Wiser Solutions is a software company that provides a retail analytics platform to help clients make more informed decisions regarding their products’ instore merchandising. When their Boston office recently moved to a converted warehouse space in the city’s downtown area, employees immediately noticed that speech distraction and privacy concerns were an issue in the new space. “When we signed this lease, we noticed immediately that the space was right for us, but the sound was overwhelming for the people sitting in or around or near the different conference rooms,” says Chris Angell, Wiser’s VP of marketing.
Angell and CFO Mathieu Gagne had heard that sound masking, the process of adding a lowlevel, unobtrusive background sound to an environment to cover up excess speech noise, might help mitigate the office’s sound issues. Sound masking is similar to the sound of airflow, but specifically engineered to cover up human speech, making affected environments more comfortable, private, and free of excess noise distractions. Wiser called its local telecom services provider and asked for a free consultation and quote. Satisfied with the demo, Wiser moved forward with installing sound masking in the new space.
Wiser’s vendor installed Cambridge QtPro sound masking from Biamp throughout the open office, private office, and conference room spaces. Small, barely visible Qt Emitters (loudspeakers) were mounted in the office’s open ceiling. The emitters were connected by cables to a Qt 300 control module residing in the server room. The system allows for different masking volume levels across multiple zones, providing Wiser with the ability to address noise distractions more aggressively in open office areas. Automatic ramping was also programmed into the system, enabling the masking noise to be slightly louder at times when the office is at its busiest.
The new Wiser Office is now more functional, productive, and acoustically comfortable, and employees are pleased with the office’s transformation. “When we decided to implement sound masking… the office changed, and it changed in the sense that people could concentrate on their work,” says Gagne. "Other companies I’ve worked in, we’d consider sound masking because we had open environments and never quite pulled the trigger. Now having worked in this environment, I would recommend it to anybody-it really makes a difference!"