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Are you looking for one of the best stethoscopes on the market today? If so then you’ve come to the right place because we have compiled a list of the absolute best stethoscopes for Respiratory Therapists and all other medical professionals.

As a medical professional, it’s pretty much a given that you will need a high-quality stethoscope, especially as a Respiratory Therapist.

On the job, you will use many tools on a daily basis, but the stethoscope is arguably the most important. That’s because, with the right stethoscope, you can vividly hear lung and heart sounds (among other important assessments) which will help you properly diagnose and treat your patients.

A stethoscope is an indispensable utensil that nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists use over and over again throughout the day. Rarely will you find a medical professional on the job who has strayed far from their stethoscope. If you’re like me, your stethoscope will literally become an extension of your body, which is why determining the best stethoscope is so important. The best part is, you can use our list of the best stethoscopes below to help you do just that! 

When we made our selections for the list below, we took into account the following factors:

Acoustic clarity
Price
Comfort
Reliability

Finding the best stethoscope can definitely be a challenge. While you want a high-quality stethoscope, it can be difficult to find one at a high-quality price, if you catch my drift. But not to worry, because we have taken the guesswork out of the equation for you and put together a nice list of excellent stethoscopes that can all be found on Amazon.com at an affordable rate.

Each stethoscope listed here varies in price and quality, but each recommendation here will definitely meet your needs as a respiratory therapist, nurse, doctor, EMT, or any other healthcare professional.

Please note that some of the links in this list are affiliate links, which means that I get a small percentage of the sale. Not to worry, it doesn’t cost you any extra. It helps to keep the lights on around here. So without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the…

Best Stethoscopes for Respiratory Therapists:

Coming in at #1, the 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope is the best bang for your buck, there’s no doubt about it. This is my stethoscope of choice and the one I use on a daily basis. Not only does it provide great sound clarity, you can also get it at a great price compared to others in its class. This one has a two-sided chest piece that allows you to listen to both adults and pediatrics. It is very easy to clean because the surface is smooth with no crevices. What more could you ask for when looking for a quality stethoscope?

The tubing is flexible, durable, and comfortable to wear around your neck or even in your pocket. Whether you’re a Respiratory Therapist, Nurse, Doctor, EMT, or even a student, this is a great stethoscope for all medical professionals. It sits at the top of our list because this stethoscope provides you with the best quality for the best price. It’s that simple. This is the stethoscope that I recommend most frequently and I have the utmost confidence in this recommendation. 

Coming in at number two on the list is the MDF Rose Gold MD One Premium Dual Head Stethoscope. Isn’t she beautiful? I’m not even going to lie to you, a big factor as to why this stethoscope ranks so high on our list is because of it’s aesthetic appearance. The white on the rose gold just go so well together and can definitely make anyone stand out on the job. I know, I know; as medical professionals, we’re here to serve and take care of our patient first and foremost. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good while doing so.

Now let’s talk about its functionality. Not only is it extremely fashionable but it gets the job done nicely as well. Being a dual-head stethoscope, it works really well picking up both high and low frequencies. I always recommend this one for all the ladies out there. If you’re looking for a beautiful and luxurious stethoscope that will also provide you with clear and crisp acoustics, this is the one for you.

Coming in at number three on our list of best stethoscopes, the 3M Littmann Lightweight S.E. Stethoscope is also a great option for most medical professionals. While it is not going to be quite as top-notch as the Littmann Classic III, this stethoscope still provides reliability and durability and will be all you need and more during your shift. I like this one because the head has a classic tear-drop shape, which fits nicely under the blood pressure cuff for when you need to do a manual assessment, among other beneficial qualities.

The reason this one ranks so high on our list is because of the affordability that comes with it. It’s great because you get a very high-quality Littmann stethoscope at a much lower price compared to others on this list. Thanks to the affordability, this is the stethoscope that I recommend most often for students. 

Are you on a budget? Then the MDF Acoustica Delux Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope may be the best stethoscope for you. The acoustics with this one are good but not great – you get what you pay for. I tested this one out as a student in Respiratory Therapy school (because it was the only one I could afford) and it did everything I needed it to do. I could hear breath sounds just fine, however, if you’re needing a stethoscope to listen more precisely, maybe you should select one of the higher-quality stethoscopes on the list. 

This one is very lightweight but yet is also more durable than you would expect. You are not going to be able to hear heart sounds as clearly as a more expensive option, but you still get pretty good quality for the price. And that is why this one still ranks relatively well on our list.

When it comes to acoustics, clarity, and sounds, the 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is the best of the best. You won’t find a stethoscope that provides clearer sounds than this one within a reasonable price range. I often notice that this is the stethoscope of choice for many doctors in the hospital where I work. There’s a reason for that because of the quality, comfortability, and durability are top of the line. With that being said, this stethoscope is so high in quality that it tends to be a bit more expensive compared to others on this list. But if you’re a doctor or someone who is looking for top-of-the-line when it comes to acoustics, this is the stethoscope for you.

Like most Littmann stethoscopes, this one has a dual-sided chest piece that allows it to be used for both adults and pediatrics. If you are looking to shell out a few more bucks on a higher quality stethoscope that is the best in its class, you won’t be disappointed with this one. The only reason it’s not at the top is because of the price.

Next on our list is the MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope. This one is simply what I like to call a “good” stethoscope. What I mean is that it is pretty much good (but not great) at everything. It has really good sound quality, good durability, and you can get it at a good price on Amazon.com. It has thicker tubing, which is great for durability, but it may not be quite as comfortable around your neck as some of the other options on this list. 

Antoher con with this stethoscope is that it has limited options when it comes to color. Most of the other options on this list come in a variety of color. This one, however, only comes in all black. I think it looks great, but I can understand that this wouldn’t necessarily be a good fit for everyone. 

Next up is the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope. This is the cheapest option on the list, which is why it falls still relatively high on the list. This stethoscope is a great choice for students or someone who is looking to purchase their first stethoscope. It has dual tubing, which is unique to the others on this list. Included with the purchase are three sizes of open bells, two sizes of diaphragms, and two pairs of extra ear tips, along with a vinyl storage case. For the price, you are actually getting a great deal because you will still be able to accomplish any task as you would with a more expensive option.

Now let’s talk about the sound quality. Obviously, this stethoscope isn’t going to provide you with the best of the best when it comes to acoustics. However, it is just good enough to get the job done, and that’s all that matters. So for any nursing students out there on a budget, this is a good choice for you.

Next up is the 3M Littmann Select Stethoscope. I mean, you already know. It’s a Littmann, so you know the quality will be great, but this is one of the most affordable options that they have to offer. And that’s why it firmly solidified itself on my list of best stethoscopes because you are still getting a good tool for a great price. A good thing about this stethoscope is that it is extremely lightweight, which makes it extra comfortable around your neck. This is a great choice for someone who wants a Littmann stethoscope but doesn’t want to break the bank.

Now let’s talk about the sound quality. To be honest, the quality isn’t anywhere near as good as the 3M Littmann Classic III or the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV because as we already know, those are top-of-the-line. However, for the price, you’re still getting a great stethoscope.

Moving right along with the next stethoscope on out list! One great thing about the Vorfreude Cardiology Stethoscope is that it comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. So if you break it or mess it up ten years down the road, no worries, they will still replace it for you. How awesome it that? This one is German engineered and is manufactured with good quality for the price. Not to mention, the acoustics are pretty good as well. I’ve experienced quite a few medical professionals at my clinical sites using this stethoscope, especially EMTs, and they all had great things to say about it.

Another bonus is all the accessories that come with the stethoscope, as you can see in the picture. When you order from Amazon.com, it comes as a complete kit that includes the stethoscope, four replaceable earbuds, a diaphragm inside replacement, and a pen-light with batteries. This is the most durable stethoscope on the list, as it literally will last a lifetime. 🙂

Coming next on our list is the ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Stethoscope. This is another “good” stethoscope. You will not really find anyone jumping for joy about this one, but also you won’t find many complaints either. This one is old-school and used to be the stethoscope of choice back in the day. For good reason too because it truly is a high-quality stethoscopre for any medical professional. It’s adjustable frequency technology gives you the ability to pinpoint the exact acoustic range that you need to hear at any given time. What more could you ask for?

If you are wanting to switch it up and be different, and go with the class ADC brand, you will get no judgement from me because, all-in-all, this has always been and will always be a solid stethoscope.

And last but most certainly not least, finishing off our list of best stethoscopes is the 3M Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope. Like the other Littmann stethoscopes mentioned on our list, this one is great as well. The reason it falls down at the bottom of the list is because it is essentially the older model of the stethoscope ranked #1 on this list (3M Littmann Classic III). Don’t get me wrong, this is a great stethoscope, but the technology is just a few years older than the new and improved models.

With that being, if you need a stethoscope that will allow you to fullfill all your duties as a medical professional, this one can still get the job done. This model is very lightweight and feels comfortable around your neck. So if you work in an active hospital where you move around a lot, this may be a good selection for you.

What are the Most Common Types of Stethoscopes?

As you’ll soon notice once you start looking to purchase a stethoscope, they come in all different shapes, sizes, and models. So in order to help you choose the best stethoscope, let’s talk about the different types. 

Acoustic

These are your typical (basic) stethoscopes that you normally see in use with medical professionals. They are also the ones that you see above on our list as well (because they are my favorite kind). While acoustic stethoscopes sometimes do not pick up quite as much sound as the electronic models, they work well enough for all medical professionals and have other benefits as well, such as easier maintenance and lower price points. 

There are two types of acoustic stethoscopes:

  • Single Head Stethoscopes – these are known for clear and wide frequency sound output. They allow you to focus in on both high or low-frequency sounds are mostly recommended for general usages, like listening to the pateint’s breath sounds and others basic assessments. 
  • Dual-Head Stethoscopes – these tend to be more versatile than their single head stethoscope counterparts. As the same suggests, they have two heads – the diaphragm and the bell. The diaphragm is the larger flat part of the stethoscope that works great for high-frequency sounds. On the other hand, the bell is the smaller cup-like part of the stethoscope that works better for low-frequency sounds. 

Electronic

If you’re more interested in technology as opposed to the classic acoustic stethoscopes, then an electronic stethoscope may be a better fit for you. Due to their newer and more elaborate technology, these are equipped with features that hear a much greater range of noise frequencies compared to others. This allows medical professionals to hear more than with acoustic stethoscopes, although this is not always necessary.

What are the Parts of a Stethoscope?

In order to truly know how to pick out the best stethoscope, it’s important to know all of the parts. So let’s discuss all the different parts of a stethoscope!

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is the larger side and circular piece at the end of the chest-piece (the part we place on the patient to listen). This is what allows you to hear frequencies and sounds. Being to the most essential part of the stethoscope, it’s important that the chest-piece (including both the diaphram and bell) should be made from high-quality material. 

Bell

This is the small end of the chest-piece. It focuses on the sound of lower-frequency that may not easily be detected by the diaphragm. This side is typically used on neonatal patients where the sounds are more difficult to pinpoint and hear.

Earpiece

This is simply the piece that goes into the users ears. It should feel soft and fit perfectly into the ear canal. Another thing to keep in mind about the earpiece, it should also be properly angled to ensure crisp sound playback.

Tube

The tube is what transport sound transmission from the chest-piece to the earpiece and allows the user to hear sounds. The tube of a good stethoscope will have a tube made of high-quality material to ensure that it doesn’t crack, bend, or break after use. I’ve already had my 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope for years and you can see no wear to the tubing. This is how I know that I have a reliable, high-quality stethoscope.

Which Stethoscope Brand is the Best?

As you can see, the Littmann Stethoscope brand completely dominated this list. That is because the company does a great job of providing high-quality stethoscopes at affordable prices. But let’s not forget the others mentioned as well because there are several other great options on the list if a Littmann is not for you.

This is definitely debatable and I don’t get paid anything by Littmann to mention them here. But from my personal experience working in the medical field as a Respiratory Therapist, I’ve only had a wonderful experience using my 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope, and I can recommend it to you with confidence as well.

Final Thoughts

So whether you’re looking for an entry-level stethoscope, higher-quality cardiology stethoscope, or something in between, they can all be found on Amazon.com. Just as a reminder, Amazon offers most of these stethoscopes in many different colors as well, so you are sure to find a color that fits your style.

Now you know the absolute best stethoscopes for Respiratory Therapists. The good this is, these stethoscopes aren’t just for Respiratory Therapists either. You could safely say that these are also some of the best stethoscopes for nurses, doctors, EMT’s, and even students as well. If you’re in need of a good stethoscope, you can definitely find it here.

Just use the list above and you can pinpoint the perfect stethoscope to fit your budget and needs. Breathe easy y’all, have a great day, and as always, happy auscultating!