This is our verdict of the iRobot Roomba 960 based on several hours of research of reviews from both experts and users.
Roomba robot vacuums carry a big brand with an impressive reputation and high expectations. With the iRobot Roomba 960, you can expect a robot that will definitely meet or even exceed your expectations because of its smart features and outstanding performance. However, all great things have flaws and the Roomba 960 is not exempted.
The Roomba 960 utilises a camera and sensors (iAdapt 2.0 Navigation and vSLAM) to thoroughly navigate the floor and provide an accurate map that can be seen in the app. With this, the robot won't randomly bump anywhere, like the older Roomba vacuums. The Roomba 960 can clean the whole floor with a systematic pattern and not miss a spot.
Additionally, it utilises advanced sensors that allow the robot vacuum to clean efficiently and carefully. It has a dirt detector sensor that, if it detects a high concentration of dirt on edges or high-traffic areas, will give more attention to that area. The Roomba 960 also offers an obstacle-avoidance sensor that helps the robot vacuum dodge furniture and lessen the impact on the obstacle, leaving the furniture unscratched.
Moreover, the robot has a cliff sensor that is helpful for those who have stairs so the robot will not fall off the edge. However, this sensor may falsely identify black or dark-coloured edges of carpets to be a cliff and might avoid cleaning the area, thus resulting in an uncleaned carpet.
Another smart feature of this robot vacuum is it utilises a dual multi-surface rubber brush that solves one of the common problems that most robot vacuum has. It can easily pick up hairs on the floor without them getting stuck on the main brush, which is helpful for those who have pets that shed heavily or who often have hairs on the floor. It also offers 5x stronger power than the 600 series, thus enabling the robot to provide more efficient cleaning on different floor types, especially on low-pile carpets and bare floors.
The Roomba 960's battery life is not that impressive as compared to its other features, however. It can only last 70-75 minutes and it might not even be able to cover the whole floor of a large house. Nevertheless, it is not that big of a deal because the robot vacuum works fast and has a recharge-and-resume feature. Before it reaches its battery limit, the Roomba 960 will find its way to its charging dock to recharge and then resume where it left off to finish the cleaning cycle.
This robot vacuum also offers a virtual wall that can restrict the robot vacuum through a linear line or a circular radius. Nevertheless, despite its being a more slightly expensive robot, the Roomba 960 only provides one virtual wall. This can be a bit disappointing if you have a lot of areas where you don't want the robot vacuum to go.
Another downside of this robot vacuum is that it does not support automatic carpet-boost, unlike the high-end Roomba 980. Therefore, it may not be able to clean high-pile carpets thoroughly because of the lack of airflow.
Overall, despite the Roomba 960's few flaws, it is a great deal for those who are looking for an affordable robot vacuum that provides smart features and quality performance.