Probably one of the most common questions I get asked in my line of duty is “Will I die?”. Just kidding.. A close second/third one is “Doctor what is the best stethoscope out there”?
To be honest that is not such an easy question to answer as it depends mostly on what you are planning to do with it. You will want to buy the top-rated stethoscope, but it can often be difficult to find the right one. Luckily for you guys I have listed here below an overview of some of the most commonly used stethoscopes, and ranked them accordingly.
For your benefit I have also linked the products to amazon. So you can decide for yourself whether or not it is worth your money!
Best stethoscope overview
#1 – 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope, 28″ tubes, 2201
The 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is available in a variety of colors, including black, purple, Caribbean blue and pearl pink, to match your favorite scrubs. With latex-free tubing and a non-chill rim, your patients will find comfort in this Littmann Classic. It also features high acoustic sensitivity, a dual-sided chest piece and a tunable diaphragm. It has an anatomically designed headset that is angled for optimal listening comfort.
You can get it with latex-free materials so those with latex allergies can use this stethoscope without worry!
Thanks to the non-chill rim and coated diaphragm none of your patients will get a cold jolt either when you press it against their chest!
- Non-chill rim and diaphragm
- Extremely durable
- Comfortable to wear
- Earpiece replacements cost $14-$15 USD to replace, however they last a lifetime!
- Keep it clean so dust doesn’t get in the bell!
#2 – Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
The Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope, features a chrome-plated chest piece and latex-free tubing. The tubing lengths also come in multiple sizes. Included with this stethoscope is a variety of open bells and diaphragms, extra ear tips and a vinyl storage case. Just as our #1 best stethoscope, this one also comes with Latex FREE tubing and chrome-plated chestpiece, so that the ones among us who are allergic to Latex (and your patients!) don’t get any unnecessary rashes.
- Doest the job at more than half the price of the 3M Littmann Classic!
- Feels heavy around the neck
#3 – Lumiscope Blood Pressure & Stethoscope Kit
The Lumiscope Stethoscope comes in a bonus kit, including a blood pressure cuff to match. So in itself if in your line of work you need a stethoscope and a blood pressure meter, then this should be the kit for you. The stethoscope itself is modeled after the the #2 in our best stethoscope overview. It is a Sprague Rappaport Style with 22″ tubing, a variety of diaphragms, ear tips and bells. This set is available in purple, hunter green, pink and orchid. If you are a nursing student looking for an economical and reliable stethoscope and blood pressure cuff bundle, this is a great kit for you!
- For the same price as you would get the Rappaport stethoscope, you could get a bloodpressure meter on top of your stethoscope!
- The stethoscope that comes with the blood pressure meter is modeled after the Sprague Rappaport stethoscope, however it is not a Sprague Rappaport. As such don’t get your expectations up thinking you are getting 2 great deals in one!
#4 – 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope, 28″ tubes
This entry-level Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope is equipped with double-sided chest pieces and tunable diaphragm. Available in a variety of colors, including black, cell blue, green, lilac and sea foam green, the Littmann Lightweight II S.E. and similar to the Littmann II S.E. stethoscope, features a non-chill rim and diaphragm. This is one of the most commonly used stethoscopes among nurses and it is largely considered as one of the best stethoscope out there.
However due to the variety in price in which this stethoscope is available, and the fact there are more cost-effective ones out there, this one is at number 4 in our list.
The main difference between the classic and the lightweight is that the classic is just that bit more sensitive and is better at identifying the lower tones. So if you have trouble hearing low tones, get the classic and leave this one on the shelf!
- Littmann stands for quality and that is what you get with this stethoscope. Great quality for a good price!
- A little less sensitive than its “classic”-brother.
#5 – 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope, 27″ tubes
The holy grail among stethoscopes, the Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is the only one in cardiology to feature a dual-sided chest piece. It also features a dual lumen to eliminate interference caused when the tubes rub together and an anatomical headset. Like other Littmann stethoscopes, the Cardiology III also comes with the non-chill bell and tunable diaphragms and is available in many colors, such as black, brown, gray, purple and chocolate.
This one sets the golden standard for stethoscopes in the industry. However unfortunately due to the high price-tag very few can afford one unless you are serious about pursuing a career in the medical field!
- You get excellent quality with this stethoscope
- You have to pay an extremely excellent price for it!
Hopefully with this guide you’ll be able to pick the best stehoscope that fits just your needs. Let us know in the comments below which one you went for and why!