Littman Classic III Vs Cardiology IV Stethoscope


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Dr. Shafiq Jalali

The Littmann Classic III and Cardiology IV are two of the most popular stethoscopes in the world and have been for years. But what is the difference between them, and which one should you choose to buy?

In this blog post, we’ll compare the Littmann Classic III and Cardiology IV stethoscopes so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

Littman Classic III Vs Littman Cardiology IV Stethoscope

As medical students, we have all faced the question of what stethoscope to buy. There is a lot of information out there comparing different Littmann stethoscopes, but, as far as I know, no one ever made any comparison between Littmann Classic III and Cardiology IV.

I am doing an objective comparison of these two stethoscopes in the following 7 categories: Sound quality, features, durability, comfort, and price (since the price is probably the most important factor for many of you).

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FeaturesLittmann Classic IIILittmann Cardiology IV
littmann classic III stethoscopelittmann cardiology iv stethoscope
Sound QualityGood sound qualityExcellent acoustic quality, Better for deep body sounds
ComfortComfortable than Cardiology IVSlightly Uncomfortable compared to Classic III
Durability5 Stars5 Stars
WeightLighter (5.3 oz)Heavier (6 oz)
Warranty5 years7 years total (5 + 2 additional)
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Sound Quality

The sound quality of both stethoscopes is excellent, but there are some subtle differences between them.

The Cardiology IV stethoscope is slightly better at picking up sounds from deeper in the body, which means it’s great for listening to hearts and lungs.

The Littmann Classic III stethoscope does well with these sounds too, but it does not perform as well as the Cardiology IV in this department.

Useful For

The Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope is a great choice for use in places with a high degree of criticalities such as the ICU and the cardiac ICU.

It is also useful in other dynamic locations such as the ED, step-down unit, and urgent care.

The Littmann Classic III stethoscope, on the other hand, is a good choice for use in non-critical care environments like a medical office, general ward, OB/GYN, ambulatory clinic, or urgent care.

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The comfort of both these models is generally good, but the Cardiology iv stethoscope is a bit sticky to the neck and it snags and pulls the little hairs at the back of your neck.

Both the stethoscopes have 27 inches long tubing.

To be honest the cardiology iv stethoscope is a bit uncomfortable as compared to Littmann Classic iii. However, this should not be a big problem.


The Littmann Classic III and Cardiology IV both have stainless steel chest pieces that are rust-resistant and easy to clean. They also have latex-free tubing that is nonallergenic and more durable than traditional rubber tubing.


The Littmann classic iii weighs 5.3 ounces, while the Cardiology iv is slightly heavier at 6 ounces.

So the Littmann Cardiology iv stethoscope is slightly heavier than Littmann Classic iii because it has a 40% larger chest piece and 60% deeper bell than the 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope.

If you plan on wearing your stethoscope all day long or need to lug it around with you, this difference could make all the difference!


The Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope has a price tag of $184 on, which is almost double the price of the Classic III model. You’ll pay $80 more for this device if you want to order it online.


In terms of warranty, both are very similar but the Cardiology iv comes with an additional two-year warranty (7 years) against defects in workmanship and materials.

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The Pros and Cons of Littman Classic III and Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscopes

The Littmann Classic III and the Cardiology IV stethoscopes are both excellent choices if you’re in the market for a new stethoscope. They both have their pros and cons, so we’ve made this guide to help you determine which one is right for you.

Littmann Classic III Pros

  • Great for general listening needs.
  • Affordable price point (about $100).
  • Easy to use and comfortable to wear.

Littmann Classic III Cons

  • Not as good at picking up very low-frequency sounds.

Littmann Cardiology IV Pros

  • Excellent at picking up low-frequency sounds, like heart murmurs or bowel sounds (tends to be more accurate than the Classic III)

Littmann Cardiology IV Cons

  • More expensive than the Classic III (about $200)

Which One Should you get? Littman Cardiology IV or Classic III

If you are looking for an affordable, yet high-quality stethoscope, then Littmann Classic III is the best choice for you.

This stethoscope is also very lightweight and comfortable to wear even for long periods of time.

The Cardiology IV Stethoscope has a tunable diaphragm technology that allows more flexibility in listening to sounds.

This model also has soft ear tips which make the experience more comfortable when wearing it on your ears. It also comes with a large bell ringer which produces loud sounds and makes it easier to listen in noisy environments such as emergency rooms or operating rooms.

So, If you have some extra cash lying around and want something special, then go with the Littmann Cardiology IV stethoscope.

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