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As someone with full spectrum hearing, a lot of those environments are awful for me too. Just miserable to be practically yelling to be heard and then needing to cup your hand over your ear to make out what they're saying, often just giving up and nodding and hoping that a "nod" response makes sense in the context of whatever they said.

fwiw: I've found it a fair bit easier to hear others with earplugs in (when it's noisy around). especially the concert-goer ones, at least in part since they usually reduce volume less (normal foam ones reduce 30db or so, which is quite a bit).

Me too, but others have problem with hearing me. It's harder to control my own volume and I tend to speak more softly because of the feedback the earplugs create.

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