Littmann Classic II S.E. Review

Product Name:Classic II S.E.
Chestpiece Type:Double Sided
Diaphragm Type:Tunable
Length:28 Inches
Weight:4.8 oz
Metal Finish Color Options:Black, Machined Stainless Steel
Tube Color Options:Black, Ceil Blue, Navy Blue, Peach, Pearl pink, Raspberry
Warranty:3 years
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The Littmann Classic II S.E. is one of the steps that I took along the way to a cardiology stethoscope. This model is one of the stethoscopes that got me through the middle half of my nursing education, and showed me what you can do when you don’t have two rubber tubes rubbing together every time you try to listen to your patient’s lungs. This is a solid stethoscope that provides solid entry level diagnostic abilities in a modern day package. 3M/Littmann has utilized an excellent pairing of stainless steel and modernized rubbers to create a truly reliable stethoscope. The Classic II S.E. gives the same performance every time you pick it up.

When I went back to review this model I decided to pair it side by side with my Cardiology III to compare where this model fell short. What I found

Littmann Classic II SE Box

was that the volume of sounds transmitted via this model is moderately less, and that the intonation of cardiac sounds is slightly depressed. Lung fields are easily auscultated with this model so long as you go the extra mile to remove dressings or articles of clothing that block your path. With cardiology stethoscopes I can often get away with listening through a shirt or gown. This model reminds me that the best practice is still to get down to bare skin with the diaphragm. If you have this model you will find it’s especially necessary in patients with extra distance between the surface and your target organ. 😉

Littmann may be on to this and has provided modern non-chill surfaces on both sides of its chest piece. The design is rugged for an entry level stethoscope, both in tubing quality and the extra rubber edges which help protect the diaphragm. The headset is both flexible and comfortable with Littmann’s use of the soft sealing ear tips. The Classic II S.E. is resilient when folded into a pocket or thrown in a work bag. The price point on this actually allowed me to feel like I could set this stethoscope down and that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I couldn’t find it again. I constantly worry about more expensive models getting lost or stolen in the workplace. I didn’t get the feeling that I would be so upset if this model walked off.

For the price of this stethoscope you receive some excellent features. Additionally, I feel this stethoscope will carry many people from their entry level training into the midpoint of their skill development without requiring an upgrade.

Key features-

  • Double-sided stainless steel chest piece
  • Open bell
  • Tunable diaphragm responds with a simple pressure change to capture low and high-frequency sounds
  • Epoxy/Fiberglass Diaphragm with a non-chill rim
  • Single tube design
  • Ergonomically designed ergonomic aluminum headset
  • Comfortable Soft sealing rubber earpieces
  • 3 year warranty


Littmann Classic II SE Diaphragm

  • Traditional design
  • Single tube design eliminates extraneous noise
  • Tunable diaphragm, and traditional bell
  • Excellent basic assessment capabilities
  • Affordable entry level stethoscope
  • Made in the USA
  • Good warranty coverage






  • Generic appearance
  • Lacks range of acoustics found in cardiology models




                                                 Final Thoughts

Littmann LogoThe Classic II S.E. is a workhorse stethoscope that will get the job done for most people. It is priced with the everyday healthcare worker in mind, and is the kind of stethoscope that equates to an excellent entry point for most first owners. You will find that your stethoscope skills and techniques are more important with this model as it is not as versatile as cardiology models when it comes to cardiac assessments. As I mentioned above, the added benefit of the pricing for this model means that if it walks off it will not cost you an arm and a leg to replace. This reduces the amount of anxiety and stress that comes with owning a more expensive stethoscope.

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Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope
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