I came across an interesting website today, http://chatterblocker.com! ChatterBlocker claims to neutralise disturbing background noise using auditory masking. “Digital sound files “dilute” the peaks and valleys of unwanted speech with sounds that are similar in frequency, but not distracting.” And “ChatterBlocker includes the comforting sounds of ocean waves, bird songs and babbling brooks. These sounds help mask unwanted chatter; they also relax unnecessary tension so you can concentrate on your work instead of your co-workers.”
Now I don’t like to be too sceptical, but this just sounds like playing music to distract from the distraction–iTunes does it for me… I really can’t make out that there is any more too it!