Stethoscope Brands for Travel Nurses: Top 3 Stethoscope Brands

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By Amber Pickler

October 6, 2021



Top 3 Stethoscope Brands for Travel Nurses

As a nurse, you know how important the quality of your stethoscope is. After all, you use it on every travel nurse assignment you take. You also know that they can cost a pretty penny.  How do you know which stethoscope is worth the price?  Your fellow travel nurses are here to help!  A post made in our Facebook network group recently asked what the best stethoscopes are for travel nurses.  There were many comments, and out of those comments, Three brands were mentioned the most.  Before we get into the top brands, here is a little history of the stethoscope.

The stethoscope was invented in France in 1816 by René Laennec at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris. It consisted of a wooden tube and was monaural. Laennec invented the stethoscope because he was uncomfortable placing his ear directly onto a woman’s chest to listen to her heart.

Twenty-five years later, George P. Camman of New York developed the first stethoscope with an earpiece for each ear. This design would be used for more than 100 years with very few modifications.

Now, let’s find out what the top stethoscope brands are the best for travel nurses.

Top Stethoscope brands for Travel Nurses:


Littman is probably the most well-known brand of stethoscopes.  Littmann offers many options for stethoscopes.  Whether you are looking for a classic stethoscope or a cardiac, there are many options to choose from.  They also carry a line of pediatric stethoscopes as well.   Their classic stethoscopes are a favorite among the group.  They offer classic stethoscopes, cardiac stethoscopes, lightweight stethoscopes, and digital stethoscopes.  They all come in various styles, colors, and ways to personalize the type of stethoscope you choose.

Littman has many resources on their website about stethoscopes, education on stethoscopes, how to choose the right stethoscope, and many other resources for medical professionals.


Ultrascope offers something for everyone.  They have a variety of styles and looks.  They also offer a variety of types of stethoscopes that they list on their website.  Below you will find each type along with information about each from Ultrascope’s’ website.

Single Ultrascope:

According to their website, Single Ultrascope is a pressure-sensitive stethoscope with a single-sided chest piece and would be considered a “normal stethoscope” that most providers carry… It has an adjustable or tunable diaphragm that allows the user to hone in on different sound frequencies without flipping the chest piece. It’s’ a true workhorse model that will often serve as the point of reference for comparing these different kinds of stethoscopes.

The Duo Stethoscope: 

Their site states that “The Duo Stethoscope looks a lot like the Single Stethoscope but offers an additional feature: the ability to switch between stethoscope heads.  This is the stethoscope for medical professionals who deal with patients of different sizes or ages. To switch heads, all you have to do is unscrew the head connectors and attach the head of your choice. This is also a great option for those who just enjoy having multiple stethoscope designs on hand.”

Extended Stethoscope:

The Extended Stethoscope differs from the previous kinds in one key aspect: the option of extending the tubing on your stethoscope.

A standard stethoscope has a length of about 30 inches. With an Extended Stethoscope, you have a tubing extension that increases the total length to about 51 inches, making it nearly double the standard length. The tubing extension is optional to use, so you can easily switch between the standard and extended-length as called for by the situation or patient.

Classic Stethoscope:

The Classic Stethoscope is very similar to the Single Stethoscope but differs in how it delivers sound to the user’s ears. Like the Single Stethoscope, it has a pressure-sensitive diaphragm on a single-sided chest piece that is great for picking up sounds of different frequencies. Unlike the Single Stethoscope, however, the Classic Stethoscope has two tubes emanating from the chest piece, with each tube delivering individual sound to the left and right ear, respectively.

The Classic Stethoscope can be a great choice for medical professionals who are hard of hearing or have hearing issues. Sounds travel to each ear separately, giving you better and more focused sound quality. Note that hearing aids must be taken out when using this stethoscope. This stethoscope, like the others above, may also be used on human or animal patients.

Teaching Stethoscope:

The Teaching Stethoscope may look similar to the Classic Stethoscope, but its two tubes serve a different purpose. These tubes emanating from the chest piece allow two users to use it at the same time: a teacher, as the name suggests, and a student.

Like all the stethoscopes previously mentioned, the Teaching Stethoscope also has a single-sided chest piece with an adjustable diaphragm. The advantage of the Teaching Stethoscope is that it allows instructors to hear what students are hearing in real-time. This is great for academic environments where aspiring medical professionals are taught and tested on their auscultation skills. Having separate tubing’s is also great for hygiene, as the ear tips don’t’ have to be shared between users.


If you are looking for variety and options, MDF has both.  They have an extensive list of stethoscope options they list on their website.  They offer fifteen different collections of stethoscopes, all of which offer something different from the other collections.  MDF also offers a free parts for life program. As you know, your stethoscope can and does taking a beating, so this is a fantastic program.  The information below comes from their website and details the program:

Yes, our Free-Parts-For-Life Program (including ear tips) is really free. Free-Parts-For-Life shipments will be sent to the shipping address on the original order or location of purchase. Suppose you have moved to another address or country other than the original shipping location. In that case, we will do our best to send Free-Parts-For-Life and Lifetime Warranty shipments from a designated distribution center or distributor. We have distribution centers in the USA, European Union, Mexico, China, and Japan. We have official MDF Instruments distributors in over 80 countries.

What is Included in the FREE-PARTS-FOR-LIFE-PROGRAM?

The parts include our ComfortSeal® Eartips in three sizes (small, medium, and large), ID Tag, diaphragms, retaining rings, and non-chill rings.

Your stethoscope is a vital part of your job. Picking the right one can be difficult.  We hope that you found this information helpful in the process of choosing one.   Did we miss a stethoscope brand or company you think should have made our list?  Comment them below and if you would like to give a little information on them and why you think they are the best.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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