Ear thermometers are generally criticized for being difficult to use correctly, but the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer has an indicator light and alert sound to let you know it's in the correct position. This one-second, fast-reading ear thermometer can be used for the whole family, and is used with comfortable probe covers for added hygiene.
Solid performer among ear thermometers. Experts aren't crazy about ear thermometers in general because right placement can be tricky, which can affect accuracy. However, parents like ear thermometers because they aren't invasive. Users praise the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer for its quick one-second readings, and this model ranks highly on user review sites such as Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Walmart.com.
In one professional comparison test of 10 digital thermometers, the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer earns good scores for both accuracy and repeatability, and a very good rating for its features, such as its memory function. This thermometer stores the past eight readings in its memory, so parents are able to easily identify trends like a child's rising temperature and take necessary action.
One owner posting a review to Amazon.com says she was convinced after seeing this thermometer being used by medical staff in an emergency room. "Their units are used constantly and if this product can stand up to that type of abuse, I'm sure it will work for us for years to come," she explains. Several owners confirm that they've owned this thermometer and used it regularly for several years without a problem.
The most common complaint about the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer is its inconsistent readings. A few owners say they take three consecutive readings and come up with variations of about three degrees.
Indicators for correct placement ensure accuracy. The Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer runs on two AA batteries, although you won't need to replace them often; reviewers say one set of batteries will last for several years of regular use. The display is large and easy to read, and although it's not backlit, most owners don't seem to mind.
The Braun Thermoscan's flexible tip is designed to fit comfortably for babies, children and adults. The digital thermometer works using plastic covers for the probe (Est. $10 for an 80-pack), which some users find to be a hassle and others find very hygienic. It won't work unless a probe cover is in place, and some users complain that the covers are expensive. A flashing light and beep signal that the tip is placed correctly in the ear, eliminating guesswork and ensuring accuracy.
Parents appreciate the quick readings, especially for young children. Other thermometers can take up to a full minute to produce a reading, which is a long time to make a toddler sit still. If you're looking for a less expensive ear thermometer, we also found good user reviews for the Mobi DualScan 2-in-1 Digital Thermometer 70119 (Est. $20) .
The latest round of thermometer testing at ConsumerReports.org evaluates 10 digital thermometers, including the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer IRT-4520. Each model is tested for accuracy, repeatability and features.
Review: Thermometer Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. Which? magazine
Editors of Which? magazine evaluate three digital thermometers in individual reviews. A parent with a small child takes the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer home for use in real-world conditions and offers feedback on accuracy and Ease of use. While the three thermometers are not compared in head-to-head testing, the reviews are thorough and well balanced. The tester found the Thermoscan to fit comfortably in her daughter's ear, but doesn't like that the display isn't backlit, making the thermometer difficult to use in dark rooms.
Review: Braun Thermoscan 5 IRT4520, Editors of Which?, Not dated
More than 460 owners review the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer on Amazon.com, where it earns an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Several owners say they've used this thermometer for several years with no problems and without having to change the battery. Despite the Braun Thermoscan's being an ear thermometer, which are said to offer less accurate readings than rectal thermometers, the majority of owners say it's very accurate.
Review: Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer with Exactemp Technology, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
About 110 owners have offered feedback on the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer IRT-4520, which maintains an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Owners say the Braun Thermoscan is easy to use and offers highly accurate readings.
Review: Braun - Thermoscan Ear Thermometer, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of May 2013
More than 15 owners offer feedback on the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer at Viewpoints.com, contributing to an average rating of 83 out of a possible 100. There are also two additional listings for this unit, with more than 10 reviews each and an overall average rating of 93 out of 100. Owners say it reads quickly and is easy to use and to clean between uses.
Review: Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer - IRT4520 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of May 2013
Nearly two dozen owners rate the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer at Drugstore.com, where it maintains an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Owners say it's easy enough to use, but there are some complaints that consecutive readings vary widely, leaving doubts about accuracy.
Review: Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer IRT4520, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of May 2013
Just over 10 owners provide reviews of the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer at Target.com, where it earns an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Owners appreciate that this thermometer stores up to eight prior readings and say it's easy to use, accurate and can withstand being dropped.
Review: Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer - IRT4520, Contributors to Target.com, As of May 2013