The Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum.

Roomba 960 Review – the Most Cost-Effective Robot Vacuum?

The iRobot Roomba is very popular for their vacuum robots and their Roomba 960 falls somewhere in the middle between expensive and affordable. The Roomba 960 belongs to the upper-tier of the company’s vacuum robot selection since it is equipped with advanced technologies and smart features.

The Roomba 960 uses a powerful vacuum suction plus two different brushes for its 3-stage cleaning system. It is ideal for pet owners because it is fitted with a High-Efficiency Filter. It also uses Dirt Detection Technology and iAdapt Technology. And probably the best feature of this vacuum robot is its navigation. It uses a camera for navigation and resumes cleaning after charging which you can’t find on cheaper Roomba units. In addition to that, the Roomba 960 is also WiFi-enabled and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

See Roomba 960 on Amazon

Design and Dimensions

When it comes to design, almost all Roomba units are the same. They have the same round black design, some with a touch of silver, copper, or grey. The Roomba 960 has the same body as the previous generations, a round black body but it has a touch of light grey. Its control buttons are located on the same spot, in the middle of the device, with the CLEAN/power button on the center and the Home and Spot icons on both sides of it.  A little below the control panel, you will see an LCD display or a mapping screen, a feature that cheaper Roomba units do not have. The brand logo, meanwhile, is located on top of the control panel.

The Roomba 960 has a handle and a bumper ring too. It also has indicator lights, located above the control buttons, and a camera for navigation. Underneath the device, you will find the wheels and the brushes along with the bump and cliff sensors. It is 3.6 inches tall and weighs 8.6 lbs.

Performance and Technology

The Roomba 960 has an impressive cleaning performance. It has a 3-stage cleaning system that uses 3 powerful tools. A Power-Lifting Suction that has 5 times more air power than the previous generation; Dual Multi-Surface Brushes that pick up dust, dirt, and large debris; and Edge-Sweeping Brush that removes the debris away from edges and corners.

While cheaper Roomba units use AeroVac filters, the Roomba 960 uses a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Type Filter that captures 99% of allergens and small dust particles, as small as 10 microns, which makes it ideal for homes with pets. It also has a dustbin capacity of 600 ml.

Advanced technologies like the Dirt Detection technology and the iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation are fitted on the Roomba 960.  The Dirt Detection technology allows the device to detect dirty areas and clean that area completely; while the iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation allows the Roomba 960 to map its surroundings to effectively clean an entire level of your home, around objects, and even under furniture. It also uses a technology called the Imprint Link Technology which allows the Roomba 960 and Braava Jet M6 Robot to work together for more effective cleaning.

The Roomba 960 is also equipped with cliff and bump sensors as well as Anti-Tangle technology so you do not have to worry about it falling down the stairs, bumping itself on to a wall, or sucking electrical cords and tassels. It also has a Virtual Wall Barrier, a technology that creates an invisible barrier and the device won’t cross that barrier, making it easier for you to confine the vacuum robot to a particular area in the house and it also prevents the device from getting too close on fragile objects.

Power

The battery life of the Roomba 960 is pretty decent. It uses a lithium ion battery that can run up to 70 to 75 minutes and when the battery is low, it automatically returns to its base, docks itself, and recharges. When the battery is fully-charged, it then resumes cleaning, a feature that more affordable Roombas do not have. Its battery life is relatively shorter compared to the cheaper Roombas that use lithium ion batteries and can run up to 90 minutes.

Navigation

In terms of navigation, the Roomba 960 has smart navigation.  It does not have Imprint Smart Mapping Technology, a technology that allows the device to remember the layout of your home, unlike the more expensive Roomba units but it does have a camera to map the house. So unlike the more affordable Roombas that randomly pinball around the room as they clean, the Roomba 960 moves methodically and in straight lines.

Connectivity

The Roomba 960 does not come with a remote control accessory but it supports WiFi connectivity giving you the option to control the device via the iRobot Home App or smart home integration. The iRobot Home App lets you monitor and schedule cleaning sessions through your smartphone and or tablet. The app also updates the Roomba 960 with the latest softwares. You may download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store. This vacuum robot also recognizes voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, giving you a more hands-free control over the device.

Features

Roomba 960
3-Stage Cleaning Yes
Brushes Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, Edge-Sweeping Brush
Power-Lifting Suction Yes
Multi-Surface Cleaning with Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head Yes
Automatically recharges itself Yes
Automatically resumes cleaning Yes
iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation Yes
Dirt Detect Technology Yes
Imprint Link Technology Yes
Filter HEPA Type Filter
Dust Bin capacity 600 ml
Scheduling Yes
Cleaning Reporting No
Automatic Dirt Disposal No
Wireless Connectivity Yes
Smart Home Integration Yes
Intelligent Navigation  Yes
Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes No
Entire Level Cleaning No
Price Check on Amazon

Alternatives

  • iRobot Roomba E5

The Roomba E5 is a good alternative for the Roomba 960 if you are on a tight-budget. It uses the same 3-stage cleaning system and has the same Dirt Detection technology. It also has an iAdapt Navigation technology, although the Roomba 960’s iAdapt technology is more advanced. It is also WiFi-enabled and is compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The main difference between the Roomba 960 and the Roomba E5 is that the E5 has a random navigation while the 960 has a camera and navigates in straight lines.

  • GOOVI 1600PA Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

The GOOVI 1600PA Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is more affordable than  the  Roomba 960. It does not have many smart features, however, it has a 1600PA of intense suction and it automatically returns to its charging base when the battery is low. GOOVI is also slimmer than the Roomba 960 and it has a remote control. It does not have WiFi and is therefore not compatible with smart home apps like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

  • Pure Clean Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Pure Clean Robot Vacuum is very affordable and is ideal for those who are looking for a cheap alternative. It is a very basic robot vacuum but its battery life is longer compared to the Roomba 960. It uses lithium ion batteries and can run up to 90 minutes compared to the Roomba 960’s 70 to 75 minutes running time. Since it is a basic vacuum robot, it does not have any advanced technologies or smart features unlike the Roomba 960.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the Roomba 960 ideal for pets?

A. The Roomba 960 is perfect for pet owners since it uses a High-Efficiency Filter that captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and dust as small as 10 microns.

Q. Can it clean different floor levels?

A. Yes, the Roomba 960 can move between floors without any difficulties since it has very good sensors that prevent it from falling down the stairs.

Q. Will it stop working if a cat sits on top of it?

A. Yes, the Roomba 960 has a camera for navigation and if the camera is covered, it will not work.

Q. Will it bump into a wall?

A. No, the Roomba 960 has cliff and bump sensors and it slows down if there’s a wall or an obstacle in front.

Q. Can I schedule cleaning sessions to a specific room?

A. No, the Roomba 960 does not have that feature. If you schedule a cleaning session, the device just starts cleaning wherever it is.

Q. What happens if there are toys or small obstacles on the floor?

A. The Roomba 960 will either push the obstacles around or it will change its cleaning direction.

Q. Does it clean thick carpet?

A. Yes, the Roomba 960 is very effective in cleaning thick carpets.

Q. Does it suck electrical cords and wires?

A. No, the Roomba 960 has an Anti-Tangle technology and recognizes if there’s a wire so you do not have to worry about them being sucked by the vacuum.

Q. Does the Roomba 960 work if there’s no light at all?

A. No, the Roomba 960 heads back to its dock if it is too dark but it can work on low light.

Q. Does it come with a remote control?

A. No, the Roomba 960 does not have a remote control. You can directly control the device by pressing its control buttons or you can use the iRobot Home App.

See Roomba 960 on Amazon

What I like about the Roomba 960

  • Cleans everywhere, even under the furniture.
  • Uses a camera for navigation.
  • Has a mapping screen.
  • Automatically resumes cleaning after charging.
  • Ideal for homes with pets.
  • Has s a 3-stage cleaning system: loosens, lifts, and suctions.
  • Has duo brush design: Edge-Sweeping brush and Dual Multi-Surface Brushes.
  • Uses a Power-Lifting Suction.
  • iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation.
  • Cliff and bump sensors that keep the device from falling off the stairs.
  • Has a HEPA type filter.
  • Dust bin capacity is 600 ml.
  • Patented Dirt Detection technology.
  • Supports WiFi.
  • Schedule and monitor cleaning sessions through the iRobot Home App.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Has anti-tangle sensors.

What I don’t like about the Roomba 960

  • Does not come with a remote control.
  • You can’t schedule cleaning sessions on specific areas or rooms.
  • Has a short battery life.

Verdict

The Roomba 960 does an amazing job in cleaning your house. It is equipped with high-tech cleaning tools and it has smart features too that expensive Roomba units have. It is more expensive than the basic Roomba unit but when it comes to performance, there’s no doubt that the Roomba 960 does a very good job in keeping the floors clean.

The design of the Roomba 960 is very modern and it looks very sturdy as well. It uses a 3-stage cleaning system and a camera to navigate around the house plus it also has a HEPA type filter so you don’t have to worry about unseen dirt or very tiny dust particles lingering around. It is also a good vacuum robot to have if you have a smart home as it recognizes voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The technologies that the Roomba 960 use are very advanced as well. However, the battery life of this device has been reduced. Cheaper Roomba models use lithium ion batteries and run for up to 90 minutes while the Roomba 960 uses nickel metal hydride batteries and can only run up to 70 to 75 minutes.

Overall, the Roomba 960 is an impressive vacuum robot. It has the best cleaning technology and it has smart features too. It may not be as impressive as the more expensive Roombas, but it is already very capable of providing quality cleaning service.

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