Stethoscope Buying Pointers

by Chest Scope | Last Updated: March 4, 2021

Med students need good gear that will help them learn all they need to know in the medical profession. They are not yet that knowledgeable when it comes to certain practices and equipment just yet, so this article will focus on suggestions that will make it easier to find a good stethoscope that will suit their needs and experience level. It is crucial for every med school student to acquire a dependable stethoscope that is user-friendly, convenient to use, and precise.

In order to find a quality, efficient, yet affordable stethoscope, prospective buyers have to first follow several steps to guarantee that they will get a proper fit. Here are a few helpful suggestions.

Chest Piece

A chest piece can be single or double-headed. The single head model features both the bell and diaphragm on one side, while the double-headed piece includes a bell on one side for low frequencies and a diaphragm on the other, meant for higher frequencies. Users employ a variety of pressures to pick up frequency differences.

Chest pieces often come in a range of widths. Chest pieces that are interchangeable are more versatile for medical professionals who often deal with a variety of patients. Sizes can range from 25-mm to 45-mm. The 25-mm chest pieces are ideal for small patients like children, while the bigger ones like the 45-mm models will accommodate doctors who specialize in cardiology. Medical students who train in pediatrics can make do with the 25-mm model, while a 35-mm model will suit majority of adults.


The ear tips of a stethoscope may be supple or stiff, and they come in a selection of sizes to better accommodate differently-sized ears. While a med student can get by with a stethoscope that more or less fits his or her ears, interchangeable earpieces will benefit medical professionals more – especially those who work in internal medicine, cardiology, and intensive care/emergency units.

A good earpiece leaves room for adjustment. This lets every user personalize the headset for extra comfort. Several stethoscope models include ambient noise reduction features, which is advantageous for medical pros that operate in areas with noisy surroundings like the emergency room, an ambulance, or out in the field.

Length and Tubing

The tubing of a stethoscope often comes in lengths from 22 to 28 inches. The lengthier ones dangle around the neck and remain in place much better than shorter ones. The tubing may come in different color options too, but black is the standard color among tubing. The tubing should be flexible so it will not break or tear throughout usage.

Tubing may be single or double bore. Several types of tubing might come in bi-lumen style, which refers to two tubes that were combined into one single tube. This stops the tubes from rubbing against each other, which may create unnecessary noise. Wide tubing enhances the quality of sound. If you are concerned with sound quality, go for stethoscopes with double-bore, bi-lumen or wide tubing.

Acoustic VS Electronic Stethoscope

For medical students and majority of healthcare professionals, the acoustic stethoscope is sufficient enough to get by with everyday tasks. An acoustic model is capable of capturing basic heartbeats and blood pressure, abdominal, and lung sounds. Nursing assistants down to technicians can make do with an acoustic model. A high-quality model will be able to take in both high and low frequencies.

Medical professionals who work in specialized fields like cardiology, anesthesiology, Internal medicine, or neonatal/intensive/internal care might need to go for an advanced stethoscope like an electronic or digital model. Several electronic models can take in oxygen saturation rate, electrocardiogram information, and even distribute information by means of Bluetooth technology.

A stethoscope that will work perfectly for a med student might not meet the standards of a healthcare professional. There is a variety of factors that can influence the purchase of a stethoscope. The surroundings at work, the price, and the requirement to capture particular sounds are some of the aspects that will have an effect in a customer’s buying decision. A good way to determine which brand style will fit your needs is to test every kind.

By testing a variety of chest pieces, earpieces and tubing/length, a medical student or professional can find the suitable stethoscope for his or her particular practice.