We touched on ISO 23351 in a recent blog post. It’s a new standard for phone booths and other enclosing furniture that denotes the level of speech reduction performed by a product, classing it A+, A, B, C, or D. As Class A and Class B pods offer the best speech privacy, you’ll likely be picking between them. So let’s cover distinctions.

Office acoustics – key takeaways:

  • ISO 23351-1:2020 is a new standard measuring speech reduction levels of phone booths, work pods, and other furniture ensembles. Its test calculates a figure called “speech level reduction,” denoted as DS,A (decibels/dB). It’s the first ISO standard specific to booths and other semi-enclosing furniture pieces.

  • ISO 23351-1:2020 classes office pods A+, A, B, C, or D per amount of speech level reduction they provide. Class A+, A, and B office pods guarantee the best speech privacy.

  • What does “speech privacy” really mean? First, conversations held in the pod can’t be overheard by those outside it. Second, pod users are no longer concerned about being listened to. So they can focus fully on the task and enjoy better work. Thus, pods become the best place in the office for sensitive, confidential, private, or touchy discussions as well as focused work. Furthermore, because intelligible speech is now trapped in pods, the open floor is made more peaceful and productive for everyone.

  • How to pick between Class A and Class B pods? Want a more economical price? A lighter weight (easier to relocate)? Opt Class B. If your office background noise level is less than 35dB, Class A may be needed. But note that a Class A pod in a super quiet office space may actually feel too quiet because it may not let a healthy amount of sound in from the office floor.

  • Hushoffice privacy booths are designed to the Class B standard for four reasons. Affordability. Lightweight-ness (for an agile, mobile office). Beneficial acoustics (they let in an adequate level of sound from outside). And safety (for example, fire alarms can be easily heard from inside a Class B booth).

Recap: what’s ISO 23351-1:2020?

Thanks to the new ISO standard, we can accurately measure how effectively our office booths and pods reduce speech levels

– says Robert Korpacki, Product Manager, Hushoffice.

The new ISO 23351-1:2020 standard measures speech reduction levels of phone booths, work pods, and other furniture ensembles. It applies to workstations, work pods, meet pods, one-person phone booths, and partially enclosed chairs and sofa groups.

The ISO 23351 test calculates a figure called “speech level reduction.”