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The Stethoscope Buying Guide for All Healthcare Professionals

Even 200 years after its invention, the stethoscope remains one of the most essential pieces of medical equipment in healthcare. It continues to be used by clinicians all over the world.

Selecting the best stethoscope to meet your needs cannot be done in haste. It requires careful comparison shopping and evaluation of the aspects most important to you, whether that’s weight, sound quality, appearance, or another consideration.

We created this buying guide to help you make the most informed purchasing decision you can. Explore these popular stethoscope types and determine what make or model will best meet your needs.

Acoustic Stethoscopes


  • Very common and popular. Tons of different sizes and capabilities. Perfect for general, everyday use.

  • Occasionally, low sound levels can make it challenging for clinicians to hear patient sounds,
    especially in noisy environments.
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Electronic Stethoscopes


  • Superior sound quality. Exceptional versatility. If you have the budget for an electronic stethoscope,
    you are certain to enjoy the vast capabilities that most offer. These are especially ideal for beginning
    clinicians who might need a little help differentiating between sounds.

  • Electronic stethoscopes tend to be more expensive, weightier, and more awkward to carry around
    for a day than traditional analog stethoscopes. They also require batteries and can be
    susceptible to interference from other devices.
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Pediatric Stethoscopes


  • Pediatric stethoscopes are sized specifically for neonates, infants, and other smaller patients,
    making application and listening easier. These smaller models tend not to pick up ambient noise
    like an ill-fitted adult stethoscope might. If you’re in peds or will be working
    with children a lot, this is a solid choice.

  • Their size makes them most effective for use on children. It’s best to use a larger stethoscope
    for adult anatomies to ensure peak sound quality and accuracy.
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