Guide to Types of Ultrasound Machines

This article has been updated 13-01-2024

Diagnostic ultrasound machines come in many forms.

This guide is meant to offer an extensive overview of the many things to consider when you are looking to buy an ultrasound. Also, it will make it easier for you to orient yourself among the different types of ultrasound machines.

An ultrasound machine uses a popular imaging method partly because they utilize high-frequency sound waves to generate live images. Hereby, ultrasound is harmless, non-ionizing radiation, in contrast to X-rays used in other types of medical imaging equipment.

They are used for many different applications and have developed to be highly specialized. That is why there are so many types of ultrasound machines.

So, how do you pick the right one?

This guide will walk you through the main points of that decision.

Ultrasound Machine Applications

The different types of ultrasound machines can be dedicated to certain types of examinations. However, an advanced cardiac system is not optimal for OB/GYN.

So, consider what examinations the system will be used for, and let that guide your decision when you are looking at ultrasound machines for sale.

The most common applications of the different types of ultrasound machines are:

Learn more by opening the bars below.

  • Cardiac

    Cardiac and cardiovascular ultrasound machines are specialised for examinations of the heart, and heart and vessels respectively.

    A cardiac ultrasound examination, also called echocardiogram, examines size, shape, and motion of the heart.

    Dedicated cardiac ultrasounds comes with options that eases examinations and allow for better imaging and analysis of data. The more advanced the system the more advanced software.

    Ultrasounds require probes, and for cardiac you have a couple to choose from.
    You typically need a phased array probe. Furthermore, in some cases a TEE probe is required. A TEE probe is a type of specialised cardiac probe for insertion in the oesophagus.  And pencil probes are good for examining blood movement.

  • OB/GYN

  • General Imaging

Main Ultrasound Brands and Series

The four main brands are Siemens, GE, Philips, and Canon (former Toshiba).
And there are more that are popular, such as Samsung, Esaote, Sonosite, Supersonic and more. For example, you can get the Supersonic Aixplorer.

These all offer high-quality equipment that has great value, even as used systems.

This section gives you an overview of the main series within each of the four main ultrasound machine brands and the different types of ultrasound machines they offer.

We focus mostly on those popular on the used market.

Siemens Ultrasound Series

Siemens ultrasound machines are versatile. Their series are not split per application, so instead, we split them per performance.

The Acuson X-series covers the entry and mid-range segment. It includes models such as X300, X700, and more. All systems are for general imaging and can perform a range of examinations.

GE Ultrasound Series

GE divides their series by applications.

The main ones are Voluson, Vivid, and Logiq. Each of these series is further divided into subseries. For the Voluson and Logiq, the subseries are E, which is their high-end models, S that is mid-range, and P, their entry-level models. For the Vivids it is E, S, and T, where T is their entry-level.

The Voluson Series is dedicated to OB/GYN and women’s health. It includes models such as the Voluson E, Voluson E6, Voluson E8, and Voluson E10, Voluson S10 Expert, Voluson E10 BT19 OLED, Voluson S8, Voluson 730 Expert/Pro, and the portable ultrasounds Voluson I and Voluson E.

The Logiq Series is for general imaging. Hereby, it is good for radiology, breast, interventional, and more.
The series consists of several models including Logiq S8 XDClear 2.0, Logiq E9, P7, and the portable Logiq E.

The Vivid Series is dedicated to cardiovascular imaging. It includes models such as Vivid S60N, Vivid E95, Vivid E95 Ultra Edition, Vivid T8, Vivid S5, Vivid S70N, Vivid E90 R3 and the portable Vivid I, Q, and IQ.

GE has also created the Venue series for point of care ultrasound machines and the Versana ultrasound series for dedicated urology care.

Philips Ultrasound Series

Philips base their ultrasound series on performance, like Siemens, rather than per application, but still offer ultrasounds for all types of applications by offering general imaging systems.

ClearVue Series are entry-level ultrasounds consist of models such as 350, 550, 650, and ClearVue 850.

Affiniti Series includes mid-range ultrasounds such as Affiniti 30, 50, and 70.

Epiq Series consists of high-end ultrasounds with models such as Epiq 5 and Epiq 7.

Philips also offers the CX50, a portable ultrasound also for general imaging.

Canon Ultrasound Series

Canon, former Toshiba, has two lines of general ultrasounds.

Xario Series includes entry-level systems such as the Xario 200, 200g and 100MX

Aplio Series consists of mid-line models such as Aplio 300, 400, 500 and 500 Platinum.

Furthermore, Canon has more recent and advanced models such as the i600, i700, and more. They also offer a portable ultrasound for general imaging, the Viamo c100.

Samsung Ultrasound Series

Among the Samsung ultrasounds, you can find systems for OB/GYN, general imaging, and shared service.

On the used ultrasound market, you’ll find the most commonly mentioned ultrasounds listed below.

In the field of women’s health, OB/GYN, there are options such as the Samsung HS50, HS30, HS60, HS70, HERA I10, HERA W9/W10, and the Samsung WS80A Elite.

Within general imaging, you can find the Samsung RS85 Prestige and RS80, as well as the Samsung HS30, HS40, HS50, HS60, HS70 and HM70A.

The Samsung HS70A is the only Samsung system we offer that can be used for cardio-vascular imaging.

Newer models such as the Samsung V8 and V7 are also available. Finally, for shared service, you could choose the Samsung HS70 and HS60.

The Prices of Ultrasound Systems

How much does an ultrasound machine cost?

It varies a lot, as the different types of ultrasound machines come with different price tags. Especially because the prices depend on several factors like age, condition, and model.

At LBN Medical, you can find ultrasounds from 5.000 to +80.000 Euros.

In the matrix below you can see a simple overview of ultrasound prices based on main brands. The cost is determined per condition and the types of ultrasound machines. Condition is split into new, refurbished, and used, and type is defined as entry-level, mid-range, and high tier.

The prices are in thousand euros and for systems box only.

Ultrasound Cost Table - LBN Medical

If you prefer, you can also watch our video with Mehdi Smail explaining the ultrasound price matrix.

Guide to Types of Ultrasound Machines

In general, ultrasound systems on the used market are 4-7 years old.

As seen from the matrix, the upside of buying used or refurbished is that you pick a more advanced system. Furthermore, encouraging the use of the equipment for as long as possible makes the medical imaging industry more sustainable.

As prices above are box only, you should add cost for ultrasound probes.

If you want to learn more about prices and the factors that affect them, read our full post on How much does an ultrasound machine cost.

There you will also find information on demo systems and more examples of models within each category.

Used, Refurbished, or New Ultrasounds

Now that you have an overview of approximate prices for the categories, we would like to attach a few words to each.

Used Ultrasounds

Used equipment is a very broad category. Some companies merely move the systems, and they are sold “as is”. Options and configurations will be the same as the previous owner had, you have no choice in the matter.

This can be priced low, but also comes with slightly more risk.

However, at other companies, all used ultrasound machines for sale have been cleaned and tested by professional technicians. Basically, high quality is ensured, and this is where you will find great value for money.

Refurbished Ultrasounds

Might be surprising, but this can be a broad category too. You can get refurbished in the sense that it is defined by the seller, ISO refurbished, and OEM refurbished.

With general refurbishment the seller has put the system through a process, that may have cosmetic and functionality aspects. For instance, cleaning and painting, parts replacement, and installing options. However, it might not contain much.

Therefore, it is important to ask.

ISO certified or OEM refurbishment, included following more strictly defined processes.

At LBN Medical we do offer both refurbished ultrasound equipment, ISO and OEM refurbished systems.


New systems are of course brand new, there is not much more to say about that. Zero risks but at a higher price.

Ultrasound Specifications

Hopefully, you are now a little more aware of what types of ultrasound machines are available, what you need, and how much they cost.

And of course, you can always reach out with questions.

Now there are only a few extra aspects to consider, for you to pick the right model.
You can read about each in the bars below.

  • Licenses

    Most ultrasounds come with general options , but if you do more specialised examinations, you typically need to add those specific options.

    This is what licenses are, they open for the software for those extra functionalities. In some cases the software need to be added, rather than just opened.
    It can be for certain obstetric or cardiac options, for instance 4D.

    So, check the licenses and options, make sure that you have what you need, and ask if you are in doubt.

  • Ultrasound Ports

  • Year of Manufacture

  • Power Compatibility

  • User Language

  • Condition of Used Ultrasound Machines

  • Ultrasound Machine Peripherals

Which Ultrasound Probes to Get

To send and receive the signal and use your ultrasound system, you need probes, also called transducers.

The first, important point is that not all probes are compatible with all ultrasounds, so make sure you get the right one.
And ask our team if you are in doubt.

Secondly, different types of ultrasound transducers are better for different types of examinations.
Like convex for abdominal and phased array for cardiac.

Generally, the different types differ in footprint, frequency, and piezoelectric crystal arrangement.

Linear Probes

The footprint size is relatively large, the beam shape is rectangular, and the frequency high (7 – 18Mhz).

Therefore, the near field resolution is good, which makes it good for superficial examinations of vascular, small parts, nerve, musculoskeletal, and breast.

Convex Probes

Convex probes have a large footprint, a convex beam shape, and a low frequency (2.5 – 5Mhz).
Its low frequency makes it a good probe for in-depth examinations.

Therefore, it is used for abdominal, vascular, nerve, musculoskeletal, and OB/GYN ultrasound examinations.

Additionally, there is a subtype called micro convex with a much smaller footprint, which is typically used in neonatal and paediatrics.

Phased Array Probes

These have quite a small footprint and emit low-frequency ultrasounds (2 – 8Mhz). Therefore, they offer lower resolution but deeper penetration.

Phased array probes have narrow and almost triangular beam points, but they can expand depending on the frequency applied.

They are typically used for imaging through acoustic windows in the skull or intercostal spaces.

Specialized Probes

On top of these standard probes, there is a range of more specialised probes.

They include internal probes, designed for specific bodily orifices. Therefore, they have very small footprints.

Transoesophageal or TEE probes produce images of the heart through the oesophagus.
There are also pencil probes, also called CW Doppler probes, for measuring blood movement and sound.

Additionally, there is a number of probes that are designed for surgical use, like laparoscopic probes.

Ultrasound Maintenance

Once you have purchased a used ultrasound system, you might as well take good care of it.

Overall, the performance of ultrasound decreases slightly over time. A good maintenance routine is an option to slow this process down and can be applied to all types of ultrasound machines.

Below are 5 important points in the maintenance of an ultrasound machine:

  1. Daily Checks of the Ultrasound Machine
  2. Pay Attention to Your Ultrasound Probes
  3. End of Shift Prevention
  4. Full System Backup
  5. Preventive Maintenance for Your Ultrasound

Get more detailed information in our ultrasound maintenance checklist.

Sum Up of Main Points

Thanks for reading this far. In this paragraph, we will sum up the most important points from this guide to the types of ultrasound machines.

  • What type of studies will I perform?

    Most ultrasounds are specialized to certain applications.
    Therefore, this is important information to provide to your supplier, as this will guide the decision of which model to pick.

    Certain brands dedicate series to certain applications and others aim for general imaging and shared service systems that can be customized to a range of applications.

  • What ultrasound brands are the best?

  • How much does an ultrasound cost?

  • Should I buy used, refurbished, or new?

  • What probes do I need?

  • How do I maintain my ultrasound and my probes?

If you made it this far in this guide to the types of ultrasound machines and still have questions, please reach out. You can get further assistance from our professional team.