Choosing the Best Stethoscope for Nurses 2018

Updated, MARCH 29, 2018 10:60 AM

The stethoscope is one of the basic and most important types of equipment used by a doctor to treat his patients. Other than a doctor, a stethoscope is also used by nurses all over the world as well as other medical professionals.

A stethoscope is designed such that health care practitioners and nurses can listen to the high pitched as well as low pitch bodily sounds. The sounds of the heart, bowels can only be detected with the help of this mighty stethoscope. A stethoscope has been around for more than 200 years now and is the one medical equipment that you will always find around the physician or nurse’s neck as they run about their work in the hospitals. However, the Nurse stethoscope that is used in today's evolved medicine is now a very powerful and transformed device.

The 4 best Stethoscopes for nurses

Since there are various kinds of stethoscopes available on the market today, selecting the best one for your use can seem to be a challenging task. For your convenience, we have listed out the 4 best stethoscopes that are the most popular models currently being used. Read on to know more about them.

Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope Lifetime Replacement Guarantee

This Vorfreude® Cardiology Stethoscope is one of the most popular models used by nurses and advanced nursing students. It is designed to offer a comfortable fit to your ear canal for the perfect acoustic balance.

The binaural are can easily accommodate in your ears for long-term use too. 

The PressFrequency™ feature detects any frequency in the audible range, with the help of its diaphragm pressure and high acoustic sensitivity.

Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope

The Patented BiChannel™ feature allows binaural flow contained within the main tube thereby reducing the weight. The large stainless steel bell of this model with the non-chill ring and noise cancelling attributes increases the effective volume for the listener.

This product is made from hypoallergenic materials. It is latex free, stainless steel, PBA free and sterilized at the testing facility in the factory. It offers the best warranty in the market with a full lifetime replacement term. The package includes 4 extra ear tips for replacement, an extra diaphragm, a solid carrying case for the replacements, a customizable nameplate, a pupil penlight with batteries included.

The Good Stuff:

  • ​Full Lifetime Replacement from the manufacturer – you just to contact the manufacturer and they will mail a new replacement for your existing product

  • ​Easily changing frequencies with the PressFrequency™ Diaphragm. Try applying different levels of pressure until the best audible range is detected

  • ​Ideal for listening to low frequencies as well as high frequencies of sounds

  • The patented BiChannel™ facilitates the Binaural flow

The Bad Stuff:

  • ​You have to take care to avoid the bell from coming into contact with loose clothing or watch to prevent audio interference.

  • The ear piece does not seem to be very snug

4.5/5 Stars

Dixie EMS Blood Pressure and Sprague Stethoscope Kit

This Dixie EMS Sprague stethoscope kit comes with a blood pressure measuring unit with a nylon cuff. The Professional Sprague Rappaport Style stethoscope with 22 inches tube and accompanying case contains 2 diaphragms, 2 pairs of extra ear tips and 3 bells for use.

The kit also includes a colour matching zippered case made of nylon. 

This stethoscope kit works excellently for its price range and better than some of the more expensive kinds.

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This product is highly recommended for use by students for general use when they are learning to assess blood pressure and listen to the heart sounds and the lung activity too. The double tubes of this product create a better support that makes it easier for the user to hold this stethoscope properly without having to place the fingers on the backside of the bell.

The entire packaging comes with a set of extra lenses for replacement. It also consists of three more black plastic bells suitable to treat adults as well as children, which can be screwed on to use. And if the metal is very cold as during winters, two extra pairs of ear tips are provided so that it can fit snugly into your ear canals for more accurate reading.

The Good Stuff:

  • ​The entire packaging comes with a set of extra lenses, ear tips and three plastic bells for using on adults, children

  • ​Great for use by medical students as well as nursing students.

  • ​The double tubes of this product create a better support for an audible range of heart and other body sounds

  • ​Comes with a blood pressuring measuring kit too

The Bad Stuff:

  • There might be a possibility of the tubes rubbing against each other creating an echo
  • Ear pieces are not too comfortable

3/5 Stars

3M Littmann Classic Ii S.E. 28

The 3M™ Littmann® Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is widely reckoned as one of the Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nursing Students as well as nurses. It comes with 3M’s patented diaphragm that can be tuned for better low-frequency sounds response.

Along with its excellent audio sensitivity, the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope comes with a non-chill metallic rim.

3M Littmann Classic Ii S.E. 28

Its robust single lumen tube and stainless steel chest piece make it one of the most popularly used models. Moreover, it is hard to find another model in its class that delivers such high performance.
This product is available in a range of tube colors with unique finishes that you can choose to coordinate with your uniform.

It can accurately pick up both low as well as high frequency sounds due to the greater surface area of the chest piece. A nonchill border on the diaphragm and the bell offers sufficient comfort to the patient. This product also comes with a patented 3M Littmann Snap-tight snug-fitting ear tips which are designed to ensure a top quality comfortable seal in your ear canal. The 28 inches long tube lets you fold the stethoscope easily without damaging or kinking or even breaking off any part. 

You can personalize the head piece of this product with your initials or even use a small nameplate to make it more convenient for the patients to know you. The available color shades for this product are chrome ear tubes and grey ear tips and black ear tips which come with black tubes and the brass copper smoke with black ear tubes. There is a three-year warranty offered by the manufacturer.

The Good Stuff:

  • ​You can accurately hear both low and high frequency sounds without having to turn the chest piece

  • ​This 3M™ Littmann Stethoscope comes with Littmann Warranty for a period of 3 years. Littmann will repair damages free of cost, except for cases of obvious abuse or damage

  • ​This Dual Head Stethoscope uses a patented diaphragm that you can tune to achieve an improvement in the sound intensity

  • This product is available in a variety of color schemes – a range of tube and colour finish combinations are available for you to choose from.

The Bad Stuff:

  • It might seem to be slightly heavier than the others

  • Maintenance can be a bit tough

3/5 Stars

3M Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope

The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope is the advanced generation of one of the most popularly used stethoscopes in the world. It has been designed to offer an improved performance with greater accuracy in picking up high frequency sounds.

It comes with a distinctive chalice-shaped chest piece that comes with diaphragms on both sides, which can be tuned accordingly, to deliver excellent acoustic performance, accuracy on diagnosis as well as a great deal of convenience while treating adult and even paediatric patients.

3M Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope

The paediatric part of this chest piece transforms into a conventional open bell when you remove the diaphragm and replace it with the non-chill bell sleeve from the package. Both adults as well as paediatric sides of the chest piece of this stethoscope come with a single piece diaphragm that can be removed easily.

This is very easy to clean because of the smooth and even surfaces and the absence of crevices.
This stethoscope is not just mean for use by cardiologists alone. It is one of the Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nurses as well as for general practice by physicians. Nurses in the critical care departments, EMTs, advanced medical students, and even nursing students can easily learn to identify and study cardiac, lungs, and other body sounds patients with the help of this stethoscope.

This Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope is manufactured in the USA and comes with a manufacturer warranty that extends to seven years. The packaging is all complete with a large and small soft and snugly fitting ear tips, a non-chill bell sleeve. There are also elaborate instructions for all first-time users.

The Good Stuff:

  • ​It has been designed to offer an improved performance with greater accuracy in picking up high frequency sounds

  • ​Tunable diaphragm technology - it comes with diaphragms on both sides, which can be tuned accordingly for greater accuracy

  • ​The paediatric side of this chest piece transforms into a conventional open bell when you remove the diaphragm and replace it with the non-chill bell sleeve from the package

  • Excellent for use by nurses as well as advanced nursing students, apart from specialized medical practitioners

The Bad Stuff:

  • Feels heavier than other models
  • The tubing is also thicker.

4/5 Stars

Different types of stethoscopes

Depending on their uses, there are different variants of stethoscopes for the nursing students as well as nurses. It is crucial to know the specialty of each kind of Stethoscopes for Nurses, for the accurate treatment of patients.

Acoustic vs Electronic Stethoscopes

Dual Head vs Single Head Stethoscopes

Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope

Cardiology Stethoscope

Pediatric Stethoscopes

Infant Stethoscope

And the winner is...

For this part of the review, it's important to make a very clear recommendation. Keep in mind that people like options, but what they respond to are clear directions.

Ideally, there should be one clear winner in your roundup and you can recommend that above all other solutions. If there is more than one recommended solution, draw very clear lines around the products and explain clearly whom each one is for. Make it as easy as possible for your readers to pick the solution that is right for them.


4.	3M Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope

Dixie EMS Blood Pressure and Sprague Stethoscope Kit

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How To Choose A Stethoscope For Nursing / Medical School

Choosing the best from all the nursing stethoscopes for sale might seem to be a daunting task, given that there are hundreds of brands and varieties available nowadays. However, it can be quite an easy job, if you really know the guiding factors in selecting the best one.

In case you are still wondering, here are the following pointers to help you in buying the best stethoscope for your nursing duties.

Keep your department of work in mind

It is very important to keep in mind the area or department that you are working in. That will be your prime factor in selecting the best stethoscope for your specific needs.

For example, if you are working in the paediatric department, then, of course, the cardiology stethoscope will not be suitable for your work. You will need to get a paediatric stethoscope in that case. Again, if you are in a cardiology ward, you must take a look at the best cardiology stethoscopes that are available. Specialized stethoscopes come loaded with all the unique features which are useful for the specific area or department for greater accuracy in treatment.

Focus on your budget

If you check out the various stethoscope reviews, you will understand how crucial it is to set a budget in mind. The quality of different stethoscopes also varies with their prices. If you wish to buy specialized advanced equipment, you must already know that those are quite expensive.

So you should set your budget first. IN most of the cases nurses are seen to use one stethoscope during their entire career. So choosing a good quality stethoscope and also one which is durable should be a wise decision, going by your budget.

Check your institution’s guidelines

Usually, most of the nursing institutes recommend their students to use a single tube stethoscope that comes with a single bell and diaphragm and without any sort of attached electronics. It is better that you first check with your trainer or your hospital to find out more on the stethoscope requirement guidelines for the nursing staff in your department.

Check for reliable brands

Nowadays, there are several brands of nursing stethoscopes for sale, and each of them claims to be the best in business. Now, this only adds to our confusion while buying the best-suited one for our needs. However, it is best to keep in mind some of the most popular names of brands. Brands such as 3M™ Littmann® are well known for generations now and can be blindly relied on for quality stethoscopes.

However, while you are choosing one, you must also check to make sure that there are no defects and also check the manufacturer warranty.

Consider the weight

Some of the most specialized stethoscopes are often found to be heavier than their counterparts. Considering your job, you will need to move around the hospital frequently, so choosing a stethoscope that is lightweight will be convenient. This is why it is crucial to check the weight of the stethoscope before buying one.


While it is important to check the type, weight and various other attributes of the stethoscope before buying one, it also great if there are discounts available for the price.

In this regard, it is good to know that certain brands do offer discounts online for nursing students who are buying their first stethoscopes. 

This usually happens during the starting of the school year. It is great to avail such offers, especially if you wish to buy an expensive, specialized stethoscope for your nursing course.

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