I absolutely love this TED talk by Julian Treasure about how sound affects people. I was especially struck by his discussion of how design/architecture can greatly affect academic success by changing the soundscape in a classroom.
Personally I am very sensitive to noise. It’s exhausting to spend time in places which have even low levels of background noise, and loud events such as amplified concerts or sporting events are often physically overwhelming. Even the Mozilla offices, with their open floor plan, are frequently distracting and make it hard to do concentrated work.