14 Best Stethoscopes for Nurses (Plus 7 Best Accessories)

The best stethoscope is the one that fits your personal needs and comfort. Resources

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Are you looking for a quality stethoscope that delivers high sound quality, comfortable earpieces, and a lightweight feel for you and your patients? Whether you're buying your first stethoscope or looking for a high-quality replacement, this list has you covered.

Littman Stethoscopes

Dr. David Littman was a renowned cardiologist at Harvard Medical School who revolutionized the stethoscope in the mid-20th century. His design aimed to improve acoustic performance, creating the highly-developed Littman stethoscopes available on the market today. With many to choose from, we've narrowed it down to five of the most popular that will perform well for blood pressure measurements and heart and lung assessments.

Littman Classic III

The Littman Classic III stethoscope is a complete redesign of its previous model, this time providing a heightened capability of transporting sound with the highest efficiency. According to Littman, healthcare professionals who require the best medical devices can rely on this model for both low-frequency sounds and high-frequency sounds too.

  • Features: Double-sided chest piece, double diaphragm, improved tubing
  • Price: Starting @ $110

Littman Master Cardiology

The Littman Master Cardiology stethoscope stands apart and is characterized by the best acoustic response in the Littman mechanical stethoscope line. It's tunable diaphragm technology lets clinicians hear different frequencies by adjusting the pressure on the chest piece, allowing them to save time and focus on their patients.

  • Features: Tunable diaphragm, dual-lumen tubing, and a precision, ergonomically designed, stainless steel chest piece
  • Price: Starting @ $228

Littman Lightweight Stethoscopes

Littman Lightweight Stethoscopes are a classic standard. The oval-shaped chest pieces allow you to position them easily under a blood pressure cuff, setting them apart from the traditional circular chest pieces. It's lightweight, making it comfortable to carry around your neck or in a pocket all shift.

  • Features: Oval-shaped chest piece, double-frequencies membrane, non-cold rim, anatomical and comfortable ear tips with soft endings
  • Price: Starting @ $58.23

Littman Electronic Stethoscopes

The ANR technology of the Littman electronic stethoscope offers high acoustic performance and exceptional response to low sound frequencies.

  • Features: ANR technology
  • Price: Starting @ $345.00

Littman Classic II Pediatric

Based on the proven design of the Littman Classic Pediatric Stethoscopes, this model is a dependable and hard-working tool for the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of smaller patients.

  • Features: Dual-sided chest piece
  • Price: Starting @ $112

MDF Stethoscopes

Founded in the U.S. in 1971, MDF Instruments has been manufacturing stethoscopes for over 50 years. While MDF may not have the same brand recognition as Littman, they've built a strong reputation for quality and value, and their stethoscopes are often praised for their acoustics, comfortability, and the company's commitment to their customers. Below, we've included some of their best stethoscopes available.

MD One Stainless Steel Stethoscope Series

The MDF MD One Stethoscope series is known for its high-performance thanks to being constructed from acoustically-superior stainless steel. Add this to its durability, sleek design, and sound clarity, and you might have a new favorite.

  • Features: Stainless steel, ergonomic
  • Price: Starting @ $79.99

Procardial Titanium Stethoscopes

The Procardial Titanium Stethoscopes are constructed from lightweight titanium and detect entire frequency ranges.

  • Features: Half the weight of stainless steel
  • Price: Starting @ $199

Acoustica Stethoscope Series

The Acoustica Stethoscope Series is made of aluminum and comes with a professional design. This stethoscope is priced right and won't break the bank for new medical professionals or nursing students.

  • Features: Various finishes, including white/matte rose gold, and more
  • Price: Starting @ $29.99

Pulse Time Stethoscope Series

The Pulse Time Stethoscope series has a digital timer that allows clinicians to continue with critical patient assessments while obtaining blood pressure readings, listening to heart and lung sounds, or obtaining pulse and respiratory rates. With this handy built-in timer, you'll never have to look down at your watch again, and you can maintain eye contact when patients need extra reassurance.

  • Features: Digital timer
  • Price: Starting @ $50

Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope Series

The Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope is five stethoscopes in one. This allows a greater range of diagnostic applications and is trusted to detect faint heart sounds and murmurs.

  • Features: Five stethoscopes in one
  • Price: Starting @ $34.99

ADC Stethoscopes

Since 1984, ADC has aimed to produce feature-rich, value-priced professional diagnostic medical instruments for healthcare teams. Among their features, this stethoscope includes the notable Adsoft Plus ear tip technology, which provides the ultimate wearing experience and acoustic seal.

ADC Adscope 600 Platinum Series Cardiology Stethoscope

Engineered for performance, comfort, and durability, the ADC Adscope 600 Platinum Stethoscope optimizes the acoustic pathway adjustable frequency and allows you to tune the diaphragm to enhance high- and low-frequency responses.

  • Features: B-lumen (dual channel), AFD technology, heavy walled tubing, large-diameter aural tubes, double-leaf tensioning Spring
  • Price: Starting @ $149.33

ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope

The ADC Adscope 615 combines the acoustic response of a traditional bell and diaphragm in a one-sided chest piece. It's designed to withstand thousands of cycles.

  • Features: AFD technology, non-chill rim, soft and flexible tubing, Adsoft Plus silicone ear tips
  • Price: Starting @ $72.36

Vistascope 604 Pediatric Clinician Stethoscope

Made with the pediatric patient in mind, the Vitascope 604 offers legendary acoustics, performance, and functionality. The pediatric chest piece offers an ultra-sensitive diaphragm for greater amplification and an extra-deep bell for an unsurpassed low-frequency response.

  • Features: Pediatric chest piece, extra-large bell, non-chill bell and diaphragm, Adsoft plus silicone ear tips, scope ID tag included
  • Price: Starting @ $55.36

Adscope 606 Ultra-lite Cardiology Stethoscope

The Adscope 606 Ultra-lite Cardiology Stethoscope weighs only 4.5 oz. It has a dual-head chest piece and offers an ultra-sensitive diaphragm for greater amplification.

  • Features: AFD technology, extra-deep bell, cardiology headset with large-bore aluminum binaurals, lifetime warranty
  • Price: Starting @ $94.80

Best Stethoscope Accessories

These additional items can enhance a stethoscope's functionality, comfort, or aesthetic appeal and are generally available for online purchase at stores like Amazon, Pinterest, eBay, and more.

  • Stethoscope Cases
  • Stethoscope Identification Tags
  • Stethoscope Charms
  • Stethoscope Covers
  • Stethoscope Watches
  • Stethoscope Jewelry
  • Stethoscope Badge Reel

Choosing the right stethoscope can be challenging, given the variety of options. However, understanding the top brands' history, features, and prices can help guide your decision. Remember, the best stethoscope is the one that fits your personal needs and comfort.

Workforce Development Columnist

Melissa Mills has 26 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Workforce Development, Education, Advancement.

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