Best Stethoscope: Nurses, Doctors, EMTs & Students

best stethoscope

It’s your job to save lives and improve the quality of life for others, but you can’t do that if you don’t have the right equipment. Searching for what you need can be time-consuming and confusing, to say the least.

Follow this guide to finding the best stethoscope and you’ll be able to determine what your professional needs are and how to properly address them.

All your questions and concerns will be answered in these comprehensive stethoscope reviews.

10 Best ​Stethoscopes for Nurses, Doctors, EMTs & Students


How Does A Stethoscope Work?


A stethoscope is actually an acoustic medical device used primarily for listening to internal sounds of either a human or animal. It contains a small, circular shaped resonator that will be placed on the body.

Then the two tubes get inserted into your ears and you can listen to the inner workings of the subject. While it’s normally used for lung and heart sounds, it can also provide great insight into the workings of the intestines or blood flow in the arteries and veins. Some even use a stethoscope for listening to a fetus, but there are more specific tools designed for this nowadays.

Depending on what you need, a stethoscope can cost anywhere from $15 up to several hundred. Just because a model costs more, however, does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice for your needs. If you’re a student, you may not want to sacrifice on quality just to save a few bucks.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time learning to listen to specific bodily sounds and if your equipment is not adequate, learning could become quite difficult.

Your choice is going to vary greatly based on whether you need the best stethoscope for doctors, nurses, students, or even if you are a specialist and need the best stethoscope for ENT.

Just know that whatever you are planning to use it for, there is something that will work perfectly.


3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope, Black Tube, 28 inch


3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope, Black Tube, 28 inch

3M Littmann is a trusted name when searching for the best stethoscope for nurses and this model is one of the best they make.

It has a reliable acoustic performance ideal for taking blood pressure reading. The tunable diaphragm responds to simple pressure changes and it features a tear-drop shape perfect for sliding under the blood pressure cuff.

This version is the lightest Littmann stethoscope on the market at just 118 grams making it ideal for professionals who will be wearing their equipment all day.

The resilient tubing will retain its shape and flexibility even after you’ve folded it tightly in your pocket.

You can also adjust the headset tension to conform to any size head. Simply squeeze the ear tubes together or pull them further apart until you reach the desired sizing.

The tubing is made with no natural rubber latex which is ideal for any professional or patient with a latex sensitivity. It also does not contain phthalate plasticizers making it ideal for those who are concerned with the environment.


3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope, Black Plated Chestpiece and Eartubes, Black Tube, 27 inch


3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope, Black Plated Chestpiece and Eartubes, Black Tube, 27 inch

This is the only dual-sided chestpiece in the Littmann Cardiology line and it provides versatile auscultation perfect for adults or pediatric patients. Simply open the bell for low frequencies when working in pediatrics by using the non-chill bell sleeve that is included.

Easily capture both the low and high frequencies and enjoy the two-in-one tube design that eliminates noise interference from having two external tubes which will rub together.

The headset is completely adjustable to fit any size head and the resilient next-generation tubing will retain its shape even after you’ve had it folded tightly in your pocket.

It was created with a resistance to skin oils and alcohol so you’ll be less likely to stain your equipment. In addition, they are made with no natural rubber latex perfect for those with sensitivities and they also do not contain phthalate plasticizers for those who are concerned with the environment. This would be a fantastic option as the best stethoscope for nursing students because of its versatility.


3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope, Matte Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 inch


3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope, Matte Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 inch

It’s no wonder that this model is a bestseller! The two-sided chest piece feature tunable diaphragms for both the adult of pediatric functions.

You’ll find that the tunable diaphragm is also easy to attach and even easier to clean due to the smooth surface that has no crevices.

You’ll receive a high acoustic sensitivity for outstanding performance during the physical assessment.

As with the other models from this stethoscope brand, it features no natural rubber latex or phthalate plasticizers and it comes in several tubing colors or chest piece finishes. Finally, this comes with a complete five-year warranty which shows the confidence of the manufacturer that your product is going to be top-notch.


Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope


Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope

This Omron stethoscope features latex free tubing and a chrome plated chest piece. Don’t let the lower price fool you, it’s a great option for the best stethoscope for a nursing student. Your set includes three sizes of open bells, two sizes of diaphragms and two pairs of eartips all enclosed in a vinyl storage case perfect for taking with you.

This basic model might not be the best stethoscope for doctors, but purchasing an inexpensive model might just work for you as a student or nurse.

Considering how often expensive stethoscopes get stolen, especially in an emergency room setting, this will keep you from losing a lot of money if yours gets taken as well.


3M Littmann 2141 Master Classic II Stethoscope 27-inch Chestpiece & Eartubes


3M Littmann 2141 Master Classic II Stethoscope 27-inch Chestpiece and Eartubes

The top five best stethoscopes wouldn’t be complete without another 3M Littmann version. This award-winning ergonomic design provides excellent acoustic sensitivity. The tunable diaphragm responds to the most simple pressure change making it ideal for capturing low and high-frequency sounds.

To provide optimal patient comfort, you’ll enjoy the non-chill rim and diaphragm. Complete with latex free products for sensitive patients, this model is made in the USA.

The headset is easily adjustable and you will receive access to the free learning app with this purchase. With your new app, you’ll be able to develop diagnostic skills, listen to real heart and lung sounds to easily identify different conditions, track your progress and test your knowledge.


ADC Adscope 609ST Stethoscope


ADC Adscope 609ST Stethoscope

This highly sensitive, non-chill diaphragm is ideal for greater amplification and clearer high-frequency transmission.

The clinician headset features reinforcing yoke molded into a flexible 22-inch PVC tubing.

This model is lightweight and comes complete with a five-year warranty. 


MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope


MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope

With a lifetime warranty and free parts for life, this 100% stainless steel construction provides an acoustically superior piece of equipment.

It includes 3 pairs of MDF ComfortSear eartips in small, regular and large sizes.

The patented SafetyLock Eartip Adaptors are non-invasive and are ideal for ear safety. 


​ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope with Tunable AFD Technology, 30.5" Length


ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope with Tunable AFD Technology, 30.5 Length

ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope with Tunable AFD Technology, 30.5" Length – This adjustable frequency design is available to provide an acoustic response of a traditional bell and diaphragm all in the one-sided chest piece.

Featuring a reinforcing yoke molded into a flexible 22-inch PVC tubing, this model also offers a stainless binaural and Adsoft Plus silicone eartips. You will also receive a lifetime warranty and free consumables when you register the equipment with the manufacturer. 


MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope


MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

If you’re going to be carrying your stethoscope all day long, a lightweight model is the best option for you.

This features a latex-free design and an all-purpose, durable, and convenient design.

Complete with a lifetime warranty and free parts for life, this model also boasts the patented SafetyLock Eartip Adaptors to prevent punctured ear drums. 


3M Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope, Standard-Finish Chestpiece, 27"


3M Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope, Standard-Finish Chestpiece, 27

These acoustics provide you with better audibility of high-frequency sounds.

The tunable diaphragm allows the sounds of high or low frequency just by adjusting the pressure on the chest piece.

The dual-lumen tubing eliminates the rubbing noise of traditional double tubes.

Finally, the headset is completely adjustable providing individual fit and comfort for all users.


How To Pick The Best Stethoscope


best stethoscope for nurses

There is more than picking your favorite color, although that can be fun and help you express your personality. When trying to find the best stethoscope, there are several things you’ll want to be aware of. Carefully go through this guide to help you determine which of my top picks is the right choice for you.

Chestpiece

Using a chestpiece made with high-density materials like stainless steel or even titanium is going to give you the best performance. Keep in mind that a polished and smooth chestpiece will also offer a much crisper and clearer sound quality.

Diaphragm

Make sure you only choose a diaphragm of the highest quality. It’s also wise to have several spare parts in case of a puncture or any type of failure.

Headset

Your headset should be manufactured with the same material as your chestpiece and angled at 15 degrees. Sometimes a product description will only offer information on the chestpiece, so be aware of that when searching.

Eartips

Your eartips may not seem like an important matter to consider when reading through stethoscope reviews, but they are just as important when looking for accurate readings. They should fit comfortably and securely inside the ear and they should create a seal inside to prevent any external sound from interfering.

Tubing

Make sure you pick a model with thick and durable tubing for a long-lasting option. This will isolate acoustics from external noise and insulate the necessary sound. Thinner tubing not only leads to breakage but can also create a loss of sound. If you’re looking to maintain a larger distance between you and the patient, you’ll also want to look for longer tubing. Just keep in mind that having a longer tube might affect the quality of the sound.

Stem

While not often thought of to make a difference, the stem is also important to prevent sound leakage. You’ll want to pick a stem that is made from the same high-quality metal as your chestpiece. Be sure it also snaps into place properly.

You’ll also want to give consideration to the environment you’ll be working in. A cardiologist is going to want a different stethoscope from an ENT. Keep in mind that while a nursing student will be in relatively quiet situations, an emergency technician is going to be battling more environment noise and will need something that isolates noise more.


Caring For Your Stethoscope


Once you’ve chosen the right stethoscope, you’ll need to take proper care of it to ensure a long life. When using cleaning supplies on your stethoscope, be sure they are non-invasive so they won’t cause harm to the sensitive parts.

Your best bet would be to disinfect with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Never immerse it in any liquid and avoid extreme heat or cold.

If you find a part of your stethoscope is broken, you might want to consider purchasing a replacement part which can be far more cost effective than purchasing a completely new unit. Some models also include free consumables for the life of your stethoscope, so be sure to enjoy that perk.


Verdict



Now that I’ve looked through the best stethoscope for nurses as well as the best stethoscope for doctors, you should be able to make a much better decision about what you need.

Be sure you understand how a stethoscope works and what each part does, then you are ready to pick from the top 10 best stethoscopes I reviewed.

Once you’ve received your choice, be sure you care for it to ensure that it will provide you many years of reliable service to your patients.

If you want to find more information about choosing the right stethoscope, check out this YouTube video. 

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: