Managing sound effectively in office environments is crucial to enhance productivity and maintain privacy. The ISO 23351-1:2020 standard provides a framework for categorising office phone booths and meeting pods according to their sound-reducing capabilities, allowing companies to compare manufacturers using an objective single standard. It is therefore crucial that companies looking for office phone booths and meeting pods only compare decibel reduction figures amongst suppliers that obtained their decibel reduction figure according to ISO 23351-1:2020 from a certified external testing facility. This is because in-house testing methodologies can vary wildly with sometimes arbitrary results.

Overview of ISO 23351-1:2020 standard 

According to the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO 23351-2020 measures the “speech level reduction of furniture ensembles and enclosures”.

The ISO 23351 test calculates a figure called “speech level reduction”, denoted as DS,A (decibels/dB). The classifications range from Class A+ to Class D, with A+ offering the highest degree of sound isolation and D the lowest. Currently there are no known manufacturers with an A+ rating. Understanding these categories helps businesses choose the right type of pod for their office space.

The table below illustrates the classification system defined by the standard. It highlights that for an office pod to ensure speech privacy in a typical office environment, it must achieve a minimum sound reduction of 25 decibels (dB).

(Quick reminder: Please don’t compare the dB reduction of manufacturers whose booths were not tested according to ISO 23351-1:2020)

ISO 23351-2020
Speech level reduction (DS,A) Speech privacy
A+ > 33 decibels/dB
A 30-33 decibels/dB
B 25-30 decibels/dB
C 20-25 decibels/dB Depends on background noise level in the office
D 15-20 decibels/dB Depends on background noise level in the office
Unclassified < 15 decibels/dB ✖️

If both ensure speech privacy, how do you decide between Class A and Class B? (There are currently no known Class A+ office phone booths or meeting pods) 


Class B pods are generally less expensive than Class A pods, making them a viable option for companies looking for an economic solution while still achieving privacy.

Mobility and Flexibility: 

Class B pods tend to be lighter and easier to move, which can be also beneficial for dynamic spaces.

Ambient Noise Consideration: 

In very quiet office spaces below 35 dB ambient noise levels (which is quite uncommon), Class A pods might be necessary to prevent conversations from being heard outside of the pods. In most office environments, Class B pods provide sufficient privacy without the eerie silence that can sometimes accompany more heavily insulated spaces.

Note that in exceptionally quiet office spaces, a Class A pod might create an environment that feels excessively silent. Humans naturally require a certain level of ambient noise to remain comfortable.

In noisy office environments (>60 dB ambient noise levels), a Class C pod would be sufficient.


Why Class B pods are the optimal choice for most businesses

Class B pods often strike the perfect balance between cost, efficiency, and usability, making them a popular choice among most businesses. They provide significant sound reduction without creating a disconnected atmosphere, fostering a workspace that is both quiet and comfortable.

Economical and Practical: The cost savings of Class B pods allow businesses to allocate funds to other areas, such as ergonomic furniture or technology upgrades, enhancing overall productivity.

Adaptability in Various Noise Environments: Their flexibility makes them suitable for most office settings, ensuring privacy without isolation.

Extended Benefits of Using Class B Pods: In addition to their acoustic features, Class B pods are designed to be user-friendly and adaptable.

Ease of Integration: Their lightweight nature means they can be easily integrated into existing office designs without  disruptions.

Sufficient Privacy for Open Plan Offices: They are ideal for open-plan offices, where they help to minimise the overall noise level, making the environment more conducive to focus and productivity.

MEAVO office phone booths and meeting pods – the ideal acoustic solution

Cost-Effectiveness: Opting for our Class B office phone booths and meeting pods is more economical compared to class A acoustic solutions, allowing businesses to manage their budgets effectively while still providing high-quality acoustic enhancements.

Improved Privacy and Productivity: Our Class B office booths ensure optimal noise reduction (25-30 decibels), enhancing speech privacy and reducing distractions. This leads to better focus and productivity among employees, particularly in settings where multiple conversations happen simultaneously.

Energy and Space Efficiency: Our office phone booths use light materials that optimise energy consumption and save space, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient office environment.

Simpler Installation and Maintenance: The use of lighter materials not only simplifies the installation process but also reduces the complexity and cost of maintenance over time.

These features make MEAVO office phone booths and meeting pods a smart choice for businesses looking to improve their workspace acoustics efficiently and affordably.

In conclusion

Class B acoustic pods are ideal for standard office environments where maintaining a natural ambient noise level is crucial for comfort and productivity. They provide sufficient speech privacy without the excessive silence that can be unsettling in quieter workspaces. By integrating Class B pods, businesses can enhance workplace acoustics effectively while ensuring a balanced and dynamic working environment.

Choosing the right office setup involves a range of factors, including customisation options, functionalities, and pricing. To assist you in navigating these considerations, our Office Phone Booths and Meeting Pods Comparison Guide delves into each aspect, offering information on sustainable practices, features and pricing. This comprehensive guide is designed to help you make a well-informed decision that best meets your business needs and fosters a productive office environment.