential component of any workspace design. White noise makes speech unintelligible beyond 15 to 20 feet in workspaces and increases productivity by making it easier for staff to concentrate. When patient or client privacy is paramount, white noise can keep conversations and data confidential.

HOW DOES WHITE NOISE WORK?

The Soft dB Sound Masking System has three main components: a controller, speakers and sensors (visit the bottom of our product page for full selection). The controller emits a sound spectrum that covers the range of human hearing into the building space through a system of speakers installed in the plenum of the ceiling. In most facilities, the speakers are pointed upwards to bounce the spectrum off the roof deck, through the ceiling tile and down into the workspace.

Because sound is energy, whenever a noise source, like a human voice, passes through a masking sound wave, it is dissipated and loses energy and intelligibility.

This makes it possible for conversations to be held at normal volume levels and not be intelligible beyond 15 or 20 feet in open space. It also makes it possible to achieve speech confidentiality in closed areas like offices or patient rooms.

HOW DOES Soft dB’s AUTOMATIC LEVEL CONTROL FUNCTION WORK?

The sensors in the Soft dB Sound Masking System constantly monitor the ambient noise levels in open plan areas. When they sense the noise levels have increased or decreased, the sensors send a message to the controller, which automatically adjusts the system’s sound levels to compensate for the change in ambient background levels.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM WHITE NOISE?

White noise can benefit any company or organization concerned with the acoustical comfort of their work environment, that want to increase the productivity of its employees and that want to provide oral privacy and customer confidentiality. White noise can help:

• Health care facilities stay compliant with HIPAA standards by keeping protected health information confidential and reducing staff fatigue and error rates.

• Financial institutions ensure that client financial information is kept private and that conversations with clients remain confidential.

• Insurance companies show due diligence in protecting personal information discussed with policyholders.

• Law firms keep the personal and legal information of clients confidential.

• Any other company interested in increasing staff productivity and employee satisfaction. The use of white noise can provide cost savings on building costs.

WHAT IS THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) OF WHITE NOISE?

Unlike some facility improvements, adding white noise to a facility yields a significant return-on investment through increased employee productivity. White noise can increase productivity 300 to 600 percent.

A study by the Data Management Association found that open-plan workplaces that lack white noise systems experience a 40 percent loss in productivity and 27 percent more errors. Installing a white noise system can also help companies save money on new construction projects. Workspaces with white noise systems require less insulation and interior walls, less expensive ceiling tile and lower partitions, saving companies up to $3 per square foot.

A Small Investment – with BIG Returns!

At around US $1 per square foot, a white noise system becomes profitable very quickly.
Productivity increases of just 2% lead to a return on investment of 500%.

*Price is supplied and installed and varies depending on project size and conditions

Here is an example of the ROI a company can expect with a white noise system:

-Annual salary of an employee: $30,000
-Area occupied by the employee: 120 Sq. ft.
-Cost of masking per employee: 120 sq. ft. x $1.00 = $120
-Salary recovered in productivity: 2% of employee’s time x $30,000 = $600
-Return on investment: $600 (productivity gains per employee) = 500% vs. $120
(cost of masking per employee)

*Source of this ROI Calculation is Soft dB Materials

WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

If you’d like to learn more about how the Soft dB Sound Masking System can improve privacy and productivity in your workplace or you would like an on-site demonstration how we can achieve speech privacy in exam rooms, conference rooms, private offices or patient rooms, please contact us.

If you would like to receive more information on our Speech Privacy Testing services or to book a testing please contact us.

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