When designing an optimal acoustic environment, consultants typically consider a variety of elements referred to as the ABC’s of acoustic design. In an ideal environment, the design elements would Absorb, Block and Cover sound. Consultants balance these elements to reduce conversational distractions while designing an open, aesthetically pleasing office.
What is sound masking?
Sound masking is the “cover” portion of the equation. Sound masking is the addition of an unobtrusive background sound, similar to airflow, to reduce the intelligibility of human speech and reduce distractions. The resulting environment leads to greater productivity and increased privacy and comfort.
What is the privacy index and how does adding sound increase privacy and reduce distractions?
Speech privacy is the inability of an unintentional listener to understand someone’s words. The higher the privacy index, the more confidential the speaker’s conversation becomes. When someone’s conversation is clearly understood, the speech becomes a distraction and the speaker has less privacy. With the addition of sound masking, the speaker’s voice becomes less intelligible. Their voice becomes less of a distraction and their privacy increases.
In a laboratory study between 2006 and 2008, researchers found that the addition of sound masking increased speech privacy from 35% to 90%.
Researchers found that study participants had a nearly 10% improvement in their ability to recollect a series of numbers and words after the addition of sound masking.
In a 2008 survey, researchers found that workers lost an average of 21.5 minutes each day to conversational distractions.
48% of survey respondents reported that conversational distractions were the leading cause of workplace discomfort.
QtPro™ Sound Masking System Advantages
Precise, uniform sound masking coverage
QtPro™ systems provide precise control over where the masking sound is emitted. This means that sound masking is dispersed only in the spaces in which it is needed, eliminating unwanted spill over into adjacent spaces. The system provides a uniform blanket of sound coverage throughout the work space and is unaffected by ceiling design. The sound is transmitted as four uncorrelated channels, creating a more pleasant and comfortable masking sound.
Versatile, flexible to work in extraordinary spaces
Qt® emitters can be installed into any work space, no matter what type of ceiling is present. The system is designed to grow and change with your business. Qt emitters can be moved and reconfigured with minimal effort and impact when your work space changes.
Simple, low impact installation
Qt® emitters are installed along a simple grid pattern with space determined by ceiling height. In new construction or in existing space, emitters can be installed rapidly and with low impact to the surroundings and little to no down-time for the business.
Designed to adapt
The Qt® system is designed to grow and change with your business. Qt emitters can be moved and reconfigured with minimal effort and impact when your work space needs to change.
Integrated paging and music
Qt® systems integrate paging and music functionality, making this 3-in-1 system a complete solution for creating better acoustic environments.
Quiet Technology is the most environmentally friendly sound masking system on the market. All Qt® systems are GreenSpec listed for their energy efficiency. Qt can also contribute to your facility’s LEED certification by improving your acoustic environment and can mitigate the acoustic challenges created by some LEED requirements.
Pre-tuned, saving valuable time and money
Each Qt® system comes pre-tuned with our masking spectrum, specifically calibrated to efficiently mask the frequencies most commonly associated with the human voice.
Qt® Quiet Technology meets:
The DCID 6/9 Requirements for helping organizations reach a Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) of 45 or better (sound groups 3 & 4) to secure verbal communications in Government and Military installations.