Acoustic Stethoscope Review || The Only Guide You Need

Stethoscopes are available in a variety of types, including cardiology, pediatric, veterinary, and so on. The problem is that these are pretty specialized stethoscopes, so they aren’t helpful for general purposes. 

Thanks to acoustic stethoscopes and electronic stethoscopes. If you are looking for something to buy for general use, these two could be better options. 

However, I will discuss acoustic stethoscopes in today’s article. 

What is an Acoustic Stethoscope?

An acoustic stethoscope, invented over two centuries ago, is one of the most commonly used medical diagnostic devices, representing the healthcare profession. The construction is simple and mechanical. 

An acoustic stethoscope is a medical device used by physicians and other healthcare professionals to listen to the internal sounds of their patients. Acoustic stethoscopes are also called “chest pieces”. 

The chest piece rests against the patient’s chest, transmitting heart or lung sounds into the earpieces for listening. This blog post will focus on what makes an acoustic Stethoscope different from other types of Stethoscopes, as well as how they’re used in clinical practice.

How Does the Acoustic Stethoscope Transmit Sound?

An acoustic stethoscope transmits sound through hollow tubes filled with air from the chest piece to the listener’s ear. 

Chest Piece:

Chest pieces typically consist of two sides that are placed against the patient to detect sound: the diaphragm (plastic disc) and the bell (hollow cup). 

Diaphragms placed on patients create acoustic pressure waves that travel up the tubing and into the listener’s ears when body sounds vibrate the diaphragm. 

Low and High Frequencies:

The bell vibrates the skin directly, causing acoustic pressure waves to travel up to the listener’s ears. Diaphragms transmit higher frequency sounds, while bells transmit low-frequency ones. 

Dual-Sided Head:

A tube leading into a chamber between a bell and diaphragm is open on only one side. It can rotate in order to deliver acoustic energy to either the bell or diaphragm. Having the tube connected to the bell makes the opening visible. 

 

A 180° rotation of the head is required to connect the tube to the diaphragm. Stethoscopes with two-sided heads were invented by Rappaport and Sprague in the early 20th century.

Acoustic stethoscopes, however, had the problem that the sound levels were very low. It was finally solved in 1999 by the invention of the stratified continuous (inner) lumen, and in 2002 by the kinetic acoustic mechanism.

How Does the Acoustic Stethoscope Work?

Using an acoustic stethoscope, you can hear more sound waves than you would generally before they reach your ears. Our eardrums vibrate when sound waves cause vibrations in air molecules, which in turn cause changes in air pressure which cause us to hear sound.

Sound Waves Travel From Patient’s Body to a Doctor’s Earpieces

When you place your stethoscope on the patient’s chest, the metal chest piece strikes their chest. When their bodies make sounds, like their heart beating or stomach gurgling, the sound waves hit the metal. Sound waves then travel through the rubber tube until they reach the metal earpiece, then your ears. 

The tubing is able to contain more sound waves, so they reach your ears more efficiently, amplifying the sound. This is why stethoscopes can hear a heartbeat louder than an ear placed right next to a patient’s chest.

Best and Affordable Acoustic Stethoscopes

It can be dangerous to take the wrong medicine or spend money on ineffective treatment methods if the diagnosis is incorrect.

Doctors will be able to find out their patients’ problems easier with the use of more effective tools, and then they will be able to diagnose patients more effectively. 

It is more likely that a high-quality stethoscope will provide better sound quality to its users. You can find below-recommended stethoscopes that you should try if you are interested in classical acoustic stethoscopes. 

3M Littmann Classic III

Durable and affordable

When you want a stethoscope that is both durable and affordable, look no further than the 3M Littmann Classic III. Sterilized stainless steel gives this stethoscope long-lasting durability.

Tunable diaphragm

You can adjust the diaphragm so that you can hear both low and high-frequency sounds with this device. Since it is a dual-lumen stethoscope, it has far greater sensitivity compared to a single-lumen device, making it far easier to carry out the correct diagnosis.

Non-chill construction

 

The surface of the stethoscope does not contain any chill, which is excellent for patients who cannot stand the touching of ice on the rim of a stethoscope. In addition to flexible tubing, the stethoscope can be folded and carried around in a bag or even in a pocket.

MDF MD One

 

I recommend finding a stethoscope that meets your needs and sticking to it when you are looking for the best one.

The Durable Tool With Replacing Parts

A durable product would be most appropriate, and the MDF MD One has proven to be very popular. Stethoscopes made of stainless steel are built to last a lifetime since they are created from high-quality steel. In fact, their parts have lifetime replacements, which is another sign that they’re confident about how tough the product is. 

High-Quality Build

Unlike a portable stethoscope with a tunable diaphragm, this classic one lacks this feature. However, because it has a high-quality build, you will be able to achieve accurate auscultation. By using the diaphragm and the open bell, you will be able to differentiate between high- and low-frequency sounds.

How to Choose the Best Stethoscopes

Stethoscopes aren’t challenging to choose from, but you need to consider specifics like the price, quality of the sound, and features.

Acoustics Vs. Price

Doctors can listen to the body’s subtle sounds using quality stethoscopes because they have excellent acoustics. It’s unfortunate that these stethoscopes tend to be on the expensive side, which can be a problem for doctors on a tight budget.

In order to avoid this, you should choose a stethoscope with a high quality-price ratio.

 

Other things to consider

You should also consider features that make your job easier when choosing a stethoscope. The mechanism could be as simple as a tunable diaphragm. 

A stethoscope with a recording feature and noise cancellation may be ideal for someone who works in a noisy environment. 

 

 

Photo of author

Muhammad Bilal Qayyum

MBBS from Taishan Medical University and currently working in Bahawal Victoria Hospital. The blog is a great resource for both novices and experienced users when it comes to stethoscopes. As I studied and practiced, I evaluated various models on the market, which led me to become an expert in stethoscopes.

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