Can 'local acoustic treatment' reduce speech distraction within open-plan offices?

(Acoustical Society of America) To make open offices less noisy, researchers are creating small 'acoustic islands' using high-back chairs and retroreflective ceilings to direct sound to help you hear your own conversations — not others' — better. During the 175th ASA Meeting, Manuj Yadav, at the University of Sydney, will present his and his colleagues' work toward solutions to the speech distraction problem in open-plan offices.