The Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope is seen by many medical practitioners as the Cadillac of stethoscopes, and for good reason.
Every cardiologist I’ve ever met has one in their collection due to the raw power the Cardiology III has with regards to the level of acoustics it picks up. That’s not to say it doesn’t work great for other specialties in the hospital, the addition of Cardiology in the name is just to distinguish it from Littman’s less advanced models. The second reason nearly every cardiologist worth their salt picks one up is how easily you can switch from adult to pediatric diaphragms.
From a user comfort standpoint, it also stands apart from all other options.
- Weight: 385g
- Length: 79cm (71”)
- Diaphragm diameter: 1.7”
- Diaphragm material: Stainless Steel
- Tunable diaphragm
- Non-chill rim
- Two sided chestpiece for use with adult and pediatric patients
- Can convert the pediatric side to a traditional open bell
- Latex free
Like all Littmann’s before it, the cardiology III is an absolute darling to have around your neck all day. This model comes equipped with soft sealing eartips that fit snugly into the ear canal. The eartubes themselves are contoured perfectly to allow simple insertion into the ear canal for quick auscultation. On the patient’s side of the experience, every bell and diaphragm is equipped with a non-chill rim and the device is completely latex free.
The acoustic quality of the Cardiology III is what has given it such an enduring lifespan in the medical field. A favorite of nearly every EMT I’ve ever talked to due to its uncanny ability to deliver crystal clear sounds even in the back of an ambulance with its sirens blaring. The sound quality is ample and allows you to detect the difference between murmurs like no other. It is for this reason that I don’t really suggest it for those just getting into the medical field, you simply don’t need something this powerful at your current level of knowledge. My friends in the pediatric department have said they’ve been able to hear a baby’s heartbeat even with another crying baby beside them.
Personally, my experience with the Cardiology III has been fantastic. Whenever I am going to be seeing a diverse range of patients that day, whether it be in type of patient of specific ailment, I make sure to take my Littmann Cardiology III. The Cardiology III also comes in a huge number of colors and finishes to make add some personal flair to your scope. It also helps if your stethoscope “misplaces” itself and you can quickly identify it on someone elses’ next the following week to get it back.
I have got to say this is a great stethoscope. It meets the needs of every one of my colleagues that have one, from EMTs, to nurses, to the most specialized of doctors. However, I’ve noticed that so many medical students and beginner nurses with the Cardiology III, and I’d really like to get something off my chest. I sincerely doubt many or in fact any of these beginners can derive any benefit from the added acoustic sensitivity of this device.
They simply have not even mastered the differences differences in basic auscultation noises so it just ends up confusing them even more and prolonging the learning experience. Extensive experience and a trained ear are required to make the best of the Cardiology III. Any of the Littmann Classic series scopes are much more suited for newcomers who really want a quality stethoscope to get them through their first few years in their career. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari for your first car, it’s just too much too fast.
The other point of contention with the Cardiology III is that it has become something of a status symbol among health care professionals, something that irks me to this day. Some of the physicians that I have seen make the most consistently correct diagnoses don’t need a specific stethoscope to get results. Having the best stethoscope does not make you the best physician. Someone who has taken the time to learn the intricacies of body sounds and truly appreciates their profession is much more respectable in my eyes that someone who just thinks that because they have a Littmann they have it all figured out. I would much rather the students I deal with take the time to properly work their way up to a Littmann Cardiology III than buy it right off the bat and not know how to use it properly.
The Littmann Cardiology III is great for anyone who’s established themselves as a medical practitioner and actually requires the sensitivity and range of sound offered by the Cardiology III. High acoustic sensitivity makes performing any sort of accessment a breeze, the tunable diaphragm means no matter which patient I encounter that day I’ll be ready to take an accurate measurement. If I’m only going to be seeing adults that day, I quickly remove the pediatric side and put on the bell attachment, which also features the non-chill rim so my patients don’t have to deal with that horrible cold steel feeling cheaper scopes are all too guilty of providing. All in all, I don’t see the Cardiology III getting dethroned any time soon as the stethoscope of choice of thousands of doctors nationwide.
Where to Buy
The best place to buy the Littmann Cardiology III is on Amazon. It sells for just under $90 and is worth the price for its impeccable quality. If you click the link below you’ll be taken to their site and will find the best price. You’ll also get free shipping on orders over $25.