Lung Sounds

auscultation of lung sounds image

Our lung sounds training is an ideal starting point for students and for preparing for board exams. We provide multiple avenues to gain competency in breath sound auscultation. You can choose to use our lessons, reference guide or repetition exercises to quickly familiarize yourself with abnormal audio samples and waveforms.

Course completion certificates are now available for signed-in users. These personalized achievement certificates can be printed and are automatically saved to the user's dashboard.

Definition of Lung Sounds

Lung sounds, also called breath sounds, can be auscultated across the anterior and posterior chest walls with a stethoscope. Adventitious lung sounds are referenced by terms such as crackles (rales), wheezes (rhonchi), stridor and pleural rubs as well as voiced sounds that include egophony, bronchophony and whispered pectoriloquy. Descriptions and audio recordings for all of these sounds are available on this website.

Normal breath sounds include bronchial, vesicular, or bronchovesicular sounds. These sounds, as presented in our lessons and guides, have differing sound characteristics, depending upon the anotomical auscultation location. Adventitious sounds are abnormal sounds that include crackles, rhonchi, wheezes, stridor and rubs.

Lung Sounds Audio Characteristics

Lung sounds have several features that help characterize the sounds.

  • Sound pitch
  • Musicality
  • Timing within a breath cycle (inspiration or expiration)
  • Location on the chest wall
  • Sound intensity (loudness)

Reference Guide

Our auscultation guide provides quick access to normal, voiced and adventitious sounds. This guide includes audio recordings, listening tips and a waveform.

Lung Sounds Reference Guide

Different Lung Sounds - Our Lessons

Take your knowledge of respiratory sounds to the next level by unlocking an understanding of varied lung sounds. Gain a comprehensive overview of adventitious and voiced respirations and listen to their acoustic characteristics with audio clips provided for further clarity. Test yourself along the way and certify your expertise at course completion!

Listening to Lung Sounds

Our lessons and reference guides allow you to practice listening to lung sounds audio recordings at your own pace. Each sound can be repeated until it has been learned. Our quizzes provide an additional way to learn to listen to each important lung sound.

Look for a thoracic diagram that indicates where the author listened to the lung sounds.

Intro to Lung Sounds  
This free introduction to lung sounds module is designed to demonstrate our lung sounds lessons before a user decides to join our website.
1 Vesicular - Normal
4 Wheeze - Expiratory
7 Pleural Rubs
2 Bronchophony - Healthy
13 Stridor

Basics of Lung Sounds  
This module provides students with the opportunity to hone their auscultation skills for important breath sounds through our recordings, waveform tracings, and concise lessons. Learners are presented with lessons for vesicular sounds, crackles, wheezes, rhonchi, pleural rubs, and bronchial sounds.
Lessons. Types of Lung Sounds
1 Vesicular - Normal
2 Crackles - Fine (Rales)
3 Crackles - Coarse (Rales)
4 Wheeze
5 Rhonchi - Low Pitched Wheezes
6 Bronchial
7 Pleural Rubs
8 Bronchovesicular

Intermediate Lung Sounds
In this intermediate course, expand your auscultation proficiency with breath sounds like wheezes, crackles, and stridor. Further deepen your understanding by hearing voiced lung sounds in normal and abnormal scenarios. Follow along with the audio examples which are accompanied by text descriptions alongside dynamic waveforms for further comprehension.
Lessons. Types of Lung Sounds
1 Vesicular - Diminished
2 Bronchophony - Healthy
3 Bronchophony - Abnormal
4 Egophony - e
5 Egophony - a
6 Whispered Pectoriloquy - Healthy
7 Whispered Pectoriloquy - Abnormal
8 Wheeze - Expiratory
9 Wheeze - Monophonic
10 Wheeze - Polyphonic
11 Crackles - Early Inspiratory (Rales)
12 Crackles - Late Inspiratory (Rales)
13 Stridor

Pulmonary Problem-Solving

Cases in pulmonary problem-solving that integrate clinical skills training with respiratory care. This course is presented by the Practical Clinical Skills website.

Pulmonary Problem-Solving

Authors and Reviewers

Author: William French, Author: Diane Wrigley, PA, Author: Jon Keroes, MD and David Lieberman.
Medical review by Dr. Barbara Erickson, PhD, RN, CCRN.
Special thanks for the mentorship of Dr. Raymond Murphy.

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