Electronic Stethoscope Reviews : What to Look for When Going Digital

the best electronic stethoscopes

Clearly, the emergence of technological advances in the health care sector has given rise to the use of digital or electronic stethoscopes.

Generally speaking, electronic stethoscopes have noise reduction and sound amplification features that make them more versatile than the conventional manual stethoscopes.

However, just like every technological device, electronic stethoscopes have advantages and disadvantages.

In particular, one of the biggest advantages associated with an electronic stethoscope is the ability to increase the amplitude of bodily sounds from organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach; making it possible to listen to muffled and faint sounds clearly.

Thus, electronic stethoscopes have become the stethoscope of choice in noisy clinical settings.

A huge disadvantage of using electronic stethoscopes is that the battery needs to be recharged from time to time, making it less desirable during emergency situations.

This article will tackle the best electronic stethoscope reviews to help you make a good decision when purchasing a digital stethoscope.

1. EKO Core Digital Stethoscope – Our # 1 Recommendation

eko digital stethoscope

Descriptioneko digital stethoscope attachment

The EKO Core Digital Stethoscope is a device that you attach to your stethoscope to increase auscultation clarity.

It has a unique feature of both digital and analog setting. So if you are ever worried about your battery dying on you while using this device, fear not! the EKO core digital stethoscope you can switch from a digital stethoscope to a conventional manual stethoscope simply the push of a button.

The device has a 40 times audio amplification feature, which means that sounds can be heard louder, up to 40 times.

The device is fitted with an adult cardiology bell and a cardiology-grade pediatric and adult diaphragm. This makes it compatible for both children and adult cardiovascular assessments.

It has up to 7 volume levels that can be increased or decreased to the listener’s comfort level.

In addition, it is equipped with an adapter that records and sends device data via Bluetooth into an app on your smartphone, the data may include: heart, lung, stomach sounds.

This data can then be saved for further analysis by the clinician.

This device is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

How to Use the EKO Core Electronic Stethoscopebest digital stethoscope

As mentioned earlier, the EKO Core Stethoscope is a device that you attach to your stethoscope.

To use, you simply remove the chest piece of your stethoscope and attach the device to the area where the chest piece of your stethoscope used to be.

The next step is to turn on the device by pushing the power button, once turned on the device automatically sync to your IOS and android devices through Bluetooth.

Pros

  • 1 year warranty plus a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Charges quickly: it takes about 40 minutes
  • A fully charged device can last up to 2 weeks before needing to be recharged
  • Does not require batteries to function
  • Sound can be recorded with this device
  • Compatible with iOS and Android phone apps and sync with electronic health records

Cons

    • It is slightly heavy at 1 pounds (2.2kg)
    • It does not come with a digital LCD screen like the littmann 3200

2. Littmann 3200 Stethoscope

Descriptionlittmann model 3000 electronic stethoscope

The Littmann 3200 digital stethoscope is the newer version of the Littmann 3100 electronic stethoscope.

It has a 27-inch durable metal chest piece, it amplifies sounds up to 24 times while eliminating 85% of ambient noise in the background.

The device is capable of switching to a power saving standby mode when not in use and can be reactivated by pressing the any button or by simply touching the chest piece to the patient’s skin.

The pressure sensitivity can be adjusted through the screen and the user can modify the filter that is used in auscultations.

It records and saves up to twelve 30-seconds patient soundtracks, which can then be analyzed by a health care professional. It shows your patient’s heart rate on its LCD.

Additionally, Sound data recorded can also be transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth technology for further analysis.

The Littmann 3200 electronic stethoscope has a 4.5 out of 5 stars review on Amazon.

How to Use the Littmann 3200 Electronic Stethoscope

3200 littmann electronic stethoscope

To start using, take the device out of the box and slightly twist the battery cap to open. The next step is to insert an AA battery and remount the battery cap and twist to lock. Turn the device on/off by pushing the power button, your device is now functional. Press the plus and minus button to increase and decrease the amplification of sounds. To scroll, use the plus and minus button and the M button to choose operational settings.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty
  • It has a digital LCD screen
  • Includes 3 sizes of earpiece
  • Has a screen that is easy to use

Cons

    • This stethoscope is considered bulky, due to its conventional appearance and weighs 1.37 pounds (0. 621 kilograms)
    • It is not compatible with Apple devices
    • It is usually powered by a single AA Battery, which means that if you run out of batteries the device will not work

3. ThinkLabs One Electronic Stethoscope

Descriptionthinklabs stethoscope review

Thinklabs One Electronic Stethoscope is a round device that takes on a look that is completely different from any conventional stethoscope.

It has a 3.5 millimeter to allow for the insertion of any standard headphone or headset and listen to patient’s bodily sounds.

It can amplify sounds over a 100 times.

The range of frequencies heard can be adjusted and changed simply by applying more or less pressure on the diaphragm.

Users who have a hearing-impairment can connect the device directly to the streamers of their cochlear implants or hearing aids.

This device has an internal lithium ion battery, which can be charged by using the USB port.

The product has a rating of a 2.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

How to Use the Thinklabs one Electronic Stethoscope

thinklabs amplified stethoscope

Take the device out of the box and locate the power button. Notice that there is a diaphragm on one side through which the sounds can be transmitted and a display on the other. The device has four buttons on the outside and to turn on device press any button of the four buttons. Plug in a headphone to the 3.5 millimeter jack to hear bodily sounds. After use, the device turns off automatically by itself within 30 minutes or you can turn it off manually by pressing one top button and the adjacent bottom button.

Pros

  • 2 years warranty
  • Lightweight at 1.1 pounds (0.5 kilograms) as it does not have any tubing
  • Compatible with IOS and Android devices
  • The device is ideal for hearing impaired customers
  • Headset is included

Cons

    • The device is very susceptible to background noise
    • The device is expensive at $499

Now the Choice is Yours

Conclusively, this article outlines electronic stethoscope reviews and their pros and cons to help users pick out the best electronic stethoscope that meet their needs.

Indeed, electronic stethoscopes are definitely a step up from traditional analog stethoscopes as they have amplification and noise reduction features, among other things that makes them a powerful device in the health care sector.

Which of these electronic stethoscope is your favourite?

Do you have an electronic stethoscope that you currently use that is not the list above list? If so, I would like to hear from you.

If you have any comments, feedback or questions, kindly share them in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading!

About Pam 10 Articles
Pam is the founder and author of InfoWatchNurse and ThinkStethoscopes. Pam is an award-winning leader. In 2017, She pioneered the first ever peer tutoring program for nursing students at York University. She was also a Peer Tutor and Mentor for nursing students. Today, Pam creates posts and articles on health topics to give back to the nursing community.  She blogs about nursing, health, nursing skills and other health-related topics on her websites. You can connect with Pam on Linkedin and Instagram.

10 Comments

  1. Thank you, Pam, for this post! My mom is a nurse and she is always on the lookout for new equipment! Maybe an electronic stethoscope would make me her favorite daughter when her birthday comes around lol!

    Beautiful and minimalistic blog btw <3

  2. Thank you for this amazing collection! I find the bluetooth item fascinating but the more practical product is the digital products more accurate. Thank goodness for noise reduction. Keep up the good work Pam, you are doing amazing!!

  3. I work in a care home and this stethoscopes would be so helpful has its always noisy all the time and I like the feature from the Bluetooth. Very helpful, thank you.

  4. I do not think I will go with the ThinkLabs One Electronic Stethoscope. 2.5 stars is way too low for me. I do not want to run into any trouble. The Littmann 3200 Stethoscope looks much more appealing or even the EKO Core Digital Stethoscope. 4.5 stars for both of them is reassuring.

    I do have a question though. When it comes to buying stethoscopes, do you think it is something health insurance would cover? I look forward to reading your response.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day

    • Hi Alex, I am glad that you found the information useful. And Yes most people like the EKO CORE and the Littmann 3200.

      To answer your question, it depends on what type of coverage you have and the coverage may also vary among insurance companies. I suggest finding out if your insurance covers it before buying. Unless of course you really need it and don’t care about the insurance coverage as much.

      Thank you for you time.

      Have a great day

      Pam

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