A Stethoscope is an essential tool for many healthcare professionals today.
A fully functional, sensitive and durable stethoscope helps in routine hospital procedures like blood pressure checks, listening for heart sounds and lung auscultation.
If you’re a nurse or doctor and have ever wondered what the best stethoscope for you is, you’ve come to the right guide.
We understand that you don’t want a stethoscope that will last just three months or one that will produce muffled sounds or one that isn’t aesthetically pleasing.
This is why we have spent several hours reviewing different brands and products, looking for features that would make auscultation a pleasant thing to look forward to.
If you wondered what qualities we used to come up with this list, we examined things like personal experiences, general reviews, price, value for money, functionality, comfort, ease of use and of course sensitivity.
We would be listing out our favorite 5 stethoscopes (we chose just 5 because we felt a long list won’t do much in helping you make a decision) and we will start with our favorite.
So let’s begin.
The Best Stethoscopes For Nurses and Doctors Right Now:
1. 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope
This is by far our most recommended stethoscope. If you currently work at a hospital, you’d have probably seen it being used by some of your colleagues. It is an extremely popular stethoscope worldwide and is known for its sensitivity, durability and easy maintenance.
Even though it isn’t the cheapest stethoscope in the market today, at less than $100 on the average, it is good value for your money.
If you are someone who is very focused on your clinical work and want a stethoscope that will last you a really long time, you should get this.
To be honest, I have had this stethoscope since my medical school days and it still works very well. I have not needed to change any of its parts.
One other advantage of this stethoscope is that it has a two-sided chestpiece that can be used for adults and children.
Here are the pros, cons and average price of this stethoscope:
- Excellent acoustic performance
- Two-sided chestpiece (one suitable for adults and one suitable for children)
- Tunable diaphragm technology. You can hear different frequency sounds by changing the pressure you exert on the chestpiece.
- Not easily stained and easy to clean. Not damaged by skin oils and alcohol.
- Comfortable ear tips
- Available in different colors and styles
- Long lasting. Usually has a 5-year warranty.
- Worldwide availability
- Not the lightest of stethoscopes in terms of weight (150g)
- Some people may find it a little expensive
Average Price: $95
2. MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope
If there’s anything that stands out about this stethoscope, it will be its affordability. If you need a stethoscope that can take care of basics while not costing you a lot, this is a good fit for you, it only costs about $25.
Despite its affordable price, it has a dual head for use in both adults and children, it has a no-chill diaphragm (it doesn’t feel cold when placed on a patient’s skin), and comfortable ear tips.
Another reason to love this product is that it comes with a spare diaphragm and extra pairs of ear tips, just in case you get yours damaged.
Here are its pros and cons.
- Very affordable
- Dual head for use in both children and adults
- Fairly good acoustic performance
- It comes with an ID tag to help you identify yours
- Latex-free tube
- Available in different colors
- Not exactly lightweight.
- Does not ship to countries outside the United States.
Average Price: $25.48
3. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope
This stethoscope is all about sensitivity, clarity, and durability. If you aren’t bothered about cost but want a very high quality, long-lasting and clear stethoscope, you should get this one.
It has perhaps the best acoustic performance available, has a double-lumen tube (it is remarkably more comfortable on your neck than most stethoscopes) and can be used for both adult and pediatric patients easily.
You could easily discard your current stethoscope and opt for this if you tried it out, there is very little background noise. It has a tunable diaphragm which you can use to listen to both high and low frequency sounds clearly. All you’ll need to do is adjust the amount of pressure you exert on the chest piece.
Here are the pros, cons and average price of this stethoscope.
- Top of the range acoustic performance
- Decreased background noise
- Next-generation durable tube (non-latex)
- Comfortable when worn around your neck
- Soft ear tips
- Available in different colors
- 7-year warranty
- Relatively high price
Average Price: $160
4. ADC Adscope-Lite 609 Ultra Lightweight Clinician Stethoscope
As its name implies, this stethoscope is known for one thing: it’s lightweight. At just 100g, it’s about 50% lighter than common Littmann stethoscopes.
This means it’s very easy to carry around and you can easily keep it around your neck for a long period without feeling uncomfortable.
It has a dual head, usable in both pediatric and adult patients. It’s not the most sensitive stethoscope, meaning you may not be able to listen to all those ‘hard to hear’ heart murmurs, but it is sure useful at the basic level. You may not want to use this if you’re a cardiology resident doctor.
One more thing you should know about this stethoscope is that it is very affordable.
- Very lightweight
- Very cheap
- Dual head
- Comes with a spare diaphragm and an extra pair of ear tips
- 5-year warranty
Not the best acoustic performance
Average Price: $18
5. Littmann 3200 Electronic Stethoscope
This is a trendy, modern and very sensitive stethoscope built for ‘techy’ medics and those that prefer some technology on every instrument.
It has many advanced features that help to lower background noise by about 85%, making auscultation an awesome experience. It is very sensitive and can amplify sounds by up to 24 times!
It has a functional LCD screen that displays the sound level, battery percentage, and even the patient’s heart rate. It also has the ability to record and save up to twelve 30 second clips that you can replay for your patients to listen to, attach to reports and review with your colleagues.
Now, you may not need all these features, but many medics may like to have a digital stethoscope that clearly stands out from others, laden with technology. A downside, however, is its very high price.
- Usable digital stethoscope
- Eliminates most background noise
- Very sensitive (also amplifies sound)
- Non-chill diaphragm
- Next-generation tubing (non-latex)
- Audio recording
- Bluetooth capabilities
- It is very expensive
- Technical problems are not uncommon
- Not the best value for money
- Only 2 years warranty (relatively low for its price)
Average Price: $400
Over To You
We have been able to discuss 5 of our favorite stethoscopes and hopefully, you’ve been able to decide which one works for you. We are very open to updating this article as frequently as we can, so we will like to hear from you. Have you tried any of these stethoscopes? Kindly tell us your experience by using the comment section below. Also, If you feel there’s any stethoscope that deserves to be on this list, kindly drop a comment too.