What Is the Difference Between Littmann Cardiology 3 And 4

Littmann is undoubtedly one of the most reliable brands when it comes to providing highly reliable stethoscopes. In particular, cardiologists across the globe trust the company’s equipment because of the precision of measurement. However, one common question we usually hear from them is what is the difference between Littmann Cardiology 3 and 4? What Is the Difference Between Littmann Cardiology 3 And 4-01

Littmann cardiology 4 is an improved version of cardiology 3. You will notice improved audibility and precision on cardiology 4 than on cardiology 3. But, the length of the tube on cardiology 4 is shorter than on cardiology 3. It means you will have a rather low range on cardiology 4.

Sound clarity and length of the tube are not the only differences between the two. There are many other things that need to be discussed. The following sections of the blog will discuss in detail what to know more about the differences between Littmann 3 and 4 besides discussing other relevant things. 

What Is the Difference Between Littmann Cardiology 3 And 4?

Littmann’s cardiology 3 and 4 stethoscope devices are undoubtedly different from each other in some ways. However, the overall performance and acoustic performance of the two are excellent, given the quality of material, the overall design, and the intended workload at a typical clinic.

With that said, we cannot ignore those minor differences while choosing to buy one. Let’s discuss these differences one by one to see how the two are different from each other:

Cardiology 4 Is For Specialists, And Cardiology 3 Is For General Practitioners 

One of the most important differences between Littmann Cardiology 3 and Cardiology 4 revolves around the intent of use.

Cardiology 4 Uses

Cardiology 4 is comparatively a bigger investment, it does not make any sense to buy it for casual jobs.

 Littmann Cardiology 4 makes the best stethoscope for nurses and doctors working in ICUs, a cardiac ward, and emergency departments

The intensity of usage in these departments requires professionals to use the most accurate device for the job. 

Cardiology 3 Uses

If you are a healthcare professional dealing with non-critical examinations, you do not require the additional features a Cardiology 4 stethoscope offers.

 You should go for Cardiology 3 if you are a nurse doing a shift in a general ward, medical office, or gynecology ward

All in all, you should prefer Littmann Cardiology 4 in high-performance areas, while Cardiology 3 from Littmann makes the best choice for routine diagnosis. 

Design Of The Diaphragm 

The difference in the diaphragm design is another thing to consider when looking at differences between Littmann Cardiology 3 and Cardiology 4. 

Diaphragm Design Of Cardiology 4

  • Being a high-end Littmann stethoscope, the Cardiology 4 features a dual-diaphragm with a two-piece chest that enhances its overall performance score in many ways.

Diaphragm Design Of Cardiology 3

  •  On the other hand, Cardiology 3 comes with a traditional chest piece design, allowing for straightforward uses.

However, both Littmann Cardiology 4 and 3 utilize a highly efficient tunable diaphragm technology that makes them stand out from the rest of the crowd. The technology eases the overall process of examining multiple parts of the body with the help of sound. 

Cardiology 3 Is Lighter Than Cardiology 4

It is clear that Littmann cardiology 4 comes with additional features that allow it to perform better than its predecessor, the Cardiology 3. However, what about the overall weight of the two devices?

After analyzing both stethoscopes carefully, it is easy to discern the differences in weight. With an overall weight of 171 grams, Cardiology 4 is 13 grams heavier than the Cardiology 3 model. 

While the difference of 13 grams may seem insignificant at first, it becomes more and more important as you analyze it carefully. 

As per my experience, it matters a lot because you have to wear it all day long. In situations where doctors have to examine massive quantities of patients, it is certainly advisable to use as lightweight stethoscopes as possible to eliminate fatigue and burnout.

Cardiology 3 Is Less Expensive Than Cardiology 4 

Price is the first thing that dictates our buying decisions daily. Everyone from a clinical student to experienced nurses working at hospitals has some price limits in mind while trying to buy a stethoscope.

You can easily get yourself a cardiology-3 device well within the range of $100. On the contrary, Littmann’s cardiology 4 may require an initial investment of nearly $180 to $190.

Perhaps you are wondering what the price difference is for? The answer is simple. Cardiology 4 offers an enhanced warranty, better build, and a comprehensive spare kit besides many other things that justify its higher price. 

Cardiology 4 Offer Extra Accessories In Kit Than Cardiology 3 

The elements in the spare kits might not directly impact the overall performance of any stethoscope. However, it complements the overall impact of any device.

A usual spare kit for Cardiology 3 stethoscope from Littmann includes a small-sized soft ear tip, a helping guide/ manual, and a non-chill rim.

 On the other hand, Littmann Cardiology 4 includes all the above elements in its spare kit with the addition of an extra hard ear tip

Based on the elements of spare kits, you should go for Cardiology 4 if you want to use hard ear tips and vice versa.

Cardiology 4 Performs Better In Acoustics Than Cardiology 3

Cardiology 4 Acoustic Performance:

In terms of acoustics, Littmann Cardiology 4 has an edge over its predecessor due to its double-lumen tube. The double-lumen tube means each ear is going to use a separate tube for more accuracy of results. 

Cardiology 3 Acoustic Performance:

With that said, Littmann Cardiology 3 also offers a reliable audio experience compared to many of its high-end competitors on the market. Still, it is unable to beat Littmann Cardiology 4 with overall sound quality and loudness.

Why You Should Choose Cardiology 4?

A common problem with stethoscopes during our first year of medical college revolves around excessive noise and rubbing noises that prevent us from recording everything clearly. 

However, that is not the case with Littmann Cardiology 4 device. Dual-lumen tubes eliminate rubbing sounds and excess noise, so you can hear everything clearly. 

When it comes to thickness, Cardiology 4 does have a better score compared to the Cardiology 3 device. An increased thickness allows you to get rid of undesired sounds caused by hand movements while delivering the actual sound to your ears. 

Cardiology 4 Offer Longer Warranty Than Cardiology 3

Last but not least, there is a year difference in the warranty of two products. Given the higher price tag of the product, Littmann offers a comprehensive 6-year warranty on its Cardiology 4 stethoscope.

In contrast, Littmann offers a 5-year warranty for Cardiology 3.

Which Is Better Littmann Cardiology 4 or Master Cardiology?

In my opinion, Cardiology 4 outperforms Master Cardiology, given the overall size and versatility of both devices. Master cardiology is a bit heavier than Cardiology 4 due to the use of a stainless steel chest piece. However, the overall acoustic performance of the two does not vary significantly. 

In addition, Littmann Cardiology 4 offers enhanced versatility when compared to the Master one. As a result, I find Littmann Cardiology 4 to be a good choice in the end.

Does Littmann Cardiology IV Have a Bell?

Littmann Cardiology 4 features a pediatric side that you can easily convert into a traditional bell. On the other hand, stethoscopes having a one-sided chest piece may not be able to provide this convertibility.

How Long Do Littmann Stethoscopes Last?

There is no absolute answer to this question as many factors play their role in determining the life cycle of any stethoscope. However, you can expect your Littmann Stethoscope to last anywhere between 8 and 10 years, depending on usage and regular maintenance. 

Nurses who maintain their equipment and use it carefully may have increased years of usage. On the other hand, some may destroy the equipment within a few years. 


To conclude, I have discussed the differences between Littmann Cardiology 3 and 4 in this blog post. In general, Littmann Cardiology 4 outperforms Cardiology 3 in terms of operational efficiency and reliability of acoustic performance. However, the increased performance comes at the price of an increased price tag. 

On the other hand, Cardiology 3 from Littmann is also capable of handling regular examinations with great precision and reliability. However, I do not think it is a highly useful device when it comes to handling high-performance examinations. 

We hope this blog post has been helpful in determining the most appropriate stethoscope for your needs. 


Cardiology 3 is lightweight affordable and used for general purposes! While cardiology 4 is used by specialist and provide accurate results. Find differences now!

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Muhammad Bilal Qayyum

MBBS from Taishan Medical University and currently working in Bahawal Victoria Hospital. The blog is a great resource for both novices and experienced users when it comes to stethoscopes. As I studied and practiced, I evaluated various models on the market, which led me to become an expert in stethoscopes.

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