Wearing masks have done wonders to protect our health over the past few years. But they can be a bit of a hassle when trying to have a conversation and hear one another properly. So, what is the best face mask for speaking?
The best face mask for speaking and protection is a disposable N95 surgical mask. They are breathable and fit loosely enough to not muffle the voice. N95 masks are used by doctors because they decrease the spread of germs while allowing for easy communication. The second best is a clear face shield.
Let’s talk more about face masks and speaking.
What is the best face mask for speaking?
Surgical N95 masks are the best face masks that protect the wearer from germs while enabling them to still be heard properly when talking.
To determine which face mask was the best for speaking and communication, the Department of National Institutes of Health in America conducted a study. This study compared four kinds of masks. Two different types of cloth masks, a surgical mask, and an N95 mask. This study didn’t test for double-masking.
The study tested how well someone could be heard and understood when talking in a variety of settings. In a space with limited background noise, all the masks allowed for effective communication. But, when there was more background noise, the best face mask was the N95 mask.
The N95 mask doesn’t muffle your voice by having lots of material, which is why it is easier to hear someone speak with this kind of mask on. An N95 mask has bendable wires inside them that hold them in place and can mould them more to your face shape. This also helps to make communication easier when wearing the masks.
One of the other best face masks for speaking is the transparent face mask. These have been used in school settings and industries such as film and television. The clear face shields allow others to still see your mouth, which helps people decipher what you are saying if they can’t hear you clearly. Transparent face masks/shields are the best option when talking to those who have hearing impairments. However, they don’t provide as much protection as N95 masks. With that said, it does help to ensure certain people aren’t being left out of conversations and instructions by allowing them to see you talk.
What makes a face mask good for speaking?
All face masks absorb sound to an extent, which is what affects the clarity of your speech when communicating with one on. But communication is vital in our lives to make everything run smoothly and continue to build connections. So, let’s take a look at things to consider about face masks and conversing with one on.
The fit of a face mask can affect speaking clarity
If you have a face mask that is too tight, pressing on your nose and mouth, your speech is more likely to be muffled. You want your face mask to be loose enough for you to breathe properly. If you can breathe well in your mask, then you should have no real trouble with being heard when speaking. Make sure that you wear a face mask correctly to ensure your protection from germs and enhance your speaking.
Face mask material impacts how well you can be heard
Face masks that are made from thick fabrics absorb a lot of sounds which muffles your voice when speaking. This is part of why N95 masks are the best face masks for speaking. The mask material isn’t extremely thick or heavy and the mask is more fitted to your face. This will allow you to be heard fairly easily while wearing a face mask. You will find extra absorption from face mask filters when they are added too.
How to be heard when wearing a face mask and speaking
The best way to be heard when wearing a face mask is to wear it properly. If you follow the right steps, you will keep yourself safe while still being able to be heard through a face mask.
Start by washing or sanitising your hands before putting on a face mask.
When you put the mask on, make sure it covers your nose and mouth. The mask should fit snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
When you are speaking with a face mask on, you should consciously make an effort to speak clearly and not mumble. It is easy to not think about how we speak regularly. But when you have the obstruction of a face mask, you need to have a stronger and clearer voice. This will help send the sound out past the absorption from the face mask.
You might find you need to modulate the pitch of your voice to be heard more clearly when wearing a face mask.
Wearing an N95 face mask while speaking is one of the best ways to help make sure you are heard properly. Combine the lighter mask material with a clear and strong voice and you almost won’t be able to tell that you’re speaking with a mask on.
What types of face masks are out there?
There are a lot of face masks being produced today in different colours, patterns, and shapes. There are benefits to all different kinds of face masks and they all fall into one of these two categories:
Disposable face masks
Disposable face masks are meant to only be used once and then discarded. Before the pandemic, these were mostly used in medical settings. Once COVID19 hit, there was a major increase in the demand for surgical quality disposable masks for the general public. This is because masks such as the N95 face mask do a great job of protecting the community against germs. Alongside this, as we mentioned, they are the best face mask for speaking. These masks are usually lighter than others, more comfortable, and more breathable. The only real concern with disposable face masks is the waste produced from them.
Reusable face masks
The second category of face masks is the reusable face mask. This became a huge competing face mask category since the outbreak of COVID19 and mask restrictions across the world. With the demand for masks skyrocketing, disposable masks did become hard to find and we had to create reusable options.
Reusable face masks are usually made from cloth materials, which has allowed them to even become part of our modern fashion trends. But, being heavier cloth masks, they aren’t the best face masks for speaking.
It’s important to make sure reusable face masks are washed properly to prevent the spread of disease.
Now that you know the best face mask for speaking, how about the best face mask for glasses? Our Paragon Tools resources can also provide you with a guide on where to buy kids masks and much more! For quality cutting, grinding and bricklaying tools, check out our Paragon Tools shop.