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Stethoscope opinions


Specializes in MICU. Has 5 years experience.

I'm wanting to upgrade my stethoscope. Any opinions on the littmann cardiology iii vs the master cardiology? Is the master cardiology worth the extra $$? Currently I use a master classic. Thanks!


Specializes in ICU.

There just was a thread on stethescopes and who likes what.

ArmaniX, MSN, APRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

I had a standard littman and as a 'one year gift' to myself I purchased the master cardiology... I must say the sound is a lot clearer and crisp. I much prefer it over my basic $60 littman I purchased for nursing school. But I can't compare it any against the III.

A lot of the nurses on my unit just use the cheap isolation stethoscopes... I heard a long time ago, unless you're a cardiologist, you dont need a cardiology stethoscope. I dont think we all know heart sounds and how to interpret them anyways and even cardiologist's ears differ on what noises they actually hear based on experience/trained ears.

I have some no name $30 stethescope that has served me well for a few years.

I can hear manual Blod pressures.

I can hear breath sounds.

I can hear heart sounds.

Works for me. Plus nobody wants to steal it.

ArmaniX, MSN, APRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

I agree with the above posters.. while I do love my stethoscope, it is not necessary. My floor we hold a lot of isolation patients so it doesn't matter how well I can hear with MY stethoscope, I have to use the cheap isolation ones. So if you want what works, go cheap.. if you want something 'flashy'... get a cardiology.

aanwyn, BSN, RN

Specializes in HD, Homecare, Med/Surg, Infectious Disease. Has 10 years experience.

I had a Littman Lightweight which I thought was pretty good until it broke borrowed a coworkers Cardiology III. It is significantly better than the Lightweight and the Classic. Lung sounds that are diminished w/ a Classic are totally clear w/ a Cardiology. I'd say if you plan on advancing to a higher level of practice then just purchase a Cardiology. It is worth the extra money and you can find them on Ebay for a good deal. I work in hemodialysis where ausculation of lungs sounds is absolutely imperative and the cardiology is better in my opinion.

Edited by aanwyn
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kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 19 years experience.

I bought a master cardiology in nursing school many years ago and it still works flawlessly. I only have had to replace tubing once, even that was more than an entry level Littman. The only downfall is it is quite heavy so if you like to wear your 'scope around your neck it will take some getting used to.


Specializes in Quality, Cardiac Stepdown, MICU. Has 5 years experience.

I got a Cardiology III on sale at Medisave online, and they laser engraved the bell with my full name, much nicer than the initials on the rubber tubing. And it's amazing. (But like others said, heavy. If you're used to the light one you might have to get used to it. But mine doesn't live on my neck all the time.)


Has 10 years experience.

I use a Littmann Classic II S.E., best price/value in my opinion (especially if you're a nurse). I got it at mystethoscope.com, they had the best price I could find (included free engraving which was a plus!)

I took home the Cardiology III, and I returned it the next day for the Master Cardiology. It's going to take a minute to get use to the different shape (no bell), but I can hear murmurs I could find otherwise.


Specializes in long-term-care, LTAC, PCU. Has 13 years experience.

I looooove my cardiology III. I hear so much better with it vs. Any other stethoscope I have ever used. While we have a good many isolation pts on my floor, I'm still glad to have my cardio III. Truthfully, some of my assessment actually changes when I use my littman as opposed to one of the other nurses (lightweight, master classic, etc.). If I'm having trouble hearing a pts lung sounds (or anything else for that matter) I will use my cardio III and then clean it very well with the cavi-wipes or bleach wipes.

Nowadays it safer for nurse & pt to always use a disposable scope for each pt.

Nowadays it safer for nurse & pt to always use a disposable scope for each pt.

We only use disposable scopes with patients on contact precautions. No need otherwise. I wipe mine down between patients as well.