Littmann Cardiology IV Vs III

We all have our weapon of choice for completing specific tasks in our line of work.  A hairdresser has a specific pair of scissors she loves, an artist’s chooses a specific brush as his favorite weapon of choice and for doctors, their stethoscopes are usually their most loved tool of the trade.   These special weapons allow us to perform our tasks with ease and agility and lends us unique characteristics that others later use to identify with us.  The style of your weapon of choice can also lend you a certain amount of charm and status. 

It is important for medical professionals to choose wisely when selecting their stethoscopes.  These medical tools, like all other medical equipment, don’t come cheap and the type of stethoscope you have can have a huge impact on your work or even on your performance as a medical student. 

Littmann is one of the best stethoscope brands available on the market.  Thousands of medical experts and med students invest and love these specific stethoscope types because the brand has been known to create high-quality stethoscopes that are incredibly durable, functional, light and practical. 

If you are in the cardiology division then you might be tempted to buy one of their high-performance cardiology stethoscopes such as the Cardiology IV or the Cardiology III.  Deciding between these two is going to be tough since they are both exceptionally good stethoscopes.  But which one is the best pick for you?  The older Cardiology III or the all-new Cardiology IV?  Perhaps this comparison will help you choose.

Littmann Cardiology III

The Littmann Cardiology III is the predicator of the Cardiology IV and if you happen to have the honor of working with one of these stethoscopes then you will be able to witness that it is pure joy.  This stethoscope has the same beautiful design we have come to love about Littmann’s ranges.  It is fitted with a machined stainless steel chest piece that is oil and alcohol resistant and has a dual lumen tube that doesn’t consist of any latex – a huge benefit to medical professionals and patients with latex allergies.  The stethoscope is lightweight, has a two-piece diaphragm that many claims are challenging to put together when you are cleaning your stethoscope and it is fitted with a double-sided chestpiece.  This is a cardiology high-performance stethoscope that has been used, trusted and loved by medical professionals until the Cardiology IV made its appearance.


  • 123 grams
  • Dual-sided chestpiece
  • Suitable for adult and pediatric patients
  • Two tunable diaphragms that respond to pressure change for capturing low or high-frequency sounds
  • Convert pedriatic side to open bell for low frequencies
  • Two-in-one tube design eliminates noise interference


  • Affordable price
  • Durable materials
  • The tube isn’t made of latex
  • Oil and alcohol resistant chest piece
  • Dual chestpiece is convertible


  • Can be hard to find since they are going off the market
  • Not as acoustically accurate as the Cardiology VI
  • Two-piece diaphragms are hard to put together

The Littmann Cardiology IV

The Littmann Cardiology IV is an upgrade on the Cardiology III.  It is based on the same glorious design and features but with quite a few improvements that cardiologists cannot seem to praise enough.  The main difference between the new Cardiology IV and the older Cardiology III is the better audibility.  You can hear higher frequency sounds to help you learn more about your patients’ health.  The single-piece tunable diaphragms allow you to hear low and high frequency sounds on adult and children patients on both either of the more suitable sides of the chestpiece.  The Pediatric side converts to an open bell that you can keep covered with the small diaphragm.  One of the best improvements is the one piece diaphragm unit because the device is much easier to put together after cleanups.  The Cardiology IV has a thicker or higher bell which results in the better acoustics.  It also weighs 5 grams less than the Cardiology III which is beneficial for medical professionals who are always hustling and bustling.  Like the Cardiology III the stethoscope also consists of new-generation tubing that contains no traces of latex.  This is a beneficial feature for medical professionals and patients who might be allergic to latex.  The machined stainless steel bell or chest piece is oil and alcohol resistant which ensures great durability.


  • High-performance cardiology stethoscope
  • Double-sided chest piece for adult and children patients
  • Tunable on each side of the chestpiece
  • Bell is made of machined stainless steel
  • Tube is made of next-generation rubber
  • Weighs only 123 grams
  • Higher bell results in better audibility
  • Pediatric side converts to open bell
  • 17 different colors 7 finishes


  • Better audibility
  • Pediatric side converts to open bell and stays clean by covering it with small diaphragm
  • Available in a wide range of colors and finishes
  • Single piece diaphragms ease the installation into the stethoscope
  • Tunable on each side of the chestpiece


  • More expensive

Final verdict

If you happen to already have a Littmann Cardiology III then you certainly didn’t make a bad purchase.  This is a terrific stethoscope for both students and professionals alike.  But if you are newly buying your stethoscope then spending those few extra dollars on the new and improved Littmann Cardiology IV certainly will be worth your while.  The lighter weight, easier assembly and enhanced audibility will give you lots of practicality while you are helping patients and will enable you to clearly hear high to low frequencies that could give you valuable information on the condition of your patients.  If you consider the fact that those inaudible sounds could make a huge difference in the health of a patient then the Cardiology IV certainly is worth the extra money.