Oh aren't those places awful! Wanted a few birthdays back to go to this wonderful restaurant in Portland. It was a great place for the menu and we enjoyed the food, but, Holy Cow!! It was an echo chamber just like your are describing and not pleasant to visit or to enjoy the "ambiance" such as it was. Horrible trend. But, the noise, music and confusion make to people eating faster and getting the heck out of there, and then the restaurant can seat the next group who will eat fast and get the heck out of there. It's all a plot. If you are nice and comfy and relaxed and talking, the restaurant makes little money off of that, unless you are also drinking up a storm.
Sue in Vancouver, USA