Stethoscopes

Stethoscopes are devices for listening to internal sounds whether that be in piping or within machinery, such as engines. Stethoscopes are used to help improve the life span and quality of machinery, whilst optimising safety and machine performance. They are often used to detect noises and help provide diagnostics machinery.

There are two primary types of stethoscope, electronic and acoustic.

  • Electronic stethoscopes are able to amplify sounds and give different volume levels. Therefore they are ideal for detecting quite sounds and for use in noisy environments. They usually come as a kit with a pair of headphones for listening. Electronic stethoscopes are able to amplify low sound levels and then transmit them to a device giving a visual output as well as an audible output. They have probes which are used for monitoring bearings and machine parts to identify the cause of noise and usually have adjustable volume controls.
  • Acoustic stethoscopes are used for quick and easy detection of sounds. They often feature a disc-shaped resonator or a probe which uses tubes to attach to earpieces. Medical stethoscopes have a small round resonator that is placed against the chest and two ear pieces. They are mostly used to listen to sounds within the lungs and heart but can also hear flow in the intestines and arteries.

Where are stethoscopes used?

  • Engines
  • Gearboxes and alternators
  • Machinery
  • Bearings

What is a sonoscope?

A sonoscope is a device for detecting leaks in water meters, valves and hydrants. They are handheld leak detectors and work by placing the pointed end against the pipe or valve and then listening to hear if there is a leak.


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