Best Stethoscope for Nursing Students

  1. Hello all I recently started my nursing classes and am looking to purchase a stethoscope for lab and clinicals. I wanted to know from your experience what stethoscope is the best for nursing students. I am aware that everyone says LITTMAN is the best but it is also expensive so I would like a less expensive alternative that works great as well.

    Thank you for your help.

    Good luck to you all this semester.
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 28, '18
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    About Connie1109

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 63; Likes: 21


  3. by   NSALVADORE
    The littmann lightweight is a good one to start with, it's only 44.99 on There are cheaper ones, they do the job but when it comes to assessing lung sounds and the heart I do find the littmann worth the extra money, I can hear better.
  4. by   awalker1015
    Most of my classmates have Littmans. I actually have an ADC stethoscope, which I love. I don't know how much the scope alone would have been as I got mine in a set with a BP cuff for $50.
  5. by   Silverdragon102
    moved to nursing stethoscope forum
  6. by   j_tay1981
    I've got a few stethoscopes (including a Littmann Classic II S.E.) and my favorite is the Prestige Clinical I. It's comfy and sensitive enough to hear all the various lung sounds I need to hear as a student. I also have a Prestige Sprague Rapopport in hunter green. It's a little less comfortable than the Clinical I and its also a bit quieter, and heavier, but I do like it and find that for 90% of my needs it works fine. However, the Littmann IS pretty sensitive by comparison, though that also makes them a bit more prone to 'wandering off'
  7. by   lil pixi
    I'm wondering if the Sprague Spra-lite will be good for me in nursing school.

    I've heard that sometimes the cheaper ones can be better than any of the expensive ones.

    And I've also heard that the regular Sprague tubing can be heard rubbing against each other. Why I figured maybe the lite would be the better option.
  8. by   j_tay1981
    Franky, I hear about the same through some of my cheaper scopes than the ones I paid more money for. I hear well out of my ADC Adcscope-Lite 609. It's pretty inexpensive and very light weight with nice ear tips. I also like my ADC 641 dual tube Sprague. Personally, I don't really hear the tubes rubbing against each other too much. Maybe I've just messed with it enough where I ignore it. The Sprague isn't nearly as comfortable to wear as the Adscope-Lite. But as a student I found I like these two as much as my Littmann Classic SE II in terms of how well I can hear. Best bet is to try out as many as you can locally since scopes are very personal it seems.

    Hope this helps!
  9. by   lil pixi
    That is helpful. Thank you. =)

    Supposedly the benefits to the Spra-lite are more comfortable ear tips & a lighter weight, but if I had trouble finding it in the stores, seeing as it's currently unavailable on the website, I was planning on maybe going with the standard Sprague, so it's all good to know.
  10. by   StudentGrace
  11. by   j_tay1981
    Quote from lil pixi
    That is helpful. Thank you. =)

    Supposedly the benefits to the Spra-lite are more comfortable ear tips & a lighter weight, but if I had trouble finding it in the stores, seeing as it's currently unavailable on the website, I was planning on maybe going with the standard Sprague, so it's all good to know.
    Prestige Medical makes a standard Sprague (dual tube) with soft ear tips that are pretty comfortable. I think I hear slightly better out of my ADC, but the Prestige is also pretty inexpensive and available in a TON of colors. I think the model on my Prestige is S122. Some people really like the Spragues (I have a few professors that can hear perfectly well out of them, and several RN's on the med-surg floor for my hospital clinical this semester use them daily and swear by them), whereas some people loathe them. I happen to like them, personally. Like I said, stethoscopes are personal things.

    A few places to check: has good prices and returns are easy if the scope doesn't work out. I've also found a few cheap scopes on eBay, too. usually has good prices, but shipping can be a bit slow. Shop around. But if you can, definitely get into a store and 'try before you buy'; I bought a couple of scopes on eBay that literally hurt my ears, and I can't return them so I'm stuck with 'em. So bear that in mind too!

    Good luck!
  12. by   lil pixi
    Thank you for all the info. I did find out you can't really beat those Amazon prices.

    After much extensive research through online shopping around, review searches on here, and even a video on the beginner & the stethoscope, I ended up going with a Prestige Medical Cardio Sprague
    And another very basic dual head, light pink back up - Just under $10, had to throw it in.

    I was going to go with the Omron, but read too much of the way it hurts people's ears. I think it's cool, though, how it comes with the interchangeable bells & diaphragms.

    I wanted the conveniences of a single lumen. I also read that single lumens were preferred for the beginner. Therefore, I know I'll have to own a double lumen someday as well. lol

    Wanted better ear tips than I've read of on some of the other Spragues, and a dual head. The Cardio just seemed perfect, the most advanced Sprague yet.

    I did read about training one's ears as well, and how the cheaper ones are most definitely preferred. That's why I threw the back up one in, just in case I hear way too much at first with the Sprague Cardio.

    Was looking into the ADC's for future reference too. ADC or Littman once my ears are trained.

    Sphygmomanometer shopping for a good price, next step.
    Last edit by lil pixi on Mar 5, '10
  13. by   j_tay1981
    I think you made a good choice for a beginner scope - sounds like you put a lot of thought into it. I tried one of those Omron scopes because it got high marks for acoustics. I sent it back though because, like you said, that sucker hurt my ears! The soft Prestige ear tips work pretty well, though, so I think you'll do just fine with the Cardio Sprague. It looks like it is of nice quality.

    Good luck!
  14. by   lil pixi
    I did put quite a bit of research into it. lol

    Sometimes Amazon mails multiple items in a purchase separately, so the back up one came today. Still waiting on the Sprague Cardio.

    Can anyone tell me, if the ear tips are quite painful, will simply getting a better quality, softer pair of ear tips solve the problem?