iRobot Roomba 960 Review – Cheap Vacuuming Robot

The iRobot Roomba 960 is an affordable rendition of iRobot’s Roomba 980. Even with the lower pricing, it still has all the drills of Roomba 980. The features are extensively similar to their costlier counterpart, but there are some underlying differences that would only matter to those who have witnessed the performance of Roomba 980 that sports a more powerful third-generation motor. On the other hand, iRobot Roomba 960 has the same motor as Roomba 880 (we will look into the differences later).

iRobot Roomba 960 Review – Design

iRobot Roomba 960 Design

iRobot Roomba 960 robotic vacuum cleaner is aesthetically gorgeous and can rest anywhere in your home. It has black round bezels and a few tinges of grey all over the device that really compliments the whole design.

The iRobot Roomba 960 has the same form as its predecessors: round in shape, one side brush, and two main rotating brushes. The device also consists of a CLEAN button (accentuating on the top) and a removable dustbin. iRobot Roomba 960 comes with a Home Base Charging Station, a Virtual Wall Barrier (dual mode), 2 X AA batteries, an extra side brush, and an extra filter.

iRobot Roomba 960 Review – Features

The new model does have the necessary increments that make it a must-have, and the price is also a definite attraction, but there is more.

iRobot Roomba 960 includes room mapping and adaptive navigation that particularly targets the dirtiest areas of the room and can vacuum multiple rooms without providing any additional instructions. This has been made possible with the acoustic and optical sensors on the vacuum cleaner. There is another interesting feature, and it’s the cliff detection sensor that will prevent your $700 vacuum from falling off the stairs.

The iRobot Roomba 960 also sports iAdpat Navigation with Visual Localization that helps the vacuum cleaner to detect the room it’s in, unlike other Roombas that would just randomly move around in your home.

iRobot Roomba 960 Review – Performance

The motor and battery on iRobot Roomba 960 have been downgraded, but still, it doesn’t really interfere with the performance as the company claims it to be 50 percent more powerful than Roomba 600 series and can run up to 75 minutes, i.e. 45 minutes less than that on Roomba 980 (that’s where the battery life really differs).

iRobot Roomba 960 includes an AeroForce 3-stage Cleaning System and a 2nd gen motor that’s a satisfactory assemblage of efficiency and low-maintenance. And well, the motor is significantly less powerful than Roomba 980, but it still has good power.

Because of iRobot Roomba 960’s lower height, it can easily clean under the chairs and even sofas. Plus, the side brushes can conveniently clean the dust and dirt that accumulates at the corners of the walls. Because of the AeroForce high-efficiency filter, it can trap very small particles, pollens, and allergens, making it a perfect vacuum cleaner for the pollen season.

iRobot Roomba 960 Review – Other Features

The most promising feature on iRobot Roomba 960 is its iRobot Home App that massively aggrandizes the whole connectivity. The app that comes with iRobot Roomba 960 is available on iOS and Android and its quite minimalist and straightforward.

Once you have the app on your smartphone, dock your iRobot Roomba 960 onto the charging station; you will be guided through the whole process with onscreen instructions. You will also be told how to use your IRobot Roomba 960 by connecting it to your Wi-Fi network. The whole process takes no longer than 5 minutes.

The iRobot Home app is quite a steal. You can schedule floor vacuuming and cleaning and that too from anywhere. Is someone coming over to your place with you, but the house still requires cleaning, use the iRobot app to command your Roomba 960 to vacuum your house. Also, you can keep track of your Roomba 960’s health with iRobot’s customer support that provides you all the useful cleaning and maintenance tips.

Comparison of iRobot Roomba 960 with Neato Botvac 80 & iRobot Roomba 980

iRobot Roomba 960 vs. Neato Botvac 80

iRobot Roomba 960 vs. Neato Botvac 80 puts up a nice comparison as they both are priced same; but not just the engineering is quite superior on Roomba, but it also gives you some extra control through a smartphone app. Botvac has some great Silicon Valley expertise, but it still lags behind when compared to iRobot.

iRobot Roomba 960 vs. Roomba 980

Many people would also be interested in knowing if IRobot Roomba 960 could compete with the Roomba 980 as the former is $200 cheaper. Here is a quick comparison.

  • iRobot Roomba 960 comes with an old motor that’s found in Roomba 800 series.
  • The battery life on iRobot Roomba 960 is much shorter.
  • It also doesn’t sport carpet boost technology that adds extra power while cleaning the rugs.

The size of both vacuum cleaners is the same and is almost every other feature.

iRobot Roomba 960 – Pros & Cons

Pros Of iRobot Roomba 960

  • If you don’t have many rugs at home that may require some extra power, iRobot Roomba 960 is definitely worth the price tag of $599.
  • Its exceptionally lower height allows you to clean under the sofas and chairs.
  • The side brush cleans the corners of the wall.
  • The iRobot smart app gives you the convenience of controlling your Roomba 960 from anywhere.
  • Tangle-free debris extractors.
  • 3-stage cleaning.
  • 5x AeroForce 3-stage cleaning

Cons Of iRobot Roomba 960

  • Runs for only 75 minutes on a single charge (120 minutes on Roomba 980).
  • No carpet booster, so your rugs won’t feel the same as they will be vacuumed by Roomba 980.

Final Verdict

For someone who is very particular about the price, iRobot Roomba 960 is a worth going with. It’s $200 cheaper than Roomba 980 which is a lot of difference. It’s less powerful, but not underpowered for effectively vacuuming your home. The battery lasts for only 75 minutes, but it can still clean a couple of rooms on a single charge. If you don’t have a very big house, the battery won’t be an issue. However, if you have too many rugs at home, we would suggest you to go with the more powerful Roomba 980.

iRobot Roomba 960 Review

  • Review By Gizmo Freakz


Design 80%

Features 80%

Performance 90%

Other features 90%

Price 84%


If you are not willing to pay $200 extra for Roomba 980, then iRobot Roomba 960 is a worth going with. It’s an effective robotic vacuum cleaner and that too cheap. iRobot Roomba 960 is a great vacuum cleaner, and certainly a great choice for anyone who wants a smart vacuum cleaner on a budget.

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