MDF 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 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.

MDF ER Premier Cardiology

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.

MDF ProCardial C3

It 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.

MDF Classic Cardiology

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.

5. MDF ProCardial ERA Cardiology Lightweight

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.

12 Best Littman Stethoscopes

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

Its different top models are mentioned below:

1. Littmann Electronic 3200

Littmann Electronic 3200

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

Littmann Electronic 3100

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

Littmann Master Cardiology

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.™

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

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™

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

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™

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

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

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

Littmann Select™

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.

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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