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The Best Stethoscopes for Medical Professionals

A person using a digital stethoscope to listen to a child's heartbeat with waveform visualization on a smartphone.
3M Littmann

When thinking of medical professionals, a couple of things come to mind for most people: a white coat (or scrubs) and a stethoscope at the ready to listen to your heartbeat!

Stethoscopes are essential devices for doctors, nurses, medical students, EMTs, and medical professionals of all stripes. In fact, stethoscopes have been in use since the 1800s to listen to the sounds of the heart. Unsurprisingly, there are many stethoscope options on the market today, and finding the right one for you and your job can be tricky.

Luckily, there are many amazing stethoscopes out there for you, regardless of your budget or occupation. We made this guide to simplify your search for the perfect stethoscope to fit your unique needs.

Buying a Stethoscope

Here’s what to listen for while shopping:

  • Application: There’s a world of difference between traditional stethoscopes, digital stethoscopes, and cardiology stethoscopes. Consider the demands of your position and the environment that you practice in to determine what level of sound quality, sound amplification, and noise cancellation is right for you.
  • Durability: Let’s face it, tools of the trade that are used every day are destined to be banged around from time to time. When this happens, you definitely don’t want your stethoscope to give up the ghost. Be sure to read customer reviews to see how others have fared with their stethoscopes to ensure that the one you decide on is rugged enough to make the grade.
  • Style: While the style might not sound like an important consideration to some, keep in mind that it’s much easier for someone to mistake your stethoscope for theirs if both stethoscopes are the plain black and silver affairs that one sees all over the office. Therefore, a unique and stylish stethoscope is less likely to get lost and might even brighten your day!

Best Overall: 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

A black stethoscope with a single-piece, tunable diaphragm.
3M Littmann

When medical professionals think of stethoscopes, Littmann is the name that immediately comes to mind. It’s no surprise, then, that the 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope easily takes our Best Overall award due to its amazing sound quality and unbeatable dependability. What really makes this stethoscope stand out, though, is its loud and clear sound as well as its ability to block out noises, making it ideal for EMTs or those who work in a noisy setting. Additionally, every aspect of this stethoscope works to perfection, from its tunable diaphragm to its lightweight, durable design. As a nice bonus, this product comes in a wide variety of colors, making it less likely that someone will accidentally walk away with your new favorite stethoscope.

Best Overall

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

From its amazing sound quality to its durable, easy-to-use design, there is no question why this stethoscope is highly rated by medical professionals.

Best Value: MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope

An aluminum stethoscope with a purple nonstick tube and a tunable chest piece.
MDF Instruments

If you’re looking for the closest alternative to the 3M Littmann Classic III at the lowest possible price, the MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope is for you. Featuring rugged aluminum construction and incredible sound for the price, this budget-friendly stethoscope is hands down your best option at this price point. It captures high and low frequencies with ease and has no trouble with heart, lung, and stomach use, making it ideal for a wide range of specialists as well as medical students. Additionally, this product comes with an extra diaphragm and an ID tag, which is a lovely touch and solidifies this stethoscope as the best value of the bunch.

Best Value

MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope

If you're looking for the best sound quality at the lowest possible price, this stethoscope delivers. It also sports plenty of unique color options.

Best Digital: 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

A black digital stethoscope with app connectivity, active noise cancellation, and sound amplification.
3M Littmann

For those who have trouble hearing through traditional stethoscopes due to hearing loss or for any other reason, the 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope is an amazing tool. This stethoscope can amplify sounds up to 40x and connects to free Eko software so that you can visualize the sounds you’re hearing. This also makes this stethoscope a wonderful choice for students, giving them an innovative way to learn that previous generations could only dream of. Besides its state-of-the-art technology, this product features the same quality construction and durability that Littmann stethoscopes are known for, making this an outstanding choice for those who are not turned off by the somewhat expensive price tag.

Best Digital

3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

This stethoscope can toggle between analog and digital modes and sports incredible sound amplification and noise cancellation.

Best for Cardiology: MDF ProCardial Cardiology Stethoscope

A rose gold titanium cardiology stethoscope with a dual head and a white glittery tube design.
MDF Instruments

When a cardiac assessment is undertaken, only the best sound quality will suffice to differentiate the minute sounds of the heart and arrive at a correct diagnosis. This stethoscope truly delivers, whether you’re listening for subtle sounds of the heart, lungs, or stomach. If that isn’t enough, its lightweight titanium design is incredibly durable, and this stethoscope comes in so many styles that you’re guaranteed to find a unique style that you’ll cherish for years to come.

Best for Cardiology

MDF ProCardial Cardiology Stethoscope

This titanium cardiology stethoscope features amazing acoustics for optimal sound quality and comes in a wide variety of fashionable styles.

Also Great: EverOne Premium Cardiology Stethoscope

A black dual-lumen cardiology stethoscope with a stainless steel chest piece.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, high-quality stethoscope for the office that’s made for everyday use, the EverOne Premium Cardiology Stethoscope is a great choice. Featuring a lightweight design and loud, clear sound quality, it’s ideal for measuring blood pressure, hearing lung sounds, and even performing basic cardiac assessments. Additionally, it’s more comfortable to wear than similar budget-priced options and durable enough to take a beating. This stethoscope also scores points for its double tube, which does a good job of limiting auditory interference.

Also Great

EverOne Premium Cardiology Stethoscope

This comfortable, anatomically designed stethoscope is durably constructed for everyday use and features great sound clarity for its budget price.

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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