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Checking Noise Masking with XL2 Spectral Limits

I had a request from a XL2 customer looking to verify a sound masking installation. I created this document to step them through setting up the mask and performing the test.

There are many applications for sound masking systems:

  • Open plan offices are gaining in popularity
  • Speech privacy in medical offices under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)
  • A better night’s sleep in a hotel by masking out noises from other guests or hotel operations

The installed space is part of the sound masking system. Each installation has a unique floor plan; absorption of floor, walls and ceiling; and limited locations to install sound masking speakers.

Good practice is to verify operation of a sound masking system. Typically, the manufacturer of the system specifies the spectrum of the masking noise. The masking noise spectrum varies from location to location as a function of distance from speakers and the characteristics of the immediate space (e.g. in a hotel room, the bathroom is highly reflective while the sleeping area is absorptive)

The NTi Audio XL2 Audio Analyzer with the Spectral Limits Option is a powerful, handheld system for checking and documenting the installed performance of sound masking systems.

The attached document steps you through creating a limits or masks for testing sound masking system. At the end it references locations of additional information like pages in the XL2 User Manual and other instructions.

1 Comment

Hi...I do not have the sound and vibration tool kit nor do I believe I need them being in the Satellite/RF test industry. This is the second time I had to perform spectral mask testing and each time it is suggested to use the before mentioned VIs that come with Labview and I can never get them to work. Every example I find is using the time domain. One of the biggest problems I am seeing especially with the Mask and Limit Testing express VI is that it is not plotting the frequency points correctly or the power points.

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