LOL!! I can deaf-inately relate to both sides of this! Luckily, being a woman, my hair is long enough to cover my ears, but even with my ITEs, I’ve found that folks don’t focus as much on my EARS as what I say. O’course, I’m 61, and not 31, which makes that tricky call even easier.
Quiteear: My own 2-cents’ worth is based on experience: I am a bit prone to developing itchy-ear if the canal is firmly sealed. In fact, I’ve had two bouts of otitis (due to allergic reaction to hard shell cases) that convinced me: NO IIC (Lyric, et al) is worth even “going there”.
I’m not familiar with Beltone’s invisible aid, but I’d have a YUGE issue with an aid where I couldn’t swap out batteries myself as needed or get the dang thing out every single night to give my ears a chance to breathe and dry out. I also think Volusiano brings up a valid point about “future growth”. If you want the investment to pay off, perhaps have some built-in range in which to increase gain and fine-tune the frequency ranges.
BEST of luck in what you decide! Be sure to keep us posted. Trials are a great way to test out one aid against another. And Costco seems the most reasonable solution for many here. I have opted for REI, behind-the-ear Oticon Opn miniRITEs, which seems to work with my loss profile.