Finding the right stethoscope as a nurse practitioner can be a bit tricky. While you want something that provides good overall auscultation to ensure accuracy in examining and assessing your patients, it also should be durable and provide comfortable fit for long days on the job. Fortunately, investing in a great stethoscope doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are our top pick for the 10 best stethoscopes under $100.
1. 3M Littmann Classic III, $91
In Littmann’s latest version, the Classic III features many beneficial upgrades that enhance acoustic sensitivity for general physical assessments; featuring a stainless steel chestpiece with dual tunable diaphragms on both the adult and pediatric sides that are easy to clean and attach. The single-piece diaphragm can be replaced with a non-chill sleeve, which allows the pediatric side to be easily converted to an open bell. Like other Littmann stethoscopes, the Classic III’s snap-tight, soft sealing eartips conform to individual ears for an outstanding acoustic seal and comfortable fit for the provider. The best feature of the product? It comes in a wide array of colors and finishes.
2. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E., $50
Weighing just 118 grams, the Lightweight II S.E. is the lightest of all Littmann stethoscopes, making it a comfortable option for all day wear. Though it is ideal as an entry-level instrument and designed for basic physical assessments, it still offers a surprising number of beyond-the-basics features. It’s dual-sided chestpiece provides the versatility of both a tunable diaphragm and an open bell; and it’s teardrop shape allows for easy positioning under blood pressure cuffs and around bandages. This comfort friendly option comes in a handful of color options.
The MD One is a premier diagnostic instrument with unmatched performance, durability and aesthetics, and delivers accurate auscultation of heart lung and sounds with its ultrasensitive diaphragm and extra large bell. The steel dual-head chestpiece has a full-rotation acoustic valve stem, allowing providers to easily identify the active sound channel and seal in sound. It’s ergonomic design ensures comfort for both the patient and nurse practitioner, even during extended use.
4. 3M Littmann Classic II S.E., $77
A true hard-working clinical tool for physical assessment and monitoring, the Classic II SE provides high acoustic sensitivity with a dual sided, stainless steel chestpiece. Combined with a durable, compact design, the Classic II SE delivers versatile auscultation and rugged dependability. A tunable diaphragm on one side augments the traditional bell function of the opposite side. For pediatric providers, an infant-sized option is also available.
5. Omron Sprague Rappaport, $10
Omron’s 5-in-1 multipurpose stethoscope is designed for flexibility of clinical needs, sound performance and affordability. Ideal for nurse practitioner students, this stethoscope is great for basic physical assessments and blood pressure checks. It features latex free tubing, a chrome plated chestpiece and comes with three different sized open bells, two different size replacement diaphragms, extra ear tips and a vinyl storage case. A real bang for your buck!
Featuring an oversized, ovoid chestpiece and an adjustable frequency design (which assures the acoustic response of a traditional bell and diaphragm in a convenient one-sided chestpiece), the 615 Platinum Professional is Adscope’s finest stethoscope in its clinician series. The ergonomic headset wears easily with silicone eartips providing the ultimate comfort for nurse practitioners. The reinforcing yoke molded into flexible PVC tubing gives it the ability to withstand the pressures of daily use. We’re also loving the tubing colors available with this model.
7. Prestige Medical Clinical I, $60
An outstanding performer, the Clinical I is acoustically and aesthetically enhanced by its all-stainless steel construction, featuring a dual head chestpiece with an easy to use snap-on rim and diaphragm; and its extra thick-walled tubing with an alloy sound conductor inside assures a crisp sound. The Clinical I includes an extra diaphragm and two sizes of eartips, of which are designed to seal out extraneous noise while providing superior comfort. This affordable stethoscope from Prestige comes in a rage of colors, from pastel to the classics, of course.
8. RA Bock Single Head Cardiology, $50
The RA Bock Single Head has the same look and function as the Littmann Master Cardiology model, but at just a little over $45, it’s far more affordable. While it doesn’t have the same bells and whistles as the Littmann model, it still has great features that make it a top contender, such as a unique design that combines the acoustic response of a traditional bell and diaphragm into a convenient one-sided chest piece.
9. Adscope 603 Clinician, $55
One of Adscope’s most popular acoustic scopes, the 603 features a combination diaphragm and bell chestpiece precisely machined from surgical stainless steel for outstanding performance. The ultra-sensitive, non-chill diaphragm allows for greater amplification and crisper high-frequency; while the extra-large non-chill bell is optimal for unsurpassed low-frequency response. Not to mention, translucent tubing options in colors like ‘Frosted Glacier’ and ‘Frosted Seafoam’ look super chic.
With its minimal weight and rotating binaurals for a custom fit, the Welch Allyn Tycos Professional Adult stethoscope provides for comfortable and versatile general-use. Its acoustics are excellent for auscultation of cardiac, pulmonary and vascular sounds. The stainless steel double-head chestpiece comes in adult and pediatric versions, providing versatility in helping to best meet your specific needs as a nurse practitioner.