Stethoscopes transformed medical practice through non-invasive internal auscultation. Auscultation through the stethoscope is a vital skill in any physician’s diagnostic arsenal, but for cardiologists it forms the most important initial investigation.
Cardiology stethoscopes deliver significantly superior acoustic performance and diagnostic versatility in comparison to generic stethoscopes. The improved acoustic quality allows for easier differentiation of high and low frequency sounds – a particularly important feature in differentiating heart sounds – while enhanced tubing minimizes noise artefact. For these reasons, many clinicians outside of cardiology opt to invest in a cardiology-grade stethoscope, which prove invaluable in any field of medicine.
We’ve compiled a list of the best cardiology stethoscopes, chosen and reviewed by our medical professionals, to help you choose the best cardiology stethoscope that fits your needs.
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Best Cardiology Stethoscope Reviews
The 3M™ Littmann® Master Cardiology Stethoscope provides a tunable diaphragm that lets you listen for both low and high frequencies without having to turn the stethoscope.
It comes with a lightweight and comfortable headset with excellent acoustics.
Also by Littmann is the Littmann Cardiology STC Stethoscope that features great sound quality and allows easy movement between auscultation sites.
It comes with Tunable Technology that makes it easy to switch back and forth between frequencies and ear tips that keep ambient noise out.
The third Littmann product is the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope which also features a tunable diaphragm for easy movement between low and high frequencies.
It differs from the other with a versatile open bell that can be changed between pediatric and traditional bells and includes next generation tubing that is more resistant to skin oil and alcohol giving the stethoscope longer life.
The Welch Allyn Harvey DLX features a trumpet brass construction which helps providers hear more of the critical sounds of cardiac issues without relying on variable pressure techniques.
It also features dual-bore tubing that provides two sound channels that produces clear, sharp sound.
The MDF ProCardial C3 is the only stethoscope reviewed that has the versatility to be changed into nine different configurations.
It comes with several accessories and features an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable for extended use.
Lets get into the detailed cardiology stethoscope reviews.
1. Welch Allyn Harvey DLX Double Head Stethoscope Black
The Welch Allyn Harvey DLX comes with a trumpet brass construction making it a stand out among other stethoscopes.The trumpet brass construction transforms hearing more of the critical sounds of pulmonary, cardiac and vascular issues and not having to rely on the difficult “variable pressure” techniques.
The Harvey DLX also comes with dual-bore tubing that generates two uninterrupted sound channels that works with the finest weighted brass chest pieces to convey a full series of physical sounds.
The stethoscope gives clear, sharp sound that helps increase your auscultation capabilities.
- New Longer 28″ Length
- Includes a full-range of cardiology and pulmonary stethoscope
- Contains a double-head chest piece
- Plus a pediatric chest piece is available
- Comprised of a chrome-plated brass chest piece and binaurals
- The binaurals are rotatable with comfortable interchangeably sealing ear tips
- The binaural includes a triple-leaf spring that is encased in polyurethane which allows size adjustment that prevents breakage
- Is latex free
- Comes with a 10-year warranty
- Dual bore tubing creates two sound channels
- Has a double headed chest piece
- Is latex free and has a long tube length
- Did not include pediatric diaphragm
- Long tubing takes some getting used to
2. 3M™ Littmann® Master Cardiology Stethoscope
The 3M™ Littmann® Master Cardiology Stethoscope is an acoustical stethoscope that has a patented chest piece that is single-sided plus a tunable diaphragm that allow you to monitor high and low frequencies without turning over the chest piece.The Littmann also includes a solid stainless steel chest piece that is handcrafted with a two tubes in one design.
It has a comfortable lightweight headset with a special procedure adapter for pediatric auscultation, a double leaf binaural spring, a non-chill rim and the patented Littmann soft sealing, snap tight ear tips.
This cardiologist stethoscope provides excellent acoustics for a stethoscope and has shown great improvement in the low frequency response.
- Alternate between low and high frequencies without turning over the chest piece with the patented tunable diaphragm
- A single tube design that incorporates two tubes and gets ride of the noise from two tubes rubbing together
- Special procedures adaptor that is designed for auscultation of difficult body sites and pediatric or emaciated patients
- The headset is set at a permanent angle that is anatomically correct to reduce air leaks and keep the headset from loosening with time
- Comfortable and great sounding acoustical seal ear tips that have the patented 3M Littmann soft-sealing snap tight design
- Ability to personalize the head of the stethoscope with your initials
- Length is 27″
- Comes in several colors including grey ear tips and chrome ear tubes, black ear tips with black tubing and brass, smoke and copper ear tubes
The 3M™ Littmann Stethoscope comes with the seven year Littmann Warranty.
If there is a material or manufacturing defect during the warranty period, Littmann will repair it completely free of charge.
Unless there is an obvious case of accidental damage or abuse.
In the event that the warranty has expired, Littmann offers replacement parts and accessories to fix your stethoscope.
- Single tube design that incorporates two tubes
- Can alternate from low to high frequencies without having to turn the chest piece
- Comfortable and lightweight headset
- Stainless steel bell rusts when cleaned frequently with alcohol
- Tube gets blocked and then you can’t hear with it anymore
3. Littmann Cardiology STC Stethoscope
The Littmann Cardiology STC Stethoscope has an innovative chest piece design and great sound quality.
The Cardiology STC provides an excellent listening experience that provides convenient movement between auscultation sites.It is also easy to switch back and forth from low to high frequencies through 3M’s ‘Tunable Technology’ that allows you to shift through light to firm pressure.
The chest pieces are comfortable and easy to handle which allows convenient movement from different sites on the body.
The stethoscope provides superior transmissions, sound insulation and keeps out that rubbing noise through its double lumen tubing design placing two tubes in one.
The headset is comfortably positioned with an anatomical design that provides ideal sound transmission.
Snap tight soft seal ear tips limit ambient noise by creating a comfortable acoustic seal.
The headset is flexible and durable with dependable latex free tubing.
Tubing is also available in a range of colors for personal expression.
The Littmann Cardiology STC comes with a six year warranty that includes free repair on any material or manufacturing defect.
- Tunable Technology makes it easy to switch back and forth between frequencies
- Double lumen tubing keeps out the rubbing noise
- Ear tips keep out ambient noise with a comfortable seal
- Sound is not as good as the Master Cardiology version
4. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope
The Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope includes enhanced acoustics plus new design, new materials, and the latest technology to a stethoscope doctors have trusted for years.
The Cardiology IV stethoscope features and benefits include:
- Better audibility of high frequency sounds through the Cardiology IV stethoscope’s single-piece tunable diaphragm
- The tunable diaphragms is available on both sides of the chest piece so it will work on both adults and children
- There is also a single-piece diaphragm that is simple to attach as well as clean due to its smooth surface that is without crevices
- Its versatile with an open bell that allows the pediatric side to change to the traditional bell through the replacement of the single-piece diaphragm with the non-chill sleeve
- Improved resistance to skin oils and alcohol with the next-generation tubing that is less likely to pick up stains and gives the tubing longer life
- Precision machined chest piece that looks great and is less angular in shape with a stem that features an open side indicator
The Littman Cardiology IV Stethoscopes has advanced features that help you do more including:
- Learning more about your patient’s condition with better high frequency sound audibility
- Clearer high and low frequency sounds with the single-piece tunable diaphragms on both sides
- Easy to convert pediatric side converts to the traditional open bell with a non-chill rim
- Easy to keep clean open bell by using the small diaphragm.
- Rubbing noise is removed with dual-lumen tubing that combines two sound paths in one tube
- Created without using natural rubber latex or phthalate plasticizers but with next-generation tubing which lasts longer and has improved resistance to alcohol and skin oils
- Comes with a seven-year warranty
- Easy to convert sizes for different sized patients
- Dual-lumen tubing keeps out rubbing sound
- Next generation tubing makes the stethoscope last longer
- Rubber bell cover is not provided
5. MDF ProCardial C3
The patented MDF® ProCardial™ C3 Stethoscope comes with six conversion attachments so that it can be altered into nine different configurations including an infant, child and adult stethoscope.It is made from premium grade stainless steel and proves an accurate auscultation of heart, lung, and Korotkoff sounds with an acoustic reliability and precision that allows healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care to their patients with just one stethoscope.
The stethoscope also features a comfortable ergonomic design for extended use.
It is a very versatile instrument with great durability, performance and craftsmanship.
- Chest piece – Made of handcrafted stainless steel with a dual head that is precious machined and hand polished. It is created with a patented full-rotation acoustic valve stem that includes the SoundTight™ GLS technology that seals in sounds and has an easy to use green indicator dot that tells the user when they have found an active sound channel. The chest piece has an adult ultrasensitive diaphragm plus an extra-large cardiology bell. When you use the screw on attachments, you can configure the stethoscope nine different way. Each of the diaphragms has a non-chill ring that gives a safe acoustic transmission as well as greater sound amplification and isolates low frequencies.
- Comfortseal™ eartips – Included are the soft silicone ComfortSeal™ ear tips that are also phthalate-free. Ear tips are available in three sizes to ensure a proper fit.
- Ergonomax™ headset and Safetylock™- The headset is a hand polished, pre-angled stainless steel with a patented internal dual-leaf spring assembly to ensure durability. The patented SafetyLock™ ear tip adaptors are a leader in user safety.
- Acoustic Tubing – The dual-lumen tubing is made of thicker and denser latex-free PVC that is insulated for excellent sound transmission that also keeps out ambient noise. The length is longer than average which allows for a comfortable distance between the patient and health professional.
- Attachment Clip – To ensure the attachments are accessible, an included stainless steel attachment clip can be worn on your pocket or belt
- Accessories – Included with the stethoscope are two extra sets of ComfortSeal™ ear tips, a spare ultrasensitive infant, child and adult diaphragm with a complete set of infant, child and adult diaphragm and bell attachments, an attachment clip plus an ID tag.
- Lifetime Warranty – Any parts that need to be replaced are free for the life of the stethoscope
- Can be made into nine different configurations
- Comes with a bunch of accessories
- Has a lifetime warranty
- Have to be careful with, very fragile
- Its stiff and hurts your ears
What to Look for in a Stethoscope
Parts of the Stethoscope
Most stethoscopes have the following parts:
- Chest pieces
Low-cost stethoscopes only offer the basic version of these parts while higher-end acoustic stethoscopes will have a wider variety in parts.
Earpieces can be either soft or rigid and they come in several sizes.
If possible, you should choose a stethoscope that comes with interchangeable earpieces.
This is an important feature for settings where a stethoscope is used a lot like internal medicine offices, cardiology practices, intensive care units and for emergency rooms.
Preferably, the earpiece angle should be adjustable which allows different user the ability to customize the headset so that it fits their own ears comfortably.
Some stethoscopes are able to reduce ambient noise, which is great for healthcare professional.
Examples include those that work in a noisy environment like paramedics, anesthesiologists and emergency room workers.
2. Chest Piece
A chest piece can either be single or double headed.
A double headed chest piece has a diaphragm that allows you to hear high frequencies on one side and a bell for the low frequencies on the other side while a single headed chest piece has both on one side.
The healthcare professional can use different amounts of pressure in listening for the different frequencies.
Chest pieces are available in different sized diameters that are helpful for pediatric healthcare professionals and for those that work with patients in a variety of sizes.
Most adults work well with a 35mm size and children need a 25 mm size. For cardiac healthcare professionals, a 45 mm diaphragm works for listening for subtle heart sounds.
For all sizes, a non-chill rim is the most comfortable type for patients.
3. Tubing Style and Length
The average tubing length is 22 to 28 inches with the longer lengths draping around a healthcare professional’s neck better and helps it to stay in place.
It also is better for keeping some distance between the healthcare provider and a sick patient.
Stethoscope tubing comes in many different colors enabling healthcare professionals some personalization although black is the most common.
Latex tubing is becoming less common due to patient latex allergies but all tubing should be flexible to avoid splitting or breakage during use.
Tubing can be either single or double bore with some tubing using the bi-lumen style where two tubes are combined into a single tube.
Bi-lumen style helps to stop the sound of the tubes rubbing together.
Wide tubes help to improve sound quality that can be helpful to emergency care providers, respiratory therapists, Intensive care practitioners and cardiologists.
Acoustic vs Electronic Stethoscopes
Acoustic stethoscopes are still the most common for most healthcare providers.
Cardiologists that need to hear heart sounds will find that the high-quality acoustic stethoscope picks up both low and high frequencies well.
Providers that cannot hear specific frequencies well may need to have the sound amplification of an electronic stethoscope that also features noise reduction.
Some electronic stethoscopes can also capture electrocardiogram data and oxygen saturation levels and can transfer the information to a computer.
So what is the best cardiology stethoscope out these cardiology stethoscope reviews?
The winner of the Best Cardiology Stethoscope roundup is the 3M™ Littmann® Master Cardiology Stethoscope.
This best cardiac stethoscope has the next generation tubing, which has improved resistance to skin oil and alcohol and is longer lasting which adds life to your stethoscope.
This very durable stethoscope also comes with a seven year warranty.
For its durability and versatility as well as ability to pick up high and low frequencies, the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope is the winner of the Best Cardiology Stethoscope roundup.