Note – Updated August 2016
When we find the quality stethoscopes for sale that can be difficult to determine the one that is best for your unique needs. There are several different options, each with their set of advantages and disadvantages. In general, the best stethoscope will depend mostly on what profession you are in. I took some time to categorize these to help you make your choice a lot easier. Click the category below to jump down to our recommendations for each. If you are looking to purchase one today, this should give you an excellent run down on your choices.
General Reviews and Recommendations
|Product||Littmann Cardiology III||Littmann Classic II SE||Littmann Master Classic II||ADC ADSCOPE|
|Weight||14.9 oz||11.2 oz||12 oz||1.1 lbs|
|Diaphragm (Diagram)||Tunable (1.7 Inches)||Tunable (2.125 Inches)||Tunable (1.75 Inches)||Non Tunable (1.8 Inches)|
|Chest Piece (Weight)||Double Sided (85 Gram)||Double Sided (47 Gram)||Single Sided (90 Gram)||Single Sided|
|Positive Review||1352 reviews||2763 reviews||645 reviews||216 reviews|
How Did We Come About Choosing These?
While looking at all the different models on Amazon, we made a list of different aspects that we wanted to make sure that we considered when we made our recommendations. The following list are things that we considered. Please note that the testimonials we are providing here is very subjective and based on our hearing and handling of these scopes; you might get different results in case you test out these yourself, but we are confident that we get made 99% correct value.
- It must be lightweight so it will be comfortable to carry on the shoulder.
- The length of tubing should be long enough to allow for proper examination of the patient.
- How expensive or inexpensive and price in general should reflect the quality – bang for your buck.
- The general quality of the instrument and how well it was built with the materials used. Looking at the diaphragm, tubes and ear pieces.
- Diaphragms must be composed of high-quality PE compound resin with flexibility. It is best to have 35mm diaphragms for adult use, 25 millimeter for pediatric use, and 45mm for cardiology applications.
- It should have a comfortable hearing piece, stainless steel tube, and binaural wall must be thick enough to avoid hearing environmental noise when using it.
- Great reviews from other medical professionals.
- The company that made it and their warranty.
Cheap And Inexpensive
While there are a number of affordable options available, I decided not to list out the cheapest options because we could not really vouch for some of the quality of them. Remember that you do get what you pay for and this may be something that you don’t want to skimp out on. “Cheap” is subjective as well – what someone considers a low price may be too high for someone else. My suggestion though is to try to get the best one that you can afford and remember that if you get something of the up-most quality like the ones that we show on this page, it should last you for years to come!
The Littmann Classic II SE is regarded as the best Littman stethoscope for nursing students and nurses. It is light and portable, comfortable to wear, and durable. If it is accidentally broken, all will be well because it comes with a 3-year warranty. This stethoscope also has excellent acoustics but is in most ways a classic, uncomplicated device.
As you can read on every Littman Classic II SE review, the customization and low price are the main reason that this stethoscope is a favorite with nurses. It comes with a wide range of tube colors as well as several choices in finish for the chest piece. In addition, it is so affordable that even a broke student can afford it. Who could ask for more?
The Littmann Master Classic II is generally considered the best stethoscope for medical student and physician alike due to its wide range of frequencies and flexibility. Unlike many stethoscopes, which make you turn the chest piece to hear high and low frequencies, the Master Classic allows you to adjust by applying different amounts of pressure. This is useful for hearing different heart or bowel sounds, for example, without having to turn from side to side repeatedly.
In addition, the flexible headset of the Master Classic II makes it unique. It can be flexed in all directions without cracking or interfering with sound quality. Every Littmann Master Classic review mentions its comfort, which is another benefit of the flexible design. The ear tips are soft enough to be extremely comfortable while also blocking out environmental noise. This stethoscope is especially recommended for doctors and medical students who spend time in busy emergency rooms, hospitals or clinics.
Acoustics are a major challenge for veterinarians. The fur covering their patients’ skin can muffle sounds, but veterinarians often have to work quickly due to uncooperative patients. For these reasons, a cardiology stethoscope is usually recommended for these professionals. While there are many models available, the Littman Cardiology III stethoscopes are generally considered the best ones for veterinarians. These both have tunable chest pieces, so vets do not have to turn the chest piece to hear different frequencies and can work quickly. In addition, vets can choose a bright color and never forget or lose their stethoscope again.
Read more – review of the Littman Cardiology III.
The best stethoscope for paramedics, EMTs, and other health professionals who work on the go is one that is durable, portable, and comfortable to wear for long hours. For most paramedics, this is the Littman Classic II SE. There are several features that make this stethoscope a great choice for these busy professionals.
The Littmann Classic II SE is made for giving excellent acoustical quality in very noisy environments. Why risk missing a significant sound that may make the difference between life and death? The technology in this stethoscope almost eliminates ambient noise even in the noisiest of conditions.
One very important fact for any Littmann Classic II SE review is the stethoscope’s light weight. It is incredibly portable, weighing in at just 4 ounces; it is the brightest stethoscope that offers extremely high-quality sound. In addition, it has ear tips that are soft and comfortable for even long term wear. This model has been a favorite among EMTs since it was introduced due to its convenient size and superior acoustics.
In general, nursing students and nurses can use the same stethoscopes with no problem, and the same is true for medical students and doctors. However, many students are limited by budget while also having to move between clinics, classrooms, and other mandatory events. If someone is looking for a stethoscope that will be comfortable while constantly on the go, they should consider the Littmann Lightweight II SE. The stethoscope is small, portable, durable, and has good enough sound for both physical examinations and blood pressure readings. In addition, it is extremely affordable.
This stethoscope is a great “beginner’s” stethoscope because it is very easy to use and is made to last while handled by a beginner. However, many students prefer to instead buy the stethoscope that is recommended for their future career.
Some specialties, such as cardiology, require a special kind of stethoscope. The best cardiology stethoscope is one with great acoustics and the ability to transmit different frequencies. The best stethoscopes for specialties that require superior acoustics are the Littman Master Cardiology and the Littmann Cardiology III. These meet all of the requirements and have a few other specialty benefits as well.
The Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope has a “two tubes in one” design that reduces environmental noise. While it has a double sided chest piece, it allows the listener to hear all frequencies without turning it over, simply by applying different pressure to the chest piece. No Littmann Cardiology III review would be complete without mentioning the patient-friendly design; its rubber edging keeps it from feeling hard or cold. The Master Cardiology stethoscope is similar to this model, but with two tubes and a single-sided chest piece.
A stethoscope is a significant investment in your career, so it is important to get one that meets all of your needs. While they all may appear alike to people outside the field, there are always small but significant differences that make one the best stethoscope for you. The best Littman stethoscope is one that meets the needs of your profession, your work environment, and your patients.