A soundproof phone booth is a box (also known as a pod) engineered to ensure that your conversation inside it cannot be overheard. They feature advanced soundproof engineering which allows them to be well ventilated without any sound escaping.
They typically come in lightweight modular units which can easily be transported around an office as required. They are particularly useful in open offices where there is no space to have private telephone conversations.
Looking for a Soundproof Phone Booth for your office?
A typical booth usually contains the following features:
Many companies will also include the option to customise your booth with your own branding or the styling of your choice (see the image above) included in the total cost.
Cubicall's booths come in solo (single), standard (double) and meeting room (up to 4 occupants) sizes.
Companies which sell soundproof phone pods include:
The booths are constructed from modular wall, ceiling and floor units meaning they can very quickly be constructed or deconstructed as required.
The material that they are constructed from will vary depending on who you buy from, but the construction materials can involve things such as recycled plastic bottles, open-cell foam and felt and more.
One thing you can be certain of is that they are engineered to a high standard so that incoming or outgoing sound is completely muffled.
They do of course have soundproof air vents so you won't suffocate -these are engineered to a high standard so that air can get in while sound cannot.
They may sound like an unnecessary office expense but sound-insulated phone booths are proven to improve work efficiency, particularly if you work in an open-plan office...and they can be much cheaper than soundproofing office rooms that are already there.
The open-plan office was first introduced in the workplace in Europe in the early 20th century, the idea, and arrangement of the open-plan office has been rethought numerous times but these days it is commonplace in most workspaces as in theory it allows collaboration and more open communication between teams.
However a 2018 study revealed that open workspaces actually decrease face to face interactions by up to 70%!
Phone booths provide a way of turning open offices into flexible workspaces that promote interaction without the expense of having to separate up an office with walls.
Booths also allow your staff to feel more comfortable talking to clients and making deals than they otherwise would in an open office and having options available for private calls allows the rest of the office to be more productive with fewer distractions.
A major benefit of using soundproof booths is reduced workplace stress and improved mental wellbeing.
Working in a constantly noisy environment is proven to have a detrimental impact on mental health, so soundproof phone booths are worth the money for the improvement in staff well-being and the reduced down-time.
This depends on where you buy them from and the customisations you request.
They can cost as much as $43,000 (see the section below on soundproof phone booths in the news for more details on this), however, that is the very top end, most phone booths for everyday office use will be significantly cheaper.
That said phone booths can be a big investment, thankfully many companies do offer monthly payments schemes to spread the cost (Cubicall offer finance options from $128 per month - well worth the money).
Soundproof phone booths made headlines back in 2018 when Scott Pruitt, a Republican politician from Oklahoma who was appointed as the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), purchased a $43,000 phone booth (using government money) for his office.
This purchase broke the following two laws:
The booth itself only cost $24,570 however there was a $3,470 floor-leveling fee, a $3,360.97 fee for the installation of a drop ceiling, a $3,350 fee for preparing the walls, $7,978 fee for the removal of the CCTV and a $509.71 fee for sorting out the wiring (source), this all amounted to a total cost of $43,238.68.
Fun Fact: Only one phone call was ever made from Scott Pruitt's $43,000 phone booth!
Despite the EPA's insistence that the booth was necessary “to make and receive phone calls and to discuss sensitive information, including classified telephone calls up to the top-secret level”, the phone booth fiasco led to a thorough investigation and the eventual resignation of Scott Pruitt.