If you are looking for the best stethoscope for medical students, assistants, and med school, you should deal with the most important criteria before buying. We are saying this, because the differences between entry-level models and professional stethoscopes are very large.
The price varies accordingly. You should therefore first deal with the structure of a stethoscope and then compare the functionality and quality criteria of the models in question. If this is too time-consuming for you and you prefer to make a quick but good purchase decision, you can follow our purchase recommendation, because we have already done the research for you.
This is how we can offer you the Lightning X Sprague Rappaport Style Dual Head Medical Stethoscope recommend, because the stethoscope is very cheap, but still convinces as a solid product, with a good fit and good acoustic quality.
Alternatively, the MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope with Adult, Pediatric, and Infant Convertible chestpiece from MDF Instruments is highly recommended, because it is handmade, high-quality workmanship and offers very good acoustic quality.
List of Best Stethoscope for Medical Students
We present the best stethoscope for medical students, assistants, and med school Stethoscopes in 2020.
- Medical Impex double tube Rappaport stethoscope
- Mdf Instruments Sprague Rappaport two-head stethoscope with exchangeable chest piece
- 3M Littmann 2290 Select stethoscope
- MDF Instruments MDF777 MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
- Littmann electronic stethoscope model 3200 burgundy
1. Medical Impex double tube Rappaport stethoscope
The model with the two-hose system from MEDICAL IMPEX prevailed as the test winner and thus the best stethoscope. The very cheap stethoscope is available for around 10 euros and carries the sound waves separately to each ear, so that a good listening result can be achieved. It can also be used as a children’s or baby stethoscope, but there are no separate attachments that are especially suitable for children or babies or adults. Nevertheless, the sound quality is very good, thanks to the fully screwed all-metal chestpiece.
The spring clip is also solid enough for occasional use. The scope of delivery includes three sets of ear tips so that you can clean and replace them after use. In relation to the price, the model offers excellent acoustic quality, which is absolutely sufficient for domestic use and can even keep up with much more expensive models. Unfortunately, the membrane itself is not of very high quality, so it is prone to defects. An exchange is possible, but this is usually not worthwhile. Nevertheless, it is worth buying the model if you are looking for a solid and very cheap stethoscope for occasional listening. If it is to be used more often, it is worth investing in a higher-quality model due to the processing of the membrane.
2. Mdf Instruments Sprague Rappaport two-head stethoscope with exchangeable chest piece
The high quality and handcrafted stethoscope from MDF Instruments is not cheap, but offers excellent workmanship and acoustic quality. In addition, the scope of delivery includes additional listening attachments for children and adults so that diagnostics are much better possible and can also be used well for newborns. The traditional 5-in-1 Sprague design ensures good results and the two-channel sound also improves the perception of the noises. It is equipped with a rotary double outlet valve stem and all components are individually manufactured and precisely assembled. This results in a high quality. The membrane was also able to convince in the test, because it struck very sensitively and ensures good sound transmission.
If you are looking for a high-quality stethoscope for extensive heart and breast diagnostics, which is also very suitable for children and infants, the purchase of the model from MDF is definitely worthwhile. Thanks to the three separate accessories, extensive diagnostics can be carried out at a high level – provided you know what you are doing.
3. 3M Littmann 2290 Select stethoscope
The entry-level model of the professional series from Littmann is particularly suitable for blood pressure and routine examinations. The acoustic performance is rated 6 out of 10 in the Lettmann internal scale, but corresponds to an excellent acoustic quality in the home area, because compared to cheap stethoscopes, the model delivers excellent results due to the dual-frequency membrane from 3M. This is characterized by the fact that different frequency ranges can be heard by regulating the contact pressure (low pressure corresponds to low frequencies, high pressure corresponds to high frequencies), but exercise is necessary for correct application.
It is built in a single hose system and is very comfortable to wear, as the ear hooks can be individually adjusted. The model is an entry-level model that was specially developed for carers and nurses. Since it is inexpensive but still affordable, it is also suitable for use at home. The supplied universal chest piece is not very suitable for newborns, but for all other applications it is well balanced and ensures good results.
4. MDF Instruments MDF777 MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
The MDF777 Premium two-head stethoscope secured fourth place in our test. The manufacturer MDF is known for very good stethoscopes and offers different versions. The MDF777 is in a medium to low price segment and is a simple model that is very well suited for daily use in medicine.
The manufacturer MDF has become known for stethoscopes, among other things, because the products have been made by hand since 1971. In addition, the MDF777 is free from latex and is part of the Free-Parts-for-Life program. This program is the manufacturer’s offer to replace individual parts free of charge.
The stethoscope is made of a stainless steel. Stainless steel has several advantages. With regard to the stethoscope, the main aspect is that the steel can have a very good acoustic effect.
The model is available in more than ten different colors. The processing can be described as very positive. A real specialty, however, is the integrated SafetyLock. This is a protection that ensures that the eardrums cannot burst when using the MDF777.
Other aspects that convinced the stethoscope in the test are:
- ComfortSeal ear tips, which are made from a very soft silicone
- Chest piece is handmade and has a convertible double head
- Acoustic hose in a practical Y-shape
The acoustic hose is made of PVC, which is latex free. Due to the material and the special shape, the hose should protect against outside noise and thus enable optimal sound transmission. The material also reduces signs of wear and tear.
5. Littmann electronic stethoscope model 3200 burgundy
The non plus ultra is the electronic model from Littmann. With a price of over 500 euros, it is unaffordable for most private individuals, but it offers a range of functions that is second to none. In addition to active noise reduction, which reduces ambient noise by up to 85%, it also offers a Bluetooth interface for recording noises for later playback. It is specially designed for listening to heart and lung noises that are difficult to hear and impressed the professional testers across the board. The supplied software is used to visualize the heart and lung tones and thus offers an additional diagnostic instrument.
Thanks to the auto-on function, there is no need to wait for the next auscultation to be carried out and the measured values can be read on the illuminated LCD display. The Littmann stethoscope offers the best possible acoustic quality and enables extensive and detailed diagnostics, even when noises are difficult to hear.
Of course, it is usually unsuitable for private use, but it is one of the best clinical stethoscopes on the market.
Also Read: 3M Littmann 3200BK Stethoscope Review
Stethoscope for Medical Students, Assistants, and Med School Buying Guide
If you want to buy a stethoscope – for whatever purpose – you will quickly find that the range on offer is very large and confusing. It is all the more important to deal with the functionality and structure as well as the most important purchase criteria before buying and comparing prices.
While an inexpensive stethoscope is completely sufficient for many areas of application in the private sector, you have to pay attention to very good workmanship and quality for professional applications. Finally, in our top 5 list of the best stethoscopes of 2020, you will find a recommendation for various models of different quality.
How it works and definition
Compared to other medical utensils / tools, stethoscopes are also very popular in the private sector because they are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. This is partly due to the simple functional principle, because with a classic stethoscope, the sound waves are conducted through direct body contact via the membrane in the chest piece and the hose system to the ear hooks and the ear tips.
It doesn’t take more to make the most important Korotkow flow noises audible. In this way, pathological noises can be recognized quickly and, especially for people interested in medicine, a stethoscope is an important and interesting tool for quickly checking symptoms of illness. Of course, children also have great fun making the otherwise inaudible noises in the body audible. Which model is the best stethoscope for you depends of course on the intended use, because a children’s toy does not have to be of as high quality as a model that you want to use for diagnosis.
Structure of a stethoscope
Most stethoscopes consist of four basic elements:
-> ear hook
The most important component is the brisket. A high-quality stethoscope differs here most clearly from a toy or a cheap model. It can be one-sided or two-sided. A two-part chestpiece, also known as a double-headed chestpiece, is a model that has a funnel side in addition to the membrane side. With the funnel, low-frequency noises can be perceived much better, while the membrane is more suitable for high-frequency noises.
Membrane itself is the side of the chest piece that can be used to listen to the chest or abdominal area. To do this, the membrane is pressed onto the skin in order to optimally transmit the sound waves to the ear tips. A main criterion for a good stethoscope that can also be used for medical purposes is the dual-frequency diaphragm. This allows different frequencies to be amplified by regulating the pressure. With little pressure, low frequencies should be made more audible, while with strong pressure the high frequencies stand out better. This eliminates the need to use a funnel so that a dual frequency diaphragm can replace a double headed chestpiece.
When hose there are two different methods of construction. On the one hand, there is the classic double tube system in which two separate tubes merge into the double tube of the stethoscope. This type of hose is significantly more bulky, which can be a disadvantage in everyday medical practice. On the other hand, there is also the one-hose system. In addition to the number of separate hoses, the length of the hoses is also differentiated, because a longer hose improves the perception of low-frequency sounds, as these are naturally not perceived as well by the human ear.
The Ear Hooks
These hooks end in the ear tips and ensure that the noises can be heard by the ear. Here it is particularly important that they are airtight and soundproof so that no external noises can penetrate. It is therefore important that the olives are soft and not made of hard plastic. This may not be so relevant for a children’s toy, but for a medicinal use the olives should close perfectly.
Quality and purchase criteria
In addition to the criteria already mentioned for the individual components, there are other important aspects that you should consider when making a purchase decision. Always note that aesthetic aspects are always subordinate to medical aspects such as material quality and functionality.
An important feature of a good stethoscope is a stainless steel chest piece. This enables a soundproof seal between the membrane and the chest piece. Whether you opt for a double-headed chestpiece or a model with a dual-frequency membrane is ultimately a matter of taste, although most specialists still rely on the double-headed version. For the private sector it can also be interesting to differentiate the different frequencies by means of pressure, even if this requires a little more practice. If you only want to hear heartbeats and no lung tones anyway, you don’t need to amplify the low frequencies.
The choice of hose system is also a matter of taste. In case of doubt, a practical test should be carried out to find out your personal preference before you decide on a model, because neither system has decisive advantages or disadvantages. It is only important that the hose is not too short or too long, so that on the one hand the sound is transported well and on the other hand handling is not made difficult by a hose that is too short. In addition, the hose should of course be sufficiently robust and made of a high-quality material so that it does not become brittle over time.