Bluetooth earbuds like AirPods Pro and Beats can be used as personal amplifiers in IOS 14. It is one way people can dabble in hearing aid life without jumping through all the hoops, and paying all the dollars, for prescription hearing aids. The more alternative hearing products enter the market, the more we'll see lines blurred between earbuds and hearing aids. That means more and more people interacting in the world wearing earbuds in general.
Let's not make this a reason to judge one another, or make unhelpful assumptions. If someone starts conversing without removing their earbuds, it doesn't mean they're being rude. You don't necessarily know if they're on a call, listening to a podcast, or just trying to hear. And depending on the situation, it may not be any of your business!
I have not tried consumer-electronic earbuds as hearing devices. Have you?! Tell me about it in this thread. I'd love to know how your device(s) work, and whether you've received any weird looks or misinformed comments.