Top 5 Stethoscopes For Medical School

Top 5 Stethoscopes For Medical Students 2024

Get 100+ Free Tips I Wish I Got On My First Day Of Med School

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

One of the necessary tools you need to survive and thrive in med school is a stethoscope. It will probably be required from your first or second year so choosing the right one early on is vital. 

As always, I’m here to help you out! 

In this article, I’m going to give you the top 5 stethoscopes for medical students that you can consider using. 

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

But first, let’s hit some of the FAQs on how to choose a stethoscope below:

How To Choose A Stethoscope For Med School?

Like any purchases you make, there are some things to consider when buying a stethoscope. Here are some of the most important ones for me!

How to choose a stethoscope for med school


A quality stethoscope is usually one made of stainless steel for excellent acoustic performance, sound quality and resistance to bacteria. 

Preferably, its earpieces are made of silicone and not plastic, and has a good noise-canceling feature.

This noise canceling function is huge when you’re in a loud hospital room listening for a murmur or faint lung sounds. 

Trust me – don’t skip out on the quality! You’re going to have this stethoscope for years and want it to be a tool and not just a discount hardware. 😀


The durability of the stethoscope is just as important as its quality. You don’t want to always send it for repairs or replacements, do you?

If you have the budget, find one with premium components. With the right care, you can even take a well-invested stethoscope in your future hospitals or clinics after graduating.

Otherwise, opt for a budget-friendly option that’s still durable, flexible, has a chest piece that isn’t too heavy, a tube that’s not too short or too long, and has a warranty to back it up.

Most importantly, take care of your stethoscope so it can live up to its maximum life span. 

Fun fact, I still have my original box for my stethoscope with the extra ear pieces. 

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!


While price does not necessarily equate to quality, do not immediately resort to the cheapest or the most expensive stethoscope!

Weigh your options and go for the most cost-efficient one. That is; a stethoscope with good quality that serves your current need as a medical student and can last for years without you breaking the bank. 

If you happen to start med school with a cheaper version, that’s okay. Maybe you received it as a gift or just didn’t have the money.

I’d still recommend saving up for a higher quality one before beginning your clinical rotations. You’ll need it more then to better hear heart and lung sounds.

What Is The Price Range For A Stethoscope?

Top 5 stethoscopes for medical students on price range

A stethoscope can cost anywhere from $5 to $1000 or more depending on the brand, features and the material used.

But you don’t have to splurge out $1000 on a steth at all! (Like who has that kind of money to throw around anyways?)

As a student, you’ll probably be needing a standard or general use stethoscope to listen to the most common sounds. Price is anywhere between $30 and $100. 

If you’re within a $20 budget, there too are decent stethoscopes you can find in the market. You can see a list of the best low price stethoscopes below! (Although I’d recommend going from one in my top 5 list below.)

However, if you work in Emergency Care, Pediatric Care or Cardiology, you’ll probably need one with better sound auscultation and higher frequency range. That is so you can hear the faintest audible sound that would otherwise be difficult to hear with a standard stethoscope.

I suggest going for steths within the 0-190 price range as those beyond it won’t give you more advantage on daily med school use.

If budget isn’t an issue at all, then go for a top-quality steth (probably digital or electronic) that can last for many years instead of one with just the aesthetic advantage.

Note: My stethoscope was about $150 and still works great to this day! Check it out here. 

Want Results Like This?

Download The Free Med School Success Handbook For The Best Step-By-Step Tips For Your Medical Journey!

What Are The Types Of Stethoscopes?

Type 1: Cardiology Stethoscope

Cardiology stethoscope

Have you ever seen a steth with shorter and thicker tubes? That thick and comfortable-looking steth is probably a cardiology stethoscope. 

A cardiology stethoscope, however, isn’t only used by practitioners in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery for its look.

The thicker and shorter tubing alone is made for better auscultation and more optimized sound quality. This allows doctors and nurses to hear high and low-frequency heart sounds which may be vital in their patients’ care. 

So how does it differ from the regular one? 

A standard stethoscope allows you to listen to a heartbeat, fluid in the lungs, and more. 

On the other hand, a cardiology stethoscope enables you to hear the faintest heart sounds such as rubs, clicks, murmurs and even the pumping of blood through the valves of the heart.

Bonus: Want to learn how I got a 3.9 GPA in med school using a simple-to-follow study strategy? Get access to my exact study method from med school for free here. 

Type 2: Pediatric Stethoscope

Pediatric stethoscope

A pediatric stethoscope is recognizable primarily because of its smaller chestpiece size and more child-friendly color and design.

The chestpiece is smaller to allow a more accurate placement on the chest. Ultimately, this would translate into properly diagnosing the pediatric patients which may be sacrificed when a standard adult stethoscope is used. 

The child-friendly design is more for the psychological benefit of the children as it soothes and pleases them. Thus, they’re less likely to be frightened when assessment comes. 

Type 3: Infant Stethoscope

Infant stethoscope

This is an even smaller steth than the pediatric stethoscope. Its chestpiece size is around 2.6cm in diameter and is specially intended to monitor and assess the condition of infants. 

Since the chestpiece is smaller, auscultation is also more accurate. Thus, practitioners can hear the infant’s heart and other body sounds more clearly.

It also mostly incorporates a latex-free body to prevent allergic reactions and a non-chill rim to prevent any shock during the assessment.

Want Better Grades In Med School In Less Time Using Just 3 Steps?

Click Below To Get FREE Access To Our Study Course To Discover The 3-Steps Hundreds Of Med Students Have Used To Increase Their Grades & Efficiency While Studying Less

Type 4: Neonatal Stethoscope

Neonatal stethoscope

A neonatal stethoscope is the one doctors used to check on you when you were born. Its main difference from the Pediatric and Infant Stethoscopes is the chestpiece size which is around 2cm in diameter. 

Yet again, this difference in size then translates into more accurate auscultation and less noise interference making it the best steth for diagnosing and assessing newborns.

Much like the infant stethoscope, a neonatal stethoscope also features a non-latex construction and a non-chill rim to best cater to the sensitivity of a newborn. 

Type 5: Fetal Stethoscope

Fetal stethoscope

As its name suggests, a fetal stethoscope is used to monitor an unborn child’s condition mainly by monitoring its heartbeat and breathing patterns. 

If you’re expecting a baby, your doctor will probably listen to your baby’s heartbeat using a fetal steth at around week 20 though he/she may also recommend doing other ultrasound tests to evaluate the fetal heart better.

In terms of how its looks, a fetal steth is most notable for its specialized bell that’s placed against the belly. It also has a headrest and extremely sensitive earpieces that magnify the sound under the bell area.

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Type 6: Acoustic Stethoscope

Top 5 stethoscopes for medical students: Acoustic

Acoustic stethoscopes are the most common types of steths that rely heavily on the unpowered principle of acoustics. It transfers sounds from the body through the vibrations created in its hollow tubes. 

Because sound waves can be contained in the tubing, you can hear more sounds louder than you would when placing your ear on the patient’s chest. 

However, this can post a challenge in noisy environments or when listening to low-frequency sounds. 

Type 7: Electronic Stethoscope

Top 5 stethoscopes for medical students: Digital/Electronic

Electronic Stethoscopes were created to address the sound and volume challenges of acoustic stethoscopes. 

They can amplify sounds better by translating the sound waves into electronic signals and optimizing the sounds for better listening. 

Many electronic stethoscopes also offer additional features such as allowing you to choose a frequency and reducing background noise. 

With them, you can easily detect faint sounds and apply filters to various sounds to facilitate fast diagnosis. 

Where To Buy a Stethoscope? 

Some schools provide their students with stethoscopes. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the case for many. 

But worry not as you can easily purchase one either at physical stores or online.

Don’t have time to go around stores? Then just head to, or

There are hundreds of stethoscopes you can find online. (All of my recommendations will have an Amazon link so you can easily check them out! In fact, check out my personal sthethoscope here!

Walmart and Walgreens are good places to start looking offline. If you can’t find them there, look for specialty stores such as the Home Medical Supplies and US Med LLC that sell medical equipment.

Don’t forget to research and do your due diligence for a worthwhile purchase!

Now, let’s get right into the top 5 stethoscopes for medical students!

Bonus: Want better grades with more free time (and less stress)? Get access to our free 3-step study system here to see what other top students do that you may not be doing!

Top 5 Stethoscopes For Medical Students

Based on reviews, recommendations, and my take on the products, here are the top 5 stethoscopes for medical students.

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope 

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

Among the current favorites of medical practitioners and students in Littmanns’ line of stethoscopes is the 3M Littman Cardiology IV. 

If you plan to work in the ER, cardiology or critical care field, this is probably one of the best options for you! 

The device is designed so you can hear the very subtle changes in the patient’s cardiovascular system even when the environment is full of noise and distractions. 

It is made of a dual-sided stainless steel diaphragm which is tunable so you can hear different frequencies of sounds without re-positioning the chest piece. 

Its high-end dual lumen tube design also helps isolate the sounds better and remove unnecessary noise. 

As compared to Classic III, Cardio IV’s chest piece is 40% larger and its bell is 60% deeper making it better in external noise reduction and in isolating low-frequency sounds. 

Check out what others think about 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope here!

3M Littmann Stethoscope, Cardiology IV, Black Tube, Stainless Steel Chestpiece, 27 Inch, 6152


    • Best for critical care field and challenging environments
    • Tunable double-sided stainless steel chestpiece  
    • High-quality dual-lumen tubing


    • Premium pricing

Check out reviews on Amazon here!

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope

If you ask other medical practitioners for a recommendation, they’ll most likely say Littmann Classic III. True enough, it’s a worthy investment for students in a non-critical care environment. 

Here’s what I mean:

Littmann Classic III is designed with a dual-sided chestpiece made of stainless steel for both adult and pediatric assessments. You can even convert the pediatric chestpiece into the traditional open bell if you want better sound specificity. 

And just like most Littmann steths, you can easily change the frequency of sound by applying pressure on the tunable diaphragms

Every component of the stethoscope is free of latex/phthalate plasticizers so you don’t have to worry about your patients’ allergic sensitivities or any environmental hazard it may cause.

In terms of maintenance, this steth has a detachable diaphragm for easy cleaning and an oil and stain-resistant tubing. 

The affordable pricing of this stethoscope makes it an ideal choice for med students. Check out its current pricing here!

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Edition Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 Inch, 5803


    • Dual-sided chestpiece for both adult and pediatric patients
    • High-acoustic sensitivity perfect for general physical assessments
    • Non-latex tubing that’s easy to clean and maintain


    • Not the best choice for critical care assessments

Check out over 31,000 reviews on Amazon here! 

ADC Adscope Lite 619 Clinician Stethoscope 

ADC Adscope Lite 619

Another top-quality cardiology stethoscope is ADC Adscope 619. Not the most affordable one, but I’d say it’s worth a try!

This steth features a high-frequency transmission technology and Adjustable Frequency Design (AFD) for incredible acoustics. It is also ultra-lightweight at 3.7 oz (105 g).

With the features mentioned above, you can ensure acoustic precision while benefiting from comfortable wear. 

The best part? Your purchase comes with snap-on silicone ear tips, scope ID tags, and a lifetime warranty! Confirm it yourself here on Amazon!

ADS Adscope Lite 619 (2)


    • High-performance stethoscope 
    • Adjustable frequency design
    • Aluminum binaural and silicone ear tips
    • Lightweight and Compact


    • Mid-range pricing

Check out review from previous students here. 

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

3M Littmann Lightweight II

If you are on a tight budget but want a stethoscope from a well-known brand that does the job, then try out Littmann Lightweight II

Its dual-sided chestpiece is designed to provide solid acoustic performance for both pediatric and adult care assessments despite the lower cost. 

You can also tune the diaphragm when listening for low and high-frequency sounds by simply applying pressure change on it. With its tear-drop shape, you can easily fit it on the patient’s cuff for accurate blood pressure readings.

To cater to pediatric assessments, this steth is designed with a non-chill rim and latex-free tubing for comfort and allergy prevention. 

With it, you can take blood pressure readings as well as other physical assessments for only $49.

Check out what others think about 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope here!

3M Littmann Lightweight II (2)


    • Tunable diaphragm with a tear-drop shape to fit blood pressure cuff
    • Latex-free to prevent allergic reactions
    • Has a non-chill rim and diaphragm and a flexible tubing


    • Limited physical assessments

Currently this sthethoscope has over 27,000 reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 rating! Check it out here.

ADC Adscope 603 Premium Clinician Stethoscope 

ADC Adscope 603 makes it to our top 5 stethoscopes for medical students list for a couple of reasons. 

ADC 603BK Adscope Clinician Stethoscope

First, it features an adjustable frequency design for enhanced acoustic performance and a stainless steel chestpiece with extra-large bell for precision and crisper transmission.

Its non-chill diaphragm and rims and silicone ear tips for the comfort of both patient and practitioner. 

Free consumables and a lifetime warranty also come with the purchase. See the available color options on Amazon!

It’s totally within the budget of an entry-level med student.

ADC 603BK Adscope Clinician Stethoscope (2)


    • CNC machined stainless steel chestpiece
    • Extra-large and non-chill bell and diaphragm for both low and high-frequency transmission
    • Adjustable frequency design (ADF)


    • Only best for basic assessments

Check it out on Amazon here!

[Free Download] Want to have everything you need to be a top student on your medical journey? Get FREE access to our Med School Success Handbook to get 60+ tips including the best study, time management, mindset tips you need to be a top student. Download it here. 

Best Low Price Stethoscopes

If you’re scarce with money and are still at the beginning of med school, you may want to pick from these low costs stethoscopes. You can always upgrade later on!

FriCARE Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

FriCare Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

This budget stethoscope has a classic matte design made of stainless steel and a latex-free rubber tube.

It has a turnable chestpiece with reasonably good acoustics for its price.

The FriCare Dual Head Stethoscope has comfort, quality, and affordability in one.


    • Lightweight
    • Inexpensive
    • Adjustable frequency design (ADF)


    • Only best for basic assessments

Check out its 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon!

Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope 

Omron Sprague

This is another low-cost steth with quality and performance that speaks beyond its price.

As noted by reviewers, the tool is comparable to some higher-priced stethoscopes on the market and does well in auscultating heart and lung sounds and even the subtle valve abnormalities. 

Click here to get more reviews from verified purchasers


    • Latex-free tubing
    • Comes with 3 sizes of open bells and 2 sizes of diaphragms


    • Needs a fairly quiet room to work best

MDF MD One Stethoscope

MDF MD One Stethoscope

The MDF MD One Stainless Steel Stethoscope is comparable to the sound quality of the Littmann Classic III, but more affordable!

It has a thick, long, latex-free tubing to block out the noise.


    • Acoustics are relatively good
    • Solid and durable build
    • Affordable and good quality


    • Relatively stiffer tubing

This budget steth also has a few classic colors to choose from. Check them out on Amazon!

Greater Goods Dual-Head Stethoscope 

Greater Goods Dual Head Stethoscope


The device is great for basic blood pressure and heart rate assessments although the construction is low-cost.

Features include a dual-sided chestpiece, tunable diaphragm, latex-free and non-chill materials, single-tubing design, and tip-seal ear tips. 

Check out how much you can save if you buy this!


    • Dual-sided chestpiece with non-chill materials to prevent shock
    • Single-tubing design is latex-free and stain and oil-resistant


    • Beginner use stethoscope

Paramed Classic Single Head Cardiology Stethoscope 

Classic single-head cardiology stethoscope by paramed

“Don’t spend lots of money without giving this a try!” That is just one of the comments on this very affordable cardiology steth from Paramed.

It’s made with latex-free materials, stainless steel chestpiece, and a non-chill rim

Best used with a sphygmomanometer to take blood pressure measurements or heart and lung assessments for all types of patients (Yes! That includes pediatrics and infants!)

You can purchase it here!


    • Captures both high and low-frequency sounds within a full audible range
    • Stainless steel and latex-free material with a non-chill rim 


    • May not be as durable

MDF Dual Head Lightweight Stethoscope

MDF Dual Head Lightweight Stethoscope - (MDF747-BO) All Black

If affordability and comfort are what you’re after, you can try out MDF’s dual-head lightweight stethoscope with aluminum dual-head chestpiece. Check out the price here!

This inexpensive alternative can prove useful for taking blood pressure readings and making basic heart and lung assessments. It may not be the most sensitive, but can be a great choice for starting in med school.


    • Super lightweight and is easy to carry around  
    • Aluminum dual-head chestpiece with non-chill bell ring


    • Only for basic assessments

Want Results Like This?

Download The Free Med School Success Handbook For The Best Step-By-Step Tips For Your Medical Journey!

Which Stethoscope Is The Best For Med Students?

There is no single best stethoscope for med students, but depending on the nature of your training and needs, there could be better ones. 

For the sake of ranking down the steths I’ve listed above, I’d say that the best one is Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope.

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

It’s especially helpful for those training in the critical care field as it allows you to effectively distinguish the subtle sound differences in an otherwise challenging environment. 

It also has an ergonomic construction and is backed by a 7-year warranty which makes it an even more attractive option!

You can check out the Cardiology IV and the review here!

But again, consider what you need for training and your budget range. There sure are plenty of good ones available and you just have to do your due diligence in researching.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

I hope you enjoyed this post on the top 5 stethoscopes for medical students! If you did, you might also enjoy the following posts:

With this course, you can create a study system that’s perfect for you! Many other med students love it and I’m sure you will too! So go ahead and click that link!

Thanks for reading!

Until next time my friend…

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Stethoscopes For Medical Students 2024”

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and informative blog about Top 5 Stethoscopes For Medical Students from your blog and from dhamsons.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *