Everyone who works in an open office knows that they can be great spaces for collaboration with colleagues and spontaneous conversations. Open offices are also a good fit for workplaces following the hybrid model, combining both remote and in-person work. However, as the name suggests, open offices are, well… open.
It’s hard to escape the chatter and background noise of other people without leaving the office altogether. And noise-canceling headphones will only get you so far. That’s where soundproof booths and other noise-insulating solutions come in.
What is a soundproof booth for the office?
Office pod, soundproof booth, office phone booth… Whatever you prefer to call them, they all need to be able to serve two integral functions: keep outside noise out and inside sound in. However, good sound insulation is not the only feature a soundproof booth has to offer. In addition to keeping out distracting noises, it also needs to provide and support the ideal working environment in other ways too.
Sufficient lighting, ventilation, ergonomic design, and compatibility with various systems and devices are almost just as important as a soundproof booth’s noise-insulating properties. It also has to fit seamlessly into the overall design of a modern office and fit more than one person if necessary.
How do soundproof booths work?
When talking about soundproof booths, we could not go without mentioning acoustics. Here two important aspects are the booth’s soundproofing materials and properties as well as its interior acoustics. Together these ensure that the booth is able to reduce noise effectively without reducing the quality of sound inside the booth.
Sufficient sound insulation allows the booth to be placed freely around the office without having to worry that sound bleeds into the surrounding spaces from inside the booth or vice versa. This way the booth can be placed anywhere in the office and used as a design element or a divider to separate one part of the office from another. Soundproof booths are at their best when they are placed near employees and around the noisiest areas of the office.
The ISO 23351-1 classification system is used to measure the level of sound insulation, and this is where Framery shines in particular. Framery’s soundproof office pods have been proven to be the industry-leading solution when it comes to their soundproofing qualities and noise insulation.
The requirement for a soundproof booth should be a level of 30 dB noise reduction. According to a study by the Turku University of Applied Sciences, the Framery O reduced outside speech by 30.3 dB, beating other top-selling products in the market.
Good acoustics, on the other hand, improve the sound quality of phone calls, video meetings, and in-person conversations inside the booth.
When evaluating the internal acoustics and sound quality of a soundproof office booth, pod, or meeting room, two of the most important factors are the internal exposed surface area (i.e. walls and floors) and the thickness of absorptive material. To reduce echo and improve sound quality, approximately half of the booth’s interior surface needs to be covered with a material that absorbs sound effectively.
However, just about any material will not cut it. Whereas hard materials, such as glass and metal, reflect sound, softer materials absorb them. The sound-absorbing material should be at least 40mm thick in order to provide a satisfactory level of sound quality and reduction in reverberation. However, finding a balance is key as too much absorption will reduce sound quality inside the booth. The interior walls and roofs of Framery-products use recycled acoustic foam to absorb sounds inside the booth.
Superior soundproofing for successful workdays
Soundproof office booths are not a one-size-fits-all solution as the acoustics and level of noise are not the same in every office. That is why soundproof solutions need to be chosen to fit the needs of each office and the people who work there. Questions to ask include: How large and open is the office? How many people work there? Are many meetings held there regularly? How large are the meetings?
However, sound is not the only factor that influences the choice of a soundproof booth. Temperature, lighting, ventilation, and comfort of use also contribute to the health and wellbeing of users. Although a small sound-insulated space needs to keep out all distracting noise, it has to allow air to pass through it. Combining these two is difficult, but Framery’s soundproof office pods have been designed to overcome this challenge.
At Framery, we are committed to making every workday a success. Get to know the Framery One -soundproof pod for a single person and other award-winning solutions for the needs of the entire office.
Make sure to also read more about the study by Turku University of Applied Sciences.