Which one would we choose?
If money is no object then the DiamondClean Smart is the brush to go for, it is the more premium and complete package.
However, as good as the Sonicare is, the considerably lower price point of the Genius AI cannot be ignored.
A touch less refined it might be, but the Oral-B Genius AI is still an incredibly powerful and capable electric toothbrush that offers a fantastic clean and user experience.
These are undoubtedly the two best brushes that money can buy, but if you don’t quite have the budget for that check out our other electric toothbrush recommendations.
The following video compares the UK version of the Genius AI, known as the Genius X and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart. There are subtle differences. But the general message is the same.
- Design, size and weight. The Genius AI and DiamondClean Smart look quite different.
- Genius AI available in 2 colours (white and black) compared to the 1 (lunar blue) of the DiamondClean Smart.
- The 2 brushes have different cleaning actions. Sonic vs oscillating-rotating.
- The Genius AI has 6 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, Pro Clean and Tongue Clean) whilst the DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health and Tongue Care).
- The Sonicare DiamondClean offers 3 brushing intensity settings.
- The DiamondClean comes with 4 brush heads compared to the 3 with the Genius AI.
- The DiamondClean can automatically change the cleaning mode based on the brush head attached.
- The DiamondClean Smart will alert you via a light on the handle when it is time to change a brush head, based on tracked usage.
- Both brushes have travel cases that allow charging in the case, but the DiamondClean Smart is implemented better.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with a glass charging stand compared to the plastic charging stand with the Genius AI.
- The Genius AI uses artificial intelligence technology to help track your brushing action to rate your overall clean.
- The DiamondClean Smart offers better battery life, 3 weeks compared to 16 days.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with a brush head storage compartment.
- The Genius AI comes with a magnetic travel pouch.
- The Genius AI comes with a suction cup phone holder.
- The Genius AI gives more feedback from the battery than the DiamondClean Smart.
- The Genius AI has an LED Smart Ring the DiamondClean does not.
- The DiamondClean Smart has an automatic power off and Easy Start features the Genius AI does not.
- The DiamondClean Smart is quieter.
- The Genius AI is the cheaper of the 2 models.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
Images used in this review show the UK version of the Genius AI, known as the Genius X. Box design, and colour is slightly different. Used for illustration purposes.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Genius AI and Sonicare DiamondClean Smart?
As I intimated in the verdict at the start of this comparison, both of these brushes are excellent and are most certainly premium electric toothbrushes.
Both models offer way more than what you need but do offer a lot of extras that make the whole package more appealing and desirable.
The Genius AI takes the crown purely on value for money because although I feel the DiamondClean Smart is the better brush overall, it isn’t worth the $150-200 premium usually commanded of it, in my opinion.
So, let me explain in more detail how these 2 brushes differ and help you better understand what sets them apart and ultimately, which is best for you.
The first and perhaps most obvious thing is the look of the 2 electric toothbrushes.
Whilst they both are similarly shaped and designed there are some key differences.
In my opinion, the Sonicare DiamondClean looks more premium at first glance, where the Genius AI looks much busier, with more going on.
This is a good and a bad thing really. As much as it is nice to have a smart-looking toothbrush, you want it to be functional also, and the Genius AI appears to tick this box.
The Genius AI measures up as follows:
- Height (without head) – 20.5cm
- Height (with head) – 23.5cm
- Width – 2.7cm
- Thickness – 3.2cm
- Weight (without head) – 133g
- Weight (with head) – 138g
Whereas the DiamondClean Smart comes in at:
- Height (without head) – 19cm
- Height (with head) – 25.5cm
- Width – 2.7cm
- Thickness – 3cm
- Weight (without head) – 137g
- Weight (with head) – 142g
As you can see from the size and weight specs listed the 2 brushes are really much of a muchness here.
There are more gloss plastics with the Genius AI which degrade the overall appearance a little, but the large rubber grip that adorns the side and back of the AI is very appealing and it is more reassuring in hand, particularly when the brush handle is wet.
Both have a separate power and mode button to power the brush on and change the cleaning mode.
A small but subtle difference here is that the brushing modes can be changed on the DiamondClean when the toothbrush is turned off. With the Genius AI 10000, you can only change the cleaning mode once the brush is powered on.
On the front of the brush handle are icons for the cleaning modes available on each brush. Both are backlit by a white light once selected.
Unlike the Genius, the DiamondClean Smart has the actual name of the brushing mode, making it very clear and easy to see which is selected. The AI, on the other hand, has icons which makes it a touch more difficult to remember what each icon really means.
To make things just a touch more complicated, Oral-B only have 5 icons on the handle despite there being 6 cleaning modes available, there is no icon for the standard Daily Clean mode.
Both feel solid in hand and I have little in the way of concern for the durability and reliability of these models.
A fairly major aesthetic difference is the LED smart ring and visible pressure sensor on the Genius AI, compared to the Sonicare DiamondClean.
Around the neck of the brush handle, just below the brush head is a translucent panel that runs a full 360 degrees around the handle.
Via the smartphone app, this can be programmed 1 of 12 different colours. But, it also turns red when the built in pressure sensor is activated.
The DiamondClean has a visible pressure sensor, but this is located at the very bottom edge of the brush handle and emits a purple light as opposed to the red light of the Genius AI.
The brush heads also look quite different, more on that shortly.
You will also notice the handle colour is potentially different also.
The DiamondClean Smart comes in a lunar blue colour, whilst the Genius 10,000 is available in black and white.
There are 3 variants of the Genius AI.
Both the black and white models have the same box contents as listed in the Genius AI review.
The third variant is a dual handle option, which includes a black and a white handle.
The DiamondClean Smart 9700 on the other hand is available in just 1 variant. Although there is the DiamondClean Smart 9100 which is a slightly different offering.
The 9700 is the top of the range model, with the most comprehensive box contents. The 9100 is a slightly more cost effective option. I am focusing on the 9700 in this comparison.
I will come back to the items in the box, but I think it is important to consider one of the other major ways in which these brushes differ, and that is their cleaning action.
Sonicare uses a sonic cleaning action whereas the Oral-B toothbrushes have an oscillating-rotating and pulsating cleaning action.
The Sonicare brush heads are larger, sort of more ovalish shaped compared to the smaller, circular brush heads found on Oral-B.
The sonic technology seen on Sonicare brushes uses 2 methods to clean the teeth. The first is a mechanical side-to-side cleaning motion of the brush and the second is a non-contact approach that uses the sonic technology that disrupts plaque beyond the tip of the bristles.
Oral-B’s cleaning is completed via an oscillating-rotating and also pulsating series of movements.
Oral-B brushes have a small, round brush head that moves back and forth (side to side movements) in a circular motion to help remove plaque and dental debris. The movement of the bristles and the head itself essentially scrub the teeth clean. You don’t need to repeatedly move the bush up and down, back and forth.
Pulsations offer a more sophisticated motion and gives another dimension to the brushing. Essentially a ‘non-contact’ form of brushing and relies on pulsations/vibrations like Sonicare brushes do.
I explain the differences and the clinical research into both a bit more in my post comparing Oral-B to Sonicare.
Whilst the cleaning action found on the Oral-B Genius AI is more highly regarded clinically, both do a fantastic job. Whilst technically it is a fundamental difference between the 2, don’t get too worried about which approach is best.
A small win also is that Oral-B heads tend to be a bit cheaper than Sonicare. On average you are looking at $7 for Oral-B vs the $12 for a Sonicare head.
The 9700 comes with 4 brush heads in the box compared to the 3 with the Genius AI.
With the Sonicare:
- 1 x C3 Premium Plaque Control
- 1 x G3 Premium Gum, Care
- 1 x W3 Premium White
- 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush
With the Genius AI:
- 1 x CrossAction
- 1 x 3D White
- 1x Gum Care
Sonicare heads and in particular the heads suitable for the DiamondClean Smart are more expensive because of the RFID chips built-in.
You see the DiamondClean Smart has something called BrushSync technology which works in 2 ways.
The first is that the chip built into the brush head communicates with the handle to track how long it has been used for. Once used for 3 months, a light on the brush handle is lit to alert you. This is incredibly clever and useful.
The second part is that depending on what brush head is fitted, the best-suited brushing mode is automatically selected. So, for example, fit the tongue brush and the tongue cleaning mode will be selected.
Whilst the Oral-B brush heads have fading indicator bristles and an in-app reminder, the Genius AI does not alert you via a light when the head needs replacing, nor does it change the brushing mode based on the head you attach.
With either brush, you can use any of the brush heads on any of the cleaning modes available on the toothbrushes.
The brush heads themselves fit only to the respective brands, but both are easy to replace, pulling off and the replacement pushing back on.
With the most premium DiamondClean Smart, the HX9954/56, which comes in lunar blue colour, you receive a brush head storage compartment that will hold up to 4 heads. A plastic lid sits over the top to protect the heads. Sadly no such offering is available with the Genius AI.
Where the Genius AI offers a sensitive and a gum care mode (very similar) the DiamondClean offers just Gum Health.
The modes on each brush are as follows:
- Genius AI
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Pro Clean
- Tongue Clean
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
- Tongue Care
An additional feature on the Sonicare is the brushing intensity settings. In any of the modes, you can press the cleaning mode button to change between low, medium and high intensity.
Essentially the power of the brushing mode is altered to be more gentle or more intense depending on your preference.
The brush does automatically select the best intensity, but you can override it.
Another 2 small, but quite useful features that the DiamondClean has, that Genius AI does not have are the automatic power off and the easystart features.
As the name implies, at the end of the cleaning cycle, the brush will automatically turn itself off, so you don’t have to. It is a clear sign that the cleaning cycle is complete.
When you use the brush for the first time, the easystart feature kicks in. This is a mode that gradually increases the power of the toothbrush over a 2 week period so you can get used to the power.
Much quieter when running the DiamondClean produces and audible humming sound, whereas the Genius is much louder, producing a more mechanical sound when powered on.
Whether this is wasted energy or not, I am not sure, but considering the handles are virtually the same size, the battery life is quite different.
The DiamondClean Smart has a claimed battery life of 2 weeks, but managed 25 days in my hands-on testing.
Compare this to Oral-B’s somewhat weaker 16 days of battery life. It does not exceed the claimed life.
Perhaps slight redemption by the Genius AI is that its battery status icon is broken down into 3 bars, giving a little more feedback in terms of available power than Sonicare’s single bar battery icon, that only changes colour to yellow when at approximately 10%.
Both models will, of course, need charging at some point and both come with 2 options to charge the toothbrush. Both have a charging stand that the brush sits on to be charged and both come with a travel case that allows the brush to be recharged whilst inside the case.
The Genius AI comes with a more traditional charging stand, although it does have a detachable power cable.
1 power adapter comes in the box and this can be used with the charging stand or the travel case for the Genius AI.
The white or black plastic unit (subject to variant) has a protuberance that fits into the recess on the base of the toothbrush handle.
The DiamondClean comes with a quite different charging stand. More stylish but bulkier, the charging glass looks like a tumbler you might have a stiff drink from. The brush sits in the glass at an angle and uses the same inductive charging technology as the Genius AI does sat on it’s stand, but there is no prong to align with the base of the brush handle.
The Oral-B AI takes up to 12 hours to be fully charged whilst the DiamondClean Smart can take up to 24 hours.
With either brush, the travel case is of a premium construction feeling solid and robust in hand. Both have a soft-touch finish. Coated in leatherette is the Sonicare case, Oral-B’s is finished in a synthetic rubbery feeling material.
Holding the handle and up to two brush heads, the DiamondClean Smart’s case is better. Hardwired into the base is the charging cable that can be accessed and unwound to offer a USB connector that can be plugged into a mains socket, power adapter or computer’s USB connection.
The Genius AI, on the other hand, has a separate proprietary charger that supports 100-240v and connects to a 2 Australian pin socket. This adapter is shared with the charging stand.
In favour of the AI, the case does have a stand for a smartphone built-in as well as a USB port into which you could connect a device such as your smartphone for charging.
The downside is this large power adapter that must be carried and the case must be connected to mains power to charge the brush and connected USB device.
Simply put, the Sonicare option is more refined and practical.
With the AI you do get an additional magnetic travel pouch that holds the power adapter as well as the suction cup smartphone holder that comes provided in the box.
Now a key selling point for both brushes is the fact that they are smart.
Using Bluetooth, both will pair with a smartphone, providing you download the relevant app from the app store.
Both apps are designed to take data collected by sensors in the brush handle, interpret it and give real-time and post brushing feedback on what can be done to improve the brushing and overall oral care of the user.
The aim of both is for you and me to achieve better oral health care at home. Think of it a little like having a dental professional on hand at all times to give guidance.
Without getting bogged down in the details, both do a pretty good job overall.
Oral-B suggests the Genius AI uses artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its process to monitor brushing and to give the feedback and it does. It all sounds very impressive and Sonicare are much less bullish about their app and what it offers.
In reality, I like both, but do think the Sonicare app is more refined.
Graphically perhaps Oral-B has the edge, but I feel the way the Sonicare app shows the feedback is more intuitive and it is much clearer to see what areas of the teeth you have missed and could give more focus now or in the future.
Neither is perfect, but both are very good.
With many differences already covered, there are just a couple more to go.
Lastly then the price.
The DiamondClean Smart has a recommended retail price of around $469.
The Genius AI suggested selling price is $499.
However, the actual price they sell for differs quite considerably with the Genius AI generally being in the region of $150-200 cheaper, selling at $250.
The Sonicare price has actually settled (at the time of writing) around $400.
Does one clean better than the other?
It depends on who you ask!
If you asked the respective brands directly, they would each suggest their model does.
Studies have shown that Oral-B generally speaking have the edge here.
This is because of the smaller brush head size and the motion it results in greater improvements of users oral health than a Sonicare model.
This is however under clinical study conditions and in real-world use, both offer an excellent clean.
My general preference is for the Genius AI cleaning action. I come away with my teeth feeling cleaner after use. It is a bit more of an aggressive clean or so it feels, but the Sonicare is by no means bad.
This will really be personal preference and only if using side by side will you really notice any significant difference.
If one of these is to be your first electric toothbrush, either will offer significant benefits compared to manual brush.
Any user will benefit most from ensuring they are adopting the right brushing technique with an electric toothbrush than choosing between Sonicare or Oral-B.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, the Genius AI is cheaper (most of the time), despite the higher retail price.
The recommended retail price of the Genius AI is $499.
The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart has a retail price of $469.
However, the actual selling prices are quite interesting.
The Genius AI tends to be around 50% less at $250, whilst the DiamondClean is around $400.
Prices are always subject to change, particularly the actual selling price when comparing retailers etc. But, what this means is that on the whole compared to the Genius AI the Sonicare is commanding at least a $150 premium if not more.
There is a lot to like about the DiamondClean Smart, but that is a big chunk of change.
This does not take into account the cost of the brush heads either.
Sonicare does offer some innovation here, but as a general rule is commanding approximately $5 per brush head more.
With even the most creative reasoning this is not justifiable.
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.
The Oral-B Genius AI is the brush that I recommend.
The cleaning performance is superb. It looks pretty good, is comfortable to hold in hand and has a number of really useful features built-in.
The AI technology might not be perfect, but it is very useful and could potentially save you trips to the dentist and unnecessary dental bills by alerting you to your brushing errors.
Ultimately, only you can decide ultimately which brush you should buy.
My intention is to have here presented the differences between 2 of the most capable electric toothbrushes and given my recommendations based on the information and price at the time of writing.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or that of the end user.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.
If you found this useful, have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please leave them in the comments below.