What stethoscope should i get???

Nurses General Nursing


I know that this question has plagued the forum before and have referred to those posts but have not had an adequate answer as of yet...

So, heres the deal, I am a first semester nursing student and need a stethoscope ASAP. Cost is not too much of a concern and would like something that can be used on adults and children. From what I am reading for some stethoscopes, you have to use a seperate adapter for children and other thin persons. I would prefer not to have to use an adapter but would prefer to simply turn/flip the steth around to be used on a child. Please correct me if I am wrong.

From all the reading I think its pretty safe to say that I will be purchasing some type of Littman Stethoscope, but the model is what I am pondering about...

Have it down to these:

1. Littman Cardiology III

2. Littman Master Classic II

3. Littman Classic II S.E.

What is the more poplular model of these three; what would you recommend and if you dont mind, what do you use?

In addition, I would like to get the Stethoscope engraved with my name because people have stated that these things grow legs and never come back. Will the engraving alter the acoustics of the Stethoscope and if so, is there a specific method of engraving that I should ask for when I go to an engraver?

Thanks in advance!



125 Posts

I think I have a Littmann classic SE....which is like the $60 or so value, and after the sprague style one I had in nursing school, its GREAT! I eventually want to upgrade to a nicer model as well tho. I'm told it rates a 7 out of 10 versus the master cardiology rating that 9 or 10 as far as acoustics. I say go for the nice model if money isn't a problem, because you do hear more sounds in a better quality stethoscope.

Good Luck!



125 Posts

Forgot about the engraving...

I have my initials engraved on mine, which was something the company did that I got it from. It's barely a scratch and doesn't hurt the scope...



22 Posts

I am also a first semester nursing student. I decided to go with the Littman Cardiology III. There are several other students in the same program that I am in that also purchased this one. Go the http://www.allheart.com and read the features of each. Hope this information is helpful to you and Good Luck!!


14 Posts

Thanks for all your help so far! It is appreciated and surely makes my decision a little easier.

Oh yeah and how reliable is allheart.com?

Keep the opinions and suggestions coming! :)




14 Posts

anyone else have anything else to say???


659 Posts

I seem to hear a lot better with the $10 cheapies. I never could get the hang of a littman, never could hear a thing!! Just my opinion.:p


15 Posts

I love my Littman Cardiology STC. I have purchased scrubs from Allheart.com and got exactly what I ordered and fast. I purchased my stethoscope from Redding medical and they found the stethoscope I wanted and Fed Ex'd it to me at no charge.

Dixielee, BSN, RN

1,222 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I have been a nurse for 30 years and the Littman Cardiology 3 is the best I have ever had. It may not be the best on the market but it is the best I have owned. I had it engraved and it is into the metal on the bell so it does not affect the acustics at all. I had what I thought was a good stethescope until I thought a kids wheezes had cleared and the doc could still hear them. I listened with his scope, and sure enough...there they were. I was sold on the Littman then and there. You may have someone let you borrow theirs and try out several different ones. I like the longer length on my scope. I may lose a little in the length, but I don't like being right up in every patients face! I work ER so I listen to chests big and small with mine. I think if you worked with neonates all the time, then you may want to get one specifically for the little guys, but for general duty you should be find with traditional heads.


14 Posts

Thanks for all the super replies! I think I will go with the Littman Cardiology III from Redding Medical. Now I just have to make sure I have the $$$ to pay for it, hehehe...

But if anyone else has some comments, please feel free to share!

Have a gr8 day!

James :rotfl:


10 Posts

I've purchased multiple stethoscopes on my search for the perfect one to hear minute sounds with. I bought the Spragues--didn't like. I did purchase the cheapie Littman--didn't pick up sounds well. I am by far happiest with the Littman Cardiology III. It may cost a bit, but the investment is well worth it in the clarity of sound.


819 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

I picked up a Littman Cardiology III from allheart.com. Absolutely no problem with them and would use them again and recommend them to others.

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