Is there any doctor who cannot recognize the Littmann brand?

On the one hand, you may already know that they get their name because of the innovations that Dr. Littmann made. In the early 1960s, Dr. Littmann, a doctor at Harvard Medical School, further developed the design of the stethoscopes: they went from being a rudimentary accessory to being an advanced diagnostic tool.

However, what has allowed Littmann stethoscopes to reach their current state of evolution has not been their history. It has been their reputation and reliability.

Although in recent years there have been brands that have managed to gain a foothold in the market, the Littmann stethoscopes still have a predominant position and remain the favorite choice of most doctors and specialists.

Why do Littmann stethoscopes dominate the market?

We know that they are the favorite choice of most doctors, but… What are the keys to the undeniable success of the Littmann stethoscopes?

  • On the one hand, we should consider the unequalled standards of quality with which the stethoscopes are manufactured. While the competitors manufacture their products in Asian countries, all Littmann stethoscopes are manufactured in the United States.
  • Some of the best models (including the Cardiology IV models) offer warranties of up to 7 years. They are tools that have been designed to last. In fact, it is not unusual for a Littmann stethoscope to last 15 to 20 years.
  • On the other hand, they are innovative. Littmann created the dual frequency diaphragm technology, which allows one to alternate between auscultations of high and low frequencies by varying the amount of pressure applied to the patient. In addition, Littmann stethoscopes are leading the market in modern electronic stethoscopes. They have practically no competition.

Having said that, we should stress the importance of the Littmann dual frequency diaphragms. Maybe you have never had a Littmann stethoscope before or you have used other brands and you do not know about this distinctive and characteristic feature.

(If you already know about this feature of the Littmann stethoscopes, you can go directly to the table that compares the models below.)

The dual frequency membranes of Littmann stethoscopes

In other brands or in stethoscopes made before the Littmann stethoscopes, we find chestpieces with two membranes: a membrane with a smaller diameter, called the bell, and another membrane with a larger diameter, called the diaphragm. In this type of stethoscope, each of these membranes (bell and diaphragm) has a different function: the bell allows one to auscultate lower frequencies and the diaphragm allows one to auscultate higher frequencies.

However, Littmann stethoscopes have, for years, included a dual frequency membrane on each side of the chestpiece. This means that we can auscultate high and low frequencies with both sides of the chestpiece.

And how does it work?

It is very simple:

  • While applying low pressure on the patient (bell mode), one can auscultate low-frequency sounds.
  • While applying a firmer pressure on the patient (diaphragm mode), one can auscultate high-frequency sounds.

With such an innovation, the side with the smaller diameter on the Littmann stethoscopes can be used for pediatric, carotid, or pulse auscultations, among other applications.

Note that all the Littmann stethoscopes include dual frequency membranes except for the Infant and Pediatric models.

Littmann series and models

Now that we have outlined this important distinction between the membranes of Littmann stethoscopes and the membranes of most of the competition, we will go into detail concerning the Littmann series and models. They are ordered from highest to lowest acoustic performance.

IMPORTANT: Remember that, if you still do not know which Littmann to choose (or you want to know which model is best suited to your speciality) it is recommended that you have a look at the article “The Definitive Stethoscopes buying Guide” In this article:

  • We will explain to you how a stethoscope works and the main differences there are between the different models and brands.  
  • We will help you to find the best stethoscope for your speciality

If you already have a clear idea or a particular Littmann in your mind – Great! This is the article you have been looking for! 🙂

Littmann Electronic stethoscopes series

Littmann Electronic 3200

Littmann 3200 stethoscope


USER RATING:

5 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

Unrivalled acoustic performance (with 24x magnification and 85% reduction of ambient and friction noise). Record your findings and send them instantaneously or share them thanks to Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

IN A FEW WORDS

The “crème de la crème” of stethoscopes. Luxurious, at the vanguard of technology and with unrivalled performance. For those who will only want the best.

LIST PRICE

The Littmann Electronic 3200 has a list price of $430-450. You can find it on Amazon via the following link:

Current Amazon price: $422.41

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Electronic 3100

Littmann 3100 stethoscope


USER RATING:

4.4 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann 3100 has the same acoustic performance as the superior model –the 3200. It also has 24x magnification and 85% reduction of ambient noise. However, this model does not permit the recording of auscultations nor does it have wireless connectivity.

IN A FEW WORDS

If you are looking for exceptional acoustic performance but you don’t need to record or share your findings, this is the Littmann for you. Cutting-edge technology and exceptional performance.

LIST PRICE

The recommended retail price is $407. On Amazon.com it can usually be found for a price below this:

Current Amazon price: Currently not available

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Cardiology Stethoscopes

Littmann Master Cardiology™

Stethoscope Littmann cardiology master


USER RATING:

4.7 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Master Cardiology™ has tunable dual frequency diaphragms, with two parallel sound conduits (to reduce ambient noise and friction), olives with Snap-Tight Soft Sealing technology… Definetely, this model relies on a combination of features which make it into an extremely powerful tool, almost without equal.

IN A FEW WORDS

The Master Cardiology™ is simply the best of the Littmann acoustic stethoscopes. If you want an acoustic stethoscope with unrivalled performance –this would be the best choice for you!

LIST PRICE

The normal price of the Littmann Master Cardiology™ is around $220 although it is often sold at a reduced price. Its price on Amazon is the following:

Current Amazon price: $199.19

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Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Cardiology S.T.C.™

Stethoscope Littmann Cardiology STC


USER RATING:

4.6 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Cardiology S.T.C.™ is a simpler version of the Master Cardiology™. Despite being identical models in terms of features, the Cardiology S.T.C.™ has parts of its chestpiece made out of Soft Touch plastic. This feature makes it a little easier to handle as it has a more secure grip; but, this does also reduce the acoustic performance a little.

IN A FEW WORDS

If you are not worried about losing a little of the acoustic performance in order to attain a better and more comfortable grip, this is your stethoscope. Nevertheless, do not forget that it is still one of the best performing Littmanns.

LIST PRICE

The Littmann Cardiology S.T.C.™ is usually priced at around $200. However, as with the other models, you can often find this more cheaply on Amazon:

Current Amazon price: from $289.44

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Cardiology IV™

Stethoscope Littmann Cardiology IV


USER RATING:

4.8 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Cardiology IV™ is the most advanced and perfected version of the world’s most reliable classic stethoscope. It follows the traditional Littmann lines with a double-sided chestpiece for pediatric and adult use (unlike the more upmarket versions of the Cardiology series). Besides this, it relies on improved acoustics which better allows it to capture high frequency sounds, both diaphragms are tunable and it has dual-lumen tubing which reduce ambient and friction noise.

IN A FEW WORDS

The most perfected and high performance model of the classic Littmann range. This is ideal if you require excellent acoustic performance but don’t want to dispense with the pediatric chestpiece.

LIST PRICE

The usual price is around $190-200. However, occasionally you can find it much more cheaply on the following Amazon link:

Current Amazon price: from $156.88

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Cardiology III™

Stethoscope Littmann Cardiology III


USER RATING:

4.7 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Cardiology III™ is a model in the medium-higher range somewhat similar to its “big brother”, the Cardiology IV™. It is not as perfected nor does it offer the same acoustic performance, but, it is still an excellent diagnostic tool. It is one of Littmann’s best-sellers and there are more than a few reasons for this. It has a dual-sided chestpiece suitable for adult and pediatric use, tunable dual-frequency diaphragms and dual-lumen tubing to reduce unwanted noise. (Read Littmann’s Cardiology III full review).

IN A FEW WORDS

The Littmann Cardiology III™ is one of the most sold models and is amongst the most popular in the range –understandably so: it combines versatility, high acoustic performance and a competitive price.

LIST PRICE

Its MSRP is around $180. On occasions, it can be found at a 20% discount.

Current Amazon price: $153.99

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Classic Stethoscope

Littmann Master Classic II™

Stethoscope Littmann Master Classic II


USER RATING:

4.6 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Master Classic II™ is a simpler (and cheaper) version of the Master Cardiology. It has the same design as per the said superior model: An ergonomic design which at the same time permits excellent acoustic performance. It is worth noting that it has a single-sided chestpiece, which is designed for adult use. Like other models, it features a dual-frequency tunable diaphragm.

IN A FEW WORDS

Powerful, inexpensive and beautifully made. This is the perfect alternative if you do not require high performance acoustics and can dispense with the pediatric chestpiece.

LIST PRICE

The usual price is around $120. Its current price on Amazon is:

Current Amazon price: from $85.00

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Classic III™

Stethoscope Littmann Classic III


USER RATING:

4.7 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Classic III™ is the iconic model of the Littmann mid-range. A versatile model (suitable for both pediatric and adult use) reliable and with good acoustic performance. As is usual with Littmann, the two diaphagms of its dual-sided chestpiece are tunable. In addition to this, the pediatric side of the chestpiece can be converted to a classic open bell, replacing the diaphragm with a non-chill rim (included). (Read Littmann’s Classic III full review)

IN A FEW WORDS

It is the perfect stethoscope for lovers of the classical who do not require superior performance. However, it does still have the acoustics and reliability which have made the Littmann brand so well known.

LIST PRICE

The Littmann Classic III™ can be found for around US$100-110. In some places, such as on this Amazon link, you will almost always find it at a better price:

Current Amazon price: $81.96

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Classic II™ S.E.

Stethoscope Littmann Classic II S.E.


USER RATING:

4.6 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

Amongst the classic Littmann models, the Classic II™ S.E. is the simplest and least expensive. It is also, according to our own estimations, the most sold Littmann stethoscope. It is, in fact, a stethoscope which many practitioners select as a starter model, well-known among students and novice professionals. Its chestpiece has a traditional open bell and a tunable double-frequency diaphragm (on the larger side). (Read Littmann’s Classic II S.E. full review)

IN A FEW WORDS

Ideal as your first Littmann or if your budget is limited. Reliable and durable, although its acoustic performance could be better.

LIST PRICE

The Littmann Classic II™ S.E has a price of around $80. On occasion, it can be found at a cheaper price:

Current Amazon price: $68.96

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Classic II™ Pediatric & Infant

Stethoscope Littmann Classic II pediatric & infant


USER RATING:

4.8 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Classic II™ Pediatric as well as the Classic II™ Infant are versions with smaller chestpieces of the Classic II™ stethoscope. Therefore, they have the same features with the exception of the diameter of its chestpieces: 1 inch / 1.31 inches (the Pediatric) and 0.75 inch /1.06 inches (the Infant version). Due to this, the Pediatric model is envisioned for children up to 12 years whilst the Infant model is designed for neonates.

IN A FEW WORDS

They are stethoscopes which are used exclusively in pediatrics. Even without exceptional performance, they are extremely useful tools for pediatricians, allowing them to pick up more isolated sounds.

LIST PRICE

Both stethoscopes have a price around $75-90. You can find them on Amazon. Here you can find the Pediatric one, and here the Infant model.

Current Amazon price: from $69.99

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-01-06 at 01:54 UTC

Littmann Lightweight Stethoscopes

Littmann Select™

Stethoscope Littmann Select


USER RATING:

4.4 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

One of Littmann’s simplest models which is especially useful for training and learning. It has a single sided chestpiece with a tunable dual-frequency diaphragm, as it is usual in Littmann. Having a plastic chestpiece, its durability is limited though.

IN A FEW WORDS

The acoustic performance and reliability of a Littmann at an unbeatable price. It will enable you to lay the foundation stones of your training.

LIST PRICE

Its recommended retail price is approximately $65. On Amazon it can nearly always be found for less:

Current Amazon price: $45.88

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-02-26 at 14:53 UTC

Littmann Lightweight II™ S.E.

Stethoscope Littmann Lighweight II SE


USER RATING:

4.4 out of 5

>Read Amazon reviews


FEATURES

The Littmann Lightweight II S.E. is another of the best-selling models from the brand, being extremely popular amongst students and junior medical professionals. On one side of its chestpiece we can find a tunable dual-frequency diaphragm whilst on the other side we can find a traditional open bell (for low frequency sounds). As per the Select model, its durability is limited.

IN A FEW WORDS

Light and versatile, offering a suitable performance at an economical price. It is not an accident that this is the model most favoured by students.

LIST PRICE

Its usually priced around $50-55. On Amazon (sometimes) can be found for ~15% less.

Current Amazon price: $47.96

Go to this Amazon Offer!

Last data update on 2017-02-26 at 14:53 UTC

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