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How to choose a soundproof booth or phone box for the office in 2022

Acoustic performance, design, materials, etc. Still not sure? We give you the points to consider when choosing your future acoustic booth for your offices.

by Estelle Josse & Louise Landemaine
How to choose a soundproof booth or phone box for the office in 2022

(updated on 11 March 2022)

With the return to normal life, offices are filling up again and teleworking is becoming increasingly rare. Your offices are noisy, your sales people spend their time in the corridors, etc. It may be time to adopt an acoustic solution that will allow you to gain confidentiality, acoustic comfort while bringing light.

So how do you choose a phone box that suits your needs, your space and your values?

In order to promote the well-being of your employees, your acoustic booth must be suitable for you. For this, several factors must be taken into account, such as the level of acoustics, the comfort of the booth and the design. 

In order not to be mistaken, we give you the points to check:

Acoustics, the most important feature of phone boxes. 

1. Sound insulation, how to measure it?

Firstly, it is important to distinguish between sound insulation and noise insulation. Sound insulation aims to prevent the spread of all noise, while noise insulation is more concerned with the insulation of voice sounds. In order to prevent the sound of a call or meeting from spreading, it is therefore necessary to focus on the sound insulation values offered by an acoustic booth.

It should be noted that the level of privacy becomes interesting with a sound insulation above -30dB, according to ISO 11957 or ISO 23351-1 or NIC, which will allow you to cover loud voices. 

Even if the figures advertised by all the acoustic booth vendors are different, it is necessary to be careful with those who promise you an isolation higher than 40dB. This promise will only ensure that you isolate the extremely high frequencies that are not perceptible to our ears.


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2. Absorption and acoustic comfort

Absorption is also important as it promotes acoustic comfort for users.

Absorption is the way to avoid an echo effect. This phenomenon is caused by the reflection of sound off the walls of an enclosed space. Good absorption will allow the person on the other end of the line to hear you clearly.

At leet design, in theArche we have measured the absorption time at 0.13 seconds, which makes the echo imperceptible!

3. Materials and hermetic 

To ensure the level of acoustics, it is also necessary that your future acoustic booth is completely sealed.

This aspect is built in at the assembly stage, as any air gap would impair the acoustic performance. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is best to choose a supplier who provides this service.

At leet design, your future acoustic booth will undergo a quality control in the workshop and at the end of its installation in your home.


4. Materials used

The variety of materials used in your cabin will also have an impact on the acoustics.

To know: Sound is made up of a series of different frequencies and wavelengths. Each material, depending on its properties, absorbs a certain type of wave.

In the design of acoustic booths, several types of materials are superimposed to ensure the absorption of all sounds.

To ensure this variable, make sure that your future acoustic booth has materials with a high density such as wood or glass.

Finally, the density of the materials will have a significant impact on the insulation of your soundproof booth. The higher the density, the better the sound insulation. For example, a glass wall will be much more insulating than a PMMA (plexiglass) wall.


phonebox materials
Layering of materials in the walls of our acoustic cabin

II. User well-being and comfort to optimize the experience within the cabin.

The choice of a sound booth is also about the comfort it will provide to its users. If you choose an acoustic booth that is comfortable and that its users enjoy coming into, it is a worthwhile purchase.

1. Ventilation

Ventilation is an element that renews the air in your phone box, while air conditioning will reduce the temperature of your phone box.

Both of these tools can be noisy and annoy users when in use. 

In addition, air conditioning is a difficult and energy-consuming tool to install, and for it to be functional, the outdoor air conditioner would have to be connected to the ventilation systems of the building and then to the acoustic booth.

This is why, in most cases, the manufacturers of acoustic cabins will only offer ventilation.

It is then important to find out how much ventilation power you need to delay the temperature rise and avoid any stuffy smell.

Note: warm air rises to the top. Good ventilation will bring in new air from the bottom and exhaust warm air from the top.


2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds, more commonly known as VOCs, are substances that are released into the air, whether they are natural, human-made or industrial.

The best known VOCs are acetone and formaldehyde, which can be found in new furniture. It is important to know that prolonged exposure to them is not good.

 

There are two ways to do this:

- Buy second-hand furniture that emits little or no VOC;

- Buy furniture with low VOC emissions, not treated with harmful chemicals.

Do not hesitate to ask for VOC certification of the products you wish to buy. If the manufacturers cannot provide you with them, we advise you to run away!


3. A phone box/acoustic booth, with a seat or without?

The choice of a seat in an acoustic booth can be a comfort option but also a strategic choice.

Most people working in offices sit all day. A phone box/acoustic booth without a seat will allow its users to promote their blood circulation and its use by limiting its time of use.

If you choose an acoustic booth with a seat, you will promote the comfort of users over time.

Remember that by choosing an acoustic booth with a removable seat, you give your employees the choice!


4. The size of the phone box/acoustic booths

This mini workspace must be comfortable and pleasant, we must not neglect the space available in the phone box so that users feel comfortable and safe (nothing better than to visit a showroom to try).


5. Brightness

Finally, comfort also requires a good level of lighting to avoid feelings of confinement and isolation.

Phone boxes with two glass sides provide more light. Even when installed against a wall, the light penetrates through the glass panels and makes employees feel comfortable.

The more you get your employees to enjoy the sound booth, the more they will use it!

A person sitting at a deskDescription automatically generated with medium confidence
Example of a leet design acoustic booth against a wall at Comet Meetings


6. The design of your cabin

Even if this point seems obvious, choose your acoustic booth according to the design you like.

The design of your future acoustic booth should match your own space, so check whether your supplier offers different customisation options.

In addition, acoustic booths are visually cumbersome and can interfere with the design of your space. By choosing phone boxes with two glasses you will avoid this feeling while favouring the diffusion of light.

You hold all the cards! 


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As you can see, performance and comfort are essential to the use of your future acoustic booth.

Thanks to all this information, you now know how to choose the acoustic booth that suits your needs and values! 

If you would like to know more, please take a look at our acoustic booths.


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