As its name implies, sound masking is a technique for minimizing unwanted sound by adding less intrusive noise into an environment.
Atlas Sound’s M1000 masking speaker system Speech privacy tops the list of its benefits and selling points for systems contractors. And as the financial crisis deepens and corporations restructure, employees are edgy about eavesdropping.
According to Steve Young, Atlas Sound’s vice president of sales and marketing, there is nothing mysterious about sound masking and any integrator working with distributed audio systems is capable.
As a profit center, sound masking is showing potential across vertical markets, wherever “there is a need for sound privacy,” Young said. Waiting rooms, legal consultation areas, and openplan offices are popular applications. It can also help hospitals and healthcare facilities comply with HIPAA and GLBA regulations. “There is nothing better or more cost effective per square foot than sound masking for open office voice privacy,” Young said.
Atlas Sound offers soup to nuts support for sound masking systems, from in-house design assistance to loudspeakers. Dr. Robert C. Chanaud, a sound masking expert and author of seminal works on the subject, is even available for project consultation.
No matter which manufacturer is supplying the equipment, Young believes that “uniform coverage is the key to a good sound masking system.” The end-user shouldn’t be able to discern the origin of the equalized pink noise.
While some integrators carry masking as one of many service offerings, dealers like Steve Johnson offer it as a core competency. Johnson’s company, ADI Workplace Acoustics, based in Lakewood, CO, specializes in sound masking and speech privacy. ADI stands out for its expertise and business model as a single point-ofcontact for design and delivery. Atlanta- based Dynasound is another company that makes sound-masking technology and has seen a 141 percent sales over the past two years.