Acoustic characterization of stethoscopes using auscultation sounds as test signals

Lukasz J. Nowak*, Karolina M. Nowak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)


The present study introduces a detailed methodology which can be applied for objective evaluation and comparison of the acoustic parameters of medical stethoscopes using auscultation sounds as test signals. The described approach allows taking into account the acoustic coupling between the body of an auscultated patient and the chest piece of a stethoscope. Information obtained from additional, synchronized electrocardiography measurements is used to extract short, specific fragments of recordings, defined as acoustic events. Analysis of the spectral characteristics of many acoustic events allows us to compare the acoustic properties of various stethoscopes and to estimate the measurement uncertainty. The exemplary results of the comparative evaluation of acoustic properties of bell and diaphragm-type chest pieces of a single stethoscope are presented. The results show that the frequency characteristics of the signals obtained using both examined chest pieces under the conditions of the performed examinations are very similar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1940-1946
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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