A stethoscope is a clinical tool or rather instrument that is used for auscultation or rather listening to sounds that are produced by some body organs,mostly the heart, the lungs together with the intestinal tract. In addition to these three organs, it can also be used for listening to the flow of blood in peripheral vessels together with the heartbeats of a developing fetus within the pregnant women. In general, stethoscopes are used in the detection and ultimate study of the stomach, lungs and heart as well as other sounds within human beings, developing human fetuses as well as in animals. Through the use of a stethoscope, the one listening may end up hearing abnormal and normal cardiac, respiratory, arterial, pleural, uterine, intestinal and fetal sounds.
All the health care professionals in addition to the medical students must learn how a stethoscope is used. There is a wide variance of stethoscopes especially when it comes to the material used and the design of the models. Most of the models are designed and manufactured from the “Y-Shaped” rubber tubing. The shape allows the sounds to get into the device via one end then travel all through the tube to the two earpieces.
Types of Stethoscopes
It is a versatile and general-purpose tool.
Diaphragm mode designed for heart sounds of high frequency
Bell mode design for lung sounds of lower frequency.
Chest piece of these models can always be rotated.
Dual Head is the most popular among the stethoscopes.
Preferred by Cardiologists because they are efficient for the monitoring of heart sounds
Has a wide range of frequency capture capability
Internal dual tube-lumen design is employed to deliver clear clean sound
Each earpiece connects independently to the chest piece hence having two tubes that are together held by use of metallic clips.
The two external tubes can at times rub together hence creation of noise interference.
The stethoscope looks quite dramatic but it is getting more unpopular
They are Acoustic stethoscope having very poor amplitude as well as horrible fidelity.
Most of them are essentially cheap amplifiers having a headphone.
They are expensive but the high price can’t be justified because materials and design costs seem low
When using them, a space age scope having digital signal processing and pressure sensors is required.
The user of these scopes applies some little pressure to capture low sounds but presses more firmly to capture high frequency sounds.
In reality, they are quite hard to use and risk losing their effectiveness after some time
These may fall in any of the above categories but are smaller in size for use in diagnosis and monitoring of pediatric patients.
It’s a stethoscope that comes in a trumpet shape for use in listening to fetuses in women’s abdomen
Best Stethoscopes reviews
#1. 3M Littmann Lightweight II SE
The model is very ideal for those who are just entering in to the medical industry as well as those who have been there for some time. It is essential for both the learners as well as the learned. Its design that is characterized with a dual sided chest piece, a tunable diaphragm together with reliable acoustics makes it to be a leading player in the industry. The teardrop shape design makes it easy for use in getting acoustic responses around the blood pressure cuffs. This makes it possible for the physician to make minimal physical assessment on the adults. With its weight of just 118g, it scores as the lightest Littmann stethoscope for adults hence the best solution for those professionals who wear these devices on their necks all day long.
- The diaphragm together with the non-chill rim welcomes more patients back to your health facility
- The headset has been anatomically designed to meet the ear canal path
- Designed with a teardrop shape that allows for easy fitting of the under blood pressure cuffs.
- It is a reliable, clear and lightweight stethoscope that enhances dependable acoustic responses hence making it an ideal entry level model
- The diaphragm is tunable with just some simple change in pressure thereby enhancing the capture of different frequencies.
#2 3M Littmann Classic II S.E
This is hardworking and dependable clinical equipment for reliable use in physical assessment together with monitoring of patients. All the care providers that are dedicated to achieve the best outcomes use this model as their main choice. A real workhorse provides high efficient acoustic sensitivity via the stainless steel dual sided chest piece together with its tunable diaphragm, which is on one side and the traditional bell being positioned on the other side. Both the medical professionals as well as the students use this model to listen to, to identify and to study the lung, the heart among other body sounds. Ultimately, proper physical assessment as well as diagnosis is achieved.
- It has been designed with a diaphragm together with a non-chill rim that improves the patient comfort
- It has been designed and manufactured using latex free materials making it a good tool for allergy sensitive professionals and patients
- Its headset has anatomically been designed to meet the ear canal path hence providing optimal listening.
- With just some simple adjustment of pressure, the tunable diaphragm will be able to capture both the low as well as the high frequencies without having to turn the chest piece
- The dual sided chest piece is designed to enhance durability and high acoustic sensitivity. In addition to its compact design, the 3M Littman Classic delivers rugged dependability together with versatile auscultation.
#3 3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric
The Littmann pediatric classic is a proven Littmann stethoscope designed with hardworking, dependability as well as efficiency in mind. It is a reliable tool when it comes to physical monitoring as well as diagnosis of young or rather smaller patients. Through the modern designed dual sided chest piece, the model delivers very high acoustic sensitivity for a wide range of frequency sounds. Both the students as well as the well established medical professionals use the model for diagnostic and monitoring of the major body organs, more specifically the lungs and the heart.
- The headset has been designed to be easily adjustable for maximum fit and comfort. The ear tubes have also been angled in such a way that they align with the ear canals.
- It is designed with some smaller 3.3 centimeter diaphragm and a dual sided chest piece making it ideal for the pediatrics
- Has a diaphragm designed with non-chill rim for enhanced patient comfort
- It also has some soft sealing Littmann ear tips that provide a comfortable fit as well as an excellent acoustic seal.
- The chest piece has been designed with versatility in mind hence enabling it to provide high acoustic sensitivity as it has both an open bell and a floating diaphragm.
#4 3M Littmann Master Classic II
This is a master classic model produced by Littmann to cater for the needs of both the medical professionals as well as the medical students. This is a unique model with features that have not been common in the market ever since. It has a single sided patented tunable diaphragm, which makes it possible for the physician to monitor both the low as well as the high frequency sounds without the need of turning the chest piece over. It also has the single- lumen tube design, a non-chill rim together with soft sealing Littmann patented ear tips.
- It is accompanied with a two year manufacturer warranty
- It has been designed with latex free materials thereby making it to be a suitable model for allergy sensitive persons
- It has a non-chill rim together with a comfortable diaphragm hence welcoming the patients back.
- Its headset has anatomically been designed with an angle that meets the ear canal’s path
- Its tunable diaphragm is responsive to just some simple change in pressure for capturing both the low as well as the high frequency sounds.
- The models ergonomic design made it to be an award-winning model with comfort, reliability and wonderful acoustic sensitivity scoring high.
#5 3M Littmann Cardiology III
If you are a medical professional who requires exceptional versatility in combination with excellent acoustic performance, then the Littman Cardiology Stethoscope is the model to look for. This is among the most recognized stethoscopes for students and professionals alike. It comes with diagnostic versatility, high acoustic performance together with convenience when it comes to treatment of both the adults as well as the pediatrics. With a non-chill bell sleeve, it ensures that the pediatric patients comfort is not compromised.
- The headset has anatomically been designed to meet the ear canal’s path hence improved comfort
- The manufacturers have employed the dual lumen (2 – in – 1) design, which is essential for elimination of noise interference as two external tubing do rub together hence noise interference.
- It has 2 tunable diaphragms that responds with simple change in pressure to capture a range of sound frequencies
- It is characterized with provision of versatile auscultation for the pediatrics and the adult patients alike.
- It has also been backed with a 5 year manufacturer warranty
One of the most important features of this stethoscope is its characterization with best acoustic results or rather response. It has a very sensitive tunable diaphragm together with dual lumen tubing that is an added advantage to the ergonomically designed chest piece. The chest piece is made from stainless steel to boost its appearance, durability and easy in maintenance. Headset tension can be reduced considerably since the headset can easily be adjusted for enhanced comfort. The resilient tubing makes it possible for the product to retain its shape even after being tightly folded in a pocket.
- It has also been designed with a tunable diaphragm that is responsible for collection of different frequency sounds.
- Comes in different colors to choose from
- It is 27” in length though there are some other sizes as well
- Comes with an adapter for special procedures.
- It is a high performance cardiology stethoscope
- It is accompanied with a seven year manufacturer warranty
- Comes with soft sealing Littmann ear tips
When looking for the best stethoscope to buy, it is important you stick to the well-known companies or rather brands. Littmann is one such brand that has cut a niche for itself and you will probably not be disappointed with their products. Go for a unit that guarantees you with performance as well as comfort. It has to be lightweight and one that gives you value for the money spent. A good stethoscope must not be expensive. However, if you are not on a tight budget, going for the models in the higher price end will obviously have its own pros over the cheap ones.