Best Stethoscope For Nurses 2018 [Reviews & Compare]


Best Stethoscope

There are some tools that can be termed as bloodline to any work in the field of nursing. This is what patients and doctors use for check-ups through to surgery.

Among the tools there, one important that is used at most doctor visits is known as a stethoscope that gives doctors insight into the system of your body. And in this wordy piece, we will talk about the best stethoscope for nurses in 2018.

Medical professionals have been using stethoscopes for many years to hear the diverse sounds of a body.

Indeed it is an absolute tool for all nurses and doctors, and patient examination would be incomplete without a stethoscope.

Why Should You Invest in a Good Stethoscopes?


Most commonly, this device is used to hear heartbeats. However, stethoscopes can also be applied to hear sounds within the arteries, veins, and intestines.

Convenience: Owning the best nurse’s stethoscope can make your life as a doctor or nurse much easier. If you invest in a good stethoscope at an early stage, chances are you will be going to use the same unit for your entire career.

Simplicity: A good and best nursing will make your work of examining your patient simple.

Comfort: Investing in a good stethoscope is guaranteed to comfort. Imagine using a stethoscope that is not comfortable to your ears? You should buy a good model for the comfort during the examination of your patients.

Different Types of Stethoscopes for Nurses


Acoustic Stethoscope:

This is the widely applied stethoscope which has a standard chest piece, hollow rubber tubing, and two earpieces. The chest piece has a bell or an empty cup on one side and membrane on the other side.

High-frequency sounds can be heard through the diaphragm, and Low-frequency sounds can be caught through the bell. However, using these stethoscopes can be a challenge if you perceive faint sounds or apply them in places with loud noise.

Electronic Stethoscope:

This is the latest and digital stethoscope that can magnify body sounds for proper hearing. It generates electric signals from acoustic waves which are then amplified and processed for improved hearing.

Therefore, these stethoscopes are ideal for low noise and can be easily applied to any environment. This is the growing popularity of an electronic stethoscope that will become the most preferred stethoscope in some years to come.

Recordable Stethoscopes:

This is an advanced version of the electric stethoscope; it has an interface and a cable that allows you to link it to a recording facility such as a laptop or iPod to record direct audio output.

You can then play the recording at different speeds for further examination. Such a feature is advantageous when further consultations or assessments are required.

Medical experts can also create sound graphs by using the recorded sounds for specific cases.

Noise Reduction Stethoscopes:

Almost the same to electronic stethoscopes but have an additional feature of noise reduction. These sorts of stethoscopes have a noise filter that filters external sound and let in only sounds to be examined.

This is a suitable option for an environment that is overcrowded by many patients who produce unwanted noise.

Fetal Stethoscopes:

Also known to as fetoscopes, the fetal stethoscope is meant for pregnant women. It has an enlarged end that is attached to the belly of an expecting woman.

Which Is The Best Stethoscope For Nurses?


Looking for the best stethoscopes for nurses that will make your nursing career lack worries? Well, you may try out 3 M Littmann Classic III stethoscopes. After all, it is known as the best stethoscope for nursing students.

The Littmann Classic III is a compact and sensitive tool perfect for nurses who want to monitor their patients precisely. Designed from durable yet lightweight materials that guarantee comfortable use.

Furthermore, it has a high acoustic sensitivity required for sound analysis.

Other notable features that make this the best stethoscopes include but not limited to the tunable membrane on both side of chest piece, easy to install membrane, safe to an environment as it has no rubber and latex components.

#1. 3M Littmann Classic III (Best Stethoscope For Nurses & Nursing Students)


3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope

Brand Name3M Littmann
Item Weight5.3 ounces
Length27 inches
Chestpiece Design/MaterialDouble Sided/Machined Stainless Steel
Ideal ForNurses & Nursing Student
Warranty 5 yr manufacturer's
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Our top recommended stethoscope for nurses and nursing student use this to identify, study, listen to heart rates, the lung, and all the other body part.

The 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope is the newest Littmann stethoscope on the market. It is no secrets that the stethoscope saves lots of professionals from embarrassment during the use of a stethoscope. The stethoscope makes it easy for medical professionals to use the classic III Littman stethoscope.

This series of the Littman’s stethoscopes also comes with a two-sided chest piece that is versatile and can perform many other functions.

The 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope comes in handy when assessing and monitoring heart rate and lung beats; it can pick up both high and low frequencies.

Key Features

  • It has a high acoustic performance and sensitivity to aid in the smooth assessments of patients.
  • Its dual tunable diaphragm is a sight to marvel at. 
  • The new single-piece diaphragm is easy to attach, and also very easy to clean and maintain.
  • The child or pediatric part of the chest piece can also convert to a traditional bell.
  • The tubing colors are multiple, with multiple chest-piece finishes.
  • The tubing and all the other components that helps preserve the human health and environment do not have rubber latex or those phthalate plasticizers.
Pros Cons
  • Has both an adult and pediatric diaphragms
  • For professionals and students
  • It is lightweight
  • It serves as a versatile tool; as a stethoscope and a bell
  • Length is a bit short

#2. 3M Littman 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope


3M Littman 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope3M Littman 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope

Brand Name3M Littmann
Item Weight6.2 ounces
Length27"
Chestpiece Design/MaterialDouble Sided/Machined Stainless Steel
Tube DesignDual Lumen Tubing
Ideal ForCardiology/High Performance
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Most of the professionals using 3M Littman 6152 Cardiology IV and call it the next generation stethoscope, and it has considerable recognition amongst the medical profession. It provides an acoustic performance that can catch high and low frequency.

Littman IV has a chalice-shaped chest-piece that distinguishes it from other Littmann’s cardiology stethoscope, but it also has the dual diaphragm that is tunable on both sides; the dual diaphragm is what makes the acoustic performance something that your while.

This stethoscope can is versatile; both kids and adults can use this one stethoscope. You can also convert the pediatric part of the stethoscope to an open bell; all you have to do is remove the diaphragm that tunes to the pediatric setting.

The chest-piece of both adult and the pediatric, have a design of a single-piece diaphragm that caregivers can quickly remove and replace at will. You can replace the diaphragm with a sleeve of the non-chill rim.

The 3M Littman 6152 Cardiology IV are also usable by even specialists physicians, nurses, nursing students; especially since they want a beneficial result. It can pick heart and lung beats at the low and high frequency.

Key Features

  • The stethoscope has a high frequency
  • The cardiology stethoscope has a tunable diaphragm that makes users be able to tune into the high and low rate 
  • One of the distinguishing factors of the cardiology stethoscope is the dual-lumen tubing. It combines the two distinct sounds and sends it to one tube, which passes on the information to the ear-tips.
  • Littmann Learning Institute App in the App Store or Google Play
Pros Cons
  • It is lightweight, making it comfortable to use
  • It has a dual-lumen tubing that channels the sound to one tube
  • The performance of the acoustic sounds is of high quality
  • Any profession in the medical field can use this stethoscope.
  • Too many complication and procedures on how to use the stethoscope.

#3. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope (Best Entry Level Stethoscope)


3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

Brand Name3M Littmann
Item Weight1.0 pounds
Length28"/71cm
Chestpiece Design/MaterialDouble Sided/ Metal and Resin Composite
Ideal ForBlood Pressure and Physical Assessment
Warranty2 Years
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This series of the stethoscope is an entry-level stethoscope, and anyone can use it. It is a simple stethoscope instrument. The instrument is has a tunable diaphragm and a dual side chest piece.

The performance of the acoustics is off the charts. Because of its shape (teardrop), the auscultation which surrounds the blood pressure makes it the cuffs easier.

Its perfect auscultation performance, this special stethoscope is reliable in for reading some limited medical assessment and also checking and taking blood pressure in adults. This piece of beauty weighs just 118 grams, making it one of the lightest stethoscopes on the market.

The nursing student uses the 3M Littman Lightweight II to learn and practice your skills in auscultation. They can practice this skill anytime and anywhere.

Key Features

  • The stethoscope provides an acoustic performance that is reliable.
  • The stethoscope has a design that captures low and high-frequency sound. Fortunately, the tunable diaphragm can adapt and respond to simple changes of the pressure, to catch high and low frequency.
  • The teardrop shape of the stethoscope makes it easy for it to fit perfectly under the blood pressure cuff.
  • The new and improved automated headset. Its design is angled, which enables the headset to meet the designated part in the ear canal conveniently.
Pros Cons
  • It is lightweight.
  • Tunable diaphragm helps with better assessment.
  • A nursing student can use the stethoscope for learning purposes.
  • Comes with an automated headset making it easier to pick a low frequency
  • The headset may be too big to carry around.

#4. DMF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope


DMF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head StethoscopeDMF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

Brand NameMDF Instruments
Item Weight0.6 lb
Lengthlonger-than-average
SizeUniversal
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This particular stethoscope is the perfect example of keeping it natural. It is a handcrafted stethoscope, made in the 70s, 1971 to be precise. Thus it has a lifetime warranty, and it gives some free parts; with its free-parts-for-life-program, you can replace most of the parts, free of charge. You should consider this stethoscope the father of all acoustic stethoscopes. It is lightweight, meaning ease and efficiency for caregiver and users of the Acoustica stethoscope.

It reads and diagnoses the exact auscultation in which the heart and lung produce. Its design is ergonomic, making it suitable and comfortable for both doctor and patient use. The auditory diagnostics of the Acoustica is unrivaled on the market. It is precise and exact and able to pick very low frequencies of the heart and lungs.

It is a DMF Acoustica Deluxe lightweight stethoscope that has an acoustic valve with full-rotation, and a green light which indicates and identifies all the sound channels that are active.

For a secure acoustic transmission, the chest piece of the stethoscope has an ultrasensitive diaphragm that is put in its design.  It also has a large bell with a non-chill bell ring crowning. This crowning amplifies the sound. This reinforced sensitivity is what makes the Acoustica one of the unrivaled stethoscopes in the market.

Key Features

  • One of the highlights of this beauty is that it is lightweight, providing comfort and secure usage of the stethoscope. Its lightweight feature also makes it very efficient in picking up low frequencies
  • It is handcrafted. Plus it has a program called the free-part-for-life-program, which gives users access to a lifetime supply of Acoustica parts.
  • There are three small pairs of the MDF Ear-tips, and they come with a Comfort-seal. The ear-tips include; the small, the regular and the large. It should be worthy of note that the Ear-tip are part of the free-part-for-life-program.
  • For high performance and long-lasting durability, the stethoscope is crafted with lightweight aluminum.  It also has a dual-head chest-piece, that is precisely designed and also hand polished, which gives it the high performance and durability it has.
  • The stethoscope also has a patent ear-tip and safety-lock adapter, which prevent the puncturing of the eardrum.
Pros Cons
  • The acoustics is lightweight, making it comfortable to use
  • The free-part-for-life program assures buyers in the reliability of the product
  • A five-year warranty which  secures the buyer’s product
  • A very versatile and reliable stethoscope with a reinforced sensitivity.
  • Hard to clean and maintain properly.

#5. MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Stethoscope


MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual StethoscopeMDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Stethoscope

Brand NameMDF Instruments
Item Weight7.04 ounces
LengthLonger-than-average
Warranty Lifetime
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The MD one is not only a durable and useful instrument; it is unmatched when it comes to aesthetics and beauty.

The steel premium dual stethoscope is yet another hand-made work of art. It was made in 1971 and a program wherein you can get parts of the stethoscope, free. The acoustic of this stethoscope is something to marvel. The acoustical construction is that of a superior and stainless steel; this steel makes the stethoscope read and catch the accurate auscultation of the lung and the heart. Its sound is its integrity.

Both the doctors or caregivers and the patient enjoy the benefit of the extension in use. The ergonomic design makes sure of this enjoyment.

The chest-piece of the MD one give it another edge; it is a chest-piece with a dual steel design that makes it practical and durable.

There is an indicator on the stethoscope that shows a green dot. This indication allows the user to know and identify when active sounds begin to channel through the tubes, so the user can know when to seal the sound.

The tube of the MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium one is longer than an average stethoscope tube, which gives ample spacing between the doctor and the patient.

Key Features

  • It has a lifetime warranty plan that ensures the user is covered all the time. The program that provides free parts for a lifetime also assures users of the stethoscope reliability.
  • This stethoscope design is 100% steel, and the steel construction is acoustical, with stainless steel that is superior.
  • The comfort-seal ear-tip is part of the program; the free-parts-for-life plan. The comfort-seal ear-tip comes in large regular and small.
  • There is a dual-leaf construction spring makes the stethoscope extra durable; the manufacturer considers it twice as durable. This assurance gives users security.
  • This stethoscope has a patent safety-lock adaptor, which the manufacturer attaches to the ear-tip. It provides safety for users from eardrum puncture.
  • It is latex free
Pros Cons
  • The product is lightweight, for relaxed and comfortable use
  • An extra long tube, to keep a healthy distance between the doctor and patient
  • The dual steel feature make for better auditory and acoustic sounds
  • Users are part of the lifetime warranty and the lifetime of the free part program
  • The length of the tube gives the wrong idea to the patient.

Compare Stethoscopes


Our expert team spend countless hours of research to pick top 5 stethoscopes for nurses and nursing students.

Check Our Top Pick.

PictureNameAmazon Price
3M Littman Classic III
[Ideal for Nurses & Nursing Student]
3M LITTMAN 6152
[Ideal for Cardiology/High Performance]
3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E
MDF Acoustica Deluxe
MDF MD One Stainless Steel

How to Examine the Best Stethoscopes for Nurses?


If you are buying this device for the first time, you need to rethink a lot before you buy one. When selecting the right equipment, you have to pay a lot of attention to details.

Therefore, you should be familiar with the necessary parts so that you know what to look for when buying.

The Ear Tubes:

These are the tubes that attach the earphones to the main body of the stethoscope. Ear tubes can be made of stainless steel and are known to be responsible for the transmission of sound. Be sure to choose those made of stainless steel to make sure it would take.

Earphones:

When choosing your nursing stethoscope, pick the one with comfortable earphones. Comfort is essential and comes in the earphones you will be wearing.

Choose those that offer great clarity tones to ensure that you would be able to give your patients the right diagnosis. Avoid stethoscopes that hurt your ears as this would undoubtedly be a hard time at work.

Chest Pieces:

In most cases it is made of metal, which is mainly double-sided, so you would find it straightforward to work on your patient. With that said, it merely means that you require a chest piece tuned to a particular body sound.

An ideal chest piece should be one that you can quickly tune to the right body tone so that you would make your diagnosis easy.

Tube Length:

You should get the units of sufficient tube length that matches the size of your arms. Herein, be sure to get those from Littman as this is a brand preferred by most medical and healthcare professionals around the world.

How Do Stethoscopes Work?


Stethoscopes are instrument medical procedure practitioners use to listen to the sounds the organs in the body produces. These sounds are mainly from the heart and the lungs.

The modern stethoscopes come with a binaural design; users use the instrument with both ears. The composition of modern Stethoscopes is; two rubber tube, flexible of course. These tubes connect the earpiece and the valve.

The valve then connects the chest piece with the lid. The chest piece is either bell-shaped, which picks up low-frequency sounds, while the flat disk picks up high sounds. Place the stethoscope on the chest, where the heart is, or where the lung is to hear the heartbeat.

What Kind Of Materials Are Best Stethoscopes Made From?


A stethoscope has many components, each working hand in hand to ensure the sound quality of the instrument is right, the parts are, the chest piece, the stem, the flexible tube, the earplugs, and the binaural pieces.

There is a spring of steel that attaches the earplugs, so they fit firmly in the user’s ears; the material for the plugs are Delrin, a trademark product or a mold of silicone rubber that is a lot softer than regular silicone.

The chest piece has a metal aluminum plate or a chrome-plated brass. Stainless steel also suffices. The binaural-tube piece is a flexible polyvinyl chloride tube, or latex rubber, which makes it flexible.  

There is a steel ball inside the valve of a stethoscope with a dual diaphragm feature. The lid also has a steel spring in it.

Are You Using It At Home Or For Professional Purposes?


The primary use of a stethoscope is mostly professional. It is usually in the hospital, and all medical personnel uses it, including; Doctors, EMT personnel, medical students, nurses, cardiologist, the list goes on.

Although this instrument is mainly for medical use, or rather, for hospital use, many households are beginning to purchase the stethoscopes and in large numbers too.

One of the reasons why many people use the stethoscope at home is for the same reason the medical personnel and hospital use it; to check the irregularities and abnormalities of the hearts and lungs.

It doesn’t matter where we use the stethoscope, so long as it serves the purpose which it serves.

What You Should Look For Best Stethoscopes


Buying a good stethoscope help the medical assessment of a patient. It also helps the doctor have confidence in his instruments.

There are a lot of fake and mediocre stethoscopes in the market that may not produce the effect the users intends. The need for a buyer’s guide is vital to know how to detect fake and mediocre stethoscopes, and to get the best stethoscope; the market has to offer.

There are several stethoscopes for several medical professionals. There are stethoscopes for veterinarians, for cardiologists, for EMT personnel and hospitals.

Whoever uses the stethoscope, some of the following features has to be a given;

Good acoustic performance. A stethoscope that can catch both high and low sound frequency is suitable for both home and professional use. It encourages quality in patients assessment and results

A dual diaphragm feature that is tunable to both adults and pediatric use also comes in handy. Users can use the one stethoscope for both high and low sound frequency. The pediatric stethoscope has to be lightweight. The lighter the weight, the better the efficiency of the stethoscope. The lightweight feature of the stethoscope which is made from stainless steel constructs the stethoscope easy to use and produces the quality of sound good.

There is also a new stethoscope in town, the electronic stethoscope.

There are suggestions and arguments that the electronic version of the stethoscope is better than the acoustic stethoscope. Because of the electrical tuning of the sound frequency, the electronic stethoscope makes it easier to tune and adjust to pediatric and adult use. The acoustic stethoscope is a lot harder to tune.

Concluding Thoughts


The stethoscope is one of those essential devices in the field of nursing. Almost every nurse should have one, or even several. They are practical and efficient and can make you save lives day after day and even year after year.

A stethoscope is required in the assessment of each patient. It can aid you to hear an internal problem if it looks good in assessing a patient. With this essentiality, look for the best stethoscope for nurses and simplify your career.

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