An electronic stethoscope can be beneficial for anyone in the medical field. It can provide faster diagnostic results, produce clearer audio for analysis, and give the user more control over what they hear with noise-canceling features.
These can be useful in a variety of settings, from a specialist office to a busy clinic, or a roadside EMT. In order to find the best electronic stethoscopes, it is essential to know what features would be the best fit for each individual and what they need in such an advanced stethoscope.
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Our Top Recommended Digital Electronic Stethoscopes:
Keep reading for our more detailed reviews of the best electronic stethoscopes for nurses, Respiratory Therapists, doctors, EMT’s, and other healthcare professionals.
Best Digital Electronic Stethoscopes for Medical Professionals:
The user can choose between three different listening modes, including amplified, noise-canceling, and traditional analog. It supports keeping a safe distance from infectious patients by use of the wireless, Bluetooth-enabled auscultation.
This stethoscope can be paired with a free app for the ability to see a phonocardiogram in real-time, record sound bites from 15 to 120 seconds long for future analysis, as well as securely save and share recordings for second opinions.
- It provides a 40x amplification of sounds of the inner body.
- The stethoscope includes a noise-canceling feature for easy listening in busy clinics, roadside, or loud emergency situations.
- This digital stethoscope also can be paired with the free Eko app to record, save, and visualize sounds for a more detailed examination.
- It is lightweight and designed to be comfortable with all-day use.
The Cardionics E-Scope 7700 Digital Stethoscope makes it to number two on our list with its slim and lightweight design. This stethoscope can amplify the inner body sounds up to 30x more than traditional acoustic stethoscopes.
It has a sound filter control to switch between heart and lung sounds, as well as volume control located on the head of the device. A USB output for headphones or a PC connection is vital for recording important sounds for telemedicine or electronic medical records. This stethoscope is powered by a single AAA battery and has an automatic shut off timer to prevent battery loss.
- It can amplify sounds 30x more than traditional acoustic stethoscopes.
- A sound filter for switching between heart sounds versus lung sounds and their different frequencies.
- Provides an easy to reach volume control.
- It has a USB output for a second listener on headphones or a computer hookup.
- Automatic shut off timer to prevent battery drain.
Number three on our list is the Cardionics E-Scope II 7710 Belt Model Stethoscope. Designed to be used with in the ear (ITE) hearing aids, it has a USB output jack for use with headphones or to hook up to a computer for recording sounds.
Its volume control has sixty-four possible positions and is designed to remain at the volume previously set at every time it is used. A frequency control is also present and allows the user to concentrate on a specific frequency range for heart and lung sounds.
A specialist adult diaphragm is included that provides the user with 50% greater sound sensitivity as well as the ability to use the split-finger technique.
- Ability to be used with ITE hearing aids.
- It has an output for headphones or a computer connection.
- A frequency control to switch between heart and lung sounds.
- It also includes a specialist adult diaphragm, a pediatric diaphragm, pediatric and infant bells, extra ear tips, and a carrying case.
Our number four pick for best digital stethoscopes is the handy MDF Pulse Time Digital Stethoscope. This stethoscope is backed by a lifetime warranty and a free part replacement for life program.
There is a digital-analog clock on the back of the chest piece to make taking vitals and examining patients much more straightforward. A dual leaf spring construction allows for twice the durability of standard stethoscopes. It also comes with the company’s patented SafetyLock Eartip Adaptors that prevent punctured eardrums and makes it more comfortable to use for long periods of time.
- A digital-analog clock is situated on the back of the chest piece for ease and efficiency in patient examinations.
- The company provides a lifetime warranty and a free parts replacement program if anything ever happens to your stethoscope.
- Patented SafetyLock Eartip Adaptors and an ergonomic headset for a comfortable, more customized fit.
- It comes with two extra ear tips, an ID tag, and an ultra-sensitive fiber diaphragm.
Lastly, coming in at number five on our list is the 3M Littmann 3200BK Electronic Stethoscope. With this stethoscope, about 85% of ambient noise is eliminated, and frictional noise is reduced. It allows up to twelve, thirty second sounds to be recorded and stored.
Allows sounds to be transported over Bluetooth to enabled devices. This stethoscope can amplify the inner body sounds up to 24x more than a traditional acoustic stethoscope. It also includes a no chill diaphragm cover and soft seal ear tips.
- Elimination of 85% of ambient noise and a reduction in frictional noise.
- Twelve sounds, up to thirty seconds each, can be recorded and stored.
- The stethoscope can amplify sounds up to 24x more than a standard one.
- The company also provides a two-year warranty.
What is an Electronic Stethoscope?
An electronic stethoscope is one that takes the acoustic sounds of the inner body and has the ability to amplify the useful sounds while reducing any outside noise interference. The amplifying is helpful for users who are hard of hearing or use hearing aids, as many have output jacks to plug in external headphones.
Some of these types of stethoscopes also provide the user with a way to record and save the sounds for future analysis or to connect a PDA or computer with the stethoscope and see a phonocardiogram of the sounds.
Many of these stethoscopes are often run off of batteries, either AAA or watch batteries, but a few newer models are rechargeable just like with a phone or a laptop.
How Does an Electronic Stethoscope Work?
An electronic stethoscope is used in all the traditional ways a standard acoustic stethoscope is used. Listening to the inner body sounds of the heart, lungs, and bowels can be done without issue from both styles of stethoscopes.
But an electronic stethoscope is typically able to amplify the sounds electronically and reduce outside noise interference. They do this by converting acoustic sound waves, obtained from the stethoscope’s chest piece, into electrical signals.
Then the frequency that the electrical signals are sent in is amplified while other frequencies that come through, the ambient noise, are reduced and allow for a more precise sound to come through.
This sound is then either sent to the earpieces or headphones of the stethoscope or is sent to an external drive, such as a computer, for analysis.
Is a Digital Stethoscope Better Than a Traditional Stethoscope?
While many medical doctors are starting to prefer electronic stethoscopes over their traditional counterparts, there are some pros and cons to them.
First off are the pros; electronic stethoscopes can provide those that are hard of hearing or otherwise unable to use traditional stethoscopes, a viable alternative to use.
Likewise, suppose the user works in a specialty field, such as cardiology. In that case, they may prefer the benefits of more advanced stethoscopes, such as using a visual display or just the ability to record them for patient’s medical records.
They are also preferable if a quick analysis is required, such as in an emergency unit, because it takes less time to produce an accurate reading with the electronic version.
As for the cons, most electrical stethoscopes are more expensive than the traditional ones because of all the extra features they have. Their features also require a power source of some kind to function, and without it, they are useless.
With the battery requirements and extra features, these stethoscopes can be quite a bit heavier than standard ones, making it uncomfortable to lug around all day.
Overall, each healthcare worker must decide for themselves if the advances of digital stethoscopes would suit them well in their line of work. Your hearing ability is another thing to consider.
Stethoscope selection is one of the most personalized choices that a healthcare worker will make, so research and testing are vital to choosing the best one. Be sure to check out our full guide on the Best Stethoscopes for Medical Professionals to learn more.