The Best Littmann Stethoscope: A Thorough Evaluation

Are you looking for the best Littmann stethoscope? Just as concert musicians disagree over which piano, violin, or other fine instrument is the best, there will always be some disagreement among medical professionals as to the best stethoscope.

That being said, there’s a wealth of information about Littmann stethoscopes available via personal testimonials and user reviews, recommendations from medical schools, and even an amazing clinical trial conducted by a physician. After compiling as much information as possible, the evidence is very clear: the best Littmann stethoscope is the Littmann Cardiology III. Here’s why:

User reviews of Littmann stethoscopes

The Cardiology III receives glowing reviews from users ‒ in 254 total online reviews, 214 reviewers gave it the maximum rating of 5 stars, and an additional 19 gave it 4 stars.

Most commonly, reviewers rave about the Cardiology III’s clarity and sensitivity. They compare it favorably to other stethoscopes they’ve used in the past ‒ including other Littmann products ‒ and repeatedly make comments like “it’s a bit pricey, but worth every penny.”

Cardiology III - Best Littmann Stethoscope

Littmann Cardiology III

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Schools recommend Littmann stethoscopes

It’s becoming more and more common for medical schools to require their students to purchase a cardiology stethoscope. Of the schools that have this requirement, a vast majority choose the Cardiology III as the best Littmann stethoscope. The recommendations of nursing schools and physician’s assistant training programs are in agreement.

On student forums, the Cardiology III is far and away the most popular and most frequently discussed stethoscope. Students from all over the world use and enthusiastically recommend this scope.

Physician’s study names the best Littmann stethoscope

The most thoughtful, thorough, and high-impact endorsement of the Cardiology III comes from a study conducted by Dr. Eli Finkelstein, which he calls “The Ultimate Acoustic Stethoscope Review.” In this review, four Littmann stethoscopes ‒ the Cardiology III, the Master Classic II, the Classic II S.E., and the Cardiology I (now discontinued) ‒ go head-to-head with eight other stethoscopes in a range of objective and subjective tests.

In the study, each stethoscope was used in daily rounds and rated for loudness, clarity, amount of noise interference, and ergonomics. Stethoscopes were scored subjectively based on clinical experience. In this portion of the study, the Cardiology III came out on top.

The second part of the study measured the amplification and clarity of sound transmitted by the various stethoscopes, recorded as .wav files and computer analyzed. Scores for sound intensity and clarity were then combined for a final rating. Interestingly, the Cardiology III came in second to its discontinued cousin, the Cardiology I, with the Master Classic II a close third.

At the conclusion of the study, the author names the Littmann Cardiology III as an “easy winner” and the best stethoscope. He points to the Cardiology III’s efficient ergonomics and easy pocketability, low noise interference, and clear acoustics ‒ and its dominating performance during testing ‒ as reasons that make it the best Littmann stethoscope, and the best overall.

With outstanding recommendations, reviews, and performance assessments, the Littmann Cardiology III is the choice of experienced professionals. We recommend that you make it yours as well.

See our other Littmann Stethoscope Reviews