Technically great, but the iO6 is nearly identical & a lot cheaper
The iO7 is a very stylish looking electric brush that cleans the teeth well.
It has some innovative features that may be beneficial for some.
The iO6 is far better value, the only compromise really being slower charging times.
- A premium looking handle with a built-in display
- Quieter than other Oral-B brushes
- Rapid recharging with the magnetic charging stand
- Real-time tracking via Bluetooth can be valuable for the most committed users
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- Requires iO specific heads which are more expensive
- Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost
The iO6 is a better value toothbrush
By opting for the iO Series 6 rather than the iO7, you are likely to save yourself a fair amount of money.
Technically the brushes are nigh on identical, the main difference is the charging stand and charging time.
The iO6 has the standard (non-magnetic) charger and takes around 12 hours to charge rather unlike the 3 of the iO7.
Or, alternatively, if smart toothbrushes are not for you, then our best electric toothbrush post will point you in the right direction.
|Oral-B iO Series 6 - Grey Opal||2,047 Reviews||$138.95||View on Amazon|
The black & white screen doesn’t do as much as you might expect
Having a display in a toothbrush is totally unnecessary but incredibly impressive.
It certainly makes the iO7 stand out from the crowd, but in all reality what you can do on the screen is really quite limited.
Unlike the Oclean X Pro Elite, it is not a touchscreen. This is a good thing. You control it via the function buttons above and below.
The main function of the display is to see and select your different cleaning modes. Given it shows an icon and a text label, this is much more user friendly than the icons only, or no icons of other Oral-B brushes.
During use, there is an on-screen timer. Post brushing you get an emoji to give you some feedback on how well you did. The battery charge level will also be displayed. And at roughly 3 month intervals you will be notified that the brush head needs to be replaced.
A number of settings like the brush language, Bluetooth connectivity and light ring can be accessed, but more settings and choices are available from the app.
Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh but I expected more from it. Could the screen not give more detailed feedback on the zone tracking during and post brushing?!
Real-time tracking will likely tell you what you already know
Like the vast majority of iO brushes, the Series 7 is smart.
Using sensors built into the handle and Bluetooth technology, it sends numerous data points to the smartphone app about how you brush. The app then displays the tracking data through visually engaging graphics.
As you brush, the app shows each of the 6 tracked zones on a graphic of teeth that fade from blue to white when brushed thoroughly. Any zones with incomplete white teeth haven’t received the attention they should. You can take immediate corrective action and will probably end up brushing for longer to achieve the best coverage.
However, there is an issue with accuracy.
The 6 zone tracking configuration isn’t accurately measuring brushing time and coverage of each tooth surface. You can for example brush just the outside tooth surface in a zone and the app will pretty much suggest good coverage, which isn’t strictly true.
I’ve also found the detection of the brush position in the mouth to be inconsistent. At times it can think I am brushing the upper rear teeth when I am brushing the lower rear, impacting the coverage and on-screen visuals.
I like the app and the intentions behind the tracking. Yet, I can’t help but think it only highlights, in many instances, what we already know if we were to take a moment to think about how we brush. And this is in part why we don’t recommend smart brushes. You don’t need them to achieve a good clean.
If you feel you need that extra nudge and you’re committed to making your toothbrushing better, the iO7 can help. It does highlight trends, both good and bad in your oral care and signpost you to make the necessary improvements.
If you crave numbers and markers about your health and fitness then you probably want to consider the iO Series 9 over the iO7 as it tracks an additional 10 zones compared to the iO7. This video explains the differences in more detail.
Dentist-approved features out of the box
We will be the first to tell you that you don’t need an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth well. But, they do offer a number of benefits a manual can’t.
Of all the incredible features the iO7 has built in, there are only a few our dental professionals feel are essential. They are a timer, a pacer and a pressure sensor.
Brush your teeth evenly and for longer
It’s important to brush all the teeth in the mouth evenly because dental health issues don’t discriminate. You want to help reduce the risks by removing the bacteria that can cause decay, gum disease etc.
Turn the iO7 on and the timer and pacer are activated. At 30 second intervals, the motor will momentarily pause. The sound and brushing sensation subsequently change.This is your cue to move to a new section of the mouth. This repeats 3 times. When 3 pauses of the motor occur, you’ve achieved the recommended minimum 2 minutes of brushing.
Unlike many sonic brushes, the iO7 doesn’t power off automatically, so you can brush for longer if you so desire.
Different pacing when you use the app and real-time tracking
When using the app, the built-in 30-second pacing alerts are turned off. This is partly because the app has an on-screen timer you can follow instead.
However, since the brush tracks 6 different zones in the mouth, it would be better to have alerts every 20 seconds to prompt moving between the zones. With only 4 zones, 30-second alerts make sense for quadrant pacing.
But the app and brush don’t provide alerts at 20-second intervals for sextant pacing. There are no prompts for when to switch zones. You have to decide yourself when to move the brush around.
The best pressure sensor on a toothbrush today
If you’ve ever been told that you brush too hard, the iO7 can help.
Its pressure sensor detects and alerts you when you brush with too much force. It will too reduce bristle movement to protect the teeth until such time as the pressure is relieved.
This sensor goes further though, because it will show you when you are applying insufficient force as well as the correct amount.
The light ring around the top of the brush handle changes color based on the applied pressure.
- White – low pressure – not enough force is being applied.
- Green – the right amount of pressure is being used.
- Red – high – excessive pressure is being applied and the force should be reduced.
The light isn’t always easy to see unless you brush in front of a mirror. If using the app, it will alert you on the screen.
Unfortunately, Oral-B has assumed that all users have sight. Blind users would not know it was active. It would be better if the handle had different vibration patterns, but no such luck. Philips do this when their brushes detect too much force.
Wonderfully clean teeth without the noise
I’ve heard and read how many people have found Oral-B brushes to be much too noisy. I concur.
I’ve too seen several comments that suggest ‘it was like using a jackhammer in your mouth’. This might be a slight exaggeration, but I get the sentiment.
The iO7 addresses both.
Quieter than other Oral-B brushes
Using the iO7 is a slightly more enjoyable experience as the motor produces a less mechanical and intense sound.
It isn’t quite the audible humming of many sonic brushes, but somewhere in between.
It measured in at around 72 decibels in our testing. A little louder than some other newer iO handles like the 4,5 and 6. Yet a bit quieter than most other Oral-B brushes nonetheless.
It’s still noisier than I think it should be. An opportunity to win back more people has been missed.
Less aggressive on the teeth than non-iO models
The newly designed motor in the iO Series handles does change the brushing sensation, even if the way in which the bristles move is essentially the same.
You still get a satisfying deep clean of the teeth and gums, but the feeling as the head moves over the teeth isn’t as intense. It’s like the dial for invigorating brushing has been turned down from 10 to 7. The slight harshness that has existed now doesn’t.
My own plaque disclosing tests, alongside clinical data confirm the brush is up to the task. I’ve no complaints and neither do leading dental bodies. The iO7 has achieved the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
iO specific brush heads: the same but different
As a consequence of the motor and handle redesign for the iO Series, a new range of iO specific brush heads has been developed.
iO handles can only accept iO compatible heads.
They are very similar to the array of existing Oral-B heads. Aside from compatibility, the most notable difference is the small round head is now a bit larger. As a rough guide, about 10% deeper.
For most, this is not an issue. But, if you have a small mouth or crowded teeth maneuvering the iO head around will feel a bit different and in a few instances pose more of a challenge.
There are just 4 styles of heads rather than 8 or so that exist for non-iO handles.
The price has doubled also!
Beware of the mold
Make sure you thoroughly rinse the brush head after each use. Clean around the top of the brush handle too, paying particular attention to the magnetic attachment. The handle is water resistant, so don’t worry about it getting wet.
Failing to do so can potentially lead to mold building up inside the brush head, as demonstrated in this video.
It poses a limited risk, but it’s not nice and best avoided.
Longer battery life would have been preferable over the 3 hour recharge time
The iO7 uses a different charging stand than the majority of Oral-B toothbrushes.
The circular magnetic charger is a little wider and deeper than your standard charger. It definitely looks better and fits the premium vibe well.
There is no unsightly protuberance on this stand, just a slight convex zone in the center that aligns with the concave base of the iO7’s handle.
Hardwired into it is a 2 pin power adapter. The cord is about 4 feet (1.2 meters) in length. The stand supports 100-240 volts, unlike the 110-130 volts of the standard charger. This is better for you if you travel internationally regularly.
The key benefit of the magnetic charger is it can fully recharge the iO7’s battery in about 3 hours. That’s about a quarter of the time it normally takes to charge an electric toothbrush.
This is great, I don’t know why brushes usually take so long to charge. But, few of us need such rapid charging. I would have preferred more usage time so there is less anxiety about remaining brushing sessions.
Oral-B suggests a usable life of about 2 weeks. I achieved 16 days on average.
It’s perfectly satisfactory, but premium brushes from other brands easily give 3+ weeks on a single charge. SURI offers around 4 weeks in a handle half the size.
The display will give feedback on the battery charge level and the light ring at the top of the brush handle will flash red when low or pulse white when on charge. You can also see the remaining power in the app.
It’s difficult to justify the price of the iO7
$199.99 is the price tag for this brush. Yet a 20% discount is pretty commonplace.
$160, or ideally less is a more sensible price for what’s on offer here.
$12 is the average cost of an iO specific brush head. $5 per head is common for all other Oral-B bristles. Naturally, ownership costs are affected for the worse.
Over 3 years expect to pay in the region of $280 for the iO7.
However, I urge you to avoid the Series 7 and go for the Series 6 instead. You will save $30 and lose out on the ability to charge the toothbrush in 3 hours. It’s the better value choice in most instances.
Those who are really committed and desire the best tech would be better off picking the iO9. There is still a healthy premium to be paid, but it will give better feedback on your brushing habits.
If you don’t see yourself committing to real-time tracking pick our top overall choice for an electric toothbrush and you will save $150. Believe it or not, it cleans your teeth just as well.
It looks and feels good
It might not be made from metal like Quip or SURI, but the plastic handle is solid and durable.
The rounded design has no harsh edges and feels well balanced in hand.
Available in white, black, blue and purple color options, the plastic has a matt finish rather than gloss often found on Oral-B brushes. It looks better.
With just 2 buttons and a display, the handle looks very clean. You don’t have different textured surfaces like some.
If you’re concerned about it being difficult to hold onto, it isn’t. The finish has a slight resistance that just works.
Some might not like it, but it does limit the unsightly white toothpaste residue that can build up on the handle. Even if it does, it’s effortless to rinse off.
The buttons are always black in color no matter what color handle you opt for. Their convex shape and silicone coating stand out to the fingertip and provide reassuring feedback.
It’s got at least 3 more brushing modes than you need
I’ve yet to find any solid justification for having 5 different brushing modes on a toothbrush, given that the cleaning results are comparable, but the iO7 has just this.
Your options are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
Daily Clean is the mode you’re generally best off using and is all you really need. It provides a good overall clean. It can help remove surface stains and whiten teeth for some too.
That said, having the option of Sensitive mode is nice, for those times your teeth and gums might be feeling a bit more tender and you want something a little less intense.
It will default to your last used mode and you can change the order via the app if you like as well as disabling those you won’t ever use.
The travel case is more useful than the brush head refill holder
Confusingly Oral-B offer an iO7 and an iO7G. The G variant has a magnetic travel pouch and a brush head refill holder.
The magnetic pouch is as it sounds. It’s big enough to hold the handle and accessories.
If you like to switch between different brush heads, the refill holder offers a place to store others when not in use. It’s also ideal for placing the head on to dry whilst detached from the handle.
Up to 2 heads can sit on the nodules of the silicone base. An opaque plastic cap fits on top to protect them from dust, splashes etc.
It is though the standard iO7 (not the G version) that has the better travel case.
It’s thicker and more robust than a typical plastic case. It has a nice inner molding in which you can place 2 heads and the handle.
It doesn’t allow the toothbrush to be charged inside the case like the iO Series 9.
An industry average 2 year warranty
Where more affordable brushes from lesser known brands typically come with a 1 year warranty, the iO7 is supplied with a 2 year guarantee. This is pretty typical for an Oral-B brush and those from other leading brands like Philips Sonicare.
It’s not impossible, but not all that common for a brush to fail during this time. Oral-B has had years to perfect the design and manufacturing to limit such.
A number of iO brushes I have been using for several years remain functional with no issues.
Regretfully the iO7 or any of the iO models have not been designed to be repaired yourself. It is common practice for electric brushes not to be user serviceable. It’s a shame more environmentally considerate approaches are not being factored in by leading brands.
Given that the average electric brush’s environmental impact is on average 11 times greater than a manual brush. The iO7 has to be worse considering the addition of Bluetooth technology, position tracking sensors and a display.
Over the lifespan of the brush, it might not be quite so bad if it lasted longer than less reliable alternatives, but we will never really be able to say for sure.
The retail box isn’t that compact, even allowing for space for the provided extras. But, at least it is paper based and recyclable, unlike Oral-B’s polystyrene packaging of times past.
While Oral-B has partnered with schemes such as TerraCycle, it does not yet have its own recycling scheme for used brush heads or faulty products.
Its brush heads are made from petroleum-based plastic, which uses the planet’s finite resources compared to using plant-based plastics.
Conclusion: you’re paying a premium just to charge the iO7 quicker
I could happily use the iO Series 7 on a daily basis, even if the tracking isn’t perfect. It really is a decent toothbrush. The cleaning results are brilliant, it’s quieter and it looks great.
It offers more features than most of us need and you need to be dedicated to make continual use of the smart tech. For most users, the nearly identical but cheaper iO6 is the better option. That is unless you need a brush capable of being recharged in just 3 hours?!
The iO Series 6 is better value and a more sensible choice for most with little in the way of sacrifice, whilst the Series 9 is the better choice for those who do want it all and are prepared to part with the money.
- Height (without head) – 18.3cm / 7.2 inches
- Height (with head) – 24cm / 9.45 inches
- Width – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Thickness – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 126g / 4.44 ounces
- Weight (with head) – 134g / 4.7 ounces
All are approximates
More Oral-B iO content
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Oral-B iO range now includes several models.
We explain the differences in our Oral-B iO comparison.
We’ve also reviewed each brush individually: