This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Sound masking

Sound masking


To reduce acoustic disruptions and increase speech privacy by implementing sound masking into the building design.


Ambient silence can be just as distracting as a loud environment as it highlights acoustical disturbances and decreases speech privacy. Overhearing private conversations is reported as a specific cause of employee acoustic dissatisfaction in open offices. Sound masking systems supply a low level of background noise to provide workers with a degree of confidentiality in their communications and can decrease distraction associated with aural interruptions.

Part 1
Sound Masking Use

All open workspaces use the following:
Sound masking systems.

Part 2
Sound Masking Limits

If sound masking systems are used, sound levels fall within the following range, when measured from the nearest workspace:
Open workspaces: 45 - 48 dBA.
Enclosed offices: 40 - 42 dBA.