Why it’s time for venues to turn down the volume

by | Jul 22, 2020 | Hearing Gains

Think back to the last time you went out to work, meet or date. Were you yelling into a friend’s ear and leaving with a sore throat, or were you sitting back enjoying a relaxing chat? Could you feel the thump of speakers through the floor, or was it the scraping of cutlery that caught your attention?

No matter where you go, you can’t escape sound. So, as a venue, it’s important to get it right!

Why good sound?

According to recent studies, low noise and music levels help to increase relaxation and healthy eating. But turn up the volume and instead, you’ll find increased heart-rates. So, when it comes to wellbeing, sound levels clearly have an impact.

But that’s not all. Good sound levels can also increase concentration and productivity. With nomadic working on the rise, a good working environment is top of the wishlist for many a laptop-wielding cafe-goer.

Then there’s the obvious – there’s nothing worse than meeting someone on a date or catching up with long-lost friends only to spend the whole time asking ‘huh?’, ‘what?’ and ‘say that again?’. A venue with good acoustics is able to control the level of background noise so that the sound and clarity of the voice isn’t lost.

What’s in it for venues?

So, we’ve established that good noise levels are great for customers. But what about venues? It’s a known fact that people eat quicker and drink more in noisier environments – that’s a sure-fire way of increasing turnover and increasing revenue…right? Not quite!

Good sound creates happy customers. And, it might seem obvious, but happy customers come back.

The stats

The charity Action on Hearing Loss polled 1,461 people, both with and without hearing reduction. Here are some of the stats they uncovered:

  • Eight out of ten people have left a restaurant, café or pub early because of noise
  • 81% of people find holding a conversation hard because of loud background noise
  • 75% of people would eat out more often if venues were quieter

Ready to get started?

There are a few simple steps you can take to make Hearing Gains in your venue.

1. Turn down the music

The Lombard effect shows that a loud environment breeds more noise. If the music in a restaurant is loud, diners will speak louder, causing other diners to speak even louder until eventually everyone is shouting. Turning down the music is a great first step to bring your decibel count down.

2. Introduce soft furnishings

Soft furnishings like carpets, rugs and cushions absorb sound. Many modern venues with minimalist decor are full of hard surfaces. These cause sound waves to bounce, creating noisy, echoey rooms.

3. Reduce the number of noise sources

Many sound sources in one place make it harder to pick out speech from background noise. Open kitchens are becoming increasingly common, adding the noise of cooking to an already overcrowded soundscape. Similarly, outdoor sounds like roadworks or a lawnmower can become overwhelming. List all the sound sources in your venue and see which you can eliminate – it might even be as simple as closing a window!

4. Opt for low ceilings

They might look nice, but when it comes to sound, high ceilings aren’t great. They increase reverberation times and cause sound to get lost in the dead space above our heads. If you do have high ceilings, there’s a whole host of options out there that can help – from acoustic tiles and panels to hanging screens.

Are you serious about your ambience? Get in touch with Mumbli to find out if your venue’s acoustic performance is appropriate to be Mumbli Certified.

Our list of the first 50 Mumbli Certified venues in London will be released in Spring.

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