Best Otoscopes for Ears – Complete Guide 2020

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As I sit hear with my horrific ear infection and the resulting tinnitus, I wonder what the inside of my ear really looks like.

And thankfully nowadays, it’s really easy to pick up and otoscope for a cheap price and see inside ears for yourself. Getting an otoscope for your own home can prove a good choice, especially if you have young kids and want to check their ears from time to time. Younger toddlers and children are often exposed to ear infections or glue ear, so it can prove advantageous to check yourself to see if there’s any sort of issue.

As well as getting an otoscope for home use, they can also prove advantageous for medical students and nursing practitioners too. So, here are a few of the best options to consider if you’re looking for a good otoscope.

Best Otoscope

ProductImageGet More Info
Essentrapy Specv3SPECv3 Fiber Optic LED Ear Otoscope - FDA Approved Ear Care Professional & Home Diagnostic Set with 20 Reusable SpeculaFind Best Price
Anykit USB OtoscopeUSB Otoscope-Ear Scope Camera, Anykit New Upgraded 4.3mm Diameter Visual Ear Camera HD Ear Endoscope with Earwax Cleaning Tool and 6 Adjustable LED Lights for Android and Windows & Mac.Find Best Price
EarcheckEarcheck Middle Ear MonitorFind Best Price
Welch Allen OtoscopeWelch Allyn Otoscope Set with AA Handle, Soft Case and 20 Specula (Batteries Included)Find Best Price
RA Bock DiagnosticsRA Bock Diagnostics 3.2V Bright White LED Otoscope Set - The Complete Set for Medical StudentsFind Best Price

Essentrapy Specv3

SPECv3 Fiber Optic LED Ear Otoscope - FDA Approved Ear Care Professional & Home Diagnostic Set with 20 Reusable Specula
  • CLARITY - The ideal ear scope with light. The SPECv3 Otoscope uses a powerful BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT with CRC (Color Rendition Correction) and TRUE TISSUE COLOR. Inspect the eardrum with a clear view of the Tympanic Membrane using 360° fiber optics for long-lasting illumination. Suitable for professional, home and veterinary use. PERFECT adult and pediatric otoscope at an affordable price. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • QUALITY - The only FDA approved medical Otoscope on Amazon. Make doctor visits and check ups a thing of the past by spotting infections. The SPECv3 is physician grade with no need for a bulky lithium battery powered otoscope. Professional, lightweight and ready for use at HOME, WORK or MEDICAL SCHOOL. Brass metal body and polymer head manufactured to the highest standards. NOT cheap ABS plastic. 100% Quality Assured
  • DIAGNOSE - Precise and compact magnification lens allows you to SEE inside the ear. 3x magnified detachable lens for easy cleaning with built-in insufflation valve. An otoscope set for all individuals and families. Ideal to view ear wax, objects inside the ear and viral infections such as otitis media caused by upper respiratory tract illnesses primarily in children with (HRV, HCV) symptoms.
  • PORTABLE - Hard case with soft foam padding to ensure the SPECv3 is secure and ready for use NOW with 20 x reusable high quality plastic speculum including NEW children sizes. Lightweight and pocket friendly for students and specialists. A great addition to your otoscope ophthalmoscope set. Includes user guide e-book with every purchase!
  • POWER - The SPECv3 is powered by 2x AA Alkaline batteries (Not Included). High power alkaline disposable or rechargeable batteries recommended for MAXIMUM OUTPUT. No wires. Simply insert the batteries and the unit is ready for your examinations. Easy-to-use, practical and super efficient light output coupled with a magnified scope allows for clear and concise checks in medical practice.

Whilst this is one of the most highly recommended Otoscopes on Amazon, it has a lot of good things going for it – as well as some bad things, too.

From a positive perspective, this otoscope gives you an awesome view of the ear. With it’s 360 degree light, you can easily see into the depths of the ear, which is great, as you’ll need to see clearly into the ear canal. You’ll also get 3x magnification as well, which is useful for examining your ear very closely.

From a negative perspective, this otoscope is kind of expensive considering it’s quality. It’s not much better than the $20 or $30 dollar otoscopes that you’ll find online, although it’s currently listed at double the price. As well as this, they otoscope kit only includes 12 speculas, which although they’re reusable, you don’t really want to reuse a specula. So, once you’ve run out, it can be a bit difficult to get more speculas to replace. So, bear this in mind before you purchase any otoscope.

Anykit USB Otoscope

Sale
USB Otoscope-Ear Scope Camera, Anykit New Upgraded 4.3mm Diameter Visual Ear Camera HD Ear Endoscope with Earwax Cleaning Tool and 6 Adjustable LED Lights for Android and Windows & Mac.
  • 【4.3mm (0.17 inch) Smaller Camera】: This otoscope allows easy entry to the ear canal to examine eardrum. This otoscope DO NOT support iPhone or iPad!
  • 【720P HD & Safe Camera Chip】: Using state-of-the-art technology to make the camera chip, Anykit is proud to offer a camera sensor up to 1.3M, so we can provide our customers with clearer images & outstanding color reproduction. In addition, this ear camera has solved the overheating for your safety.
  • 【Compatible with Android, MacBook & Windows PC】: This otoscope works with Android 4.5+ devices (support OTG & UVC function), Windows 7/8/10 & MAC OS10.6+ PC. You can get clear image of your eardrum on your device.
  • 【6 Adjustable LED lights】: The light in the narrow ear canal is very poor, the white lights located on the tip of the camera will will help you capture much more realistic images.
  • 【Package content】: Anykit digital otoscope, Type-C adapter, 3x ear specula, 4x ear picks. Please kindly notice this usb otoscope DO NOT support iPhone or iPad.

For most people looking for an otoscope for general home use, you won’t need anything too expensive. If this is you, it can be a good idea to get an otoscope that you can connect with your phone, computer or tablet extremely easily.

You can connect this type of model up with your phone really easily. This makes it great for looking inside your own ears, as you can watch on the screen as you investigate yourself. Even as a cheap USB otoscope, this model actually has a decent resolution of the video whilst it’s recording. So if you want as clear of a view of your own ear as possible, then it makes sense to get an otoscope like this one. It has a thinner design at the tip of the camera, which allows you to angle it easily into your own ear.

It isn’t going to give you the professional view in comparison to some other otoscopes that I’ve listed, but it’s available at a fraction of their price. So, it will make sense to opt for this cheaper otoscope if you just want a general idea of what might be going on inside your ear.

Earcheck

Earcheck Middle Ear Monitor
  • With the touch of a button, quickly, accurately and painlessly detect the presence of middle ear fluid
  • Clinically proven and used by pediatricians
  • Provides results in seconds
  • Designed to be gentle on a child’s delicate ear and FDA cleared

Earcheck is one of the oldest forms of ear checkers, and if you’d have asked a while ago what the best method to check your ears was, this is likely what you’d have been recommended. Nowadays, although practically the otoscope still works well, the design is extremely outdated. Whilst it isn’t technically an otoscope, it’s still worth mentioning.

The aim of the Earcheck is to indicate whether or not that there’s liquid in the middle ear. In recent years, it likely isn’t the best way to look for ear infection and you’d be better off getting an otoscope and doing things yourself. But, this does provide an alternative to your traditional otoscope.

Welch Allen Otoscope

Welch Allyn Otoscope Set with AA Handle, Soft Case and 20 Specula (Batteries Included)
  • Small, convenient, and easy to use with bright, white halogen light and a built-in throat illuminator.
  • Fiber optics provide cool light with no reflections or obstructions.
  • Wide-angle viewing lens allows for instrumentation under magnification.

Welch Allen generally make some of the best otoscopes, from cheap prices all the way up to higher ranged prices. This otoscope is a good example of a good entry level otoscope, ideal for medical juniors and nursing practitioners.

If you want an otoscope that’s of a decent power but that’s also lightweight, then this model seems to be a great compromise. It’s small and compact, so you can easily fit it into your pocket or your bag without even noticing it’s there, which is a major bonus. And although it’s small in size, you’re still going to get a good image and resolution from this scope.

This Welch Allen otoscope offers another good alternative for those looking for a good otoscope, although it might be a little expensive for some people.

RA Bock Diagnostics – Best for Medical Students

RA Bock Diagnostics 3.2V Bright White LED Otoscope Set - The Complete Set for Medical Students
  • Optical quality glass lens that is specially coated to help resist scratches
  • Variable light intensity rheostat type switch that delivers an increasing light intensity through head attachments
  • High-quality German made bulbs in all instrument heads
  • Instrument handle utilizes a bayonet luer-locking mechanism for changing the multiple instrument heads included in the kit
  • #1 Seller of RA Bock Diagnostics in the World!

If you’re looking for an otoscope to take to medical school with you, then it might be worth looking at this Bock Diagnostics otoscope. For those that are looking to practice at medical school, then it’s a good idea to get an otoscope that’s of a decent quality like this model.

Premium otoscopes can cost in excess of $500, which is likely to be too much for most of us. So, this provides decent value if you look at the build quality of the otoscope itself. It uses regular C batteries, which you’ll need to pick up separately. You can also easily pick up additional otoscope tips from Amazon too, depending on what size you want. It has a rigid and long lasting build, which is ideal for using with actual patients.

This is a high quality otoscope that isn’t as expensive as the majority of other professional ones out there. So whilst it might seem expensive compared to others that are of a cheaper quality, it’s actually a good value otoscope.

What to look for inside the ear

When you’re looking inside your ear, then it’s a good idea to ensure that you know exactly what you’re looking for. To do this, you can easily have a quick browse online to see what your ear may look like if it’s infected or if it’s filled with wax.

How to tell if you (or someone else) has an ear infection

Generally, it’s pretty easy to tell whether you have an ear infection by using an otoscope. Here’s a quick look at the difference between a regular ear and an ear exposed to an infection;

ear-infection
Image courtesy of Kidsent.com

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to see what an ear infection looks like. It generally looks a lot more red and raw that what your average ear will look like – if this is the case, you’ll need to go and see the doctor who will likely prescribe some Otomize spray (UK) or if it’s as bad as it is above, some sort of antibiotics.

Dealing with wax

Dealing with ear wax can be a bit of a nightmare, as the majority of doctors and hospitals aren’t the most helpful (here in the UK, anyway). Going to the doctors and getting your ears syringed can potentially lead to infection, so it’s always good to try and deal with this without having to go to extremes. A good way to combat ear wax is by using regular olive oil, as this can help to reduce the solidity of the ear wax that you’re producing. If this fails, then it’s likely a better idea to get ear microsuction.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s easy to see that an otoscope can prove to be a good addition to your home and can potentially reduce some trips to the doctor. It’s also a good idea if you’re concern about a child that has frequent problems with their ears, as after a while you’ll likely get used to the symptoms of