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bpm using stethoscope

Using Your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope

Putting your headset on correctly

The ear tips 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.

  • Inserting stethoscope headset properly
  • Correct position of littmann ear tips
  • Incorrect position of littmann ear tips

Proper fit and assembly of ear tips

  • correct ear tip size

    Using the proper sized ear tips

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

  • how to install stethoscope ear tips

    Tightening your ear tips

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

Adjusting headset tension

  • How to adjust stethoscope headset tension

    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 your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope covered for repairs and replacements in our service centers. Register for your warranty online today. 

Using your tunable diaphragm

  • tunable diaphragm of stethoscope low frequency and high frequency

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

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

    Nearly all 3M™ Littmann® stethoscopes* feature at least one tunable diaphragm to eliminate the need to reposition the chest piece 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.

  • how to set up open bell stethoscope step 1

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

  • how to set up open bell stethoscope step 2

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

  • how to set up open bell stethoscope step 3

    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 set up open bell stethoscope step 4

    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 chest piece edge.

Indexing your Littmann dual-head stethoscope

  • How to index a littmann dual-head stethoscope

    You can select the side of a dual-head stethoscope 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

  • special procedures adaptor for diaphragm of stethoscope

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

    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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