Reacting to Sound

HomeSound MaskingReacting to Sound

The ISCE is a specialist professional body whose members pride themselves on staying up to date with industry, health and safety and training developments across a diverse range of market sectors.

Sound Directions’ Hanieh Motamedian promoted the benefits of sound masking in noisy workplace environments where adding sound blocks out unwanted noise – one of the lead causes of dissatisfaction in the office environment. It’s also affecting our health.

“Many studies and research have been done in the workplace about how performance is affected by the noise around us. The highest staff performance was recorded when speech was completely absent, then as soon as it became more intelligible that’s when the results dropped,” says Motamedian. “Certain soundscapes can not only be pleasant but also restorative, which is really key, particularly in a healthcare environment.”

There’s no change in cognitive performance when the STI rating is zero but as soon as you start getting good intelligibility in your office, the performance reduces. Noise by the way can be unanswered phones, which some people find quite stressful, or other people’s conversations, among other elements.

(STI or the Speech Transmission Index is a measure of speech transmission quality. The absolute measurement of speech intelligibility is a complex science. However, this means that perfectly intelligible speech, when transferred through a channel with an associated STI of 1, will remain perfectly intelligible. The closer the STI value approaches zero, the more information is lost.)

Adds Motamedian: “Sound masking is used in the corporate environment to improve productivity, increase wellbeing, speech privacy and reduce distractions. Working out the radius of distraction in your own office provides us with a scientific method to prove or disprove whether you have a good quality speech rating in your office or not. You can do it yourself, it’s really straightforward.”

This is an excerpt from a full article which can be read here: