I'm always excited, and touched, when I get follow ups to blog posts and other comments about the SenseHaven.com website. It feels good to know that so many people find what I wrote helpful. For me, that's the whole point of this site and your feedback reinforces that these efforts are worthwhile. I'd like take a moment to thank all you readers who visit (and especially those who come back too!)
Anyway... This morning, I was surprised to receive an email from Cambridge Sound Management (CSM), the company who manufactures the Sonnet personal sound masking system that I tested out a couple of weeks ago (and had lamented how much I missed the devices in my previous post because over the past couple of days I've REALLY realized how much they helped me, now that I don't have them anymore.) The representative asked me to give him a call to find out more about this blog and my work.
When I called him, he mentioned they noticed their website had been getting a lot of traffic from this website and we had a very interesting discussion about sound masking, especially with relation to open office workplaces. He mentioned how they've noticed many companies are moving more towards open-office layouts to facilitate communications. As an architectural designer, I've not only experienced it first-hand, I've been involved on design teams at previous firms that designed those types of layouts/workstation systems. The CSM representative knew I had mentioned their products and had suggested to people who want more information go to the "Find a Rep" portion of their website. He offered to send me a link where people who want to actually go ahead and buy one of their sound masking systems can buy it directly. If you are interested in buying one, you can get them on the Speech Privacy Systems website.
The CSM representative also sent me links to more information such as:
- "What Makes a Sound Masking System Sound Good?"
- Sound masking system Case Studies
- Sound masking systems for large-scale installations
- "Optimum Masking Sound: White or Pink" (Yes, I know that many people with misophonia prefer brown sound, but it is an interesting article to read as it relates to speech privacy)
- "Eight Simple Recommendations for Good Acoustical Etiquette in an Open Plan Office" - Even though this wasn't one of the links he emailed me, I found this white paper on their website and the last point fits great with what so many of us suffer at the workplace. It might be an interesting, and non-confrontational, document to share with employers as a means to indirectly help misophonia sufferers get triggerers to be more mindful of their cubicle habits. It's information that I think would be accepted as a general workplace courtesy rule of thumb, instead of coworkers thinking we're attacking their actions solely because of our misophonia.
I don't want to write another tome of a blog post, but I would like to add that after speaking with the CSM representative, one of their technical engineers called me as a follow-up. We had a wonderful discussion, and when I asked him what makes their sound-masking devices different than any of us playing a brown noise app through our speakers/headphones, he said they've really worked on adjusting the spectrum of sound to make it as unobtrusive as possible while maximizing the effectiveness - particularly within the speech range frequency of sound. So, their sound masking sound has been tailored to most effectively cover voices (among other sounds) and without irritating people nearby.
At one point, I explained how even though I know their company has a lot more variety of office-wide products, I suggested that they really consider expanding their individual/personal sound masking devices - especially if they could design devices that could be integrated well into the workstation area (like the types of speaker modules that could attach to one's monitor or even create a faux canopy like some lighting fixtures that I see being added to workstations).
I'm sure we'll speak again at some point, but right now I've got to cut this post "short" to head out to my kickboxing class. (I still have to change, and at this rate... I'm sure I'll be late. I wanted to make sure I shared today's events before I left.)