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I can’t help it. I love writing top 10 stories, and combining it with some reviews is my specialty. With the help of my wife (Nurse Stacey) and a few of her coworkers, I came up with this list. We ended up with six great scopes for nurses to review. Of course these could also be used by mechanics, veterinarians and others, but since this site is really for nurses, I’ll stick with that for now. You can find all of these at Amazon (or other online retailers), and some of them can be purchased at your local medical supply stores. From my experience though, it’s always a lot cheaper to buy it online. The only reason I ever go to brick and mortar stores nowadays is because I can’t wait for it to be shipped to me.
With all of that said, here’s our review of the best nurses stethoscopes for 2015, with a product number to help you find it online. All of these are extremely popular, reasonably priced, have a ton of reviews from nurses and healthcare workers, have high quality, and are built to last. We will share a few reviews found online, along with our own opinions. Enjoy!
Omran Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope: At under $12 online, this is one of the least expensive quality pieces that you will find. Since most students are basically broke, this would be the #1 nursing student stethoscope, in our opinion. It would also be great to have as a backup to put in your nursing bag. Out of over 600 reviews on big A, it has 4 out of 5 stars. Considering the cheap price, that’s pretty dang good! It’s made with a latex free tubing and it has a chrome plated chest piece. It also has 3 different sizes of open bells, 2 different diaphragm sizes, a vinyl storage case to hold it, and 2 different pairs of ear tips. It’s a five in one multipurpose Quintscope. The item number is 416-22-BLK. One reviewer claimed that it had “nice clear thumps systolic to diastolic”, and even said that it was comparable to a Littman, at a fraction of the cost! Another MD with over 40 years of experience said that this is one of his favorites. Final review: it’s cheap, comes with everything you need, and it may end up being your favorite stethoscope.
3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope: This one will cost you right around $45 or so online, or you can buy one at your local store (probably for a lot more). The part/item model # is 2450. 3M Littmann is probably the most respected manufacturer in the business, and virtually all healthcare professionals have used their products. This one is known as their entry-level model. In other words, it’s not too cheaply built and you can afford it. It’s touted as being reliable, lightweight, and it has a clear acoustic response. You can also tune the diaphragm high frequency and low sounds with it. The tear drop shape makes it easy to put under a blood pressure cuff. The tips of the headset are also angled so that it fits comfortably in your ear canal. If you walk around wearing it on your neck all day, you will enjoy this instrument because it is the lightest one made by 3M that is built for adult patients. My favorite part of it is that it comes in so many colors such as: black, red, pink, blue, purple and green. If you’re into accessorizing with colors that match your outfits, it would be fun to have this in various colors. If you need a scope, but not a cardiac specific scope, this is the Littmann one to pick. As far as reviews of it online, there are over 1,200 just on Amazon. The overall rating comes in at 4.4, making it extremely popular. The most helpful review that I found online was from a medical student. She said that she has used this Littmann scope and much higher priced models that are specifically made for cardiologists. She said that this less expensive model was just as good to her. Final review: If you want a Littmann, go for it. It’s way cheaper than many of their models, the quality is great, and you can get it in fun colors that will put a smile on your face and make it harder for fellow nurses to steal/borrow.
ADC Adscope 609 ST Stethoscope: With a price tag of only around $19 from online stores, it’s worth at least looking into this scope. The UPC for it is 634782062873. It’s manufactured in Taiwan. It’s dimensions are roughly 31″ x 1″ x 4″. With a weight of just 7.2 ounces, it’s one of the lightest scopes you will find. It also has a large bell measuring at roughly 1.5″, and a 1.75″ diaphragm. It comes with PVC coated ear tips, and a spare diaphragm. Out of around 165 reviews for it on Amazon, it has an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Taking a look at a bunch of reviews for it online, almost all of them where very positive. It surprised me because I would think that a cheap scope made in China would be garbage, but apparently I was wrong. I read several EMT workers and respiratory therapists that praised its quality and lightness. In one review a nursing school made a bulk purchase of them to give to their students, and they claim that all of them loved it. Whether it can truly be compared with a Littmann is debatable, but you can’t deny the affordability of it. Final review: Despite my expectations, it’s apparently well made and affordable.
Hot Pink Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope: It’s hot pink, and it’s cheap. Enough said! I’m really impressed that prestige can make such a good-looking scope and sell it online for only around $17, and actually make a profit off of it. This Clinical Lite model made by Prestige has two different sizes of ear tips that comes with it. If one size is too big or small for you, just try the other one. That is really smart! The rim and diaphragm (it comes with an extra one) can both be taken off and easily snapped back on. As the “Lite” name implies, this is their lightest scope (just 4 ounces) built for clinicals, so it won’t weigh down on your neck when you’re in clinicals at school. Their secret to keeping the weight down is that it is manufactured from anodized aluminum. The UPC # is 786511560065. Out of the 140 or so reviews of it that I found online, it had almost 4 out of 5 stars. Most of the reviews that I read were really positive, but it’s probably important to note that this scope is really designed for nursing school clinicals, or healthcare workers that don’t need scopes that are extremely sensitive and precise. In other words, if you’re a heart surgeon, this probably isn’t the model for you. If you are a vet, student or EMT worker, it will probably work just fine. At only $17, it’s worth it just to find out. Final review: We love the color! This is so bright and shockingly pink that it’s worth buying just to have an accessory!
Second Generation RA Bock Cardiology Dual-Head Stethoscope With Stainless Steel Chest Piece: That’s a mouthful! Manufactured by R.A. Bock, if you buy this scope online it will set you back around $55. If you buy it from a medical store, you can expect to spend around $150 for it. That is exactly why we try to talk everyone into buying their supplies and tools online! This is an actual dual head cardiology scope. It has an adjustable double leaf binaural spring. It comes with three sets of extra ear tips and a spare diaphragm. Inside of it there are dual side by side tubings inside of a single tube. The tube is roughly 2 feet long. The chest piece is made out of a solid steel. It’s a true quality product, yet it’s still affordable. That’s a good combo! Looking at many of the reviews that I found for it on the internet, it has more than 4 out of 5 stars with over 200 reviews. The review that I found to be the most interesting was from an MD. He said that if you are looking into buying a Littmann Cardiology III, you should stop and buy this one. He said that the quality was just as good, if not better. At about 1/3 of the price of an upper end Littmann scope, I was sold. Other reviewers were also impressed by the positioning of the headset. They said that it created the perfect seal which made the quality of the sound perfect. Final review: If you need a fancy scope, but don’t want to pay the big money, this is an ideal solution.
3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope: This is the “big daddy” that every healthcare worker either has, or wishes that they had. The only problem is that it retails for around $205! If you really want the Cardiology 3 scope, you can save yourself quite a bit by searching around online for one. You can get a used one (ewww?) for under $100, or even a new one at sites like Amazon for around $150 (with free shipping). It has a 27″ tube. It comes in a ton of colors such as black, red, blue, brown, pink, green, grey, purple, white, and a lot of variations in between. It has a dual sided chest piece, 2 diaphragms that are tunable, and the two in one tube design gets rid of noise interference from two tubes rubbing against each other. The headset is also angled so that feels comfortable when inserting the scope’s ear pieces in the ear. It’s built so well that it comes with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty! If you’re looking for a versatile scope that has some of the best acoustic qualities on the market, this is it. Looking at its reviews online, you will be impressed. At Amazon alone, there were 800 reviews, with it scoring a whopping 4.7 out of 5 stars! A reviewer explained there that you can easily convert it from pediatrics to adult patients use by simply rotating the stem of the chest piece. Another nurse claimed that the Cardiology III scope transmits sounds from the abdomen, heart and lungs better than any stethoscope he’s ever had. Final review: If you have the money to spend, buy it.
So what do you think about our list of stethoscopes for nurses in 2015? Are there any models that we haven’t shown that need to be included? Do you have a review or any comments to add? We would love to hear from you!