The Genius 9600 included in this comparison has been improved upon. The new model is called the Genius X. It is, for most a better purchase.
It is more closely aligned to the DiamondClean Smart.
There is only a minimal price premium for this newer model, given the potential benefits it brings.
We encourage you to look at our Oral-B Genius X vs Sonicare DiamondClean Smart for further information.
Which one would we choose?
These are 2 very capable electric toothbrushes, both of which will serve you well.
Whilst the cleaning action of the Genius 9600 is technically better, for the few extra dollars that the DiamondClean Smart commands, it is the all-round better buy.
Philips have put together a very complete package that performs well, looks great and feels good in the hand.
The USB charging case, in particular, is a much better implementation and the associated smartphone app is a little less hassle to use.
- The DiamondClean Smart is available in black, white, pink and silver. The Genius 9600 is available in white, black, rose gold, orchid purple, and sakura pink.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and Tongue Care) compared to the 6 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, Pro-Clean, Tongue Cleaning) of the 9600. You can select the mode on the DiamondClean prior to switching the brush on.
- The DiamondClean Smart offers 3 different intensities to the cleaning modes, low medium and high. This is not offered on the Oral-B Genius 9600.
- The DiamondClean Smart turns off automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle.
- The DiamondClean Smart uses sonic cleaning action and larger brush heads than the 3D cleaning action and small round brush heads of the Genius 9600.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads (1 x Premium Plaque Control, 1 x Premium Gum Care, 1 x Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush) compared to the 3 brush heads (1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White and 1 x Sensi UltraThin) with the 9600.
- The Smart will alert you when it is time to change a brush head via an LED on the brush handle. This is not available on the 9600.
- The DiamondClean Smart has an LED ring on the base of the handle that illuminates purple when too much pressure is applied. The 9600 has an LED ring at the top of the brush handle that lights up red when too much pressure is applied. The Oral-B’s SmartRing will illuminate 1 of 12 chosen colors when the pressure sensor is not activated.
- Both brushes have Bluetooth connectivity and associated smartphone app for tracking and logging the cleans of the user. The Genius 9600 relies on the smartphone’s front facing camera being used to achieve the most accurate position detection.
- The Genius 9600 comes with a smartphone holder in the box that mounts to a flat surface like a mirror or tiled wall to hold the smartphone in place for tracking the cleaning performance.
- Both brushes have separate charging stands on which the brushes sit to be recharged. The DiamondClean Smart uses a more premium looking but bulky charging glass compared to the smaller, but less classy charging stand of the 9600.
- The DiamondClean Smart has a battery life of 3 weeks compared to the 2 weeks of the 9600.
- The DiamondClean Smart has a travel case that is finished with leather effect material and allows the brush to be charged in that case thanks to a USB cable hardwired into. The 9600 can be charged in the case, but it has a proprietary power adapter that has to be attached. The case is finished in a soft touch silicone/rubber type material.
- The DiamondClean Smart is generally more expensive.
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 several different variants of the DiamondClean Smart. There is the 9300, 9500 and 9700 series. They are very similar, but subtle differences exist. You can learn about those differences here. For the sake of this comparison, we will be comparing our preferred model, the 9500.
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 Genius 9600 and Sonicare DiamondClean Smart?
A clash of the titans, this comparison is a little like comparing a Ferrari to an Aston Martin.
Like the cars, these are the best of what is on offer from electric toothbrush manufacturers today.
There are subtle differences between each that will sway you one way or another, but ultimately both are excellent products and worthy of a place in your bathroom.
Digging into the details a little more then, lets understand the finer differences between these two flagship products.
Both look slightly different, but are essentially geared up in the same way.
Tall cylindrical handles, both have a power button on the front along with a second button that changes the modes, and in the case of the DiamondClean Smart the cleaning intensity, as well as icons that illuminate to display which of their cleaning modes are active.
On first impression and after extensive use, I do believe it is the DiamondClean Smart that looks and feels most premium.
It is finished in a matt textured coating which looks great but also offers a slight resistance so that the brush does not feel slippery in hand.
The Genius 9600 is finished in more of a gloss plastic on the front, but a rubber grip that runs down the back of the handle gives the resistance and tactile feel required for the fingertips to keep a firm hold.
The 9600 measures in at:
- Height (without head) – 8 inches / 20.5cm
- Height (with head) – 9.4 inches / 24cm
- Width – 1 inches / 2.7cm
- Thickness – 1.25 inches / 3.2cm
- Weight (without head) – 0.29lbs / 134g
- Weight (with head) – 0.3lbs / 140g
The DiamondClean Smart on the other hand:
- Height (without head) – 7.4 inches / 19cm
- Height (with head) – 10 inches / 25.5cm
- Width – 1 inches / 2.7cm
- Thickness – 1.1 inches / 3cm
- Weight (without head) – 0.30lbs / 137g
- Weight (with head) – 0.31lbs / 142g
The DiamondClean Smart is available in 4 colors:
The Genius 9600 on the other hand is available in 1 extra color.
- Rose gold
- Orchid purple
- Sakura pink
As is explained in our guide to buying the best electric toothbrush lots of cleaning modes are not all that important, but both of these models have more than the average.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes, these are:
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
- Tongue Care
The Oral-B Genius 9600 comes with an extra mode, so 6 in total. These modes are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Tongue Cleaning
Whilst I am sure Oral-B might suggest otherwise, their Gum Care and Sensitive modes are similar and essentially equivalent to Sonicare’s Gum Health.
We have covered the cleaning modes of both manufacturers in the following posts:
Therefore although technically an extra mode on the 9600 these 2 brushes are pretty much like for like when it comes to cleaning capability.
A noteworthy point is on the DiamondClean, the handle displays the names of the modes, each of which will light up when selected. On the Genius, there is an icon rather than a name for all modes, except the standard Daily Clean mode. In this instance, if no icon is lit on the Genius, it means Daily Clean is selected.
On the DiamondClean, you can change the cleaning mode before powering the brush on. You can’t do this on the 9600.
Something extra that the DiamondClean Smart offers, which is not available on the 9600 from Oral-B is the ability to change the intensity of the cleaning mode.
Where the Genius 9600 has preset speeds at which the brush head moves on the different cleaning modes, there is extra control on the Sonicare.
Pressing the cleaning mode/intensity button (below the power button) you can choose between high, medium and low intensity. This results in a more or less intense brushing sensation.
It is of course up to you as the user to decide what is right for you.
If you switch between modes, the brush will default to the intensity Philips have decided but you can override this if you choose.
With 3 different intensities for each cleaning mode you actually have 15 different cleaning mode variations you can make use of.
I do believe this is a nice feature, but lethargy means that in most cases you won’t change the intensity.
When you do change the intensity, the 3 bar icon found on the brush handle will also change how many bars are lit. 1=low, 2=medium and 3=high intensity.
Another nifty feature of Sonicare brushes is the automatic power off feature.
What happens here is at the end of any cleaning cycle, the brush will turn itself off automatically, meaning you don’t need to press the on/off button, like you would on the Genius.
As you are likely already aware Oral-B and Sonicare are two of the major dental healthcare brands and one of the things that sets them apart is their brush heads and cleaning action.
Ultimately both are designed to try and deliver the best cleaning results. Both use very similar technology but it is implemented and named differently.
Sonicare use a sonic cleaning action whilst Oral-B use an oscillating-rotating and pulsating cleaning action.
Sonicare heads are typically a little larger with a rectangular/oval shape to them compared to the smaller round brush heads of the Oral-B Genius 9600.
Oral-B’s bristles essentially move side to side like Sonicare, but the circular shape means the bristles sweep in more of an arc formation than the straighter path of Sonicare bristles.
In both instances the heads are working to clean plaque and bacteria off the teeth, the gumline and even under the gum tissue.
All heads are user replaceable and interchangeable and both brands offer a variety of different styles of brush heads.
Slightly different bristle configurations and designs they are very similar in what they are working to achieve.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads:
- 1 x Premium Plaque Control
- 1 x Premium Gum Care
- 1 x Premium White
- 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush
The Genius 9600 comes with 3 heads in the box.
- 1 x CrossAction
- 1 x 3D White
- 1 x Sensi UltraThin
Whilst both brushes are packed with more features than are absolutely necessary, something the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart has is a technology called BrushSync.
Thanks to a microchip built into the brush head, the handle tracks the usage time of each head and will via an amber light on the brush handle alert you when it is time to replace the head. A detailed explanation of BrushSync is available here
The downside is the higher cost to the replacement heads.
Both brushes have pressure sensors built into the brush handle. This sensor alerts you when you apply to much force to the teeth and gums as you brush.
In both cases, the pressure sensor will reduce the speed of the brush motor until it is relieved.
In both cases, there is an LED that illuminates when it is activated. The difference is how they are implemented.
The base of the DiamondClean has a slim LED ring that will be lit purple when the sensor is triggered.
On the Genius 9600, around the neck of the brush handle is what Oral-B call the LED SmartRing. During daily operation, this will be lit 1 of 12 colors, set by the user.
It is the LED SmartRing that will change to red when the sensor is triggered.
As both of these brush handles are top of the range models, they both benefit from Bluetooth connectivity.
This allows for the brush handle to communicate wirelessly with an application on your smartphone. The app is free to use and is designed in both cases to improve your brushing technique and log your performance for your own records.
Whilst I won’t go into detail about each, they do fundamentally the same job. However, Oral-B have implemented a slightly different system to try and get the most accurate tracking.
Position detection technology as it is named, uses the front facing camera on your smartphone to track the position of the toothbrush in your mouth. This is why then a suction cup smartphone holder is included in the box with the Genius 9600 when purchased.
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries are built into both brushes.
Both use inductive Qi (chee) charging to replenish the batteries.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with a more premium looking, but weightier and bulkier charging glass in which the brush stands, whilst the Genius 9600 comes with a more traditional charging stand that it sits on.
Smaller and not as heavy, the charging stand for the 9600 is perhaps a little more practical and benefits from a detachable power cable.
The 9600 relies on the protuberance on the stand fitting into the depression on the base of the brush handle, something not required with the DiamondClean Smart.
When fully charged you will get 3 weeks usage time (based on 2 x 2 minute cleans per day) from the DiamondClean Smart and 2 weeks from the Genius.
Included as standard with both brushes is a travel case. Each holds the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads.
Both cases allow for the brush handles internal battery to be recharged whilst it is sat in the case, doing away with the need for the charging stand and being more convenient for travelers.
Oral-B’s case is slightly larger and requires the proprietary power cable to be connected.. The case is finished in a smooth, but grippy soft touch silicone/rubber material.
Philips case is finished in a leather effect material, but has a USB cable hardwired into the case for charging the battery. This cable tucks away into the base of the case whereas the 9600’s power cable needs to be stored separately.
The USB is a more convenient solution in my opinion.
The Genius 9600 case does have a USB port on it, into which you can connect and USB device that requires charging, like your smartphone. Nice idea, but not sure how useful it really is as you still need the proprietary power adapter connected
There is too a plastic molding within the lid of the Oral-B case that will hold a smartphone when the case is open, so you can more easily use the brush and app at the same time.
So then to the last difference and that is price. The DiamondClean has a $260 retail price whilst the Genius 9600 is $299. However, they sell on average for $210 and $180 respectively, making the DiamondClean the more expensive model to buy.
Of course, this comparison has focused on the ways in which these 2 brushes are different, but there are similarities too.
The main one to be aware of is that both have a built-in timer and pacer which can help ensure you brush for the right amount of time and evenly.
Both brushes are made by leading brands within the space and come with a 2 year warranty. There is too a money back guarantee scheme with each, should you want to try them out.
Does one clean better than the other?
If you were to go by the results of clinical studies, then the Genius 9600 with its small round, oscillating, rotating and pulsating brush head is the one to go for.
However, the reality is that both offer a very good standard of clean. Far superior than that of a manual brush.
Both brushes left my mouth feeling clean and fresh.
In day to day life, improving the amount of time you brush for and ensuring your technique is correct are going to bring the biggest wins over opting between either of these brushes.
Even if you used the correct brushing technique every time, I don’t think it would be possible for a dental professional to say which brush you had used.
The only benefit is that potentially, Oral-B can deliver better results a bit faster and for those with smaller mouths the smaller Oral-B brush head might be a touch easier to maneuver around the back of the mouth in particular.
Is one better priced than the other?
Prices are always subject to change but as a generalized rule, the Genius 9600 from Oral-B is normally the cheaper toothbrush at around $180 compared to the $210 of the DiamondClean Smart.
The Genius oddly has a recommended selling price of $299 compared to the $260 of the DiamondClean. Therefore the Oral-B is more heavily discounted.
Despite this price difference, in my opinion, you do gain that extra value in the Sonicare brush.
Replacement brush heads for Sonicare are more expensive at around $10 for the BrushSync compatible heads compared to the $5 for the not quite so smart heads found on the 9600.
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.
For me, the DiamondClean Smart is the brush to go for.
It is a more complete package in my opinion.
It looks a little classier, the travel case has been implemented better and the BrushSync technology is fairly useful, particularly the reminder to replace the brush head.
This does come at an extra cost, which is not justifiable to all, particularly when you factor in the more expensive brush heads too.
Neither brush is bad and both far exceed what is essential in a toothbrush.
Whatever you choose, used correctly, should result in improved oral health for yourself and praise from your dentist.
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.