ChatterBlocker. Plagued by a noisy office? Then you need the £11.35 ChatterBlocker program. The software uses samples of voices, music and sound effects to mask out distracting background noise and let you concentrate on getting your job done. Sounds a bit *£&£(E_£>=$%_(£*$£, really.
ChatterBlocker doesn’t “stop” noise — it reduces the intelligibility of nearby conversations to make them less distracting. This is done using auditory masking, the same psychoacoustic phenomenon exploited by MP3 and related compression algorithms. Intelligible speech is hidden behind similar, but less distracting sounds. The result isn’t silence but a relaxing murmur. The effect is similar to lying on a crowded beach, where faraway voices mingle with the sounds of the surf to lull you into a state of relaxation. This state allows you to calm the body and focus the mind.