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Best stethoscope 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best stethoscope of 2018
Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing stethoscope should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition. We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs.
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
№1 – MDF® Rose Gold MD One® Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope – Rose Gold Edition – White
Why did this stethoscope win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.
Why did this stethoscope come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made.
Why did this stethoscope take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
stethoscope Buyer’s Guide
What separates Littmann stethoscopes from the rest is first and foremost the quality of sound. With a stethoscope as the Littmann Cardiology III you clearly hear all types of heart sounds, breaths, murmurs and clicks.
In my opinion the Littmann Cardiology III could be considered the best Littmann stethoscope. Other very good solid options are the Littmann Classic III, Littmann Lightweight and the Littmann Masters.
If you are willing to spend the extra money to get a high quality stethoscope, Littmann is definitely the right choice for you.
They make great stethoscopes for general purposes. You clearly hear heart sounds, lung sounds and bowel sounds. This is good for any nurse or medical doctor. If you are in cardiology you would want to choose a cardiology stethoscope such as the Ascope Platinum Cardiology.
You should consider buying a quality stethoscope. This allow you to hear clearer and it will save you much pain in the long run.
The MDF stethoscopes are comparable to the Littmann Lightweight and the Littmann Classic. They are good solid stethoscopes with high quality sound.
The MDF stethoscopes are overall good and solid stethoscopes, and they are one of my recommended brands.
Prestige is not the cheapest or the most expensive. It comes in the middle of the stethoscope range. You can hear all kinds of sounds with it and the quality of these stethoscopes are good.
The downside is that some of their stethoscopes are super heavy and not practical to wear around the neck all day. If you feel pain in your neck, you should try to get a lighter stethoscope.
These are good first time stethoscopes if you are in med school or just graduating. They are in the middle both in price and quality, and they are definitely worth checking out.
A stethoscope, as mentioned earlier, is the most well-known device used by physicians, nurses, and other individuals employed in the medical field. This outwardly unassuming piece of medical equipment amplifies sounds, which lets healthcare providers gather data about certain conditions of the patient’s body.
If a doctor or nurse’s stethoscope succumbs to wear and tear, it is important that he or she should repair or replace said unit. The best suggestions for repair are to concentrate on the expenses involved, its root cause, and its effectiveness.
The success of stethoscope repair is crucial since, if the whole procedure is not done in a proper manner, there is no purpose whatsoever in saving the device. Several factors might come into play whenever a stethoscope breaks down. It has a number of parts and difficulty in terms of functions and features.
Looking for an expert technician who is capable of repairing a stethoscope is as essential as any lingering aspect of patching up such devices. You can look for a technician near you or find one online. You can also refer to the yellow pages or ask co-workers about their experiences.
The grounds for patching up a stethoscope can influence how expensive it will be to repair, and it can also impart information on how the device got damaged. If any of the stethoscope’s connecting cables are broken, the fee for its repair is most likely not going to be worth the money you spent on the device itself.
For simple concerns like damaged name tags, repairs are recommended. This might be attributed to carelessness on the user’s part, and understanding this might help users to take care of their gear better.
Stethoscopes are important for finding heartbeat irregularities as well as discovering probable lung issues and blood pressure conditions. If a healthcare professional has problems with the tool, it is essential to have the device checked and mended by a technician.
By keeping track of the expenses involved, the cost it would be for a repair, and how the stethoscope got damaged in the first place, the user can find out if restoration or a replacement is needed.
Care and Maintenance of Stethoscopes
Individuals involved in the healthcare industry make use of their stethoscopes regularly. They use the device a number of times every day. Whenever any device is used on a daily basis a number of times each working day, it should be cleaned carefully and given proper maintenance so it will stay functional for longer periods of time.
If great care is taken with the device, it will possibly last longer and sustain its performance. Even the best stethoscope on the market will need some basic maintenance now and then.
Since the device offers a helpful purpose to doctors, nurses, and the like, it is crucial to take care of well it. Because the medical field has doctors and nurses dealing with patients with a variety of diseases and illnesses every day throughout their career, this means ailments and germs can be distributed between the patient and his or her physician by means of a contaminated stethoscope.
Care for Eartips
Because the eartips are placed straight into the ears of the user, it is not odd for this component of the device to require more cleaning as compared with other parts of the ‘scope. You can remove the eartips by merely unscrewing them from their places. As soon as the eartips are removed from their binaurals, they can be cleaned thoroughly with a mix of water and mild soap or with a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol.
After cleaning the eartips, they must be adjusted to guarantee that they are screwed securely into the unit’s binaurals. Eartips that may pop out or fall down will be uncomfortable over the course of medical checkups.
Sterilizing the Unit
For appropriate sterilization, low-temperature gas sterilization is recommended. A majority of stethoscopes have particular instructions for how to perform this procedure correctly without causing more damage to the device.
Since extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can lead to permanent damage to the device, the unit must never be placed in locations where temperatures vary significantly. Placing a stethoscope for example on the dashboard of a car over the course of a summer or a winter can warp or damage the tubing of the device, rendering it inoperative.
Furthermore, placing the device in direct sunlight for longer periods of time can also cause harm to the tool’s retaining rings, diaphragm, and tubing. Even decisions like leaving the stethoscope dangling in a window that faces direct sunlight for 30 minutes can cause damage. To steer clear of such concerns, it is wise that vinyl protectant be applied to the devices once a month at the very least.
MDF’s One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head stethoscope is a good device to start with, so it is ideal for beginners in the medical profession and med/nursing course students. It offers a lifetime warranty and even a free parts for life program. The model is latex-free, which is recommended for individuals who are allergic from this material. Most of the company’s stethoscopes are also handcrafted to guarantee good all over workmanship.
RA Bock’s Single Head Cardiology Stethoscope is a great mid-sized stethoscope meant for cardiology usage. It is commended by a number of users for its exceptional sound output minus the heavier weight and expensive price of other brands. It merges the acoustic response of a conventional bell and diaphragm combo into one handy chest piece. For low frequencies, users will have to use light pressure; higher frequencies require a firmer pressure.
There are different things you should consider when shopping for a stethoscope. I will highlight only five of the most important ones. You have a better chance of choosing the best scope by considering the following:1.
Reputation of the brand
The opinions of people about a particular brand speak volumes. If you are interested in a particular brand, find out from colleagues and friends who’ve used the stethoscope about their experience. Also read stethoscope reviews on blogs and forums to see what people are saying about that brand. You are likely to be more satisfied with a brand that many people praise than one with a lot of negative feedback.
If you want a brand that produces quality steths that are affordable, this is your brand. Ultra-scope stethoscopes are unique for their single-sided head rather than their dual head. These can be accessorized with brand-produced crystal charms. You can also personalize your steth by getting a color, logo or pattern of your choice.
Loyal customers of this brand love the scopes for their aesthetic beauty more than their performance.
Reviews of Ultrascope Stethoscopes
MDF Instruments, like Littmann, is extremely popular among doctors and medical students alike, but its products sell for significantly cheaper. Despite the difference in price, MDF stethoscopes tend to be just a good as Littmann stethoscopes.
Combining a traditional design with modern engineering, MDF stethoscopes provide clear and accurate auscultation and make it possible to hear everything that is going on inside your patient’s chest. There are a variety of MDF stethoscopes available, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the one for you.
All MDF stethoscopes are handcrafted, eliminating the possibility of an error being caused by mass production. Furthermore, all MDF Instrument stethoscopes are backed by a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about spending money to replace your stethoscope should something go wrong.
Prestige Medical is arguably the most unique manufacturer in the stethoscope game. The design team takes pride in its ability to make stethoscopes, as well as other medical instruments, look more personable and a lot less intimidating. With pleasing color patterns and combinations, Prestige Medical stethoscopes are perfect for those who deal with children or nervous patients on a regular basis.
Of course, a visually pleasing design does not a good stethoscope make, something of which Prestige Medical is well aware. The brand puts just as much effort into the mechanics of its products as it does the exterior. Each stethoscope from Prestige Medical is meticulously designed to ensure it provides incredible comfort for the wearer and the subject, as well as near-unrivaled sound clarity.
Prestige Medical stethoscopes are often seen as quite basic tools, offering little more than what one would expect from a just passable stethoscope. However, those who have used Prestige Medical stethoscopes in the past understand just how impressive these tools can be.
MDF Pulse Time
Kicking off our search for the best stethoscope is this fancy little model from MDF Instruments. The MDF Pulse Time is unique in that it hovers between a traditional and electronic stethoscope. While it does not offer electronic sound amplification or bluetooth recording, it does come fitted with an LCD clock which will monitor your patient’s heartbeat automatically. More and more doctors prefer this as one of the best stethoscopes as it allows them to talk to their patients while examining their heart, creating a stronger doctor-patient bond and making the subject feel more at ease.
Like all stethoscopes from MDF Instruments, the MDF Pulse Time is composed of hand crafted parts, meaning hours of careful attention has gone into each one. Because this was put together by hands and not just pumped out by a machine, it is one of the more durable stethoscopes on the market. It will hold up for years when used and looked after correctly. It is backed up by a lifetime warranty on the off chance that something goes wrong.
Prestige Medical Sprague Stethoscope
A sprague rappaport stethoscope, for those who don’t know, is a stethoscope which features two different tubes from the chest piece to the ear pieces, one for each ear. While this design in theory provides the wearer with a more comprehensive listening experience, sprague rappaport stethoscopes have been growing increasingly unpopular in recent years. The Prestige Medical Sprague Stethoscope, however, is a gentle and non-chilly reminder of why the sprague rappaport design was once so popular.
Many stethoscopes which sell for the price of the Prestige Medical Sprague Stethoscope tend to perform about as well as you would expect something of that price to perform, but this stethoscope is an overachiever. It performs to the standard of a much more expensive stethoscope and is arguably the best stethoscope for a medical student or young doctor.
Personal preference may seem irrelevant when you’re in the market for something as cold and as ironically heartless as a stethoscope, but there is actually quite a bit of room for your tastes. Once you find a stethoscope which meets your professional needs, you will likely be asked to choose which color you would like, and sometimes even your preferred size.
It’s important to remember that it is not just your preferences which you should be taken into account while making this decision. The comfort of your patient will always come first, so you should choose a stethoscope which will make them feel at ease. Obviously, this won’t be too much of an issue for those who work with older patients, but a pediatrician should probably go for a brightly colored stethoscope. Check out our review on the best pediatric stethoscopes.
Dual lumen tube
Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope is known for its outstanding quality and acoustic performance.
During emergency, what matter most is the perfect diagnosis and Littmann cardiology III assist in such situation by providing the sounds that matter the most to the physician.
Choose the right stethoscope
Make sure you have the right tool for the job. Disposable and cheap stethoscopes are often recommended for students, but many of these stethoscopes have poor sound profiles. If you have young ears, a cheap scope may be good enough, but if you have less-than-perfect hearing or need a full range of sounds for diagnostics, then you will need a good scope.
Double-lumen, Sprague scopes, can cause artifact when the tubes rub against each other. Shorter tubes, in theory, will have better volume, but longer tubes are nice when the patient starts coughing.
Diaphragms — the side of the head with a solid disc — are great for listening to relatively higher-frequency breath sounds and bowel sounds, but for low-frequency heart tones and murmurs you will want a bell — the side that’s hollow.
Whichever brand or model you choose, remember, you generally get what you pay for. And never buy what you cannot afford to lose.
Know your stethoscope
After you’ve bought your scope, read the owner’s manual. Visit the company’s website. Check out YouTube for training videos. There are lots of great resources out there on how to get the most from your particular scope.
Use good auscultation technique
Move the ear pieces into position. They should be angled slightly so that they point toward your nose. This way the ear pieces are aligned with your ear canals.
Turn the stethoscope’s head to the correct side. If you are using a double-sided scope, the head will turn on a pivot that will allow the sound to travel from the operating side to the cord or tube. Check your owner’s manual to learn how to determine which side is activated. Usually, the flat side of the attachment — or the side with the hole — indicates which side is active.
When taking a patient’s blood pressure, make certain the stethoscope is directly over the brachial artery. You can find it by palpating the medial aspect of the antecubital fossa. Once you have the stethoscope in place, do not place your thumb on top to hold it — it can add artifact. Instead, secure it in place your fingers or cradle it between finger and thumb at the base with the cord draped over the back of your hand.
Do not adjust your ear pressure
Do not attempt to change the pressure in your ears to improve your earpiece positioning. Changes in pressure remain in the eustachian tubes unless you have a perforated tympanic membrane. It may feel different, but it has no real effect on ear piece placement. That pressure change is much more likely to affect sound conduction through your ear and make hearing more difficult.
Some physicians prefer to use their regular acoustic while assessing this age group, while healthcare professionals like ER doctors, EMTs and paramedics consider this essential gear to have on hand. With that said, most acoustic brands will offer an ultra sensitive diaphragm for use with infants and toddlers, so keep that in mind when making a purchase.
Some professionals prefer a cheap, standard fixed diaphragm, while others like a tunable model that varies its sound response based on the input (pressure) placed on it. Others, particularly those with hearing issues or specialists, may prefer electronic stethoscopes or a tunable model from a reputable manufacturer.
If in doubt, make sure whatever you buy has a double-headed diaphragm (one side domed, the other flat) so you can at least fine tune somewhat on noises in each spectrum: low, medium, and high pitched.
Last, very few patients will enjoy having the cold tip of your diaphragm being placed on their chest, back or arm. Give preference to models promising a non-chill diaphragm design.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers make it so you can only use their brand of eartips.
Read lots of reviews and ask your colleagues for their opinions prior to purchase. When in doubt of your ideal size, contact the manufacturer to see if they can send you both small and large varieties with your purchase.
In general, harder materials like stainless and titanium are better at picking up and transferring sound. The tube, chest piece and diaphragm should be constructed of the same materials for best performance. Avoid choosing diaphragms that use aluminum in their construction as the softness of the metal is far too hollow to give consistent, accurate readings.
How to Use a Stethoscope Properly
The following tips are offered purely for educational purposes. Not as a replacement for training under qualified professionals.
Always start by tapping the earpiece to confirm there are no holes or cracks in the tubing or earpiece, and to ensure the diaphragm is seated properly.
Use the diaphragm side of the chest piece for medium and high pitched sounds; while the flat side should be used for low pitched noises.
How to Take Proper Care of Your Stethoscope • Never leave your stethoscope in extreme temperatures (hot or cold). All parts of a stethoscope are sensitive to hot and cold and the damage done may not always be visible, rather sound quality can gradually (or abruptly) be compromised. • To properly sterilize your stethoscope, the only safe way to do this is low temp gas sterilization. • Avoid folding and/or stuffing your stethoscope in your pocket. Allowing them to clamp themselves around your neck, or draping them lengthwise across your shoulder blades is best when not in use.
The MDF MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope is another worthy pick if you’re looking for something that will really give you value for your money. These stethoscopes are built to last, able to withstand years of wear and tear without showing signs of use.
The MD One is designed for superior audio output, muting out ambient noises and highlighting internal body sounds to give you a clear and definitive listen. What makes the stethoscope even more appealing is the fact that the company offers a Free Parts for Life Program. That means if you buy an authentic MDF product, you can get replacement parts for your stethoscope free for a lifetime.
However, unlike the previous two options, this stethoscope has a single surface chest piece. While this does eliminate potential wear and tear caused by switching between low and high frequency diaphragms, it also makes the product harder to fine-tune.
For instance, if you’re listening to low frequency sounds, placing minimal pressure on the surface of the skin should be good enough to pick up on the right sounds. For high frequency, pressing harder will provide a clearer audio, but because nursing students may not have enough experience, finding the right level of pressure can prove to be a challenge.
It’s suitable, not just for adults, but also for children. Among the many stethoscopes in the cardiology department, it’s the only one that comes with a dual-sided chest piece.
The patented tunable diaphragms can be used to listen to low and high-frequency sounds. With two tubes, it eliminates noise created when tubes are rubbed together.
The humble stethoscope has been the best friend of medical professionals for two centuries now and is considered a must-have tool for today’s medical professionals. Designed for listening to the sounds made by the heart, lungs, and organs of humans and animals alike, there is no device more important to anyone associated with patient care than the stethoscope, which is why I created this site.
With decades of nursing experience under my belt, I’ve used every conceivable stethoscope over the years and certainly have my favorites. However, rather than watch others go through the same trial by fire so to speak and show up for a 12-hour shift with an inferior stethoscope, I made it my personal quest to find the best stethoscopes on the market today for a variety of budgets, needs, and medical disciplines.
Lumiscope – Based out of Atlanta, GF Health Products manufactures and distributes over 4,000 different health and medical products under various brands, including Lumiscope.
Although there are many different medical and health products under the Lumiscope brand as well, the Lumiscope Blood Pressure and Stethoscope kit is by far one of its best.With dual-functionality, hundreds of rave reviews, and a price tag that can’t be beat, it’s one of the brand’s best-sellers and gaining Lumiscope a solid reputation in the home health category.
Don’t get me wrong.If you’re looking for the best stethoscopes around, Littman is the way to go. Lumiscope, on the other hand, is an excellent value brand, making it a popular option for a wide variety of people.
Value for the Money
The Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope provides superior auscultation that’s unrivaled amongst general examination stethoscopes. Its innovative tunable diaphragm and chest piece allows you to monitor both high and low-frequency sounds simply by alternating the least amount of pressure.
Of course, like other Littmann models, the Master Classic II Stethoscope comes with a hand-polished, scratch-resistant finish as well. Plus, it has 3M’s patented ear tips, a thick binaural, and a sturdy double-leaf spring to boot.
With all of these durable design features, you would expect the Master Classic II to be big, heavy, and uncomfortable to wear and use. However, quite the opposite is true. In fact, thanks to its single-lumen design, it’s every bit as portable as many of the less expensive and equipped stethoscopes further down the list.
Designed to be the best general examination stethoscope on the market and exceeding expectations in every way, it’s hard not to love this impressive Littmann scope.
Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
When it comes to inexpensive stethoscopes that just plain work, the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope may just be the best of the bunch. Not only is it dirt cheap as far as stethoscopes are concerned, but the multi-purpose Omron Sprague Rappaport comes equipped with a nifty chrome-plated chest piece, an array of diaphragms and bells, latex-free tubing in several color varieties, extra ear tips, and a vinyl storage case.
Sound like a lot of bang for the buck? Well, it is! With so much to offer for such a low price, the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope is a cash-strapped medical student’s dream come true. If that sounds like you, you have to check out this scope. With hordes of glowing reviews, there’s a whole bunch of people who agree the Omron Sprague Rappaport is a quality stethoscope and one of the best deals around.
Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope
Not quite at the head of the class but far from pulling up the rear, the Clinical Lite Stethoscope, also from Prestige Medical, is another wonderful all-around stethoscope for developing your nursing assessment and diagnostic skills.
If attractive, lightweight, inexpensive, and a solid design are your most important must-haves in a stethoscope, than it’s safe to say the Prestige Medical Clinical Lite Stethoscope is the one for you.
Why You Should Invest in a Good Stethoscope
Prior to the stethoscope, physicians would literally put their ears up to a patient’s back or chest as a regular part of any medical examination. Not only was this functionally inefficient, but it was not uncommon for doctors to contract communicable diseases as a result of having such close contact with the ill.
Today, however, the stethoscope is virtually the symbol of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Used to identify and analyze lung, heart, and stomach sounds in humans and animals, stethoscopes have become critical modern healthcare tools.
Simply by clearly magnifying the sounds of the human body, stethoscopes allow doctors and nurses to measure a person’s vital signs and diagnose a variety of ailments. If you can’t tell by now, these handy diagnostic tools are must-have essentials for everyone involved in patient care.
Why You Should Listen to Me
As a hospital nurse for over 20 years, I was getting sick and tired of hearing my colleagues complain about their sub-par stethoscopes. One day, I vowed to stop the madness by making this site and spreading my ample knowledge of healthcare, stethoscopes, and other important medical instruments with others in need of some sound shopping advice.
Now, I can truly say I get to do what I love! For years, I took great pride in being an RN and helping others. Today, I get to continue helping others by combining my knowledge of healthcare and technology. With years of actual hands-on experience in healthcare and a true passion for utilizing technology to simplify and improve the lives of others, there’s no better person to listen to when it comes to stethoscopes and all things medical and tech-related.
Tips on How to Maintain Your Stethoscope
If you’re the proud owner of a stethoscope, you’re going to need to give it some love from time to time. Today’s stethoscopes are designed to work reliably for years, but regularly cleaning your stethoscope, regardless of which model you choose, will help ensure optimal acoustic performance, keep it looking shiny and brand new, and help extend its lifespan.
Get to know your stethoscope
A good stethoscope comes with a care instruction and a selection of ear plugs. In addition to the hard plastic caps, which are predominantly used for the cheaper products, there are rubberized soft eartips in olive form. Just find the most comfortable earplug for you.
In addition, the stethoscope should be accompanied by a brief user guide explaining all functions and, for example, how to change between the membrane and the bowl side of the double-headed chest (as the distal section of the stethoscope is called, which is the part to touch the patient). A CD or a linke to an interactive site with examples of body sounds for theoretical practice should complete the set.
Skills create trust
Adjust the earplugs: Bend the two bows of the stethoscope slightly forward so that an imaginary line between your ears and the tip of your nose is created. At this angle, the openings of the earplugs end right in front of the auditory canal and the sound can reach your eardrums straight.
Turn the head of the stethoscope to the correct side: If you use a double headed breast piece, you can turn it 180 degrees before it is locked in. Make sure the side of your stethoscope you want to use is the activated one. Usually an optical marker is attached to the active side or an opening in the center of the bowl gets visible.
When checking the blood pressure: Ensure that the stethoscope is placed directly above the brachial artery. It can be palpated before you inflate the cuff. Then place the membrane side right on the spot. As beste case scenario, the stethoscope head does not need to be held, as noise is caused by the movement of the fingers while you press the bowl to the inner elbow.
Reduce surrounding noise
It can be quite noisy in an emergency room or in any place of use, especially during the transport of patients. Even if the earplugs are well sealed, noise always makes any acoustic examination more difficult. Therefore: close doors, curtains inside the ER or ask the people around you for a brief moment of rest for the examination.
In the ambulance vehicle, you can not stop for every blood pressure monitoring. Two tricks for less noise: when you stand, stand on your toes. When sitting next to the patient, you can put your feet on the edge of the stretcher. This reduces the vibrations of the vehicle which are effecting on you and so you reduce the amount of noise that can disturb you.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your stethoscope wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of stethoscope
- №1 — MDF® Rose Gold MD One® Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope – Rose Gold Edition – White
- №2 — 3M Littmann 6154 Cardiology IV Stethoscope
- №3 — 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope