Stethoscope test & comparison »top 10 in january 2020

The 10 best stethoscopes at a glance.

Let me through, I’m a doctor! And if you want to appear in the carnival for the sake of fun or for health reasons, you need a stethoscope.

An acoustic stethoscope is usually sufficient for use in your own four walls, with which you can listen to the heart and lungs, for example. Which devices are particularly good at transporting noises and which ones are you bargaining on? Convince yourself with the help of our test or comparison table!

The quality management for our test and comparison procedure is TÜV-certified according to ISO 9001

Stethoscope comparison
Illustration * Compare winner
Price-performance winner
Model * 3M Littmann 6178 Cardiology IV 3M Littmann Classic III 5803 3M Littmann "Master Classic II stethoscope" MDF Instruments MD One MDF777C-08 L-Care stethoscope LCS-01 MDF Instruments "Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope" MDF Instruments MDF747-11 Tiga-Med "stethoscope type Rappaport" MEDICAL IMPLEX "Double tube Rappaport stethoscope" MED COMFORT flat head stethoscope
at Amazon *
1 reviews 113 reviews 83 reviews 5 reviews 14 reviews 263 reviews 85 ratings 23 reviews 230 reviews 71 reviews
Stethoscope type There are acoustic and electronic stethoscopes. Electronic stethoscopes offer the additional advantage that they can be used to amplify, emphasize, record and evaluate sounds on the PC – but they are also much more expensive. acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically acoustically
Chestpiece The chestpiece can be one or two-sided. Two-sided chest pieces usually offer the choice between a membrane and a funnel side, the membrane being used for listening to higher-frequency sounds and the funnel for listening to low-frequency sounds. But there are also double-sided chest pieces with two membrane sides – one for adults, the other for children. double-sided double-sided one-sided double-sided double-sided double-sided one-sided double-sided double-sided one-sided
Hose system In principle, a hose can have one or two lumens. Classic models have two hoses. However, there is no scientific evidence that separate sound conduction has acoustic advantages. zweilumig single lumen single lumen single lumen zweilumig zweilumig single lumen zweilumig zweilumig single lumen
Incl. replacement membrane No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Incl. Ear olives ear olives, too "eartips" called, provide soundproof closure and the reduction of noise. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple colors available Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
  • including cold protection ring
  • soft and flexible hose
  • Olives comfortable to wear
  • very good acoustics even with background noise
  • including cold protection ring
  • robust chest piece
  • Suitable for both children and adults
  • good acoustics even with background noise
  • soft and flexible hose
  • Olives comfortable to wear
  • can be disinfected easily
  • including name tag
  • good acoustics even with background noise
  • lifetime guarantee
  • slightly longer hose
  • Olives comfortable to wear
  • good acoustics even with background noise
  • subtle and chic design
  • including children’s membrane
  • also suitable for diagnoses in newborns
  • lifetime guarantee
  • many spare parts
  • lightweight
  • lifetime guarantee
  • Includes holder for name badge
  • well suited for home use
  • many spare parts
  • also suitable for veterinarians
  • including microfiber cloth
  • robust chest piece
  • can also be used as a child’s or baby’s stethoscope
  • well suited for measuring blood pressure
  • as "toys" well suited for children
  • eye-catching design
Questions and answers about the product Questions and answers about 3M Littmann 6178 Cardiology IV Questions and answers about 3M Littmann Classic III 5803 Questions and answers about 3M Littmann "Master Classic II stethoscope" Questions and answers about MDF Instruments MD One MDF777C-08 Questions and answers about L-Care stethoscope LCS-01 Questions and answers about MDF Instruments "Sprague Rappaport stethoscope" Questions and answers about MDF Instruments MDF747-11 Questions and answers about Tiga-Med "Rappaport type stethoscope" Questions and answers about MEDICAL IMPLEX "Double tube rappaport stethoscope" Questions and answers about MED COMFORT flat head stethoscope
To offer * To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer " To offer "
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  • The stethoscope is an instrument for the assessment of acoustic noise. Doctors use the stethoscope for Listening to various organs, such as. Heart, lungs or intestines.
  • There are two categories of stethoscopes: acoustic and electronic stethoscopes. Electronic stethoscopes offer the advantage that they can amplify, record and evaluate sounds on the computer. However, they are also a lot more expensive than acoustic stethoscopes and exaggerated for private use – that’s why we focus on acoustic models in our stethoscope comparison 2019/2020.
  • For Which model Your decision ultimately depends on how you plan to use your stethoscope. For a superficial eavesdropping a simple one is enough for heart and lung sounds entry-level model, that you can get from about 30 euros. As doctor you should sign up for one higher quality product decide – especially if you work in cardiology.

Almost every one of you will be familiar with the following situation: You are sitting with bare torso in the treatment room of your family doctor, while this asks you, inhale and exhale deeply, so that he can use his stethoscope to search for suspicious noises. The examination looks simple, but it is important! According to the Federal Statistical Office, 60,500 people died of diseases of the respiratory system in 2010 alone.

The stethoscope is symbolic! Like blood pressure monitors, resuscitators and clinical thermometers, it is part of the an integral part Every emergency bag and some medical professionals carry it around the neck. You don’t have to be a doctor to use a stethoscope. Even a layperson can, with a little practice, learn to operate the device, for example to listen to the child’s heartbeat or the partner’s lung sounds. In our Stethoscope comparison 2019/2020 we took a closer look at the stethoscope and chose our personal stethoscope comparison winner for you. The following purchase advice should also help you to understand exactly what a stethoscope actually is, how it works and what you should pay special attention to when buying.

1. What is a stethoscope? And how does it work?

Stethoscope inventor Laënnec published his observations in 1819.

A stethoscope (Greek "stethos" = "chest", "Scopein" = "consider") is an instrument for the assessment of acoustic noise. It is used primarily in medicine to listen to organs such as the heart, lungs or intestines.

The stethoscope was invented in the year 1816: Its inventor, the French medical doctor René T.H. Laënnec, was working in a hospital in Paris at the time. One of his patients showed signs of a general one heart disease on. Normally, Laënnec would have put his ear on the patient’s chest to listen to the lungs and heartbeat – but according to him, "the age and gender" of the patient forbade him to follow the usual procedure.

Looking for a solution to this problem, he remembered one well-known acoustic phenomenon: If you scratch at one end of a tree trunk, the sound at the other end can be heard very precisely (actually better). Then an idea came to him and he intervened paper Issue, rolled it up, put that one end on the patient’s chest and the other end to his ear. The result: despite the greater distance, the patient’s heartbeat was much clearer and clearer to listen. The rolled-up paper booklet was then used by Laënnec as a template for his first stethoscope, which was made from wood.

Today the stethoscope has become an integral part of modern medicine. Whether human medicine or veterinary, the classic stethoscope should be in every emergency bag. But how does it work actually exactly?

A common stethoscope consists of three basic elements. In the following table you will find more information about the stethoscope setup:

element description
brisket The brisket, also called "head" is the part of the stethoscope that placed on the chest to listen to the heart. It can one or two-sided his – the latter is then referred to as a "double-headed chest piece". A stethoscope with a double head usually offers the choice between one Membrane and a funnel side, the membrane being eavesdropping higher frequency noises offers and the funnel for auscultation low frequency noise is being used.

Littmann stethoscopes (e.g. the Littmann Classic III) have the patented "Dual Frequency Technology", the funnel and membrane united. Some stethoscopes have a small membrane side instead of a funnel, which is particularly useful for examining children is.

tube The tube can single or double lumen his. Classic models have two separate hoses. A double tube is also a typical characteristic of higher-priced stethoscopes. Whether a separate sound line actually acoustic advantages entails is not proven.

From a physical point of view short hose less sound is "lost" than in one longer. However, the manufacturer Littmann argues that given the small length differences that are common today with stethoscope tubes, differences in acoustic acoustics are not audible to the human ear. Hoses have one today Standard length of about 65-70 cm.

Ear hook and olives About the earloop the waves are forwarded to the eardrum of the examiner (usually the doctor). The ones attached to the end of the ear hook "Olive" (small attachments made of plastic) serve to seal the ear canals and prevent perception of noise. When the doctor places the stethoscope on the patient’s chest, the membrane (located in the chest piece) picks up the acoustic waves. This causes it to vibrate itself and passes it on to the air column in the stethoscope tube. The doctor can then use the ear hooks to hear whether everything is OK.

2. What types of stethoscopes are there??

Looks a little different: an electronic stethoscope from 3M Littmann.

2.1. Acoustic stethoscopes

Acoustic stethoscopes, too classical or pure mechanical Stethoscopes consist of the elements described in more detail above: chest piece, tube and ear hook. Most people should know this form of stethoscope from an occasional visit to the family doctor.

2.2. Electronic stethoscopes

There are also a few stethoscopes with special electronics Amplification of sound. There are also special models for people with hearing loss. These electronic stethoscopes are of course far superior to the common models. They have a system with which auscultation noises can be amplified up to 24 times. Moreover to reduce they actively the possible noise and offer the possibility of different To emphasize sounds. In addition, what is heard can be viewed as MP3 file record and evaluate on the computer. At the moment, this type of stethoscope is hardly widespread, which is sometimes very common high acquisition costs should lie.

Advantages and disadvantages electronic stethoscopes compared to acoustic stethoscopes:

  • Auscultation noises can be amplified
  • Noise is reduced
  • individual tones can be emphasized
  • the noises can be recorded and evaluated on the PC
  • High acquisition costs
  • not necessary for private use

Because the purchase costs for electronic stethoscopes are very high (and these are still not widely used), most stethoscope tests focus on acoustic models. Acoustic stethoscopes are absolute for private use, in care or for the emergency bag sufficient.

3. Purchase criteria for stethoscopes: You have to pay attention to this

In our stethoscope comparison, we will now explain to you in the following part what you should pay attention to if you want to buy the best stethoscope.

3.1. scope of application

Did you know…?

In medicine, eavesdropping on the body auscultation called. Auscultation, which is typically performed with a stethoscope, is an integral part of the physical examination. The associated verb is "auscultate" (attention: it means "he auscultated", Not "He cultivated").

Before you buy a stethoscope, you should definitely be aware of it in what medical field Your stethoscope should be used. Are you interested in classic nursing or are you a cardiologist? Maybe you are just pregnant and want to check how your child is doing from time to time?

In principle, the following applies: For the superficial listening to heart and lung sounds you will find it easy entry-level model pass. In the cardiology however, a simple device is not enough. There are special stethoscopes here, e.g. from the 3M Littmann company. Who mainly in the pediatrics should think about a special children’s stethoscope with a smaller chest piece that adapts to the anatomical conditions in children. There are also baby stethoscopes with an even smaller chest piece that contribute to auscultation infants and possibly even premature babies can be used.

Tip: If you have to carry your stethoscope around your neck or in your coat pocket at all times, then you should also make sure that it is not too heavy when choosing your model.

3.2. colour

Only black would be boring: stethoscopes come in many colors.

It may seem strange to you at first, but many doctors and medical students attach great importance to them colour of her stethoscope. Especially in hospitals or larger practices where you are not alone as a doctor, the stethoscope can be used to print out your individuality his.

And one more thing: Also keep in mind that stethoscopes hardly differ on the outside. So if you choose a pink stethoscope, you run less risk of having it accidentally mistaken for his and could take it.

3.3. Engraved stethoscope?

Many manufacturers and suppliers offer one engraving service on. A personal engraving – just like an extraordinary color – can confusion decrease among colleagues. Sometimes the newly purchased stethoscope also comes with a free name tag that can then be glued to the instrument.

4. Care and cleaning tips

One of the most burning subjects in medical practices and clinics hygiene. Even if there can never be 100% sterility, sterility is important to prevent nasty infections. While hand washing has long been standard, it seems regular disinfection of the devices but not yet fully enforced.

Researchers from the University of Geneva have in one study found that the Risk of spreading germs through stethoscopes is relatively large. The scientists examined the hands and stethoscopes of three doctors after they examined 71 patients. The result was astonishing: there were more germs on the stethoscopes (more precisely on the membranes of the stethoscopes) than on the hands of the doctors (apart from the fingertips). The stethoscope tubes were also contaminated.

more more important is it that the stethoscope disinfected after each patient contact becomes. For disinfection you can e.g. use a 70% alcohol solution and wipe the device with it. You should use your stethoscope under no circumstances immerse in the liquid. In general, you should protect your stethoscope from heat, cold, solvents and oils. If you want to clean your stethoscope thoroughly, you should first remove the ear tips from the ear hook.

Caution: For further cleaning and maintenance instructions, it is best to take a look at the manual of your personal comparison winner!

5. What does the Stiftung Warentest say? – stethoscope and pregnancy

During pregnancy, you can hear your child’s heartbeat thanks to a stethoscope.

Unfortunately, the Stiftung Warentest has not yet carried out a stethoscope test.

In one Special topic on early detection examinations in pregnancy However, the scientists also deal with the Heart activity of the child : In the 7th to 8th week of pregnancy you can do an ultrasound scan see, whether the heart of the embryo is beating. From the 26th week of pregnancy you can – with the help of a stethoscope Listen. Depending on how the heart rate fluctuates, statements about the child’s condition can then be made.

Listening to the unborn child’s heart rate using a stethoscope is, according to the Stiftung Warentest, completely risk free!

6. Major manufacturers and brands

  • MDF Instruments
  • Littmann
  • Medi-Inn
  • Tiga-Med
  • Med-Comfort
  • NCD Medical / Prestige Medical
  • Romed
  • Jago
  • Sundo Homecare GmbH
  • Nightingale Nursing Supplies

7. Questions and answers about stethoscopes

7.1. How to use a stethoscope?

If your breath sounds clear, like blowing air into a cup, your lungs are healthy.

Once you have decided on a model, you can try it out. Here’s a little one Stethoscope Guide:

  • Step 1 – adjust ear hook and olives: The ear hooks should be close to the head, but not too tight, because then you won’t hear anything. The olives must point forward and must not press. If you feel that the olives don’t fit, replace them.
  • Step 2 – the correct position: Put your "patient" in the right position. If you want to listen to your stomach and heart, the patient should lie on your back. To listen to the lungs, he should sit upright.
  • Step 3 – listen to the heart: To listen to the heart, place the membrane on the left breast of your patient. Then listen to the heart murmurs for about a minute. When your patient is relaxed and breathing normally, you should be able to hear the typical “lapp-dapp” sounds (also called systolic and diastolic sounds). Also pay attention to unusual noises. If you hear something that doesn’t sound like the normal “Lapp-Dapp”, your “patient” should see a doctor.
  • Step 4 – Listen to the lungs: Listen to the upper and lower lung lobes on the patient’s chest and back. Use the membrane for this. Normal breathing sounds sound clear. Unusual breathing noises include whistling, humming, str >

Such a cuff and a stethoscope can be used to measure blood pressure.

If you have yours Measure blood pressure Today, there are various electronic blood pressure monitors available that automatically determine your blood pressure. to classic blood pressure measurement but you need one stethoscope.

To do this, the Cuff around the upper arm of the patient. Then you put the stethoscope on the radial artery in the elbow. Then the cuff is inflated until a pulse can no longer be heard – and increases the pressure a bit from this point. Once the radial artery is closed by the pressure of the cuff, go through the stethoscope no noise to hear more.

Now the blood pressure can be measured: the air is slowly released from the cuff. The value at which the pulse can be heard again corresponds to thatsystolic blood pressure. If you let the cuff pressure drop further, you will still hear pulse-synchronous noises. At some point you can no longer hear any noise – the value at which the noise disappears corresponds approximately to that diastolic blood pressure.

7.3. What does the doctor hear with the stethoscope?

Depending on the examination, the doctor can use the stethoscope several things listen. Usually a doctor uses the stethoscope to auscultate the heart, the lung and the intestine of his patient. If he discovers any discrepancies, he can continue to examine the patient on this basis.

In the following video you can listen to how normal and unusual lung sounds sound:

7.4. What does a stethoscope cost??

That basically depends, what a stethoscope You want to buy. Very simple models are available from around 10 euros. As a doctor, you should invest a little more. Anyone interested in an electronic stethoscope must expect a purchase price of several hundred euros. In our stethoscope comparison you will find different models from all price ranges.


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