Opting for a lesser known brand puts money back in your pocket
American Dental Association approved, the Vibe packs a punch for the price with more than satisfactory cleaning performance.
It delivers superb value but is potentially compromised by product quality and ongoing support.
- Multiple cleaning modes
- Several weeks of use on a single charge
- You get a lot in the box for the price
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- No pressure sensor
- Quality of materials are not the best
- Possible supply & availability issues with replacement brush heads
- 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.
|Oral-B Smart 1500 - Blue||15,630 Reviews||$79.18||View on Amazon|
Who are AquaSonic?
Dental care is dominated by major brands like Sonicare, Oral-B and Colgate.
But, newer brands are beginning to challenge these large companies.
AquaSonic and others and showing consumers what is possible.
The main differentiator is price.
AquaSonic is all about giving as much as is possible, for the lowest, reasonable price.
AquaSonic is a brand, managed by a California based company, Pure Daily Care.
Although as US company/brand, the toothbrush is designed and made in China. It has not been designed by Pure Daily Clean.
AquaSonic is a young brand, with only a few models of toothbrush to their name.
I don’t usually talk about the companies behind the toothbrushes I review. I can’t help but feel it is somewhat necessary here.
Very little information exists about the brand.
There is no dedicated AquaSonic website or contact pages. As of 2021 AquaSonic now have a website https://www.aquasonic.com/ complete with a page for contacting them.
Since the last AquaSonic review, Pure Daily Care has addressed the lack of warranty. Coincidence or not, I’m not sure.
So, the Vibe comes with a 1 year warranty, where the model before appeared not to.
The 1 year warranty card does include an email address [email protected]. There is no contact telephone number provided.
There is no warranty, support or help information included in the box or within the user manual. Instead, you must rely on a message sent to you, from Pure Daily Care, via Amazon’s message center. Or you can now head to https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee
A fixable issue is the lack of replacement brush heads.*
8 heads do come in the box, but spares are not sold by Pure Daily Care.
The company does not make this clear. They don’t say what you should do when you run out.
Any Philips Sonicare compatible heads fit and work with the Vibe, so it is possible to get spares. But, getting color matched heads will prove more challenging.
This lack of support with accessories is common amongst new, start-up brands.
I appreciate the challenges, but it can make for a bad customer experience.
Design, usability, clean & general use
The packaging of the AquaSonic Vibe Series is pretty typical of a toothbrush.
It comes packaged in a plastic tray, that sits inside a cardboard box.
The box has a simple design to it. The Vibe logo is what catches the eye most.
On the box, a few of the key features of the toothbrush are highlighted.
Whilst it is not a major issue, I do want to explain the name of the brush, as it is printed on the box. It could be misleading.
The box says ‘AquaSonic Ultra Sonic Whitening Toothbrush’.
Without getting into the science (you can read more about that here), there are different types of cleaning technology available in electric toothbrushes. Sonic and ultrasonic (one word) are two types.
In this instance, ultra sonic is two words. I want to make clear, this is not an ultrasonic brush, it is a sonic toothbrush.
The AquaSonic Vibe is equivalent to a Sonicare toothbrush. It does not perform like an ultrasonic toothbrush.
And then to the whitening. This brush does have a whiten mode, but a toothbrush cannot strictly whiten the teeth.
Stains (from food, drinks, smoking etc) can make your teeth look darker and discolored. A toothbrush can make the teeth appear whiter, by cleaning stains off the surface of the teeth. But, it is not actually changing the natural tooth color.
Any good tooth brushing routine can remove stains from the teeth. Thus, it is a bit of a stretch to say this is a whitening toothbrush.
With that explained, let me tell you more about the brush.
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 makes it easier to hold.
The Vibe comes in 3 colors, optic white, satin rose gold and charcoal metallic. It is the charcoal metallic, that I have.
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. It catches the eye, but it is this that on closer inspection makes the brush feel a bit cheaper.
The main controls for this toothbrush are on the front.
At the top is the AquaSonic logo, in a grey/silver color. The logo It does contrast with the handle color. I would say it is more noticeable on the white or rose gold handle.
Below this is a large circular power on/off button. This has the text ‘ON/OFF’ printed beneath the button
Another circular button sits below this. A little smaller, there is no text on the handle to say what this button is. It is the cleaning mode button. When pressed it changes the mode selected on the toothbrush.
These modes labeled beneath the button.
The 4 modes are:
The labels for each mode are stacked on top of each other.
You can see the name when the toothbrush is turned off, but turn it on, or press the mode button and the modes are backlit.
Towards the bottom of the handle is a battery icon. The icon 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 a recess in the base, into 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 in hand grip. It is much better than the glossy plastic bodies you get on many brushes. What I am saying is, that it looks and feels quite good.
If I inspect the materials, I can tell that the quality is not as high as more premium models, from other brands. Given the price, this is 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. It is attached into the brush motor sealed inside the handle.
In the box with the AquaSonic Vibe are 8 brush heads.
The heads in this instance are color matched to the brush handle, so they have a grey color to them.
The optic white handle comes with white brush heads, as does the satin rose gold.
I am not sure why the charcoal metallic model gets color matched heads and not the satin rose gold. I think it is because white looks better with that color than it does the charcoal.
The brush heads push onto the metal shaft. To remove the heads, you pull them off.
This is the same approach used by Oral-B and Sonicare.
Oral-B heads would not work with this brush handle, but Sonicare heads do.
This is an important fact.
AquaSonic offer no replacement brush heads. Or, at least they do not at the time of writing.*
This means you have to source alternatives. Any Sonicare compatible brush head will work.
But, be aware, that you will unlikely ever find a charcoal metallic colored brush head, to match the handle.
You should replace a brush head every 3 months, sooner if the head is showing signs of wear or has damaged bristles. So, once the 8 heads wear out, it’s going to have to be a white colored brush head.
I do find this frustrating. It is a bit of a first world problem, but one that is so simple to resolve.
What good is an electric toothbrush without replacement heads?
Any serious toothbrush manufacturer would make sure replacement heads were available, wouldn’t they?
The AquaSonic brush heads are very similar to Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads.
What I mean by this, is that they are larger and more ovalish shaped. They are not small and round like Oral-B brush heads are.
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. Unpolished tips are sharper, less even and can 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 are 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.
The clean from these brush heads is 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 Vibe 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.
The motor in this brush head offers 40,000 vibrations per minute. This is actually 9,000 more than Sonicare branded toothbrushes. You can tell the difference, but I see no evidence to suggest it makes the cleaning any better.
I may sound a little critical but there are some good features built-in, I can assure you of that.
Built-in is a 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer.
The time and pacer work hand in hand. They encourage you and me to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes, making sure the teeth get an even clean.
The timer begins working from the moment the toothbrush is powered 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 quadrant. And, by the end of the 2 minutes, you will have achieved an 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. Many brushes now do this, but I think it is an underrated feature. It is a clear signal that the 2 minute clean is complete and it saves you some effort turning the brush off. Oral-B toothbrushes do not have this feature.
The timer and pacer function on all 4 of the cleaning modes that the brush offers.
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.
II do not have sensitive gums. But, it felt quite intense. Pair this with the stiff bristles and it was not as gentle 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.
It is not clear how the number of vibrations differ between each mode. 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.
To change between the modes you press the smaller of the 2 circular buttons on the front of 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 keeps cycling through the modes. The selected mode will be backlit with a white light.
Both the cleaning mode and on/off buttons need little force to activate them. Neither give the most satisfying feedback as you press them, but they work.
There is no pressure sensor built into the Vibe, to alert you when you are brushing with too much force. You will need to look at models like the Sonicare 4100 Series or the Oral-B Smart 1500 to get such a feature.
Be aware, you should not scrub the teeth, the bristles need only skim the surfaces of the teeth to keep them clean.
The toothbrush will survive a rinse under the tap, but it is not designed to be used when bathing.
The built-in rechargeable battery is claimed to last up to 4 weeks on the standard clean mode, which is good. My hands-on testing revealed it actually lasted in excess of 5 weeks.
Also in the box is a travel case.
This is also a charcoal metallic color to match the handle, although the lid is more opaque.
Buy the optic white or satin rose gold and the case is white in color.
The case is of an all plastic construction. It can protect the toothbrush handle and brush heads when your toothbrush is on the move with you. It feels pretty durable and like it could take a few knocks.
The case is typical of that supplied with an electric toothbrush. It holds the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads.
There is a vent in the base of the case to allow airflow and help dry off the head and handle.
Included in the box is an instruction manual. The manual is 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. There is at least 1 mention of contacting the service center for support. There are no contact details provided though.
The Vibe does come with a 1 year warranty.
As outlined in ‘who are AquaSonic’ section of the review, you will need to make contact with the seller via Amazon. There is also no warranty information provided in the box. As of 2021 AquaSonic now have a website with a warranty page https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Typical toothbrush design
- Rounded brush handle
- 3 color choices – Charcoal metallic, optic white & satin rose gold
- There are color matched accessories for the charcoal metallic and optic white variant
- Satin rose gold has white brush heads, charging stand and travel case
- Separate power and cleaning mode buttons
- 4 cleaning modes (Clean, soft, whiten & massage)
- Cleaning modes are labeled on handle and backlit
- Battery status icon
- 8 brush heads provided
- Firm bristles
- No spare/replacement brush heads available*
- 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer built-in
- Automatic power off function
- Battery built-in with 4+ week battery life
- Travel case included
- 1 year warranty – No information or manufacturer support details in the box
One of the benefits of newer electric toothbrushes tends to be battery life.
Many of these lesser known brands, are putting leading brands like Oral-B and Colgate to shame.
Most Oral-B models offer a battery life of 7-14 days.
Sonicare sets the bar for battery life amongst the big name brands. Although it generally suggests 2-3 weeks battery life, almost all outperform this.
4-5 weeks is not uncommon from a Sonicare electric toothbrush.
The Vibe is claimed to last around 4 weeks, based on 2 cleans per day each lasting 2 minutes.
I achieved 39 days. That is 78 brushing sessions.
In total, this is about a week and a half additional battery life over what was claimed.
4 weeks battery life is good, but over 5 is very good.
Needless to say, I am pleased with the Vibe’s performance here.
The battery is fixed inside the brush handle and is not user removable.
The Vibe uses a lithium-ion battery. These tend to be more commonplace now than Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. Some toothbrushes still use them though.
On the brush handle is an LED icon for the battery.
This will light up a green or red color, depending on the remaining power.
The manual includes the most basic of information. It is not specific about what light the battery icon should show when.
My hands-on testing has shown the following.
When the toothbrush is on charge, the battery icon will light up a steady red color if low. It then turns to green. When fully charged it appears to turn the battery light off completely.
When the brush is in use, and the battery falls below about 20%, the icon will turn red.
If the remaining power in the battery is over 20%, the battery icon will be lit green.
The manual claims that to fully charge the battery, it can take up to 24 hours.
Oral-B brushes tend to take about 12-15 hours, whereas Sonicare brushes can also take up to 24 hours.
Provided in the box is a charging stand.
In my case, the stand is color matched to the brush handle.
If you buy the optic white or satin rose gold, the charging stand will be white.
The charging stand is typical of a toothbrush charging stand.
There is a prong on the top, that fits into the recess on the base of the toothbrush.
There is no need to connect a cable to the toothbrush. The brush charges wirelessly.
Inside the charging stand and brush handle are tightly wound coils of cables. It is this that allows the transfer of electricity and charges the battery. It is a common and safe way to charge an electric toothbrush.
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 of the toothbrush charger is the AquaSonic logo.
The usage time from the battery means that for most, if you travel you don’t need to take the charging stand.
Should you need to take the stand, it supports 100-240V.
This means that if you travel internationally you may only need a plug adapter to use it in certain countries, a voltage adapter will not be needed.
Summary of battery life
- Lithium-Ion battery technology used
- 4 weeks of claimed battery life
- Achieved over 5 weeks – 156 minutes of usage time or 39 days usage based on 2 cleans a day
- Green battery icon when power is above 20%
- Flashing red battery icon when power is below 20%
- Takes up to 24 hours to charge fully
- A charger is included in the box
- US 2 pin plug
- Works on 110-240 volts
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.
At the time of review, the only place you can buy the AquaSonic Vibe from is Amazon.
It is common for electric toothbrushes to have a high suggested sales price. The actual selling price can be easily 20% less.
The AquaSonic Vibe does not have an overinflated suggested selling price.
In fact, the price has been from the day it launched, very competitive.
The price is, of course, subject to change, but it generally retails for around $37.
For this price, you are getting an electric toothbrush, 8 brush heads and a travel case.
There is no argument, this is a good value toothbrush.
Here at Electric Teeth we like to try and calculate the cost of ownership over 3 years. This allows us to create a benchmark for comparison with other toothbrushes.
The lack of replacement brush heads, makes things a little more complicated.*
8 are included in the box. Under normal circumstances, this is enough for 2 years only.
For a third year, you need another 4 heads.
There are many heads you can choose from but these brush heads from Mornwell available on Amazon will fit.
A pack of 4 costs $11. This makes each brush head just $2.75.
Add this $11 to the $37 price and the total cost is $48 or just 4 cents per day, over 3 years.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it.
For the sake of comparison. The Sonicare 4100 has a retail price of $49.96, but sells for around $40. A similar initial purchase price, but you don’t get the travel case or the 8 brush heads.
Over 3 years, that works out at 14 cents per day. 3 times the price is quite a big difference.
Being cheaper is a benefit, but the AquaSonic Vibe is considerably cheaper.
What you gain in price, you do lose out on in support and peace of mind. If you are on a budget, but want the benefit of an electric toothbrush, the AqauSonic Vibe is worth buying.
But, the Oral-B or Philips Sonicare are the better toothbrushes long term. I do believe worth the extra investment.
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
- Sells for approximately $37
- AquaSonic own brush heads not available*
- Sonicare compatible heads work – prices vary
- Works out at $48 or 3 cents per day over 3 years
- Very cheap in comparison to competition
Reliability & long term use
Brushes that are as cost effective as AquaSonic have to cut costs somewhere.
In my opinion, this cost cutting exercise often happens in the parts and materials used.
I have no evidence to suggest this is the case, but history and experience suggest this to me.
I have already mentioned how the build quality of this toothbrush is satisfactory.
It feels and looks cheaper in places. It by no means looks or feels as durable as Sonicare or Oral-B toothbrushes when in hand.
This alone does not mean it will fail or be less durable. But there are complaints from other owners that the toothbrush has failed early on.
The AqauSonic Vibe does come with a 1 year manufacturers warranty.
The details of this warranty are sparse. There is no mention on or in the box.
You will get an email from the manufacturer/amazon seller, Pure Daily Care, with the warranty card.
The card is sent electronically and has the warranty serial number included.
As of 2021 there is now the option to register your brush and get more information at https://www.aquasonic.com/pages/warranty-guarantee.
I have tested this brush for a couple of weeks and during that time no faults occurred with it. I should also state that I can’t see any glaring faults or issues with the build quality. It appears to be good enough.
Ideally, I would test for much longer, but this is not possible.
I would presume that this warranty covers the typical faults as you would expect.
It is a shame that the warranty is not 2 years, which is in most instances the norm today for an electric toothbrush.
The AquaSonic Vibe is a satisfactory toothbrush that I could continue to use.
It is good value.
Essential features such as a timer and pacer are built-in.
The included travel case and 8 brush heads are a real bonus too.
What lets it down a little, is the product quality. It is not as well built and satisfying to use as the Sonicare 4100 or Oral-B Smart 1500.
The warranty is 1 year and there are no replacement brush heads available from AquaSonic.*
Most reputable electric toothbrushes come with a 2 year warranty. The manufacturer will offer replacement brush heads, for their brushes.
For me, it feels like there is a lack of ongoing customer support. These are small, fixable issues. It is a shame that they need fixing.
Thankfully, Sonicare compatible heads work with the AquaSonic Vibe. But, if you need to buy Sonicare compatible, you might as well buy a Sonicare toothbrush.
- Height (without head) – 7.5 inches/19cm
- Height (with head) – 9.8 inches/25cm
- Width – 1.1 inches/2.8cm
- Thickness – 1.1 inches/2.8cm
- Weight (without head) – 4oz/113g
- Weight (with head) – 4.1oz/118g
All are approximates
AquaSonic Vibe vs Black Series Whitening Toothbrush
AquaSonic offer a few different models of electric toothbrush.
The most popular to date has been the black series whitening toothbrush.
You might be keen to know the difference because it is not that clear.
From what I can tell the only differences are:
- The product name
- The product color
- The travel case supplied with the Vibe does not have a drip tray
- Battery life is better on the Vibe
The black series toothbrush was black in color.
The vibe series comes in optic white, charcoal metallic (grey) and satin rose gold.
Technically, from what I can tell, they are the same.
Aside from the color, they look the same too.
*Some replacement brush heads are now available. They are however available in black and white color options only. You can’t yet purchase the grey colored heads. Even now, the white heads are only available as part of an 8 pack where you get 4 black and 4 white. This is far from ideal.