The Best Stethoscopes for Nursing Students – Our Top 5 picks for Learning

If you are reading this article, you are probably a nursing student trying to decide what type of stethoscope will best meet your needs in nursing school. In this article, I am going to walk you through the best stethoscopes for nursing students to help you achieve success in your nursing journey.

Since stethoscopes are expensive, it is crucial that you invest in a good one that will last you throughout nursing school and one that you will potentially continue to use as you transition into your nursing career.

Today, I have put together a detailed list of 5 top stethoscopes with the hopes of helping you select the right tool that will promote accuracy and reliability in your clinical assessments.

The best stethoscopes for nursing students provides an individual description of each stethoscope, as well as a table comparison of all 5 stethoscope so that you can be able to choose the perfect stethoscope for your individual needs

At the end of this article, be sure to check out table 1: comparing the top 5 stethoscopes. After reading this, I hope you will be able to make the right decision that will help make your nursing journey smoother and stress free.




best littmann stethoscope for nurses


The 3M LITTMANN CLASSIC III is one of the best products out there for learners and health care professionals alike. With a great acoustic performance of 8 and a double-sided chest piece.

The instrument also has a tunable diaphragm, which means that learners and professionals can hear the different frequency sounds during assessment simply by adjusting the contact pressure on the chest piece.

A light contact pressure will help you hear low frequency sounds, while firm pressure will result in hearing high frequency sounds. This instrument is very good for the assessments of both adults and children in a non-critical environment.

The most exciting thing about the 3M LITTMANN CLASSIC III is that it comes with a new single piece diaphragm which can be easily cleaned and attached to the stethoscope.

It has a tubing that is one of the best in the market because it does not pick up stains and it is highly resistant to alcohol and oils from the skin. Hence, this leads to longer tubing life and high durability. Also, the instrument is very flexible and retains its shape during use, after it has been folded and stowed away

Finally, if you are allergic to phthalate plasticizer or latex you have nothing to worry about because these allergens are not used in the production of the instrument’s tubing.


3m littmann cardiology 3 stethoscope


The 3M LITTMANN CARDIOLOGY IV is designed specifically to help students and health professionals to listen to subtle and hard to hear sound. The acoustic sensitivity and performance is high at 9 and is a great instrument to hear abnormal heart sounds such as faint pulmonary irregularities, S3 and S4 murmurs and bruits

Equally, the diaphragm is tunable and a double-sided chest piece, this instrument is very good for the assessments of patients in critical settings such as Cardiac ICU, ICU and ER

Additionally, the tubing is very durable as it does not pick up any stains and it is highly resistant to alcohol and oils from the skin. Also, the tubing is very resilient and flexible, retaining its original flexibility and shape even after it has been folded and stored away

Likewise, the is not made with phthalate plasticizer or latex, making it safe for sensitive individuals to use.


best stethoscope nursing students


The MDF ACOUSTICA DELUXE is a lightweight stethoscope with good acoustics and a dual head chest piece. It is the best choice for a high quality and affordable instrument for learners. It can be used for assessing children and adults alike in non-critical units.

Although the MDF ACOUSTICA DELUXE is not as advanced as the 3M LITTMANN products mentioned above, it is well fitted with the basic minimum features and finely crafted to help ensure accuracy and precision in assessment and diagnosis. It is also available in lightweight selection for specific colours

The amazing thing about this instrument is that it has an acoustic valve stem with green indicator dot that easily indicates to the user when there is an active sound channel.

To top it off instrument also has a no-chill retaining diaphragm and bell which simply means that it does not feel cold when placed on a patient’s body during assessment.

Overall, this is a fairly good affordable and stethoscope for students, it has the basic features and is also made of rubber tubing that is latex free


Stethoscope for nursing studentsDRESCRIPTION

The ADC ADSCOPE 600 CARDIOLOGY is an outstanding high acoustic instrument that provides user comfort and high performance. It is very ideal equipment for use in any cardiology focused unit. Like other stethoscopes on this list, this instrument has a dual lumen channel and a tunable diaphragm that allows the user to hear both high and low frequency sounds.

A unique feature that sets this instrument apart from the rest of the stethoscopes on this list is that it has a one-sided chest piece system. Hence, to hear high or diaphragm type frequency, the user must apply firm pressure to the chest piece and to hear low or bell type frequencies light pressure must be used.

It is also suitable for sensitive patients, professionals and student as it is latex free.


the best stethoscope for a nurse


The MDF MD ONE PREMIUM DUAL HEAD STETHOSCOPE is a very stylish brand of stethoscope that is fitted with an ergonomic design and comfort for both learners’ professionals and patients alike. It is made up of a stainless steel, handcrafted and acoustic superior chest piece for high performance and precision in assessment.

Just like the MDF Acoustica Deluxe stethoscope, the MDF One has an acoustic valve stem with green indicator dot that easily indicates to the user when there is an active sound channel. And to top it off, the instrument also has and a no-chill retaining chest piece system (bell and diaphragm) that does not feel cold when placed on a patient’s body during assessment.

This instrument is a very stylish and ergonomic stethoscope for students, it has all basic features and is also made of rubber tubing that is latex free.



  3m littmann classic iii stethoscope 3m littmann cardiology 3 stethoscope mdf acoustica deluxe lightweight dual head stethoscope adc adscope stethoscop mdf md one stethoscope reviews
Price Range CDN$ 118 – 125 CDN$ 262 – 275 CDN$ 33 – 50 CDN$ 126 – 210 CDN$ 68 – 120
Ideal Use Physical assessments and diagnosis of adult and children in non-critical environment Cardiac and pulmonary assessments and diagnosis of children and adults in cardiology, ICU, ER and other critical settings Assessments and diagnosis of adult and children in quiet and non-critical environment Cardiac assessments and diagnosis in cardiology focused unit and settings Assessments and diagnosis that provides comfort
Type of Chest piece Machined stainless steel and Double sided Machined stainless steel and Double sided Lightweight aluminum dual headed chest piece Precision machined stainless Chest piece with adjustable frequency design (AFD) technology and mirror finish Handcrafted stainless steel with dual head chest piece
Diaphragm Type Single piece diaphragm that is tunable on each side of the chest piece diaphragm is resigned single piece, tunable on each side of the chest piece Has a single piece diaphragm with a full rotation acoustic valve system and a no-chill retaining ring (does not feel cold when placed on patient’s body) Single sided chest piece with just a diaphragm and no bell. However, the diaphragm piece is tunable to hear high and low frequency sounds Diaphragm with single piece, full rotation to an acoustic valve system and a no-chill retaining ring
Acoustic Performance High, 8 High, 9 Moderate, 6 High, 8 High, 7
Tube Design Single lumen Dual lumen tubing design Acoustic tubing Bi-lumen tube Acoustic tube design
Color and finishes 18 different colours and 7 finishes 9 colour variety and 7 finishes Comes in 7 different colours and 4 finishes 9 different colours and 3 finishes 18 different colours and 3 finishes
Weight 150 grams Available in 167 and 177 grams Has 299, 272 and 122 grams for select colors and finishes 202.6 grams 200 grams
Length 69 cm 56 cm and 69 cm 50 cm 36.8 cm 33 cm
Review on Amazon 4.5 / 5 stars 4.5 / 5 stars 4.2 / 5 Stars 4.5 / 5 Stars 4.5 / 5 Stars

Cheapest Place to Buy

  Littmann Classic iii  Littmann Cardiology iv  MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head  ADC adscope 600 cardiology  MDF md one


best stethoscope for a nursing student

So friends, as you can see, there is a lot to consider when trying to decide which type of stethoscope is best for you. Factors like price, comfort, weight, length, colour variety and even rating may play a role in your final decision.

I have fully outlined for you in this article the Top 5 Stethoscopes with their individual features so that you can decide which one will be the best one for you.

If you have any feedback, questions or concerns I would like to hear from you. If you have had any experience (either positive or negative) using any of the stethoscopes mentioned here. Kindly share with us your experience in the comment section below. Also, if there is any instrument that you are currently using or have used in the past that deserves to be on this list please leave your comments.

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.


  1. I have no idea on Stethoscope, I didn’t even know what it was called until I read your article, I am just here to appreciate the Nurses and the good work they do, I am sure most of the people who will read your article are either Nurses or Nursing Students, so I just wanted to say, keep up the good work.
    and I wanna thank you for putting this list together, I am sure its gonna make things easier for someone looking for a good Stethoscope.

    • Thank you Rose. I was hoping to put out a content that was a detailed as possible for nursing students and nurse. I hope you enjoyed the article. Happy new year!

  2. Very interesting article. As it is not my field of knowledge it was a very good read. I know more now of something I never knew anything about. Next time I will look with different eyes to a stethoscope.
    Thank you for expanding my knowledge.
    Bush Lady.

  3. Very useful information here. Would these be available for purchase on Amazon or do you know a seller that could mail order? Thanks and keep up the great work.

  4. Very interesting article. I had no idea there was some many different types of stethoscopes. I thought there was only one type but according to your article, there are specialty types. Which one would you recommend for around the house use or general use?

    • Hi Dan,

      I am glad that you found the article interesting
      to answer your question regarding what stethoscope I would recommend for home use, I would say that it all depends on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.

      If you want to go for a high end stethoscope, I recommend the 3M littmann classic III. Although it costs anywhere from CAD$ 118-125. It is very good for learners, the acoustic sounds are high at 8 and very clear and the overall quality of the stethoscope is great.

      It usually comes with a five year warranty so if you take care of it, it will last you for a long time. I personally recommend this stethoscope because I own one and I have had it for over five years with no problems.

      If you are looking for a good stethoscope but do not want to spend as much I recommend the MDF ACOUSTICA DELUXE DUAL HEAD. Although the products cost anywhere from CAD$ 33-50, it is a good stethoscope for new users and you still get your money’s worth, as it is fitted with all the basic features of a good working stethoscope.

      The sound quality is not as high as the 3M littmann classic III, but it is a moderate 6 so that you can still hear the heart and lung sounds. Also, it has some features that is not present in the littmann product such as the green indicator light to indicate a sound channel and the no chill retaining ring. The product has a lifetime warranty, and if you purchase this product it comes with lifetime support from the company, which basically means that they will help you with any technical issues you have. Overall, with stethoscopes you get you money’s worth.

      Those two are the best that I believe will be good for home use.

      Here are the links to purchase the products on amazon:

      3M LITTMANN CLASSIC III: Buy it here


      I hopes this helps,

      Thank you for your comment and have a happy new year!

  5. Your article was very interesting and informative! I didn’t realize that there were so many different types of stethoscopes. Some are better in certain settings as well. You will help a lot of nursing students and medical professionals with this information.

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