As a designer and creator of indoor fountains I am very aware of both the benefits and potential disadvantages of a fountain and I always try to educate my clients on these considerations. I want happy clients but if your fountain doesn’t meet your expectations, you won’t be, and there are a surprising number of factors that will determine this.
The most important consideration is where you intend to place the fountain because this will determine what type you buy. Fountains come in different styles and create different sounds and volumes of sound. There is the type in which water flows into a bowl, types that drip into a bowl and there are types in which the water bubbles up. The best fountains have adjustable pumps so you can control the volume more easily but they all make distinctly different sounds.
A fountain with a constant, regular drip or flow is not a good choice in an area where conversation is frequent. Even the lovely sound of water falling gently into water can become irritating if it is constantly competing for your attention. A fountain with an irregular drip might be fine in such a setting and a bubble-up type that can be turned down so you still see moving water but don’t hear it is probably the best choice for a quite setting in which people regularly come together.