You get a lot for your money, but there's a possible trade off in long term support
Stunning value. You get so much for the price. No major brand competes here.
It cleans the teeth well and has recommended features. It is potentially let down by material quality and long term support.
Multiple cleaning modes
No pressure sensor
Several weeks of use on a single charge
Quality of materials are not the best
You get a lot in the box for the price
Possible supply & availability issues with replacement brush heads
American Dental Association (ADA) approved
Warranty & support lacking
Also worth considering
If you have a tight budget, then pay serious attention to the Oral-B Pro 500. You get the peace of mind that comes with a big brand, but without the high ticket price.
The Oral-B Smart 1500 is the better overall choice in our opinion. It has all the dentist recommended features.
It doesn't deliver quite the same box contents and value for money, but you get the support and access to brush heads that can be a problem with AquaSonic.
Who are AquaSonic?
I don’t normally talk extensively about the companies behind the toothbrushes I review, but I can’t help but feel it is somewhat necessary here.
AquaSonic are a new brand, even to me as a toothbrush critic.
Very little information exists about the brand, where they have come from and how to contact them.
I think it is important for you to know what you are buying.
Usually, a user manual comes with contact details for the manufacturer. There is absolutely no information in or on the box on how to contact them or what the warranty terms are. As of 2021 there is now a warranty support page available at https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee.
Any searching for the AquaSonic toothbrush reveals nothing other than websites selling this toothbrush and reviews that are for the most part really praising it and the value offered by the package.
There is a South African website called AquaSonic that sell toothbrushes, but from what I can tell they are entirely separate company/brand and not affiliated to this product being sold in the USA.
The AquaSonic being reviewed here appears to have no website of its own and there appears to be no way of contacting those responsible for producing it. As of 2021 www.aquasonic.com is now live.
Further investigation reveals that the brush is most likely made by a company called RISUNTECH in China. The images of the brush shown here are pretty much identical and the model number is the same as is on the documentation in the box with AquaSonic.
For the record, whilst RISUNTECH may produce the brush, I do not believe they are the company marketing, selling and supporting the brush in the USA.
It is very common for Chinese companies to offer a product/design that brands can customize to sell in their own markets. Thousands of companies do this in many different product categories.
There are many emerging toothbrush brands who haven’t actually designed and made the toothbrush themselves but have instead purchased a brush designed and made by a Chinese manufacturer. It is then customized with their own brand etc.
In this particular situation, the best, you can contact the seller ‘Beauty Imports’ on Amazon, who appear to be responsible for selling the majority of the AquaSonic toothbrushes.
Why I want to really highlight this to you is because the brand appears to be taking advantage of consumers like you and me.
We buy the product in good faith. It has good reviews, the price is good, the features are great.
However, it is weeks or months later we discover some of the sacrifices we have made.
There is little or no support. It is unclear what the warranty is and no way to contact the manufacturer. As of 2021 there is now a warranty support page available at https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee.
To add to this, once you have used all the 8 brush heads, where do you buy spares from?!
For a long time, no replacements were available. Quite surprising when they are so important. This appears to have been resolved now. I have slight concerns for ongoing availability, but fingers crossed it won't be an issue.
Prior to these spares being made available it appeared that come the end of the 2 years of usable brush heads, ditching it would have been the only option.
A less than ideal backup option are philips Sonicare brush heads. Although designed for other brushes they do fit and appear to work should you need them.
Design, usability, clean & general use
There is nothing revolutionary about the style or design of the AquaSonic toothbrush.
To be honest, this is a good thing, I like something that sticks to the mold and just works.
The brush comes in a cardboard box, that appropriately is black in color.
On the box are a few key features of the brush, but it is fairly minimal in its design and does not exactly shout look at me. This is perhaps not much of a surprise, given that as it is being sold online, it is not fighting for your attention on store shelves.
It seems an appropriate time, to make a quick comment on the product name because it could be a bit misleading.
It is called the AquaSonic Black Series Ultra Sonic Whitening Toothbrush.
No issues with AquaSonic Black Series, but the ‘ultra sonic whitening’ is what I wish to clarify.
There are different types of cleaning technology available in electric toothbrushes. Sonic and ultrasonic (one word) are two different types. Although in this instance ultra sonic is two words, I want to make clear, this is not an ultrasonic brush, it is just a sonic toothbrush.
You can learn about the differences by reading my article sonic vs ultrasonic.
And then to the whitening. This brush does have a whiten mode, but a toothbrush cannot strictly whiten the teeth.
A toothbrush can make the teeth appear whiter, by cleaning off the stains (that can make teeth look darker and discolored) that exist on the outside surface of the teeth, but it is not able to change the natural tooth color. Therefore it is a bit of a stretch to say this is a whitening toothbrush.
Inside the box, all the items are placed within a thin plastic tray and then wrapped in thin plastic sleeves to keep everything clean.
The box contents list out all that you get included.
Upon first handling the brush it looks quite smart and there are some nice touches.
The handle of the brush itself is not perfectly round, but it has rounded edges. There is a slight squaring to the overall handle shape that in my opinion can help from an in hand grip perspective.
The color scheme is black and chrome primarily.
At the top of the handle is a chrome colored ring and there is another at the base.
The chrome is plastic and not metal.
Running down the front of the handle are some important features.
At the top is the AquaSonic logo, in a grey/silver color, contrasting against the black.
Below this is a large circular power on/off button. This has the text ‘ON/OFF’ beneath it.
Another circular button sits below this. A little smaller, this is used to change between the 4 cleaning modes the brush has.
These modes are labeled beneath the button.
The 4 modes are:
When selected, the mode is lit up with white light, so you can clearly see which mode is active.
I like the fact that words are used for the modes. Many brands use icons, which make it more difficult to tell what mode it is.
Towards the bottom of the handle is a battery icon, this lights up either green or red depending on the battery status.
The base of the brush is flat, this means that the brush will stand upright on a worktop.
There is however a recess in the base, which the charging stand fits into for recharging.
On the back of the handle are 3 grooves that run a little over two thirds of the way up the handle.
The groves are functional and help the fingers grip onto the brush when in hand. Subtle, but practical I like this touch.
Smooth to the touch, the brush handle is wrapped in what appears to be some sort of silicone/rubber material. Although smooth, it does help with grip and is much better than the glossy plastic bodies you get on many brushes. Essentially what I am saying, that it looks and feels quite good.
But, take a little more time to inspect the materials and you can tell that they are not as good quality as more premium models, but given the price, this is perhaps not all that surprising. I should say they are more than satisfactory.
At the top of the handle extends a metal shaft. This is what makes the brush head function and is fixed into the brush motor sealed inside the handle.
The brush heads push onto the metal shaft. To remove the heads, you simply pull them off.
8 brush heads are provided in the box. The heads are all made from a smooth black plastic.
All shared the same bristle style, but 2 of the 8 supplied with my brush had a black colored ring at the bottom whilst the other 6 had a chrome ring. This ring was not user removable.
The heads have a typical sonic toothbrush size and shape to them. Larger than the small round brush heads found on the likes of Oral-B brushes they are an oval shape.
Arranged in 26 tufts, there are hundreds of nylon bristles in each head.
I don’t have a microscope to be able to check, but I suspect these bristles are rough cut.
What this means is the tip of each bristle has not been through a polishing process that would round the tips. Not going through this process can mean the bristle tips are sharper and less even and can potentially be more aggressive on the gums and soft mouth tissues.
It is not a massive issue for most, but some may get a bit of a stabbing sensation when brushing. The bristles also feel at the stiffer end of the scale. They certainly were not the softest bristles I have ever used.
The bristle length is a little longer at the top and bottom of the head (the green bristles) this is to help with cupping around the tooth and getting into the interdental spaces.
Overall, I felt the brushing experience from these heads was more than satisfactory and my teeth feel clean after use.
On odd occasions, the experience just felt a tiny bit rougher than the likes of a Sonicare or Oral-B brushing experience.
When it comes to dental advice and information on how to take care of your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) are one of the leading bodies.
It is then pretty reassuring to know that Aquasonic Black Series has achieved their ‘Seal of Acceptance’ which means the brush has met and surpassed certain standards and tests that the independent board put together. Thus, the dental professionals have signed it off.
It is good practice to replace a brush head every 3 months, sooner if the head is showing signs of wear or damaged bristles.
Unlike some brush heads, there appears not to be any fading bristles to act as a visual clue to replace the brush head. This is by no means a dealbreaker, just something to be aware of.
As I said, 8 heads come supplied, so based on 1 user, you have enough heads to last 2 years.
At the time of initial review, no replacement brush heads were available, despite being a necessary accessory/spare. It looked like the brush would be essentially fit for the trash at that point.
The lack of replacement brush heads is not something that is exclusive to AquaSonic, but it leaves users in the lurch. What good is an electric toothbrush without replacement heads?
Any serious toothbrush manufacturer would make sure replacement heads were available, wouldn't they?
However, after long delays replacements can now be sourced. I can only hope this continues.
It transpires that brush heads made for Philips Sonicare brush handles also fit and work with this brush handle. So, whilst not made by Aquasonic more options exist than it first seems.
Clawing back some ground the brush has a few good features built in.
Firstly it is IP rated, which means all the electronics are sealed inside. Whilst you want to avoid submerging the brush in water, a good rinse.
The manual does suggest not to use when bathing though, so avoid use in the shower.
The built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 3 weeks on the standard clean mode, which is good.
As part of the electronics, there is a built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
These work hand in hand and encourage you and me to brush for the dentist recommended time and evenly.
These kick in from the moment you power the brush on.
At 30 second intervals, there is a very slight pause in the brush head motion. This changes the sound also.
The pausing of the brush head is your cue to change quadrant.
The idea is you break your mouth up into 4 sections (quadrants), upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left.
Spend 30 seconds cleaning each section and by the end of the 2 minutes, you will have achieved a fairly even clean and brushed for as long as a dentist would like you to.
At the end of the 2 minute cleaning cycle, the brush will turn itself off automatically, another neat feature.
Whilst not essential, the brush does not have a pressure sensor built in.
A pressure sensor can slow the brush motor and alert you when brushing too hard. Many Oral-B brushes have this built in as standard.
Just be aware, you should not scrub the teeth, the bristles need only skim the surfaces of the teeth to keep them clean.
The 4 cleaning modes all run for a total of 2 minutes and the timer and pacer works with all modes.
The motor in the brush handle delivers up to 40,000 vibrations (brush strokes) per minute, which is 9,000 more than Sonicare.
It is not clear how the number of vibrations differs between each mode, but the whiten mode sounds and feels most intense like it is using all 40,000.
The massage mode, pulses, altering from what is a higher and lower number of movements. This is designed to help stimulate the gums and encourage better gum health.
The manual describes the modes as follows:
- Clean - Standard mode for superior teeth cleaning
- Soft - Gently caress, carefully clean sensitive mouth
- Whiten - Teeth cleaning with polishing and whitening
- Massage - Pulsates for gum stimulation
To be honest I can’t say that the soft mode felt very soft.
I do not have sensitive gums, but it felt quite intense and pair this with the stiff bristles and it was not as pleasant as if I were using a sensitive mode on a leading brands brush.
The modes may work well for some people, but to be honest they are far from essential. Most, myself included will stick to the ‘clean’ mode for the vast majority of brushing sessions.
To change between the modes you press the smaller of the 2 circular buttons on the brush handle. You can change the mode before the brush is on or during the cleaning cycle. You can press the mode button as many times as you like, it just keeps cycling through the modes.
The on/off button does just that. In fact, rarely will you need to press it to turn the brush off, as it does it automatically.
Both buttons require little force to activate them, and sadly neither give the most satisfying feedback as you press them.
Always handy is a travel case as this can protect the toothbrush handle and brush heads when on the move.
The case here is fairly typical, holding the handle and up to 2 brush heads.
A clever touch, not often seen is the drip tray in the case, that allows the water off the heads to drain off. The tray pulls out for cleaning. Also, there is a vent in the base of the case to allow airflow and help dry off the head and handle.
Made from hard plastic, the case is an opaque black color, rather than being a solid black.
It feels pretty durable and like it could take a few knocks.
A very minor thing is that the plastic used is clearly a lower grade because out of the box it had a whole series of swirls/minor scratches to the plastic. This is an example of where the cost has been minimized.
Ultimately it will protect the head and handle.
Included in the box is an instruction manual. Not the most comprehensive it covers all the important things including teaching the correct brushing technique.
There are a small number of troubleshooting points within the manual, with at least 1 mention of contacting the service center for support.
As outlined in ‘who are AquaSonic’ and the upcoming ‘reliability’ section of the review, there are no contact details for the manufacturer or service center.
There is also no warranty information provided. As of 2021 there is now a warranty support page available at https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
Electric toothbrushes are powered by batteries. These are either built-in and not user replaceable or they are removable and make use of the likes of AA or AAA batteries.
The best performing brushes tend to have the batteries built-in.
This AquaSonic Black Series Ultra has a built-in rechargeable battery.
It uses a lithium-ion battery built-in, which is more desirable than a brush with a NiMH battery, which some, predominantly older models have.
Whilst it does not always apply, those brushes with a lithium battery tend to last longer and be more reliable than those with a NiMH battery.
Things look good for AquaSonic then.
I am unsure of the exact milliampere (mAh) capacity of the battery, but on a full charge, I achieved 44 tooth brushing sessions.
Or to put it another way that is 22 days of use, based on 2 cleans per day for 2 minutes between charges.
Therefore you are getting a touch over 3 weeks on a single charge.
This is very good.
As a general rule, the average battery life of an electric toothbrush is now about 2 weeks. There are some brushes that are as little as 5-7 days, but many are now offering more than 2 weeks.
In fact, many of these newer brands appear to offer months of battery life rather than weeks.
All in all, AquaSonic does well here.
On the brush handle is a LED icon for the battery.
This will light up a green or red color, depending on the remaining power.
The manual is not specific about this, but my own hands-on testing suggests the icon will be lit green when power in the battery is above 20% or the brush is on charge.
If the power falls below 20% this is when the icon flashes red to warn you power is low.
It can take a full 24 hours to charge the brush fully.
When you need to recharge the battery, the brush relies on a fairly typical charging stand setup.
Provided in the box is a black colored charging stand.
The stand has a 2 pin US plug on it and a cable that is about 4 feet (1.2 meters ) in length.
On the base are 4 rubber feet, that stop the stand from moving about on a countertop.
On the front, it the AquaSonic brand name and on the top is a protuberance (a bit sticking out) that fits into the recess on the base of the brush handle.
When connected to the power, electricity is passed wirelessly between the stand and the brush handle.
Inside the charging stand and brush handle are tightly wound coils of cable that transfer the charge. It is a common and safe way to charge an electric toothbrush.
It is actually the same wireless technology that modern smartphones use if they have wireless charging built-in.
This style of design helps keep the brush water resistant but can mean it takes a little longer to fully charge the brush.
For those who travel the 3 weeks battery life should be good enough. However, if you are on a longer trip and need to use the charging stand overseas, then it is great that the stand actually supports 100-240V. This means that you will only need a plug adapter to use it in certain countries, not a voltage adapter.
Summary of battery life
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
I probably don’t need to tell you that most products have a recommended or suggested retail price, then there is the price that the product actually sells for.
I have been unable to determine what the suggested retail price of this AquaSonic Black Series toothbrush is.
It was once listed for sale at $129 however, the average selling price in the last 6 months has been $37.
These prices come from sales history on Amazon and eBay, the primary outlets that you can buy this through. Although there have been some other sellers, best known being Groupon.
Here at Electric Teeth, we like to price the brush over a 3 year period to try and calculate the average selling price.
To do that, we need to factor in the cost of replacement heads required over this time too.
1 user will require 12, but you actually get 8 included in the box.
Where once AquaSonic were not offering replacement heads, they now do.
A 2 pack have a retail price of $14.95, but typically sell for around $11.95, so $6 each.
An Oral-B head typically costs about $5, and a Sonicare head in the region of $8.
Given you need another 4 heads over and about the 8 supplied, you are looking at a further cost of $26.
Over a 3 year period then, the cost totals $63 to own.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it. This price also works on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
You can bring the cost down further if you were to share it with other members of your household. All you need do is invest in is extra brush heads.
At $63 this is very cost effective. There are not really many that come in cheaper.
Sonicare’s Series 4100 works out at $150, so well over twice the price. However, there are quite a few benefits for the premium charged and would be my choice.
Oral-B's Smart 1500 is a bit more competitive on price, but still not that cheap.
But they do offer the Pro 500, which comes in at around $85, but there are some compromises.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
Reliability & long term use
In an ideal world, I would be able to test this brush for many months and give you a longer term view of how this brush performs.
However, the reality is that I can and have only tested this brush for several weeks.
In that time, as I have outlined, it has performed well and given no immediate concerns for durability and reliability.
The fit and finish is pretty good, with no obvious weakness in construction.
However, from having handled many other brushes, I can tell you that the material quality is inferior to models from well known brands. I can’t say for sure whether long term this will be an issue, but it could well be.
Most brushes will last on average 3-5 years and are often supported with a warranty for 1 if not 2 of these years.
At the time of writing, over 1,400 have reviewed this brush on Amazon, and only 5% have rated it negatively, most citing some form of product failure.
I can’t help but wonder if long term reliability will be the sacrifice of buying a brush that is as cheap as this.
Assumptions I wish not to make, but might this be why the company behind AquaSonic seem almost invisible.
There is not a single mention of warranty on the sales pages or in the documentation provided.
If something should go wrong, you will need to reach out to the seller from whom you bought it, in the hope they can help. My fear is that if you reach out several months after purchase, you might be ignored or subject to excuses.
Even if it still works in 2 years as well as it did when new, the real problem is sourcing replacement brush heads. In 2 years, the supplied heads will have worn out. What to do when no replacement heads exist?
Let’s face it, the long term future looks bleak.
The AquaSonic Black Series is an impressive toothbrush that certainly challenges some of the bigger brands, particularly when you look at the value for money you get.
It cleans the teeth well, has a good box contents and key features like a timer and pacer built-in. It has even been approved by the American Dental Association.
However, the good parts of this brush are somewhat overshadowed by what it lacks.
It lacks the quality of the bigger brands, it feels cheaper in many places.
There is no obvious or easily obtainable manufacturer support and although replacement brush heads are now available, they were provided far later than one would have imagined.
The Oral-B Smart 1500 is my top pick. However, the Pro 500 is a very good alternative if you are on a budget.
- Toothbrush height with head - 25cm / 9.8 inches
- Toothbrush height without head - 19cm / 7.5 inches
- Width - 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Depth/thickness - 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Weight with head - 113g / 4oz
- Weight without head - 118g / 4.1oz
- Travel case size - 22cm / 8.7 inches (L) x 8cm / 3.1 inches (W) x 4.5cm / 1.8 inches (D)
- Travel case weight - 144g / 5.1oz without brush or 257g / 9.1oz with brush
- Package weight - 499g / 17.6oz
Country of manufacture