8 Best stethoscope for lung sounds

How important is it to be able to hear lung sounds? And why do doctors and nurses need a stethoscope that can pick up the most subtle of changes in breath sounds? This blog post will explore the best stethoscope for lung sounds, highlighting some of the top picks. 

For a medical professional, a stethoscope is an essential tool without which they will be unable to perform their duties. Stethoscopes are used for the diagnosis of any irregularity in the body and the organs. 

One of which is lungs, and a stethoscope can diagnose many abnormalities. Like the presence of the fluid in the lungs can diagnose phenomena, and in time treatment can save someone’s life. If you are a medical professional looking for the best stethoscope for lung sounds, then you are at the right place.

Deciding on which product to select is very complicated these days due to the great number of features and versions available on the market. It is easy to be misled by the information or false presentation and end up buying something that we regret later.

To save you from that kind of regret, we have researched and selected the eight best stethoscopes for lung sounds that are good for listening to the lung sound and presented you with a detailed review so you can make a sound choice.

Top 8 Best Stethoscope For Lung Sounds

  1. 3M Littmann Stethoscope, Cardiology IV
  2. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope
  3. MDF Rosegold MD One Stainless Steel 
  4. 3M Littmann Stethoscope, Master Classic II
  5. ADC – 615FV Adscope 615 Platinum
  6. 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope
  7. MDF ProCardial Cardiology Stethoscope
  8. MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope

1. 3M Littmann Stethoscope, Cardiology IV

Littmann’s cardiology IV is one of the most efficient stethoscopes out there when it comes to listening to the faintest to faintest sound in the human body. Listening to the lungs is very easy with these as it is the best stethoscope for lung sounds.

The chest piece design on these is dual-headed with a tunable diaphragm allowing you to listen to different frequency ranges. Due to being the cardiology grade, they are also ideal for cardiologists. They are considered the best cardiology-grade stethoscope that you can find on the market.

Performance GradeCardiology
Chest Piece designDual-sided
TubingDual lumen
Weight171 g / 6 oz
Warranty 7 years

Cardiology Grade

If you are looking for a reliable stethoscope that can listen to the lung sound, then cardiology IV is capable of more. The cardiology IV is a cardiology grade stethoscope and is the benchmark for stethoscopes on the market in terms of performance and build quality.

The dual-headed design also makes it more flexible when it comes to different patients. Since it also has a pediatric side, checking the pediatric patient is also convenient with these.

Dual Lumen Tubing 

Tubing is the primary connection between both headset of the stethoscope and the chest piece because it delivers the sound. So it makes more sense than if the tubing is of high quality and performance, so will there be better acoustic.

Dual lumen tubing has two different channels that lead to each ear. This removes the rubbing sound and also reduces the sound loss to a great extent.

Improved design

Cardiology IV is the improved version of the already top-notch stethoscope Classic III, allowing it to have cardiology-level performance. The chest piece is 40 percent larger, and the bell has 60 percent more depth. 

The tubing is also upgraded in this version to the dual lumen. All these improvements enable it to listen to more sensitive sounds than before, making the diagnosis more reliable.

Verdict

The high-quality chest piece and the dual lumen combination make it the overall best stethoscopes for lung sounds. Based on its feature, it is better suited for a critical environment such as the emergency room and intensive care unit.

Pros:

  • Cardiology grade performance
  • Dual-sided designs are more versatile
  • Tunable diaphragm  
  • It comes in two different tubing lengths

Cons:

  • Little expensive 

2. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Monitoring the patient’s condition is another essential task of the medical staff because even after the patient’s treatment, proper care is essential for its complete recovery. And mostly, this is the responsibility of the nurses, and they have to spend long shifts on that, so a lightweight stethoscope is a must-have in a stethoscope. The Littmann Classic III monitoring stethoscope has all these features.

All the classic series have the lightweight in a common trait, but what makes this one special is the dual sides with the stainless chest piece with better acoustic and different color choices and is one of the top stethoscopes for lung sounds and blood pressure.

Series Classic
Weight 150 grams
Tubing length 27 inches / 71 cm
Pediatric side 1.4 inches / 3.4 cm
Adult side1.7 inches / 4.3cm

Build For Long Shift 

Littmann’s classic series stethoscope is Littmann’s most lightweight stethoscope, and the classic III weighs 150 grams, which is very light compared to many other stethoscopes. If you are a nurse or have some relatives that are, then you may be aware of how long shifts they have to do. The weight of the stethoscope might look too much, but the long session adds up, and if you suffer a neck injury, then you should choose something lightweight. 

Premium Material

The reliability of the Littmann stethoscopes is well known among medical professionals since it is one of the biggest manufacturers in the market. The chest piece of the classic is made from stainless steel, which offers better acoustic sensitivity and less sound loss. Stainless steel is the standard material for chest pieces; that’s why all the premium ones have stainless steel.  

Convertible Chestpiece

The versatility is convenient when it comes to the stethoscope that is desired to use for patients of different ages. The Littmann Classic III has nailed that by offering the dual-sided chest piece for adults and the pediatric sides for more freedom. Both side diaphragm is also tunable, and the pediatric side can also be converted into an open bell design by removing the diaphragm and attaching the non-chill rim.

Verdict 

In our opinion, it is a good option for the nurses that are often required to check the condition of the patients on a long shift. It can also be a good choice for the students that want a quality stethoscope from the start.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design for a long shift
  • Dual sides, Pediatric, and adult side
  • The pediatric side is convertible to open-bell 
  • The next-generation tubing 

Cons:

  • Tubing on these are only single lumen

3. MDF Rosegold MD One Stainless Steel 

The most desired expectation when buying the stethoscope is the performance, but one thing that is often neglected is the aesthetic. That is because many manufacturers do not offer many color and pattern options when making a stethoscope, but MDF is not one of them; they offer a wide option of tubing and chest piece finishes. The chest piece of this stethoscope also comes in two different materials. Overall, it’s the best stethoscope for lung sounds.

Safety lock Available 
Colour 11 variation 
Chestpiece optionStainless steel and Titanium 
Headset Dual-leaf spring construction
Engraving Available

Vibrant Colors

MDF stethoscopes are known for their quality and the unique color options, and the finish they offer. You can get the tubing and the chest piece in many variations. The most popular is the Rose gold finish.

Another feature that differentiates them is the material variation they have. In some models like this one, they also make their chest pieces from Titanium and stainless. 

The titanium version costs a little more than the stainless steel one because Titanium is a little more expensive and premium material. The titanium version is also more lightweight because it is lighter than the other material and more durable.

Safety Lock 

Ears are the most sensitive parts of the body, and their safety is essential. In a low-quality stethoscope, when the earbuds come off accidentally, the narrow tubing can injure the ear canal. 

However, MDF has fashioned an innovative solution for that: the safety lock. The earbuds on the MDF MD one stethoscope are of good quality and do not come off easily, and the safety lock will save you from any unfortunate incident. 

Engraving 

We have all lost our important stuff either due to someone stealing it or because we have forgotten it somewhere while we were busy. And even if we find it in someone’s possession, there is no way to make sure whether it is ours or not. 

You can engrave your MDF stethoscope if you buy it from the MDF for some additional cost; you can engrave your name on them. Or you can also engrave your name in the chest piece from your jewellery store. 

This reduces the chances of it getting lost. For example, you forget if someone finds it, they can know your name from the engraving and can inform you.

Verdict

A unique color range and the performance of this stethoscope make it a good choice for those in the medical profession seeking quality and a unique appearance. And the safety lock makes it a more reliable option.

Pros

  • Exceptional build quality 
  • 11 colour variation
  • Lightweight design
  • Safety lock 

Cons

  • Some finds eartips little less comfortable 

4.3M Littmann Stethoscope, Master Classic II

Littmann has created many stethoscopes for every need, from basic to the most advanced on the market. 3M Littmann Master Classic II is a stethoscope made for the individual that prefers the single head design and excellent acoustic performance. As the diaphragm on these headphones is tunable, it allows you to listen to low and high-frequency sounds with ease.

The chest piece material is also durable, and the tubing on these is thicker than the standard stethoscope. With these, you will be able to listen to the lung sound with ease, along with blood pressure and many other low-frequency sounds in the body without any struggle.

Brand Littmann
Chest piece design Single-sided 
Tubing Length 27 inches
Chest piece size1.75” / 4.4cm
Material High-density zinc alloy

Single-Sided Design

Everyone has a different preference, and if you prefer the single head design with better grip and sound quality, then this model of Littmann is for you. The single side design also makes sure there is no sound leakage since there is only one opening for sound to enter.

This design also enables the chest piece to be slimmer than dual-headed and make grip since there is nothing on the other side. The slim feature comes in handy when checking the blood pressure because it is easy to slide it under the pressure cuffs.

Latex-Free Tubing

Master classic II tubing is latex-free because it is not made from natural rubber; instead is made from PVC. Natural rubber can cause an allergy if you are allergic to latex. So it is beneficial for people with sensitive skin or the ones who treat a patient that has. 

Another substance that Littmann avoids in the manufacturing of tubing is phthalate plasticizers. This chemical is used to soften the PVC but is harmful to the environment and the people, so Littmann does not include it since making the phthalate plasticizers free tubing.

Tunable Diaphragm

As with all other models of Littmann stethoscopes, this stethoscope has a tunable diaphragm as well. A tunable diaphragm is mainly found in the quality stethoscope. You can able to listen to the low and high-frequency sounds without rotating the chest piece. All you need to do is to change the amount of pressure. 

To listen to the low-frequency lung sound, lightly press the chest piece. This allows the diaphragm to vibrate easily and detect low-frequency sound. For high frequency, firmly press the chest piece. This restricts the diaphragm movement, and it will capture the high-frequency sound.

Verdict 

In our opinion, the single head design and tunable diaphragm enable it to take a reliable reading. The EMTs and the nurses will find it reliable. The veterinarian can also consider it as an option.

Pros

  • Slim and durable design
  • Due to single-sided design offer excellent grip
  • 27 inches long tubing
  • Tunable diaphragm 

Cons

  • The single-sided design makes it less versatile 

5. ADC – 615FV Adscope 615 Platinum

Adc is a more affordable option in the single side design category with the same performance as expected from a premium product. While using these, you can listen to the lung and heart sounds and take blood pressure.

The chest piece on these also has the AFD technology, otherwise known as the tunable diaphragm, the latex-free tubing, and the spare kit, which have ear tips that you can use in case you lose the old one.

Chestpiece TypeAFD technology 
Diaphragm material Epoxy / Fiberglass
Headset TypeClinician
Eartips Adsoft Plus snap-on
Warranty Lifetime 

Excellent Acoustics

This acoustic is also excellent because the chest piece is made from a thick zinc alloy with an attractive stainless steel finish. They also offer adjustable frequency diaphragm technology. So despite being a single-sided design, it can give an acoustic performance of the diaphragm and the open bell in response to change in pressure, so you are setting the same performance as dual-headed. The single head design also gives a better sound performance.

Adsoft Plus Eartips

When it comes to the comfort of the stethoscope, it widely depends upon the quality and the comfort of the ear tips. The ear tips on this Adscope 615 Platinum are of Adsoft design which is made from a soft and comfortable material. It also creates a good seal in the ear, reducing the ambient noise from interfering. They also come with an extra pair of ear tips as a backup.

Lifetime Warranty

People worry about a common concern when buying something new is how many years will be working without any problem. In a stethoscope, the thing that needs replacement the most is the ear tips and the diaphragm. When you purchase this ADC stethoscope, you can rest assured that a lifetime warranty covers the product.

Verdict

The lifetime warranty and similar performance at a lower price than a competitor can make this an attractive investment if you’re looking for a single-headed design with long tubing.

Pros:

  • AFD technology gives a reliable reading
  • Optimal design for comfortable use
  • Latex and phthalates free tubing
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The black coat on the chest piece come off after some years

6. 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

The most advanced stethoscope of the Littmann is their Littmann core digital stethoscope. By using such a stethoscope, things are possible that could not be done in an analog one. This stethoscope has amazing features like noise cancellation, which can be handy in noisy areas, and the 40 X amplification of the sound in the digital mode.  

Along with all these features, this stethoscope also supports the EKO mobile app that can record and save the data of your diagnosis. Also, both sides have a tunable diaphragm, with all the standard features for Littman stethoscopes. 

Stethoscope Digital 
Sound amplification 40 X
Active Noise CancellationAvailable 
Mobile app EKO
Models Analog & digital

Noise Cancelation 

In the emergency room or ICU, there are times when the environment becomes very noisy. In an analog stethoscope, the common solution is to focus or make sure you are in a less noisy area which is very troublesome. In a 3m Littmann core stethoscope, you just need to turn on the noise cancellation, and all the background sound will disappear. This will result in more accurate reading, and judgment will be more reliable.

Amplification

Sometimes the noise is not the only reason it is hard to judge the sound. Sometimes the sound is too faint to begin with, even in the silent room. You will not face this issue because of the 40 times sound amplification in digital mode. The ability to amplify this much sound can open new doors for individuals suffering from hearing loss. If you just want to use the stethoscope with only analog mode, only press the button on the top of the chest piece.

Mobile App

One of the many advantages of digital data is its ability to store and share. The same can be done with Littmann core by installing the mobile app EKO, which is available for Android and ISO devices. You can turn on and off your noise cancellation and activate amplification through this, not just that you can record the audio from 15 seconds to 2 min depending upon the setting. This feature will come in handy when you need a second opinion from your co-worker or the doctor.

Verdict

Amplification ability and noise cancellation feature open up many opportunities for the individual with a hearing problem. This stethoscope is ideal for any situation due to its ability to detect even the weakest sound.

Pros

  • Active noise cancellation 
  • Ability to amplify sound 40 time 
  • Audio can be saved and share
  • Dedicate mobile app
  • Dual headed design

Cons

  • It’s a little pricey

7. MDF ProCardial Cardiology Stethoscope

ProCardinal is an MDF cardiology grade stethoscope with the same signature MDF design, color variation, and performance. What makes this model different from the other is there versatility. It has a chest piece that comes in three different variations and an open bell design on each of them. It has a safety lock to ensure a pleasant experience, and the dual leaf design ensures the structural durability of the headset.

Acoustic grade Cardiology 
Chest Piece sizeAdult, pediatric and infant
Eartips sizeLarge, Regular and small
Safety lock Available
Rotatable Yes
Warranty Free-Parts-for-Life

3 In 1 Chestpiece 

Versatility in a stethoscope is a feature that can be a game-changer. When working in a versatile environment where patients belong to different ages groups, one size of chest piece is not enough for maximum efficiency. 

The MDF Procardial comes with three different chest piece attachment ranges from the adult, pediatric, and infant. Although the adult chest piece can be used to diagnose a pediatric patient pediatric chest piece delivers more ease and accuracy for the pediatric patient. And the open bell design is also included on the chest piece if you want to listen to the low-frequency sound.

Maximum Comfort

We all have different ear structures than the other, so one ear tip that one finds comfortable does not mean that others find it the same. Creating one ear tip that everyone finds comfortable is not possible. 

One reliable solution for this is that MDF has chosen, including three ear tips of different sizes. Regular, small, and large so everyone can check which is comfortable for them and creates a better seal.

Free-Parts-for-Life

One incentive MDF provides is their Free-Parts-for-Life program on which you can register on their website. This will allow you to get free replacement parts from them when needed. But you will not need them for some years, and when you do, you can request them, and they will ship them to you. This little gesture gives great confidence to the user when using it.

Verdict

This model is designed for the versatile environment and the cardiology status of the stethoscope to ensure optimal sound accuracy and sensitivity. Three different ear tip options offer great comfort.

Pros

  • Three chest piece sizes
  • Small, regular, and larger ear tips
  • Safety lock on the headset
  • Unique tubing and chest piece

Cons

  • The chest piece is bulky and a little heavy

8. MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope

MDF Acoustica Lightweight Stethoscope provides the best value for the money if you seek a more economical option. It is a lightweight design and costs one-fourth of the price of the expensive stethoscope while delivering an excellent acoustic.

You will get the dual-head chest piece adult side on the one side and the pediatric on the other side vibrant colour option with different sizes of ear tips and lifetime warranty all under 30 dollars. This also includes the free part for life programs, so you can order free replacement parts from them.

Weight 133 g / 4.7 oz
Length 75cm / 29.5 inches
Chest Piece MaterialAluminum
Colour variation 20+
Headset Dual leaf design
Warranty Lifetime

Affordable 

This model is the MDF’s most affordable stethoscope, but by no means does it have any compromise on quality or performance. This model is also very popular, and it is no surprise because it is worth the investment. Lung sounds are very clearly audible with this model. This might not be as efficient as a cardiology stethoscope, but it also does not cost as much and still give better sound performance than other stethoscopes of its class.

Lightweight

Lightweight is a factor that is often neglected but can be advantageous in many scenarios. If you travel a lot, then you consider this an option since it only weighs 133 grams. At first, this was designed for the humanitarian effort of the United Nations so being lightweight was the must requirement. MDF reduced the weight by 33% and still maintains durability. 

Vibrant Colors

The power of color can improve the aesthetics of anything and make it much better. A unique color option is one of the defining characteristics of this MDF stethoscope, and they have not disappointed their users with this model either. They offer more than 20 tubing and chest piece variations, including the all-black variation, which is very popular.

Verdict

It is a good option if you are looking for an affordable stethoscope with good sound quality and more color variation to choose from. This is also lightweight making it suitable for long shifts.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Lightweight 
  • Extra ear tips of 3 different sizes
  • Durable design 
  • More than 20 color variation

Cons

  • Aluminum chest piece 

How to Select the Best Stethoscope for lung sounds: 

Buyer Guide

Chest Piece 

The material from which a stethoscope is made can affect the quality of the acoustic. For chest pieces, stainless steel is the standard material. That is why stainless steel chest pieces are more expensive than other materials. Always prefer stainless steel because it will also last longer than others and offers superior acoustic performance. The aluminum chest piece is also a good choice since they are more affordable and lightweight. So what is for you depends upon our preferences.

Tubing 

In tubing, there are two versions; one is called the single lumen, and the other is the dual lumen. The main difference between the dual and single lumen is that dual lumen has a pathway that separates the two channels leading to each ear. The dual lumen offers better sound transmission than the single one.

Also, choose latex-free tubing even if you are not allergic to it because one of your patients might be, and that can be discomforting. Another feature that you should consider is the length of the tubing because you can get tubing ranging from 22 inches to 29 inches.

Acoustic 

The acoustic performance of the stethoscope is critical. Choose a stethoscope that offers good acoustic sensitivity. Because if a stethoscope has a better acoustic, you will be able to listen to the faintest sound in the body. Most of the top-quality stethoscopes have reliable acoustics, especially the Littmann and MDF. Cardiology grade is the most high-performance stethoscope category.

Eartips 

Eartips are also an essential factor to consider because they can make your experience good and bad. Most manufacturers offer different ear tips, and you can also buy a replacement for one. Eartips made from soft silicon are often considered comfortable and can create a good seal in the ear.

FAQs

Do Respiratory Therapists need a stethoscope?

Yes, respiratory therapists need the stethoscope because listening to the lung and heart sounds is a necessary requirement, and a stethoscope is the only tool that can assist with that. Checking the heartbeat and the lung sounds is essential for a respiratory therapist to treat a patient correctly.

What is tunable AFD?

AFD stands for the Adjustable Frequency Diaphragm. It is a very convenient feature that can be found in the diaphragm of the stethoscope that allows you to listen to high and low-frequency sounds by changing the pressure. When you lightly press the chest piece, low-frequency sounds will be captured, while high-frequency sounds will be heard when you firmly press the diaphragm.

Summing Up

Well, here you have it; this detailed review of the best stethoscope for lung sounds will assist you with the decision. Whether you are a student, nurse, or EMT, out of all these stethoscopes on the list, there should be the one that meets your need and the requirement perfectly. We have also included the buying guide so you know what to look for if you are buying your first stethoscope.

Suppose you still find it confusing to choose one stethoscope on the list out of eight. In that case, we will recommend the 3M Littmann Stethoscope, Cardiology IV, which is a cardiology grade stethoscope and has superior acoustic sensitivity that will aid you in making a reliable judgment.

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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