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POLAR’s Definitive Guide to Sound Masking

If, in a range of office environments:
Conversations can be heard by people that are not purposely a part of them, or
Noise levels are so high that people’s ability to concentrate is compromised,
then your business would benefit from a sound masking solution.

More advanced construction materials, that absorb sound instead of expanding it, will reduce the need for retrospective solutions in smaller spaces, but this conversation-drift in larger open-plan spaces might unknowingly be costing you more than just money. Not containing sound creates poor working conditions and the opportunity for confidential information to be unknowingly leaked, and the consequences of either could be far greater than the cost of putting it right.

The Consequences of Poor Acoustics?

General noise distraction affects concentration levels, thereby reducing productivity and creating the opportunity for errors. When people get distracted, it can take many minutes to return to their original state of flow and get their work back on track. This reduced productivity and any errors that result, both cost money.

In many workplace settings, overhearing information that should not have been shared with you, can have serious implications for both you and others. Poor acoustics can even result in conversations behind closed doors being heard by those outside the room. Just consider the implications of this for HR, Insider Dealing, Medical Privacy, and more.

We can’t always see that there’s a problem, but if you have employees wearing headphones or choosing to work alone in offices instead of with colleagues, then the signs are there for you to see. Based on their workplace dissatisfaction, their next action might be to leave and find a better working environment.

How Do I Fix This?

Essentially, a Sound Masking system creates ‘noise’ at the same frequency as human speech and uses hidden speakers to broadcast that undetectable ‘noise.’ The result is that the speech from others is now less audible, less intelligible, and therefore less distracting. No longer does it create the interruptions to concentration and productivity.

The equipment you need, a sound masking generator and speakers to distribute the noise evenly across the working environment, can either be purchased for this dedicated use, or can be part of a planned full audio solution along with paging and music distribution capabilities. The generator and speakers are typically located above the ceiling making it virtually undetectable, with a controller usually located in your server room and connected over the network.

If your Sound Masking has been correctly specified and installed, not only will you not see it, but you won’t audibly be aware of it either. The idea isn’t to create ‘noise’ to be louder than speech, as that would equally be a distraction, but for the Sound Masking frequencies to emulate the background ‘chatter’ of a working environment, making unexpected speech more difficult to hear by accident, and thereby less distracting.

Sound Masking systems can also be used if there is a problem from external noise, such as the close proximity of a main road or a factory production unit with machinery creating a distraction.

What’s My Return on Such Investment?

• Privacy is improved. Conversations that should be private remain private removing the potential of unintended disclosure of confidential information.

• Your workplace has been transformed into a more comfortable and therefore productive workplace to work in. This might also help retain staff.

• Less distractions = greater productivity.

• Less expensive than alternative options, such as sound blocking materials as part of a refit or a larger construction project.

Why Partner with POLAR for Sound Masking Solutions?

Firstly, your space might not need Sound Masking after all, and the audio quality could be solved with some acoustic treatments to the walls or ceilings if you have a lot of glass walls and non-carpeted floors. POLAR has cost-effective solutions for this too.

But if Sound Masking is required, AtlasIED, an exclusive POLAR brand, offers the most extensive range of Sound Masking solutions to achieve the most cost-effective and high-performing system possible.

POLAR is a trade-only supplier, but we employ our own in-house pre-sales technical team that works with architects, consultants and contractors to help design and specify the correct acoustic solutions for a wide range of applications, including Sound Masking.

POLAR is pleased to offer AtlasIED’s extensive Sound Masking product line that remove distractions from very small spaces to much bigger multi zone rooms. There is a choice of self-contained systems together with a range of noise generators and special loudspeakers from a company who have been at the forefront of audio solutions, including Sound Masking, for over 30 years.

As part of AtlasIED’s comprehensive portfolio, there’s even a solution that combines Sound Masking with music distribution and paging.