Consequence of Sound: Deception, Impact, Understanding, Action

Deception of Sound

Sounds are deceiving. More often than not, noise affects us with adverse consequences. In part, noises we hear often go unnoticed. We can essentially ignore some noises. Each of our senses can “tune out” depending on the concentration we give to any other particular sense. For example, we can ignore the feeling of being cold, although very difficult to do, or we can choose not to focus on an object within our peripheral vision. In the same manner, the organ between our ears can try to block out sounds and the brain does this quite well considering what we encounter on a daily basis. However there are some noises we cannot ignore and they undoubtedly impact your company’s bottom line or your organization’s satisfaction scoring. What noises do you often try to ignore?

Do any of the following annoying noises top your list?

  1. Eating, chewing, or slurping
  2. Snoring, sniffing or loud breathing
  3. Mobile ringtones
  4. Alarm clocks or car alarms
  5. Pens clicking

How noise pollution adversely affects us

Sounds are vibrations that travel by air. Some vibrations get absorbed while others are refracted and yet still others turn into reverberations or simply dissolve. Sonus solves for sound reflection which means we master sound within a room. That room could be a million square foot manufacturing facility or a fifty square foot meeting room in a co-working building.

Imagine yourself at dinner at a beautiful restaurant. Do you hear conversations of other parties and the hum of the restaurant itself? Do those sounds create an easy, peaceful atmosphere or a chaotic one where you are forced to raise your speaking voice to almost a shout? Another, perhaps more relevant example, might be a conference call between strategists and board members across the globe. Instead of meeting in person where a natural conversation occurs, the video meeting is interrupted by the most annoying sounds: a dog barking, pens clicking, various alarms going off, and the worst of all: people constantly saying “can you repeat that?” What's more, there is an echo that lingers because of poor room acoustics  whenever certain people speak.

In both circumstances, you probably need to concentrate very hard to make out what was said. This, in turn, leaves everyone frustrated with the repetitiveness of the conversation or extended meeting times. You might not hear, let alone remember, what was said due to all the disruptive noises and/or echos. Consequently you are faced with a decision. Do you stay or do you go? Do you have dinner again with the memory of leaving in frustration or pick another place? Do you join a video call knowing the same people who echoed will be in attendance?

Here are just a few consequences that noise causes: an increase in blood pressure, disruption of sleep cycles and stress levels. Our behavior changes due to irritation. Our health is affected from increased stress. Our productivity decreases from lack of focus. Our education is impacted because of reduced speech intelligibility. Noise is more than what meets the eye. We solve for sound reflection or disruptive sounds such as echoes. Sonus allows people to be their best and we do that by building the most attractive, innovative and effective panels, baffles and clouds on the planet!

Understanding noise and noise pollution

Whether we enjoy the sound or not, the difference between noise and noise pollution is how it affects us. The loudness of a noise and the duration or length of time we hear the noise are two very distinguishable factors that can prove harmful and contribute to hearing loss. One of the reasons we think we are unaffected by loud sounds we enjoy is because we don’t take into consideration the length of exposure.

Noise can be:

  • Continuous
  • Variable
  • Intermittent
  • Impulsive

Noise can be measured by:

  • Frequency
  • Sound pressure
  • Sound power
  • Time distribution

As consequential as sound is to human ears, we often mislabel what sounds really are. Noise pollution is harmful while sounds (unless extremely loud) are not. We encourage you to be mindful today of what your ears are hearing and what your body's responses are to the noises around you. With that said, have you found a noise you enjoy that actually drives others away?

How to take action and keep some change

There are hundreds of products offering both short and long term solutions to noise. Long term solutions include proper acoustical insulation and treatments such as acoustical systems, acoustical panels, etc. In addition to insulation and treatment, the actual construction of a space itself can offer acoustical attenuation including building structure, materials, and exterior and interior design.

Acoustic consultants, professionally known as Acousticians, across the US can help in deciphering where and how a noise is occurring and provide advice in the early stages of building development and construction, or when retrofitting an existing space. More often than not, mastering sound within a room does not require an acoustical engineer. At Sonus we take the steps necessary to solve exposure to noise with lightweight, cost effective, sustainable, flawless products, as well as using helpful forecasting sound calculators, 3D models, in-field reps and 3 decades of on-the-ground experience.  We are an acoustics solutioning company that will guide you from specification or realization to installation.

Want to learn more? In our inner sphere we admire a handful of experts who solve for sound. Some of these experts have given us the time of day to sit down and discuss what they think about architectural spaces in terms of design, materials, and products. Kicking off the discussion, we invite you to tune in and hear from Mike Wilson of Collective Solutions in the first edition of the 5 in 3: The Sonus Sound Off!

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