Which one would we choose?
Our choice: Oral-B Pro 2 2000 (view on Amazon)
2nd choice: Oral-B Pro 500 (view on Amazon)
An extra cleaning mode, double the battery life, and a visible pressure sensor are all very compelling reasons to opt for the Pro 2 2000.
It does cost a little more, but for most, it is worth the extra spend.
- The Pro 2 2000 has 2 cleaning modes (Daily Clean & Sensitive) compared to the 1 mode (Daily Clean) of the Pro 500.
- The motor in the Pro 2 2000 is more powerful than the 500 (9,900 oscillations and 45,000 pulsations vs 8,800 and 20,000).
- The Pro 2 2000 has a visible pressure sensor.
- The Pro 2 2000 has a 2+ week battery life compared to the 7 days of the Pro 500
- The Pro 2 2000 uses a Lithium-Ion battery compared to the Nickel Metal Hydride battery of the 500.
- The Pro 500 comes with either a single CrossAction or 3D White brush head compared to the CrossAction of the Pro 2.
- The Pro 2 2000 has 3 different coloured variants (Blue, Pink & Black) compared to the 2 of the Pro 500 (Pale Blue & Pink).
- Select variants of the both models come with a travel case.
- The Pro 500 is cheaper.
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.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 and Pro 500?
These brushes are on the whole very similar, but there are some subtle ways in which they are different.
In fact, at first glance, they look very similar. Both are slim and lightweight brush handles.
Both brushes have a rubber grip that runs down the brush handle. This is one of the places they differ.
On the Pro 500 this grip is either a pale blue or pink in colour.
However, with the Pro 2, there are 3 choices, dark blue, pink and black.
The colour of the grip has no bearing on the functionality of the brush, it is a design element that differs.
Although it is an appropriate time to mention, that it is only with the black gripped handle of the 2000 do you get a travel case in the box. You do not get this with the blue or pink options.
The Pro 500 does not as standard come with a case, like the 2000, but there is a ‘value pack’ or ‘special edition’ version that does come with a travel case like the Pro 2. The rubber grip is typically blue in this instance.
I have not seen the Pro 500 value pack with a pink grip.
Normally, you do not have to pay a premium for this case over the models without.
The box contents of these 2 models is very similar in that you get the handle, brush head, charging stand and documentation.
However, the brush head supplied can differ.
The Pro 2000 comes with just 1 x CrossAction, whereas the Pro 500 will come with either 1 x CrossAction or 1 x 3D White brush head.
I think the CrossAction is the better brush head, providing a more effective overall clean.
The 3D White head can in theory help buff the teeth to a nice shine, polishing away external surface stains, to make the teeth appear whiter. You do not have a whitening cleaning mode on the 500 to take full advantage of the polishing cup found in the head though.
Press the power button on the Pro 500 and you launch into the 1 and only cleaning mode, Daily Clean.
On the Pro 2, you get 2 cleaning modes.
The first is the same as the 500, the Daily Clean, but if you press the power button again, it will change to the 2nd mode, called Sensitive.
As the name implies, it is a more gentle cleaning mode, offering a less powerful and softer brushing experience.
The sensitive mode does not use the full power available from the brush motor.
This leads me onto another difference, the power of the motors.
The Pro 500 has a motor that is capable of 8,800 oscillations and 20,000 pulsations, but the 2000’s motor is capable of 9,900 oscillations and 45,000 pulsations.
The brushes will work at their full power when the ‘Daily Clean’ mode is selected.
The ‘Sensitive’ cleaning mode on the Pro 2 2000 operates at 7,400 oscillations and 33,000 pulsations per minute. It does not use the full power of the brush motor.
Arguments can be made that the more powerful motor in the 2000 can achieve a better clean than the 500. In theory, this is indeed true, but I have no data to confirm this.
This is not really a make or break difference between these 2. Having more bearing than the number of brush head movements is how you as the user angle and move the toothbrush during the cleaning session.
Looking almost identical in hand, turn the handles over and you will see that the Pro 2 has a red/orange panel on the neck of the brush. The 500 does not.
This is the visible pressure sensor.
Should you brush too hard, a light behind this plastic will shine to create a bright red light.
This light acts as a visual alert to you, that you need to reduce the pressure with which you are brushing.
If the pressure is relieved, the light will go out.
The Pro 500 does not have this visual pressure sensor. However, it does have a form of pressure sensor, it is just not visible.
Both will slow the speed of the brush motor down if it detects too much pressure is being applied. You should hear a slight difference in the sound that the brush makes when the sensor is activated.
Like the visual pressure sensor, when the pressure is eased, the motor will return to its operational speed.
The toothbrush bristles virtually need only skim the surface of the teeth. Scrubbing does not equal better cleaning.
Both brushes have a rechargeable battery built-in.
The Pro 500 has a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery that offers 7 days of usage. This is based on 1 user brushing their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
Inside the Pro 2 2000 though is a newer battery, a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) that offers double the usage time.
It offers 14 days, or 56 minutes, compared to the 7 days and 28 minutes of the 500.
In reality, you can likely get another day or two from each, but neither excels in battery life.
This different battery technology has a small knock-on effect to the charging time.
The 500 can take 15 hours to fully recharge, whilst the 2000 takes just 12.
As the newer and more feature rich brush, the Pro 2 2000 is the more expensive, making the 500 the cheaper.
Those are the differences between them.
Full details of each brush and further explanation of features can be found in the written reviews, linked above.
Does one clean better than the other?
The increased power of the Pro 2 2000 motor, could potentially mean that the teeth are cleaned more effectively than if the Pro 500 was used.
However, there are many variables and proving this is quite difficult.
My hands-on testing has not been conducted in any scientific way that would be able to determine this.
When comparing the 2 brushes side by side, paying great attention you can see and feel the speed differences.
Ultimately I believe even in clinical conditions, the results would be inconclusive or not considered clinically significant.
The additional cleaning mode of the Pro 2 may have a beneficial effect for those who want a softer and more gentle brushing experience, but with the consistent power delivery the electric toothbrush bings.
An argument can too be made that the pressure sensor can play a part in the overall clean as can the style of brush head used.
You may for example get different results with the 3D White compared to the CrossAction head.
The likelihood is, that for most, perfecting their brushing routine and the regularity with which they brush will have most significant benefits over selecting between either of these particular brushes.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, the Pro 500 is the more cost effective of the 2 models.
This is perhaps to be expected given it has fewer features.
Both have recommended retail prices but sell at around 50% less than these.
$99 is the retail price of the 500, whilst the 2000 has a $159 price tag.
Typical selling prices are $50 and $80 respectively.
In truth, I believe both are pretty good value given what you get for the price.
Ongoing ownership cost is the same, as both are Oral-B models. Replacement brush heads typically cost $7 a time.
Priced over 3 years and with 1 user, the Pro 2 equates to $0.14 per day compared to the $0.12 of the 500.
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.
Retaining the slim, comfortable in hand user experience as the 500, the Pro 2000 brings the benefits of better battery life, an additional cleaning mode, the visible pressure sensor, and that extra cleaning power.
I think for most investing in their oral healthcare, the Pro 2 2000 is the answer.
But for those keen to spend as little as possible, the 500 is still a strong option.
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 the end user, if you are purchasing on behalf of somebody else.
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.