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The Best Stethoscope

Last updated on December 31, 2019

We looked at the top 16 Stethoscopes and dug through the reviews from 26 of the most popular review sites including Test Prep Nerds, My Access Health, The Nerdy Nurse, Offers.com, Registered Nurse RN, MFCC 4 Health and more. The result is a ranking of the best Stethoscopes.

Best Stethoscope

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Our Picks For The Top Stethoscopes

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

3M Littmann

Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Overall Take

Reliable StethoscopeThis 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope has two sides, one for adults and one for children.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, My Access Health, Test Prep Nerds. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Offers almost every feature medical professionals need, including clear acoustics, adults/pediatric sides and tunable diaphragms"
Cons
"Not as comfortable as other stethoscopes. Ear pieces sometimes fall off."

MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One® Stethoscope

MDF Instruments

Rose Gold MD One® Stethoscope

Overall Take

Rose Gold StethoscopeThe MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One Stethoscope is a well-crafted stethoscope that looks good and functions at a high level.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope

ADC

Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope

Overall Take

Lightweight StethoscopeThe ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope is lightweight and thoughtfully designed.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope

FriCARE

Dual Head Stethoscope

Overall Take

Classic StethoscopeThe FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope is a classic-looking stethoscope that offers high and low frequency designs with its dual head.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
23

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the stethoscopes available to purchase.
16

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

26

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Test Prep Nerds, My Access Health, The Nerdy Nurse, Offers.com, Registered Nurse RN.

49,102

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 16 Stethoscopes and also dug through the reviews from 26 of the most popular review sites including Test Prep Nerds, My Access Health, The Nerdy Nurse, Offers.com, Registered Nurse RN, MFCC 4 Health and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Stethoscopes.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Our Expert Score
10.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
4,811 user reviews
Our Take

You'll get a high acoustics rating and accuracy from the 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope. One of this stethoscope's best features is that it has a separate side for adults and children. So, you can use it on everyone in your household. You can also tweak the pressure you're putting on the chestpiece to better hear lower and higher sound ranges.

What other experts liked
Offers almost every feature medical professionals need, including clear acoustics, adults/pediatric sides and tunable diaphragms
- BestReviews
The Classic III is very high-quality and almost universally well-reviewed, giving excellent, accurate acoustics and adjustability for any purpose. It’s comfortable and well-constructed of quality materials. It’s also available for an excellent price, much less expensive than higher-end models but...
- My Access Health
The 3M Littmann III Monitoring Stethoscope employs a two-sided chest piece that has tunable diaphragms for adults and pediatric patients
- Test Prep Nerds
What other experts didn't like
The earpieces may fit some users a bit loosely
- BestReviews
Not as comfortable as other stethoscopes. Ear pieces sometimes fall off.
- My Access Health
After years of using, the tubing can sometimes break due to more extended skin exposure
- Test Prep Nerds

Overall Product Rankings

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

1. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 6

MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One® Stethoscope

2. MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One® Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 1

ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope

3. ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope

4. FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 1

3M Littmann Stethoscope Standard Finish 6152

5. 3M Littmann Stethoscope Standard Finish 6152

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 1

yuwell Double-Catheter Stethoscope

6. yuwell Double-Catheter Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

7. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 6

MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

8. MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

9. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 6

MDF Instruments Premium Dual Head Stethoscope

10. MDF Instruments Premium Dual Head Stethoscope

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 7

Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope

11. Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 6

MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Stethoscope

12. MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Stethoscope

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 1

Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope

13. Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 4

ADC Adscope Lite Clinician Stethoscope

14. ADC Adscope Lite Clinician Stethoscope

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 4

Dixie EMS Blood Pressure and Sprague Stethoscope Kit

15. Dixie EMS Blood Pressure and Sprague Stethoscope Kit

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 3

Ever Ready Dual Head Stethoscope

16. Ever Ready Dual Head Stethoscope

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 3

Our Stethoscope Findings

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

What We Liked: You’ll get a high acoustics rating and accuracy from the 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope. One of this stethoscope’s best features is that it has a separate side for adults and children. So, you can use it on everyone in your household. You can also tweak the pressure you’re putting on the chestpiece to better hear lower and higher sound ranges.

MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One® Stethoscope

What We Liked: The MDF Instruments Rose Gold MD One Stethoscope matches a beautiful form-factor with a high quality in function. The design incorporates a true bell and a true diaphragm to let you hear things easily, while the locking earpiece ensures you won’t lose the soft tip accidentally and stab yourself in the ear with it.

ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope

What We Liked: The ADC Adscope Lite 609 Stethoscope is machined from lightweight aluminum to provide a stethoscope that won’t feel heavy as you put it through the paces. The thoughtful design provides extra earpieces and a name-tag attachment to help keep your stethoscope to yourself.

FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope

What We Liked: With a classic look, the FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope provides the dual functions of a bell and a diaphragm to ensure you can hear both the low and high frequencies you need to identify with a stethoscope.

yuwell Double-Catheter Stethoscope

What We Liked: The two tubes on the yuwell Double-Catheter Stethoscope offer lossless transmission of sound, giving you clear results of the frequencies you’re listening for. The package offers replacement earpieces and other parts that make it a great value.

Our Expert Consultant

Dr. Anis Rehman 
Endocrinologist and assistant professor of internal medicine

Dr. Anis Rehman is a board-certified endocrinologist who treats diabetes, obesity, thyroid diseases and osteoporosis, as well as general endocrine diseases. He also serves as an assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine.

Our Stethoscope Buying Guide

Medical professionals use stethoscopes to monitor your health, particularly your heart and lungs. If you head to the doctor when you’re sick, chances are the practitioner will use a stethoscope to see what’s going on internally.

But you don’t have to wait until you visit a doctor to use a stethoscope. If you have children or an elderly adult in your life, you may want to keep a stethoscope on hand for those quick checks. There are plenty of good quality stethoscopes that you can use at home without medical training.

The most popular type of stethoscope used today is acoustic, which picks up soundwaves from your body, vibrating the surface of the diaphragm on the chestpiece. That vibration makes its way to the ear tips, which brings the sound to the listener’s eardrums. When you’re looking at stethoscopes, you’ll often see acoustics mentioned as a top benefit for that very reason. Acoustics play an important role in how effective your stethoscope will be, says Dr. Anis Rehman, an endocrinologist and an assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine.

Another feature you’ll often see mentioned is “tunability.” This refers to the diaphragm on the chestpiece. Newer acoustic stethoscopes feature a tunable diaphragm, which puts the bell-shaped piece of metal together with the diaphragm on one side of the chestpiece. Technology is also built into the chestpiece that can record sound and provide it as a digital file. These stethoscopes also have noise-canceling features in the earpieces to make it easier to get a reading.

Of course, along with all of the technical details, you’ll want to know about the comfort of the earpieces themselves. Although you won’t be wearing it for hours on end, you’ll still need earpieces that will fit snugly enough so that you can listen without distraction. Additionally, it’s important to look for a stethoscope that is flexible enough to provide accuracy whether you’re using it on a child or adult.

Dr. Rehman also advises that you should consider how easy it will be to find replacement parts for your stethoscope, since you may eventually want to replace the eartips or the diaphragm itself.

DWYM Fun Fact

Looking for a fun science project to teach kids about how stethoscopes work?  First, grab a paper towel roll and a balloon. You then cut the end off the balloon and roll it over one end of the paper towel roll, then press the roll, balloon side down, on the chest of your patient. If you don’t have a balloon handy, no problem. Just use a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the tube, fasten it in place with some duct tape and use that side against the chest of your patient. Obviously, it will lack the features of a stethoscope, but it’s a fun way to teach the science of stethoscopes to the young people in your house.

The Stethoscope Tips and Advice

  • Your first stop when shopping for a stethoscope is to check out the acoustics ratings. The higher the acoustic rating, the more likely you are to catch even the most subtle issues, such as heart murmurs or pulmonary anomalies.
  • As valuable as great acoustics are, it won’t help if it’s overwhelmed by surrounding noise. Look for certain models that feature a design to insulate the noise transmission and keep out ambient sounds.
  • If you’ll be using your stethoscope on children, you will want to identify a stethoscope that is designed to work well on children. Some models have an adult and pediatric side, making it easy to use it on everyone in your family.
  • As you become more advanced in using a stethoscope, you’ll want a device that can give you the full range of sounds. Use light pressure on the chestpiece to hear low-frequency sounds, then increase the pressure if you want to get sounds at the higher range.
  • If you’ve ever been surprised by a cold stethoscope, you know the experience can be pretty uncomfortable. Certain stethoscopes feature non-chill rims on the diaphragm to keep the experience as comfortable as possible.
  • For those planning to use the stethoscope under a blood pressure cuff, look for a model that features a teardrop shape that makes it easy to slide beneath.
  • Build is important if you want to make sure your stethoscope will last over multiple uses. Look for high-quality stainless steel and durable acoustic tubing.
  • A good diagnosis is about more than what happens on the chestpiece end of things. There are also the two earpieces, each fitting into one of your ears. It’s important that the earpieces fit comfortably and snugly so that you can hear clearly. Some stethoscopes include earpieces that can be adjusted upward or downward by simply squeezing the ear tips. They’re designed to conform to a variety of ears for the best sound.
  • As valuable as a powerful diaphragm can be, it can also lead to problems, especially for newer users who are still trying to get the hang of things. Some diaphragms can be overly sensitive, which can lead to interference if you don’t dial it correctly.
  • If you want to use your stethoscope in a clinical setting, it’s important to note that certain models , although lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear, are considered entry-level stethoscopes. You may want to stick with a more advanced stethoscope.
  • Hygiene is an important factor in a stethoscope. Clear earpieces make it easier to see when they need to be cleaned.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer who has written extensively on the topics of health and wellness, including work for some of the most well-respected health sites. She believes in the importance of staying fit and healthy and even uses a desk cycle to get in exercise while she works.