So, you’re here in search of the almighty stethoscope. Well, so was René Laënnec in the early 19th century, Rappaport and Sprague in the 1940s, myself, and every other doctor, nurse, EMT, PA, and medical student in the years since!
The humble stethoscope has been the best friend of medical professionals for two centuries now and is considered a must-have tool for today’s medical professionals. Designed for listening to the sounds made by the heart, lungs, and organs of humans and animals alike, there is no device more important to anyone associated with patient care than the stethoscope, which is why I created this site.
With decades of nursing experience under my belt, I’ve used every conceivable stethoscope over the years and certainly have my favorites. However, rather than watch others go through the same trial by fire so to speak and show up for a 12-hour shift with an inferior stethoscope, I made it my personal quest to find the best stethoscopes on the market today for a variety of budgets, needs, and medical disciplines.
Packed full of in-depth stethoscope reviews and plenty of useful tips sprinkled in as well, this stethoscope buying guide will never leave you asking “What are the best stethoscopes?” ever again. Enjoy!
Top-Rated Stethoscope Comparison Chart
|3M Littmann Cardiology III|
** Editor's Choice - Best Stethoscope **
|Omron Sprague Rappaport|
** Best Budget Stethoscope **
|3M Littmann Classic II S.E.||Our Review||9.2|
|3M Littmann Master Classic II||Our Review||9.0|
|ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless||Our Review||8.8|
|Welch Allyn Professional||Our Review||6.7|
|Prestige Medical Frosted Purple||Our Review||6.6|
|Prestige Medical Clinical Lite||Our Review||7.4|
|Prestige Medical Stealth||Our Review||7.3|
|Lumiscope Designer Kit||Our Review||7.4|
The Best Stethoscope Brands
Being blessed with options is usually a good thing, but it can certainly make the shopping process a lot more difficult. Like anything else for sale these days, there is a myriad of different stethoscope brands making various types of stethoscopes for different budgets and medical specialties. Since no one wants a cheap malfunctioning stethoscope from an unknown third-world manufacturer, here’s a look at some of today’s top stethoscope brands:
- Littmann is the premier name in stethoscopes, which means you have great taste if you’re here in search of Littman stethoscope reviews and hope to find the best Littman stethoscope for you.In search of a lightweight stethoscope with better acoustics, David Littman created the first Littmann stethoscope in the 1960s.Since then, many different Littmann models have been released and popularly used by nurses and doctors in many different specialties.While there are many different wonderful Littmann stethoscopes, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is by far the best. We’ll discuss this and other great Littmann stethoscopes below.
- Omron is another trusted healthcare brand and makes a complete line of stethoscopes for a variety of clinical needs. When talking to medical students, physician’s assistants, and nurses in need of an affordable stethoscope that work well and get the job done, I always recommend Omron stethoscopes.Affordable, reliable, and designed for basic blood pressure checks or physical assessments, Omron stethoscopes lack the bells, whistles, and abilities of more expensive and well-made Littman stethoscopes.That being said, the brand’s Sprague Rappaport model is one of the most popular stethoscopes on the market and widely heralded for its affordability, flexibility, and multi-purpose design. While you won’t find a cardiologist or pulmonologist using an Omron, it’s a great option for med students, PAs, nurses, and anyone simply performing basic health assessments.
- ADC – American Diagnostic Corporation, is a well-known manufacturer of medical diagnostic devices and specializes in making quality stethoscopes for the medical community.Famous for their quality, efficiency, and advanced technology, ADC makes a wide-range of stethoscopes for a variety of uses and at different price points.While it lacks the power and recognition of the Littman brand, ADC stethoscopes are worn by many of today’s medical students, nurses, and medical practitioners in all specialties.If you’re looking for a well-made stethoscope with wonderful acoustics, you should seriously consider an ADC.
- Welch Allyn – You won’t find Welch Allyn stethoscopes mentioned in many stethoscope reviews, but the brand’s stethoscopes are easy to use, highly accurate, and very well-made.Granted, Littman stethoscopes are still the kings of the stethoscope world, but more and more nursing and medical students are choosing Welch Allyn stethoscopes for all of the reasons mentioned above.Although Welch Allyn stethoscopes are comparable in price to Littman Stethoscopes and there are less expensive options to choose from, they’re definitely gaining ground and becoming increasingly talked about in medical circles as a viable alternative to the Littman brand.
- Prestige Medical – Prestige Medical makes a variety of quality stethoscopes and other medical diagnostic equipment and accessories.Embracing the challenge of being able to provide the highest quality stethoscopes at the best possible price, Prestige Medical is one of the most popular stethoscope brands for today’s medical, nursing, and EMT students.Honestly, Prestige Medical raises the bar in terms of affordability, quality, performance, and reliability. With over 40 years of experience in manufacturing stethoscopes and medical equipment, it’s without a doubt one of the top stethoscope brands out there.
- Lumiscope – Based out of Atlanta, GF Health Products manufactures and distributes over 4,000 different health and medical products under various brands, including Lumiscope.
Although there are many different medical and health products under the Lumiscope brand as well, the Lumiscope Blood Pressure and Stethoscope kit is by far one of its best.With dual-functionality, hundreds of rave reviews, and a price tag that can’t be beat, it’s one of the brand’s best-sellers and gaining Lumiscope a solid reputation in the home health category.
Don’t get me wrong.If you’re looking for the best stethoscopes around, Littman is the way to go. Lumiscope, on the other hand, is an excellent value brand, making it a popular option for a wide variety of people.
Best Stethoscope Reviews — Our Top Picks
Whether you’re searching for an entry-level stethoscope simply to obtain blood pressure, a top-quality Littman cardiology stethoscope, or a middle of the road model that falls somewhere in between the two, finding the right stethoscope for your needs and budget can be quite a challenge. Nowadays, there are many varieties of stethoscopes available with different features and prices, which is why you’re having a hard time finding just the right one.
While it helps to become familiar with stethoscopes and their features, even experienced doctors question their stethoscope choices at times. Regardless of whether you’re a first-year medical student, decorated cardiologist, or experienced pediatrician, you’re about to discover the best stethoscopes for you. Taking ratings, feedback, stethoscope reviews, and most importantly, my own experience into consideration here’s a quick look at ten of the best stethoscopes on the market today.
1. 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope
** Editor’s Choice – Best Stethoscope **
Made for adults and children alike, the 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is the only model in its class with a dual-sided chest piece. Combined with its dual lumen for reduced interference, anatomical headset, patented tunable diaphragms, and non-chill bell, this top-of-the-line scope is easily the best cardiology stethoscope your hard-earned life-saving money can buy.
If you’re a med student, EMT, or general nurse practitioner, the Cardiology III probably isn’t for you. However, if you examine and listen to tickers all day, it’s a must-have diagnostic tool. While expensive, the Littmann Cardiology III is without a doubt the best stethoscope around and definitely worth every penny.
- Dual-head cardiology stethoscope
- Non-chill diaphragm and rim
- Two tunable diaphragms for both high and low-frequency sounds
- Two-tube-in-one design eliminates friction noises and interference
- Anatomically correct headset assembly
- Patented 3M soft-sealing, snap-tight ear tips for optimal comfort and acoustic seal
- Wide variety of unique color and finish combinations available
- 27 inches in length
- Three-year warranty
As the top-rated stethoscope in nearly all stethoscope reviews, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is hands down one of the best around. The outstanding and extremely versatile stethoscope is impeccably made and comes equipped with all of the bells and whistles that have made Littman the most revered name in the growing stethoscope industry.
Unlike less expensive models, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope features not one but two innovative tunable diaphragms for listening to the high and low-frequency sounds of both children and adults. Designed to be the undisputed king of acoustical excellence, this impressive scope also features a two-in-one tube design to eliminate noise interference, solid stainless steel chest piece, non-chill rims, patented 3M soft-seal, snap-tight ear tips, and an unheard of five-year warranty.
It maybe pricey to say the least, but if you’re a cardiologist who respect his or her profession and demands the best, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is definitely for you.
With more and more people joining the ranks of the medical field each and every day, the stethoscope market is red hot with options as of late. Despite more and more stethoscopes claiming to be the best, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope still holds the crown. Designed for acoustical supremacy and greatness in every way, it truly is as good as stethoscopes get.
While the Cardiology III isn’t a great option if you’re simply searching for a decent basic stethoscope for taking blood pressure or getting through the first year of med school, it’s the stethoscope of choice for cardiologists and in-the-know doctors. So, if you fall into the latter category you may have found the Holy Grail of stethoscopes you’ve been looking for.[easyazon_link identifier=”B004QEZ2U4″ locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
2. Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
** Best Budget Stethoscope **
When it comes to inexpensive stethoscopes that just plain work, the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope may just be the best of the bunch. Not only is it dirt cheap as far as stethoscopes are concerned, but the multi-purpose Omron Sprague Rappaport comes equipped with a nifty chrome-plated chest piece, an array of diaphragms and bells, latex-free tubing in several color varieties, extra ear tips, and a vinyl storage case.
Sound like a lot of bang for the buck? Well, it is! With so much to offer for such a low price, the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope is a cash-strapped medical student’s dream come true. If that sounds like you, you have to check out this scope. With hordes of glowing reviews, there’s a whole bunch of people who agree the Omron Sprague Rappaport is a quality stethoscope and one of the best deals around.
- Multi-purpose 5-in-1 Quintscope
- Latex-free tubing
- Chrome-plated chest piece
- Two diaphragms, three bells, two pairs of ear tips, and vinyl storage case included
- 22-inch long tubing
The Omron Sprague Rappaport may not look as high-end as Littmann stethoscopes, or perform like them for that matter, but it’s a quality stethoscope available for a fraction of the price, making it a good all-around stethoscope for budget-conscious nurses, EMTs, and medical students.
Made to provide healthcare professionals with great overall acoustic performance, this budget-friendly stethoscope comes with latex-free tubing, a nice chrome-plated chest piece, comfortable ear tips, and a variety of bell and diaphragm sizes. It may not be the best stethoscope on the block, but the Omron Sprague Rappaport definitely holds its own.
Designed for affordability, sound performance, and the flexibility of everyday clinical needs, this is an ideal stethoscope for a wide variety of healthcare professionals. If an affordable price and solidly consistent performance outweigh precise acoustics worthy of a cardiologist, the Omron Sprague Rappaport may be for you.
The Omron Sprague Rappaport features a classic design that’s easy to use and just plain works. Although it lacks the frills and high-tech design of many of the Littmann models, it’s extremely affordable and works surprisingly well. With hundreds of overwhelmingly positive reviews, it’s the perfect stethoscope for today’s busy medical students, nurses, and EMTs. If you fall into one of these categories, the Omron Sprague Rappaport is a worthy model you should definitely consider.[easyazon_link identifier=”B000FERLKI” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
3. 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope
The 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope has become the industry standard and is considered by many to be the best all-around stethoscope ever made. With a patented tunable diaphragm designed for improved low and high-frequency response, unrivaled acoustic sensitivity, solid stainless steel chest piece, and non-chill rim, it’s simply one of the best stethoscopes around.
There are very few stethoscopes, other than one of the other Littmann’s below, that provide such quality and performance. Available in a variety of unique finishes and tube colors to coordinate with any scrubs and allow you to express a little bit of your unique personality, the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is an obvious option to kick off the list.
- Dual-head stethoscope
- Patented tunable diaphragm
- Non-chill rim on bell and diaphragm
- Soft-sealing, snap-tight ear tips
- Wide variety of color and finish combinations
- 28-inch length
- Three-year warranty
The 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is one of the best all-around stethoscopes for sale today. If you have a Sprague Rappaport, ADC, or any other nice but obviously inferior stethoscopes, the sound quality of this “classic” scope will blow you away! Thanks to its patented tunable diaphragm, dual-sided chest piece, and high acoustic sensitivity, you barely even have to touch the Littmann Classic II S.E. to a patient’s chest in order to hear groundbreaking acoustics.
The patented tunable diaphragm and unique chest piece of this best-selling stethoscope are what make it one of the most popular models of all-time. The chest piece has two sides, which allows you switch back and forth between the bell and diaphragm as needed and completely eliminates any need to switch to another stethoscope just to hear both low and high-frequency sounds.
Beyond its remarkable acoustic capabilities, the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is also made with a non-chill rim and latex-free tubing available in a wide variety of colors your patients will surely enjoy. With a reasonable price tag, quality construction, thoughtful design, and reputation for excellence, this stethoscope is pound for pound, dollar for dollar one of the best stethoscopes your hard-earned money can buy.
There are plenty of great stethoscopes out there to choose from, as you’re about to see below, but the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is my hand down favorite stethoscope of all-time. Designed as an excellent all-around stethoscope with ultimate flexibility and unusually high acoustic sensitivity, stethoscopes don’t get much better than this Littmann. Made by the most famous brand in the industry and classic in every way, this is a great stethoscope for everyone in the medical field.
Whether you’re a second-year medical student or a pulmonary specialist at the Mayo Clinic, chances are the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. will be the perfect stethoscope for you. So, rather than spend another day with that sad overpriced excuse for a stethoscope you found at your local medical supply store, get this scope today and join the ranks of the medical elite.[easyazon_link identifier=”B001NMT6N6″ locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
4. 3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope
If the Littmann Cardiologist III is the best of the best and the Littmann Classic II S.E. is arguably the best all-around stethoscope out there, then the brand’s Master Classic II Stethoscope falls right between the two, making it one heck of a stethoscope every doctor or nurse would be proud to own.
Known for its masterly award-winning ergonomic design, fantastic diagnostic performance, and astounding acoustic sensitivity, the 3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope is undisputedly one of the best stethoscopes around. Like Littmann’s other high-quality stethoscopes, the Master Classic II features a latex-free design, tunable diaphragm, non-chill rim, and anatomical headset, making it one of the best general examination stethoscopes available. When you consider its hand-polished finish, thick binaural, strong double-leaf spring, and award-winning design as well, you can’t go wrong with the Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope. The three-year warranty is just the icing on the cake!
- Single-head stethoscope
- Latex-free, single-lumen tubing
- Tunable diaphragm for high and low-frequency sounds
- Non-chill diaphragm and rim
- Anatomically designed headset
- Soft-sealing, snap-tight ear tips
- 27 inches in length
The Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope provides superior auscultation that’s unrivaled amongst general examination stethoscopes. Its innovative tunable diaphragm and chest piece allows you to monitor both high and low-frequency sounds simply by alternating the least amount of pressure.
Of course, like other Littmann models, the Master Classic II Stethoscope comes with a hand-polished, scratch-resistant finish as well. Plus, it has 3M’s patented ear tips, a thick binaural, and a sturdy double-leaf spring to boot.
With all of these durable design features, you would expect the Master Classic II to be big, heavy, and uncomfortable to wear and use. However, quite the opposite is true. In fact, thanks to its single-lumen design, it’s every bit as portable as many of the less expensive and equipped stethoscopes further down the list.
Designed to be the best general examination stethoscope on the market and exceeding expectations in every way, it’s hard not to love this impressive Littmann scope.
From first-year med students to experienced ER docs and everyone in between, every single person practicing or aspiring to practice medicine should own a quality stethoscope like the 3M Littmann Master Class II. With an award-winning ergonomic design and all of the features you would expect from a Littmann stethoscope, it’s easy to see why nearly everyone I run across considers it one of the best general examination stethoscopes being made today. If your budget allows and you want to enjoy a great all-around stethoscope for years to come, you’re going to love this awesome Littmann![easyazon_link identifier=”B000F4SP30″ locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
5. [easyazon_link identifier=”B000NIB6J8″ locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″]ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope[/easyazon_link]
Switching things up from the undisputed best to the downright good, the ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope is an excellent affordably priced stethoscope any nurse, EMT, or med student can appreciate. Featuring a sturdy stainless steel binaural, non-chill bell and diaphragm combination chest piece, and super comfortable ADSOFT ear tips, it’s a fantastic stethoscope for a variety of uses.
ADC may not have the brand recognition and reputation for excellence as Littman when it comes to stethoscopes, but it performs surprisingly well for such a well-priced model and has definitely earned the respect of myself and plenty of my colleagues over the years. Keep reading to learn more about them and see why I think they’ll earn your respect as well.
Suited for: nurses, EMTs, veterinarians, and medical students
- Dual-head stethoscope
- Diaphragm and bell combination chest piece
- Extra-large bell for superior low-frequency response
- Non-chill diaphragm and bell
- Ultra-sensitive diaphragm for improved high-frequency amplification
- Strong stainless steel binaurals
- Adsoft ear tips
- Accessory kit with extra Adsoft ear tips and spare diaphragm included
- Lifetime warranty
The ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope may not be a household name like the Littman Cardiology III or Master Class II, but this nicely made and affordably priced stethoscope is a favorite amongst nurses, EMTs, and med students for a variety of reasons.
Its price aside, which may seem like a breath of fresh air after reading about the top-notch Littmann stethoscopes above, the ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope has plenty of features to make any experienced medical professional smile. With a sturdy stainless steel binaural, non-chill bell and diaphragm combination chest piece, comfortable and amplifying Adsoft ear tips, and more thoughtful design elements, it’s hard not to like this scope.
I’ve seen and used dozens of stethoscopes over the years, but until I ponied up for my first Littmann, I followed in the footsteps of many of my peers and religiously used a stethoscope nearly identical to this impressive ADC model. With everything you need in a stethoscope and nothing you don’t, unless you’re a cardiologist that is, the ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope likely has exactly what you’ve been looking for in a quality stethoscope.[easyazon_link identifier=”B000NIB6J8″ locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
6. Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope
Designed to compete with Littman and other top brands, the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope has all of the features you would expect in a stethoscope in its price range and then some, making it a personal favorite of mine for some time now.
The full-range, single-lumen stethoscope is for medical professionals who demand the very best in comfort and auscultation. Thanks to its superior acoustics, you can achieve incredibly accurate auscultation of patients’ lung, heart, and internal sounds. From detecting blood pressure to identifying the most subtle of heart murmurs, the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope is the perfect companion for any doctor, nurse, EMT, or dedicated medical student.
- Dual-head stethoscope
- Non-chill ring and diaphragm
- Molded comfort-sealing ear tips
- Adjustable binaurals
- Flexible PVC tubing
- 28 inches in length
- Five-year warranty
Whether you’re a sleep deprived med student or equally sleep deprived emergency room doctor, you’re sure to appreciate the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope. Made with comfort and versatility in mind, the lightweight full-rang stethoscope is designed for medical students and professionals who demand the very best in comfort and performance.
Designed to provide superior acoustics and precise auscultation of lung, heart, and blood pressure sounds, it’s impossible not to like this impressive Welch Allyn stethoscope. While you won’t find it mentioned in many sub-parstethoscope reviews, it has a smart design and all of the features you need to perform a wide variety of examination and diagnostic functions.
It’s hard to go wrong with a powerfully sensitive stainless steel chest piece, comfort-sealing ear tips, durable and flexible PVC tubing, and all of the other great features the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope has going for it. If you want to go against the Littmann grain and spend a comparable amount of money on a comparable stethoscope, this is the one for you.
It may not be the absolute best stethoscope being sold today, but the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope is certainly worth a look, or two, or three. In all seriousness, this no-frills stethoscope is precisely made to compete with the biggest brands in the business, and it’s doing a fine job of doing just that if I my say so myself. Although it lacks the popularity and brand recognition of the other top-tier stethoscopes on our list, it’s quickly gaining a name for itself amongst today’s in-the-know medical professionals.[easyazon_link identifier=”B00081QBQI” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
7. Prestige Medical Frosted Purple Dualheads Stethoscope
Arguably the best overall value on today’s surprisingly varied stethoscope market, the Prestige Medical Dualheads Stethoscope can be found in almost all reputable stethoscope reviews. Simply referred to as Dualheads by most users, this affordable yet very well-made stethoscope, features a lightweight design, soft ear tips, dual-head chest piece with a diaphragm on one side and a bell on the other, and many other neat design elements.
With so much to offer, including a yummy frosted purple color and excellent sound transmission, it’s tough not to fall in love with this fun, affordable, and easy to use stethoscope. If you’re on a budget but want a thoughtfully designed stethoscope with all of the features you need for med school or everyday clinical use, look no further than the Prestige Medical Dualheads Stethoscope. Yep, it’s that good.
- Dual-head chest piece with diaphragm and bell sides
- Lightweight anodized aluminum construction
- Fiberglass diaphragm for excellent sound transmission
- Non-chill bell ring
- Replacement diaphragm and two pairs of soft ear tips included
- Chrome-plated brass binaurals
- PVC tubing
- Overall length of 31 inches
- Lifetime warranty with free replacement parts
Are you looking for a quality stethoscope to develop your nursing or clinical assessment skills? If so, the Prestige Medical Frosted Purple Dualheads Stethoscope may be for you! Designed with nurses and nursing students in mind, this affordable yet well-made scope is a great diagnostic tool for just about everyone in a pair of scrubs.
The Prestige Medical Dualheads Stethoscope is constructed of anodized aluminum for an ultra-lightweight feel and features a classic dual-head design. Plus, it comes equipped with a fiberglass diaphragm capable of detecting Korotkoff, S1, and S2 cardiovascular sounds, a bell designed for S3 and S4 sounds, a non-chill bell ring, and many other awesome features typically found on stethoscopes costing at least twice as much.
Made to perform well and look just as great, even seasoned cardiologists will find themselves envying your Prestige Medical Frosted Purple Dualheads Stethoscope.
You don’t have to be a 7-figure plastic surgeon or world-renowned doctor to own a good looking stethoscope that works like a champ. Thanks to its thoughtful dual-head design and plethora of top-notch features, the Prestige Medical Dualheads Stethoscope is one of the finest scopes being made today. If you opt for this scope, just be forewarned, all of your colleagues will be copying your style in no time. Fortunately, Dualheads come in all sorts of vibrant eye-catching colors![easyazon_link identifier=”B001CTCICG” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
8. Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope
Not quite at the head of the class but far from pulling up the rear, the Clinical Lite Stethoscope, also from Prestige Medical, is another wonderful all-around stethoscope for developing your nursing assessment and diagnostic skills.
Featuring the same basic design and features as the Prestige Medical Dualheads above and with an equally impressive price tag, it’s nearly impossible not to like this inexpensive yet capable stethoscope. Like the Dualheads, the Clinical Lite Stethoscope benefits from an incredibly lightweight anodized aluminum construction, dual-head design, fiberglass diaphragm, and a bevy of other smart design details.
If attractive, lightweight, inexpensive, and a solid design are your most important must-haves in a stethoscope, than it’s safe to say the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope is the one for you.
- Classic dual-head design
- Anodized aluminum construction
- Snap-on fiberglass diaphragm
- Non-chill bell ring
- Replacement diaphragm and two pairs of ear tips included
- Weight – four ounces
- Lifetime warranty with free replacement parts
If you’re an EMT or nurse and want to get endless compliments from everyone who walks by your station, you’re going to fall head over heels for the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope. In addition to looking pretty in pink, this slim and smartly designed stethoscope features an anodized aluminum construction, making it strong and durable yet ultra-lightweight as well.
Like the popular Dualheads above, the Clinical Lite also features an easy to use dual-head design with a diaphragm and bell on either side just like stethoscopes that cost twice as much. Plus, it also comes equipped with not one but two highly sensitive fiberglass diaphragms, two pairs of soft and comfortable ear tips, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Weighing in at a meager four ounces, this slim and sleek stethoscope is a joy to use. Granted, it doesn’t have the reputation or capabilities of a Littmann, but as far as budget-friendly stethoscopes go, it’s one of the best around.
Searching for a lightweight and affordable stethoscope that can just about do it all? If so, you can stop your search right now with the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope. Between its classic dual-head design, pretty pink looks, ultra-lightweight construction, and record of solid performance, it’s honestly one of the best well-priced stethoscopes on the market today.
While most doctors would scoff at the notion of not owning a Littmann, this stethoscope was made with nurses in mind. If you’re a nurse in need of a nice lightweight scope for daily use, say hello to the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite.[easyazon_link identifier=”B001CTHS4Y” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
9. Prestige Medical Stealth Dualheads Stethoscope
If you like the solid lightweight design of the Clinical Lite or Frosted Purple Dualheads Stethoscope, you’re going to love the Stealth Dualheads!
As one of the lowest priced stethoscopes on the list, this sleek all black stethoscope is one of the best values you’re going to find anywhere. That being said, it’s still equipped with many of the quality features found on much more expensive models.
From its lightweight aluminum chest piece and non-chill ring to its comfortable PVC ear tips and classic dual-head design, the laughably inexpensive Prestige Medical Stealth Dualheads Stethoscope is a no-brainer for any busy nurse, EMT, or medical student. If money is tight and you need a quality stethoscope capable of doing just about anything you would expect it to, get the Stealth Dualheads today. As you’re about to see, you’ll be glad you did.
- Dual-head chest piece with diaphragm and bell sides
- Lightweight aluminum design
- Non-chill ring
- PVC tubing
- Brass binaurals
- Soft PVC ear tips
- Weight – 3.8 ounces
- Lifetime warranty with free replacement parts
Made to be a great inexpensive stethoscope for daily clinical use, the Prestige Medical Stealth Dualheads Stethoscope is lightweight, easy to use, and the perfect diagnostic tool for a wide variety of nurses, EMTs, and medical students.
Featuring a lightweight aluminum construction, inlaid non-chill ring, extra-soft ear tips, and chrome-plated brass binaurals, this extremely inexpensive stethoscope works wonderfully for general auscultation. In addition to being easy to use and looking great with an all-black design, the Prestige Medical Stealth Dualheads Stethoscope can hear the faintest of heartbeats, check blood pressure, and perform all of the diagnostic functions you would expect from such a low-priced scope.
For less than $10, it’s safe to say that if you’re getting sick and tired of your Littmann stethoscopes disappearing from your nurse’s station, you should give the Stealth Dualheads a try. If my own experiences and those of hundreds of others are any indication, you’ll be happy you did.
You may not run across the Prestige Medical Stealth Dualheads Stethoscope in many other stethoscope reviews and it’s certainly not the best stethoscope being made today, but it’s incredibly low-priced and made to perform a variety of general diagnostic functions. With a sleek all-black design and super lightweight construction as well, you can look high and low and never find a cheaper and more capable stethoscope than the Steal Dualheads.[easyazon_link identifier=”B001CTCI0S” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
10. Lumiscope Designer Blood Pressure and Stethoscope Kit
Rounding out the list, the Lumiscope Designer Blood Pressure and Stethoscope Kit is from being the best stethoscopeon the block, but it works like a champ and provides arguably the most bang for the buck.
In addition to a quality Sprague Rappaport stethoscope any nurse, EMT, or med student would be proud to own, the affordable kit comes complete with a blood pressure system containing a nylon cuff, spring-clipped metal gauge, and inflation system. What else could an on-the-go medical professional ask for?
Seriously, if you’re a nursing student in search of a reliable and economical blood pressure cuff and stethoscope combination, this kit is a great option for you. Don’t believe me? Well, the hundreds of overwhelmingly positive reviews speak for themselves!
Suited for: medical and nursing students
- Sprague Rappaport-style stethoscope
- Two diaphragms, three bells, and two pairs of ear tips included
- 22-inch tubing
- Aneroid sphygmomanometer
- Nylon blood pressure cuff with metal gauge
- 28-inch length
- Three-year warranty
It’s been awhile since I was in nursing school, but if I was there today, I’m sure a few of my classmates would order these kits for themselves as well. While it’s not really great at any one thing, the fact that you get a quality stethoscope and blood pressure cuff system for the price of a movie ticket and small popcorn is unimaginable to some, myself included.
Designed in classic Sprague Rappaport style, the stethoscope in this nifty Lumiscope kit works quite well and features a variety of diaphragms, bells, ear tips for you to use. Meanwhile, the included inflatable nylon blood pressure cuff system is no slouch itself, providing you with a handy stethoscope and cuff combo perfect for aspiring nurses and doctors.
In terms of quality, it’s a heavy-duty kit that’s built to last, which is surprising given its inexpensive price tag. All things considered, the Lumiscope Designer Blood Pressure and Stethoscope Kit is a great value that’s hard to beat, making it a great option to round out our list.
If you’ve been reading stethoscope reviews for any length of time, then you know the vast variety of options out there to choose from. Unlike all the rest, the Lumiscope Designer Blood Pressure and Stethoscope Kit features both a stethoscope and a nylon blood pressure cuff system. While neither stands out as being particularly great in what they do, this stethoscope and cuff combo is wonderful for budding nurses or doctors and a great value any way you slice it![easyazon_link identifier=”B003BPL48I” locale=”US” tag=”rds51-20″][/easyazon_link]
Why You Should Invest in a Good Stethoscope
Prior to the stethoscope, physicians would literally put their ears up to a patient’s back or chest as a regular part of any medical examination. Not only was this functionally inefficient, but it was not uncommon for doctors to contract communicable diseases as a result of having such close contact with the ill.
Today, however, the stethoscope is virtually the symbol of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Used to identify and analyze lung, heart, and stomach sounds in humans and animals, stethoscopes have become critical modern healthcare tools.
Regardless of whether you’re an experienced nurse or just starting out in your medical career, there are a number of reasons why you should invest in a quality stethoscope. To help you better understand all that a good stethoscope can do, let’s take a look at some of the things these important diagnostic tools are good for:
• Assessing lung sounds to determine a patient’s quality of breathing
• Assessing heart sounds to determine heart health and identify murmurs, gallops, or clicks
• Assessing intestinal sounds
• Measuring blood pressure
• Detecting bruits in arteries as a sign of arteriosclerosis
• Measuring a patient’s liver span
Simply by clearly magnifying the sounds of the human body, stethoscopes allow doctors and nurses to measure a person’s vital signs and diagnose a variety of ailments. If you can’t tell by now, these handy diagnostic tools are must-have essentials for everyone involved in patient care.
Types of Stethoscopes
To the average Joe, stethoscopes and other medical instruments generally all look the same. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, however, know there are different types of stethoscopes with a wide variety of designs, such as:
- Acoustic Stethoscopes – Despite featuring the same basic design as the original stethoscope created centuries ago, the acoustic stethoscope is the most popular type of stethoscope on the market today. With acoustic stethoscopes, sound is transmitted from the diaphragm via hollow tubes all the way through to the ear tips.The internal sounds of patients are able to be transferred thanks to the air inside of the hollow tubes.Most acoustic models, like the ones above, have dual-sided chest pieces with a diaphragm on one side and a bell on the other. The diaphragm is used to transmit high-frequency sounds.Low-frequency sounds, on the other hand, are detected and transmitted via the bell. This is why doctors frequently interchange between the bell and diaphragm of their stethoscopes when examining and diagnosing patients.
- Electronic Stethoscopes – Also referred to as stethophones, electronic stethoscopes utilize electronic transducers to convert the bodily sounds of patients into amplifiable electronic signals. Due to the expense of electronic stethoscopes and the fact that they’re rather inconvenient to use, these high-tech stethoscopes are rarely used by most nurses and physicians.In fact, they’re mostly used for specialized applications, such as remote patient monitoring. Since they can be linked up to a wireless connection, doctors are able to use electronic stethoscopes to monitor the vital signs of patients from remote distances. This is a rarely used yet undeniably cool feature of these expensive and not too common stethoscopes.
- Recording Stethoscopes – Even rarer than typical electronic stethoscopes, recording stethoscopes are a special type of electronic stethoscope capable of being connected to a recording device.
While uncommon, some doctors use recording stethoscopes when consulting with other doctors about a patient. Once again, this type of stethoscope is rarely used and not a viable option for most doctors to consider.
- Fetal Stethoscopes – Also called fetoscopes, fetal stethoscopes resemble a trumpet and are placed on the bellies of expecting mothers in order to listen and analyze the sounds of babies inside the wombs of their mothers. Invented by Adolphe Pinard, a French obstetrician, fetal stethoscopes are commonly used by obstetricians to this day.
Why You Should Listen to Me
There are a lot of so-called stethoscope reviews out there claiming to give solid unbiased advice about the best stethoscopes for sale today. Unfortunately, if you can’t tell from their horrid Google translated reviews, most of them are pure rubbish!
As a hospital nurse for over 20 years, I was getting sick and tired of hearing my colleagues complain about their sub-par stethoscopes. One day, I vowed to stop the madness by making this site and spreading my ample knowledge of healthcare, stethoscopes, and other important medical instruments with others in need of some sound shopping advice.
Now, I can truly say I get to do what I love! For years, I took great pride in being an RN and helping others. Today, I get to continue helping others by combining my knowledge of healthcare and technology. With years of actual hands-on experience in healthcare and a true passion for utilizing technology to simplify and improve the lives of others, there’s no better person to listen to when it comes to stethoscopes and all things medical and tech-related.
Needless to say, if you came here in search of an unbiased review of the best stethoscope on the market or an experienced take on the best budget-friendly models, you’ve come to the right place!
Best Stethoscopes: What to Look For
As is the case when shopping for cars, TVs, and most things in life, it’s important to determine your needs and know what you’re looking for when shopping for stethoscopes. As you can see, stethoscopes come in a wide variety of price ranges and differ noticeably from one model to the next. Therefore, without knowing what it will be primarily used for, how often you intend to use it, and other important factors, it’s all but impossible to find the best stethoscope for you.
Are you short or tall? Do you want a stethoscope simply for heart and blood pressure checks, or do you need a model capable of hearing low-frequency sounds? How much of a budget do you have? How heavy do you want your stethoscope to be? These are all questions you should ask yourself when shopping for the right stethoscope.
Of course, doctors, nurses, EMTs, and various medical specialties all have different budges and needs, so let’s take a closer look at what each one should be looking for when shopping for the right stethoscope.
What to look for in the best stethoscopes for doctors
Due to the demands of the job and their responsibility for diagnosing the faintest of symptoms, doctors need the precise acoustics and advanced design provided by the best stethoscope models being made today. Not surprisingly, most doctors prefer Littmann stethoscopes.
Thanks to their patented tunable diaphragms and proven designs, Littmann stethoscopes have long been considered the best in the business. Simple, lightweight, and made to perform, it’s easy to see why Littmann stethoscopes, such as the Cardiology III and Master Classic II, are the go-to stethoscopes for doctors in all disciplines around the world.
What to look for in the best stethoscopes for nursing students
As cash-strapped student who are learning all about the basics of medicine and healthcare, nursing students don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on the absolute best stethoscopes available. In fact, when shopping for stethoscopes, many students prefer affordable models designed for basic general examinations, such as the Omron Sprague Rappaport or Prestige Medical Dualheads Stethoscope.
Since they often carry their stethoscopes with them all day just like they will when they graduate, it’s also important for nursing students to look for comfortable, lightweight models that are actually enjoyable to use.
What to look for in the best stethoscopes for nurses
Nurses can make rather nice incomes these days and typically aren’t responsible for diagnosing complex medical conditions like doctors. Therefore, while they could certainly purchase and benefit from first-class stethoscopes like the Littmann Classic II S.E. or Master Class II Stethoscope, these premier stethoscopes aren’t necessarily needed.
Instead, nurses should take a cue from nursing students and focus on finding quality stethoscopes with excellent reviews and the most important features, such as a dual-head chest piece and soft sound-sealing ear tips. Fortunately, there are plenty of stethoscopes that fit the bill. The Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope, ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope, and Omron Sprague Rappaport are all examples of popular stethoscopes for nurses.
What to look for in the best stethoscopes for medical students
Similar to nursing students trying to transition into the promising world of healthcare, medical students are often tight on cash and need affordable yet high-quality stethoscopes designed for general examinations and broad diagnoses. Thus, many medical students opt for mid-range stethoscopes like the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope or ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope.
These models provide med school students with affordable, high-performance options that are easy to use and capable of picking up on the faintest of abnormal heart, lungs, or gastrointestinal sounds. If you’re a medical student, you can’t go wrong with any of the two stethoscopes mentioned above.
What to look for in the best stethoscopes for EMTs
Similar to emergency room doctors and nurses, EMTs work in a high-octane, high-stress environment that requires a versatile, lightweight, and acoustically robust stethoscope. With lives on the line, EMTs must have a stethoscope capable of taking blood pressure and projecting the sounds of a patient’s lungs, heart, and stomach over screams, sirens, and other loud distracting noises.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that EMTs choose a wide variety of stethoscopes for on the job use. Some EMTs may prefer and make room in their budget for expensive Littmanns, while others may gravitate towards less expensive yet well-made stethoscopes that are lightweight and versatile in design. With EMTs, choosing the right stethoscope largely boils down to a matter of preference.
What is the best cardiology stethoscope?
It goes without saying that the best cardiology stethoscope is the Littmann Cardiology III. With a dual-sided chest piece, dual lumen for reduced interference, anatomical headset, patented tunable diaphragms, and a non-chill bell, it truly is the best cardiology stethoscope money can buy. If you specialize in listening to hearts day in and day out, the Littmann Cardiology III is a must-have diagnostic tool.
What is the best pediatric stethoscope?
For pediatricians, it’s important to choose a stethoscope that’s designed specifically for children or children and adults alike. Certain models, such as the Welch Allyn Professional Adult Double-Head Stethoscope, are made specifically for adults and simply can’t be used with children. Many other models, however, are designed to be used for both children and adults.
While there are many flexible options that work quite well in pediatrics, I recommend the Littmann Classic II S.E. Designed for children and adults alike and arguably the best all-around stethoscope available, I can confidently proclaim the Littman Classic II S.E. the best pediatric stethoscope on the market today.
How We Picked
Many reviews of stethoscopes overtly push sub-par products for a measly commission without performing proper research, taking their own experiences into account, or talking to medical professionals to get their opinion on the best stethoscope models. Knowing this and passing by one too many ill-equipped nurses in the halls, I decided to dig in and set the record straight on which stethoscopes simply talk the talk and which ones actually walk the walk.
Although I have years of nursing experience and have tried virtually every stethoscope known to man during this time, I knew I couldn’t base my recommendations on my experiences alone. Therefore, I set out to sort through customer review after review while discussing the topic with colleagues and other medical professionals as well.
Up to my elbows in stethoscopes and armed with a cornucopia of notes, I finally narrowed down a long list of potential recommendations to ten outstanding models more than suitable for a variety of medical professionals. I hope you’ve enjoyed my findings as much as I’ve loved compiling them for you!
Tips on How to Maintain Your Stethoscope
If you’re the proud owner of a stethoscope, you’re going to need to give it some love from time to time. Today’s stethoscopes are designed to work reliably for years, but regularly cleaning your stethoscope, regardless of which model you choose, will help ensure optimal acoustic performance, keep it looking shiny and brand new, and help extend its lifespan.
Beyond routine maintenance for optimal performance, a recent study found that one-third of all stethoscopes used by emergency healthcare workers are contaminated. This contamination can easily be prevented by regularly cleaning your stethoscope as much as possible. Here are some helpful tips on how to properly clean and maintain your stethoscope:
- Begin by removing the ear tips.
- Using an isopropyl alcohol solution, wipe down the entire surface area of the bell and diaphragm. This alone can reduce the bacterial count on your stethoscope by up to 94 percent.
- To clean the tubing, simply use a cloth moistened with a soap solution, use another cloth to dry the tubes, and swab them with the same isopropyl alcohol solution used for the bell and diaphragm.
- To keep the tubing from drying out and cracking, you should also clean it once a month with Armor-All or another vinyl protectant.
- Whatever you do, never submerge your stethoscope in any form of liquid or put it through any sort of sterilization process as this will ruin it in no time.
- Whenever possible, keep your stethoscope away from oils, solvents, and extreme temperatures.
- Many medical and nursing students make the mistake of covering the bell and diaphragm of their stethoscope in order to keep them clean. However, this can alter a scope’s frequency characteristics and result in an incorrect diagnosis, so you should never keep your stethoscope covered in an attempt to keep it clean.
Hopefully, this will help you take good care of your new stethoscope. If you’ve yet to own a stethoscope, click through on one of the reviews above to learn more about today’s top stethoscopes and purchase your very own today!
Making the Decision
Medical professionals have been listening to the sounds of hearts, lungs, and stomachs to diagnose specific illnesses for hundreds of years. In the olden days, physicians would put their ear up to the back or chest of their patients in an attempt to make a diagnosis. Today, however, we have the stethoscope!
The unassuming stethoscope has been the best friend of doctors and nurses for centuries now and is widely considered a must-have medical diagnostic tool for today’s medical professionals. Designed to listen to the faintest of lung, heart, and gastrointestinal sounds, one can even argue that stethoscopes are the most essential medical instruments ever made.
As you can see, there are many wonderful stethoscopes available for doctors, nurses, and students alike. While I’ve made it easy for you by highlighting ten of the absolute best stethoscopes being made today, you must ultimately consider your own budget, lifestyle, and needs in order to choose the best stethoscope for you.
Lucky for you, with my tips and advice, you’ll have no problem doing exactly that. Whether you’re a first-year med student or a seasoned pro, there’s definitely the right stethoscope out there for you. So, if you’re sitting on the fence, jump off now and pick out a great stethoscope today!