Do IIC hearing aids (inside the canal) provide better hearing improvement than BTE (behind-the-ear)?
One from my Quora postbag...
No, absolutely not. Worse in many ways. Technically you should benefit from the directionality caused by your own pinna (outer ear), but in anything but the mildest hearing loss, the benefits of receiver in canal aids outweigh any other shape.
IIC have a fixed vent which means it can’t be changed as your hearing loss progresses (this hamstrings the audiologist who has to progressively fudge the fitting). IIC have single microphones, not dual. They are prone to moisture/wax damage. They haven’t the space for any cool components such as Bluetooth. Worse for hearing in all but the simplest situations.
I am describing Receiver in Canal (RIC) as being the best aids, BTE’s traditionally means something else. A BTE feeds sound along a tube, with all the tubular distortion that comes with that. A RIC produces sound in the ear canal, via a receiver (speaker) sitting there.
I would not have an IIC given, and I wouldn’t go back to a BTE unless I absolutely had to.