hy are there so many stethoscopes to choose from and what makes some stethoscopes better than others? Generally speaking, there are three main design features of a stethoscope which impacts its performance.
The eartip is critical to the optimal performance of a stethoscope. It’s designed to conform to the outer ear canal to seal out extraneous sound. However, each individual has differences in the size and shape of their ear canals. By following these design requirements, Prestige Medical has developed two sizes of soft silicone eartips for Clinical Series stethoscopes. Silicone provides superior softness, conformability, and resists exposure to chemicals and oils. Prestige Medical
also provides soft PVC eartips for most other stethoscopes to enhance their performance and comfort.
Stethoscope tubing is designed to transfer acoustic sound waves channeled by the stethoscope’s diaphragm and bell to the practitioner during auscultation. The thickness of the tube is an important factor in enhancing the efficiency of sound transference. Thicker stethoscope tubing transfers sound waves more efficiently while minimizing acoustic interference from the ambient environment. Most Prestige Medical stethoscopes incorporate thick walled tubing to help deliver optimal performance.
There are three metals from which most Prestige Medical stethoscopes are constructed. Stainless steel is an alloy prized for its durability and resistance to corrosion, rust, and staining. It is also an excellent metal for the transference of sound waves. Aluminum is very light weight and economical and that lends a significant functionality benefit to those who prefer the convenience of a lighter weight instrument. Zinc is excellent for manufacturing complex stethoscope parts economically such as the Sprague-Rappaport chestpiece while still providing very good acoustic characteristics.