Located just four and a half blocks from the site of the original Shure Loop office, Shure Chicago City Center is designed to welcome up to 150 employees across sales, marketing, customer service, and market development. It’s also home to their exciting new Customer Experience Center. Designed to showcase a wide variety of Shure technology in a real-world environment to customers and integrators, the Customer Experience Center features a full range of products in a functional evaluation environment.
The new office occupies an entire floor of The National Building in Chicago’s Loop district. Built in 1906, aspects of the National’s construction, such as its extremely high ceilings, created acoustical issues as soon as employees moved in. The Customer Experience Center takes up one corner of the space, with the rest occupied by the sales, marketing, and tech support teams in a collection of low-partition cubicles, private offices, conference rooms, and open-office collaborative spaces. It was imperative that cross talk from the office space didn’t interfere with demos occurring in the Customer Experience Center. Additionally, it was important for employees to both focus without overhearing other conversations and to have private conversations in conference rooms without being overheard.
Shure’s acoustical consultant, Arup, suggested installing sound masking from Biamp’s Cambridge line to improve the space’s acoustics. Sound masking is the process of adding a low level, unobtrusive background sound to an environment to help cover up speech noise and improve the overall office ambience. The sound is similar to that of airflow, but specifically engineered to cover up human speech, making affected environments more comfortable, private, and free of excess noise distractions. The integrator on the project, AVI-SPL, installed sound masking from Biamp, the world’s leading provider of sound masking solutions, throughout the open office. The system enables different masking volume levels across different zones, allowing Shure to address noise distractions more aggressively in the open office areas. Automatic ramping was also programmed into the system, allowing masking noise to be slightly louder at the times when the office is at its busiest.
After eighteen months of planning, renovations, and relocating staff, the Shure City Center Chicago welcomed customers, integrators, and associates. “Sound Masking is a big part of what makes the space acoustically comfortable and functional,” says Jim Schanz, Vice President of Global Sales, Integrated Systems for Shure. “As an audio company, we knew how important it would be to have good acoustics in our new office space. Sound masking from Biamp ensures a comfortable working environment for both our employees and visiting customers. It really works.”