How Sound Masking Works

To better understand sound masking, imagine you’re looking at a playground through your office window.

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If the glass is clear, you can see almost every detail, right down to the color of the slide and what the kids are wearing. Your brain stays focused on the playground rather than your work because there’s so much that catches the eye. It’s similar to when we overhear a conversation next to us—the brain wants to stop what it’s doing and sop up all the juicy details. If the glass is frosted, you can only see only a blur of colors. To the brain, the picture is so diluted and dull that the project at hand continues to remain the most interesting thing to focus on. Likewise, when a conversation is distorted, there’s nothing that draws the mind to it.

Noise in itself isn’t always a concentration-killer. The brain actually prefers a little background noise as opposed to pure silence to stay in work mode. It’s why so many creatives head to quiet coffee shops to tackle challenging projects.

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The key to true worker satisfaction is to establish stochastic resonance, the optimal noise level that is favorable to our senses. While it sounds illogical, adding low, continual ambient sound to the environment through a sound masking system causes the brain to subconsciously blur distracting noise so that it’s no longer interesting to listen to. Yet, sound masking still allows for enough mind-boosting “good” noise to break through.

To discover 6 other lesser known benefits of sound masking, download our guidebook. Not a big reader? Just schedule a 10 minute call with us to determine if sound masking is the right solution to your noise pollution problem.

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