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Hands-on Gear Review
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Review
Price: $220 List | $169.95 at Amazon
Pros: Stylish, lots of accessories included, comfortable
Bottom line: The flashiest model, but is substantially more expensive than the competition
The DiamondClean is the top of the line model for the Sonicare family of electric toothbrushes. This model has a sleek, matte appearance and comes with the most accessories, including an inductive charging water glass and a USB charging travel case. However, it was outperformed in our testing process by multiple models that cost significantly less. It did lead the pack when it came to ease of use, but not by enough to net it an award.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Using a side to side style brush head clocking in at 31, 000 movements per minute, the DiamondClean scored slightly above average in our cleaning metrics with a 6 out of 10. Our cleaning test consisted of two parts: plaque removal, and surface stain removal. The plaque removal consisted of our testers forgoing brushing for a period of about 16 hours, then chew a plaque disclosing tablet. This would dye all of the accumulated plaque bright red. After brushing, before and after photos were compared to see which spots were missed with each model of toothbrush,
For the stain removal aspect of our score, we soaked eggshells in coffee for four days to use as an approximation of stained teeth. We ran the Diamond Clean on a tooth sized section of the shell, for a complete cycle (about equivalent to four weeks worth of brushing) and used the whitening mode. Afterwards, we determined scores by comparing before and after photos.
Tying for the second highest score, this model was one of the more comfortable ones that we reviewed. This score was comprised of 3 different aspects: holding comfort, brushing comfort, and noise level. Our testers thoroughly loved how this brush felt when holding it. It was clearly evident that serious though had been put into the ergonomic design of the handle, and the matte finish was by far the favorite among the panel.
This was also well received among our panel of testers when it came to the level of comfort when actually brushing with this model. Users felt that it was comfortable to reach most of the places in your mouth, even the back molars. The presence of a sensitive mode is also extremely beneficial for those with a history of sensitive gums.
The DiamondClean sounded in at 57 dBa on the sound level meter, measured 2" away from the mouth when brushing. This put it in at the quietest toothbrush we reviewed, making it the least intrusive to whomever might be in the room when you are brushing your teeth. However, our testers ranked it below average when it came to noise level during actual use, meaning it felt much louder to the user of the brush, than to a bystander.
Ease of Use
This model led the way when it came to ease of use, receiving the highest score of a 7 out of 10. As noted previously, this model appears to have had significant effort put into its ergonomic and visual aesthetic and was the clear winner when it came to visual appeal. The brush head has an easy to use, push-on attachment method, as well as five different cleaning modes to select from. There is a one-button interface to toggle between modes, with the brush giving you a five second window to switch between them when first powered on. This model also has an extremely unique charging base: an actual glass cup that fits over an inductive charger, allowing you to simply place the toothbrush in the cup to recharge.
This makes the brush extremely stable on the base, and exceptionally difficult to knock over accidentally. For charging while traveling, this brush comes with a USB powered, charging travel case.
We also found this brush to be the easiest to clean, with only a little extra effort to get all the spots around the interface button.
The DiamondClean scored well in our battery life testing process, tying for the second highest score of the pack with a 7 out of a possible 10. This brush ran for a continuous 132 minutes before completely failing. The indicator light will change from green to orange as the battery depletes, and will also vibrate when completely depleted. One strong benefit to this model is the charging travel case, making battery life much less relevant than in other models.
This is an extremely expensive toothbrush, with an MSRP of $220. For many, that would instantly preclude purchasing, especially as it was outperformed by much less expensive toothbrushes, but it may be worth it if you put a high value on the visual aesthetic and the additional accessories.
All in all, this is a strong performer and fits in its place as the highest-end model of all the Sonicare toothbrushes, It looks great, and has some neat additional accessories like the rock-solid charging base and travel case with integrated charger. Unfortunately, this is an expensive product, and you end up paying for some features that you don't necessarily need, but are nice to have.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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