Recently, a reputable competitor of ours posted a blog entry regarding the importance of the ability to tune sound masking systems. While we don’t often reference comments made by our competitors, we felt that the statements made by the company’s vice president brought to light a very relevant topic in the world of sound masking that we fully endorse. It is our opinion also, that the frequencies emitted by a sound masking system must be controllable in order to achieve the spectrum that has been dictated either by the National Research Council standard or by the project’s acoustical consultant. This is because building elements such as the ceiling tile, floor finish, room dimensions, etc., will affect how the frequencies emitted from the speakers behave in that given space. Some frequencies may be attenuated while others may be amplified. Therefore, frequency adjustments are critically important in order to fine-tune the system to the desired spectrum in response to the effects of a specific environment on the original sound generated. This precise tuning is accomplished by adjustments made on an 1/3 octave equalizer based on readings taken within the space by a trained technician using an A Class sound level meter to measure the frequencies.
The key takeaway: To get a properly performing sound masking system, the system must have a 1/3 octave equalizer for each zone and be tuned by a trained technician with an A Class sound level meter.