Stethoscopes are an important part of the health care profession. As an acoustic device for auscultation, they are used to listen to heart and lung sounds, intestines, and blood flow in arteries and veins.
There are a variety of stethoscopes to choose from, including the acoustic stethoscope which operate on the transmission of sound, and the electronic stethoscope which electronically amplifies sound. This review will help you to find the cheapest stethoscope in the markets today that actually work.
What makes a great cheap stethoscope?
While considering the best stethoscope in the health care profession there are many to choose from, whether in pediatrics, cardiology, or perhaps you just need a reliable and inexpensive stethoscope, identifying your area of expertise will help you in choosing the most suitable stethoscope. If you’re working in pediatrics, it’s ideal to have a stethoscope which caters to children or one that lets you toggle between different frequency sounds. Pediatric stethoscopes differ from cardiology stethoscopes or standard adult stethoscopes and thus understanding this distinction is an important determining factor.
In most cases the best stethoscope will be comfortable for you and your patient, have reliable high definition acoustics and an adjustable diaphragm to let you adjust between low and high frequency sounds. There are also many stethoscopes with a double-sided chest piece; this enables you to easily switch for pediatric and adult patients.
In considering high quality stethoscopes, you may equate them with expense, however this is not always the case. Perhaps you want to have your own stethoscope for sanitary and efficiency reasons, or you are not sure of which direction you will take in the medical profession. A cheaper stethoscope can act as a valuable segue into a more specialized field. Also if you are a student, or someone on a tight budget, these stethoscopes are great. It is important to remember that a top-notch stethoscope brand can be found in leading companies at affordable rates.
Performance and Functionality is key
Under all circumstances, you want to ensure that the stethoscope you do end up purchasing is functional and suited for your environment. In all of our reviews, we looked at performance and functionality as the most important factors in determining the following list of three best most affordable stethoscopes.
1. ADC ADSCOPE 603 Stainless Stethoscope
The ADC Adscope has a 4.5 rating out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. With good acoustics, the neat design boasts great performance at an affordable price. The soft rubbery earpieces offer a satisfying fit and seal outside noise, while the non-chill rim will be appreciated by your patients. One of the best things about the Adscope is the lifetime warranty, a feature many people desire and a reason for it’s popularity.
It is available in black, and retails at around $50.00 but can be purchased on Amazon.com for $30.00.
When it comes to hearing the most discrete of breath sounds or murmurs, the acoustics aren’t as clear and precise as the Classic or Cardiology. It is also somewhat heavier to carry around throughout your day.
2. ADSCOPE Animal Scope, Pediatric-30″, Seafoam
The Adscope Animal Scope, has a 4.5 rating out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. With good acoustics, the neat design and animal faces comes at a very affordable price. The rubbery earpieces offer a satisfying fit, while the non-chill rim will be appreciated by your patients. The kids LOVE the little animals and it makes for easier assessment when they’re frightened or agitated (or both). It is available in a variety of colors, comes with 6 interchangeable animal faces, and retails at around $25.00 on Amazon.com.
When it comes to hearing discrete of breath sounds or murmurs, the acoustics aren’t as clear and precise as the 3M or Cardiology.
3. 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope
The Classic received 4.7 stars out of 5 stars for its comfort, precision, and impressive acoustics. “I can hear everything from lung sounds to the faintest BP over my obnoxiously loud Horton ambulance on the road…” (Unknown) Comfort is assured with an angled, anatomically correct headset, and tight soft sealing ear tips. The classic comes in a variety of colours, comprising, black, cell blue, green lilac, pink, and sea foam green, this stethoscope is the most popular among medical doctors. It is well suited for beginning and experienced doctors alike, as well as medical students. You can purchase the Classic ll on Amazon.com for approximately $70, about 30% less than the regular retail price.
I found that the pink color option advertised isn’t actually as vibrant, and the plastic tubing can stain from general use.
The Littmann Stethoscopes have been around since the late 1960’s and have been offering high quality acoustics ever since inception. Whether you are a doctor or medical student, Littmann as well as Adscope stethoscopes are a superior product that won’t disappoint.