Sound Masking

Office Sound Masking Systems

Is noise making it difficult to concentrate at work? Can you hear private conversations from 50 feet away? We can help. At Building Systems Solutions, we provide sound systems for workspaces that address safety, communication, and privacy concerns for companies and spaces of all types and sizes. By integrating our carefully crafted ambient sound layer into your workspace, you can effectively drown out distracting noises and voices, creating a more peaceful and productive workspace for everyone. Let us show you how our sound masking systems can reduce distractions and improve productivity in your space – schedule a demo today!

How Does Sound Masking Work?

Soft dB Products

Soft dB Products

Soft dB offers the only adaptive sound masking system on the market today. It automatically shapes the masking spectrum to match the acoustics of a space.

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Sound Masking Systems FAQS

Sound Masking Systems FAQS

Sound masking systems emit subtle ambient sound – similar to the sound of air flow – through a loudspeaker system to muffle conversations and other noise distractions.

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Good vs. Bad Sound Masking

Good vs. Bad Sound Masking

We understand each space has its own unique acoustic characteristics that require a different masking spectrum to provide optimum privacy and productivity.

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ROI of Sound Masking

ROI of Sound Masking

Adding a sound masking system to your facility yields a significant return-on-investment through increased employee productivity.

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Privacy Testing

Privacy Testing

Testing your facility for speech privacy standards can help show due diligence in compliance with national speech privacy regulations like HIPAA.

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Speech Privacy Regulations

Speech Privacy Regulations

Building Systems Solutions can design and install a customized sound masking system that will ensure the privacy of your patients or clients.

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The Sounds of the Changing Work Environment

With advances in technology and communication tools, modern work spaces function much differently than the paper-driven offices of the past. They also look quite different. Many companies have moved from mostly closed office arrangements to open floor plans in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a more collaborative work environment. While this trend quickly became popular, it wasn’t long before we discovered the challenges of an open office plan. Among the biggest complaints from employees? Sound.

Most offices face one or more of these sound problems:

  • The office space is too loud and disruptive, because sound travels freely throughout the space without barriers to stop it.
  • The office is too quiet because there is no background noise; people can hear every word, laugh, or sneeze from their co-workers.
  • Private conversations (HR, legal, HIPPA confidential) need better protection.

At Building Systems Solutions, we are passionate about improving other people’s spaces. Our owner, Megan Nord, addresses how a sound masking system can be used to treat these issues in an article for the Minnesota Real Estate Journal. Read the Article.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sound Masking Systems

What is sound masking?

Sound masking is a technology that involves adding ambient background sound to an office or space to reduce or mask noise distractions, protect private conversations, and create a more comfortable environment. Sound masking does not “cancel out” other sounds. It is an inconspicuous sound that is engineered to match the frequencies of human speech.

Who needs sound masking?

Our large and growing customer base is made up of clients in a diverse range of industries. Industries and offices that can benefit from sound masking include:

  • Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Hotels
  • Governments
  • Institutions
  • Call Centers
  • Architects and Designers
  • General Contractors
  • Professional Services
  • Offices

To receive more information on our speech privacy testing services or to book a testing, please give us a call at 763-502-1515, or fill out our contact form here.

Does sound masking work?

Yes! While it sounds counterintuitive, adding background sound to a space actually makes the room seem quieter. The added ambient sound makes human speech hard or even impossible to understand, so you can’t hear conversations from 15 or 20 feet away. When you can’t make out what people are saying, their words become less distracting. In fact, most people won’t even notice outside conversations when a sound masking system is present.

How is sound masking different than white noise?

Although sound masking is often referred to as “white noise,” the sounds are quite different, scientifically speaking. Sound masking systems are engineered to produce sound that matches the frequencies of human speech. When done properly, sound masking is basically unnoticeable; it fades into the background sounds of the space.

White noise combines sounds of all different frequencies together. If you took all of the possible tones that the human ear can hear and combined them, you’d get white noise.

Because sound masking matches the frequencies of human speech only, most people find it to be more comfortable and effective than white noise for eliminating distractions.

Wait, so what is pink noise?

The colors attributed to noise refer to the different frequencies audible to the human ear that make up that noise. Just like white light is made up of all the colors of the rainbow we can see, white noise is made up of all the tones that the human ear can hear. A good example of white noise is the static you hear on a fuzzy television channel.

Pink noise is white noise, but it doesn’t have equal power across all frequencies audible to the human ear. Instead, pink noise has reduced higher frequencies. Think of the sound of rainfall or wind. For most people, it’s a bit more soothing than white noise.

There are other colors of sound, including blue, gray, and brown, and they all affect listeners in different ways. The sound emitted from our sound masking systems is not strictly white noise or pink noise – it is a spectrum of sound that matches the frequencies of human speech, and it is presented at an unobtrusive volume to mask distracting speech sounds and to protect speech privacy.

Is sound masking safe?

Sound masking does not have any adverse health effects. OSHA, FGI, and ASTM are among several organizations that recognize sound masking as a safe technology for reducing speech intelligibility and noise-related distractions.

When you work with Building Systems Solutions to add a sound masking system to your facility, we can actually make your workplace safer by incorporating an emergency warning and paging system into the installation. In the event of an emergency, the emergency warning and paging system utilizes the same speakers used for sound masking to transmit alerts.

What is the proper sound spectrum for a sound masking system?

We believe the Soft dB Sound Masking System is the best sound masking technology on the market due to its adaptive capabilities. By monitoring the sound levels within a space, the system is able to achieve an optimum sound spectrum that strikes a balance between acoustics that are pleasing to the ear and effective at sound masking.

Contact Us

Want to learn more about office sound masking systems or schedule a demonstration? Give us a call at 763-502-1515, or fill out the contact form here.

Words From Satisified Customers

We have worked with BSS on several sound masking projects for our clients with successful results. The process begins with a well-designed layout and an accurate budget. That way the client knows exactly what they are getting and can adjust as needed. Their team is responsive and great to work with during the install process. After install BSS schedules a tutorial with the client on how to use their new sound masking system. Because BSS is a leader in product and design the client receives an intuitive system thus another satisfied client.

Heather Weerheim
Greiner Construction