Company Worldwide Find a Supplier Sustainability FAQs

Frequently asked questions

 Home    Company    FAQs

Please find below some of the frequently asked questions about Soundmask systems.

  1. What is an acoustic sound masking system?
  2. What does a Soundmask system do?
  3. How does a Soundmask system mask noise?
  4. What are Soundmask systems used for?
  5. Where is the Soundmask system typically installed?
  6. How is the Soundmask system installed?
  7. Why is a Soundmask system better than another system?
  8. Can I play music or PA announcements through the system?
  9. Some of my employees wear hearing aids, will the system interfere?
  10. Does sound masking cause hearing loss or tinnitus?
  11. How much will it cost?
  12. How do I register my warranty?

If the answer to your particular question is not provided, please contact us.

What is an acoustic sound masking system?

The simplest soundmasking system consists of a speaker and a sound generator. More complex systems alter the numbers and operation of each of them and can include devices like equalizers, distributors and amplifiers to shape the sound and vary the operation. A Soundmask system is operated by a central control panel.

Soundmask's systems come in a range of sizes and modes of operation to suit any space — from residential apartments, where surrounding noise intrudes, to open-plan offices where internal noises and conversations offer distractions and limit privacy, and to hospitals where a quieter space improves quality of life for patients.

^ back to the top

What does a Soundmask system do?

A Soundmask system works by generating unobtrusive sound waves. This imperceptibly increases the level of background sound in the space, masking intrusive noise like typing or chatter and ensuring that speech is unintelligible to others around you.

The space itself appears quieter because intrusive sound and intelligible speech are masked. Further, Soundmask systems do not become distracting because the generators that create the sound waves are programmed not to repeat for several lifetimes.

Soundmask systems mask intrusive noise and ensure speech privacy.

^ back to the top

How does a Soundmask system mask noise?

Increasing the overall level of background sound in a space means that differences in sound, for example people laughing in the next office, are less conspicuous. However, the space itself is not noisier because the background sound generated is not perceptible. Rather, adding sound using a Soundmask system results in the space appearing quieter, as distracting noises are obscured or eliminated.

Soundmask systems will never become distracting because the generators that create the sound emitted by the speakers are programmed not to repeat within several lifetimes. This means that your brain will never adjust to the sound emitted, and you will never "hear" the background sound.

^ back to the top

What are Soundmask systems used for?

Soundmask systems are commonly used in open plan offices to reduce office noise and decrease distractions like conversations and office machine noises. In meeting rooms, where security of conversation is important, Soundmask systems muffle conversations so that privacy is assured. Increasingly, smaller Soundmask systems are being used in innovative ways, like residential apartments and houses, where urban population density is increasing overall noise levels and distractions in and around the home.

Soundmask systems are often installed throughout entire buildings, but we have increasingly found professional service providers are requesting installations in their offices or individual rooms. For example, hospitals, general practitioners and other health service providers like psychologists and natural therapy practitioners are using Soundmask systems for speech privacy, creating a more calming atmosphere and even reducing distractions from their colleagues' conversations.

Similarly, lawyers, accountants and other professionals who require speech privacy for their clients and other confidential communications have increasingly found themselves turning to Soundmask for a solution. The demand for Soundmask systems from residents in high-rise apartments is increasing.

The Soundmask systems range includes a wide variety of sizes and designs so that accommodating different occupant needs is made easy.

^ back to the top

Where is the Soundmask system typically installed?

Soundmask's innovative systems have been installed under the floor, in the ceiling, in an open area or surface mounted.

The in ceiling system is the most commonly requested Soundmask system. Installed within existing suspended ceilings, or during construction, the system is concealed overhead.

Under floor systems are used where there are no suspended ceilings (where a traditional system would be placed). The transducers are located under the floor with other services.

Open area systems offer the option of a Soundmask system where an under floor or ceiling system cannot be installed. For example, in lofted ceilings, like heritage buildings that have been re-fitted. There are also options for the Soundmask speakers to be either suspended from the ceiling to make a feature.

Surface mounted systems are used where speakers cut into walls or ceilings are preferred.

^ back to the top

How is the Soundmask system installed?

Soundmask offers flexibility in installation. Installation can be arranged for you, or we can provide the entire Soundmask system on a supply-only basis for you to install.

^ back to the top

Why is a Soundmask system better than another system?

Soundmask has been operating since 1989 and has installed systems in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Soundmask develops its own technology and is constantly innovating and improving its system components. Soundmask's systems have been developed to meet unique customer needs and feature “plug and play” technology, so you can easily install and adjust each system.

Soundmask's generators passed the C-tick and FCC accreditation. Soundmask's hardware complies with ISO-9000 and RoHS. Soundmask has developed its systems with the humidity of far north Queensland in mind and are suitable for almost all climatic conditions.

Soundmask systems are so energy efficient that running a whole building takes less energy than an average Desktop Computer. In fact, energy costs from a Soundmask system are typically as little as $25.00 per annum for an entire office. Soundmask does not use heavy metals in its speakers, and actively works with its manufacturers to cut down carbon emissions in production. Soundmask is a member of the Green Building Council of Australia.

Soundmask has spent time and money developing technology that not only works perfectly, but looks great whether exposed or concealled.

Soundmask's size allows individualised service. Soundmask consultants are available before, during and after completion of the installation — ready and willing to assist with any queries or concerns. Soundmask is small enough to cater for individuals but big enough to comfortably supply and install Soundmask systems in entire buildings.

^ back to the top

Can I play music or PA announcements through the system?

Soundmask's transducers are specifically designed for soundmasking. Unlike many of our competitors that use can speakers or flat speakers, our speakers have been specially developed to ensure that the Soundmask system performs optimally.

If you require music or PA announcements to be played through the system, this can be easily achieved with the addition of flat in-ceilng speakers. However, keep in mind that the introduction of an additional distracting noise from PA speakers may prove counterproductive in the overall acoustic design.

^ back to the top

Some of my employees wear hearing aids, will the system interfere?

To the best of our knowledge, no. The generators that create the randomised gaussian sound have passed C-tick and FCC certification, which means that they fall within international standards for electromagnetic radiation emissions. In over 20 years in the business, we have never had complaints from people with hearing aids, pace makers or other like therapeutic devices or aids.

^ back to the top

Does sound masking cause hearing loss or tinnitus?

Acoustic sound masking has been installed since the 1970s, and we are yet to hear of a study linking tinnitus or any other hearing or health problem to a sound masking system.

There are studies about white noise and hearing loss, but they are due to damagingly high sound levels and with directional speakers placed close to the ears. There is a study in Pediatrics journal about parents using white noise apps to get their babies to sleep, for example.

However, white noise and Soundmask's systems are completely different things. Our systems are typically running in the vicinity of 40-45dBA, significantly lower than the 85-90dBA that could potentially damage human hearing. Our speakers are non-directional, so they are not "blasting noise" at anyone's ears. In fact, for those who suffer from tinnitus, Soundmask's systems can offer relief from the symptoms as a comfortable ambient sound is introduced into the environment — very different to harsh white noise.

This is why it is critical that customers use an experienced sound masking specialist.

^ back to the top

How much will it cost?

Often we are asked for a "ball park figure" on a Soundmask system. Every job is unique, so the best way to determine what your job will cost is to contact your nearest supplier with the measurements of the area to be treated, the kind of space to be treated (eg, open plan office with accessible ceiling tiles) and any special requirements. They can then give you a price estimate.

^ back to the top

How do I register my warranty?

Registering your warranty is easy, just click here and fill in our SSL encrypted form.

^ back to the top