How Is Sound Masking Different To White Noise?
When searching for ways to improve your office acoustics, you may have come across two options: sound masking and white noise. But how are they different, and which option is best?
Sound Masking vs White Noise – What’s the difference?
White noise is a type of sound that is produced by combining different frequencies together. It’s often compared to the sound of loud AM radio static. It’s designed to drown-out distracting sounds and make them unintelligible.
The signal combines all the tones that a human can hear, and offers equal intensity across the different frequencies so you don’t have to worry about one frequency jarring against another. One of the key benefits people associate with white noise is helping people to fall asleep more easily, especially if you have thin walls and want to prevent the sound of your neighbour’s loud music or TV keeping you up all night.
Sound masking on the other hand is an acoustic technology that’s specially engineered to match the frequency of human speech, commonly used within workplaces like offices and factories. Its key benefits are increasing speech privacy and minimising the intelligibility of distracting noises. For example, by raising the levels of ambient sound, the human ear can no longer clearly make out the words being spoken on the other side of the office, or in the adjacent meeting room. Sound masking is often compared to the sound of air flow, offering a calming and subtle ambience. Businesses tend to favour this option over white noise.
Which is better?
Sound masking is a more sophisticated solution than white noise, designed to target the same frequencies as the human voice and having the ability to ‘mask’ it.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your office acoustics, sound masking is by far the better choice.