iRobot Roomba 960 vs. Roomba 980: Robot Vacuum Comparison

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August 04, 2016      

Today iRobot released the Roomba 960 robot vacuum that uses mapping, navigation, and an app to roam about the house and keep floors clean.

The $699 Roomba 960 is a more affordable version of the Roomba 980 ($900) that arrived earlier in 2016. At press time, the Roomba 960 is only available in the United States and Canada today, but iRobot said it will expand overseas later in 2016.

So why is the Roomba 960 $200 cheaper than the 980? Well, there’s a couple reasons:

  • The Roomba 960 uses an older motor – the one found in the 800-series Roomba
  • The Roomba 960 has a much shorter battery life
  • And like all iRobot robot vacuums prior to the 980, the Roomba 960 doesn’t have carpet boost technology that boosts suction power when cleaning rugs.

“This is a significant milestone as we are now able to offer a more accessible Roomba with mapping capabilities and cloud connected features across multiple product lines,” said iRobot CEO Colin Angle. “iRobot will continue to build upon its connected robot technologies moving forward, allowing for an enhanced customer experience and for our products to play a larger role within the smart home.”

iRobot, of course, first introduced the Roomba in 2002 and has dominated the robot vacuum market since, selling more than 15 million robot vacuums worldwide. iRobot has encountered more competition of late, including the new Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum that launched in the US on August 1.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 to easily decipher the differences:

iRobot Roomba 960 iRobot Roomba 980
Price $699.99 $899.99
Size 13.8 inches in diameter x 3.6 inches tall 13.8 inches in diameter x 3.6 inches tall
Weight 8.5 lbs 8.7 lbs
Lithium-ion Battery Life 75 minutes 120 minutes
Recharge and Resume Yes Yes
Self-Charging Yes Yes
Dirt Detect Concentrated Cleaning Yes Yes
Soft Touch Yes Yes
Multi-room Navigation Yes Yes
Scheduling Yes Yes
Tangle-free Debris Extractors Yes Yes
Bin Full Inidicator Yes Yes
iRobot HOME App Yes Yes
Custom Cleaning Preferences Yes Yes
3-Stage Cleaning System Yes Yes
AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System 5X 10X
AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter Yes Yes
Carpet Boost No Yes


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