When people speak to you on the higher mental plane, you hear their words directly in your ear, clearly, unmistakeably. I would say it sounds like they’re “one inch away from your head”, except that would be 1 inch too far away. The volume doesn’t go down with distance, nor does the clarity of speech. It’s not like our physical world, in that respect.
What I find super-fascinating is that you also get a mental impression with much more detail and clarification and intent, far greater than the actual words you heard them speak. It’s kind of like somehow receiving the thoughts that the person collected in order to speak – or at least the ones they intended to send you related to the words you heard. Consider what it’s like speaking in our normal physical world: you actually think a bunch of thoughts before speaking – you might only speak a small sub-set of them out loud, and possibly in a different order than how you thought about them. You may know more detail on the subject, but you chose not to speak it out loud for simplicity. You might also have intention behind the words you spoke, but that intention may or may not have been relayed properly with the words you said. Even if you spoke completely clearly and properly, the other person might be distracted or have noise nearby, or get hung up on a particular word, or caught up in their own thoughts, and misunderstand you anyway. All these things are common-place in our physical world.
You can’t misunderstand on the higher levels because of things like that. It just doesn’t happen. For every 10 words you hear spoken, there are a series of clear thought forms relayed with them as modifiers to the spoken words, that affects them in ways that makes it 100% clear what the other person intended the words to mean. For example, you might ask where Fred is, and your friend says “Fred is over there,” gesturing to the other end of the room. But he thinks to you the additional information that: Fred is talking to a woman who looks vaguely like an image he relayed to you (you can see it in your mind), and, he happens to be standing up, facing directly away from us at the moment. You learned all that from “Fred is over there”! It’s like catching a picture, or a feeling, a piece of an event, related to the words – sent by the person sending you the words.
Of course, it’s possible that you may not have had the experience/expertise to understand something a person is telling you on the Higher Mental plane. Maybe your friend just described something related to electrical engineering, but she doesn’t realize you have no experience in that; she made it simple to understand for people with basic electrical engineering training, she assumed you knew that much; but you didn’t. So you heard all the words and maybe saw the pictures, but you didn’t know how to process it.