Stethoscope brands – A short overview

stethoscope brands

There are several stethoscope brands out there. Most of you probably know Littmann as being the lead-name in the world of stethoscopes. However A lot of you won’t have heard of “Vorfreude” or “ThinkLabs“.

First let’s take a look at the biggest of the stethoscope brands out there: Littmann.

Littmann stethoscopes

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Classic IIIMaster Classic IICardiology IIICardiology IVMaster Cardiology
Acoustic Performance899910
Ideal For Diagnosis and Physical AssessmentDiagnosis and Physical Assessment‎Cardiology/High PerformanceCardiology/High PerformanceCardiology/High Performance
Warranty2 Years 3 Years5 Years7 Years7 Years
Chestpiece Design/MaterialDouble Sided/Machined Stainless SteelSingle Sided/Plated and Polished AlloyDouble Sided/Machined Stainless SteelDouble Sided/Machined Stainless SteelSingle Sided/Cast Stainless Steel
Available Color/Finishes18 Colors/ 4 Finishes9 Colors/ 2 Finishes16 Colors/ 6 Finishes7 Colors/ Stainless Steel Finish7 Colors/ 3 Finishes
Diaphragm – tunable: hear different frequency sounds without turning over or repositioningRedesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the ChestpieceTunable DiaphragmTwo Tunable DiaphragmsRedesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the ChestpieceTunable Diaphragm
Tube DesignSingle Lumen TubingSingle Lumen TubingDual Lumen TubingDual Lumen TubingDual Lumen Tubing
Weight/Length150 grams, 27″/69cm160 grams, 27″/69cm175, 180 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm167, 177 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm175, 185 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm
Made in the USA


Littmann has quickly become the marketleader in stethoscopes. 3M bought the patent to make Littmann stethoscopes from doctor Littmann somewhere in the 60’s and they’ve been making them ever since.
As a whole 3M is a gigantic company that has processes in place that guarantee superior quality. As a result these stethoscopes guarantee you high-quality acoustics.

However between the models themselves there are big differences in quality.

For example a Littmann Classic has been reported to better convey low-frequency sounds than a Littmann LightWeight. As a result I have not listed the LightWeight here either.


Vorfreude stethoscopes

Among the stethoscope brands there is a new player on the US markets. Vorfreude.

This German engineered stethoscope has been receiving rave reviews both on Amazon and on various online forums.

Lighter than Littmann

First off the Vorfreude stethoscope is light. About 5 % lighter than a Littmann Master Cardiology. Even though it has the same dimensions!
As a result the likelyhood of you having a strained neck is diminished when you carry your Vorfreude around your neck. Additionally the diaphragm edges have a mirror finish to prevent corrosion and pitting.

In addition this stethoscope comes in at a fraction of a cost compared to a Littmann.


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Stethoscope brands copy each other

The funny thing is is that the industry is really small. Especially in the stethoscope industry where you have a big player such as Littmann, the smaller fish tend to look what the bigger one is doing and then copy them.

So in the same sense that Littmann has a tunable diaphragm, so does Vorfreude. However they have rebranded their technoogy as “PressFrequency”. But the working principle remains the same in both. The chestpiece does not have a bell-side. Just a diaphragm. Simply press down harder on the chestpiece to hear the high-frequency sounds.

Lastly the dual lumen tube design and single head eliminate ambient noise interference. Which is a major plus if you are an EMT.



ADC Adscope stethoscopes


In several reviews online ADC Adscope has gone out to rival Littmann as you can clearly make out from the review video above. Cost-wise they come in at several multiples less than Littmann. As mentioned in the Vorfreude section also ADC isn’t the biggest player amongst the stethoscope brands and as such tends to copy the technology Littmann brings out. However they can’t call their technology a “tunable” chestpiece since Littmann has the copyrights to that. ADC’s “AFD technology” however does exactly that. If you want to hear more higher frequency sounds simply press down harder on the chestpiece and you’ll be fine!


stethoscope adc adscope clinician american diagnostic acoutstic adjustable frequency headset eartip stethoscope adc adscope clinician american diagnostic acoutstic adjustable frequency headset eartip stethoscope adc adscope clinician american diagnostic acoutstic adjustable frequency headset eartip stethoscope adc adscope clinician american diagnostic acoutstic adjustable frequency headset eartip
ADC Adscope 603 ADC Adscope 609 ADC Adscope 612 ADC Adscope 615
Scope Type Clinician Clinician Clinician Clinician
Chestpiece Type Combination Combination AFD Technology AFD Technology
Chestpiece Material Stainless Aluminum Zinc Zinc
Chestpiece Finish Satin Satin Satin Brushed
Diaphragm Diameter 1-3/4″ 1-3/4″ 1-1/2″ 2 3/16″
Headset Type Clinician Clinician Clinician Clinician
Headset Material Stainless Aluminum Stainless Stainless
Eartip Type Adsoft Plus Adsoft Plus Adsoft Plus Adsoft Plus
Total Weight 5.8 oz 3.5 oz 4.9 oz 5.4 oz
Colors and Finishes Tactical finish with black tubing, copper finish with black tubing, or stainless finish with one of twenty-two tubing colors Tactical finish with black tubing or aluminum finish with one of seventeen tubing colors Zinc/aluminum finish with one of five tubing colors Tactical finish with black tubing or zinc/stainless finish with one of nine tubing colors



MDF stethoscopes

As American as they come, MDF is a small manufacturer stethoscopes and other healthcare devices. They’ve been in business since 1971 and are headquartered in LA. They are known for competing on price with Littmann. However they both provide roughly the same quality stethoscope.

Depending on who you ask the reason why they can offer such a low price is because they manufacture their products in Asia. At the same time cheaper substitutes have been used by MDF where Littmann would maybe use a more expensive material. Mostly people have commented that the diaphragm quality is that of a cheap stethoscope and the bell part is plastic.

A big benefit however of this stethoscope brands is their lifetime warranty and free parts-for-life program.

See below how the MDF stethoscopes pare up to the Littmanns.


Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (751) 4 out of 5 stars (2079) 4 out of 5 stars (3747) 4 out of 5 stars (625) 4 out of 5 stars (751) 4 out of 5 stars (28)
Price $$ $$$ $$ $ $ $$$$
Sold By Coastal Clothing Company Corydor MDF Instruments Official Store MDF Instruments Official Store
Color All Black (BlackOut) Black Tube Black All Black (BlackOut) Tactical Black All Black (BlackOut)
Item Dimensions 6.42 x 12.91 x 2.2 in 6.61 x 12.72 x 1.73 in 5.13 x 9.75 x 1.75 in 5 x 9.5 x 1.6 in 0.94 x 31 x 4.19 in 16.3 x 32.8 x 5.6 in
Item Weight 1 lb 5.29 ounces 4.2 ounces 0.6 lb 4.48 ounces 0.51 lb
Size Adult One Size Metal/Resin Composite Chestpiece Adult One Size Adult



Welch Allyn stethoscopes

One of the oldest stethoscope brands out there. Welch Allyn was started in 1915 and started originally producing medical equipment for eye doctors. Later in an effort to corner a bigger side of the market they branched out and started making top-notch stethoscopes. They are more of a top-line brand which shows in the price-tag. These stethoscopes usually go for between $100 and up to $250.

However they do produce one-time use stethoscopes to run diagnostics on highly infectious patients. These can be thrown away after use as to not risk any further spread of infection. These stethoscopes obviously are not as costly as their regular ones and tend to go for less than $8.

Although Welch Allyn focuses on producing stethoscopes for generalists, their line does include cardiology-grade stethoscopes. Because of this they have received a stable following of users in the medical field due to their catering to generalists. Particularly their Harvey and Elite lines are common due to their dependability and their relatively low price.


Vintage stethoscope – Which one is Your favorite?

I’m sure some people reading this article have fond memories of their doctor. However that image isn’t complete without a vintage stethoscope swung around their neck.

Vintage stethoscopes generally stand out from their modern counterparts in design. Depending on how far back you want to go, you can have stethoscopes that have no tubing whatsoever! Others date back from before there was an official bell-type chestpiece.

1870’s style Ford stethoscope

A lot of innovation in the medical field was done in the early Americas of the late 19th century. W.F. Ford had several patents regarding stethoscopes. It was he who helped develop the bi-aural stethoscope that we have come to know today. However a big issue they were facing back then was how to keep the tension right in the tubing. Therefore he came up with a quick fix and added a spring in the middle.

Nowadays Labtron makes stethoscopes in his honor. Although they have forgone the spring system in the middle the bell still hints back to the old-days. See for yourself in the pictures below:

vintage stethoscope, vintage ford style stethocope

They are currently selling on Amazon for less than $20. So if you are on the lookout for a vintage stethoscope in a Ford-style, here’s your chance!

Vintage 1940’s obstetrician’s stethoscope

This particular vintage obstetrician stethoscope, which is also known as a fetal stethoscope, was made over 70 years ago in Ukraine. It is currently stored in a Ukranian military medical warehouse. As it has to come overseas it might take a while before the item reaches you so keep this in mind when you order!

vintage stethoscope, vintage fetal stethoscope, vintage obstetrician's stethoscope

vintage stethoscope, vintage fetal stethoscope, vintage obstetrician's stethoscope










According to the seller this is a unique piece so supply is extremely limited!

Lastly we’ll feature the grandfather of all stethoscopes.

Vintage Sprague Rappaport stethoscope

We’re still in the 1940’s. It was then that Sprague and Rappaport set out to make a better version of the stiff stethoscopes they had grown accustomed to. Together they aid down the golden standard for what was to become the standard stethoscope everyone has come to know and love. Ultimately Hewlett and Packard ended up manufacturing their stethoscopes. They are now in direct competition with 3M who manufactures the Littmann series stethoscopes.

Below is a kit on Amazon I found that sells everything a beginning doctor-to-be needs in his or her kit!
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This set features a vintage stethoscope combined with a Sphygmomanometer, which is a blood pressure gauge and -cuff, and a carrying bag.

Litmann Stethoscope Sale

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Litmann stethoscopes are usually on sale in a variety of places. Which Litmann stethoscope sale is next depends largely on the age of the model under review. Usually the models that are about to become obsolete due to the arrival of a newer model gets put on sale.

Amazon in general offers decent sales from time to time. As a result in the review of the most commonly sold stethoscope models here below, the links in there will take you to their respective Amazon pages.

Unfortunately I cannot say in realtime whether or not the stethoscopes reviewed are on sale. You’ll have to go check it out for yourself.

Other places than Amazon to look for a Litmann stethoscope sale

However Amazon is not the only marketplace that offers a Litmann stethoscope sale from time to time.

I have personally had really good experiences from Usually when you go to their main page they offer a whole list of featured items. Most of the times in this mix are a lot of Littmans.

Secondly Allheart offers good sales from time to time and prisewise they give competitive prices on their Litmann selection. I once asked for a batch offer from them and in that particular case they came out on top pricewise.

If you are looking for a discounted deal then other than Amazon those would be the two other sources I’d start looking. However as mentioned, the links below will take you to Amazon so to make it easy for you I listed some of the features Litmann stethoscopes have.


Littmann stethoscopes:

Headset tension is easily adjusted. Simply squeeze together or pull apart the eartubes. Snap-tight, soft-sealing eartips conform to individual ears for an excellent acoustic seal and comfortable fit. Eartips snap firmly onto the ends of the eartubes and, for safety, require a significant effort to remove.

Resilient next-generation tubing retains its shape and flexibility even after folding tightly into a pocket. It provides longer stethoscope life due to improved resistance to skin oils and alcohol. Secondly it is less likely to pick up stains. In addition  the next-generation tubing is not made with natural rubber latex. This is  a benefit to sensitive medical professionals and their patients. Lastly to play its part in the protection of human health and the environment, the next-generation tubing does not contain phthalate plasticizers.

3M Litmann Stethoscopes are used by millions of medical professionals around the world who are dedicated to achieving the best patient outcomes. Litmann stethoscopes offer superb acoustic performance, consistently high quality, and outstanding value. Wearing a Litman stethoscope is an expression of your commitment to medicine, and personal success.


Check the overview below to see if Amazon is doing a Litmann stethoscope sale.



Classic III, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Master Classic II, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Cardiology III, Stethoscope, Littmann stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Littmann, Cardiology IV, Cardiology, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Master Cardiology, Cardiology, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies
Classic III Master Classic II Cardiology III Cardiology IV Master Cardiology
Acoustic Performance 8 9 9 9 10
Ideal For Diagnosis and Physical Assessment‎ Diagnosis and Physical Assessment‎ Cardiology/High Performance Cardiology/High Performance Cardiology/High Performance
Warranty 2 Years 3 Years 5 Years 7 Years 7 Years
Chestpiece Design/Material Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Single Sided/Plated and Polished Alloy Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Single Sided/Cast Stainless Steel
Available Color/Finishes 18 Colors/ 4 Finishes 9 Colors/ 2 Finishes 16 Colors/ 6 Finishes 7 Colors/ Stainless Steel Finish 7 Colors/ 3 Finishes
Diaphragm – tunable: hear different frequency sounds without turning over or repositioning Redesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the Chestpiece Tunable Diaphragm Two Tunable Diaphragms Redesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the Chestpiece Tunable Diaphragm
Tube Design Single Lumen Tubing Single Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing
Weight/Length 150 grams, 27″/69cm 160 grams, 27″/69cm 175, 180 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm 167, 177 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm 175, 185 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm
Made in the USA

Stethoscope Allergies: Cause and remedies

stethoscope allergies

Stethoscope allergies are caused by a response by the body’s immune system to certain elements within the stethoscope. Usually an allergy to stethoscopes is caused by the fact that the patient has an acute latex-allergy. Latex, or rubber, is commonly used in the tubing of the stethoscope. It can also appear in the chestpiece. As a result contact with the patient’s body is almost inevitable.

In general though stethoscope allergies can be divided into two sub-cases. Allergies due to latex- or rubber allergy and allergy to metal.

Stethoscope allergies caused by rubber

If you happen to have bad luck and are allergic to latex, while at the same time you were checked out with a stethoscope that featured latex, chances are you developed an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction is also called “Contact Dermatitis“. Any medical term that ends in “-itis” tends to mean inflammation.
You don’t need me to tell you how inflamed the affected body parts will look. Simply judge for yourself by the pictures below.

stethoscope allergiesstethoscope allergies










The picture on the left shows the result of what is called “a scratch test” or “patch test”. This is a common way to find out if you are allergic for a substance. During this test the doctor, probably a dermatologist, applies a variety of allergic agents in small doses to your skin. However he or she keeps track of which agent goes where for future reference. As time goes by, usually a couple of hours, any reactions you may have will become clear.

Due to the fact that the doctor has marked which substance he or she put where it’s easy to see what you are allergic to. What we see in the test is that this particular patient in the upper-left picture has a positive reaction to Thiuram.

Stethoscope allergies caused by rubber usually have 2 main causes. Either people are allergic to the natural saps in latex-rubber. Or then they are allergic to the rubber-accelerators that are commonly added to rubber. Thiuram is one such accelerator.

On the picture in the right we see a man who has an allergic reaction on his upper thigh. Most likely this has been caused by the elastic band in his underwear.

What are rubber accelerators?

Rubber accelerators are chemicals used to speed up the manufacturing process of rubber (vulcanization). This process makes untreated natural rubber latex suitable for use in the manufacture of many rubber products.

Unfortunately most rubber or latex products include rubber accelerators. They range from clothing and outdoor equipment to cosmetic and…you guessed it… healthcare equipment.

Common reactions to rubber accelerators:

Location Cause Features
  • Rash caused by rubber gloves often distinguished by sharp cut-off at wrist
  • May be worse over pressure areas
  • May be similar to a photodermatitis
  • Thiuram in oral Antabuse may cause swelling of the hands and feet and water blisters on the hands and fingers
  • Cosmetic applicators, e.g. eyeshadow sponge, eyelash curler
  • Latex Swim or safety goggles
  • Rubber headphones
  • Surgical/examination gloves worn by dentist or doctor
  • Rubber pillows
  • Rash occurs mainly on the eyelids where rubber cosmetic sponges have been used.
  • There’s a chance you develop a rash around the mouth or any site of the body where the dentist or doctor’s hands have touched the skin.
Feet / shoe dermatitis
  • Shoes made with rubber, e.g. sneakers, tennis shoes
  • Rubber insoles for shoes
  • Latex or rubber boots
  • Rubber cements used in joining shoe uppers, the outer leather and linings
  • Rubber box toes, the most common cause of shoe dermatitis
  • Rash usually begins on the base of the big toe and gradually extends to the other toes and onto the feet
  • Recurrent eruptions may occur over many years and may be misdiagnosed as psoriasis, eczema or athlete’s foot
  • Can often become disabling without proper diagnosis and treatment
  • Condoms
  • Contraceptive diaphragms


If you weren’t allergic to rubber before it is highly possible you got allergic due to chronic exposure. Usually people who work in the medical field develop rubber allergies over a certain course of time. It is a little ironic that rubber allergy develops in this way when you are trying to protect yourself from other allergens using special protective wear.



Of course ideally you would want to avoid any contact with latex if you have a latex allergy. However that is not always in your control and accidents unfortunately do happen. As a result it is important to be aware of the possible treatments if you develop dermatitis.

A home-made solution could be to treat the affected are with diluted vinegar. However a far better solution is to go see a dermatologist. They will subscribe you some topical corticosteroids. A short course of these will speed up the healing dramatically. This in combination with antihistamines should have you up and running in no-time!


Allergies caused by metals

Copper stethoscope allergies

Although copper is quite abundant nowadays, people do still develop contact dermatitis after contact with copper or copper alloys. The allergic reactions that occur are similar to the ones that manifest itself in people with a latex allergy.

The immune system overreacts to a substance that the body mistakenly perceives as harmful. White blood cells produce antibodies, which enter the bloodstream and attach to cells. This prompts the release of histamines that cause allergic symptoms such as skin rash, diarrhea, nausea, muscle pain, fatigue and hair loss.

As a result stethoscopes that have copper or copper alloys in them should be avoided in an effort to decrease any possible allergic reactions in your patients.

Nickel allergies

Another common culprit of contact dermatitis is nickel. The same guidelines for the above mentioned allergens apply to nickel. Avoid at all cost for the sake of your patients and yourself.

However should one of your patients develop contact dermatitis, then a round of topical corticosteriods combined with antihistamines should do the trick!


Non-allergenic stethoscopes

Obviously to reduce the chance of an stethoscope allergies you need to avoid the allergenic agent completely. Below is a quick overview of stethoscopes that do not feature any allergenic agent discussed above.

Littmann stethoscopes have become the standard stethoscope in the country. This is due to their superious acoustics as well as their use on non-allergenic materials. None of the Littmann stethoscopes have any latex components or phtalate plasticizers in the tubing. As a result you can be safe these stethoscopes will not cause any allergic reactions in your patients.

Below is a table in which the most common stethoscope models are ranked next to each other. The links will take you to Amazon where you can study them further.



Classic III, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Master Classic II, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Cardiology III, Stethoscope, Littmann stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Littmann, Cardiology IV, Cardiology, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies Master Cardiology, Cardiology, Littmann, Stethoscope, stethoscope allergies
Classic III Master Classic II Cardiology III Cardiology IV Master Cardiology
Acoustic Performance 8 9 9 9 10
Ideal For Diagnosis and Physical Assessment‎ Diagnosis and Physical Assessment‎ Cardiology/High Performance Cardiology/High Performance Cardiology/High Performance
Warranty 2 Years 3 Years 5 Years 7 Years 7 Years
Chestpiece Design/Material Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Single Sided/Plated and Polished Alloy Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Double Sided/Machined Stainless Steel Single Sided/Cast Stainless Steel
Available Color/Finishes 18 Colors/ 4 Finishes 9 Colors/ 2 Finishes 16 Colors/ 6 Finishes 7 Colors/ Stainless Steel Finish 7 Colors/ 3 Finishes
Diaphragm – tunable: hear different frequency sounds without turning over or repositioning Redesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the Chestpiece Tunable Diaphragm Two Tunable Diaphragms Redesigned Single-piece Tunable Diaphragm on each side of the Chestpiece Tunable Diaphragm
Tube Design Single Lumen Tubing Single Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing Dual Lumen Tubing
Weight/Length 150 grams, 27″/69cm 160 grams, 27″/69cm 175, 180 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm 167, 177 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm 175, 185 grams Available in 22” / 56cm and 27” / 69cm
Made in the USA

Stethoscope: what is it and how is it used?

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The whole point of making this website. The mighty stethoscope.

A stethoscope is a medical device that is used, generally, by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. They use it predominantly to perform checks on the heart and lung functions. These checks are called auscultations. Thanks to a stethoscope medical professionals can easily hear if your heart or lungs function properly.

Usually heart function and lung function sounds routine and clean. So if there are any murmurs that occur during the auscultation, the medical professionals will know something is up and further investigation is needed.

To a lesser degree mechanics also use stethoscopes. During the running of an engine stethoscopes can be used to determine any faults that might happen in the cylinder of a combustion engine. Unfortunately you cannot open a cylinder during a running engine to check out faults as this would intervene with the normal functioning of an engine. Therefore a stethoscope allows them to perform diagnostics on the engine. Much like a medical professional with a human body.


History of the stethoscope

It was invented in France by the french scientist Rene Laennec in Paris. This innovation came from necessity. He felt uncomfortable placing his ears on women’s chests in order to listen to heart sounds. As a result he decided to come up with a device that would add a little bit more distance between him and his patients.

The first prototype he came up with looked like an ocular device pirates would use.


He would place his ear on one end of this primitive stethoscope and the other end would end up on his patients’ chests. The design for this device has a lot of similarities with an old hearing aid device called an “ear trumpet“. Rene noticed that a rolled up notebook would amplify the sound of a beating heart without physical contact with the patient. He called his device a stethoscope. The term stethoscope has its origins in Ancient Greek. “Stethos” means chest and “Scope” which can be loosely translated as a listening device.

The earliest forms of stethoscopes that resembles the ones we know today came out in 1855 and were invented by Golding Bird. These were the first ones to feature flexible tubing. This next level of innovation was meant to provide extra comfort to the people performing auscultations.


Current practice



Stethoscopes as we know them today are arguably the most recognizable piece of medical equipment out there. They are THE sign of medical professionals. Studies have also shown that images of people in lab-coats get a huge bump in confidentiality if they have a stethoscope draped around their neck. automatically people associate stethoscopes with the trustworthiness of a doctor. Even though mechanics, albeit to a lesser degree, are frequent users of stethoscopes as well!

There are those that say that slowly but surely the stethoscope is becoming obsolete. The rise of portable ultrasound devices are slowly fazing out the stethoscopes in hospitals. At least when it comes to cardiovascular research. In checking lungs and bowels for signs of disease however the stethoscope still has its place. However only time will tell for how long.


Different types of stethoscopes


acoustic stethoscope with the bell upwards

Probably the best known stethoscope-type. They operate on the transmission of sound from the chest piece to the listeners’ ears, via air-filled hollow tubes. The chest piece usually consists of 2 sides that can be placed on the patients’ chest. a bell and a diaphragm. If the diaphragm is placed on the patients’ chest, acoustic airwaves are produced by the vibration of the plastic diaphragm which travel through the tubing to the listeners’ ears. If the bell is used then the vibrations are directly transmitted to the listeners’ ears. the diaphragm is used to hear high- frequency sounds while the bell best delivers low frequency sounds. Both are necessary to conduct a full scale auscultation. This two-sided stethoscope was invented by Rappaport and Sprague in the early part of the 20th century. Both also have stethoscope types named after them.

One major issue with acoustic stethoscopes has always been that the sound level is really low. This problem was overcome however in 1999 with the invention of the stratified continuous lumen, and the kinetic acoustic mechanism in 2002.


The main function of these types of stethoscopes is that they convert analog sound signals into digital ones. This can be achieved in one of two ways.

The first way in which this is done is by placing a microphone in the chestpiece. However this method has a lot of drawbacks. By amplifying the sound directly you have to deal with a lot of background noise that will be inadvertently amplified as well. This can seriously hinder an auscultation.

Another way to do this, and how 3M for instance does it, is to use a piezo-electric crystal. Piezo electric crystals work in such a way that when pressure is applied to them (think a heartbeat), a small electric charge is released. As a result ambient noise is filtered out and you only hear the actual heartbeat in digital form.

The big benefit of electronic stethoscopes is that you can store a patient’s auscultation to form a base-file of that patient. You will always have a future reference to go to if you hear or find something out of place. Secondly as the sounds they produce are digital, you can add a splitter device to the acoustic-outlet. This enables you to add a second pair of headphones. As a result you and your students can listen in on the same auscultation and you can show your students what to look out for.


A fetal stethoscope or a fetoscope looks a lot like the old listening trumpet. The device works by placing one end of the stethoscope on the pregnant woman’s abdomen. This allows the listener to listen to the heartbeat of the fetus. A fetoscope is also called a Pinard horn after the French obstetrician Adolphe Pinard.


A doppler stethoscope works using the famed doppler-effect. Motion is detected by the change in frequency of the soundwaves. As a result stethoscopes that use the doppler effect as the main detection principle have been shown to be more sensitive in the detection of aortic regurgitations and the detection of impaired ventricular relaxation.


How to use a stethoscope


Wherever possible it is recommended to do an auscultation in a quiet space. For EMT’s however this is not always possible and for them different stethoscopes have been developed. You can read more on the best stethoscopes for EMT’s here. Mostly the stethoscopes they use have special noise-dampening technology to muffle out the background noise.

The reason why you need to do an auscultation in a quiet space seems self-evident. It is important you focus fully on the sounds you want and need to hear. A noisy environment will only distract you too much from the job at hand.

Next it is important to keep in mind that the positioning of the patient plays an important role during the auscultation. A patient’s lungs can sound different whether he or she is laying on his/her’s side or sitting up etc. To listen to the heart and abdomen it’s recommended for your patient to lay down. However for the lungs you’ll find it easier if the patient is sitting up.

Using the chestpiece properly

Thirdly you need to decide if you want to go for the high-pitched or low-frequency sounds. The chestpiece on your stethoscope most likely will have 2 sides. One’s a bell and the other one is a diaphragm as described in the sections above.


stethoscope, how to use a stethoscope


The diaphragm is the bottom side pictured in the image above. It basically is a plastic sheet that transmits vibrations from your skin and delivers them via the tubing to the listener’s ears. It is this side you have to use to hear medium to high-pitched sounds.

On the other hand the bell-side is just a chamber that forms between the chestpiece and your patient’s chest. The change in volume of this chamber as a result of for example heart beats causes sound waves to travel via the tubing to the listener’s ear. Use this side for guessed it.. low-pitched sounds.

Note: Always use the chestpiece on bare skin. If your patient still has clothes on while you use your stethoscope chances are you’ll hear nothing but rustling. The same issue persists if you treat someone who is overly hairy. Unfortunately in that case there is nothing the patient can do about it other than shave everything off. However if you face a particularly hairy patient, keep the chestpiece still to keep the rustling to a minimum.


Inspecting the heart

Heart sounds are generally medium to high-pitched. So in order to study the heart you need to use the diaphragm on your stethoscope. Place the diaphragm on your patient’s chest. Try to place it in such a way that the diaphragm covers the space on the left upper chest, where the 4th and 6th rib meet. This is almost directly under the breast. Then hold the chestpiece between your index and middle finger. Gently apply pressure until you do not hear your fingers rubbing together anymore.

Ask your patient to breathe normally. Try to listen to the heart for a full minute. During this time you should hear a sound which is best described as a “lub-dub”-sound. Of course it is hard to convey a sound through written text but I have found that “lub-dub” comes pretty close to what you will hear in real life.

These “lub” and “dub”-sounds also have their own, more scientific names. The “lub”- or systolic-sound happens when the mitral and tricuspid valves of the heart close.
The “dub”-sound, or diastolic, happens when the aortic and pulmonic valves close.


Count the number of heartbeats

Usually a normal person’s resting heart rate can be anything between 60 and 100 beats per minute. A well-trained athlete however will have a bigger heart. As a result the heart will need to pump less per minute to circulate blood around the body.
A well-trained athlete’s resting heart-rate lies between 40-60 beats per minute.

For infants and kids under 10 years old the normal heart-beat per minute range varies per age. For newborns it is very fast. Between 70-190 BPM.
However then as the kid matures, their heart grows and has to beat less to keep the blood flowing. Once a child turns 2 their heart beats already between 80-130 BPM.
Children between 7-9 have a heartbeat between 70-110 BPM.


What to listen for when using a stethoscope

First up if the heart-rate is elevated from the normal, that might be a sign of an underlying condition, or it can be that your patient is just nervous to be examined. That is why it is important to get a good understanding of how your patient behaves under normal circumstances.

However even for the untrained ear here are some pointers to look out or.

  1. If you hear a sound that is more like “lub…shhhh…dub”, that might point to a heart murmur. A heart murmur is caused when blood rushes too quickly through the valves.
    If you hear one there is still not immediately cause for concern as most people do have benign heart murmurs from time to time. However you should advise your patient to go check it out if you do detect one.
  2. If you hear another sound, other than the familiar “lub-dub” then your patient might have a ventricular defect. This third heart sound is referred to as S3 or a ventricular gallop. It sounds like a low-frequency vibration. Advise your patient to go see a doctor if you hear this third heart sound.
  3. Here is a list of normal and abnormal sounds that you can use to practice yourself. Go through this list and maybe after a while you can blindly identify some of the common heart conditions just by sound alone!




Listen for Bruits

The word “bruit” comes from the French word “bruit” and means “noise”. Usually when you detect a heart murmur in your patient you might want to check out if there are any bruit-sounds. They sound similar but are checked in completely different places.

First you need to place your stethoscope using the diaphragm side over one of the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are 2 big arteries that run in the front of your neck, on either side of the Adam’s apple.

Be careful not to press too hard on the artery as you could cut off blood supply to the brain and cause your patient to faint. Never block off both arteries either as this surely will result in fainting. This is what MMA’s famous “choke-hold” is based on.

A bruit makes a whooshing sound that indicates an artery is narrowed. Here’s usually where the confusion happens. A bruit and a heart murmur can sound almost identical. However a bruit will sound much louder when you listen to the carotid arteries rather than the heart. You can also listen for bruits over the abdominal aorta, renal arteries, iliac arteries and femoral arteries.

A constricted artery is a serious medical issue and requires medical attention. Tell your patient to go see a doctor straight away!


Inspecting the lungs

Ask your patient to sit up straight and breathe normally. If you cannot hear any breathing sounds or if the breathing is too shallow to hear any abnormalities then ask your patient to breathe deeper.

Just like when doing a heart auscultation you need to use your diaphragm when checking the patient’s lungs. Listen to your patient’s upper and lower lobes and inspect the front and back.

The aim of the game is to compare both sides of your patient’s lungs and note if anything sounds out of the ordinary.

Normal breathing sounds

Normal breathing sounds are clear and crisp. It sounds like someone would be blowing air into a cup. Here’s a sample of normal lung sounds to train your ears. You can use these sounds to compare them to the ones you hear in your patients.

Abnormal breath sounds shouldn’t be too hard to pick up with your stethoscope. There basically are 4 types:

  1. Wheezing sounds. Especially people with asthma can wheeze from time to time. These sounds are high-pitched and almost sound like someone would have swallowed a chew-toy. If your patient has a really bad asthma problem you can sometimes even hear the wheezing without the need for a stethoscope. This wheezing occurs when the patient exhales
  2. Stridor-sounds sound similar to wheezing but occur when the patient inhales. This is usually the result of a blockage in the back of the throat. Also this can be heard at times without the need for a stethoscope.
  3. Rhonchi sounds sound like snoring. You need a stethoscope to detect these sounds. They are caused when air flows through a “rough” patch in the lungs or because the air-pathway in the lungs is blocked.
  4. Rales sounds sound like popping bubble-wrap or rattling in the lungs. This is heard when a person inhales.



Abdominal sounds

Divide the abdomen into 4 sections using your patient’s bellybutton as a reference. Listen to the upper left, -right and lower left, -right sections of the abdomen. Use the diaphragm side of the chestpiece of your stethoscope.

Normal bowel sounds sound like when your stomach growls or grumbles. Anything else may suggest something is wrong and the patient requires further attention. You should hear growling in all four sections. However if your patient has just had surgery it might take a while for the growling sounds to return.

Abnormal bowel sounds come in three types:

  1. Lack of bowel sounds. This should raise your suspicion. If you do not hear anything it might be that something is blocked in the patient’s stomach. It could also be indicative of constipation and bowel sounds may return on their own.
    However if they don’t then the patient needs to be checked out by a doctor.
  2. Hyperactive or fast bowel sounds can be indicative of Crohn’s disease, a gastrointestinal bleed, food allergies and a whole other host of not so nice causes. Have your patient checked out straight away. If these fast bowel sounds are followed by a lack of bowel sounds then it could be there has been a rupture or necrosis of the bowel tissue.
  3. Lastly very high-pitched bowel sounds can indicate there is an obstruction in the bowels. Air passing through the gaps of this obstruction is restricted, causing the high-pitched sounds.


Turn up your volume to get the most out of this following video!


Lastly: checking blood pressure with a stethoscope

This is probably where you and I have seen a stethoscope used most.

You’ll need a “Sphygmomanometer” for this. In simple terms this just means blood-pressure gauge. On our right hand side we can see one. In order to measure your patient’s blood pressure you first need to roll up the sleeve if it’s in the way. If you measure someone’s blood pressure you always need to make sure the blood pressure cuff fits snugly on bare skin.

Press the bell of the stethoscope over the brachial artery just below the cuff’s edge. You can also use the diaphragm if you have trouble hearing with the bell. The sounds to look out for are called “Korotkoff”-sounds. These are low tone knocking sounds that indicate the patient’s systolic blood pressure.

Next inflate the cuff to 180mmHg or 30mm above your expected systolic blood pressure. You can find the reading by looking at the sphygmomanometer. That’s just a fancy word for the gauge on the blood pressure cuff. Then, release air from the cuff at a moderate rate (3mm/sec).

As you release the air, listen with the stethoscope and keep your eyes on the sphygmomanometer (gauge on the blood pressure cuff).

You should hear a knocking sound as air releases fro the cuff. Make a mental note the first time you hear such a knocking sound of the reading on your gauge. This will be the patient’s systolic blood pressure. Keep watching the gauge though as the second knocking sound will come just around the corner.

After this knocking sound stops, note the number on your gauge when you last heard a knocking sound. This is the patient’s diastolic pressure.

Lastly release all the air from the cuff once you noted these two numbers and send your patient home.


If the systolic pressure is over 120 or diastolic pressure is more than 80, you might want to recheck your patient’s blood pressure once a few minutes have passed. If the second measurement shows again an increased blood pressure it’s time to go see a doctor to find out the cause!


Thinklabs electronic stethoscope

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Stethoscopes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. However not all sizes fit everybody. If you have hearing aids for example you might find that a traditional stethoscope can be tricky to use. Here’s where Thinklabs electronic stethoscope comes in.

If you have trouble hearing and are looking for a solution to better perform auscultations then The One Digital Stethoscope fills the bill perfectly. The superb quality of the ear buds that come with this stethoscope work perfectly with hearing aids. The quality and clarity of the heart and breath sounds are amazing.

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Thinklabs headphones have an extra long cable so you can wear them comfortably around your neck when not in use. The anti-tangle flat cable is strong and resists tangling for convenient use in clinical settings.

 The eartips come in 3 sizes, for a perfect fit.


Thinklabs headphones

The thinklabs electronic stethoscope is compatible with a variety of headphones that each add their own uniqueness to this product. Due to the fact that everything works on a digital basis you can use different headphones for different results.



Beats by dr Dre for example are designed to cope with extra bass. As a result these headphones lend themselves perfectly for auscultations. The extra bass provided by the headphones can lay bare any underlying heart murmurs that might be present. At the same time these headphones offer excellent frequency response.


Lest not forget we still have to discuss the powerhouse of headphones. The noise-cancelling headphones Bose provides have become the standard of headphones all around the world. With these on your head you will have no trouble doing auscultations on an uncooperative toddler for example. Yo uwill be able to work in peace and hear the sounds you need to hear in all clarity!

Teaching with the One electronic stethoscope

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the thinklabs electronic stethoscope is the fact that it is a digital stethoscope. This enables you to split the audio signal into as many channels as you have splitters available! Now your students can listen in and focus on what they need to hear as you guide them through their very first auscultations.

Thanks to a variety of apps and add-ons Thinklabs provides, you can actually visualize wave-forms. Meaning your students can then visually begin to dissect the signals they hear. As a result various anomalies that come up during an auscultation can be dissected into great detail. This is all to the benefit of the students!






Medical Grade Stethoscope – Which One is the Right One for me?

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Let’s separate the toys from the real deal. Medical grade stethoscope come in all shapes and sizes. However few can truly be called medical grade. Everything depends on how good the acoustics are in the stethoscope at hand.

Also different medical professions call for slightly different tools. For example if time is of the essence, you’d want to have a stethoscope with a tunable diaphragm. As a result you’ll save some during an auscultation that might mean the difference between life and death.

Best medical grade stethoscope for nurses

This will sound like a drag but as many of you might be aware, the Littmann Cardiology series offer by far the best acoustics of any stethoscope out there. However they’ll cost you an arm and a leg to get one. At the same time you can assess yourself that what is the cost of a Littmann now, compared to a usage of 7 years on average. Then the price aspect of your purchase diminishes considerably.

However for the sake of argument let’s review the Littmann Cardiology 4, which to my opinion is best suited for nurses at the moment.

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  • Outstanding acoustics with better audibility of high-frequency sounds (adult side, firm pressure)
  • Tunable diaphragm: hear high or low frequency sounds by slightly adjusting pressure on the chest piece
  • Dual-lumen tubing: two Sound paths in one tube eliminates the rubbing noise of traditional double tubes
  • Next-generation tubing lasts longer and resists stains. Not made with natural rubber latex or phthalate plasticizers
  • Headset is easily adjusted for individual fit and comfort. Angled ear tubes align with ear canals


In short what we are all used to hearing from a Littmann cardiology series. However this does not necessarily mean every nurse needs to buy one today. If money is hard to come by when you start your studies or if you don’t feel like spending the $150+ USD for a medical grade stethoscope then there are other options out there. You don’t even have to change brands!

If your Littmann tubing has cracked, read here what to do next!


Other options


Introducing the Littmann Classic:

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  • Two-sided chestpiece with tunable diaphragms on both the adult and pediatric sides.
  • Single-piece tunable diaphragm is easy to attach, and easier to clean because its surface is smooth without crevices.
  • Pediatric side converts to a traditional open bell by replacing the single-piece diaphragm with a non-chill rim.
  • Next-generation tubing provides longer life due to improved resistance to skin oils and alcohol; less likely to pick up stains.
  • Small tunable diaphragm is useful for pediatric, small, or thin patients; around bandages; and for carotid assessment.


As we can see these stethoscopes look very similar to each other but the main difference lies in the finishing and in the acoustics. That does not mean the acoustics of a Littmann classic would be absolutely terrible. Far from it. However there is a reason why the Cardiology series are recommended to everyone. I also love the slogan of Littmann “For the sounds you NEED to hear”. In that sense the Cardiology is unbeatable.

However as nurses most likely won’t be required to do as intensive auscultations as diagnosticians then nurses will get away with a Classic model.

What about the Lightweight model?

Unfortunately you won’t see the lightweight model listed here. There is a good reason for that as from reviews I have noticed that the lightweight model has acoustic issues. More so the lower frequency sounds seem to be tricky to hear with a Lightweight model. As a result since the purchase price is the same, I recommend going for the Classic model.


Best medical grade stethoscope for EMT’s

The job of an EMT is an extremely demanding one. Time is of the essence, often you are working under extremely stressful conditions. I’d like to see anyone try and make a successful auscultation under those conditions!

As an added difficulty level at times auscultations have to be done in an ambulance or outside. This means outside white noise seeping in. As a result you need a stethoscope that can correctly manage and dissipate the background noises. “So you hear the sounds you NEED to hear”. I love that slogan!

Littmann has a stethoscope that does just that:

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By far the best medical grade stethoscope for EMT’s is the Littmann MASTER Cardiology.

  • Chestpiece delivers Littmann’s highest acoustic performance along with handcrafted, eye-catching design
  • Tunable diaphragm responds with a simple pressure change to capture low and high-frequency sounds
  • Two-in-one tube design (dual lumen) eliminates noise interference from two external tubes rubbing together
  • Special-Procedures Adaptor (included) for infant or pediatric auscultation adds versatility to the instrument
  • Anatomically designed headset is angled to meet the path of the ear canal


Best medical grade for medical – and nursing students, doctors

You can’t go wrong with a Littmann Cardiology series stethoscope!



Your next question will be “So does this mean Littmann only offers the best medical grade stethoscopes?”. The answer is that they definitely aren’t the only ones who offer good quality stethoscopes. However they are the most consistent quality-wise.

Other stethoscope manufacturers might have stethoscopes that work just as well, but the tubing won’t last as long. Others might offer cheaper stethoscopes but the acoustics aren’t nearly as good as a Littmann stethoscope.

One stethoscope that stands out though thanks to a pretty hard quality guarantee is the Vorfreude stethoscope. A german engineered wünder-stethoscope. You can check the review I did on that one here.


Do you agree or disagree with our list of medical grade stethoscopes? Do you think we missed one? Let us know in the comments below!

Vorfreude Stethoscope – German Engineering at its finest

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From the German word for anticipation, this German stethoscope really lives up to its name. From the very first second you hold a vorfreude stethoscope in your hand, you can’t help but think “Why did I spend so much on that Littmann”?

This stethoscope is a bit of a specialty as Vorfreude offers you a lifetime replacement guarantee. This basically renders your purchase risk-free. They state on their website that if you are not satisfied with your product, you can return it easily and effortlessly back to them. In return they will offer you a replacement for free, should you so wish.

Amazon quite often has really good prices on these stethoscopes. Check out if they are on sale here:

Image result for best price on amazon

Lighter than Littmann

The vorfreude stethoscope has the same dimensions as a Littmann Master Cardiology, while being 5% lighter. This will prevent you getting strained necks from carrying your stethoscope around your neck. The diaphragm edges have a mirror finish to prevent corrosion and pitting.

As it is manufactured and engineered in German you get to enjoy the famous German engineering quality when you buy this stethoscope. Its acoustics truly rival that of a Littmann, while costing only a fraction.

The perfect medical gift

The complete Vorfreude stethoscope kit as described here not only features the stethoscope, it also has 4 replacement ear tips, a free Vorfreude pupil pen light and two AAA batteries. This makes it the perfect medical gift for you budding medical student or doctor-friend. Moreover this gift will last a lifetime thanks to Vorfreude’s lifetime replacement guarantee.

The stethoscope’s patented BiChannel alignment allows you to flexibly adjust the headset and ear tips. This ensures a comfortable fit for a wide range of canal vector alignments.

Has some resemblance to Littmann

The dual lumen tube design and single head eliminates ambient noise interference. As a result this vorfreude stethoscope is perfect for EMT’s!

The tunable diaphragm utilizes patented “PressFrequency”-technology that reminds strongly of the Littmann’s tunable diaphragm technology. Due to this fact this vorfreude stethoscope becomes a dream to handle for someone who is used to master a Littmann.


Amazon customer review

Here’s what a previous purchaser of a vorfreude stethoscope had to say when they purchased one on amazon:

“My best friends son is only in early high school but has already been accepted into an internship program at their local hospitals emergency room. He is an incredibly smart and talented kid who already knows that he wants to go into some form of medicine when he graduates. Because of this, I have been looking for anything that might help him in his future endeavors in the medical profession.

This stethoscope is high quality and something that hopefully will last him a long while. Even better is that it comes with a bunch of smaller items to help assist in using it. (Think spare ear buds, penlight, name tag, etc). It’s packaged nicely as well so that it can’t be broken or mishandled during shipping. The whole combination of features is wonderful and the customer service is even better. I highly recommend the vorfreude stethoscope for anyone who works in home health or the medical field.”


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Possible dealbreaker

In about 5% of cases it has been reported that the diaphragm which is attached to the Vorfreude stethoscope, tends to pop off. However thanks to the guarantee that Vorfreude provides you should be fine. The overall majority of people have reported no issues.


Stethoscope For Sale – Get the best deals right here!

Let’s take a look at some of the best stethoscope for sale deals at this time of writing. I went to amazon and I listed for you guys some of the best deals I could find. Let’s take a look at a few:

MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope - All Black (MDF747XP-BO)

MDF Acoustica has been handcrafting their stethoscopes since 1971. It has a lifetime-warranty, features a Free-Parts-for-Life Program AND is Latex Free.
Constructed from acoustically-superior stainless steel, the MDF MD One Stethoscope delivers accurate auscultation of heart, lung, and Korotkoff sounds with acoustic integrity and clarity. An ergonomic design ensures comfort for the doctor and patient, even during extended use.

The MD One is a premier diagnostic instrument with unmatched performance, durability, and aesthetics.


The handcrafted stainless steel dual-head chestpiece is precisely machined and hand polished for the highest performance and durability. The full-rotation acoustic valve stem with green indicator dot allows the user to easily identify the active sound channel and seals in sound.

Acoustic Tubing:

Constructed of thicker, denser, latex-free PVC, the Y-configuration non-stick acoustic tubing provides insulation for superior sound transmission and seals out ambient noise while preventing the cracking and wearing that can occur from repeated use. In addition the longer-than-average length allows a comfortable space between health professional and patient.

Acoustic Pyramid Chamber:

A patented internal metal-alloy chamber located in the acoustic tubing below the spring keeps the tubing channel open for maximum sound transmission into the headset.

ErgonoMax Headset:

Hand polished, pre-angled stainless steel headset features a patented internal dual-leaf spring construction for durability and custom fit. Soft silicone ComfortSeal eartips (available in standard and small sizes) are clear for hygienic purposes and conform to the ear to seal out extraneous noise while ensuring comfort during extended use. In addition Patented SafetyLock eartip adaptors lead the industry in user safety. Included Accessories: 2 extra sets ComfortSeal eartips, spare ultrasensitive diaphragm, and ID tag.

In addition as this is retailing on amazon for $70, however now for only $25 makes this a great stethoscope for sale!




Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope Lifetime Replacement Guarantee


German engineering at its finest.

This Vorfreude® Cardiology Stethoscope offers the industry’s strongest warranty; Full Lifetime Replacement. Simply contact us from your point of purchase; we will mail a brand new replacement.

PressFrequency™ pinpoints any frequency, within the audible range, by diaphragm pressure with high acoustic sensitivity for superior performance.

This Vorfreude® Cardiology Stethoscope includes: a replacement diaphragm, 4 replacement ear tips, a solid carry case for replacements, a customizable stethoscope nameplate, a pupil penlight, and penlight batteries included.

Patented BiChannel™ allows binaural flow contained within single master tubing reducing weight.

Oversized stainless steel bell with non-chill ring and ergonomic noise cancelling grip increases the audible volume.

Hypoallergenic latex free, PBA free, stainless steel, and sterilized at the factory testing facility.

Instructions for use

l. Chestpiece

The Oversized stainless steel bell with non-chill ring and ergonomic noise cancelling grip increases the audible volume while ensuring a firm grip on the chestpiece. Take care that loose clothing or mechanical watches do not contact the bell housing to avoid audible interference.

2. Changing Frequencies Using PressFrequency™ Diaphragm.

This Vorfreude® Cardiology Stethoscope diaphragm allows for full audible range focus with PressFrequency™.  Simply apply more pressure to hear different sound frequencies!

A. Low Frequencies:

To listen at low frequencies, apply the lightest pressure on the diaphragm.

B. High Frequencies:

To listen at high frequencies, press the diaphragm firmly on the chestpiece.

3. Patented BiChannel™ Allows Binaural Flow:

A. This Vorfreude® Cardiology Stethoscope is designed to provide a comfortable fit while acoustically sealing to your ear canal. The binaural are set to accommodate the typical ear canal with comfort tip in the forward direction as shown.


This is an amazing steal as this retails usually for $289 USD on amazon. However this is now a stethoscope for sale and is going for only $49.87 USD!

Here is what one customer on Amazon had to say:

“It was packaged perfectly, so nothing would break or get damaged during shipping, loved the extra!

Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope is the most flexible of them all! It has a two-sided tunable chest piece that has a real side for the adult patients and a smaller side for the pediatric patients. The client can likewise change over the stomach to an open chime by expelling the stomach on the pediatric side and append the no chill sleeve.

My Impression of the Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope

The imaginative Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope takes out tube rubbing clamor while you have the versatile comfort of a solitary sided trunk piece. The Snap-Tight delicate fixing ear-tips offer superb acoustic seal and this item likewise incorporates an uncommon methods connector for a troublesome site or pediatric auscultation.

Best Qualities of Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope?
• It’s light weight so it will turn out to be light on the shoulder.
• Length of tubing is sufficiently long for proper examination of the patient. 
• Stomachs must be comprised of excellent PE compound film, tar with adaptability. It is ideal to have 35mm stomachs for grown-up use, 25 mm for pediatric use and 45mm for cardiology use.
• Degree ought to have non-chill edge, agreeable ear piece, stainless steel binaural and tube divider should sufficiently thick to distance from external sounds blending

In conclusion: One of the best.”


Still doubting? Click here to read more customer reviews!

Littmann Cardiology 3 Review

The Littmann Cardiology 3 is known to be the somewhat holy-grail of stethoscopes currently. Although the Cardiology 4 is out already this stethoscope is high regarded in the medical field.

The tunable diaphragm that 3M has patented is ideal for listening to low and high frequency sounds. More so the diaphragm has been designed to easily switch from adult to pediatric diaphragms.


Littmann Cardiology 3 stethoscope

Weight: 13.6 ounces | Length: 27″ | Warranty: 5 years

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Littmann Cardiology 3 features:

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It has a solid stainless steel chest-piece, non-chill rims, adjustable double-lead binaural spring and patented soft sealing ear tips.


Acoustic features:

If you are a medical professional, specialized in Cardiology, you require this stethoscope. However if you are just starting out, I would rather go with a Classic model.

Very rarely it is necessary to have this level of acoustics when you are just starting out. However for cardiologists this stethoscope’s acoustics are out of this world. Combined with the tunable diaphragm make sure you provide excellent care!

Some Neurologists state that they use the pediatric diaphragm to listen for carotid and femoral bruits on adult patients.  Some will remove the pediatric diaphragm side and use it as a bell while other say it works fine with the diaphragm.


Tube length:

The tube length for this model Littmann cardiology 3 stethoscope is 27 inches. It’s not too long that it’ll snag everywhere you go. It’s not too short either, saving your back as you do auscultations.

Some users have reported the tubing cracking after 7+ years of use, however if you read this article you should be fine! Plus also 3M has an excellent service and repair program. If necessary you can get your stethoscope refurbished for $60 or less.


It’s definitely not thlittmann cardiology 3, littmann cardiology 3 review, littmann stethoscope cardiology 3 review, littmann cardiology iii, littmann cardiology iii review, littmann stethoscope cardiology iii review, Littmann Stethoscope Cardiology iii sideviewe lightest stethoscope out there.  At 13.6 ounces you will feel it hanging around your neck as you wear it. However if you need to use it, you just have to grin and bear it.

There are heavier ones on the market that perform just as well, so in that respect the Littmann cardiology 3 is not a bad choice.

At the same time if you easily get a stiff neck or suffer from shoulder problems, there are lightweight stethoscopes out there that perform a little worse than this one. However if that means not needing a neck massage every time you get off work then maybe it’s worth it!



The Littmann Cardiology iii stethoscope has a 5 year warranty.  If you are outside of the United States, you may want to check with the Littmann Technical Assistance for your country. Most owners do not need to activate the warranty. Simple maintenance, prevention,  and cleaning is all that is needed to make your stethoscope last.


Ear tips:

This stethoscope comes with 3 sets of ear tips.  Most reviews talk of using the gel-like soft bud tips as they provide a snug fit. As a result they help drown out some white noise and help with auscultations.

Especially EMT’s using a Littmann cardiology 3 report using the gel-buds as they often have to check patients in loud environments (think blazing sirens). But as always 3M offers the luxury of choice. With 3 styles to choose from I’m sure you’ll find the tips that fit your ears perfectly!


In conclusion

If you need a cardiology grade stethoscope, by all means go out and buy a Littmann cardiology 3 or even 4!

However if you do not need one or if you are just starting med school, go for a simpler one. Your rich friends might show off theirs around campus, but chances are they’ll never need to use the specific features that make this stethoscope so great.

They’d basically be driving a Ferrari in a residential area. It has the potential, but rarely sees it used.

That analogy holds through all the way. The Littmann Cardiology truly is a fantastic piece of kit and I’m sure if you do decide to get one you won’t regret it!