Review - The Sonicare Xtreme electric toothbrush.

The Xtreme e3000 toothbrush is Sonicare's least expensive, and least featured, sonic toothbrush. We no longer see this brush listed in Sonicare's product line on their website. But we do still see it listed as being available from merchants on the web (Sonicare Xtreme e3000 HX3351).

There are things we really like about this brush.

All and all, we like the Sonicare Xtreme e3000, or at least the idea of it. It is a very bare-bones Sonicare model (as an example it offers just a single brushing mode). And different from all other Sonicare electric toothbrushes, the Xtreme e3000 runs on off-the-shelf AA batteries.

Its lack of features and use of disposable batteries might be considered to be a product disadvantage by some. But, actually, these characteristics do offer some advantages. And if nothing else, the comparatively low price of this brush can make it a very cost-effective entry to owning a true sonic toothbrush.

We don't see this as a toothbrush just for kids.

It seems that Sonicare primarily markets this model as a brush just for teens and pre-teens. We really don't get this. This brush seems a reasonable choice (with the limitations we discuss on this page) for a person of any age.

Philips and Sonicare are registered trademarks of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
Easy-start and QuadPacer are registered trademarks of Philips Oral HealthCare, Inc.

Features -

1) Brushing modes.

» This brush only has one brushing speed.

The Xtreme e3000 offers just a single brushing mode. It is, however, Sonicare's hallmark, 31,000-brush-strokes-per-minute brushing action.

Since this is the mode we think all Sonicare owners should be using. The Xtreme makes it possible to get the full benefits of owning a Sonicare at a very affordable cost.

» This brush does not have a Sensitive mode.

The Xtreme does not offer the gentler Sensitive setting that many Sonicare models do. Obviously if this setting is needed this brush would not make the right toothbrush choice.

» The Xtreme does not have Sonicare's Easy-start feature.

We also need to mention that this brush does not have Sonicare's Easy-start option. However, we wouldn't think that this would be much of a disadvantage for most people.

» It does have a brushing timer.

The Xtreme e3000 does have Sonicare's Smartimer feature (a two-minute brushing timer). It does not, however, have the QuadPacer function (which would be no big deal to us).

2) Brush heads.

The Xtreme e3000 uses Sonicare's older-styled e-series brush heads, which technically are less efficient and convenient as some of Sonicare's newer designs. Our brush-heads page gives further details (advantages, disadvantages, comparisons) about different types of Sonicare brush heads.

3) Batteries.

» The Xtreme e3000 runs on disposable AA batteries.

The Xtreme e3000 is the only Sonicare toothbrush that runs on off-the-shelf, disposable batteries (size AA). And this creates some advantages, as well as disadvantages.

As an advantage, the replaceable nature of the Xtreme's batteries is an attractive feature in light of the fact that with other Sonicare models the battery is not replaceable and therefore battery failure equates to toothbrush death.

As a disadvantage, however, evidently there are some concerns associated with the design of the Xtreme's battery compartment and the possibility of dampness causing internal corrosion (see below).

» You must maintain the quality of the brush's batteries.

Philips Sonicare suggests that in order to maintain optimal brushing efficiency, the batteries in an Xtreme should be replaced every six weeks. We wonder if some people are tempted to continue to use their Xtreme, with suboptimal cleaning efficiency, thinking that they are saving money by not immediately replacing somewhat depleted batteries. We have read reports where some people are successfully using rechargeable AA batteries with their brush.

» Having replaceable batteries offers an advantage to travelers.

The fact that the Xtreme runs on readily available AA batteries makes it a very convenient travel brush (although for some reason Sonicare has chosen not to include a travel case with this brush). Many travelers may already be carrying AA batteries for use with other electronics such as a camera. And a traveler's concerns about remembering to pack their toothbrush's charger or being concerned about foreign country voltage variations become a moot point.

Model-specific problems.

The main criticism of the Sonicare Xtreme e3000 has to do with the possibility of the premature death of this toothbrush due to the fact that moisture has gotten into its battery compartment and caused corrosion. This seems to be an isolated rather than universal problem. This problem may very well be due to the owner's brushing and/or toothbrush-care behavior.

Unlike other Sonicare models, because the Sonicare Xtreme runs on disposable batteries it must have an accessible battery compartment. On the Xtreme, the battery compartment is located at the butt end (base) of the brush and accessed by way of a pull-off cap. Some owners have reported that they feel that the access to this compartment can, at least under some conditions, allow moisture to enter. And as a result, corrosion and subsequent failure of their toothbrush has take place.

As a solution for this problem, some user's have reported that if an owner just takes a little care (both when using their toothbrush and also while cleaning it after use) so to minimize the amount of moisture that accumulates near or passes by the battery compartment area, the corrosion problem can be avoided.

Our conclusions about the Xtreme e3000.

Like we stated initially, overall, we like the Sonicare Xtreme e300 sonic toothbrush.

If the idea of using replaceable batteries appeals to you (and you'll keep them fresh and you'll take the time to maintain your brush in a fashion that minimizes the chance that you will develop the corrosion problems mentioned above).

And if you don't feel that you require those functions that more full-featured Sonicare models do offer (and we would suggest that most brushers don't).

Then the Sonicare Xtreme e3000 provides a way of owning a true Sonicare toothbrush, at a minimal cost.

Sonicare Toothbrushes
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