iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980

The iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 is a close comparison with the 960 taking the edge due to being much more reasonably priced and almost equalling the features of the 980. In our comparison article of all Roombas,we highlighted the key differences across the whole range of iRobots Roomba models. For a more complete overview of these Roombas, we highly recommend you read that article. This article will look deeper into a comparing the Roomba 960 and 980 as we consider features such as motor power and smart home technology. The truth is that the 960 and 980 are very similar machines with the principal difference being the Roomba 980 having higher motor power and price tag. In short, these are almost identical apart from the 980 having a more powerful suction motor, more battery life, one extra virtual wall barrier included but costing $200 more.

Roomba 960:Our favorite Roomba that balances price, smart features, and motor power. Almost as good as the Roomba 980 at around $600.

Roomba 980: The best overall Roomba in terms of motor suction power and all other features present. This comes at the highest price at around $800-$900.

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980
iRobot Roomba 960

iRobot Roomba 980 vs 960 Features

Below is our feature table of Roombas. Please note that both models have all the smart features and the only difference is that the 960 has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System whilst the 980 has the Gen 3 Motor:

Compare Roomba Models 2018

Smart Home Technology

Both the Roomba 960 and 980 are smart home enabled and use the iRobot Home App. They connect via WiFi to provide in-depth reports showcasing your home floorplan smart mapped, clean time, charging time, “dirt events”, as well as enabling voice commands and scheduled cleaning. Both Roombas navigate using VSLAM (Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) to navigate moe intelligently compared to older Roomba models. This means the Roomba will build a bank of pictures to remember household features to adopt the best cleaning routes and work as efficiently as possible. Older Roomba models just use sensors taking each turn at one time, rather than taking a cleaning route which has been thought out.

Motor Power

The varying motor power of the Roombas 960 and 980 is the principal difference between the two models. The iRobot Roomba 960 uses the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System, which is approximately 5 times stronger than the motor used in most Roombas, such as the 690. The Roomba 980 uses iRobots Gen 3 motor which is twice as strong as the 960. The main significance of this is that the 980 will do a much better job on dense and deeper carpets. Given that Roombas are mostly not as effective as traditional vacuums, this may or may not be worth the extra $200. We feel that Roombas are perfect for hard floors and picking up lighter material such as pet hair. So given your individual circumstance, you may think the motor power of the Roomba 960 vs 980 is sufficient if you have hard floors.

Battery and Accessories

The battery life of the Roomba 960 vs 980 is a fair bit less, although in practice this is not too important. The battery life of the Roomba 980 is 120 minutes, 45 minutes longer than the Roomba 960’s 75 minutes of cleaning. Although this may seem like a significant difference, it actually isn’t that important given that both can self autonomously go back to the charging station and resume cleaning. Another difference comes from the Roomba 980 being sold with two virtual wall barriers rather than just the one that the 960 has. These virtual wall barriers are handy if you want to stop the Roomba cleaning a certain part of the house. These aren’t essential and most purchasers would probably not need them. Both the battery life and the extra virtual wall barriers are useful add-ons although practically they won’t significantly improve the user experience.

Price of 960 vs 980 Roomba

The price of the Roomba 960 vs 980 may be the deciding factor for many purchasers. The iRobot Roomba 960 is typically around $700, a fair bit cheaper than the 980. The iRobot Roomba 980 is normally around $900, making it a pretty damn expensive piece of kit. We personally don’t believe the extra cost is worth it, but if it is within your budget the 980 is slightly superior overall.

iRobot Roomba 980 vs 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
iRobot Roomba 980

iRobot Roomba 980 vs 960

The iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 is a closely fought battle. These two are clearly the best Roombas due to superior control via the iRobot Home app and from having more powerful motors than their counterparts. Between these two models, the only difference which has weight is the motor power of the iRobot Roomba 980 being twice that of the 960. We hope you enjoyed our iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 article.

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