Which one would we choose?
Our choice: Oral-B iO (view on Amazon)
2nd choice: Oral-B Genius X (view on Amazon)
Whilst both brushes clean the teeth very well, the iO is a much sleeker toothbrush.
It is also quieter and the brushing action softer and smoother.
The display is innovative and makes the iO fairly unique.
I do also really like how it shows you the right amount of pressure to brush with.
If you desire to own the very best of Oral-B and what the company has to offer then the iO is most certainly the brush to pick.
- The iO looks quite different to the Genius X, with a more premium design.
- The Genius X is available in 5 colour options (black, white, orchid purple, sakura pink and anthracite black) compared to the 4 colour options 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 X.
- The iO offers an oscillating-rotating cleaning action with micro-vibrations as opposed to pulsations on the Genius X.
- The iO comes with anywhere between 2 and 4 x Ultimate Clean brush head, compared to the 3 or 7 brush heads (varying styles) with the Genius X (subject variant).
- The Oral-B iO’s brush heads are not interchangeable with the Genius X 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 X only lights up red when too much pressure is applied.
- The Genius X makes a different sound when the pressure sensor is activated, the iO does not.
- The iO has enhanced AI and 3D tracking of the clean compared to the Genius X. Subtle differences to the app. (3D tracking not available with Series 7 & 8)
- The iO has a magnetic charging stand compared to the sit on Oral-B charging stand.
- The Genius X shares a power adapter for the travel case and charging stand, the iO does not.
- The iO can charge in just 3 hours compared to the 12 hours of the Genius X.
- The Genius X 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 X travel case has a USB port that the iO’s case does not have.
- The Genius X travel case has a smartphone stand that the iO’s does not.
- The Genius X 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 is more expensive with a retail price of CDN $360 compared to the $300-350 of the Genius X.
These differences are explained at length later in this article.
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.
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 X?
The iO still retains the typical design for an electric toothbrush, but it does look different to the Genius X.
The overall size and weight of the brushes are similar.
The Genius X is:
- Height (without head) – 8.07 inches (20.5cm)
- Height (with head) – 9.25 inches (23.5cm)
- Width – 1.06 inches (2.7cm)
- Thickness – 1.26 inches (3.2cm)
- Weight (without head) – 4.69oz (133g)
- Weight (with head) – 4.87oz (138g)
The iO is:
- Height (without head) – 7.2 inches (18.5cm)
- Height (with head) – 9.3 inches ( 23.7cm)
- Width – 1.1 inches (2.8cm)
- Thickness – 1.1 inches (3cm)
- Weight (without head) – 4.6oz (131g)
- Weight (with head) – 4.9oz (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 X 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 X 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 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 Genius X 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 X is available in 5 colour options, black, white, orchid purple, sakura pink, and anthracite black. The iO is available in 4, white alabaster, onyx black, violet ametrine and rose quartz. Some colours are for specific variants only.
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 X, but it achieves the same results. The benefit being really that it is quite a bit quieter than the Genius X. 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 Genius X.
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.
All Series of the iO come with Ultimate Clean brush heads. It is essentially a revised design of the CrossAction head typically offered with a lot of Oral-B brushes. You get 2 with the Series 7, 3 with the Series 8 and 4 with the Series 9.
The Genius X comes with different brush heads, depending on the variant. You get either 3 with the standard Genius X (1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White & 1 x FlossAction) or you get7 with the Luxe variant (2 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White, 2 x Pro GumCare & 2 x FlossAction)
It is worth noting that the iO brush heads cannot be fitted to the Genius X handle 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 X 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 X.
But, another slight difference is that the iO does not change the sound of the brush like the Genius X does when too much pressure is applied. You only get the light warning with the iO, which is a real shame.
These brushes are both Bluetooth enabled and considered smart. They both pair with the Oral-B app and log key data that the sensors in the brush handle records. This is often referred to as AI and 3D tracking (3D tracking not available on Series 7 & 8).
Both brushes offer this real-time tracking, showing on-screen via a graphic which teeth you have and have not brushed. The iO has been enhanced slightly to be more accurate on the tracking and build a better picture of your overall oral health.
The setup with the iO is in principle more advanced, but unless using side by side and being extremely meticulous, the differences are quite hard to tell.
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 X comes with a round sit-on style stand that has a prong (protuberance) on it that fits into a recess in the base of the brush handle.
Like the Genius X, 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 Genius X has a detachable power adapter that is used for both the stand and the travel case. With the iO, there is a power cable hardwired into the charging stand and a seperate power adapter provided for the travel case.
With the magnetic charging stand, you can recharge the iO’s battery in around 3 hours, compared to the 12 hours of the Genius X.
On the Genius X 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 X 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 X case feels the more premium, although the iO’s is lighter.
The Genius X 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 X 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 X included holds the handle and 2 heads.
The cases supplied with the iO Series 7 and 8 don’t offer in the case charging, but they do hold 2 brush heads.
Does one clean better than the other?
Simply put, no.
Technically the motors in these brush handles are different, which results in a very slight difference in the brushing action.
Yes, there is an extra brushing mode as well as slightly renamed modes on the iO.
But, the reality is that these differences are so minute, they would likely be clinically insignificant.
There is little need to worry about these, worry more about how you use the brush on a daily basis.
It could also be argued that the enhanced real-time tracking, reporting and OLED display available on the iO would bring benefits. There is some possible truth to this. But, the Genius X has real-time tracking. It just lacks some of the minor enhancements the iO offers in the app. Even then, it is not the brush cleaning any better, it is you being educated on how to use the brush more effectively.
Is one better priced than the other?
The retail prices of these brushes are different.
The Genius X has a recommended retail price of CDN$300 and $350 for the standard and luxe models
The Oral-B iO 9 Series has a retail price of $360.
Yes, there is an 8 and 7 Series that are marginally cheaper, but I am focusing on the top of the line model here.
I would not advise you to pay full price for either of these brushes.
However, the reality is that the iO and the Genius X are typically sold for approximately 20-25% less than their advertised retail price.
The average price of the Genius X is around CDN $240-255, whilst the iO is around $288.
These prices are more reasonable, even if they are technically still fairly expensive toothbrushes.
However, the initial purchase price is one thing, long term ownership is another.
When you factor in the price of brush heads this changes things further.
The iO has a new style of head which commands a price premium.
The Genius X works out at around 27 cents per day over 3 years compared to the 37 cents of the iO.
Clearly there is a reasonable price difference between these 2 models. But both of these are not your standard toothbrush.
I am assuming that you want the best, so although it is quite a bit more expensive, the iO is the brush to go for.
However, if you do have a budget, the Genius X is still a very good choice.
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 list of differences between these 2 brushes is fairly comprehensive, but the reality of the situation is the differences are not that significant.
Both clean the teeth to a really high standard and have a number of smart features built into them, allowing for real-time tracking and feedback.
The iO is the nicer toothbrush to look at and handle.
The brushing experience is slightly softer and it is much quieter in use.
Innovative features such as the display and pressure sensor are nice touches, but are not essential must have features.
If you desire to own the very best of Oral-B and what the company has to offer then the iO is most certainly the brush to pick, albeit at a slight price premium.
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 X.
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.