Sounding Board


Need Stethoscope to link to my CI

Enquiry: I am a student nurse preparing to take my blood pressure and cardio exam. The issue is that I am also deaf and wear a hearing aid in my one ear and a Freedom cochlear implant in the other. As part of the exam I will be required to listen out for heart rhythms etc. I was hoping you could help me source a stethoscope that was compatible with my cochlear implant. I have looked at some electronic versions, but they all seem to be in the States and not in the U.K.

Reply: Thanks for your interesting enquiry. The frequencies of greatest interest when listening through a stethoscope to the sounds of the heart and lungs (ie auscultation )are 20 to 1,000Hz, and heart sounds typically fall in the frequency range 20-200Hz. So of course if you do not have normal hearing, depending on your type of hearing loss as you have said an ordinary stethoscope will be to no avail.

Now there are products on the market which will amplify the sounds picked up by the stethoscope. Electronic stethoscopes are commercially available which do this. These can be linked to your hearing aid or cochlear implant using blue tooth or the telecoil. However if you are considering linking it to your hearing aid it is vital to consider that hearing aids do not typically accommodate the full range of required sounds of auscultation. Only a very small number of hearing aids on the market provide acoustical frequency response down below 125Hz.

Linking it to your cochlear implant used to be relatively easily possible using an electronic stethoscope from the United States called the Cardionics E-scope. This was supplied with headphones and with cables to use with hearing aids and implants on telecoil or direct audio input settings. Unfortunately the CE certificate/MDD approval for the E-scope electronic stethoscopes expired on 31st August 2012 and has not currently been renewed. This means the UK suppliers are unable to import new E-scopes into the UK.

To read more about this follow the following forum link: CArdionics e-scope unavailable

They offer a few alternatives one being an electronic stethoscope from ThinkLab medical.

Another option outlined in the above forum post was the 3M Littman electronic stethoscope. They supply a stethoscope called the 3200 click here for more info

The 3200 can send sound real time via blue tooth. This would mean using your cochlear implant with a blue tooth adapter would make it possible to use.

Their website offers a 14 day free trial...this might be a good option for your exam!

Follow the Sounding Board link for Blue tooth options with Freedom CI .

Other sources of information which may help is Amphyl, the organisation which supports medical professionals with hearing loss . They have written lots of helpful information about this issue on their website: AMPHYL website click here .

Including a great article on “How to cope with scopes: Stethocope selection and use with hearing aids and CI’s”. To download the pdf of the article click here

Posted on March 26, 2013 12:26



I'm currently trying to get a stethoscope to link to my cochlear implant. I'm having trouble getting it funded as they aren't so available in UK. It will need to come from America.

Which one did you go for? Does it work well? Lastly did you manage get funding?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Posted by Lucy Buxton on March 17, 2016 14:20

You must be logged in to post your comments. Login »

The Ear Foundation Limited. Registered office: Marjorie Sherman House, 83 Sherwin Road, Lenton, Nottingham, NG7 2FB.

A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales number 3482779, registered charity number 1068077