MDF Stethoscope vs Littmann Stethoscope

​Today, one can find many emerging brands of stethoscopes in the market. MDF and Littmann are the two well-established brands for a long time.

It is generally observed that many professional practitioners have a greater affinity towards the Littmann stethoscopes but there are some other practitioners who believe that the models provided by Littmann are a bit expensive with respect to the solutions provided by them.

MDF instruments have been very popular in the manufacturing industry since 1971, proving physicians with stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers and neurological hammers. The superior models of MDF stethoscopes are manufactured with good quality materials which provide a high-grade acoustic performance besides being long-lasting and flexible. Such products come with a lifetime warranty on the part replacement. They come at a reasonable price, with a few of the models exceeding the $100 range.

Acoustic performance:

According to the opinion of various professional practitioners regarding the acoustic performance of MDF and Littmann Stethoscope, there is a great similarity between the high range MDF and Classic series of Littmann stethoscopes.

The MDF models mentioned below are made of high-grade stainless steel and come with a lifelong guarantee for replacement of the parts. The best-selling MDF stethoscope models are :

5 Best MDF Stethoscopes

MDF MD One

This is a perfect stethoscope for treating adult patients.  The stethoscope is terrific for picking up low to high frequency sounds and is preferable for general medical practices such as physical assessments or diagnosis.  It is a great investment for nurses, medical students and even doctors in general non-emergency divisions.

This doesn't have the best acoustics but the prices at which it is available justifies its acoustics quality and aesthetics comprising 17 distinct colors and finishes.Some of the sophisticated colors are a bit costlier.

The Littmann models come with a pressure-tunable membrane but this model has a traditional diaphragm on one face of the chest piece for auscultating high frequencies and the opposite face bears an open bell for auscultating the lower frequencies.

This model consists of 3 pairs of differently sized ear tips, with the chest piece and the binaural made of stainless steel.

Main Features

  • 100% acoustically superior Stainless steel
  • Thicker latex-free PVC non-stick tubing
  • Y configuration tube
  • Has a tag
  • Comes with 3 pairs of MDF comfortSeal Eartips in sizes small, medium and large
  • Dual-leaf construction enhances durability
  • Adult size
  • Comes with a full lifetime warranty
  • Free parts for life program
MDF ER Premier Cardiology

This is a perfect stethoscope for general to cardiology practices.  The MDF ER Premier is capable of picking up frequencies as low as 100 Hz and as high as 1000 Hz which is perfect for identifying all sorts of medical conditions.  The stethoscope is lightweight and suitable for treating infant to adult patients.

This model, available in 7 distinct colors, has a performance better than the MDF MD One model and was the first MDF model with an inbuilt pressure tunable diaphragms on either side of the chest piece.

This feature, present in all the models of Littmann stethoscope, imparts versatility by targeting one side of the chest piece to the adult client and the other to the pediatric client.

The non-chill bell ring on the smaller side can substitute the tunable diaphragm, forming a classic open bell for auscultations of low frequency.The dual-lumen tubing provides better acoustics, improved efficiency, isolation and effectively reduces the environmental noise.

Main Features

  • Lifetime warranty with free parts for life program
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients
  • Dual lumen latex free non-stick tubing
  • Dual leaf spring construction
  • Secure acoustic transmission of 100-1000Hz
  • Pre-angled stainless steel headset
  • Comes with 3 sets of eartips
  • Comes with ID tag
  • 1 pound
MDF ProCardial C3

The stethoscope is perfect for general medical practices and medical assessments but is often preferred by ER experts thanks to its 9 different configurations and it’s acoustic transmission of 100 - 1000 Hz that allows medical professionals to hear better.

The MDF ProCardinal C3 is a handmade, high-performing, versatile model with 6 interchangeable parts for nine distinct configurations of the chest piece. This is apt for the practitioners who intend auscultation of the pediatric, infant or adult clients. Its lumen tubing provides excellent acoustic performance through its 2 autonomous auditory channels that ensure better isolation. The 6 interchangeable parts in the chest piece allow adjustment of the diaphragm and the open bell, on an adult as well as the pediatric clients.

ProCardial C3 Lightweight Titanium is its lightweight version which is a bit more than the MDF ProCardial C3.

Main Features

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free parts for life program
  • Comes with six conversion attachments
  • Stethoscope transforms into 9 different configurations
  • Complete adult, pediatric or infant stethoscope
  • Comes with 3 pairs of comfortseal ear tips
  • Comes with ID tag
  • Two sound channels with duel lumen tubing
  • Chestpiece has full-rotation acoustic valve system with green indicator
  • Acoustic transmission of 100 - 1000Hz
  • Thicker latex-free PVC non-stick tubing
  • Pre-angled stainless steel
MDF Classic Cardiology

The MDF Classic Cardiology is great for student to expert medical professionals and is preferred for cardiology.  The MDF has an extra deep bell that enhances acoustics while listening for all sorts of sounds.

It is an advanced, handmade, good performing stethoscope that works in a classic way, with a traditional diaphragm on one end of its chest piece and an open bell high-performance on the other end.It is suitable for practitioners dealing with adult clients.

It has a stainless steel traditional bell and a diaphragm of high-performance. The dual-lumen tubing has 2 autonomous auditory channels, that provide better acoustic performance and isolation from the noise in the environment. It is the most expensive of all the available MDF models.

Main features

  • Free parts for life program
  • Traditional cardiology design
  • Dual lumen tubing with two sound channels
  • Dual-leaf spring construction
  • Extra deep bel
  • Perfect for infant to adult patients
  • Made of pre-angled 15 degree stainless steel
  • Perfect for heart, lung and korotkoff sounds
  • Thicker denser latex free non-stick PVC tubing
  • Comes with 3 sets of comfortseal ear tips
  • Comes with spare ultrasensitive diaphragm
  • Comes with ID tag

This lightweigh33t stethoscope is suitable for general to high performance medical practices such as cardiology diagnosis.  It has 9 possible configurations and comes with 2-in-1 configuration which eases functionality a great deal.  This stethoscope, like all other MDF stethoscopes, is handmade and comes with a lifetime warranty as part of a free parts for life program.

It is an innovative lightweight model that merges the two Sprague Rappaport noise channels into one tube, thus preventing the brushing induced frictional noise. The 6-interchangeable chest piece letting 9 different combinations makes it versatile. The customizable chest piece offers superior acoustics.

The Littmann stethoscope, manufactured in the US comes with 7-year warranty and lasts for about 15-20 years. A unique dual frequency diaphragm technology is incorporated into all these stethoscopes (except the Infant and Pediatric models) for shifting between the high and low-frequency auscultations just by changing the pressure applied to the patient. This is possible because of the presence of dual frequency membrane on each side of the chest piece.

Main features

  • 1.25 pounds
  • Free parts for life program
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Latex free PVC non-stick tubing
  • 2-in-1 x-configuration
  • Acoustics of 100 - 1000Hz
  • Ultrasensitive diaphragm with non-chill retaining ring
  • 9 possible configurations
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients
  • Comes with 3 sets of comfortseal eartips
  • Has spare ultrasensitive diaphragm
  • Comes with ID tag

12 Best Littman Stethoscopes

Its other applications are for pediatric, carotid, or pulse auscultations

Littman is one of the most popular stethoscope brands on the market.  Student and qualified medical professionals of all walks of life love these stethoscopes and Littman has proven its worth many time over the years. These stethoscopes are designed for all types of doctors, medical professionals and patients.

Its different top models are mentioned below:

1. Littmann Electronic 3200

Littmann Electronic 3200

This is an overall good stethoscope for general assessments and diagnosis of infant to adult patients.

Main features:

  • Application A and E suitable for general to cardiology practice from infant to adult patients
  • 24x sound amplifier
  • 85% ambient noise reduction
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Works with AA batteries
  • Natural rubber next generation tubing that is latex free
  • Dual lumen
  • Removable diaphragm
  • Single sided chest piece
  • 185 grams

It has the highest acoustic performance of 10+ and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

Littmann Electronic 3100

Littmann Electronic 3100 is perfect for general assessments and diagnosis in non-critical environments and is20 perfect for treating infant to adult patients.

Main features

  • 24x Enhanced listening power
  • 85% ambient noise reduction
  • Adjustable headset tension
  • Snap tight soft ear tips
  • Natural rubber next generation tubing that is latex free
  • Alcohol and oil resistant materials
  • Dual lumen
  • Removable diaphragm
  • Single sided chest piece
  • 185 grams

It also has an acoustic performance of 10+ but no wireless connectivity.

Littmann Master Cardiology

This is a good investment for high performance medical professionals in specialized divisions or the ER.  It is perfect for cardiology patients and can be used on infant to adult patients.

Main features

  • Single sided chest piece
  • Tunable diaphragm
  • Dual lumen next generation tubing
  • Latex free tubing
  • 185 grams
  • Suitable for general to cardiology practice
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients

Its acoustic performance is 10 and has tunable dual frequency diaphragms with 2 sound conduits parallel to each other for noise and friction reduction.

Littmann Cardiology S.T.C.™

This cardiology stethoscope is considered more comfortable thanks to its softer chestpiece that makes it perfect for monitoring high risk patients.  It is only suitable for adult patients.

Main Features

  • Soft body, comfortable chestpiece
  • 3M tunable technology
  • Tunable diaphragm picks up low to high frequencies
  • Suitable for general to cardiology practice
  • Suitable for adult patients (no open bell)

Its acoustic performance is 9+. It has features similar to Master Cardiology™ model. The chest piece is made up of Soft Touch plastic which provides a secure grip but slightly decreases its acoustic performance.

Littmann Cardiology IV

This stethoscope is great for general to cardiology practice and is perfect for treating infant to adult patients. 

Main features

  • General to cardiology practice
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients
  • Single piece tunable diaphragms
  • Dual lumen next generation tubing
  • Latex free
  • 177 grams
  • Adjustable headset
  • Perfect for low to high frequency
  • Deeper bell for enhanced acoustics (29mm)

It also has an acoustic performance of 9+.Just like the MDF models, it has tunable diaphragms and dual-lumen tubing for noise and friction reduction. It has chest piece with 2 sides for pediatric as well as adult use.

Littmann Cardiology III™

The Cardiology III is available in various colours, is perfect for physical assessments and diagnosis or for high performance diagnosis.  It is great for treating infant to adult patients.

Main Features

  • Available in 18 colors
  • Single piece tunable diaphragm with smooth surface
  • Pediatric side can convert to open bell
  • Rubber next generation latex free tubing
  • Thinner chestpiece than Cardiology IV
  • Single lumen
  • 150 grams
  • Perfect for physical assessment and diagnosis

Its acoustic performance is 9. It also has a 2-sided chest piece for adult and pediatric use, tunable dual-frequency diaphragms and dual-lumen tubing for noise reduction.

Littmann Classic II S.E

The Classic II is a great stethoscope for general physical assessments for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals

Main features

  • Available in 6 colors
  • Dual sided chestpiece
  • Tunable diaphragm
  • Latex free materials
  • Non-chill rim and diaphragm
  • Perfect for physical assessment and diagnosis
  • Machined stainless steel chestpiece
  •  135 grams

Its acoustic performance is 8 with design same as Master Cardiology. It has a 1- sided chest piece for adult use and a dual-frequency tunable diaphragm.

Littmann Cardiology III™

Another cardiology or high performance stethoscope that is great for infant to adult patients and that is currently available rather affordably.

Main features

  • Dual sided chestpiece
  • Two tunable diaphragms
  • Convert pediatric side to open bell
  • Dual lumen tubing (Two-in-one tube design) eliminates noise interference
  • Suitable for general to cardiology practice
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients






Its acoustic performance is 7+. It is a versatile model for pediatric as well as adult use, with tunable dual sided chest piece with 2 diaphragms.

Littmann Lightweight II™ S.E

This lightweight stethoscope is perfect for busy nurses and doctors that do plenty of physical assessments throughout the day on infant to adult patients.

Main features

  • Single piece tunable diaphragm
  • Easy to clean because it is smooth and crevice free
  • Pediatric side converts to bell
  • Replace pediatric side with non-chill rim
  • Rubber next generation tubing is oil and alcohol stain resistant
  • Latex free
  • Suitable for infant to adult patients
  • Perfect for physical assessment and diagnosis

Its acoustic performance is 7 and is popular among students and novice professionals. It has a conventional open bell and a double-frequency diaphragm that is tunable.

Littmann Classic II™ Pediatric & Infant

The Classic II Pediatric & Infant stethoscope is specially designed with a smaller chestpiece which makes it perfect for treating younger patients such as toddlers or infants.

Main features

  • Available in 10 colors
  • Crack resistant yoke allows you to fold stethoscope
  • Double leaf binaural spring
  • Snap tight soft sealing eartips
  • Smaller Bell and diaphragm chestpiece
  • Infant to children patients
  • Stainless steel chestpiece

Its acoustic performance is also 7 with chest pieces smaller than Classic II™ Stethoscope.

Littmann Select™

This stethoscope is great for general assessments and is loved by medical professionals who constantly monitor and assess patients in non-critical environments.

Main features

  • Perfect for monitoring and assessing patients in non-critical environments
  • Available in over 20 colors or shades
  • Chestpiece converts into open bell
  • Stainless steel chest piece
  • Next generation rubber tubing
  • Latex free

Its acoustic performance is 6, used especially for training and learning. It has a plastic 1-sided chest piece with a dual-frequency diaphragm that can be tuned.

Unlike most Littmann stethoscopes, the Lightweight II has a different shaped chestpiece.  The teardrop design of this chestpiece is perfect for fitting underneath blood pressure cuffs.  It is preferred for adult patients.

Main features

  • Perfect for physical assessments of adult patients and especially for taking blood pressure readings
  • Tunable diaphragm
  • Picks up low to high frequency sounds
  • Teardrop shape chestpiece
  • Nonchill rim
  • 11.6 ounches

Its also has an acoustic performance of 6 and is popular among medical students. It has a tunable dual-frequency diaphragm on one side of the chest piece and an open bell on the other side.

Depending on the level of acoustic accuracy and the performance required in the stethoscope one can choose the model to best fit the one's profession.

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