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Roomba 960 vs 980: Which One is Better for You?

Many people have already appreciated the benefits and convenience of robotic vacuum cleaners. These are miniature high-tech helpers who will thoroughly and carefully clean the floor and various floorings from dirt and dust in any home. The main advantage of vacuum robots is that they relieve their owners from the duty of cleaning the floor in the house. At the same time, they are equally good at dealing with different types of carpets, linoleum, laminate, tile, and many others. The equipment doesn`t leave any traces of its work; it can be trusted with even expensive floor covering or an elite carpet. Even the most resistant stains, dust, hair, and litter will be removed. The robot vacuum cleaner doesn`t require additional programming or control. It chooses the optimal route, and if an obstacle arises on the way, the device carefully passes it and continues its work. The equipment takes up little space and works without connecting to the mains. Battery charging lasts for several hours, after which the robot returns to the platform for recharging. We think that after all the conveniences described above, you also wanted to buy a robot vacuum cleaner. In that case, let us show you Roomba, one of the market leaders. From the wide range of models, we offer you the two most optimal robots in terms of price and quality – the 960 and 980. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and decide together which one is better.

Roomba 960

This model is the fourth development of the iRobot company and compares favorably with previous models with the quality of cleaning and navigation. Due to this, it remains one of the best in its price segment. iRobot Roomba 960 is a vacuum cleaner that performs dry floor cleaning. It has a stylish and elegant appearance. The height of the robot is 3.6 inches, which is quite enough for free under furniture cleaning. Thanks to its round shape, it can penetrate various places, thereby cleaning a bigger surface area. The bumper slopes at the edges reduce the chances that the unit will get stuck between obstacles or under furniture. The bumper is also protected by a special film, which softens the blows and the touches from the obstacles. In its turn, the lower part of the bumper is treated with a special rubber that protects furniture from damage, too.

The vacuum cleaner navigates in space, detects pollution, and locates its charging station with the help of sensors located under the front panel. The device also includes a side brush, a rotating roller, silicone rollers, and a garbage bin. All of these devices provide capture and garbage collection. Brushes are presented in the form of silicone rollers-scrapers, which reliably collect litter and prevent hair, threads, or pet fur winding. The garbage is picked up from my brushes and sent to the waste bin.

The robot has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2130 mAh, which gives you up to 80 minutes of running with a further three hours of charging time.

A distinctive feature of the device from the old models is its control system via a mobile application. It`s one of the first models that gave users the remote control. Thanks to this app, you can start and stop the cleaning process, configure the robot to work on a schedule, determine its location, as well as find out the current state of the machine. Besides, this app can report that it`s time to change certain consumables.

However, there is another way to control the vacuum cleaner. The engineers added a so-called virtual wall to the Roomba 960 kit. It looks like a restrictive strip, which is installed on the floor in a certain place. With the help of such a unique device, you can protect the area where cleaning is not desirable for you.

In the most complicated places, the 960 uses the AeroForce system. That means that the cleaner can increase suction power several times. And during the vacuuming, the robot keeps all the dirt inside the bin and runs the air through the HEPA-Style filter that can catch dust particles and allergens as small as 1 micron.

So, among the characteristics we have considered, we`d like to mention the following advantages:

  • Small dimensions and bumper protection

  • Good navigation

  • Wide brush set and easy maintenance

  • Control via a smartphone app and Wi-fi

  • Availability of cleaning on schedule

  • One virtual wall

  • Highly efficient HEPA-Style filter

  • Three-stage AeroForce cleaning system

Among the disadvantages we highlight:

  • Short battery life

  • Lack of wet cleaning

  • No Carpet Boost system

Roomba 980

The robot vacuum cleaner Roomba 980 is a later model in comparison with the Roomba 960, it also performs dry cleaning of rooms, but has some number of additions. However, in terms of design and configuration, it`s not much different from its predecessor. The robot has the same classic round shape with a protective bumper above. The lower part of the bumper is edged with a rubber “skirt” protecting the furniture from scratches. The height of the model is also an optimal 3.6 inches, which guarantees free movement. On the front, there is a camera with which the robot vacuum cleaner Roomba 980 scans and remembers the room. At the bottom of the vacuum cleaner are a roller on a rotating platform and wheels, a side brush for collecting debris, a compartment with main rollers-brushes, and a detachable dust collector. The cleaner also has two rubber rollers, which qualitatively clean both a smooth surface and a carpet, without winding up hair and fur. Brushes and rollers pick up dirt and direct it to the dust bin compartment. Along the perimeter of the robot’s bottom, we see six height difference sensors.

This model is equipped with a more powerful 3300 mAh Li-ion battery, which gives an additional 40 minutes of work compared to model 960. The vacuum cleaner can do its job for 120 minutes and resumes charge at the station for three hours.

The device also has a built-in WI-FI module, thanks to which the robot can be controlled via a smartphone (Android or iOS) through the app. The application allows you to adjust the optimal time of work, the mode of the cleaning, and the schedule. In addition, you can check the location of the robot and the battery charge.

The kit also includes virtual walls that limit the movement of the device. But if the model 960 had only one wall, the 980 can display two virtual stops. This allows you to divide the territory into zones for cleaning more accurately.

The advantage of the Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner is in its ability to clean up not only on a smooth surface but also on a carpet. This process goes better due to the modern technology called Carpet Boost. This function switches on when the device moves to the carpet. At the same time, the suction power of the robot vacuum cleaner increases. Also, the best result is achieved due to the AeroForce suction system. As in the previous model, the 980 has a HEPA filter that fights dirt at the microscopic level.

So, unconditional advantages of the Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner are:

  • Compact size

  • Good navigation

  • Control through the application

  • Two vertical walls

  • HEPA-Style filter

  • Three-step AeroForce system

  • Carpet Boost system

  • Powerful battery

Disadvantages are as follows:

  • No wet cleaning

  • Higher price in comparison with the Roomba 960

  • Users complain about high noise during operation

During our review, we concluded that Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 robots are almost identical to each other, but the latter model still has several advantages. It copes better with carpet cleaning, has wider equipment (two virtual walls instead of one), greater runtime. But please mind that the price for this device is also higher. Therefore, if you are not limited to the budget, we recommend that you spend a little more and buy model 980. However, if you don`t want or can`t go beyond a certain amount, you can safely buy Roomba 960, which, although being inferior, still won`t disappoint you.

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