Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush: A Review

Sonicare 2-Series Plaque ControlThis new entry-level toothbrush from Sonicare is the first feature-free model they’ve released that uses modern snap-on brush head technology. For those of us who remember the hygiene issues with the Sonicare E-series, that’s exciting, but is it enough?

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Introducing the Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

The 2 Series Plaque Control is the spiritual successor to the Sonicare Essence. It includes the Smartimer two-minute run time to ensure your brushing session meets dentist-approved standards, but otherwise that’s it. It doesn’t even feature the popular QuadPacer setting that breaks the two minutes down into thirty second increments, ensuring each quadrant of your mouth gets an equal amount of brushing time. Like its fellow low-budget brushes, this is what can be said for it: it brushes your teeth, it brushes them well, and doesn’t do much more than that.

So, if in terms of modes and settings, it’s almost identical to the Sonicare Essence and the Sonicare Elite Premium Edition (though that has QuadPacer, by the way), what’s the point?

The point — and the 2 Series’s biggest selling feature — is its modern design and snap-on brush head compatibility. The older models, like the Essence and the Elite Premium Edition, feature a screw-on brush head which worked fine from a brushing standpoint but had some drawbacks in practice. Screwing on the brush head often didn’t create a watertight seal. That meant water and other gunk would often build up beneath the brush and create an unpleasant mess for anyone who wasn’t unscrewing and cleaning beneath the brush head on a regular basis. Sonicare’s more modern brushes use a snap-on brush head design that eliminates this risk. The fact the 2 Series uses the snap-on brush head design means the majority of the Sonicare brush heads (such as the ProResults and the DiamondClean) are compatible with it. That’s handy if you’ve got another Sonicare user in the house or if you’re looking to sidestep the extra cleaning needed to keep an older Sonicare Essence fresh and functional.

Things to Consider…

  • Bring the noise

One comment that always seems to crop up when people talk about this product is the noise level. Every electric toothbrush is going to make some noise — there’s a tiny motor vibrating in there, after all — but from customer comments the amount of noise the 2 Series churns out is unusually high.

  • Mind the gap

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen users lamenting the fact the brush head doesn’t sit flush against the brush’s handle. That seems to be a trait shared by all of Sonicare’s more modern brushes. If there’s a small gap between the brush’s color code ring and the handle, don’t stress it. It’s all working as intended.

  • Watch your elbows.

Though it’s a little chunkier than the svelte Sonicare EasyClean, the brush and its charging station are both slim and lightweight. Convenient, sure, in that it takes up little space, but if you’re clumsy or you’ve got a couple of curious cats prowling around, you’re going to want to either be careful or buy a brush with a sturdier stand.

What does everyone else think?

As of right now, it’s holding steady with a 4.3 out of 5 rating at Amazon.com. With more than 1,400 customers reporting in so far, that’s not bad.

Read the customer reviews yourself.

Conclusion

As is always the case, the brush you choose is going to be a reflection of your priorities. That said, both on the basis of budget and functionality, I’d probably chose a slightly more expensive brush — either the EasyClean or the Sonicare HealthyWhite (which comes with a sensitive mode and a hard travel case) — over the 2 Series. As always, whatever you buy, keep your receipts and warranty information, but I’m betting from that increased noise that the higher end brushes are better built.

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Obligatory note on packaging

If you do decide to buy this product on Amazon.com it’s important to understand what “Amazon Frustration-Free” packaging means. You will receive your Sonicare Essence 5600 in a cardboard Amazon box, with none of the original packaging. This makes it considerably easier to open (and recyclable), but much harder to wrap. If you’re buying this toothbrush as a gift, be sure to select the “Retail” option instead.

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