5 Best iRobot Roomba 960 Review Black friday & Cyber monday 2021

Roomba is one of the most well-known robot vacuum brands on the market. There are, in fact, many models available for different budgets from around $375 to $900. The Roomba 960, the subject of this review, falls right in the middle as far as price goes. One similarity it shares with its top quality counterpart is a camera for navigation and detailed cleaning reports through software on your phone. This littler robot also has Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control-but includes only one virtual wall and features Meet our top robot vacuum cleaner choice, the Roomba 960.

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Table of Contents

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The only visual difference between the Roomba 960 and 980 is color. The body of the 960 is lighter gray, but everything else may be the same. They both measure 13.8 inches in diameter and stand 3.6 inches tall. Controls are in the same spots, with a sizable Clean button flanked by Home and Spot Cleaning buttons. Indicator lights can be found above the buttons, while a camera for navigation is located at the very top center. Underneath, you will find these similar components: the same two roller brushes, a side brush and one in front. The removable dust bin can be found at the back of this model.

The Roomba 960 weighs 8.5 pounds, and the 980 is 8.7 pounds. While the 980 can go for 90 minutes, the 960 will last only 7 and a half.

The Roomba 960 comes with Wi-Fi connectivity on the two 2.4GHz band only (like other recent Roombas) and it can be controlled through the iRobot Home app, which you can find in the Apple App Store and Google Play It walks you through setup process and connecting to Wi-Fi, which is identical across all models. You can read more about this, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, in my own review of the Roomba 690.

Appearance wise, the new 960 is powerful enough to clean an entire room on its own. As offers, it supports Clean Map, which allows you to see in detail on a map where the robot vacuumed. You still can’t steer it through on-screen controls, but…

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Performance

The 960 series of the iRobot robot vacuum cleaners focus on completing one task in a linear pattern, which takes longer to clean but does not waste time going over already cleaned areas.

I tested the Roomba 960 in my apartment and was impressed by how deftly it maneuvered around furniture and obstacles. The camera meant that it didn’t bang into table legs or bookshelves, and I often saw it pause momentarily as if calculating where to move next. The Bobsweep Bobi Pet and Roomba 690 knocked over furniture and left a messy hallway, but the 960 still managed to do its job. So when you need to clean your floors of cables and liquids before cleaning them don’t worry about spending time clearing everything off beforehand.

I found that the Roomba 960 is much better than average at moving about different floor types. My living room rug has a black border and dark geometric shapes, which tests have shown trip up many vacuum cleaners including the Roomba 690. THEREFORE I was very happy to see this wasn’t a problem for the 960. It had been able to reliably move on and off of the rug without trouble. The same held true for the transition between wood and tile from my hallway to my kitchen.

The Roomba 960 wasn’t perfect, but it is still a phenomenal cleaning device. One small issue I ran into was that the TV stand prevented me from having to slide the Roomba 960 under.

Even though methodical cleaners like the iRobot 960 usually only pass over a location once, you can set it to make two passes in an area. Although the 960 does not have quite the same power as the 980, it still cleans well. The 980’s biggest draw is its Carpet Boost feature which enables you to adjust the suction on carpet and rugs.

The 960 is surprisingly quiet – much quieter than your traditional vacuum. In testing, only the Eufy RoboVac 11 has been quieter.

Battery life for the 980 is on the shorter side, but it still lasts a little more than an hour and a half – which is sufficient to clean just about any small apartment. In addition, the Roomba 960 made its way back to automatic charging once I asked Alexa to send it back. Once it was outside of the map range and faced another obstacle in its path, like a pillow or rug, the Roomba remained patient and navigated around.

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Conclusions

The Roomba 960 is a reasonably priced robot vacuum considering its features such as a camera for better navigation and voice assistant compatibility.

If you are uncertain between your Roomba 960 and 980, the decision comes down to two features. If you don t have a large carpeted home, or want a more affordable price point, then these features might not be necessary in order to justify the higher cost of the 980. The 960 wins as the Editors Choice for high-end robot vacuums.

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