REVIEW: Littmann Classic III —Reliability at an unbeatable price!

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Tube, 27 inch, 5620

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Most doctors will be familiar with the Littmann Classic III. If Littmann is the icon of contemporary stethoscopes, the Classic III is the flagship of its middle series.

What’s behind its popularity? Is it by chance that it has accumulated thousands and thousands of positive reviews?

Littmann Classic III is the stethoscopes’ Ford T. Affordable, long lasting, versatile, reliable and suitable for most medicine professionals. It doesn’t incorporate any sophisticated features. It doesn’t reach great speeds. It simply works, and it works very well.

Therefore, this is an appropriate stethoscope for most general medicine practitioners, nurses and clinical professionals. For other specialties, it’s better idea to go for models within the superior Cardiology series (such as Littmann Cardiology III, the most affordable in the superior series)

With the Littmann Classic III, you will, in short, be able to listen to any sound you wish: grade I murmurs, S3 and S4 noises, among others. This stethoscope comes with excellent acoustics thanks to the development and the experience Littmann has built up over the several decades they have been manufacturing stethoscopes.

However, is their acoustic as great as in the Cardiology series models? No, any cardiologist or specialist with a trained ear will be able to perceive the difference. Its acoustic, although fair, is not as excellent as in other superior models. It doesn’t have the same clarity, or amplification, or ability to detect details and nuances.

It is a good stethoscope, with above average acoustic performance, but its results are not outstanding.

Versatility of tunable diaphragms and chestpiece with pediatric and adult sides

Very likely, you already know their tunable diaphragms is one of the main innovations in Littmann stethoscopes. It can detect both low and high frequencies by modifying the levels of the pressure that is exerted on the client.

Thanks to this innovation, it’s not necessary to have a stethoscope with one traditional diaphragm on one side (to detect high frequencies) and a bell on the other (to detect low frequencies). Both sides in the Littmann Classic III series can detect both high and low frequencies by changing the pressure that is exerted.

Thus, the largest diameter side of the chestpiece doesn’t function as a traditional diaphragm, but it is at once diaphragm and bell for use with adult patients. As expected, the chestpiece’s smaller side is reserved for pediatric clients.

This feature adds versatility to the Littmann Classic III, since it will be as useful with adult as with pediatric clients. Moreover, the smaller diameter side can turn into a traditional open bell, by simply replacing the diaphragm by a non-chill rim (included).

Littmann Classic III’s Materials and Manufacturing

Same as other Littmann in its series, Classic III is made of an aeroespacial steel alloy, and also includes some parts in anodized aluminum. As we have pointed out at other times, top-notch quality steel alloys are one of the best materials for the chestpieces due to their great degree of sound conductivity.

Classic III’s tube is made with a material that is fold and pressure resistant, and can return to its original shape even after being folded. Besides, it includes no latex or phthalate plasticizers in its composition and can resist both skin oils and alcohol.

Littmann Classic III comes with a 5-year guarantee which, in the end, helps us realize that this is a stethoscope made to last and resist continuous hustle and bustle.

3M Littmann Learning Institute app

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Littmann Classic III includes the “3M Littmann Learning Institute app”. This smartphone application allows access to a series of lessons with real auscultation sounds, performing a follow-up on your progress and even testing your knowledge. In short, a very useful tool for medical field students and beginner clinical professionals.

List Price

We arrive to one of the top points for the Littmann Classic III: its price. While you can find it over the $110 mark in many stores, oftentimes Amazon runs promotions on it. Let’s see its current price:

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Tube, 27 inch, 5620
  • Monitor and assess a wide range of patients
  • Detect normal and abnormal sounds and rhythms
  • Useful in non critical care environments such as a medical office, general ward, OB/GYN, ambulatory clinic or urgent care
  • Designed for use with adult and pediatric patients. Tunable, dual-sided stainless steel chestpiece with open or closed bell

This price is for the more classic model (black tubing and steel machine-finished chestpiece). Depending on the color of the tube and the finish on the chestpiece, the price can rise slightly.

If you don’t think this is your stethoscope, we invite you to visit our comparative feature for all Littmann models, where you will be able to see the main differences between all the models and find the Littmann that is perfect for you!

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