Littmann Master Classic II Review

The Littmann Master Classic II is a stethoscope that can’t decide what it wants to be. Is it a traditional stethoscope attempting to masquerade as contemporary cardiology stethoscope, or is it an attempt at making a budget cardiology stethoscope? I can’t tell. It’s hard to tell where this stethoscope falls in Littmann’s vision for its product lineup, but here we are. The Master Classic II has a similar design to the Master Cardiology. You are presented with a single-sided chest piece with a tunable diaphragm. It’s a single tube design with an adjustable tension headset. Littmann provides their soft sealing rubber eartips with this model.

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Product Name: Master Classic II
Brand: Littmann
Chestpiece Type: Single-sided
Diaphragm Type: Tunable
Length: 27 inches
Weight: 5.7 oz
Metal Finish Color Options: Black, Plated and Polished Alloy
Tube Color Options: Black, Burgundy, Caribbean Blue, Ceil Blue, Hunter Green, Navy Blue, Pine Green
Warranty: 3 year
Price: $$

Littmann rates this model as being on par acoustically with that of the Cardiology III and Cardiology IV. I find the sound quality to be somewhat muffled with this stethoscope. Maybe it’s because of the alloy plating as opposed to stainless steel? I’m not sure if the one I tried had a defect, but while the sounds were all there I found that the volume level just seemed somewhat muted. (Yes, I had the ear tips in the correct way) Be aware that I could hear lung and heart sounds fine, they just weren’t as pronounced as I would hope. The chest piece feels a little clunky on this model, and therefore the stethoscope feels a little more unbalanced than usual. The side profile of the chest piece makes it looks like a shark fin sticking up out of the water. I suppose this is meant to be an ergonomic grip, but beware that it is easily caught on items in the environment. (I managed to hook it on IV tubing while moving around the patient room I was in)

Overall the stethoscope performs satisfactorily for most uses, but I would encourage the end user to consider why they are buying this model over another one. For the price you can almost purchase a cardiology stethoscope, but on the other hand you might be able to purchase a more versatile mid-range stethoscope for less money.

Key features-

  • Single Sided Plated and Polished Alloy Chest Piece
  • 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
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Comfortable Soft sealing rubber earpieces
  • 3 year warranty


  • Single tube design eliminates extraneous noise
  • Tunable diaphragm
  • Made in the USA
  • Good warranty coverage


  • Muted sound range
  • Ugly chest piece
  • Unclear what you gain by paying this much for the delivered features.

Final Thoughts

The Master Classic II is a funny stethoscope in its design. It can’t quite decide what it wants to be. I feel the sound quality has taken a hit with the materials and design, and ultimately I question whether you might be better off either saving some money and buying a better quality entry level stethoscope or shelling out just a little more for a cardiology model. This is definitely a model that I recommend finding and borrowing from someone to try before you buy. Ultimately I’ll let you decide what you think!


  • Marina m

    Marina is an Emergency Nurse based in NYC with a passion for writing. With over 10 years of experience in the field, Marina brings a unique perspective to her writing, drawing from her experiences caring for patients in high-stress situations. Her work has been featured in several publications and she continues to explore her creative side through writing in her free time.

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