The Babble Noise, without the guests
In open offices, overheard conversations are often cited as the main source of distraction: disregarding human speech is a very difficult task for the human brain, especially when speech is intelligible. One way of reducing the annoyances of intelligible speech is to mask speech using natural noises such as our Rain and Stream Noises, or this babble noise, as further explained.
Babble noise can be used in an office for privacy reasons as well, when calls or conversations need to remain confidential. Private offices often appear to provide privacy but often do not perform well in terms of acoustics. Sound masking between adjacent offices can be used to ensure that confidential conversations remain confidential. Babble noise is considered as one of the best noises for masking speech. Compared to White Noise, babble noise offers a higher efficiency when it comes to camouflaging voice. This means that lower masking levels can be used while ensuring the same privacy.
If you can't beat your enemies, join them
When the frequency characteristics of the masking noise differ to much from the noise you are willing to camouflage, higher masking levels will be needed to cover the nuisance. When the masking levels becomes too loud for a comfortable use, we suggest trying a strategy inspired from a well know proverb: if you can't beat your enemies, join them!
In our case, this strategy consists of using one babble noise to mask another. Of course, the masking babble noise must be carefully designed to offer a better alternative to the original nuisance. Instead of using a simple babble recording, we use re-synthesis to create an artificial babble noise that sounds totally unintelligible while still sounding human. By sharing the same acoustic properties as the nuisance, our masking signal now achieves higher efficiency and can be used at quieter levels than any other masking sound. And because of the particular nature of our masking noise, even when the nuisance spikes above the mask, it will still be camouflaged.
Try listening to our babble noise for a quarter of an hour, and see if your brain slowly learns how to filter it out from your conscious perception. In most cases, it will, after a couple of minutes. Then, you will realize that not only has the masking noise been wiped from your perception, but the unwanted noise has as well.
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