One of the top questions we’re asked is “How much does it cost?”. We understand the thought process behind this question, who doesn’t care about cost? The truth is, we’re all consumers in certain circumstances and typically the first thing any of us look at is the price tag. The internet has provided a comprehensive solution to this age-old purchasing practice but there is pricing for certain industries and solutions that even the internet has trouble providing clear answers for. One of those industries is the commercial AV industry.

Why is it so hard to find the costs for integrated AV solutions?

The truth is, the answer is a bit complicated. There are so many moving parts that go into certain solutions that make it challenging to provide a ballpark in some instances. However, it’s also true that, for a variety of reasons, many integrators are nervous about revealing their prices. We won’t spend too much time on why that is but what we will say is, we want to be the exception to this trend. For the solutions that are possible to ballpark pricing on, we’re looking to provide that answer. That’s why we’re introducing a new series on our Knowledge platform in which we offer some basic solutions that will apply to a variety of organizations. We’ll discuss the need for the solution, our answer to the need and ultimately what you can budget the overall cost should be for a standard package that meets that need.


Did you know that adding sound into a space can actually make the space seem quieter? It may seem odd but it’s true. However, it has to be the right sound, and this is where sound masking comes in. Sound masking is essentially background sound that has been engineered to match the frequencies of human speech to target the sound of ambient conversations in your workplace and make them less distracting. A well-engineered and installed sound masking system comes with multiple benefits.

Protecting Speech Privacy

Whether it’s conversations between a doctor and a patient, or internal conversations between two employees, privacy is vital. People will feel much more comfortable speaking honestly and openly if they trust that their conversation cannot easily be overhead by surrounding parties.

Reducing or Removing Distracting Noise

It’s easy to become sidetracked when you can constantly hear noise all around you. Sound masking works to eliminate these distractions and provides an environment that caters to higher concentration and productivity.

Improved Acoustics

It can be hard for you to explain what it means when a room has poor acoustics but you know it as soon as you experience it. Sound masking improves the acoustics of your room by leveling out the ambient noise, providing a volume that’s just right for the space.

For each of these packages, the solution varies based on the size of the space it will be used.

$5,000

SMALL PATIENT PRIVACY SOUND MASKING SYSTEM:

This is based on an approximately 800 sq. ft. area with typical 8.5ft-10ft ceilings. (i.e. Dentist or Doctor’s office with 8-12 patient rooms with a central
hallway)

System includes:

o A single zone wall mounted Control Panel Module.
This unit is the central controller of the system providing audio to the emitters, control of the Patient
Privacy Signs and local indication of system status, simple control of audio level and adjustable
audio ramp level times.
o Eight (8) ceiling mounted standard Emitters in white/black.
These provide an engineered background noise to make human speech less intelligible to people in adjacent areas .
The emitters connect to the Control Module with Cat5e cabling which is included.
o Two (2) Patient Privacy Signs with wall mount brackets in white.
These blue LED lighted privacy signs turn on to indicate the system is running, and let patients know that conversations are being protected.
The signs connect to the Control Module with 2-conductor low-voltage cabling which is included.

$12,000

MEDIUM 3-ZONE OPEN OFFICE SOUND MASKING SYSTEM:

This is based on an approximately 4000 sq. ft. total area with typical 8.5ft-10ft ceilings.(i.e. 3 open office style cubicle areas)

System includes:

o A 3-zone wall mounted Control Panel Module.
This unit is the central controller of the system providing audio to the emitters, local indication of system status, simple control of audio levels in individual zones, and scheduling features. It is also able to connect to a network for remote management via a free remote management software and has an auxiliary input for background music if desired.
o Forty (40) ceiling mounted standard Emitters in white/black which can be installed in any combination up to 3 zones.
These provide an engineered background noise to make human speech less intelligible to people in adjacent areas.
The emitters connect to the Control Module with Cat5e cabling which is included.

$26,000

LARGE 6-ZONE OPEN OFFICE SOUND MASKING SYSTEM:

This is based on an approximately 12000 sq. ft. total area with typical 8.5ft-10ft ceilings. (i.e. five open office style cubicle areas with 4 manager offices and
1 call center)

System includes:

o A 6-zone wall mounted Control Panel Module.
This unit is the central controller of the system providing audio to the emitters, local indication of system status, simple control of audio levels in individual zones, and scheduling features. It is also able to connect to a network for remote management via a free remote management software and has an auxiliary input for background music if desired.
o One-hundred and twenty (120) ceiling mounted active Emitters in white/black which can be installed in any combination up to 6 zones.
These provide an engineered background noise to make human speech less intelligible to people in adjacent areas. The emitters connect to the Control Module with Cat5e cabling which is included.
o Four (4) In-Room Volume Control wall plates in white.
These can be installed in individual offices or remote areas which may require emitters to be installed with independent volume control, or where access to the Control Module for volume
adjustment isn’t feasible or practical. They install in-line with associated emitter(s) with Cat5e cabling which is included.
o An Audio Media Player.
This unit would typically be installed near the Control Module for connection as an auxiliary input for background music.
It is FM Radio, USB and Bluetooth capable, and can be connected to the internet via hard-wire or WiFi for use with audio streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM Radio or others (additional costs for paid subscription may apply).

It’s important to remember that these are ballpark prices and ultimately the final solution can vary based on a variety of reasons. We do feel very confident that this is solid ballpark pricing that you can utilize for your AV budget.

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AV Engineer Matt Ayers contribued to this article and provided the pricing and solution.