Best Stethoscopes for Medical Students 2023
10 August 2023
Whether you've just started your journey or you're well into your career, every medical professional needs a brilliant stethoscope. It can be difficult to find the right one, particularly if you're new in the industry, since there's an overwhelming amount of brands and styles to choose from. Not only that - there are different types of stethoscopes for different methods of auscultation: only adding even more choice!
In today's blog, we'll give you the Best Stethoscopes for Medical Students 2023. Considering type, purpose, and applications for use, we'll provide the best options available with pros and cons of each.
Best Littmann Stethoscope
3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Black Stethoscope (5620)
Why We Love It: The classic stethoscope design and most medical students' first stethoscope, the 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Black Stethoscope (5620) offers unbeatable quality monitoring for both adult and paediatric patients. Ideal for detecting the full spectrum of heart beats, this cardiology stethoscope enhances patient wellbeing and comfort with a non-chill bell sleeve and latex-free design. With soft-sealing ear tips for sound occlusion, tuneable technology for easy transition between low and high frequency sounds, and an open bell design for prevention of infection through dirt and debris, this stethoscope is a student staple for very good reason.
Who Needs This Stethoscope? This is the best 'all-rounder' stethoscope, so we'd recommend it to any medical student needing to assess blood pressure and circulation in their patients.
What We Don't Love: With an intuitive yet refined design, the Littmann Classic offers the best cardiac monitoring that money can buy with the broadest range of applications. However, while its' design might be simple, its price tag isn't exactly budget friendly. It does come with a five year warranty though, so while it's not our most affordable option, it is guaranteed to see you through your studies.
Best Paediatric Stethoscope
3M Littmann Classic II Black Infant Stethoscope
Why We Love It: The industry standard 3M Littmann Classic II Black Infant Stethoscope combines the tried and tested Littmann design with sophisticated frequency detection, designed to detect even the tiniest of heartbeats. The stethoscope is 71cm in length, making it the perfect stethoscope for midwives for use on children and babies while in their cribs. In addition, it weighs only 90g - making it one of the most lightweight stethoscopes available on the market.
Who Needs This Stethoscope? The Littmann classic is one of the best stethoscopes for midwifery, gynaecological practices and any medical students specialising in paediatrics.
What We Don't Love: This powerful design packs a punch - and its price tag certainly does too. Medical students wanting affordable equipment won't be able to afford this - making it one of the more popular choices for qualified professionals. It also doesn't feature interchangeable chest pieces for adult and paediatric use, making it less convenient than a 'Twin Tube' or Sprague Rappaport stethoscope.
Best Teaching Stethoscope
Timesco Dual-head Teaching Stethoscope
Why We Love It: Using two binaural headsets, the Timesco Dual-Head Teaching Stethoscope allows for simultaneous use between student and teacher. Connected to the same chest piece, this simple yet powerful design allows the teacher to hear exactly the same sounds as their students in real time - making it ideal for training and learning environments. It can also detect conditions of the intestines and lungs, making it a fantastic tool for more general diagnostics too.
Who Needs This Stethoscope? Designed for use by two people, we'd recommend this design to anyone wanting to practise auscultation with a friend or teacher.
What We Don't Love: This design can't be used in professional, diagnostic environments. Instead, it is fit exclusively for training purposes - making it a brilliant option for practising and little else. For an alternative that can be used in professional spaces, check out the classic Littmann Stethoscope.
Best Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
Timesco Twin-Tube Sprague Rappaport Dual-Head Stethoscope
Why We Love It: Sprague Rappaport stethoscopes, also known as twin tube stethoscopes, are ideal for people needing an interchangeable design suitable for use on adults, children and infants. The Timesco Twin-Tube Sprague Rappaport Dual-Head Stethoscope features a huge variety of chest pieces, making this the most cost-effective (and therefore, student-friendly) design in this blog. Featuring various sizes of diaphragms, infant and medium-sized bells, multiple ear tips, plastic binaurals, tubing and a plastic container for easy storage, this is your best choice for diverse range of use.
Who Needs This Stethoscope? GPs, paediatricians, gastroentologists, hematologists and most medical students and professionals!
What We Don't Love: This ultra-lightweight design isn't ideal for people wanting a higher quality finish. For a more robust design that looks a little more professional, we'd recommend the 3M Littmann Classic III.
Best Single Head Stethoscope
Timesco Ruby Single-Head Stethoscope
Why We Love It: Single head stethoscopes are perhaps the most classic image that pops into our heads when we imagine a stethoscope, and they're also the easiest to use. The Timesco Ruby Single-Head Stethoscope is no different: perfect for use by a beginner and available in a choice of colours (for a pop of colour and fun in clinical scenarios), this option offers simple, fuss-free frequency detection. The single-head design and 47mm diameter surface area ensures murmurs, palpitations, heartbeats, digestive sounds and more can be heard clearly without interruption, helping students confidently learn to use this essential piece of medical equipment.
Who Needs This Stethoscope? Medical students wanting the most conventional form of stethoscope on the market for practising auscultation. This single head design is perfect for listening to a wider frequency of sounds, allowing the practitioner to focus on either the higher or lower end of the spectrum.
What We Don't Love: Single head stethoscopes offer more one-dimensional listening for vital signs in the lungs and heart, making this a relatively simple device. For more complex frequency analysis, check out our top recommendation for the best Dual Head Stethoscope.
Best Dual Head Stethoscope
Merlin Medical Blue Dual Head Stethoscope
Why We Love It: Dual head stethoscopes allow for more advanced frequency detection, making them ideal for detecting more complex health conditions. The Merlin Medical Blue Dual Head Stethoscope is our best dual head option available due to its' affordable price but sophisticated binaural mechanism. Since each head detects one opposite of the frequency spectrum it can be used on children and adults, giving it a broad range of use on patients too!
Who Needs This Stethoscope? GPs, paediatricians, gastroentologists, hematologists and most medical students and professionals.
What We Don't Love: Dual head stethoscopes aren't the best 'starter' stethoscopes, so if you're looking to practise auscultation for the first time ever, we'd recommend the Single Head Stethoscope instead. In addition, this stethoscope doesn't include quite as many additional features as the Twin Tube Stethoscope option, for the more financially-conscious penny pinchers amongst you.
What Do Stethoscopes Do?
A stethoscope is a medical instrument used to listen to the internal sounds of an animal or human body. It typically has a small disc-shaped resonator that is placed against the skin, with either one or two tubes connected to two earpieces. A stethoscope can be used to listen to the sounds made by the heart, lungs or intestines, as well as blood flow in arteries and veins.
In combination with a manual sphygmomanometer, it is commonly used when measuring blood pressure. Here are some of the sounds that doctors listen for with a stethoscope:
Doctors use the sounds they hear with a stethoscope to diagnose a variety of health conditions, including:
Stethoscopes are an essential tool for doctors and other healthcare providers. They allow doctors to listen to the internal sounds of the body and diagnose a variety of health conditions.
We have a huge range of Stethoscopes available to buy for medical students and professionals alike. Check out the below information for even more options to choose from: