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Selecting a Sound Masking System: Don’t be a Box Checker!

If you are considering implementing a sound masking system for your workplace, we hope that you will consider ADI Acoustics for the job.

However, if you want to look at multiple sources, we humbly offer a few ideas on how to assess differing systems and providers.

Are you buying a system to provide improved workplace productivity?  Or are you just checking a sound masking box on your to-do list?

We encourage you not to be a “Box Checker”.  Take the time to ensure that your workplace goals are achieved.

There are three basic ways to buy a sound masking system.

  1. Turn-key design, install & commission.
  2. Consultant design, bid, install.
  3. Add on to furniture or data contract.

ADI Acoustics is a Turn-Key provider.  We design systems using equipment from multiple manufacturers.  Every system is designed to maximize performance in the specific office environment that our clients are designing.  The system is then installed and commissioned by Technicians that are trained in acoustics and sound masking systems.

There are many very capable acoustical consultants.  However, many of them are influenced in their designs by the marketing materials of sound masking system manufacturers.  This frequently leads to systems that are trendy or overly complicated.  The end-user pays for the design.  The design is then bid out through the general contractor and the consultant is called back to ensure delivery.  The chain of custody is a bit muddled and service after the sale may be compromised.  The combined costs of multiple parties frequently drive up the costs.

There are many furniture dealers, data cabling vendors and AV vendors that will provide sound masking.  Most of them sell a “plug and play” system that is designed to be installed by those without experience in acoustics or sound masking.  The systems most certainly work.  However, the level of performance and occupant acceptability is not up to the standards of those with expertise in acoustics and sound masking.  We call this the “do you want fries with that” approach.  The end-user is already spending thousands of dollars for furniture or AV, why not throw sound masking in as an extra.

The Turn-Key Value Proposition:

ADI Acoustics has expertise in acoustics.  That means that we understand how sound interacts with the built environment and how it affects the occupants.  In addition to delivering high performing sound masking systems, we understand how to make them work in a way that is highly acceptable to our client’s employees.

Sound masking done the ADI way provides a uniform, soft background sound.  The sound resembles sounds that we find in nature.  Imagine a day at the beach.  A day of fun and relaxation with the sounds of the surf in the background.  After a day like that, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would get in the car and say “finally, the sound of the surf is gone”.  When we commission sound masking, we shape the sound and keep the frequencies that most people describe as objectionable out of the mix.  The result is occupant acceptability.  With nearly 20 years of experience, we have cracked the code.

We also offer our acoustical expertise to our clients in support of their design decisions.  We understand where adding acoustical materials will help reduce distracting noise.  We understand where removing reflective materials will help to avoid noise problems. 

As you search for your sound masking solution, make sure you get the quality and performance that you expect.  Don’t be a “Box Checker”.

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