If you work in the medical field then you will come to rely on your medical equipment in order to make accurate diagnosis and to properly treat and help your patients. Good quality medical equipment makes a world of difference in the type and quality of medical care your patients enjoy from you. Unfortunately you cannot buy every piece of modern medical equipment available on the market and doctors often perform miraculous procedures with minimal medical gear. But the one piece of equipment that no medical professional can go without is a stethoscope.
A stethoscope is a basic must have whether you are a nurse or a highly trained specialist. This tool allows you to hear all of those inaudible sounds in your patient’s heart and gastro system so you can identify problems such as heart conditions, lung problems and so much more.
There are lots of terrific stethoscopes and brands available on the market but the Littmann stethoscope brand is one of the best devices you can possibly choose.
Littmann is known for providing high quality stethoscopes and this particular brand is particularly popular because they have such a huge line of different stethoscope types available. You can buy a simple stethoscope for general medical practices which is perfect for nursing or select a specialized stethoscope that allows you to hear the highest or lowest frequencies of heart sounds which is perfect for cardiology patients. Littmann also have stethoscopes in different price ranges so med students to qualified professionals can all enjoy the benefits that the Littmann brand has to offer all while maintaining great status and a great overall look thanks to the beautiful design and fun colors of these fine quality stethoscopes.
The 3M Littmann Classic III
The 3M Littmann Cardiology IV
3M Littmann Classic II
3M Littmann Cardiology III
3 M Littmann Classic II Infant Stethoscope
3M Littmann Master Classic II
3M Littmann Lightweight II
3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope
3M Littmann Select
3M Littmann Master Cardiology
How to Choose the Best Littmann Stethoscope
Choosing the right Littmann stethoscope isn’t the easiest of tasks. There are, after all, so many different types to choose from and the most expensive of these devices isn’t always the most suitable for your line of work. There are quite a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the right type of stethoscope for your specialty such as the following;
Area of Practice
The first thing you need to do is consider the line of work in which you are performing.
Are you still in medical or nursing school? A simpler and more affordable stethoscope might be best because you don’t quite know what type or features you will prefer or use the most in the future.
Are you in general care? Nurses often find that basic stethoscope types are better for monitoring vitals.
Do you work with children or adults? Not all stethoscopes are suitable for infants. You need a stethoscope with an open bell in order to check these tiny patients. If you work in both lines then it is best to choose a stethoscope that is suitable for infant to adult patients.
Where do you specialize? Cardiology professionals tend to prefer a cardiology stethoscope because it allows them to hear high to low frequency sounds of the heart where other types of stethoscopes might be better for hearing gastro sounds.
Do you work in a practice or in the ER? Medical professionals in the ER frequently work with trauma and high risk patients which means they need a stethoscope with more features. These medical professionals also tend to be on their feet a lot more and need something lighter. Those working in a practice tend to hang their stethoscopes in the examination ward and weight usually isn’t an issue.
Are you hearing impaired? Medical professionals with hearing problems prefer electronic stethoscopes because these can be set at greater amplifications so you can hear better.
The type and level of acoustic performance your stethoscope gives can make it easier to hear different sounds such as the heart, lung, stomach or all sorts of thrills and murmurs.
The Littmann brand is particularly preferred because of these stethoscopes high acoustic performance ratings. These stethoscopes are made with dual lumen tubing that blocks out external sounds and allows medical professionals to hear a lot more clearly.
Littmann’s electronic stethoscopes are preferred for high performance because it gives greater amplification. Some of their non-electronic stethoscopes are also brilliant while other more basic models don’t offer quite as much clarity on soft sounds.
You need to determine the kind of features you will mostly use in your line of work. Littmann’s stethoscopes comes with all sorts of features such as electronic, non-electronic, single or double lumen tubing, single or dual sided chest piece and more. The more features your stethoscope has the more expensive it becomes. Some stethoscopes even offer visual displays, assessment recording, sound amplification, a greater frequency range and much more. Consider the features you need and then choose according to these functions.
Littmann isn’t the cheapest stethoscope on the market but they do have quite a few affordable devices on the market. Their budget friendly range is exactly why you see so many medical and nursing students walking about with these fine quality devices. The affordable range varies from $30 - $50 but you can easily end up dishing out up to $300 for a modern electronic stethoscope with lots of features. Consider your budget because in the end this could be one of the biggest factors that affects your choice. For many medical students and even medical professionals a more affordable stethoscope is better because these devices can easily get lost, misplaced or stolen.
Some stethoscopes have a much greater variable frequency level. For some medical fields such as nursing this variable frequency level isn’t necessary because you just don’t use these other higher or lower frequencies for monitoring patients. For some lines of work such as cardiology, a high to low frequency stethoscope is very important and could mean the difference between life and death for your patients.
Comparison Chart of the Top 3 Stethoscopes
This guide is here to list the best of the best that the Littmann brand has to offer. That is why we are only going to list the top 3 Littman stethoscopes in the following chart but we are also going to discuss the leading features of the 10 best Littmann stethoscopes later in this article. Here are the top 3 stethoscopes you can buy right now;
Chest Piece Design And Material
Colors And Finishes
Weight And Tube Length
Cardiology and high performance work
Double sided and made from machined stainless steel
Single-piece tunable diaphragm either side of chestpiece
Dual lumen tubing
9 colors / 7 finishes
167 gram in 56 or 59 cm tube length
General ward in non-critical environments
Double sided with pediatric bell side
Single-piece tunable diaphragm
Single lumen tubing
16 colors and 6 finishes
150 g 69 cm tube
Diagnostic aid for physical assessments ideal for nurses
Double sided with easy access shape made of metal / resin composite
7 different colors
118 gram and 71cm long tube
These stethoscopes are not just some of the best on the market but are the top picks for different work environments. The Cardiology IV is preferred for cardiology and high performance work, the Classic III is preferred for general wards and the Lightweight II is preferred for diagnostic and physical assessments by nurses who are constantly on their feet. There is a more advanced cardiology stethoscope - the Master Cardiology with acoustic level of 10 out of 10 - But we didn’t rule this one as a top pick because it has a single sided chest piece. It does come with special procedures for neonatal or pediatric patients but is preferred for adult patients.
10 Best Littmann Stethoscopes
Now that you understand more about the different types of stethoscopes available on the market and the different uses for these stethoscopes, it is time for you to find out what the top 10 Littmann stethoscopes are. Here are the best picks for these superb stethoscope types.
This is one of the best stethoscopes that healthcare professionals can buy. The stethoscope offers an acoustic level of 9 out of 10 and is ideal for studying cardiac, lung and gastric sounds in pediatric to adult patients. It is an excellent piece for those in cardiology and high performance or emergency work areas.
The stethoscope, like all other Littmann stethoscopes, is beautiful in design. It is available in 9 different colors and 7 different styles. The look and design of these stethoscopes are sure to lend you plenty of style and will certainly enhance status as you go about your work.
The stethoscope is made of fine quality materials. It has next generation dual lumen tubing that eliminates rubbing noises and that is resistant to staining. The chest piece is made of machined stainless steel that is oil and alcohol resistant.
You can use this stethoscope to pick up high to low frequency sounds by adjusting your pressure on the chest piece. It is fitted with single-piece diaphragms that are tunable on both sides and at just 169 grams this is a nice and light anti-fatigue stethoscope that is perfect for those bustling days on the job. The chest piece has a deeper bell than the Cardiology III that enhances acoustics and the piece is fitted with an open bell that is perfect for treating pediatric patients.
The Littmann Classic III is the best stethoscope in the classic range. It is a perfect stethoscope for general physical assessments and diagnosis and the tunable diaphragm and double sided chest piece makes it convenient for treating infant to adult patients.
The stethoscope is very stylish since it has a very pleasing design and it is available in 25 different colors and shades. The variety of shades makes it perfect for creating a unique look for yourself so you can stand out from other medical staff.
The stethoscope is made of durable materials. The chest piece is made of stain resistant stainless steel and the next generation tubing is 100% latex free which is preferable for patients with latex allergies.
The Classic III has a double sided chest piece and is fitted with a single piece diaphragm that is tunable on both sides. It has an adjustable headset tension and comes with spare snap tight ear tips in different sizes. It weighs only 180 grams and is available in different tube lengths of 56 and 49cm. The pediatric side of the chest piece can be turned into an open bell by replacing the diaphragm with a non-chill rim.
This is a very popular stethoscope amongst nurses and med students. At just 118 grams it is one of the lightest stethoscopes in the Littmann range - hence the name. The stethoscope is also remarkably affordable which makes it perfect for bustling nurses who might be constantly misplacing their medical equipment. You can easily replace your stethoscope without breaking the bank or invest in various colors to match every uniform.
The stethoscope has a tear-drop shaped chest piece that fits comfortably under the cuff for easy blood pressure monitoring. It is also available in 7 different colors.
Like all other Littmann stethoscopes, this one is also made of durable material. It is fitted with latex free next-generation tubing and the chest piece is made of metal and resin composite.
The Lightweight II features a single diaphragm and has a double sided tunable diaphragm; it has single 71 cm long lumen tubing and comes with an optimally shaped headset and soft sealing ear tips.
If you are looking for a stethoscope with outstanding acoustics then the Master Cardiology is the right pick for you. This stethoscope has a 10/10 acoustic performance and is a perfect pick for those working in cardiology or in high performance work areas.
The stethoscope has an overall great look. It is available in various colors and different chest piece finishes with a simple and sleek overall look.
The Master Cardiology is made of high quality materials such as next-generation latex free tubing with polished stainless steel chest piece that is stain resistant as well as anodized aluminum headset.
This stethoscope only has a single sided chest piece but does come with special procedures adaptor for treating neonatal or pediatric patients and is fitted with a non-chill rim. It also has two-in-one tube design that eliminates noises of tubes rubbing together and has snap tight soft sealing ear tips. It features a patented tunable diaphragm that alternates between low and high frequency sounds by adjusting the pressure on the chest piece and is specially designed for peak performance.
The Littmann Classic II is also a superb stethoscope to consider although it is becoming scarcer on the market because the Classic III is the upgraded version that replaces this stethoscope. The Classic II is perfect for general physical examinations and diagnosis and as such is great for various medical professionals and med students.
The stethoscope, like its upgraded version, has a beautiful design. It is available in 9 different colors with various chest piece finishes and will certainly lend you plenty of charm.
The Classic II is made of next generation single lumen tubing that is 100% latex free. It is also fitted with a single sided plated and polished alloy chest piece that is stain resistant.
At just 160 gram it is a rather light stethoscope and it has a tunable diaphragm. The biggest difference between the Classic II and the Classic III is the fact that the Classic II has a thinner bell and as such isn’t as acoustically terrific as the Classic III. The II is preferable for listening for a wide range of sounds while the III picks up heart variations a little bit better.
This is another great cardiology stethoscope. The Cardiology IV is the upgraded version of the Cardiology III and as such isn’t as easy to find in stores as the Cardiology IV. But if you do have this stethoscope then rest assured that you have a quality device that is perfect for cardiology and high performance work environments.
The Cardiology III has a beautiful design. It is available in various colors and in different chest piece finishes and looks a lot like the Cardiology IV.
The stethoscope is made of next-generation latex free tubing and is fitted with a machined stainless steel chest piece.
It has a double sided chest piece with a two-piece diaphragm that is tunable on each side. The latex free tubing offers dual lumen functionality and the stethoscope is nice and light at just 123 grams.
These stethoscopes, like so many other electronic stethoscopes, are quite pricy. The Littmann Electronic is perfect for high performance work environments and reduces frictional noise to a bare minimum since it eliminates 85% ambient noise. It amplifies sounds up to 24 times which makes it a great pick for medical professionals with hearing impairment.
These stethoscopes look just as great as all other Littman stethoscopes and are also available in a range of colors. You can easily spot it from other models by its different shaped electric chest piece.
It is very durable since the chest piece is made of chrome, the diaphragm is made of polyurethane coated silicone and the headset consists of anodized aluminum.
The stethoscope has bell and diaphragm mode, comes with snap tight soft sealing eartips, has a non-chill diaphragm cover and is made of single lumen tubing. It weighs only 185 grams and comes with a warranty.
This is another one of Littmann’s lightweight stethoscopes. The stethoscope is perfect for diagnostic aids as part of physical assessments of patients. It is preferred by nurses, nursing assistants, nursing students and EMTs.
The stethoscope looks pretty great. It is available in various colors and features modern looking design.
The stethoscope has a coated alloy chest piece, fiberglass or epoxy diaphragm and has anodized aluminum chest piece.
It has a portable convenience single sided chest piece with a comfortable angle. It is fitted with single lumen tubing and comes with a tunable diaphragm that allows you to alternate between bell and diaphragm mode without having to turn your chest piece over. It only weighs 120 grams which is perfect for busy nurses who are on their feet for the biggest parts of the day.
If you are constantly working in the neonatal division then you absolutely need the Classic Infant stethoscope. This stethoscope is perfect for treating infant and pediatric patients and is preferable for pediatricians, neonatologists and NICU nurses.
The stethoscope looks pretty great and is light weight which means you can easily accessorize it with stuffed animals or other children friendly elements. It is available in different colors and features the same functional design as other modern Littmann stethoscopes.
The stethoscope is made of durable materials. It has a machined stainless steel chest piece, an epoxy or fiberglass diaphragm, anodized aluminum headset and next generation tubing.
The stethoscope has a 1.9 cm diameter bell and a small diaphragm that specifically helps you monitor infants. It has a floating diaphragm and a non-chill chestpeice cover. The headset is comfortably angled and it offers crystal clear sound. You can also adjust frequency by increasing or decreasing the pressure on the chest piece.
This stethoscope is a lot like the Classic II monitoring stethoscope. It is perfect as a diagnostic tool for physical assessments of adult to pediatric patients although it is also used for cardiac functions.
The stethoscope is available in various tube colors and chest piece finishes which makes it a great fashion investment.
It is made of durable materials such as anodized aluminum headset materials, stainless steel chest piece and fiberglass diaphragm
The stethoscope allows pressure based frequency adjustable and is fitted with a tunable diaphragm. It has a comfortably fitting headset and is fitted with single lumen tubing and a single sided chest piece. It weighs only 160 grams and is very functional for experienced nurses.
All of these Littmann stethoscopes are superb and as long as you pick a stethoscope that falls in your career category, you should be ok with your pick. For the best stethoscope investment it is always best to choose the latest models since these are designed with the latest technology and as such perform better, are easier to clean and will give you the best functionality in the workplace for a long time to come.