Littmann Classic III Stethoscope vs Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope


Hello everyone!

Littmann classic III vs Littmann Cardiology IV


Here is the age-old question

"Which stethoscope should I buy?

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. 

When René Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816 by carving it on wood, he probably never thought the stethoscope would evolve into such sophisticated assessment tools. And to help you narrow it down, I’ve laid it all for you in a table below and I hope by the end of this blog, you are ready to make a decision.

Before we dive in, here are some things you might want to ask yourself:

  1. How much money are you willing to spend?

  2. At what stage are you in your Nursing journey?

  3. What kind of Nursing do you do?

  4. Do you wear it around your neck all day?




Littmann Classic III Stethoscope vs. Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope Ultimate Comparison

Littmann Classic III

Littmann Cardiology IV

Littmann Classic III Littmann Cardiology IV


100 USD

180 USD


158 g or 5.5 oz

171 g 6 oz


4/5 Stars

5/5 Stars


71 cm 27 in

69 cm 27 in

Tubing Feel



Spare Kit

Small Soft Ear tips, Non-Chill Rim, Manual

Small Soft Ear tips, Hard Ear tips, Non-Chill Rim, Manual


5 years

6 years

Total Score




Let’s break it down!


What is the price of the Littmann Classic III compared to Littmann Cardiology IV?

I paid 100 USD for Littmann Classic III and 180 USD for Littmann Cardiology IV. What does the additional 80 USD for the Cardiology IV get you? Well, it will get you a double-lumen tubing and a different set of Spare kit. You will also get an additional year of warranty.


Will the difference in weight between the Littmann Classic III and Littmann Cardiology IV affect me?

 The Littmann Classic III weighs 158 grams while the Littmann Cardiology IV weighs 171 grams. 158 grams, for the Littmann Classic III, is as heavy as one billiard ball. Yes. And though 13 grams doesn’t seem a lot, actually, 13 grams is as heavy as a AAA Battery.

So just imagine all that additional weight you have to put on your neck. If you are fond of wearing your stethoscope around your neck all day, you are definitely going to feel it at the end of your shift.


Does Littmann Cardiology IV really sound better than Littmann Classic III?

The short answer is yes. Littmann Cardiology IV does sound better.

In my Littmann Cardiology IV review, I have literally cut the tube in half (ouch, yes). And the reason why it sounds better than the Classic III is that it has a double-lumen tube which means one tube goes directly to the left ear and the other tube goes directly to the right. It removes the excess noise and rubbing sounds. There are other differences too, so you might want to check out my individual review for the Littmann Cardiology IV to know more about it


Does it make a difference that Littmann Cardiology IV is longer than Littmann Classic III?

I don’t think the 2 cm difference would matter at all. If you put them side by side, as I did in the video, the difference was not really obvious. I would still want the Littmann stethoscopes to be actually a bit longer to avoid too much bending.

If you’re like me and wish that the available stethoscopes in the market should have longer tubes to prevent additional back strain, then you might want to also check out Bjorn Stethoscopes. These are the ones I use at work and they are the perfect length for me.


Before I continue, you might wonder


Well, I have bought and reviewed a lot of stethoscopes but they are not at home collecting dust. I do run monthly giveaways, so if you're interested and would like to join, check out my website for the giveaway of the month.


Let's continue!


Is there a difference in the tubing texture of the Littmann Cardiology IV?

The tubing feel of both stethoscopes feels the same, really. 

They are a bit sticky to the neck and they snag and pull the little hairs at the back of your neck. They are a bit uncomfortable, to be honest. 


What is the difference in the spare kit of the Littmann Cardiology IV?

The Littmann Classic III has a spare kit that includes: a small soft ear tip, a non-chill rim and the manual booklet. Though I love the soft ear tips that come with the Littmann stethoscopes, it still would have been great if the ear tips come in three sizes. 

With the Littmann Cardiology IV, the spare kit is essentially the same, the only difference is that it has an additional hard ear tip included inside. If you prefer hard ear tips over the soft one then the Cardiology IV is for you.


Do I need the additional 1-year warranty?

An extra warranty is still an extra warranty. You’ll never know what could happen with your beloved stethoscope in an entire year of your fast-faced world. The additional year covers the material defects that occur during the warranty period, except in the cases of obvious abuse or accidental damage.


Total Review Score between Littmann Classic III Stethoscope and Cardiology IV Stethoscope:

Littmann Classic III: 39/50 Stars
Littmann Cardiology IV: 40/50 Stars


If you’re wondering how I came up with those star ratings, here are the individual in-depth reviews for Littmann Classic III and Littmann Cardiology IV.

Do I really need the Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope?

At this point you are starting to love both stethoscopes. I can’t blame you, they are both great. But to really get to that decision, you have to identify what stage you are in your nursing journey. 

If you’re a student who just wants to have a reliable stethoscope, then the short answer is no. You don’t really need to shell out 180 USD for the Littmann Cardiology IV at the moment. The Littmann Classic III will suit you fine as it is still a fantastic stethoscope on its own. 

If on the other hand, you are a seasoned Nurse, working in a specialized area or you are a Cardiology Nurse already, then a Littmann Cardiology IV would be a good investment for your career as it is intentionally made to have the best acoustics when it comes to Littmann stethoscopes as it has a double-lumen tube which means there are less scratching and rubbing noises that might interfere with your patients’ critical assessments.

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. 

Well, there you have it!
You can now have a well-informed decision on your stethoscope journey. I hope I have given you useful insights into these wonderful stethoscopes and if you have any more questions about them or if you want me to review a particular stethoscope, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Write your comments below on which stethoscope you finally chose and why.
I would love to hear from you!

I would like to leave you all with this wonderful quote:

"To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through: that is to be a Nurse"

- Rawsi Williams


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.


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