Vaughan Sound

Sound masking reduces noise distractions and protects speech privacy

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Are conversations in your workplace a distraction? Is speech privacy a concern? Vaughan Sound has the solution through the use of sound masking technology.

The majority of modern offices are open plan; designed with aesthetics, information sharing and team collaboration in mind. In such spaces, sound masking is essential to an effective and productive working environment.

Our designs and solutions for open plan offices comply fully with ISO 3382-3.

The basic principle involves the introduction of a background unobtrusive sound via ceiling mounted emitters, strategically positioned at regular intervals within the workspace.


  • Protect speech privacy
  • Increase productivity in the workplace
  • Reduce distractions and unpleasant background noise
  • Eliminate the need for expensive construction or sound absorption materials

How does it work?

Sound masking involves a discrete audio system, which adds low level, unobtrusive background sound within the frequencies of the human speech spectrum.

The purpose is to reduce the intelligibility of speech in a localised area, uniformly filtering down into the treated space below.

The added sound actually makes the space seem quieter by reducing the intelligibility of human speech.

When you cannot fully hear or understand what someone is saying, their voice is significantly less distracting – in fact, you may not even notice them at all.

The masking sound is programmed to be both comfortable and effective at masking human speech. This in turn greatly increases concentration levels and productivity.

Most conventional speech privacy systems are linked to public address and/or background music equipment – we can provide guidance on how existing or new hardware can be combined within your space(s). 

Vaughan Sound is an Approved Reseller and Qualified Installer of Cambridge Sound Management products, working in partnership with Biamp.

There are four key pillars that are central to any successful system:


Uniform masking levels across an area ensure that the sound emitted is not detectable or a disturbance to occupants.

This is achieved by professionally tuning and commissioning the sound masking system.


Creating distinct zones is essential in meeting the requirements of diverse spaces.

For example, an open plan office area may be covered by one zone, while reception may be another zone, with private offices a further zone. Our sound masking solutions allow for great flexibility to suit the end user’s exact requirements.


Each zoned area should take into consideration target sound levels. Typical amplitude ranges are as follows:

Private offices = 38-42 dBA
Corridors = 41-45 dBA
Open plan offices = 44-48 dBA


Human speech has a primary frequency range of 200Hz to 5000Hz. Outside of this range, sound masking alone is ineffective.

The sound masking spectrum is set at the listener’s location through adjustment of each frequency band.

For in-plenum sound masking, spectrum adjustment must always account for loss in the ceiling materials.

In direct-field sound masking, the spectrum is generally pre-configured for common applications and built into Vaughan Sound’s design processes.

Commissioning and tuning of sound masking systems is paramount, aligning with set target levels and parameters. We take into consideration the structure of the building, the make up of the walls, floors, ceiling heights and types.

Vaughan Sound utilises specialist measuring and testing apparatus during the installation and commissioning phases on each and every sound masking project, regardless of scale.

Workers in open office environments are up to 66% less productive than those with acoustic privacy.

Julian Treasure
Chairman of The Sound Agency, leading sound expert, author of the book ‘Sound Business’

Contact Vaughan Sound to find out how our systems can transform your working environment.

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Call us today on +44 (0)1554 740500 or email to book a product demonstration at your convenience.

For a virtual introduction to sound masking and its benefits, simply use the booking form below to arrange an online appointment with one of our experts. 

We can also offer CPD accredited courses for architects, consultants, and designers working on buildings which include open plan spaces, offices/meeting rooms and other areas where speech privacy is a concern. Contact us for further details.