5 Best Littmann Stethoscopes In 2024

Are you looking for the best Littmann stethoscope?

Key equipment for nurses includes a good quality stethoscope, and the Littmann brand is one of the best. That’s why we’ve carefully researched and reviewed the best Littmann stethoscopes to help you make the right decision for your needs.

best littman stethoscope
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Not all stethoscopes are created equal, and it can be tough to decide which one is best for you. So, we’ve put together this list of the top 5 Littmann stethoscopes on the market today!

With so many options available, we know you’ll find the perfect one for you.

What is the best Littmann stethoscope?

Here are our top picks for the best Littman stethoscope brands:

When choosing these stethoscopes, we based our decision on the following criteria:

  • Performance: The parts of a stethoscope contribute to its performance. And the instruments on this list have been designed with the highest quality parts. Offering reliable results to deliver a dependable performance every time.
  • Durability: No matter which stethoscope you choose, it must be able to withstand repeated use and still perform reliably.
  • Budget: With our product selection, we made sure to provide stethoscopes that will suit a variety of budgets.
  • Customer reviews: Played a significant role in our research. We read feedback, both positive and negative, from ordinary people who regularly use these stethoscopes.

Pricing guide:

The following is the price range for each product:

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50 – $100
  • $$$ = over $100

1. 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope

Voted: Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nurses

top Pick
best littmann stethoscope

3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope

The Littmann Classic III is first on the list of best stethoscopes due to its all-around quality and performance. Designed with strong yet lightweight materials for hours of comfortable use. It features tunable diaphragms allowing clinicians to hear different frequency sounds by simply adjusting the pressure on the chest piece. For both students and medical professionals alike, the Classic III is a must-have tool used to detect, listen to, and analyze heart sounds and other bodily sounds in order to assess physical health status, track patient progress over time, and make an accurate diagnosis.

Product Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Sound Isolation
  • Best quality for the price
  • Not too heavy not too light
  • Beautiful Colors

Product Cons

  • Lower Quality Tubing


  • Perfect for use in locations such as medical offices, general wards, OB/GYN departments, ambulatory clinics or urgent care centers that don’t require critical care
  • Next-generation tubing which is designed to be highly resistant to skin oils, alcohols, and stains
  • Designed for use with adult and pediatric patients
  • The tunable, dual-sided stainless steel chest piece features an open or closed bell design
  • Superior comfort and sound isolation with soft-sealing ear tips
  • Made without natural rubber latex


Length:27 in
Type:Dual Head Acoustic

2. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

Voted: Best Littmann Stethoscope for Medical Students

2nd Pick
Best Littmann Stethoscope for Medical Students

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

This Littmann Cardiology stethoscope is a top choice for healthcare professionals who need superior performance. It has an ergonomic design and high-profile construction which makes it comfortable to use. It also has a 40% larger chest piece and 60% deeper bell than the 3M Littmann Classic III for high quality sound, so that you can hear subtle changes in patient conditions.

Product Pros

  • Superior Acoustic Quality
  • Sturdy Construction and Sleek Finish
  • Excellent Background Noise Cancellation
  • Not too heavy not too light
  • Perfect upgrade from the cardiology III

Product Cons

  • Tubing Can Get Stained


  • Perfect for use in critical care settings, such as the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Cardiac ICU, step-down unit, and other challenging environments
  • Developed with better sound quality to help you listen for hard-to-hear sounds, including aortic stenosis, S3 gallop heart murmurs, and faint pulmonary anomalies.
  • Dual-lumen tubing combines two sound paths in one tube, eliminating the rubbing noise of traditional double tubes.
  • Designed for use with adult and pediatric patients
  • The tunable, dual-sided stainless steel chest piece features a traditional open bell or closed bell design
  • Superior comfort and sound isolation with soft-sealing ear tips
  • Made without natural rubber latex


Length:27 in
Type:Dual Head Acoustic

3. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

Voted: Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nursing Students

3rd Pick
Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nursing Students

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

If you’re looking for a great first stethoscope that can still provide good acoustic performance, then the 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. is the best stethoscope for your needs. This lightweight stethoscope is only 118 grams making it more comfortable for caregivers who wear their stethoscopes all day long. Its teardrop shape also makes it easier to auscultate around blood pressure cuffs.

Product Pros

  • Super Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Ease Of Use
  • Good Sound Quality
  • Durable

Product Cons

  • Entry Level Stethoscope
  • Colors appear different in person


  • Ideally suited for medical professionals such as LPNs, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, and nursing students
  • Teardrop-shaped chest piece for easier positioning under blood pressure cuffs and around bandages
  • Tunable Diaphragm: Easily adapt to hearing high or low-frequency sounds simply by changing the pressure you apply on the chest piece – firm pressure for high-frequency sounds, light pressure for low-frequency sounds
  • Resilient, flexible tubing retains its shape even after folding tightly into a pocket
  • Superior comfort and sound isolation with soft-sealing ear tips
  • Made without natural rubber latex


Length:28 in
Type:Dual Head Acoustic

4. 3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope

Voted: Best Stethoscope for Cardiac Nurses

4th Pick
Best Stethoscope for Cardiac Nurses

3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope

The 3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope is the top of the line stethoscope in terms of acoustic quality and overall performance. This high-quality stethoscope offers superior sound clarity with high acoustic sensitivity, making it perfect for clinicians who need to hear subtle changes in patient conditions. Built with quality materials, including high quality stainless steel, this stethoscope is designed to provide the best sound quality with maximum comfort and durability.

Product Pros

  • Awesome Sound Quality
  • Eliminates Background Noise
  • Will Last For Years
  • Easy Of Use
  • Beautiful Stainless Steel Stethoscope

Product Cons

  • Heavy Chest Piece
  • Colors appear different in person


  • This stethoscope offers unparalleled acoustics, with the highest of all Littmann mechanical stethoscopes
  • With its tunable diaphragm, you can differentiate between high and low-frequency sounds with just a slight adjustment of pressure on the chest piece
  • Dual-lumen tubing offers the advantage of having two sound paths contained within a single tube, eliminating the annoying rubbing noise often associated with double tubes
  • Headset is quickly adjustable for a customized fit, with ear tubes that are angled to ensure ideal placement in your ear canals
  • Next-generation tubing is incredibly resilient and maintains its shape, even after being folded tightly into a pocket.
  • Improved resistance to skin oils and alcohol ensures that it will last longer than traditional stethoscopes, while also remaining stain free


Length:27 in
Type:Single Head Acoustic

5. 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

Voted: Best Stethoscope for Doctors and APRNs

5th Pick
Best Stethoscope for Doctors and APRNs

3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope

Electronic stethoscopes also called digital stethoscopes, are a great addition to any medical practice. This Littmann electronic stethoscope offers superior acoustics, comfort, and superior sound quality. Plus the added benefit of up to 40x amplification (at peak frequency, vs. analog mode), active background noise cancellation, and sound wave visualization using a companion app on a mobile device. With these innovative features, physical assessments are more precise and you can feel confident in your decisions.

Product Pros

  • Great Noise Cancellation
  • Excellent sound quality with amplification
  • Perfect for hearing-impaired providers
  • Use as an amplified or regular stethoscope
  • Setting for heart & lung sounds in the Eko app

Product Cons

  • Price
  • Stiff Tubing


  • With Eko software, you can visualize and share cardiac waveforms across iOS, Android and Windows devices
  • Up to 40x amplification (at peak frequency, vs. analog mode)
  • Active noise cancellation eliminates distractions from unwanted background noises
  • Toggle between analog and amplified listening modes
  • Soft-sealing ear tips deliver a remarkable acoustic seal and comfortable fit
  • Tunable, dual-sided stainless steel chest piece with open or closed bell
  • Designed for use with adult and pediatric patients
  • FDA-cleared and HIPAA compliant


Length:27 in
Type:Digital Electronic Filtering – Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR)

Types of Stethoscopes

Stethoscopes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and features. They can generally be classified as either an acoustic stethoscope or electronic stethoscopes. Acoustic stethoscopes use a set of tubes to amplify sound, while electronic stethoscopes are equipped with built-in microphones that use sound waves to create a digital representation of the audio.

Acoustic stethoscopes are generally more affordable and are suitable for basic physical assessments. Many high quality stethoscopes are designed to filter out extraneous noise, making it easier to focus on the sound of the patient’s heart and lungs.

Another way to think about types of stethoscopes is by size, specialty, and advanced stethoscopes. Size refers to the physical size and scope of the stethoscope, ranging from small pediatric stethoscopes to larger adult models.

Specialty stethoscopes are designed for a specific purpose, such as cardiology or veterinary use. Advanced stethoscopes include electronic models with high-tech features such as digital sound visualization and active noise cancellation.

Traditional vs. electronic stethoscopes

Traditional acoustic stethoscopes are the most common type of stethoscope and are able to detect a wide range of sounds, from low to high-frequency sounds. They work by converting sound waves into vibrations that can be transmitted through a tube for better listening. Acoustic stethoscopes benefit from being lightweight and easy to use, making them suitable for medical professionals who need to move quickly between patients.

On the downside, depending on the quality acoustic stethoscopes can lack of clarity. This means that any background noise will drown out the sound of the patient’s heart and lungs. Acoustic stethoscopes are also dependent on the operator for proper positioning, which can present difficulty in some situations.

On the other hand, electronic stethoscopes employ digital technology to amplify both low and high-frequency sounds and eliminate background noise. Instead of using a tube for acoustics, electronic stethoscopes have a microphone and amplifier that can detect heart and lung sounds more clearly. This makes them ideal for hearing-impaired doctors or those who need to listen to faint heart and lung sounds.

However, electronic stethoscopes are more expensive than acoustic types and battery life is a consideration. They are also bulkier and heavier, making them harder to carry around.

Either way, it’s important to choose a quality stethoscope that meets your specific needs to ensure a better physical assessment.

How to choose a stethoscope?

Selecting the right stethoscope for your needs is essential. Whether you’re a nurse, doctor, or veterinarian, high-quality stethoscopes are an important tool every healthcare professional needs for accurately measuring blood pressure, detecting heart murmurs, as well as other general physical assessments.

To help you choose the right stethoscope, here are some things to consider:


When selecting a stethoscope, your budget should figure into the equation. Different models come with different price tags; while some are expensive, others offer excellent value for money. Generally speaking, acoustic stethoscopes tend to be less pricey than electronic alternatives.

Sound Quality:

The clarity and accuracy of sound waves produced by a stethoscope are paramount for making accurate assessments about your patients’ conditions. Therefore, it is essential to invest in a device that offers clear, crisp sound waves while blocking out external noise.

Ease of use:

When selecting a stethoscope, convenience should be a top priority. Find one that not only provides accuracy but is straightforward to use. You’ll also want soft and flexible stethoscope tubing. Complex models can be hard to work with, so make sure the device you pick makes your job easier!


Your ear canal is delicate, so it’s essential to prioritize comfort when selecting a stethoscope. If you plan on wearing your stethoscope all day long, then choosing an option that is lightweight and comfortable should be at the top of your list.


Invest in a sturdy, long-lasting stethoscope of top-notch quality. Not only will it last you longer, but its accuracy and reliability can help ensure proper diagnosis and treatment for your patients. Littmann stethoscopes are built with strict quality controls in place to ensure consistent and reliable performance.


Security is a must-have when it comes to protecting your stethoscope from theft. You can add an extra layer of protection by personalized engraving or simply writing your name on the device, to deter potential thieves. Additionally, you can protect your stethoscope by safely storing it in its case after use.


Look stylish while you work with a fashionable stethoscope! Perfect as a gift to yourself or any nurse, stethoscopes come in an array of colors and prints. Plus, many even have interchangeable tubes and ear tips so that you can create your own unique look.


Enhance your stethoscope with the perfect accessories! From headphones to extension tubes, there’s a wide selection of items on the market that can take your device up a notch in productivity. Make sure you’re getting the most out of it with just the right add-ons for your particular needs.

Choosing the right stethoscope is an important and sometimes tedious task for a medical professional, but with a little research it can be done.

Customizing for Career Specialization

Depending on your career specialization, the type of stethoscope you should consider will vary. For example, doctors, physcian extenders, and nurse practitioners specializing in cardiovascular health typically require a stethoscope that is designed for greater clarity to detect murmurs. Many of these advanced stethoscopes come with digital recording capabilities, which is ideal for doctors who need to provide evidence of their patient’s condition.

Nursing occupations, typically require a stethoscope that can detect both high and low-frequency sounds. These lightweight devices are often designed with comfort in mind, making them ideal for those who have long shifts on their feet or move quickly between patients.

Pediatricians can also benefit from using specialized stethoscopes designed for children, with smaller chestpieces and colorful designs to make the experience less intimidating for young patients. A pediatric stethoscope is equipped with better sound amplification for detecting subtle heart and lung sounds in young patients.

Veterinary professionals can benefit from a stethoscope head that has both acoustic and electronic components. This way, they can easily switch between one depending on the situation at hand.

When it comes to stethoscope cost, it may be wise to invest in a more expensive model up front, as some cheaper models may not offer the sound clarity or durability you need over time. In addition, accessories such as extension tubes, extra ear tips, and additional diaphragms for specialized work can further increase the value of your stethoscope.

In short, deciding which stethoscope is best for you in part depends on the type of work you do. Be sure to research the features that are important for your profession before selecting a stethoscope.

Adapting to Work Environments

Healthcare professionals work in a variety of settings, each with its own unique needs and considerations. Knowing what to look for in a stethoscope that is best suited for your particular environment is essential to providing the best care for patients.

Hospital Settings

In hospital environments, it is important to choose a stethoscope that can be used quickly and easily. This is because doctors and nurses may be in a rush to diagnose patients or respond to emergencies. The best stethoscope for this environment must have a comfortable design, excellent sound quality, and reliable durability.

Emergency Rooms

In emergency rooms, the level of noise can get quite loud due to the hustle and bustle of activity from medical staff and machinery. As such, it is important to opt for a stethoscope that has noise isolation features. This will ensure clear sound waves while blocking out ambient noise.


Clinics typically have a lower level of activity than hospitals and emergency rooms, so comfort should be the priority when selecting a stethoscope. Look for lightweight models with flexible tubing that provide accuracy and durability. It is also important to consider convenience features that will make your job easier, such as adjustable ear tips or built-in storage.

Ambulatory Settings

Ambulatory settings involve lots of movement and may require the use of a stethoscope in different positions throughout the day. Therefore, it is essential to select a device with an ergonomic design that allows you to move freely while still providing quality sound.

Research Settings

In research settings, accuracy is of the utmost importance when selecting a stethoscope. Look for advanced models that have digital recording features or adjustable diaphragms and frequency ranges, so that you can better monitor patient’s vitals. It is also important to find one with noise isolation capabilities, so that sound recordings are not affected by background noise.

No matter the environment, finding a reliable stethoscope that is tailored to your profession and settings can be the difference between providing top-notch care for patients or settling for subpar results. As such, it’s important to invest in a device that meets all of your needs and offers dependable performance over time.

Accessories and Stylish Options

In addition to finding a stethoscope that is tailored to your profession, you may want to consider accessories and stylish options available on the market. These can help to make your stethoscope a more personalized and comfortable device to use.

Charms are a popular way to add some personal flair to your stethoscope. Available in an array of colors and styles, they’re the perfect accessory for nurses and doctors who want to show off their medical pride with a unique look.

Personalized Custom ID Name Tags are also popular among medical professionals. These tags can be customized with the wearer’s name, profession, and a special message or design. This is a great way to add extra style and make sure that your stethoscope doesn’t get mixed up with someone else’s.

Stethoscope cases come in handy for those on the go, as they provide extra protection for your device and help keep it clean. These can be found in a variety of styles to match any preference or outfit.

For added comfort, many stethoscope manufacturers offer different types of ear tips, extension tubes, and headphones. Soft silicone stocks are also available for those who want to customize their stethoscope’s feel.

When it comes to the chest pieces, many devices come with a variety of options for diaphragms, bells, and other replacements parts. This way, you can customize the sound according to your preferences.

Plus, many stethoscopes come in a range of colors and styles so you can express yourself while staying professional. When it comes to stethoscopes, there really is something for everyone. So no matter your profession or work environment, finding the right device can help you provide better care and make sure that you look and feel great doing it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Littmann the best?

Littmann is widely regarded as one of the best brands on the market due to their quality and craftsmanship. They offer superior acoustic performance, comfort, and user-friendly features such as adjustable diaphragms for better sound clarity. Additionally, these stethoscopes are designed to last, with many users reporting years of use without any issues. Finally, Littmann offers a wide range of functions, price points, and colors that make it easy to find the perfect stethoscope for your needs.

How much should you spend on a stethoscope?

You should be prepared to spend around $100 on a good quality stethoscope. While expensive stethoscopes tend to be the most reliable, many medical professionals choose models that are about $100 and still get optimal sound quality. There are also other great stethoscopes now available at lower price points, but you should always be aware of the quality and features before making a purchase.

How long do Littmann stethoscopes last?

The lifespan of a Littmann stethoscope can vary depending on the type, quality, and amount of use it gets. Generally speaking, a 3m Littmann stethoscope can last anywhere from 10-20 years with proper care and maintenance. Some users have reported using their Littmann for over 25 years with minimal signs of wear and tear. Ultimately, how long your stethoscope lasts will depend on how well you take care of it, and how often it’s used.

What color stethoscope should I get for nursing school?

The short answer is your favorite color. Let’s face it, a quality stethoscope is an investment and you should choose one that you like the look of. Don’t have a favorite color, consider getting a stethoscope that represents your school colors or coordinates with your favorite scrubs or shoes. A stethoscope that stands out from the crowd will make it easy for you to identify your own stethoscope even in a group setting.

What is the difference between Littmann lightweight and classic?

Comparison table

StethoscopePriceTypeBest used forLengthKey features
3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope$$Dual Head AcousticMedical professionals such as LPNs, LVNs, CNAs, and nursing students28 in· Flexible tubing that retains its shape
Teardrop-shaped chest piece for easier positioning under blood pressure cuffs
Tunable diaphragm
 Soft-sealing ear tips for sound isolation
3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope$$$Dual Head AcousticMedical offices or urgent care centers that don’t require critical care27 in· Stain resistant tubing
Use with adult & pediatric patients
Tunable diaphragm
Soft-sealing ear tips for sound isolation

Wrapping up

No matter your profession or budget, Littmann has something to offer. From lightweight and classic models to stylish accessories and parts, their stethoscopes offer superior acoustic performance, comfort, user-friendly features, and a range of colors and styles that make it easy for medical professionals to use and express themselves.

Plus, many of these stethoscopes can last anywhere from 10-20 years with proper care and maintenance, making them a great investment in quality.

When choosing the best stethoscope for you, consider your budget, sound quality preferences, personal style, and comfort needs. Do you need something lightweight that won’t cause strain? Or one that offers extra protection when you’re on the go? Are you looking for something stylish or custom-made? With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect stethoscope. So, if you’re in the market for a quality stethoscope, consider a Littmann for your next purchase.

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