Stethoscope for Medical Students

Buying your first stethoscope at Medical School is an exciting and daunting Task.

We all remember trying to choose the best stethoscope for the first time – looking back nobody had any idea what they were doing and most of us just bought the same one as the next person, or chose by color.  There are many things I wish I knew then, that would have saved me buying the wrong stethoscope, only to have to buy a better one a year or two later. On this page we rank and review which ones we believe are the stethoscopes for medical students, and break down how to choose the right one for you.

So what is the best stethoscope for medical students?

First decide: do you want to invest in one now that will last you through all of medical School and into your career as a doctor? Or do you just want one that is good enough for now, and then expect to upgrade after you qualify? Neither of these is right or wrong, and it comes down to personal preference. We’ve ranked the best stethoscopes for both of these options below. To skip to the “good enough for medical school” stethoscopes click here. Keep reading for the ones we recommend as the best stethoscopes for medical School and your entire medical career.

 

Best Stethoscopes for Medical Students 2017

Stethoscope
Features
Editor's Rating
Littmann® Cardiology IV
Stethoscope





Read Our Review

★ Best Choice Overall ★


  • Exceptional acoustic quality with superior audibility of high-frequency sounds

  • Tunable diaphragm allows adjusting between high or low frequency sounds by via slight pressure on the chestpiece.

  • Dual-lumen tubing eliminates rubbing noise

  • Highly durable, latex-free and stain-resistant tubing


5 Stars (5 / 5)
Littmann® Master Cardiology
Stethoscope


Littmann Master Cardiology

Read Our Review


  • Highest mechanical acoustic quality in the Littmann Stethoscopes range

  • Tunable diaphragm alternates from low to high frequencies without needing to turn the chest piece

  • Dual-lumen tube design eliminates rubbing noise artefact

  • Includes Special Procedures Adaptor for paediatric or neonatal auscultation


4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Littmann® Master Classic II
Stethoscope


Littmann Master Classic II

Read Our Review

  • Single-sided chestpiece allows for easy manoevering and quick assessments

  • Tunable diaphragm allows adjusting between high or low frequency sounds by via slight pressure on the chestpiece.

  • Dual-lumen tubing reliminates rubbing noise



4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)
ADC Adscope 601 Convertible
Cardiology Stethoscope


ADC Adscope 601 Convertible Cardiology

Read Our Review


  • Convertible chestpiece with replaceable adult/pediatric diaphragms

  • Enhanced acoustics with AFD technology

  • Extra-deep bell with improved low-frequency acoustics

  • Dual-lumen tubing eliminates rubbing noise

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Littmann® Classic III
Stethoscope


Littmann Classic III


Read Our Review

★ Best Value for Budget ★


  • Two-sided chestpiece with tunable diaphragms on both adult and pediatric sides

  • Paediatric side can be converted to tradition open bell

  • Durable, latex-free tubing resistant to skin oils and alcohol



4 Stars (4 / 5)

How do you Choose the Best Stethoscope?

Too commonly you see health professionals with the wrong stethoscope for their role and needs, but with so many options it can be easy to make that wrong choice, then be forced to stick with it, or pay dearly for the necessary upgrade. Before you buy, learn which criteria and preferences you must prioritise.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in a high quality stethoscope right from medical School, and just want a stethoscope to get you started so you can learn the bascics, with the intention of upgrading once you fully qualify, there is nothing wrong with that. Here are our recommended stethoscopes for the lower budget scale, that are still excellent bang for your buck.

Our team has created this guide with our medical consultant Dr. Knöbel, extensive research, and unbiased product analysis. We never accept free products from manufacturers, so you can be sure that we never feature products in exchange for freebies or payments.

 

If you’re short on time and already know what you’re looking for, please check out our top contenders above. Otherwise browse our menu and stethoscopes to read detailed individual reviews.

Most health professionals buy one stethoscope to last them their entire career, therefore, much rides on making the right choice from the beginning. Do you need a quality stethoscope that distinctly captures all relevant sound frequencies necessary for high-level Cardiac, Respiratory, and Abdominal auscultations? Or do you just need one that’s good enough to identify the presence or absence of breath and bowel sounds?

★ How do Stethoscopes Work?

A stethoscope is a medical device designed to pick up body sounds through vibrations and transmit them to our ears. They are usually composed of a flat or curved chest piece covered highly by a film, like a drum, called the diaphragm. As sound vibrations reach the diaphragm, this vibrates and amplifies these sounds, transmitting them through the sealed hollow tubing into the earpieces and into the user’s ears.

Where stethoscope quality variation comes most into play is how well the stethoscope can pick up sound and transmit these while maintaining it’s characteristics and without losing important sound detail.

Dual-headed stethoscopes have a larger flat surface (the diaphragm) which is better suited to picking up high-frequency vibrations, and a smaller side (the bell) which collects low-frequency vibrations.

 

Having the best stethoscope possible is very crucial for doctors, nurses, paramedics, and EMTs, so we’ve reviewed the best stethoscopes for each Profession separately.

The Best Stethoscope for Medical Students: Proven and Tested

What’s the bottom line?

If you already know what you’re looking for, here’s the top rated stethoscopes for medical students that we recommend.

These are the best stethoscopes to buy based off of reviews and research.

  1. Littmann Cardiology III *
  2. Littmann Classic II
  3. Littmann Master Cardiology
  4. Littmann Master Classic II

*As a matter of fact, this stethoscope was agreed upon through research and testing at the interior medicine department at St John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.

How to choose a stethoscope?

If you’re not sure what to look for, read on…

What to Look for When Choosing the Right Stethoscope

One thing to keep in mind is that the best stethoscope is a diagnostic medical tool that is used for the clarified listening of sounds within the different body.

This includes the intestinal tract, heart, and lungs of animals and humans.

There are four types of stethoscopes, which include fetal, recording, acoustic, and electronic stethoscopes.

What is the difference between stethoscopes?

The basic acoustic stethoscope entails a chest piece; a tubing; two earpieces; and a metallic binaural connecting the ear pieces to a tube.

The chest piece normally has a bell to transmit lower or higher sound frequencies.

Also, the electronic transducers are used to amplify the body’s sound waves in the electronic stethoscope.

Another thing to consider when choosing the best stethoscope is whether or not the stethoscope has exceptional versatility.

Furthermore, various factors to take into consideration include the breakdown of different stethoscopes mentioned above, along with having an all-around device that is convenient and easy to use.

The Benefits of the Best Stethoscope

In reviewing a plethora of reviews and the results of different testing, the Littmann Cardiology III is considered to be the best stethoscope in the market.

The Littman Cardiology III is a superb combination of outstanding acoustic performance and extraordinary versatility.

It has an overall rating of 9 out of 10 for its superb acoustics, which in turn is due to this stethoscope’s two in one tube design.

Also, both low and high frequency sounds are heard without being required to flip over the chest piece. Another great aspect about this stethoscope is that it comes in two sizes: 22 inch and 27 inch models.

It also comes in 11 different colors, and it has a five year warranty.

And even though the price range is $150 to $200, it is more value for the money, because the durability and quality of this equipment is long term.

It’ll endure for years to come.

In comparison to other stethoscopes in the market, the Littman Cardiology III is the only one that has a dual-sided chest piece with the capability to facilitate versatility and easy auscultation for adults and children.

The low and high frequency sounds are captured by easily alternating the pressure with the two tunable diaphragms that are built in.

Other extraordinary features of this stethoscope include the angle headset, which facilitates optimal listening.

And the dual lumen tube design, where any interference, that is created from tubes rubbing together, is eliminated.

The width of this Littman stethoscope is 43mm.

Hands down- the Littman Cardiology III is the crème of the crop of stethoscopes.

From forums on various, trustworthy sites to one of the most prestigious medical institution’s research, the Littman Cardiology III is considered the best.

There is hardly any criticism of this device, with the exception of the medical student possibly hearing more than he/she should, because the hearing capability is just that spectacular.

This stethoscope is a little heavier than other Littmann stethoscopes, but so far, no complaints of that has been found.

The Alternative

Being a medical student, it’s understandable that one can’t afford to buy the Littmann Cardiology III unless he/she comes from a wealthy family, or otherwise.

Nevertheless, there is one stethoscope that offer similar benefits of the Littman Cardiology III, but at a much affordable price.

This stethoscope is called the Littmann Master Classic II, and the price tag for this stethoscope is $100 to $150.

This medical device guarantees quality auscultation.

It’s durable, and it’s excellently designed and manufactured.

Many past and present medical students who are on a budget have been satisfied with this stethoscope’s durability, easy usability, and excellent sounds.

Additionally, the following features are included:

– Latex free tubing

– Chest piece that is chrome-plated or black

– Tunable diaphragm

– Single Diaphragm

– Three pair of ear tips

– Vinyl storage case

– Weight of 12.0 ounces

The Littmann Master Classic II is a good alternative to the Cardiology III.

However, it does have a few drawbacks.

For one, if you have any degree of hearing loss, this may not be the one for you.

Secondly, you may have to upgrade during or after medical school as it doesn’t perform as superbly as the Cardiology III.

Also, the diaphragm is not made from lower quality material.

But besides these few drawbacks, many past and present medical students have no problems with this stethoscope.

They know that for  a lesser price, it’s not the highest quality.

Nevertheless, it gets the job done in valuable and qualitative ways.

Clarified and loud sounds are still accessible, along with the other features it possesses that goes a long way.

Conclusion

With all of the different stethoscope out there, it can be a daunting task in trying to find the best stethoscope.

Also, what may be best for one medical professional, may not be the best for another one.

With that said, it’s important to really search thoroughly to find the best stethoscope for each medical personnel.

Especially when having the best stethoscope possible is very crucial for doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, and even lab technicians.

And after reviewing a plethora of reviews and testing, the Littmann Cardiology III has been proven and tested by many to be the recommended stethoscope for medical student.

The best stethoscope is a diagnostic medical tool used for the listening of sounds with the different body parts like intestinal tract, heart, and lungs of animals and humans.

Also, an all-around stethoscope that is convenient and easy to use is what’s crucially needed within the medical industry.

That is what the Littman Cardiology III offers, and more.

It also offers include its superb combination of outstanding acoustic performance and extraordinary versatility.

Also, both low and high frequency sounds are heard without being required to flip over the chest piece.

Another great aspect about this stethoscope is that it comes in two sizes: 22 inch and 27 inch models.

It also comes in 11 different colors, and it has a five year warranty.

And even though the price range is $150 to $200, it is more value for the money, because the durability and quality of this equipment is long term.

It will endure for years to come. In comparison to other stethoscopes in the market, the Littman Cardiology III is the only one that has a dual-sided chest piece with the capability to facilitate versatility and easy auscultation for adults and children.

The low and high frequency sounds are captured by easily alternating the pressure with the two tunable diaphragms that are built in.

Other extraordinary features of this stethoscope include the angle headset, which facilitates optimal listening; and the dual lumen tube design, where any interference, that is created from tubes rubbing together, is eliminated.

The width of this Littman stethoscope is 43mm.

With the many students on a budget, it’s understandable that the hefty price tag of $150 to $200 is unreachable.

So until getting licensed and settled into the nice medical careers, where one can then afford to buy the best of the best, there is an alternative.

The good alternative to the Littmann Cardiology III is the Master Classic II.

This Master Classic IIguarantees quality auscultation.

It’s durable, and it’s excellently designed and manufactured.

Many past and present medical students who are on a budget have been satisfied with this stethoscope’s durability, easy usability, and excellent sounds.

These two are considered the best stethoscope for emergency medicine as well.

Curious to know the best stethoscope for pediatric pulmonology?

We recommend the Cardiology IV for this category as it’s a total upgrade to the III.

 

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