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11 Best Stethoscopes for Nurses and Nursing Students

10 Min Read Published November 29, 2023
11 Best Stethoscopes for Nurses and Nursing Students

Whether you are at the beginning of your nursing journey as a nursing student or a seasoned nurse, all nurses need access to a trustworthy stethoscope to aid in the best assessment of their patients. Your stethoscope will help you assess changes in your patient’s condition in real time and formulate a plan of care. Fortunately, there are many types of stethoscopes available to meet your patient care needs and express your style and personality through your stethoscope.

Some of the most popular stethoscopes on the market for nurses include brand names like Littman, MDF, Prestige Stethoscope, Adc Scope, Welch Allen, and Eko. But the most important feature in any stethoscope—whether you’re specializing in cardiology or need a pediatric stethoscope–is, of course, sound quality and durability. And hey, a stylish stethoscope never hurt anyone either, right? 

If you’re on the hunt for a new stethoscope, check out Nurse.org’s 11 best stethoscopes for nurses, along with a few key accessories you may need.

Nurse.org may receive a portion of sales via affiliate links on this page. We strive to write recommendations that genuinely reflect our true opinion of the product or service.

 

1. Eko CORE 500™ Digital Stethoscope

Buy on Eko Health for $429

The CORE 500™ is the first digital stethoscope with high fidelity audio, a full-color display, and 3-lead ECG. With advanced TrueSound™ technology, the CORE 500™ defines the next generation of audio quality and provides the most precise sound.  

  • TrueSound™ technology minimizes artifact.
  • Full-color display shows 1-lead ECG, exam insights, and device settings directly on the stethoscope.
  • 3-lead ECG provides a comprehensive view of your patient’s heart.
  • Arrhythmia detection supported by Eko AI flags abnormalities in seconds (when connected to the Eko App).
  • Up to 40x sound amplification with 7 volume levels increases confidence in what you're hearing. 
  • Active noise cancellation reduces unwanted background sounds.
  • Wireless listening via Bluetooth-enabled devices lets you use your stethoscope with or without the headset.
  • Record, save, and share functions let you share data with a trusted colleague for a second opinion or specialist for follow up.
  • Includes free access to the Eko App for a complete exam experience.

Designed for: Clinicians who need to listen to body sounds with precision, work in settings with background noise, or regularly assess patients for abnormalities. Can be used in screening, monitoring, or triaging patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Amazon star rating: 4.74 out of 5

Positive reviews: 149

Price: Starting at $429

Where to buy: Eko CORE 500™ Digital Stethoscope

2. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for  $82.31

The 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope is a classic for a reason. It’s a timeless choice and an excellent stethoscope for both established nurses and students alike. The stethoscope is appropriate for use with both adult and pediatric patients and has a tunable diaphragm, which helps you hear different sounds depending on the amount of pressure you apply to the chest piece. It also features a non-chill bell sleeve, so your patients will appreciate not having a cold stethoscope applied to their skin. The soft sealing ear tips allow outside noises to be canceled and allow you to comfortably listen to your patient. This stethoscope comes in a variety of colors to help yours stand out.

Amazon star rating: 4.8 out of 5

Positive reviews: 55,582

Price: Starting at $82.31

Where to buy: 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Key features: Littman brand, nursing student stethoscope

3. MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $29.99

The MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual-Head Stethoscope is an affordable stethoscope option that still provides high sound quality performance. Anyone who has used a stethoscope for any length of time will tell you that sometimes parts such as earbuds need to be replaced. MDF offers a free-parts-for-life program, which adds extra value to this already economical option. This stethoscope also features patented Safety Lock ear tip adaptors which help protect a nurse’s ears while wearing the stethoscope.

Amazon star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 25,430

Price: Starting at $29.99

Where to buy: MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

Key features: Nursing student stethoscope, MDF brand, stylish stethoscope, high sound quality

4. ADC Adscope Lite 619 Ultra Lightweight Clinician Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $29.48

The ADC Adscope Lite 619 Ultra-Lightweight Stethoscope is another affordable stethoscope option. This model features an extra-deep bell and ultra-sensitive diaphragm for increased sound amplification and high-frequency sound transmission, such as when patients have artificial heart valves. ADC also offers complimentary refurbishment if your stethoscope is damaged and free parts for a lifetime.

Amazon star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 1,354

Price: Starting at $29.48

Where to buy: ADC Adscope Lite 619 Ultra Lightweight Clinician Stethoscope

Key features: ADC Scope brand, lightweight stethoscope, nursing student stethoscope

5. 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $329

The 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope is a perfect stethoscope for any nurse ready to take their assessment skills to the next level. This stethoscope provides up to 40X sound amplification which allows you to hear subtle sounds. The earpieces are comfortable and feature active noise cancellation. Plus, the Eko app can be paired with your stethoscope to allow you to see, record, and share the sounds you hear. (How great would that feature have been during nursing school?!) Even an artificial intelligence murmur analysis is available. This is perfect for sharing your physical exam findings with others and collaborating on a plan of care for your patient. You can also share with your patient what you are hearing so they can participate in their care.

Amazon star rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 2,210

Price: $329

Where to buy: 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

Key features: Littmann brand, digital stethoscope, high sound quality stethoscope, Eko app

6. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $131.91

The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope is another stethoscope option for a nurse who wants to improve their patient assessment skills. This is a step up from the 3M Littmann Classic III stethoscope and would be a great gift for someone with a new job in the emergency department, intensive care unit, or another cardiac unit. It has a larger chest piece and deeper bell than the Littmann classic, which helps pick up low-pitch sounds such as heart murmurs. This professional stethoscope still comes in a variety of colors to show off your style and personality.

Amazon star rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 5,980

Price: Starting at $131.91

Where to buy: 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope

Key features: Littmann brand, cardiac stethoscope, high sound quality stethoscope

7. Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $20.97

The Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope is a budget-friendly stethoscope that would make a great gift for a student entering nursing school. It has a classic dual head which is easy for students to use to differentiate between heart sounds. It comes in a variety of bright colors which always makes learning more fun. This stethoscope has a lifetime warranty and free lifetime replacement parts, so it can be used well into the future. 

Amazon star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 4,710

Price: Starting at $20.97

Where to buy: Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope

Key features: Nursing student stethoscope, stylish stethoscope

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8. Littmann Master Cardiology 27 Inch Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $214.98

The Littmann Master Cardiology 27-inch Stethoscope is a beautiful, high-quality stethoscope. The acoustics on this stethoscope are the highest available from a Littmann mechanical stethoscope. However, the master cardiology stethoscope is designed to be used with adult patients only, so you’ll want to choose a different option if you plan to work in pediatrics.

Price: $214.98

Where to buy: Littmann Master Cardiology 27 Inch Stethoscope

9. MDF Monet Kaleidoscope MD One Epoch Lightweight Titanium Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $154.99

The MDF Monet Kaleidoscope MD One Epoch Lightweight Titanium Stethoscope is one of the few stethoscopes made with titanium, which is stronger yet lighter than stainless steel. The stethoscope is also beautiful, with uniquely patterned tubing and chest piece. It comes with an optional pediatric clip so it can be used for both adults and pediatric patients. The chest piece also features a green indicator dot, which allows nurses to easily identify that they are listening to the correct side of the chest piece.

Amazon star rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 7,913

Price: $154.99

Where to buy: MDF Monet Kaleidoscope MD One Epoch Lightweight Titanium Stethoscope

Key features: MDF brand, titanium stethoscope

10. BJÖRN HALL Scandinavian Design Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $79.99

You might be the only nurse you know with the Björn Hall Scandinavian Design Stethoscope, but don’t let that discourage you from trying it. This stethoscope is 29 inches in length, which allows nurses to place less stress on their backs when listening to patients. The stethoscope kit comes with three different-sized silicone ear tips, which allows for a more custom fit than many other stethoscopes available. Björn Hall offers a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.

Amazon star rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Positive reviews: 160

Price: Starting at $79.99

Where to buy: BJÖRN HALL Scandinavian Design Stethoscope

Key features: Scandinavian design stethoscope, durable stethoscope

11. 3M Littmann Lightweight Stethoscope

Buy on Amazon for $63.28

The 3M Littmann Lightweight Stethoscope is the lightest of all Littmann adult stethoscopes, yet still provides excellent acoustics and a comfortable fit. The unique tear-drop-shaped chest piece allows for easy positioning under other medical supplies such as blood pressure cuffs. This is a great introductory stethoscope for nurses, especially since blood pressure checks are one of the first skills nursing students learn. This stethoscope will give a student confidence to move on to more complex assessments.

Amazon star rating: 4.7 out of 5

Positive reviews: 25,698

Price: Starting at $63.28

Where to buy: 3M Littmann Lightweight Stethoscope

Key features: Littmann brand, lightweight stethoscope, nursing student stethoscope

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Stethoscope Accessories

Bonus: If you are looking to put together a gift for a new nurse or just to treat yourself, do not miss these stethoscope accessories:

  1. Stethoscope ID Tag

Buy it on Amazon for $15.99

This stethoscope ID tag is a cute and subtle way to identify your stethoscope and always know you are picking up the right one. It’s available in tones of silver, rose gold, and gold and can be personalized with a name, graduation year, symbols, or any other personalization that you want.

  1. Stethoscope Carrying Case

Buy on Amazon for $14.99

This stethoscope-carrying case does more than you would expect. Not only does it have room for your stethoscope, but it also can accommodate scissors, a penlight, a reflex hammer, and other small accessories you may need. (Snacks, anyone?)

  1. Stethoscope Replacement Tubing

Buy on Amazon starting at $19.99

Did you know if something happens to the tubing of your stethoscope, you don’t have to purchase all new tubing? Simply find tubing compatible with your stethoscope and change it out!

5. Stethoscope Watch

Buy on Amazon for $18.19

Having a stethoscope watch is a great way to be able to easily count your patient’s heart rate or respiratory rate manually. Because no respectable nurse would ever estimate a respiratory rate…

Chaunie Brusie
BSN, RN
Chaunie Brusie
Nurse.org Contributor

Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

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