Ultimate Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a Stethoscope

Your Ultimate Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Stethoscope to Buy

Perhaps you are looking to purchase the most important instrument of your medical career, and you can’t quite figure out what to choose when shopping for it. Or, you are just a seasoned physician looking to buy an extra stethoscope for your own medical needs. Regardless of who you are or what your requirements are, having the best stethoscope is your greatest expectation.

Stethoscopes mainly apply across the board, including in physical diagnosis, Cardiology, EMT/EMS, ER, Nursing, Pediatrics, class work and Veterinary needs. And while all stethoscopes are designed to primarily serve the same purpose, it is their accuracy in diagnosis, reliability, and durability that make them different and thus the price variations. A mere visit to the DJ Medquip exposes you to a huge list of them.

A great stethoscope is told from how it makes auscultation a better experience, though that’s after following the follower guidelines when buying one.

(1). Construction


It is perhaps the most important aspect of a stethoscope, and that’s why its construction, performance and durability matters. Stainless steel or titanium made chest-piece that has come with a hand-polished finish is on the inside and the outside normally the best. That’s because any defects resulting from an uneven finish may absorb sound and thus hamper the overall instrument’s accuracy in delivering crisper, clearer sound.


When it comes to its headset, it should be of a high-density material, pretty much like the chest-piece. And though it must be angled at 150 for comfortable use, it is its sealing and amplifying acoustics that matter the most. However, just be careful with what materials it is used in its construction – latex-free perhaps.


It should be high-quality and durable, particularly because stethoscopes are used more frequently, and thus accidents and mishaps are commonplace.


At this point, it would be clever and imperative to consider thick and durable tubing so that all external noise doesn’t interfere with the acoustics. Thin tubings are prone to breakages and interferences, which inherently affect the quality and accuracy of the resonance.


Just like the other features, ear-tips play a critical role in proving accurate readings. And that’s why it should fit comfortably and securely inside the ear, create a seal to block off external sounds and thus guarantee near accurate results.

(2). Purpose

You should buy a stethoscope that suits your requirements; whether it is for Pediatric, adult care, cardiology, Anesthesiologist or even the EMT/EMS models. Mostly, a Cardiology stethoscopes deliver excellent heart sounds with minimal noise interferences, though the most recent ones; electronic stethoscope, seemingly enjoy a greater following. As for medical students and assistant nurses who have no huge need for stethoscopes, theirs can be the less expensive entry-level models.

(3). Environment

In a quiet setting, even a simple stethoscope can do the job amazingly. However, somewhere noisy like at an emergency unit or in an ambulance may require an electronic stethoscope. At this point, it is all about the instrument’s ability to listen to specific sounds with absolute reliability and clarity.

(4). Your budget

Being the biggest part of choosing and buying a stethoscope, your budget can also be a make-or-break point as far as the quality, model, and the environment is concerned. Being expensive doesn’t necessarily translate to premium quality. Basically, the price is determined by its weight, sound components, and brand.

For instance, lighter stethoscopes that have thick tubings tend to cost more, unlike those heavier maybe because they’re made from heavier metals. There are brands known for top-quality stethoscopes, like Littmann Stethoscopes and they also come at a cost. However, before you choose to buy because of its brand name, take a moment and go through the various stethoscope reviews out there. Remember, several online medical equipment stores like DJ Medquip offer to help you find a good stethoscope as per your budget.