Seminar addresses issues around office acoustics

A seminar on Acoustics in Open Plan Offices held at the Royal Danish Academy held in Copenhagen by the Danish Sound cluster has addressed the persistent acoustical problems in open office spaces.

The seminar aimed to explore the reasons behind the popularity of open plan offices and to discuss strategies for improving their acoustic and auditive perception, promoting productivity and well-being.

The speakers at the seminar provided valuable insights into the acoustic design of open offices, emphasising the complexity of designing open offices from an acoustic standpoint and the importance of addressing noise problems in these spaces. In addition, the talks highlighted the international standard ISO 3382-3:2022 and the new ISO 22955, providing objective measures for evaluating the acoustics of open-plan offices and clear instructions and target values for high-quality acoustic design.

Ideas were presented at the seminar to address the noise problems in open-plan offices. These included a system created by SoundEar, Jabra, and FORCE Technology that visualises office noise and helps employees change their behavior, and the Constellation system manufactured by Meyer Sound, which detects speech noise in the office, breaks it down, and creates an incomprehensible masking noise using the Constellation system's algorithm, providing privacy and keeping noise levels below the Lombard effect.

The seminar ended with a panel discussion and Q&A session with the audience, allowing attendees to ask questions and share their experiences with designing acoustics in open-plan offices. The role of technology, such as noise-canceling headphones and sound masking systems, in addressing noise problems in the workplace was also discussed.


In conclusion, the seminar was informative and engaging, highlighting the importance of considering acoustics in workplace design, particularly in open-plan offices. The strategies and solutions presented at the seminar can help improve sound quality and reduce noise levels, ultimately promoting productivity and well-being in the workplace. The Danish Sound Cluster and its speakers are to be commended for organising and delivering such a valuable seminar.

Photos: Birger Schneider

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