Top 10 Best Stethoscopes for EMTs – 2020 Edition
A stethoscope is an essential piece of medical equipment for medical professionals, and our list of the top ten best stethoscopes for EMTs of 2020 can help you find the perfect model.
You’ll want to balance acoustic quality with overall price and decide which features are most important for your use.
Table of Contents
- 1 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope
- 2 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E Stethoscope
- 3 FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope
- 4 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope
- 5 ADC Adscope 603 Clinician Stethoscope
- 6 MDF Instruments MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
- 7 MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope
- 8 EMI Royal Blue Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
- 9 FriCARE Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope
- 10 ADC Adscope Lite 609 Ultra Lightweight Clinician Stethoscope
- 11 Why Do EMT’s Need A Stethoscope?
- 12 What Features Should I Look for In A Stethoscope?
- 13 How Do I Use A Stethoscope?
- 14 Final Thoughts
The 3M Littmann Classic is a long-time favorite among medical professionals, and it’s perfect for an EMT on the go.
The 3M Littmann Classic is our number one choice because it delivers excellent sound quality without being overly heavy or awkward to use. This stethoscope also comes in a wide variety of colors and has a removable bell cover that helps to keep the device clean.
This stethoscope is best for non-critical care environments and is likely more than an EMT would typically need out in the field. However, this tool is excellent for use with a wide range of patients and conditions and features a more compact design.
This stethoscope is also reasonably priced and comes with a 5-year warranty, which is rather generous. The 27-inch length is another bonus that makes this stethoscope our top pick as it’s easy to carry around the neck, and also provides ample range for use with patients.
Lots of colors to choose from
Useful in a variety of environments
Heavier than some other models
The 3M Littmann Lightweight II is an excellent option for a busy EMT who doesn’t want to carry around extra weight.
The 3M Littmann Lightweight II is a good stethoscope for quick blood pressure readings and other physical assessments that don’t require a high level of acoustic detail. This stethoscope features a unique diaphragm that can be tuned and is tear-drop shaped to better fit under a blood pressure cuff.
There aren’t as many color options available for this model of stethoscope, but it’s a reliable piece of equipment that has some comfortable features like a non-chilling rim and anatomically designed earpieces with an angled headset.
A long overall length
Several colors available
Teardrop shape for easy use during blood pressure readings
Not lighter than other more sensitive stethoscopes
The FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope is an inexpensive option that delivers good quality sound.
The FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope offers features found in more expensive stethoscopes such as a chest piece that rotates, latex-free parts, a long length, and a no chill rim. This stethoscope also has ergonomic earpieces and can detect a wide range of both low and high frequencies.
This stethoscope is also much lighter than other models at just 5.6 ounces and features a stainless-steel construction with a lifetime warranty.
Tubing is latex-free and non-stick
Generous 28-inch length
Not suitable for critical care or for hearing more detailed sounds
The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope might be overkill for an EMT, but the acoustic sensitivity is excellent.
The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic stethoscope comes in a 22-inch length and a 27-inch length, and customers can also choose from a variety of different chest piece finishes, including champagne, mirror, rainbow, smoke, and brass.
This stethoscope is more than sufficient for challenging diagnostic environments and maybe more than an EMT needs; however, the quality of the acoustics on this instrument is excellent. This stethoscope isn’t much more substantial than other models, but the chest piece is more profound than the classic version.
This stethoscope also has a dual lumen tubing, so there aren’t any rubbing sounds that are common with traditional stethoscopes. This resilient tubing routes all of the sound through a single tube that retains its overall shape and resists degradation when exposed to skin oil or rubbing alcohol.
Designed for use in critical care environments
A deeper bell and larger chest piece
Lighter colored tubing can stain over time
The ADC Clinician Stethoscope comes in an attractive copper finish and is reasonably priced.
Many medical professionals are switching to ADC stethoscopes due to their lower cost and similar performance to more expensive brands like Littmann. These stethoscopes come with a lifetime warranty, and you can get free parts forever.
This instrument has a 22-inch-long tube made from PVC, and there are a few different finishes and many different colors available. There is also a yoke on this stethoscope that reinforces it so that you get a snug fit every time, and the silicone ear tips are flexible for added comfort.
This stethoscope comes with an extra set of ear tips and an ID tag. The chest piece is made from surgical steel and features a no-chill bell.
Several different finishes to choose from
Longer lengths for easier use
The chest piece is machined using a CNC for better accuracy
Ear tips are not always well secured
The MDF Instruments stethoscope features an attractive all-black finish and a carefully designed chest piece.
The MDF Instruments stethoscope is not as sensitive as the Littmann Classic, but it’s a very respectable scope that is more than adequate for most medical professionals such as EMT’s, nurses, students, medics, and most other specialties.
This stethoscope also comes with an attractive all-black finish and a chest piece carefully crafted out of stainless steel. This chest piece has a fully rotating acoustic valve, and the tubing is both non-stick and insulating for minimal interference.
Another unique feature is the double spring on this stethoscope that helps provide a snug fit while also adding extra durability. The ear tips are even locked in place to prevent damage to the ear or lost tips.
Features an actual bell and diaphragm for better acoustics
Locking ear tips to prevent injury
Thicker PVC tubing
Sound is not as bright or sensitive as other stethoscopes
The MDF Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope comes with multiple diaphragms and free parts for life.
The MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope has a slightly different design than other stethoscopes on our list, but it’s still one of the top ten best stethoscopes for EMTs because it’s reasonably priced and has excellent performance.
One of the drawbacks of this stethoscope is that it has two lines of tubing instead of one dual tube, and this adds bulk and weight to the instrument. This instrument comes with heads for infants, pediatrics, and adults, and the leaf spring creates a snug fit but rests outside the tubing.
Free parts for life and multiple heads available
Very reasonably priced
Various shaped ear tips
The tubing is bulkier than other stethoscopes
Less acoustic detail than other brands
The EMI Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope has a similar design to the MDF model but comes as a kit.
The Sprague Rappaport stethoscope from EMI is similar to the one offered by MDF, but it’s slightly less expensive and comes as part of a blood pressure taking a kit. This kit may be especially useful for an EMT or another medical student who needs to practice a bit, and its reasonable price means it’s also suitable as a backup device.
This stethoscope has a rotating head, and each side is a different size, which is best suited to patients of different ages. This stethoscope also comes with two separate eat tips including a black set and a clear set in different shapes.
Comes as a kit with a blood pressure cuff and case
Bright blue color
A dual-head that rotates
Two lines of tubing are bulky
Heavier than other stethoscopes
The FriCARE Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope features a matte black finish and all the features.
The FriCARE Lightweight stethoscope features a lighter design that has all of the same features you’d expect in a stethoscope. While this model isn’t as sensitive as the Littmann on our list, it’s very reasonably priced and could easily work for an EMT or as a backup device for any medical professional.
This stethoscope has a dual head you can rotate and a dual tube for less bulk. The chest piece and ear tubing feature aluminum instead of stainless steel, which is where most of the weight reduction has taken place.
Attractive all-black finish
Several ounces lighter than a typical stethoscope
Rotating chest piece
Not ideal for use in louder environments like open clinic spaces
The ADC Adscope Lite is a fully capable stethoscope with a bargain price tag and many colors available.
The ADC Adscope Lite stethoscope is the perfect choice for a budget-conscious EMT that still wants excellent acoustic sensitivity. This instrument has a CNC machined chest piece made from an aluminum alloy, and plush ear tips for added comfort.
This stethoscope also has a double spring for a snug fit and a five-year warranty with free consumable parts.
Many colors and finishes available
Reinforced yoke for a better fit
22 inches in length
More ambient noise interference
Why Do EMT’s Need A Stethoscope?
EMT’s may use a stethoscope for listening to different sounds that the body makes. This job can include listening to the heart, but you can also listen to the bowels, lungs, and even detect bone fractures in some cases.
EMTs need this tool to help them assess the condition of their patients and to look for clues as to what might be wrong so that proper treatment can begin.
What Features Should I Look for In A Stethoscope?
An essential feature in a stethoscope is the ability to hear the sounds that you need to understand and this comes down to how sensitive the tool is that you’re using. More sensitive stethoscopes will be more expensive.
You’ll also want to look for an adjustable diaphragm or adjustable bell so that you can use the stethoscope comfortably and make adjustments to get the best sound. Comfortable earpieces are also crucial as you may be using your stethoscope frequently.
It’s also essential that your stethoscope is lightweight since you’ll likely need to have it with you for large portions of the day. A durable design is also critical as you’ll need your stethoscope to be reliable and able to withstand daily and frequent use.
How Do I Use A Stethoscope?
If you want to listen to the heart, you’ll want to place the earpieces in your ears and press the disk-shaped end of the Stethoscope to your chest. You can move the disk around the chest area and even on the back to listen to the heartbeat and breath sounds from the lungs.
You can use a stethoscope on yourself or another person, but beware that the disk is quite sensitive and can deliver startlingly loud sounds through the earpieces if you don’t treat it delicately.
The 3M Littmann Classic Stethoscope may be a little overkill for an EMT, but you can’t beat the acoustic quality and other features that make this tool comfortable and easy to use.
Its design is well suited to use in quick-moving situations, and you can hear a variety of sounds without much ambient noise interfering which makes it our pick for the top ten best stethoscopes for EMTs.
The quality of the construction, warranty, and color options make this the perfect tool for taking anywhere you go as you perform your EMT duties. It’s also durable enough to last for many years with proper care.