Oral-B is one of the world’s biggest and best electric toothbrush makers, selling more oral hygiene gadgets than any other brand out there.
Still, due to the fast-advancing world of technology, Oral-B is faced with stiff competition from the likes of Philips and its Sonicare range, which has swiftly become the second most popular electric toothbrush brand in the world thanks to its powerful vibrating heads that produce up to 62000 brush strokes per minute.
To stay ahead of the game, Oral-B has had to innovate; offering consumers tech not previously seen in its rivals. For the past few years, the company has invested in adding cutting-edge developments to its electric toothbrush series in the form of connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI).
The firm’s latest and greatest - the iO Series 9 - is a shining example of such innovation. Released just last year, it boasts the most impressive toothbrush tech you can get your hands on right now. However, with a gum-bleeding £500 RRP, users wanting something smart are considering Oral-B’s older (and much cheaper) alternative, the Oral-B Genius 9000. Costing £150, it’s a much more accessible option, and while it might not tout the smarts of its younger sibling, it still offers a very similar connected brushing experience.
Read on to find out which Oral-B toothbrush we deem most worthy of your cash.
Oral-B IO Series 9 Vs Oral-B Genius 9000: Price
As we mentioned earlier, the iO Series 9 will set you back £500 in the UK, which - we admit - is a mind-blowing amount for a toothbrush. What we have found, however, is that the same toothbrush only costs $300 in the US.
Being a European brand, we haven’t the foggiest why this is the case, but if you're planning a trip across the pond soon (COVID permitting), it might be worth picking one up there instead. If this isn’t possible, or you don’t want to wait, you’re likely to find it cheaper in the UK if you shop around. At the moment, though, we can’t find it for less from any of the popular online retailers, such as Amazon or Boots.
If you do decide to part with your cash for the iO, you’ll find a chargeable travel case, a wireless charging stand and one toothbrush head (yes, even at half a grand, Oral-B is tight enough to not give you any spare heads). Nevertheless, it’s available in Black Onyx, Alabaster White and Rose quartz colour options. Please note that the black version that we have is prone to staining if you are too lazy to properly wash all the toothpaste from your brush after use. We’d recommend the white model.
The Oral-B Genius 9000 is available to buy today, but retails for a much lower price of around £150 / $130 depending on where you buy it from. The colours currently available are, Black, White, Rose Gold and Purple.
In the box you get the toothbrush handle, a charging travel case, four brush heads and a smartphone holder – the latter is so you can stick your phone to the mirror to more easily view the app's feedback.
WINNER: Genius 9000. It’s much cheaper. ‘Nuff said.
Oral-B IO Series 9 Vs Oral-B Genius 9000: Design
When it comes to design, we can’t not start with the iO Series 9, which is nothing short of spectacular. Boasting a colour LCD display in the handle, the iO is one of the most impressively-designed toothbrushes we’ve ever laid eyes on.
The screen not only looks the part, but it’s a really intuitive way of flicking through the iO’s seven different cleaning modes as it displays an icon and text description for each one. This also acts as a visual timer, showing you how long you’ve brushed for and giving you a score at the end in the form of a smiley face. Half a smile and you’ve probably not brushed for long enough. Starry eyes and you’ve smashed it.
Another neat design feature is the redesigned charger. The stand no longer has a nodule sticking upright as seen in older Oral-B models and has been given an overhaul to bring it in line with today’s top-notch wireless charging gadgets. This does, however, mean that it can be knocked off quite easily.
As for the Genius 9000, this model is akin to the more traditional designs we’ve come to know from Oral-B. Still, it isn’t a bad looking toothbrush by any means.
We particularly liked the midnight black edition, which looks sophisticated. While it’s not on par with the iO, this toothbrush still has a showy side, with light-up icons and flashing LED icons to show you which brush mode you have selected or if the battery is low, and a built in light around the top of the handle that you can customise to your preference.
The Genius 9000 definitely likes to show how smart it is by flaunting the capabilities built into its handle, but it’s just not as refined as the iO, which we have to say is unbeatable in terms of toothbrush design.
WINNER: Oral-B iO Series 9. It’s a toothbrush that says hello when you pick it up. Need we say more?
Oral-B IO Series 9 Vs Oral-B Genius 9000:
Unlike many electric toothbrushes on the market, both the iO Series 9 and the Genius 9000 models distinguish themselves with the ability to connect to an app, which you can choose to have open while brushing. This acts as a real-time trainer, giving you tips on how to brush better or if you’re pressing too hard - making it easy to brush properly.
However, the iO and the Genius 9000 have slightly different technologies built-in for this. Using tracking tech built into the brush, the iO’s app can detect where you’re brushing and highlight the areas of your teeth you’re covering, changing colour to give you stars when you’ve brushed an area well.
The Genius 9000’s app isn’t quite as smart. It uses the front-facing camera of your connected smartphone to make sure you’re brushing all of your teeth by dividing your mouth up into six zones - left, middle and right for both the top and bottom rows. While the camera tracking could be more accurate, it was still fun to see the animated graphics as we brushed, along with the achievements and trophies that help reinforce good brushing habits.
The two toothbrushes also differ in terms of the brushing technology that’s built-in. Unlike Oral-B’s previous products, the iO boasts a frictionless magnetic drive system that transfers energy towards the tips of the bristles. This feels almost sonic in the way it moves, but isn’t as it employs more energy.
The Genius 9000 employs a more traditional 3D movement cleaning system, which basically means it uses oscillating and rotating technology. The round brush head pulsates to loosen plaque and then oscillates and rotates to sweep the plaque away.
Both toothbrushes perform really well when it comes to brushing your teeth. It’s therefore hard to choose which toothbrush is cleaning as the differences are quite subtle. Going off a feeling, however, we’d have to go for the iO. It’s not only much quieter than the Genius 9000, producing more of a buzz than a drilling sound, but it just feels better in the mouth - probably due to the reduction of physical movement.
As for battery life, we found both toothbrushes last around the same amount of time. You can expect two weeks of use between charges, but this will depend on how long exactly you like to brush your teeth for.
WINNER: iO Series 9. Teaming with AI tech that will knock your socks off, there’s only one clear winner here.
Oral-B IO Series 9 Vs Oral-B Genius 9000: Verdict
With the most wins in our head-to-head review, the iO is a clear winner here, albeit with a major caveat: the price. If you’ve got the cash to burn, do it. We doubt you’ll be disappointed. But if you can’t quite justify the cost, the Genius 9000 is a brilliant runner up that’s still going to give you those smart features you’re craving - all without breaking the bank.