iRobot Roomba 960 vs. Roomba 980: Robot Vacuum Comparison

iRobot's Roomba 960 robot vacuum is a cheaper version of the Roomba 980 that launched earlier this year. Here's a comparison of the two robot vacuums.

Photo Caption: iRobot's newest robot vacuum, the Roomba 960. (Photo Credit: iRobot)

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 960iRobot Roomba 980
Size13.8 inches in diameter x 3.6 inches tall13.8 inches in diameter x 3.6 inches tall
Weight8.5 lbs8.7 lbs
Lithium-ion Battery Life75 minutes120 minutes
Recharge and ResumeYesYes
Dirt Detect Concentrated CleaningYesYes
Soft TouchYesYes
Multi-room NavigationYesYes
Tangle-free Debris ExtractorsYesYes
Bin Full InidicatorYesYes
iRobot HOME AppYesYes
Custom Cleaning PreferencesYesYes
3-Stage Cleaning SystemYesYes
AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System5X10X
AeroForce High-Efficiency FilterYesYes
Carpet BoostNoYes

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe:  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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