If you've stayed overnight in a hospital, you can probably recall how noise affected your experience. Whatever the sources – chirping alarms, nurses going about their tasks, neighboring patients’ conversations, or the sounds of distress – you likely ran a gauntlet of side effects, ranging from mild irritation to sleep deprivation.
And then there were the effects that you perhaps weren't so acutely aware of: elevated blood pressure, quickened heart rate, increased metabolism, to name a few. Add the consequences of poor sleep to that mix – agitation, delirium, weakened immune system, and impeded ability to generate new cells – and you haven't exactly got the elixir of health.
In fact, medical researchers have concluded that the physiological and psychological fallout of noise exposure can slow our recovery rates, lengthening hospital stays when all we really want to do is get back to our lives...not to mention our own beds.
I recently read a brief, but fascinating article in Wired called “Clever Landscaping That Bounces Plane Noise Back Into the Sky” (June 2014).
Airport noise is a global issue, but apparently it’s a particular problem around the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam because it’s located in such a flat, open landscape, which allows noise to travel well into the surrounding area.
You don't want to leave the door wide open by writing “include sound masking system” (believe it or not, this still happens).
After all, you aren't purchasing this technology for the sheer pleasure of owning the equipment. You’re expecting it to improve speech privacy and control noise.
And, as promised, the continuation of last week's post...
6. Will the sound masking automatically adjust to noise levels?
When first introduced to sound masking, most people ask whether it will raise or lower in volume according to what’s happening in the space. After all, this feature’s been available with paging systems for years.
1. How can you cover noise with sound?
Adding sound in order to control noise seems contradictory. But the problem with many offices is that they're actually too quiet. They just don't have an effective ambient level. And in this ‘pin drop’ environment, even the smallest noises disrupt our train of thought. It’s also really easy to hear other people’s conversations, whether we want to or not. That’s why we describe these spaces as noisy.