Which Stethoscope Should I Buy? Littmann Classic III or Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope?


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Here is an age-old question I get asked by students and nursing professionals

“Which stethoscope should I buy? The Littmann Classic III Or Littmann Cardiology IV?”

If you’ve read a lot of my stethoscope reviews and you’re still a bit confused about which branded stethoscope to buy, here’s a little more help about the Littmann Classic III vs Littmann Cardiology IV. 


Let’s break it down!


What is the difference between Littmann Cardiology IV and Littmann Classic III?

Looking at Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscopes, it is a cardiology stethoscope which means it got a dual lumen tubing.

What exactly does dual-lumen mean?

At first, I didn’t know that either. So when I first started my research, I actually bought a Littman Cardiology IV and I cut it in half.

Basically a dual-lumen stethoscope means that there is a channel in the middle of the stethoscope, and it divides the tube in two lumens. So one channel goes directly to your right ear, and the other channel goes directly to your left ear. What it does is it allows for less interference with rubbing noises.

Looking at Littmann Cardiology IV, it has an A-Frame compared to the regular stethoscope which has a Y-Frame. The cardiology IV is also thicker and shorter in the tubing to minimize sound interference from travelling from the chest piece to the binaural.


            Littmann Cardiology IV
As the name suggests, Cardiology stethoscopes are designed to be used in the field of Cardiovascular Medicine. However, it can also be used for all other purposes just like a regular stethoscope.



Now let’s review Littman Classic III Stethoscope.

Littmann Classic III has a single-lumen tubing which means it doesn’t have a divider in the middle which the dual-lumen tubing has. It can also do all of the things that you would use a stethoscope for like listening to heart sounds, bowel sounds, lung sounds and do manual blood pressure with it as well.


Littmann Classic III

So here’s the question

Which one should you really buy?

It will depend now on your personal preference and how much money you want to spend. Both Classic III and Cardiology IV are good and essentially Classic III can do what the Cardiology IV can do and vice versa.


In terms of Price, at the time of writing, the Cardiology IV costs $200 and the Classic III costs $100. So think about that when you’re thinking to buy a stethoscope. If you are a First Year Nursing student and you had just started learning how to use stethoscope, do you really need to buy a $200 stethoscope? Probably not!


In terms of weight and length, it will also matter on your personal preference. I wear my stethoscope around my neck all day so I like it lightweight and I also like a longer tubing as it will be easier for me to assess my patients.


Consider all the features of the stethoscope, the price and what stage in nursing career you are at and then that makes the decision between the Littmann Cardiology IV and Littmann Classic III a little bit easier for you.


But before you make a decision just yet, it would be fantastic if you take a look at some of the Bjorn Stethoscope testimonials. This is the stethoscope I am using right now for work and it has everything I have laid out here, and more.


There you have it! I hope you have now a clearer idea between the Littmann Classic III and Littmann Cardiology IV and if you are still confused about what to buy, I have a lot of other reviews about different stethoscopes that might help you.






As always, listen with your heart


Nurse Jenny                                                                                                                                                                               

Jenny, RN is a Registered Nurse working in Sydney Australia. She received her degree in 2013 in Sydney as an international student from Sweden and graduated with a Distinction. She has a passion for Nursing and helping other Nurses and student Nurses in the field, looking at life from the positive side and always giving back where possible. She is the Founder of Bjorn Hall Stethoscopes, a company she created when she saw a need for more personality in the workplace.


  • My teacher gave me a copy of medical terminology when I was in school

    Grace Kornbau
  • Hi Nurse Jenny
    If I would like some help with me being a medical student and me be allowed help other than the teachers help where would I go for help?
    To learn medical terminology, medical words and all about the body what and how is the best way to learn quick?? Where can I learn all this stuff?? Can you email me back as soon as you can please Nurse Jenny..


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