Cambridge Sound Management, Quiet technology

Insights for Facility Managers

Are your neighbors too nosy?

Sound Masking is the most cost effective alternative for improving workplace comfort and productivity.

What is sound masking?

Sound masking is the addition of a familiar-sounding air conditioning-like background sound to an environment, intended to "cover-up" unwanted conversations. Here's an analogy. Imagine you are in a darkened room and a child is flicking a flashlight on and off. The light is noticeable. Now imagine that the lights are on. The same flashlight is now unnoticed; it has been masked. This is how sound masking works.

flashlight

Higher cubicles, rearranging your workspace and building full walls are solutions too, but the addition of a sound masking system is the most cost-effective path to improved workplace acoustics.

Who needs sound masking?

Workplace acoustics are often overlooked. Adding sound masking can improve acoustical comfort in just about every environment, but here are some workspaces that benefit the most:

Qt Quiet technology™ sound masking vs. Competitive systems

Ours: A Qt Quiet technology™ sound masking system is direct-field and installed in the workspace. Miniature emitters, or speakers, uniformly disperse a pre-programmed, spectra-appropriate sound through four sequenced channels. The result is a sound far quieter than competing alternatives for the same level of masking speech.

ours technology

Theirs: Competing sound masking systems are "in-plenum", meaning large paint can-like loudspeakers are installed above the ceiling tiles. Sound is bounced off the ceiling deck, through the ceiling tiles and into the workspace below. The sound is unpredictable and louder for the same level of speech privacy. These systems create "hot" spots and unwanted masking noise often spills into unintended spaces such as private offices. In-plenum systems have been around since the 1960's. It is time for a change.

ours technology

Why Qt Quiet technology™ sound masking from Cambridge Sound Management?

Designed and invented by acoustical professionals with decades of combined experience, sound masking systems built with Qt Quiet technology™ share these features:

Cambridge Sound Management is a product spin-off of world-renowned acoustical consulting firms Acentech and Bolt, Beranak and Newman (BBN).

What are the ABCs of Workplace Acoustics?

There are three ways to improve workplace acoustics and solve your sound problems – the ABC's.

While all three of these are recommended to achieve optimal results, C = Cover-up by increasing background sound produces the most dramatic improvement in speech privacy – with the least disruption and the lowest cost.

In your role as facility manager, you are the expert; you anticipate problems with your work environment and respond to complaints. In this valued role, you need to know about SOUND MASKING and you need to know about Cambridge Sound Management!

Workspace Trends Reduce Acoustical Comfort

“It’s too noisy.” “It’s too quiet.” “Co-workers can hear my private conversations.” These are common complaints and indications of a sound problem due to poor workplace acoustics.

Lower cubicle heights, increased density in smaller and smaller workspaces, and trends such as open ceilings, lightweight modular walls and exposed beams have worsened workplace acoustics. While positive contributions have been made by sound-absorbent and sound-isolating building materials, highly sound absorbent ceiling tiles, quieter office machines, and quieter HVAC systems – by and large, current trends in the workspace have had a detrimental effect on speech privacy and acoustical comfort.

Pressure to increase productivity at the lowest cost possible is constant. Pressure to ensure speech privacy in a variety of settings—from private and executive offices, to financial services and healthcare environments—is at the forefront. Improving workplace acoustics is the solution.

Improving Workplace Acoustics, The ABC’s

There are three ways to improve workplace acoustics and solve your sound problem—the ABC’s. A=Absorb (usually via ceiling tile); B=Block (via workstation panels, wall placement and workspace layout); and C=Cover-up (via electronic sound masking). While all three factors are needed to achieve optimal results, C=Cover-up by increasing background sound produces the most dramatic improvements in speech privacy, with the least disruption and the lowest cost.

Sound Masking: The Best Solution to Your Sound Problem

Sound masking is the addition of a familiar sounding air conditioning-like background sound to an environment, intended to “cover-up” unwanted conversations. It may seem counter-intuitive to add sound to eliminate sound, but it works. Here’s an analogy. Imagine you are in a darkened room and a child is flicking a flashlight on and off. The light is noticeable. Now imagine that the lights are on. The same flashlight is now unnoticed; it has been masked. This is how sound masking works

Any sound can mask speech, if it is loud enough. Rain, water flow, background music, HVAC systems, and locally controllable sources like radios, “white noise” devices you can buy for $50, or background music all can be used to mask unwanted sound. However, as in the light analogy above, you can mask the child's flashlight with a floodlight or you can raise the light in the room only to a level where it simply dims the impact of the flashlight.

This is how a dedicated sound masking systems works. The sound produced with a Qt Quiet technology™-based sound masking system mirrors the spectrum of the human voice.

Your Sound Masking Choices

You have two main alternatives for commercial sound masking systems: “direct-field” and “in-plenum.” The best systems are “direct-field” systems. They are far simpler and less expensive to install, provide more uniform, unobtrusive sound in a targeted space and don't overflow into adjacent spaces or offices.

Cambridge Sound Management's patented Qt Quiet technology™-based sound masking system is direct field, installed in the workspace. Miniature emitters uniformly disperse a pre-programmed, spectra-appropriate sound through 4 sequenced channels. As a result, the sound is far quieter and less intrusive than competing alternatives, while creating the same level of speech privacy.

With competing “in-plenum” systems, large paint can-like loudspeakers are installed above the ceiling tiles, sound is bounced off the ceiling deck, through the ceiling tiles into the workspace below. The sound is unpredictable and louder for the same level of speech privacy. These systems create “hot” spots, while unwanted masking noise spills into unintended spaces such as private offices. These systems have been around since the 1960’s.

“In-plenum” systems used to be the only option for sound masking. This is no longer the case. Cambridge Sound Management has upgraded the technology and moved sound masking a generation ahead.

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Oasis Qt™

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What is Qt Quiet technology™?

Qt Quiet technology™ is a generation ahead of old-fashioned, in plenum alternatives.

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What is speech privacy and why are people concerned about it?

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"Libraries are supposed to be quiet, but with whispers heard 40 feet away — I knew we had a unique acoustical problem. With the help of an acoustical consultant and Cambridge Sound Management's sound masking solution, we now have a library that seems quieter and is still beautiful. We are delighted."

Bob Jarvis, Buildings and Grounds Williams College
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Why Qt Quiet technology™?

Designed and invented by acoustical experts with decades of combined experience, systems built with Qt Quiet technology™ share these features.