Digital Stethoscope Review – Thinklabs One vs. Littmann 3200

A comparison of the Thinklabs One and Littmann 3200 digital stethoscopes, including design, performance, recording ability, software, and durability.

Comments

Michael McIrvin says:

for software that would match either steth, check out the sensicardiac program. We use it daily in our clinic

Michael McIrvin says:

So if the littmann quit working properly after 18 months, how long have you used the Thinklabs one steth?

Nancy Carroll says:

I am a pediatrician, and have long wished for a remote stethoscope for toddlers, as they cry as soon as they see the stethoscope attached to my ears.  I could then have the parent hold the device, and with blue tooth headset, listen to the child when they don’t know I am listening, and are not crying.  Would this device work for this use?

Louis Grenzer says:

Hi, good review. 
I decided to buy the Thinklabs after watching your review. I find the earpiece hard to use as it tends to fall out of your ears. I guess I need to by some new earphones.
As far as the Litmann, I am on my second which I bought after sending the first one back and then having it break again. Since it was a new model, I was less upset but it gets expensive to keep sending it back and paying for repairs. The new one just stopped working. The display intermittently goes off. I found if I opened the battery compartment and they twisted it back on, the power would restore. I don’t know if this is the same problem with yours but it could be.
Try taking a Q tip and cleaning the contacts inside the stethoscope where the battery fits in. This so far has corrected the problem. I actually did the cleaning with a pencil eraser that I anserted and spun a few times against the contact but when I get the Q tips, I will clean it further.

James Hall says:

I’ve been scouting the electronic stethoscope offerings since listening to their use in the HeartSongs4 CME on the ACC site. I use a Littman Master Cardiology ‘scope in my practice – and it’s expensive enough. My hobby is ham radio and I was bemused that there was a problem with baseline noise reduction. As hams we deal with this all the time with things such as amplifier fan noise, etc. Simple circuits have been devised and used for a long time. The Heil headphones for example, have an inline switch that takes all this noise out and the baseline is quiet. I’ll wait for awhile to see if these items improve over time. It’s been a long time coming !

piyush arora says:

Hi. A very nice and detailed review? Only a small doubt. Can speakers be used in place of headphones if v want the patients and his relatives listen to lung sounds in case of a asthmatic patient. This makes the treatment plan a little easy.

Essam Rashad says:

Great review. Clear and informative. Pretty excited to order the one myself.

Vic Froelicher says:

very nice review! I agree re the Littman software but found the thinklab too expensive to just try out.  Actually I thought the Littman was reasonable to auscultate with but found the BT and software useless.  How did you get those nice phono displays?  Made me remember the phonocardiograph I dragged around during my fellowship.

Bob Bourge says:

I had high expectations when I received my Thinklabs one in Oct of 2014.   Those hopes were rapidly dashed when I became VERY frustrated with its clinical use and it use in
teaching.   Over the last week, I’ve again tried to use the device in my practice and in teaching, again with little to no success.
While there are MANY problems with this stethoscope, the primary one is the lack of sound isolation from sounds transmitted to the body of the device itself.  Any movement, any shifting, and thing at all touching the body of the device is transmitted into the device to the point that using it is an exercise in frustration.   I’m surprised that you have not developed an isolating holder for the  Thinklabs one, and/or developed circuitry to alleviate the extraneous sounds when using this stethoscope.I have used the Littman 3200 for over 5 years with GREAT success.  The only negative is that Littman refuses to pay a small fee to be able to use the iPhone Bluetooth stack so there is no way to use an iPhone app with the Littman.

Roberto Calles says:

Hello

A family member has many times ears infection by using “normal” sthetoscopes, I think the Thinklabs model solves this problem if she uses a “external¨ headphone, right? She is in her second year or internal medicine, what else do I need besides the sthetoscope itsef?, the Bluetooth options are for cardiologist only?, there is any model with noise cancelling?
Many Thanks

RC

Amarnath Jha says:

finding beneficial.

phosphodiesterase says:

I have a 3200 Littman and it works great. No interference with anything. I’ve had it for 3 years and take care of it. I don’t let it get banged and I carry it in my medicine bag. Maybe you got a “lemon”.

Jane Davydov says:

Hi, thanks for your overview, I learned a lot from it. Im a mechanical engineering student from Israel (last year) and my final project in to explorebuild a new digital stethoscope. Can I contuct with you to get more information? Thanks !

Michael Pollack says:

Very lucid and comprehensive review. Have seen a few Youtube posts on DIY digital stethoscopes, which I believe can be put together for just a few $. Have you tried this approach? Also, I believe you could use Movavi Capture Studio or similar program to record digital audio input as mp3 and then further process the file via Audacity.

Leonid Mavroski says:

Try it with the Sennheiser CX175 earbuds… they are pretty loud (120db), low noise and have a great frequency response (17-23000Hz)… they are not very expensive either, and offer outstanding audio quality :) I use them for listening to HQ audio recordings all of the time! anyways.. thank You for the video, i was looking for a good review of both of these stethoscopes :)

Louis Grenzer says:

Your 3200 is probably not working because of dirty contact in the battery compartment, I bought a new one because the first stopped working after I had already paid to fix it once.
The new one stopped working recently. I took out the battery and cleaned the contact with a pencil eraser. Both are now working fine. I since cleaned the contact with alcolol on a Q tip. Try it.

Tim T says:

I enjoyed your stethoscope review. I have had several digital stethoscope and agree with you on the littmann. I bought the Thinklabs one and love it. Your review was spot one.  

spidermanbill says:

Excellent review!

bookeaterintube says:

Great objective review!
For me as a person who loses lots of pens on wards the small size is actually a disadvantage as it can get misplaced easily. It is much more difficult to lose your bulky oldschool stethoscope.
This aside I think that thinklab one is awesome and I’d buy one have I known I’m not gonna lose it soon :/

robertonicolasz says:

Hi! I would like to know if you have ever used a spectrum analyzer app to record the sounds and displaying. In your review, where you used audacity, one can see a phonocardiogram, but it would be interesting to know if seeing the frequencies vs dB on the phone could improve diagnostic accuracy.

sarc915 says:

great review thank you.

icemanaxs says:

Great review!, i’ve always wondered what stethoscope you used. I hope you continue to such reviews, maybe even a comparison between convetional steths

Felipe Gandra says:

Very good review! I always wanted to buy a digital stethoscope, I love gadgets/technology. By the other hand, as a med student, I’ve concluded that it’s not a good investment, once I am not going to Cardiology or any Clinical specialization and I can see in your video that the digital ones doesn’t offer that much more compered to a regular stethoscope, and costs a bit more! Thanks for the review video!

Matthew Whitt says:

Enjoyed the review. I wonder if this could be adapted for use in my aircraft through the headset? As of now I have no way of monitoring lung sounds or heart tones while in flight.

John Vajda says:

Well done review and product comparison.

Daniel Oakey says:

The problem with the background noise isn’t that the One lacks built in noise reduction, it’s that it uses a 3.5mm jack. Any real microphone uses XLR or USB connectors, but these would be impossible for this device. Audacity’s noise reduction abilities would likely be better than anything they could put into the One. I’m afraid this device is about as good as you’re gonna get.

Carlos Wazar says:

Great video! I wanted to know the comparison between the Littmann digital stethoscope and the Thinklabs One. I bought the model 3100 one and it was disappointing because it wasnt the right stethoscope for me. I got moderated hearing loss and been struggling for one that connects to my hearing aids. I’ve been told that Thinklabs One is really, really good. The sound quality is really great they say. It just that i really have to take care of it.

Joseph Reed says:

Thinking about buying one. When connected to a bluetooth device, can the sound be heard “live” by both clinician and patient during the examination?

Marcos Lugo says:

I have a question, I have a hearing problem and I’m currently enrolled as a nurse assistant and need to order specialist stethoscope.I need a stethoscope to check B.P and respirations I’m using a traditional stethoscope but having trouble with it.Would you recommend the ThinkLab or stick with the littman 3200?

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