The stethoscope is the accessory par excellence of doctors and a large part of healthcare personnel all over the world. It is a device to listen to the visceral sounds of the patient or of oneself, because even if this particular object is associated with a personal use, there are many people who buy one to listen to their heart, or to measure their pressure. The reality of the facts is that professional stethoscopes are on sale for professionals, that is, for healthcare personnel, and economic models that are perfect for auscultation of internal body noises.
Furthermore, there is a big difference to always keep in mind: you have to be careful not to confuse the stethoscope with the phonendoscope. These are two accessories aesthetically very similar, but different from each other for the type of listening they allow to do: the stethoscope is used for auscultation of the chest, because it is able to steal more acute sounds and therefore easier to hear, while the Phonendoscope is used for auscultation of the viscera in general, which have more complex sounds to intercept. There is also a third instrument called a stethophon endoscope, which combines the functions of the two.
To help you choose the best stethoscope and phonendoscope we decided to explain some basic points to take into consideration before purchasing, and then move on to a list of products that – in our opinion – have the best value for money.
How to choose the best stethoscope
What should you consider before buying the best stethoscope for your needs? Although these objects may seem rather simple, there are a number of characteristics that distinguish the models of the best professional brands from the economic ones.
Stethoscope: which one to choose
Before purchasing this particular product, it is important to understand whether to buy a stethoscope because, as you have already understood, they are two very different accessories. It is clear that the difference between the two basically depends on the type of use to be made of them and on one’s own work or analysis needs. But, if it wasn’t clear yet, here is the main difference between stethoscope and stethoscope:
Stethoscope: it is used for auscultation of the chest, because it is able to pick up higher pitched sounds and therefore easier to hear.
Phonendoscope: it is used for auscultation of the viscera in general, which have more complex sounds to intercept.
If, on the other hand, you have important needs and want to buy a product capable of combining the characteristics of both (which, it must be emphasized, is also quite expensive), then you could think of buying a stethophon endoscope, an instrument used in the medical field to hear both the noises of the viscera than those of the chest.
Whatever type of device you want to buy, it is important to make sure that the membrane is sensitive and suitable for your needs. For home use, you could also aim for cheap models, but if you were to buy for professional use, you must also look for quality and accuracy in the membrane.
The head is also very important. Professional stethoscopes, for example, have a two-sided head, one for adults and one for children. Also in this case, the choice depends on the use to be made of the appliance.
The characteristics of the tube must also be considered very carefully. Basically, in this case, two essential factors must be kept in mind: the length, which must be sufficient to allow the right freedom of movement, but not excessively long, and the flexibility in order to allow a more flexible transport and use.
The toggles are the part of the stethoscope that comes into contact with the ears. Regardless of the use you will make of the device, it is important to make sure that it is equipped with comfortable and not too hard toggles, because then they could hurt. To ensure an accurate diagnosis, it is essential that the model chosen is as comfortable as possible.
Best cheap stethoscopes phone endoscopes
Once we understand the factors to consider, let’s move on to the real buying guide. We will start with the most interesting low-end devices, models that despite being very cheap guarantee excellent value for money.
The GIMA 32561 is the best economic stethoscope on the market, and the reason is undoubtedly its value for money. It is a professional stethoscope that can satisfy any need and guarantees excellent performance. The head has only one side, and is equipped with a ring that guarantees an optimal temperature for the patient. The tube is 62 cm long and is very resistant.
MDF Instruments MDF72711
The MDF Instruments MDF72711 is one of the best budget stethoscopes, to the point of having received the title of “most bought on Amazon”. It is a model with an excellent quality / price ratio, characterized by a single head, therefore suitable mostly for adults, very thin and perfect for detecting blood pressure. It is a lightweight model with high performance and the toggles use adapters that can protect the eardrum of those who use it.
Best mid-range stethoscopes
We continue our review of the best stethoscopes by switching to the mid-range ones. This is a very interesting price range, because it allows you to buy devices with excellent features and quality, sold at a price that is not too excessive.
Erka Erka Phone
The Erka Erka Phone is another model highly appreciated by professionals. It is a stethoscope with a double head for switching from membrane to bell function. The membrane side is suitable for auscultation of high and low frequency sounds, while the bell side is designed for heart pulses. It is a model with high precision quality that guarantees excellent acoustics.
Also very interesting is the MDF Acoustica , a two-head stethoscope, therefore perfect for both adults and children. It is a model entirely handmade, very reliable and light, with high sound performance. The toggles are very special and use SafetyLock technology, which makes them non-invasive and protects the user from eardrum perforation.
Best high-end stethoscopes
Finally, we arrive at the high-end, where it is possible to purchase very advanced stethoscopes, equipped with the best technologies currently available and made with the best materials on the market.
Littmann Lightweight II
The Littmann Lightweight II is one of the most loved stethoscopes by professionals and is undoubtedly among the best ever in the field of stethoscopes. It uses a particular double membrane, excellent for both adults and children, which according to the pressure applied will allow you to listen to both the low and high frequencies of heart or lung sounds. Also excellent is the anti-cold ring, which guarantees maximum comfort to the patient and the tube is made of excellent materials.
Littmann 5870 Classic III
The Littmann 5870 Classic III is undoubtedly one of the best stethoscopes to buy. It is a model suitable for both professionals and students, which uses a floating double membrane, perfect for adults and children, which allows you to auscultate the lung, heart and other parts of the body. Depending on the pressure exerted, you will be able to perceive the low or high frequencies. Furthermore, the tube is 69 cm long and is made with high quality materials. Finally, the shape of the toggles adapts to any type of ear.
Using a stethoscope
- Use a better quality stethoscope for a reliable diagnosis;
- The environment must be as quiet as possible and at a pleasant temperature;
- The stethoscope must be in good condition;
- The stethoscope must be at the optimal length of the tubing;
- Use ear tips adapted to your ears;
- Disinfect your stethoscope regularly and after each patient;
- position the lyre correctly.
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