It is important when choosing a stethoscope to consider not only the cost but also the acoustics and the maintenance required to keep it functional. At the same time, you should also bear in mind that a good stethoscope must be comfortable for both the user and the patient in order to get accurate readings in an effortless manner. We say this because professionals often disregard the aspect of comfort when looking into such instruments, opting for accuracy above everything else. With this in mind, let us find out what are the ten best stethoscopes the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best Stethoscopes Of 2018
10Bojing Doual Head Stethoscope
Made of quality, flexible PVC, the Bojing Doual Head Stethoscope delivers a lightweight and comfortable single lumen design that includes a lasting stainless steel diaphragm for clear detection of high frequencies, while a small bell detects low-frequency and also auscultatory sounds. Each piece features a non-chill ring, ensuring patient comfort while its stainless steel headset has a soft silicone tip for a full acoustic seal as well as extra wearing comfort.
9Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope
Prestige Medical’s Clinical Lite is one of the lightest but top performance clinical stethoscope models today, weighing just 4 ounces. Made of anodized aluminum, it is both sturdy and lasting. It also includes a very user-friendly diaphragm and snap-on rim, as well as 2 sizes of comfortable ear tips that block peripheral noise while improving wearing comfort. This makes it very comfortable to wear, especially when used repeatedly over long periods of time.
8ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope
The ADC Adscope Lite 609 is a high-quality clinician stethoscope featuring a lightweight aluminum design for greater sensitivity. Its bell and diaphragm are non-chill, as the headset is made of premium-grade 22-inch PVC tubing plus lightweight high-quality aluminum binaural in an elegant satin finish. Featured Adsoft Plus silicone ear-tips ensure reduced noise and improved comfort. A spare diaphragm and extra pair of ear tips are included for good measure, which is also something to look for when buying a stethoscope.
7ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Stethoscope
The ADC Adscope Platinum is a professional-grade stethoscope featuring a one-sided chest piece and no bell, but still, it offers the acoustic sensitivity of a typical 2-sided model. The chest piece has a convenience precision design, made of lightweight zinc alloy with an aesthetically durable satin finish, while the stethoscope’s headset boasts a 22-inch PVC tubing, quality stainless steel binaural, and high delivery Adsoft Plus silicone ear-tips for safety and comfort.
6MDF747XP-BO Dual Head Stethoscope
The MDF747XP-BO by MDF Instruments is a latex-free and lightweight design stethoscope, a very cost-effective choice for you if you need tracking your health vital signs while not spending much. It is a durable model that delivers high sound performance, thanks to its precisely designed dual head chest piece. Unique SafetyLock ear tip adapters keep your ears drums safe. The product includes 3 ear tips pairs, allowing you to select your finest fit.
5Vorfreude Cardiology VF-3131BE-PREMIUM Stethoscope
The Vorfreude Cardiology’s VF-3131BE-PREMIUM is a high-performance German-designed stethoscope whose PressFrequency technology ensures full audible range focus. Its ear tips and headset are ergonomically designed for convenient use, while its stainless steel bell features a non-chill ring for patient’s comfort. Also included is a replacement diaphragm, 4 ear tips, a handy carry/storage case, customizable stethoscope name-plate, among others. We should also point out that this product is BPA and latex free.
4Dixie EMS Blood Pressure and Sprague Stethoscope
Besides a functional stethoscope, the Dixie EMS’s Sprague Kit has a blood pressure unit as well as a matching quality nylon case and cuff, offering you all you require to track your blood pressure. The stethoscope has a quality 22-inch tubing and includes 2 pairs of convenient ear tips, 3 bells, and 2 diaphragms. Moreover, this kit is available in various colors to choose from, which is something not many people consider when buying a stethoscope even though they really should.
3Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
Featuring latex-free tubing and quality chrome-plated chest piece, this Omron’s 5-in-1 multi-use stethoscope is designed to provide flexibility, high sound performance, while remaining affordable. The product includes 2 sizes of diaphragms, 3 sizes of open bells, and 2 pairs of comfortable ear tips. Moreover, an included instruction manual makes it a breeze to use effectively. Other than that, we should also say that the Omron Sprague Rappaport is among the most lightweight and comfortable stethoscopes out there.
23M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope
For executing general physical assessment, the 3M Littmann Classic III is an ideal stethoscope model. It provides high acoustic sensitivity, ensuring excellent performance. It has dual chest-piece that integrates tunable diaphragms and an advanced design for easier use, cleaning and maintenance. This stethoscope is great for both student and medical experts use. It is made without phthalate plasticizers or rubber latex, making it an eco-friendly option.
13M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope
The 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. is a top-grade cardiology stethoscope with a great chest piece that provides wonderful acoustic performance. Featuring an elegant hand-crafted design, the unit has a tunable diaphragm that responds perfectly to slight pressure changes to capture high and low-frequency sounds. The stethoscope’s 2-in-1 (dual lumen) tube design reduces noise interruption, while and included Special Procedures Adapter for pediatric auscultation makes the instrument even more versatile. It also has a convenient headset design that is bound to come in handy in the long run.
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What To Look For In A Stethoscope
When first looking into the possibility of acquiring a stethoscope, you should consider not only the construction but also the aesthetic part of it. At the same time, you must ensure that whatever stethoscope you’re thinking about buying is comfortable to use over long periods of time. As for what precisely to look for, let us point out that a stethoscope’s earpieces, chest pieces, and tubing have to all be of the highest quality. Let us then delve down into what exactly that means.
One thing to keep in mind is that a stethoscope’s earpieces are equipped with comfortable ear tips that can be either soft or rigid depending on the construction of the instrument. If possible, look for a stethoscope with interchangeable earpieces. This should come in handy if you plan on using the stethoscope frequently or if you plan on using it for long periods of time during each consultation.
Speaking of stethoscope earpieces, let us point out just how important it is to employ a stethoscope with fully adjustable earpieces. This enables you to customize the headset according to your own personal characteristics so that it won’t hurt your ears over time. Interestingly enough, some stethoscopes even have ambient noise reduction features that you can use to your advantage. Such a feature is sure to prove useful when working in a noisy environment.
A stethoscope’s chest pieces can either be single-headed or double headed. While a single head chest piece has both the diaphragm and the bell on one side of the stethoscope, a double head chest piece has the diaphragm on one side and the bell on the other. You operate such a stethoscope by using different amounts of pressure to hear the different frequencies when doing the readings, a practice that may take some getting used to.
When choosing a stethoscope, you should bear in mind that its chest pieces come in different diameters for you to choose from. It is for this reason that you should look for stethoscopes with interchangeable chest pieces because those are the ones that experienced nurses, pediatric providers, and therapists tend to use. If we are to be a bit more accurate, then let us point out that 35mm chest pieces are universally used, even though some specialists will also use a 45mm diaphragm from time to time.
Selecting a tubing style and length should only be done if you know precisely what to look for. In this respect, it should be said that the tubing of a stethoscope can be between 22 and 28 inches in length. With a longer tube, you get a stethoscope that drapes around the neck better while also allowing you to keep your distance from potentially contagious patients. It is also important for the tubing to be very flexible in order to give you some freedom of movement.
Similar to chest pieces, tubing can be either single bore or double bore. Not only that but some stethoscopes may also have bi-lumen style tubing which incorporates two tubes into a single, larger tube. This prevents the tubes from rubbing against one another, which may cause noise artifacts that interfere with your measurements. Furthermore, let us point out that wider tubing tends to improve sound quality overall.
Many healthcare providers consider acoustic stethoscopes to be sufficient most of the time. The reason behind this being that nursing assistants need to be able to hear blood pressure sounds and/or accurate heartbeats in order to tell the difference between cardiac and lung afflictions. These type of stethoscopes are also quite popular among technicians and aides who employ stethoscopes more and more in their line of work.
What makes an electronic stethoscope different from an acoustic stethoscope is the hearing frequencies it uses. These stethoscopes can capture electrocardiogram data and oxygen saturation levels along with the common readings that a traditional stethoscope can help you gather. Not only that but some of these high-tech electronic stethoscopes can also transmit the data to any device of your choosing via Bluetooth.