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The Ultimate Acoustic Stethoscope Review (page 8)

Feedback And Comments:

2012-08-25 11:59:42
Repeatedly in this review, the Littman Cardiology I, was exampled as the best stethoscope, in text and graph. But, why would any review, of any product, by anyone, include a discontinued, unavailable and otherwise irrelevant item, if not to polish a particular brand name? Yes Littman makes a good product, and so does several other brand names that went unmentioned.
Doc from Greece
2012-06-14 06:22:56
I think that it's not nice not to include the Welch Allyn Harvey DLX scope. I've heard the Elite and I can say for sure that the DLX is a far better scope. I had a Littmann Cardio III. For 6 months now I have a Harvey DLX. In my opinion hands down it is better by far. Not only the sound is more clear but it's louder too. I'm not a cardiologist but this is my view. I wanted to read some objective data about my scope but unfortunatly it's not on this review. :-(
2011-10-14 22:33:59
Hi, I am a medical student and was specifically looking for non-biased comparisons of cardiology scopes and noticed the DRG model you included wasn't even the cardiology scope, very annoying and misleading to people who are not attentive to detail and looking for a cardiology scope. Could you please make this more evident when your study is posted everywhere, grr.
2011-03-30 14:41:39
Thanks for the review. Could of included other scopes but the chosen good representatives. And yes, a stethoscope preforms as a musical instrument being the user the musician. I had a med school professor used that used to say: "the most important part in an auscultation is what's between the earpieces: our brain and knowledge. So, a good stethoscope in the hands of a good 'performer' can do wonders.
2011-03-26 17:12:26
Thanks for the great review. I realize much of this info pertains to Physicians more than Paramedics, but I found it interesting. As medics we are briefly introduced to heart sounds, however the majority of our use for scopes is for breath sounds, and I believe that the hard diaphragm of the original Littmann Cardiology scope outperforms the newer Cardio III with the "tunable" type. I have found the tunable diaphragm doesnt produce as "crisp" tones as the older model. It's unfortunate that Littmann changed all their scopes to this type, which is why i never let go of my Cardio II. thanks again for a great article.
2011-03-23 10:42:48
Like "d," I am wondering if anyone has info, comments or reviews of Riester stethoscopes?
2011-02-27 18:51:30
Bottom line - the Welch Allyn Elite is probably the most reliable, accurate stethoscope made nowadays. Some minor changes to the study design might have demonstrated this.
2011-02-27 18:42:43
Great review! I suspect that the data in Table4 - Objective Testing is the most clinically relevent. That said, click detection is more important than intensity, so the "score" should not be a simple addition of the two factors. Unless the clinician is in an ambulance or lifeflight, the environment can be made quieter, and the clinician can just "listen up". Whereas, click detecton is of utmost importance in, well, things like midsystolic click detection. Also, better choices could have been made regarding which models to test. As others have said, the Welch Allyn Elite should have been tested with the flat diaphragm. This, combined with the relative importance of clarity over volume, would have yielded the Elite a much higher rating. Next, the ADC Platinum 615 is not a "cardiology" model. The ADC Cardiology models are 600, 601and 602, for the single-sided, med-peds, and traditional models, respectively. Had the ADC 602 been tested instead of the 615, I suspect it would have performed similar to the Littmann Cardiology I or II. The ADC 615 is comparable to the Littmann Master Classic II.
2011-02-21 19:20:09
hi, new to the site, thanks.
2010-11-24 09:33:56
I have used 3 different Littmans, the Cardiology III, Master Cardiology, and a 3000 model electronic. I have found all of them to be substandard. Recently, while using my electronic Littmann, I missed a friction rub. I listened with a Harvey Triple Head (used the corrugated diaphragm) and heard it instantly. It made the difference between taking the patient in for a cath vs. treating him with Indocin (which we did.) I have gotten rid of my Littmanns now and use a dual head Harvey DLX with the corrugated diaphragm. I also use the smaller sized plastic eartips. I find this stethoscope to be head and shoulders above any other that I have used. It is not as "stylish" as the Littmanns (which I think is part of their appeal), but acoustically there is no contest.
2010-11-20 17:06:15
My 2 or 3 cents. Thank you for such an insightful review. I have tried a number of stethoscopes. I started with a sprague which had great sound but was very heavy and I found my neck would get sore wearing it. I then tried the Littmann classic II se and couldn't even hear a blood pressure. I have heard a lot of good things about it so maybe I received a defective one. Then I tried a ADC adscope which again I couldn't hear anything. I was able to try a littmann card III and it sounded great but it's pricy. I then went with a MDF 1 and can hear fairly well but nothing to write home about. A nurse gave me a master classic that a doc left on her floor and never came back for. The sound I get from it is unbelievable and not too heavy. I would recommend it or the cardiology III. If it is something you have to everyday it is worth the investment
2010-08-31 15:44:21
I have used both the Littmann Cardio master & Littmann Cardio III for over 5 years and recently bought myself the Welsh Allyn and to be honest, I found the Welsh Allyn Elite easily the best scope. This is due to the ability of the Elite's ear pieces to rotate to any position unlike the littmanns which are static. We all dont have similar facing ear holes and if the Littmanns had rotatable ear pieces, I would have kept using it. The ability to swap the head piece from the corrugated, to flat and to a paediatric head is also a plus. To me, the WA Elite wins hands down. Regardless of the scope, the most important equipment for asculation really is the one between the ears.
2010-08-10 16:41:14
What about Riester, does anybody know how this German made scope compares?
Baby Doc
2010-08-09 14:42:28
I would have enjoyed seeing both the DRG Staff Cardiology (tunable) and DRG Puretone Cardiology (non-tunable). Furthermore, I would have enjoyed seeing how well the MDF Deluxe Sprague Rappaport, a high quality Sprague Rappaport that is of uperior quality to the "knock-off" Spragues available, would have performed in this study. Thank you for all of your effort and time!
2010-07-18 12:10:10
I'm with Dale Johnson on this - I've got a Harvey Elite and unless you swap out the corrugated diaphragm for the flat one, you're really not getting the most out if it. Plus, it has the ability to convert to a paeds stethoscope by unscrewing and replacing the bell rim and diaphragm assembly. A 10 year guarantee isn't to be sniffed at either!
2010-06-15 12:08:49
Has anyone tried the Magna Fortis 2010??
Dale Johnson ARNP
2010-01-29 15:54:20
I've been actively doing assessments across the age spectrum from pedes to geriatrics, and feel quite comfortable with my assessment skills. I differ with this report as I used the flat diaphragm for my comparison. I feel the welch allyn harvey elite is 20% better than the litmann master cardiology, and 5 to 10% better than the old litmann cardiology 2 in side by side trials. The bell is far better than either litmann. Also the diaphragm makes a much more clear depth of field in the Harvey. I'm very impressed and satisfied with the harvey.
K Hammond
2009-12-27 19:35:21
Thank you for the first REAL informative comparison of stethoscopes!
2009-12-23 06:48:59
Any opinions/experience with Magna Fortis brands??
Stew Boulder
2009-12-18 22:42:40
* I mean we CAN'T have tubes rubbing and we want those low tones too!
Stew Boulder
2009-12-18 22:40:23
My Girlfriend just got accepted into nursing school and mentioned items she needs. Stethoscope being one of them. I wanted to get it but wanted to get the best for the buck. Your article was nothing short of AMAZING. I actually understood everything you wrote. I just placed an order for the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope, Black. I got it for $9.95. So this will be fine until we are ready for The Littmann Cardiology III. I mean we can have tubes rubbing and we want those low tones too!
simple stet
2009-10-15 05:08:03
after all that has been said what remains is that spongy organ between the ears... I wonder if Laennec heard all of these sounds we hear
2009-08-22 23:56:52
We use the Littman III at school, and I find it a bit hard to hear sometimes. I was gonna spring for an electronic scope, but I recived the Omron from a friend who had a couple extra. I can hear probably twice as good as the Littmans we use, and it was free... Actually you can get them for like $8 on Amazon... O
2009-08-01 05:00:24
I wish you would have tested the DRG cardiology model. It doesnâ t make much sense to compare their lower end model with the Littman cardiology model. If you repeated this study to include that comparison, this probably would be publishable!
2009-06-29 15:17:32
I've finally plucked up enough courage not to mind looking like an idiot and bought the Welch Allyn triple head. The sound is louder than the Sprague Rapport and clearer than anything else, which far outweighs the small inconvenience of the relatively short tubing.
2009-03-10 20:36:46
Excellent review. Why has this not been published in a peer reviewed journal! The best stethoscope in the world cannot replace a careful, patient exam in a quiet room. I own a variety of stethoscopes including the littmann 4100 (electronic). The Harvey will give the sharpest gallops/clicks but at the expense of volume. I will not allow my students to use any scope without a bell. The pressure required to use the tunable diaphragm is very tricky. The best day to day scope I use is still the cardiology III, with a bell instead of the miniature diaphragm (which contrary to many of my residents' beliefs does not give adequate low frequencies).
Chad S
2009-02-08 22:36:44
I have used many scopes in practice. I am a nurse practitioner and used Littmann for a long time but then tried ADC scopes and found them to be great at half the price. ADC works well for most needs however if in a cardiology setting either a Littmann cardiology series or electronic scope will be better, other than that save the money and give ADC a try I was impressed.
2009-02-05 10:58:03
Thanks everyone for your insightful comments. Thanks Kent for pointing out that the Littmann Cardiology II is identical to the Cardiology one, except for having a longer tube. It may well have scored as the best acoustic stethoscope if we had been able to get one prior to our review.
2008-12-19 13:48:14
Good review, I really enjoyed it -and must admit was really rooting for Welch Allyn- , though poor DRG probably really didn't get a fair trial, either. Has anyone got any experience with Welch Allyn Double or Triple Heads or Delphi Cardiology, though? Judging by what is available on the net about them, they really sound like they're the best. By the way, I have been using Littman Master Cardiology for some time now, but it isn't quite so much better-than-most as you'd expect it considering its price. Anyway, W. Proctor Harvey probably didn't have all these fancy scopes and still made it to "Master Diagnostician"...
2008-12-08 08:52:18
Interesting review. I have to mention that one of my scopes is an Allheart Cardiology, and my earpieces fit just fine. It seems to give sound quality comparable to the Littmann Classic I I SE . But I've heard some anecdotes of loose earpieces and rims, so maybe it's a gamble to get this one.
2008-10-11 07:09:57
Great review, but the comparison between a Littman Cardiology III and the DRG Puretone Traditional is unfair, and not even scientific. The DRG stethoscope you tested is one of their basic vital signs scopes. You should have tested one of DRG's several Cardiology scopes to make your study valid. Sure, you can compare your BMW to the Ford Pinto if it makes you feel better, but scientific honesty would have you compare it to a Mercedes. You haven't convinced me at all that one of the double lumen cardiology scopes by DRG (especially the Titanium head design), isn't as good as or better than the Littman. In fact, what made the original HP Sprague Rappaport superior to most scopes was the brass head which remains one of the best insulators against losing sound. Titanium has very similar properties being extremely hard and yet light weight (look at the materials inside the best headphones in the world). I think the DRG Titanium Cardiology scope would have outperformed the Littman Cardiology III with its average stainless steel head.
2008-09-10 05:23:40
A very well-done and comprehensive review. I suspect that the Harvey Elite would've performed much better if the reviewers hadn't chosen to test it using the corrugated diaphragm. This diaphragm intentionally attenuates sounds in the upper and lower ranges, accentuating the midrange. It does not work nearly as well for general auscultation, IMO, as the flat diaphragm that also comes with the stethoscope. Their biggest complaint, that it was "inefficient," is almost certainly the result of their diaphragm choice. Also interesting to note is that the discontinued Littmann Cardiology would've scored higher than any other if not for the 5-point deduction given for "short tube." If they had tested a Cardiology II instead (also discontinued, but essentially the same 'scope, with available longer tubing), it probably would've been their top pick. These are still available on eBay, for what it's worth.
2008-07-29 13:30:04
When are you going to do an electronic stethoscope review?