The 10 Best Stethoscopes
When it comes to finding the best stethoscope in 2020, there’s a world of choice out there for any healthcare professional. In fact, whether you’re looking for the best stethoscopes for nurses, doctors, paediatricians, or even medical students, the number of manufacturers producing quality pieces of kit has exploded in recent years with technological and engineering advances leading the way.
Naturally, however, there’s a lot to consider when looking to buy a stethoscope, and whether it’s a replacement or your first, you should take some time to review your specific needs and compare them with what’s currently available. To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best stethoscopes on the market in 2020. Read on to discover the perfect piece of equipment for your needs and rest assured that Medshop has everything you need to do your job to the best of your ability.
3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope – The Best Stethoscope for Cardiologists
As one of the best Littmann stethoscopes currently on the market, the Cardiology IV features top-of-the-range acoustic performance, uncompromising build quality and exceptional versatility. Combining innovative features such a single-piece tuneable diaphragm on each side of the chest piece that allows fast switching between high and low frequencies, the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope offers unrivalled precision and outstanding audibility for cardiologists.
Made in the USA, and with a 7-year warranty for increased peace of mind, this top-rated cardiology stethoscope is a sound investment that will stand the test of time. Additionally, the adjustable headset and silicone ear tips provide superior comfort over long periods, and the colour options of Navy Blue, Burgundy & Caribbean Blue, Black & Raspberry offer you the chance to grab your own customised favourite.
3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope – The Best All-Round Stethoscope
Another solid Littmann entry, the Master Classic II Stethoscope is the best for all-round usage, offering premium features and excellent sound quality at an affordable price. Again, a tuneable diaphragm ensures the user can capture high and low frequency sounds, while the single-sided chest piece with pressure sensitive operation means there is no need to turn over and reposition.
Available in a broad range of colour combinations and featuring soft-sealing ear tips for an optimal acoustic seal, this classic example of one of the top ten stethoscopes currently available delivers everything needed for both medical professionals and students alike—whether on the ward or in ICU.
3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope – The Best Stethoscope for Paramedics
A combination of high quality materials and versatile application makes the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope a top choice for EMT workers and paramedics. Offering a 3-year warranty with free repairs for any manufacturing or material defects and with excellent durability, this extremely lightweight stethoscope comes it at just 1 lb—meaning it won’t drag you down while in the field.
Featuring the same tuneable technology common to all of 3Ms top-of-the-range equipment, this dual head stethoscope with double-sided chest piece also offers the option of a traditional bell diaphragm on the reverse. Durable and available in a variety of colours, you can also expect all the comfort of the higher end stethoscopes for the best wearability through another long day of emergency calls.
Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope – The Best Budget Stethoscope
This classic dual-head piece is definitely among the best budget stethoscopes around today. Featuring a fully stainless-steel construction for improved acoustic performance, and available in a range of colours, the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite is a great for both low and high-frequency sounds.
With fibreglass diaphragm to detect S1, S2 and Korotkoff sounds alongside a traditional bell side for S3 and S4 sounds, versatility is ensured even at this low price point. Additionally, the snap-on diaphragm retaining ring makes maintenance a breeze, while the non-chill bell ring enhances patient comfort.
Welch Allyn Harvey Elite Stethoscope – The Best Stethoscope for Nurses
A good stethoscope at a great price, the Welch Allyn Harvey Elite has been around a while but still makes it into our top ten best stethoscopes. Well suited to any application, it has been a favourite of nursing professionals since its release, and with a 10-year warranty its easy to understand why.
Offering a selection of both soft and hard ear tips in different sizes for increased comfort in the ear canal, the Welch Allyn Harvey Elite also features dual-lumen tubing for superb audibility and durable chest pieces designed to last. Additionally, the diaphragm and bell chest pieces are designed to accentuate important sounds so that you never miss a beat while on your rounds!
Spirit Electronic Stethoscope – The Best Electronic Stethoscope for Nursing Students
Electronic stethoscopes are relatively new in the healthcare professions, however, for any students looking to explore their features then this Spirit model is a good quality entry point. Featuring a wealth of advanced features, this is certainly among the best digital stethoscopes for educational settings, offering 16 level digital volume, an analogue output for the analysis of heart sounds, memory options for mode and volume, plus an MPU auto-power off.
All of this combined allows the real-time display of data onto a PC for quantitive diagnostic purposes. Additionally, the advanced digital technology amplifies internal sounds while simultaneously removing unwanted ambient noise. Finally, with an ergonomic design for comfort and a battery life of 150 hours, you can count on the Spirit Electronic Stethoscope during those long shifts.
Student Welch Allyn Professional Stethoscope – The Best Stethoscope for Medical Students
For a high-quality, durable and accurate piece of kit for your studies, then this Welch Allyn is one of the best student stethoscopes around. While not as cheap as some of the entry-level stethoscopes aimed at students, with the Welch Allyn name attached, you know this is going stay the course through your studies while ensuring you get the kind of accuracy you need while on placement or in class.
Featuring a stainless-steel double-head (bell and flat diaphragm) cheat piece with non-chill rim, rotating binaurals and earpieces that are interchangeable with full comfort seal, the lightweight and ergonomic design means you can use this piece of equipment over long periods. Add to this a 5-year warranty and the option of both adult and paediatric versions, and you've got a stethoscope fit for a lifetime of healthcare.
Spirit Fun Animal Stethoscope – The Best Paediatric Stethoscope
Whether you work in a hospital or in a paediatric clinic, its always a good idea to have a lighthearted infant stethoscope around to put children at ease. The Spirit Fun Animal Stethoscope is the best paediatric solution for restless patients, giving them something to focus on as you do your work.
Featuring seven interchangeable animal faces that clip right onto the floating diaphragm, alongside latex-free tubing and high impact crack resistant plastic materials, this fun stethoscope is designed to last even when examining curious kids. Finally, the floating diaphragm is designed to improved sound transmission, making it suitable for taking blood pressure as well as auscultation tasks.
Prestige Clinical I Stethoscope Gold Edition – The Best Stethoscope for a Gift
If you ‘re looking for something a little special to present the student doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional in your life, then look no further than the Prestige Clinical I Gold Edition. A simple and reliable piece of equipment with a gold chest piece and binaurals, it’s the perfect gift for graduation or other special occasion.
Featuring the same high build quality as all of the Prestige range, this top stethoscope is comfortable and ergonomic in use. Additionally, a non-chill bell optimised for S3 and S4 sounds comes as standard, while the snap-on fibreglass diaphragm is optimised for S1, S2, and Korotkoff sounds for superb versatility while in use.
3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Digital 3200 The Best Electronic Stethoscope
Among the top electronic stethoscopes currently on the market, the 3M Littmann Digital 3200 boasts a broad range of advanced features in a lightweight and ergonomic package. With 24 amplification levels and the ability to eliminate 85% of background noise, accuracy is assured, while the soft-seal, snap-tight ear tips remain comfortable even over prolonged periods.
Linking to a computer is quick and simple with Bluetooth connectivity fully supported, allowing the fast transfer of data completely wirelessly. For any healthcare professional looking for a great stethoscope that is fully future proof, then look no further than the digital 3200.
Other Stethoscope Brands to Consider
Today, there are many quality stethoscope brands on the market, and each has its merits. Including advanced functionality that can be used to identify heart murmurs and while also listening to lung sounds, you will find a broad range of high-quality models available. Additionally, features may include dual-lumen tubing, additional blood pressure cuffs, teardrop shape chest pieces, and full noise cancellation, alongside lifetime warranties and a range of replacement parts.
Some of the top brands to look out for include MDF, ADC, Omron, EKO, and FriCARE. Naturally, when it comes to choosing the right stethoscope for you needs, balancing features and functionality with a name you can trust is important, so choose carefully when making your investment.
Finally, whether you work with children or adult patients, whether you're in ICU or on the wards, here at Medshop we have a broad range of stethoscopes to buy that ensure you have the right equipment for your role. Browse our different types of stethoscopes in the shop or stay tuned to the Medshop blog for more information on all kinds of medical equipment.