Your audiologist is, of course, correct about highly amplified sound on one side being able to be "picked up" on the other side. When I had my original hearing test after losing 100% hearing on my left side, my audiologist had to do considerable masking in the right (good) ear while the highest volumes were being fed to the left ear - otherwise I'd hear what was going into my left ear on the right side. So I can say from personal experience it works. Second, over the course of the past 3 years, my ability to pick up bone-conducted sound in my good ear has improved remarkably. I can lightly rub my hand across the hair on my "bad" side and actually hear that through bone conduction if there is no other sound or if I've got my good ear plugged.
If the air conduction approach works for you, great! But before you make a final decision I would suggest possible additional consideration of the TransEar, if you're not completely sure about the air conduction hearing aid. I strongly disagree that the TransEar has to be uncomfortable, let alone painful - particularly once it's properly fitted. If it hurts, it needs to be slightly sanded down in the spot corresponding to where the irritation is inside the ear. It may take a few tries at that, but once it's done, you're set from then on. My first one hurt like crazy, and my audiologist (then) told me I'd get used to it, or my ear canal would stretch out, or something like that. So I endured it about a week until I could not stand the pain. It turned out I'd worn a significant "hole" in my ear canal. She thought it had gone to the bone, but the ENT doc checked and said it was just a pretty significant ulcer. I went without the TransEar for another week. The audiologist did an absolute no-no (especially for one not well experienced with the TransEar) and put it on her grinder. That instantly took off too much, and I had feedback problems forever after, and could never run it at the volume level it is designed to run at. It was eventually remade by the TransEar folks, better fitted, and was passable until I got the new model earlier this year (from a different, patient, highly competent audiologist). It fit too tight, and was immediately sanded down a little at a time (VERY fine sand paper that TransEar supplies with the device), and I went home. The next day I returned and some more needed to be taken off. A little more sanding at a time and I was in great shape! (Haven't been back to the audiologist now in 4 months.) A good audiologist can get you the same results if they do it right. And it isn't really all that much work. As you see here, there are a number of very satisfied TransEar users who were able to get a good fit in one or more additional visits in the first few days or weeks - that's all. And since there's a free trial period with the TransEar also, it might be worth a try.
As for it being hard to program? Not if the audiologist can follow instructions and is willing to work with (i.e. talk to) the TransEar folks - even while they're doing programming adjustments. The TransEar people have been really good about working with the audiologists about programming and fitting (when needed)
Yes, I have a behind-the-ear (BTE) portion (the electronic "brains" of the TransEar), as well as the in-the-ear portion. But I've long since lost any uncomfortability or sensitivity to it. I don't notice it at all during the day unless I specifically think about it, or if I bend way over and it moves out of place or something else unusual happens. And the newest model TransEar is visible in the ear, but VERY unobtrusive in my opinion. I had the original "dinosaur" model only a year or so after it was first approved. It was a full shell and was flush with the outside edge of the ear. This new one sits a bit more in, and is only a half-shell. Would I LIKE to go without a BTE piece? Of course. But do I mind what I've got? Not at all anymore.
I also want to stress what someone else said above. The frequency response of the new model is far better than the original, and comprehension of the tough consonants is far better than before as a result. If I remember correctly, it peaks around 2000 or 2100 hz, whereas the old model was around 700-800 hz if I remember correctly. They really did a great job on the research and engineering of this new model, in my opinion. I could hear and experience the difference within the first minutes of trying it out in a previously rough environment.
Oh - one other thing. I had some vibration with my first TransEar, but don't feel ANY with my newest generation model. The TransEar doesn't use sound - it uses vibration. I suspect you could run into a problem with that if you're blasting high-volume sound into the bad ear.
Whatever you decide to do, it's got to be comfortable for you. The air conduction device may be just fine - I can't compare the two. I just wanted to let you know that perhaps the TransEar might be worth re-considering. It's certainly not for everyone, but with 100% deafness in your bad ear and good hearing on your good side, you may be a great candidate for trying it.
Best of luck!