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Using Your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope

Putting your headset on correctly

The eartips should point in a forward direction as you insert them into your ears. The stethoscope headset is angled to complement the anatomy of the typical ear canal and is designed to provide a comfortable, acoustically-sealed fit.

  • correct insertion of stethoscope eartips
  • correct way of wearing a stethoscope
  • incorrect way of wearing a stethoscope

Proper fit and assembly of eartips

  • stethoscope ear tip sizes

    Using the proper sized eartips

    For optimal acoustic performance, it’s important to use the eartip size that best fits your ear, especially when using soft-sealing eartips. 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope eartips are available in small and large sizes.

  • stethoscope ear tips

    Tightening your eartips

    While assembling the eartips, push the small side of the eartip firmly onto the eartube until it snaps fully into place.

Adjusting headset tension

  • stethoscope headset

    For a tight, yet comfortable fit, you can adjust the tension in the headset for a custom fit. To decrease tension, pull the eartubes apart. To increase spring tension, squeeze the eartubes together, crossing them over. Repeat until the desired tension is achieved.

Have you registered yet?

Some stethoscope models have warranty periods that go up to 7 years. Registering for a warranty online will only take about a minute. Be sure to have your serial number ready.

Using your tunable diaphragm

  • stethoscope diaphragm

    To hear low-frequency sounds, rest the chestpiece lightly on the patient.

    To hear high-frequency sounds, apply firm contact pressure to the chestpiece.

    Nearly all 3M™ Littmann® stethoscopes* feature at least one tunable diaphragm to eliminate the need to reposition the chestpiece to hear different sounds.


    Learn more about tunable technology here.



    *Except for Electronic, Pediatric, and Infant models.

Converting to a traditional open bell

**Except for Pediatric, and Infant models.

  • stethoscope bell

    1. The small side of a double-sided 3M™ Littmann® stethoscope chestpiece** can be converted into a traditional open bell. Use it with the non-chill bell sleeve included.

  • removing tunable diaphragm

    2. Pinch the rim of the tunable diaphragm with your thumb and index fingernails. Pull and lift it from the chestpiece.

  • non-chill bell sleeve

    3. Assemble the non-chill bell sleeve by placing one side of the sleeve on the edge of the bell, and then stretching it over and around.

  • how to assemble stethoscope diaphragm

    4. To reassemble your tunable diaphragm, remove the non-chill bell sleeve and insert the flexible end of the diaphragm into the groove of the rim. Slowly roll it over the chestpiece edge.

Indexing your double-sided chestpiece

  • stethoscope chestpiece

    You can select the side of a double-sided chestpiece you want to use by “indexing” which diaphragm is open to the acoustic path. Simply rotate the stem until it clicks. The mark on the stem should point towards the side to be used.

Attaching a Special Procedures Adaptor

  • master cardiology stethoscope

    The Special Procedures Adaptor is designed to fit over the diaphragm side of the chestpiece. Attach the adaptor by pressing it over the diaphragm. To remove it, pull it away from the chestpiece.

    This adaptor makes it more effective for pediatric or thin patients, working around bandages, and carotid assessments. It ensures a complete seal for small site auscultation and enhances both low- and high-frequency detection.


    ^For 3M™ Littmann® Master Cardiology stethoscopes only.

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