Two medical professionals with stethoscopes around their necks, looking at a computer screen.

8 signs you need a new stethoscope

Where to buy stethoscopes

Your stethoscope has supported you through hundreds of patient exams, helping you hear thousands of heartbeats and belly gurgles. How do you know when it’s time to replace one of your most-used medical instruments? We turned to 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope Facebook page fans for some crazy, but true, reasons their trusted tools required an upgrade. While we got some great responses, here are some of the more curious reasons we received:

  • An icon of a thief.


    Your stethoscope was stolen… by a colleague. We’ve heard this story a lot! It may be an honest mistake, but it’s still frustrating when your stethoscope walks off… sometimes never to be seen again.

  • An icon of a dog's paw print.

    Literally dogged

    Your dog ate it. While this sounds like a joke, it’s a story reported on Facebook!

  • An icon of a sun behind a cloud.


    Your stethoscope has been baked by the sun on the dash of your car or when it was hanging from your rearview mirror.

  • An icon of a bandage.


    It has been with you forever and is now held together by duct tape.

Even if you’ve been able to protect your stethoscope from the realities of doctors, dogs, daylight and duct tape, it may be time to upgrade. Here are eight practical reasons to invest in a new stethoscope:

  • Icon of number one.

    1. Enhance

    If you haven’t stayed current with changes in the stethoscope market, you may not be aware there are models available with single-piece diaphragms, next-generation tubing and improved acoustics. If this is news to you, it’s time to see and hear what you’ve been missing. Next-generation tubing, for example, provides improved resistance to skin oils, alcohol and stains, for longer tubing life.

  • An icon of the number two.

    2. Invest

    Keeping your stethoscope current is an important investment in your future. That’s especially true if you find your colleagues are hearing things you’re not through auscultation exams, or if advanced diagnostic tests are uncovering things you’ve missed. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably time for a new stethoscope.

  • An icon of the number three.

    3. Reward

    If you’ve spent time improving your listening skills, reward yourself with a stethoscope that can help you leverage your advanced auscultation skills to their fullest potential. New stethoscope technology can make it easier for you to perceive hard-to-hear sounds in the body.

  • An icon of the number four.

    4. Personalize

    Your stethoscope goes everywhere with you. It’s become part of you. It stands to reason it should express your unique style and personality. There are dozens of colour and finish combinations. Choose one that makes your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope truly yours. Use our product selector to help you find the perfect scope.

  • An icon of the number five.

    5. Celebrate

    Whether you’ve earned a promotion, achieved a noteworthy professional accomplishment, switched clinical specialties or reached a significant milestone in your life (birthday, anniversary or accomplished a major personal goal), treat yourself to new stethoscope to commemorate life’s most meaningful moments.

  • An icon of the number six.

    6. Expand

    It’s not always practical to take your stethoscope with you on the go. Yet you never know when you’ll need it, so accessibility is important. To ensure you’re never without one, purchase multiple stethoscopes. Keep one in the office, one in the car and one in your bag.

  • An icon of the number seven.

    7. Take weight off your shoulders

    If your stethoscope is wearing you out, literally or figuratively, it’s time to move to a lighter-weight option.

  • An icon of the number eight.

    8. Change

    It’s just time. You’ve had your stethoscope for years and you want a new one.

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