Which one would we choose?
From a design and technological point of view, the iO is considerably better and more user friendly than the Genius 9000.
Both brushes clean the teeth really well, but it is the all round package that the iO offers that makes it the better choice between these 2 models.
The following video compares the UK version of the Genius 9000 and iO. There are subtle differences. But the general message is the same.
- The iO looks quite different to the Genius 9000, with a more premium design.
- The Genius 9000 is available in 6 colour options (white, rose gold, silver, orchid purple, black and midnight black) compared to the 4 of the iO (white alabaster, black onyx, violet ametrine and rose quartz).
- The iO has a colour OLED display built into the handle (black & white on Series 7).
- The iO has a new frictionless motor which is quieter than the Genius 9000.
- The iO offers an oscillating-rotating cleaning action with micro-vibrations as opposed to pulsations on the Genius 9000.
- The iO comes with 2 x Ultimate Clean brush head, compared to the 3 heads (2 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White & 1 x Gum Care) with the Genius 9000.
- The Oral-B iO’s brush heads are not interchangeable with the 9000 and vice versa.
- Up to 7 cleaning modes (subject to variant) are available on the iO (daily clean, gum care, sensitive, super sensitive, whitening, intense & tongue clean) compared to the 6 on the Genius (daily clean, gum care, sensitive, whitening, pro clean & tongue clean).
- The visible pressure sensor on the iO lights up green when the correct amount of pressure is applied and red when too much force is used. The Genius only lights up red when too much pressure is applied.
- The Genius 9000 makes a different sound when the pressure sensor is activated, the iO does not.
- The iO has AI and 3D tracking of the clean compared to the Genius 9000, setup that relies on tracking via the front facing camera of a smartphone. (3D tracking not available with Series 7 & 8)
- Different application setups based on the camera and AI configuration differences.
- The Genius 9000 comes with a suction cup smartphone holder.
- The iO has a magnetic charging stand compared to the more common Oral-B charging stand.
- The iO can charge in just 3 hours compared to the 12 hours of the Genius 9000.
- The Genius 9000 has a battery charging icon/LED on the front of the brush handle. This information is displayed on the OLED display of the iO in more detail.
- The Genius 9000 travel case has a USB port that the iO’s case does not have.
- The Genius 9000 travel case has a smartphone stand that the iO’s does not.
- The Genius 9000 travel case holds a handle and 2 brush heads compared to the iO’s power2go case that holds the handle and 1 brush head. (No power2go feature in the case with series 7 & 8 – but holds 2 brush heads)
- The iO comes with a brush head refill holder for 2 heads compared to the brush head storage compartment for up to 4 heads with the Genius 9000.
- The iO is more expensive with a retail price of $750 compared to the $349 of the Genius 9000.
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. There are multiple variants of the Oral-B iO. It is the range-topping iO Series 9 that I am comparing here primarily making reference to the Series 7 and Series 8 where appropriate.
There are too multiple models of the Genius range. It is the 9000 covered here.
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.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B iO and Genius 9000?
The iO still retains the typical design for an electric toothbrush, but it does look different to the Genius 9000.
The overall size and weight of the brushes are similar.
The Genius 9000 is:
- Height (without head) – 20.5cm
- Height (with head) – 24cm
- Width – 2.7cm
- Thickness – 3.2cm
- Weight (without head) – 134g
- Weight (with head) – 140g
The iO is:
- Height (without head) – 18.5cm
- Height (with head) – 23.7cm
- Width – 2.8cm
- Thickness – 3cm
- Weight (without head) – 131g
- Weight (with head) – 139g
The hands-on images throughout demonstrate this design differences best but it is my opinion that the iO looks the more premium model.
It is still of a primarily plastic construction but there is a certain sleekness to the handle as there are smoother lines and less interruptions to the handle, which give it this look.
Both handles are of a rounded design, although neither are perfect cylinders.
Both brushes have separate power and mode buttons in the upper third of the handle.
With the Genius 9000 these buttons are themselves in a rounded oval panel and have a convex design to them. The iO buttons are concave.
Running down the majority of the handle of the 9000 is a panel within which the icons for the brushes cleaning modes are placed, stacked on top of each other. There is also the battery status LED.
It is this panel that also highlights any particular colour accent the brush handle may have.
Compare this to the iO that does not have the same panel design, because sat between the power and mode button is an LED display that allows you to interact with the handle.
All the cleaning modes and battery information is displayed on this screen, rather than on icons on the handle.
The display allows you to select the mode you want and it allows you to see the battery charge status. You can set the colour of the LED light ring and you get emoji style graphics appear on screen after each brushing session.
It is a nice way to interact with the handle. It is a colour screen with the exception of the iO Series 7 which is black and white.
Whilst it offers a unique way to interact with the brush, the biggest benefit here is the feedback it gives at the end of the clean with these faces. They act as encouragement around your brushing.
On the back of the 9000’s handle, and wrapping around to the right and left side is a large rubber grip. This helps retain a firm hold of the brush, even when wet.
The iO does not have such rubber grips and it arguably prioritises aesthetics over practicalities. That said, the paint finish to the handle isn’t glossy and the brush does not feel all that slippy.
The Genius is available in 6 colour options. Your choices are white, rose gold, silver, orchid purple, black and midnight black. The iO is available in 4 options. Those are white alabaster, black onyx, violet ametrine and rose quartz. Some colours are available only with specific variants of the 9000 or iO.
One of the biggest differences between these 2 brushes is the motor inside.
The iO has a new frictionless motor which has been designed specifically for the iO.
Basically it works slightly differently to the motor in the Genius 9000, but it achieves the same results. The benefit being really that it is quite a bit quieter than the Genius 9000. About 10 decibels quieter.
Another subtle difference on the back of the change in motor is that the iO now offers micro vibrations compared to the pulsations that are offered on the 9000.
They pretty much do the same thing adding a 3rd dimension to the standard oscillating-rotating cleaning action that these brushes offer.
As part of both the mechanical motor change and the changes in handle design, the brush heads for the iO have changed too.
The iO comes supplied with 2 x Ultimate Clean brush heads. It is essentially a revised design of the CrossAction head typically offered with a lot of Oral-B brushes.
The 9000 has 3 brush heads included in the box. These are, 1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White & 1 x Gum Care.
Where brush heads have been interchangeable across Oral-B’s range of handles, this is not the case with the Genius 9000 and iO. You can’t fit an iO brush head to the Genius 9000 and vice versa. The design has changed in such a way that the iO can only use heads designed specifically for this model.
Both models have multiple cleaning modes. The iO has up to 7 in total. Those modes are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Super Sensitive (not available on Series 7)
- Tongue Clean (not available on Series 7 or 8)
The Genius 9000 on the other hand has 6. They are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Pro Clean
- Tongue Clean
Yes, they are different but don’t worry too much about these. Ultimately the differences are subtle. The likes of the intense mode is basically a renamed Pro Clean mode.
Both models have an LED ring around the neck of the brush handle. With each, this ring will be lit with a red light when excess pressure is detected during brushing. This is designed to alert the user to relieve the pressure.
However, the iO’s light ring will also be lit green when the correct brushing pressure is applied. You actually want the green ring to be lit for the full 2 minutes of brushing if you can. You don’t have this on the Genius 9000.
But, another slight difference is that the iO does not change the sound of the brush like the Genius 9000 does when too much pressure is applied. You only get the light warning with the iO, which is a real shame.
Both of these brushes are considered smart and are capable of tracking the position of the toothbrush in the mouth. However, the way that they do this is really quite different.
The iO has sensors built into the handle that detects the position and can report this back in real-time to the smartphone application.
The Genius 9000 can too offer real-time feedback, but the significant difference here is that it uses the front facing camera of the smartphone to track the position of the brush.
To assist with this, the Genius 9000 comes with a suction cup mount for your smartphone to be placed in (at head height), when you brush. You do not get such with the iO.
Oral-B’s smartphone app which is available for Android and iOS is configured differently for each of these brushes. The iO has a 3D teeth tracking technology which results in an on screen graphic which changes the colour of the teeth from a blue through to a bright white when completed successfully.
It probably goes without saying, that whilst the Genius 9000 setup kind of works it is the much more awkward approach.
You have to remain quite still for the tracking to work, whereas the sensors and AI technology that are part of the Series 9 toothbrush is implemented better. For a start, you don’t have to stand right in front of your phone for the full 2 minute sof brushing!
Charging stands are provided in the box with both models.
Whilst both essentially do the same job, they are designed differently and transfer the charge at different rates.
The Genius 9000 comes with the more traditional Oral-B charging stand that has a prong (protuberance) on it that fits into a recess in the base of the brush handle.
The standard charging stand is white in colour, whereas the stand provided with the iO is either black or white subject to the colour variant chosen.
The iO does not have a recess in the base of the brush handle. The base of the handle has a slight concave design which aligns with the slightly convexed top of the iO’s charging stand.
Round in its design it has a slightly larger footprint than the normal charging stand. However, it is magnetic, which means the iO is essentially attracted to the stand and held fairly securely in place. This stand is also less sensitive to how the brush is positioned.
The iO’s charging stand supports 100-240V compared to the 220-240V charging stand of the Genius 9000.
With the magnetic charging stand, you can recharge the iO’s battery in around 3 hours, compared to the 12 hours of the Genius 9000.
On the Genius 9000 brush handle, there is a battery status icon. You don’t have this with the iO, it has been moved to the display. The display will show the battery charge remaining with a graphic and text percentage (%). This percentage is set at 10% increments. It won’t ever read 44% for example.
This is more accurate battery data than the Genius 9000 offers, which is limited to 3 bars on the battery icon*.
Both toothbrushes have travel charging cases, but there are some subtle differences. The Genius 9000 case feels the more premium, although the iO’s is lighter.
The 9000 travel case has a USB port to charge other devices such as a smartphone at the same time as you charge a toothbrush. The iO’s power2go case does not have this USB port.
The Genius 9000 travel case has a smartphone stand in the lid of the case, which the iO’s case does not.
And rather oddly, the iO’s case holds the handle and 1 brush head when every other Oral-B travel case, the Genius 9000 included holds the handle and 2 heads.
The last difference is that the iO comes with a brush head refill case compared to the brush head storage compartment that the Genius 9000 offers.
The refill case for the iO is a plastic case that holds 2 brush heads upright when placed on a worktop. It has an opaque lid that protects the heads from damage or splashes when inside and can be used to transport spare/replacement heads.
The brush head storage compartment with the 9000 on the other hand is a plastic tray that has a space for the charging stand to fit into. To the right side there are then mouldings into which up to 4 brush heads can be laid. A hinged lid can be opened to access the brushes and closed to protect them. This compartment is not designed for travel purposes.
Does one clean better than the other?
No, not really.
The brushes do have different motors and a different approach to delivering the power to the bristles on the brush head.
However, whilst the differences exist, determining that one brush is really any better than the other is very difficult. Even under strict clinical conditions the results in favour of the iO are not likely to be that significant.
You are going to get more benefit from perfecting your toothbrushing technique than you would between selecting these brushes based on how effective these brushes are at removing plaque.
Improving your brushing technique is where there iO can potentially win out for you.
The real-time tracking and on-screen graphics can teach you to brush in a way that the 9000 can’t. And the OLED display on the handle gives some visual encouragement.
If apps and data is something that motivates you, then the iO will win here. However, at this point you are enhancing your skills and ability to clean correctly. The toothbrush is doing the work, but you could achieve the same results with the 9000.
Is one better priced than the other?
The retail prices of these brushes are significantly different.
$349 is the suggested selling price of the Genius 9000, compared to the $749 of the Oral-B iO Series 9.
There is a staggering $400 difference in price here.
This price difference alone would allow you to purchase about 5 perfectly functional electric toothbrushes!
Do not pay full retail price for either of these.
Although Oral-B would likely dispute this, the prices are intentionally artificially high.
It is very common for Oral-B brushes to actually be sold at 50% or more less than the retail price.
Therefore the iO price halves to $375 (although I believe it will settle nearer $350) and the Genius 9000 drops to $175.
Obviously, these are much more favourable and the price difference is now around $200.
A $200 premium is still a lot extra to pay for the iO, so to justify it you must really want a smart toothbrush. If you do, then the cost premium should be worth it long term.
Long term ownership cost is something to bear in mind.
The Genius 9000 is cheaper to purchase from the outset, but the brush heads are cheaper too.
They work out on average at $7 each, compared to the $15 of the iO’s. With the introduction of the iO came a price hike in the brush heads.
Priced over 3 years, the Genius 9000 will cost around $0.22 per day to own compared to the $0.46 of the iO.
Ultimately you should only commit to buying a brush at a price you are prepared to pay and deem valuable to you.
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 iO is an evolution of the Genius 9000.
It arrives 4 years after the 9000 first came to market.
To be fair to the 9000 it still holds its own, even if the tech inside is much older.
Both clean the teeth very well but there are obvious enhancements in design and technology that make the iO the more enjoyable brush to use on a daily basis.
It does come at a price premium however, but one I do believe is ultimately justifiable if you really want a smart and fully featured toothbrush.
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.
*A previous version of this comparison suggested the iO had a superior battery life of 6+ weeks compared to the 2+ of the Genius 9000.
As part of our testing process, it is necessary to simulate battery use for consistency. We do this by charging the brush fully and running the toothbrush through brushing cycles until it discharges completely.
The iO continues to offer a battery life of 6+ weeks in these tests. However, repeated in hand testing has shown the battery life to only be 2 weeks. This is a discrepancy we have never previously experienced. All other brushes have to date performed almost identically during in hand test to those simulated.