Literature shows that preterm infants can be adversely affected by sounds in a hospital. Yet completely quiet environments may potentially limit a much-needed exposure to language. This presents a challenge to designing an optimal sound environment in NICUs. This study examined the acoustic variance in open bay and single room NICUs and found that there was little variability in the acoustic environment of the two NICU models. It also found that the single room NICU had longer periods of silence than the open bay NICU.