Make your co-workers sound like Charlie Brown's teacher

Software uses audio masking technology to drown out annoying, chatty co-workers.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg

You know that person at work who always starts droning on right when you've finally buckled down on that day's project? He wanders by your desk and starts chatting your ear off, while you pretend not to see/hear/notice him.

Or there's the Loud Talker--the one whose voice is somehow several decibels stronger than everyone else's. (Really, how do they not notice that?)

The Sound Guy might be able to help. Its ChatterBlocker software uses an auditory masking algorithm to render background conversations unintelligible. Translation: "Nature sounds" + music + background chatter = "soothing" and "relaxing." Apparently, distraction stems from actually being able to make out distinct words.

The Sound Guy says you can choose the mix of noise/music piped into your eardrums. Select the tracks that come with the program, or supply your own. Depending on your situation, $19.95 may or may not be a high price to pay for a little peace. Oh, and it's PC only. I guess Apple consumers don't have noisy cube-mates.

Do you think they pay extra for that too?

(Photo: The Sound Guy)