3M uses cookies on this site Detailed information on cookies and their use can be found in our Privacy Policy. You can customize the cookie-related settings at any time by clicking on Cookie Preferences in the footer of this page.

By clicking "Accept and Proceed" you acknowledge that you agree to the use of cookies on your computer

Accept and Proceed

Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All 3M.com Site Map
3M<sup>™</sup> Littmann® YouTube

How to Use

5 tips to optimize performance and comfort

Tips for Proper Stethoscope Use
3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes are known for first-class sound quality and comfort. But there are some simple things you can do to ensure the performance and wearability of your new scope. Check the following:

Headset Alignment
Before placing the eartips in your ears, hold the headset in front of you with the eartubes pointing away (Figure A). Once the eartips are in your ears, they should point forward (Figure B). Not all ear canals are alike. If after inserting the eartips properly the fit still isn’t comfortable, and/or acoustic performance is lacking, grasp each of the eartubes and adjust the headset for a custom fit. Wearing the headset improperly (Figure C) can result in a poor acoustical seal and in some cases, complete sound blockage.

Fit of Eartips
For optimal acoustic performance, it’s important to use the eartip size that best fits your ear. This is especially true when using the soft-sealing eartips. All eartips are available in small and large.

Possible Obstructions
If you usually carry your stethoscope in a pocket or don’t clean it often, lint or dirt may accumulate and obstruct the sound pathway. To prevent debris from accumulating, give your stethoscope routine cleaning and care.

The Seal
Stethoscopes rely on an airtight seal in order to transmit body sounds from the patient to the practitioner’s ears. Loose parts in the chestpiece, loose tubing, or cracked tubing can prevent an airtight seal.

Open the Bell
When using a double-sided stethoscope, you need to open (or index) the bell or diaphragm by rotating the chestpiece. If the diaphragm is open, the bell will be closed, preventing sound from coming in through the bell, and vice versa.

Are you still unable to hear properly after trying these suggestions? Call the 3M Health Care Service Center at 1-800-228-3957 or contact us.

Proper Insertion
Figure A
Proper Insertion

Correct Positioning
Figure B
Correct Positioning

Incorrect Positioning
Figure C
Incorrect Positioning



Find the right Littmann® Stethoscope

Compare stethoscope features and styles.

Browse Stethoscopes Cleaning and Care

Buy Smart

To ensure that your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope is the real deal, purchase it online or in person through authorized retailers only. Beware of counterfeit 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes sold by unauthorized outlets.

Where to Buy Where to Buy


General Stethoscopes General Stethoscopes

Cleaning & Care Cleaning & Care

Product Information Product Information