Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush review: Steep cost

Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush held in hand
Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush review: Steep cost
MSRP $300.00
“With so much time spent on its development, it lives up to delivering the best brushing performance around.”
  • Exceptional cleaning performance
  • Comes with four brush heads
  • LED ring helps with pressure sensitivity
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Expensive
  • Eats up battery

Earlier this year during CES 2020, I got a sneak peek at Oral-B’s new smart toothbrush: The iO Series 9. I only had the chance to get in a single brushing session, but I came away from the experience intrigued. When a company spends six years developing a smart toothbrush, expectations are surely going to be high. Months after that brief encounter, I’m more informed to tell you if it’s worth the wait. Check out other Oral-B models in our best electric toothbrush deals going on right now on Amazon Prime Day.

High-tech in every way

I’ve owned several manual and electric toothbrushes, but the iO Series 9 is the first I would call downright imposing. While it may look like just another electric toothbrush from a cursory inspection, it’s undeniably fancier looking up close, and equipped with tech that makes it a step above the rest. It’s plastic, but significantly beefier in size than other brushes, with the weight and solid feel to match. A tiny screen showcases battery life, brushing modes, and even an emoji face after each brush to grade my performance. Oral-B has put in a lot of work behind the brushing mechanism, which consists of a frictionless, smooth magnetic drive system to produce powerful micro-vibrations as you brush (more on that later).

Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush Display closeup
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Pearly white clean

To be blunt, I’m enamored with how well this toothbrush cleans my teeth. In using one of Oral-B’s entry-level electric toothbrushes in the past, I was never convinced that it was any better at cleaning than Philips’ Sonicare line. The iO Series 9 is a totally different beast altogether. In fact, it’s the best toothbrush I’ve ever used, including the Hum by Colgate that I checked out right before this one.

It’s the best brush I’ve experienced.

Part of its top-notch performance is due to its ability to detect how much pressure I’m applying while brushing my teeth. An LED ring around the toothbrush lights up in red, blue, or green, to indicate if it’s too much, too little, or just right. The Oral-B app will do the same thing, but I prefer the visual of the light, even if I’m brushing with my smartphone in hand. Additionally, a distinctive vibration tells you when it’s time to move onto another quadrant.

Thanks to its intense micro-vibrations, the Oral-B iO Series 9 delivers the best brushing performance I’ve experienced. I feel like my teeth receive a buffing job, in addition to a power wash — so it leaves my teeth with a squeaky feel every time. It doesn’t entirely get rid of hard-to-remove plaque buildup in between teeth, but to be frank, I haven’t come across a toothbrush that can do this well. Sorry, you still need to floss.

Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush brushing teeth
John Velasco / Digital Trends / Digital Trends

After each brush, it’ll display how much battery is left. Not surprisingly, it’s a battery hog, eating away about 10% of its battery after each use. So yeah, it’s going to require frequent charges.

More of the same smart functions

So far, the majority of smart toothbrushes I’ve encountered don’t differ too much with their smart functions. The Oral-B iO 9 tracks a total of six zones when being guided using the app, so I can see exactly how well I’m brushing each area. However, the tracking feature isn’t available with unguided brushes, which is rather puzzling for something “smart.” At the end of each brush, I’m given a score from zero to 100 to indicate my brushing performance.

Even though it’s able to tell me how well I’m brushing each quadrant, a part of me craves for more precise brushing data. For example, I can spend a lot of time brushing the front side of my teeth, while neglecting the back, but it treats the two sides as one. It doesn’t paint a true picture of my brushing and habits. This isn’t an isolated problem, but rather, a common one shared by most products in this category. I want a smart toothbrush that can learn my precise brushing habits and guide me toward practical improvements, I don’t want to brush to chase after a score.

Our take

Impressive cleaning comes at a price, which for the Oral-B iO Series 9 means having to fork over $300. It’s ridiculously expensive, but it’s also one of the most advanced toothbrushes on the market and delivers a satisfying clean each and every time. Fortunately, the purchase comes with a travel case and four brush heads, which saves the aggravation of buying replacements soon after. Still, it costs $30 for a two-pack replacement.

How long will it last?

With its substantial build quality, I’m confident it’ll hold up for a good while. Oral-B offers a 2-year warranty that covers defects, but not normal wear and tear.

Is there a better alternative?

If you’re looking for an exceptional clean with connectivity functions, it’s hard to find anything else that comes close. You may be able to get a similar performance with Oral-B’s other models, perhaps with the $200 priced iO Series 7 smart toothbrush.

Should you buy it?

Yes, mainly for the fact that cleaning takes priority above anything else. All of its smart functions and tracking are extra. If it can’t succeed at cleaning, then it’s a failure.

John Velasco
John is the Smart Home editor at Digital Trends covering all of the latest tech in this emerging market. From uncovering some…
Best Ninja Foodi deals: Pressure cookers, grills, and air fryers
Unloading food from the Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Smart XL.

The Ninja Foodi lineup offers a range of small kitchen appliances such as air fryers and pressure cookers, and it’s even known to make some impressive blenders and indoor grills. All of these appliances are in play for some savings right now, as there are some great Ninja Foodi deals to shop. They even include some of the best air fryer deals we’ve seen lately. We’ve rounded up all of the best Ninja Foodi deals you can shop right now and you can find them all below in addition to some information on why each device might be the right one to add to your kitchen. There are also several other ways to save while adding to your smart kitchen out there right now. You can shop refrigerator deals and oven deals if you’re looking for larger appliances, or there are some really great coffee maker deals worth shopping and they include both Keurig deals and Nespresso deals.
Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro — $120, was $150

The Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro is capable of saving you a lot of counter space, as it can replace 14 different cooking tools and appliances. It can slow cook, steam, warm, sauté, steam, and roast, and it can do the work of appliances such as cast iron skillets, saucepans, stock pots, and Dutch ovens. It’s perfect for entertaining, as it has an 8.5-quart capacity that allows you to make foods like chili for up to 20 people. The Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro cooks up to 30% faster than conventional ovens, and offers easy cleanup with a nonstick pot.

Read more
Fitness deals: treadmills, ellipticals, weights on sale
nordictrack x32i treadmill review press lifestyle

It's not talked about often, but staying healthy and exercising regularly can really help with your mental health, and if you're the sort of person who struggles to stay active, it can be tough. Luckily, there is a lot of great fitness equipment that can help motivate you to keep going with minimal effort. That's why home gym deals can be quite beneficial for those who struggle with exercise, but if you're just looking to start out with basics, then there are some great fitness deals on things like treadmills and dumbells available. We've collected some of our favorites below, but it's also worth checking out these NordicTrack deals and Bowflex deals.
Adjustable Dumbbell 25-pound 5-In-1 Single — $85, was $130

One of the worst things about dumbbell training is having too many dumbbells. They can take over your whole gym. This deal (on a SINGLE dumbbell, so buy two!) can take the place of five dumbbells in your complete gym kit. Instead of one 55-pound dumbbell, you're getting an 11-pound dumbbell, a 22-pound dumbbell, and so on up until the 55 pounder. This is advantageous if you're just starting out with working out and don't know what weight you need to start with or if you want to do different exercises with different weights. Finally, note that the design of the adjustable dumbbell is quite safe as you can only adjust the weights (via a simple handle turning mechanism) while they are laid carefully on tray. Once they're off, the weight is "locked in" so to speak until you return them to the try. No lost toenails here!

Read more
Best Dyson deals: Cordless vacuums, purifying fans, and beauty
The Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum with its laser.

If you aren't familiar with Dyson, it's a company that was first made famous by those fancy-looking bladeless fans but that has now taken that tech and spread out to a huge selection of products, including vacuum cleaners and hair straighteners. Unfortunately, it is a high-end brand, which means that all of its devices are pretty expensive; even the basic stuff, like its SuperSonic Hair Dryer, can cost up to $500, which is a lot of cash. Luckily, there are a lot of great deals floating around that you can take advantage of, and we've collected some of our favorites below.

That said, if you haven't quite found what you're looking for, you can check out these vacuum deals, cordless vacuum deals, and air purifier deals instead.
Best Dyson fan deals

Read more