Cardiology Stethoscope Review: Littmann Cardiology III vs Harvey DLX

Are you a medical student or working professional looking for a top-quality stethoscope? Whatever your role in the medical professions, a cardiology stethoscope will always provide you with the finest, most discriminating acoustics. You can find a highly favorable cardiology stethoscope review for just about every scope on the market ‒ but without a doubt, the two most popular and best overall performers are the Littmann Cardiology III and the Welch-Allyn Harvey DLX (formerly the Tycos).

Cardiology stethoscope comparison

The Harvey DLX is slightly heavier than the Cardiology III, although both scopes are heftier than most all-around scopes. Unlike the Cardiology III, it’s possible to rotate the DLX’s binaurals separately. The Cardiology III has non-chill rings on its chestpiece, while the DLX does not.

The Cardiology III has a stainless steel chestpiece with two tunable diaphragms, one larger and one smaller. The chestpiece of the DLX is made of chrome-plated brass, with a brass bell and flat diaphragm. Welch-Allyn also offers a third, optional corrugated diaphragm or a rotatable triple head model.

Littmann provides a 5-year warranty for the Cardiology III. The Welch-Allyn Harvey DLX has a 10-year warranty.

Cardiology stethoscope review

Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope - Cardiology Stethoscope Review

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Both Littmann and Welch-Allyn have strong supporters who are more than willing to compare the two scopes. Here are a few samples of reviews we found that mention both:

● The bell on the DLX is the best of any steth I have. I have an S3 that’s known to come and go when using my Cardio III bell, but with the DLX it’s audible consistently. It’s even louder too.

● The Cardiology III transmits heart, lung, and abdominal sounds far better than the Tycos….The tunable diaphragm takes getting used to, but it does work as advertised. I’m a neurologist and I find that the “pediatric” headpiece with the smaller tunable diaphragm is superb for listening to carotid and femoral bruits, and even for listening to flow in the temporal arteries.

● I remember being a resident in the ICU with my Littmann Cardiology and having the ICU fellow asking me about a patient lung sound which were clear with my scope but boy when he asks me to hear the patient’s lung with his Tycos, I got a cold chill wondering what else I was missing. That was my first Tycos.

Reviewers point out that, for professionals with very sensitive hearing, the DLX provides extremely fine isolation of heart sounds. For the average ear, however, the DLX may seem a bit quiet, although still clear. The Cardiology III receives high praise for both loudness and clarity, even from users with minor hearing problems.

If you’re blessed with especially good hearing, you may want to try the Welch-Allyn Harvey DLX. For professionals with average to slightly sub-par hearing, the Littmann Cardiology III is probably a better choice.

Finally, no cardiology stethoscope review would be complete without a brief mention of price. At a list price $276, of the Harvey DLX is just slightly more expensive than the Cardiology III, which lists at $235. With reputable online suppliers offering significant discounts from list prices, either of these cardiology scopes will make a top-notch choice for any medical professional.