The Nitty-Gritty of Sound Masking Speaker Placement

Sound masking is critical in environments where private, personal, or important information is verbally communicated and in loud, distracting workplaces. For example - in medical facilities, offices, banks, hotels, call centers, financial organizations, or anywhere maintaining speech privacy and reducing distractions is essential. Sound masking system designs are composed of specially manufactured equipment that, when placed in a strategic arrangement, create an ideal and effective noise-masking solution. This article is a straightforward and informative guide for sound masking speaker placement.

The Principle of Sound Masking

sound masking speaker placement

Sound masking systems work by adding or increasing the ambient noise in any given space. When implemented correctly, people within that area will find it challenging to overhear any conversations outside the masked vicinity.

Suppose you turn the sink on while in the restroom. If someone in the other room speaks to you, you'll have difficulty hearing them because the sound of the water increases the ambient noise in the bathroom. However, the other person will most likely still be able to hear you. The explanation is that the ambient noise outside of the restroom is not elevated. Simply put, the higher the ambient noise in an area, the more difficult it is to hear anything outside that space.

Why Is Sound Masking Important?

Sound masking is crucial in spaces where confidential discussions take place. For example, when serious conversations occur in law offices, it's vital to ensure that no information is leaked. Banks or other financial organizations should be free of disruptive noises and provide customers with privacy. Therapists and psychologists must ensure that sessions within their counseling room remain confidential and that clients feel safe. Just the same, government agencies and other organizations that require speech privacy can benefit from the innovative technology provided by sound masking system designs.

Sound masking speaker systems can also eliminate distracting noises in your environment that interfere with productivity. For instance, in a call center, a large number of people are all talking on the phone simultaneously. A sound masking system will create a more comfortable atmosphere and make it easier for the employees to concentrate. Sound masking is the best solution to enhance productivity, privacy, and comfort for individuals in commercial spaces.

Sound Masking Speaker Placements

Aside from speakers, other components of a speech privacy system can include sound masking generators, zone controllers, mixers, amplifiers, and volume controls. Even with all this equipment, sound masking is most effective when you know where to place the speakers. Let us explore some ideas for sound masking speaker placement.

Where to Place the Speakers

sound masking installation

The general rule of thumb for sound masking installation is to place the speaker where you don’t want the information to be heard.

Let’s suppose your private office, where you handle sensitive information, is next to an open space where you don’t want people to eavesdrop. In this instance, you’ll want to place your speakers in the common area outside your office.

In another scenario, if you’re in an office and do not want to hear distracting noises or conversations outside in the hallway, then a speaker should be placed inside the office.

Where Not to Place the Speakers

Many people mistakenly place the speakers in the room where they intend to mask information from being leaked, but this simply won't do the job. If you don't want people to hear what is happening in your office, you'll want to place the speakers outside your office. If placed inside, your room's noise level will increase, causing you not to hear what is happening outside, but others will still be able to listen to your conversations.


As you can imagine, installing your sound masking speakers in the right place significantly impacts your system's effectiveness. While installing them in the wrong area could have unfortunate consequences. If you still have questions about your sound masking speaker placement, call (866) 676-7804 or email us at, and we will be happy to help.