My position on this is that the manager is a troll and is a control freak.
I listen to a very large collection of music & podcasts at work.
If I had a manager actually state that as a position with the particular environs you mentioned I would be demanding a number of things:
1) segregation of the programmers to a more isolated area
2) segregation of anyone who is in sales to a basement office with sound proofing
3) scientific studies that the manager in question was not beaten up and stuffed in lockers in high school
Now while much of what I'm writing above may be construed as flame bait, I just posit it for laughs.
Seriously though, music and/or podcasts are some of the mechanisms I was using to deal with either utter silence (because my dev team was fairly isolated) or high volume sales people (after consolidation of the office employees after 1st round of layoffs).