Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about sound masking?  Find the answers to the most common questions here.  Can't find what you're looking for?  Contact us for support.

Research conducted over the last decade by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) and others shows that poor acoustics are the number one cause of workplace dissatisfaction and the most significant factor affecting employee performance.

If you work in a modern office, you can likely relate. Usually, you're spending time on work that requires concentration. Disruptive noises and conversations make tasks harder to complete. Errors happen more often. That adds to stress. And it takes more effort to focus - which tires you out, affecting your mood and, ultimately, your productivity.

It's not something to be taken lightly. A survey of 400 business managers conducted by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the University of Maryland identifies office noise control as the greatest opportunity for productivity improvements. And in an American Institute of Interior Designers' (ASID) study, more than 70 per cent of respondents said they would be more productive if their workplace was quieter.

The CBE also found a strong link between workplace dissatisfaction and speech privacy levels. Many employees are disturbed by people talking on telephones or in surrounding areas. And they're concerned by the fact others can overhear their private conversations. Maintaining confidentiality can also be essential to your organization.

Sound masking systems use loudspeakers to distribute a comfortable, engineered background sound. This makes it difficult to hear conversations or incidental noises.

The LogiSon® Acoustic Network’s loudspeakers are usually installed in a grid-like pattern above the ceiling tiles.

You can control the LogiSon Acoustic Network from a control panel or a PC. If you need on-demand acoustic control in private offices or meeting rooms, you can install keypads and also use remote controls.

If you'd like to page employees (selectively, or across a wide area), or even provide music, you can do both through the same set of loudspeakers.

The LogiSon Acoustic Network also protects against eavesdropping and electronic espionage by employing multiple independent sound generators.

In short, the LogiSon Acoustic Network is a complete acoustic control solution.

If you've ever run water at your kitchen sink while trying to talk to someone in the next room, you'll understand how sound masking works. You can tell your conversational partner is speaking, but it's difficult to comprehend what they're saying. That's because the running water has raised the noise floor in your area.

The noise floor is the level of constant sound present in a space. If it is too high, you'll find it irritating. Too low, and you can easily overhear conversations and noises.

Sound masking systems create a noise floor high enough to mask unwanted noises, and low enough for acoustic comfort. Sound masking works because the human ear can't separate, or distinguish, sounds of similar volume and frequency.

So, you can reduce distractions and achieve speech privacy. A more consistent sound volume across your facility also makes it feel quieter. Movements from one area to another become less disruptive.

You must be able to hear the sound masking for it to be effective. But it's designed to be as unnoticeable as possible. It doesn't contain distracting patterns, and it's tuned so you don't hear volume changes as you move throughout your facility. Employees come to consider it a natural part of their environment in a short period of time.

The LogiSon® Acoustic Network offers the highest sound masking uniformity in the industry. It provides zone sizes of 1 to 3 speakers, or 225 to 675 square feet. Such small zone sizes mean the masking sound can be specifically designed for your space.

There are two additional elements for enhancing acoustic comfort:

  • The Ramp-Up Feature is ideal for installing the LogiSon Acoustic Network in an already-occupied facility. It automatically increases the sound masking system's volume over the course of 60 days, helping workplace occupants acclimatize.
  • The Timer Feature schedules the sound masking volume to match expected activity or occupancy levels throughout the day. It ensures the sound masking is loud enough to be effective during busy times, and low enough to be comfortable at quieter times.

We haven't provided an audio file on our website because we can't ensure the quality of the playback. Most computer speakers would poorly reproduce the masking sound.

If you would like to hear the LogiSon® Acoustic Network in operation, the best option is to ask a LogiSon Representative to give you a demonstration or take you on a tour of an existing installation.

Music alone does not provide the frequency spectrum required to consistently mask conversation and office noise. Music preferences are a matter of personal taste, and because music contains variations and patterns, it becomes inherently distracting.

Your airflow system turns on and off throughout the day in order to regulate building temperature. It can't be relied on to provide constant coverage. And, when it is on, the sound it produces is not at an appropriate volume level or in the correct frequency spectrum to mask speech.

The term “white noise” describes a specific type of sound used in early sound masking systems during the 1970s. These systems were inflexible and the hissing quality of their sound prevented widespread acceptance, but the term became widely adopted. The LogiSon® Acoustic Network makes an engineered sound comparable to that of soft airflow. If you'd like to hear the system in action, contact your LogiSon® Representative for a demonstration or site tour.

No. Noise-cancellation technology uses microphones to detect noise, which in turn signal a computer (connected with a loudspeaker) to produce an equal and opposite sound wave. This sound wave is projected in the same direction as the noise, which eliminates it.

Noise cancellation is effective for continuous, low-frequency sounds such as engines and traffic. Its applications are limited because the noise source and the listener must always be in the same position for the effects to be experienced. Cancellation is not useful in the office because it can't address the variable and high-frequency nature of speech, or the movement of employees.

Noise-cancelling headphones, one of the most popular applications of noise-cancellation, are used to eliminate background sound. That makes surrounding conversations easier to hear.

Many people believe acoustic materials need to be installed prior to project completion. However, the LogiSon® Acoustic Network is easily installed in existing facilities, addressing acoustic problems without requiring a large-scale renovation. If needed, arrangements can be made with your LogiSon Representative to install the system outside regular working hours.

Sound masking can help create an open space that supports both individual focus work and interaction between employees. It can maintain acoustic control if employee density increases, or if the height of workstation partitions decreases.

Sound masking should be installed throughout your space. If the masking sound is present in one area and not in another, it will draw attention as occupants move about. Acoustic treatments of individual private offices or selected areas in an open plan are not recommended.

Conversations that require speech privacy usually take place in closed rooms. But air transfer components, poor door seals, gaps between the wall and ceiling, and breaks in the plenum barriers provide clear paths for overhearing these conversations in neighboring offices. Although the level of acoustic comfort experienced by employees in private offices is generally higher than those in cubicles, almost one third still feel workplace noise interferes with their ability to do their job. And many people keep the doors to their offices open. In this case, they can have less noise control than employees occupying cubicles.

When a meeting room is used for presentations or conversations, sound masking ensures the participants are not disturbed by outside office noise. However, they still need acoustic control – over the sound masking system's volume, for example. The LogiSon® Programmable Keypads give users the ability to adjust the masking and paging volumes, or mute them. This feature is particularly useful in rooms also used for video or teleconferencing, when the sound masking system must be turned down or off so it doesn't interfere with a microphone.

The background sound level in offices is often so low that voices carry over a distance of 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters), or more. Sound masking dramatically reduces that distance. The exact distance is affected by office layout and any other resident acoustic treatments, but 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters), or approximately 2 workstations, is a good expectation. It can be less.

Over shorter distances, sound masking may not prevent you hearing that someone is speaking, but it will prevent you from understanding what is being said. This is a key benefit, because understandable speech is the least private and causes the most distraction.

Yes. The acoustic comfort of your space before and after the introduction of sound masking can be measured using a sound analyzer. These measurements include volume, contour, spatial and temporal consistency, dynamic range, and speech privacy levels. All measurements and analysis should be provided by a qualified acoustical engineer.

Sound masking works because occupants come to consider it a natural feature of the space they're in. If the masking system is turned on and off, or the volume is often adjusted, it will call attention to the system, which could then become a distraction.

The LogiSon® Acoustic Network has a Timer Feature that can be programmed to gradually adjust the masking volume to match expected changes in activity levels throughout the day.

If you change your facility's layout, your LogiSon Representative should make the required changes to the masking sound. Properly altering the volume or frequency requires both training and specialized equipment.

You can alter other settings using any of the options the LogiSon Acoustic Network offers.

The LogiSon® Acoustic Network can be expanded or relocated with ease.

Locations such as airport lounges and members’ clubs, which are similar to open-plan office environments, can benefit. However, most restaurants are characterized by high background sound levels and a lot of echo. These issues should be addressed with absorptive materials.

Sound masking addresses noise problems caused by low background sound levels. Because industrial environments usually feature high background sound levels, introducing sound masking won't have an impact.

It is difficult to control outdoor noise. Sound masking systems aren't designed for installation in outdoor conditions and it is difficult to properly distribute the sound in such a setting. Physical barriers can be constructed, but may have a limited impact depending on the type of noise you need to address. Landscape designers recommend using water features, such as small fountains, to distract listeners.

If you feel your work environment is susceptible to noise or a lack of speech privacy, you can speak with your facility or department manager about your concerns.

If they would like to learn more about sound masking, suggest they read our Understanding Sound Masking brochure and use the LogiSon® ROI Calculator worksheet.

The LogiSon Acoustic Network is provided through an international network of distributors. They can answer questions concerning your local market, arrange a demonstration, and provide you with additional resources to aid in planning and decision-making.

First, we visit your facility to ensure the conditions required by the LogiSon® Acoustic Network are in place. We review paging, music and/or security requirements. You're encouraged to ask questions and better familiarize yourself with sound masking functions and benefits.

To properly design the LogiSon Acoustic Network, we require blueprints or CAD files of the reflected ceiling plan, the furniture layout, and the partition plan.

With this information in hand, we plan a custom installation, consulting contractors, designers and other trades as required.