These models are some of Roomba’s most innovative options. The S9+ was the first with a D-shaped frame and a wide extractor (9 inches), and the J7+ was the first with a front-facing camera, which enables it to avoid obstacles (better than any obstacle-avoiding robot I’ve tested).
But which of these options is better? I’ve spent several days testing these products in different aspects to find out.
Let’s take an overview of these products – a snapshot of test results and product specifications.
Overview of Roomba J7 + vs. S9 +
Roomba S9 +
- air flow: 25 cubic feet per minute
- deep cleaning: 93%
- Mobility: VLSAM
- empty self: yes
- Save the map: yes
- Number of maps: 10
- containment: yes
- Selective room cleaning: yes
- Recharge and resume: yes
- brush roll: Double rubber straws
- Trash capacity: 500 ml
- Cleansing: no
- Water tank capacity: Unavailable
- Side brush: One
- battery: 3200 mAh
- the show length: 75 minutes
- Noise: 74.1 dB
- air flow: 7.27 cubic feet per minute
- deep cleaning: 85.7%
- Mobility: Front camera + gyroscope
- empty self: yes
- bag capacity: 2.4 liters
- Save the map: yes
- Number of maps: 10
- containment: yes
- Selective room cleaning: yes
- Recharge and resume: yes
- brush roll: Double rubber straws
- Trash capacity: 400 ml
- Cleansing: yes
- Water tank capacity: Unavailable
- He writes: Unavailable
- Side brush: One
- battery: Li-ion battery 2410 mAh
- the show length: 90 minutes
- Noise: 63 dB
* If you click on this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Introduction to Roomba J7+ and S9+
Roomba products have evolved over the years.
Previous variants were mostly passive bots that wandered randomly until iRobot 980 (with VSLAM) was released.
Then came the i7: the first iRobot to self-discharge.
The Roomba S9+ It’s the best performing iRobot product (in terms of cleaning performance) thanks to its square front, wide hoods, and high-powered motor.
Finally, the J7+ adds another layer of technology with the front camera, allowing it to avoid obstacles.
But strangely (at least to me), the iRobot reverted to the round frame and low airflow motor, which affected cleaning performance.
Best vacuum cleaner performance in its class
- Best-in-class vacuum cleaner performance (on hard floors and carpets)
- Efficient pickup of debris thanks to wide straws
- Decent sized litter box
- Excellent for cleaning dirt on medium pile carpets.
- short term time
- Very annoying
- Passive Mobility (vs. LIDAR Bots)
The Roomba S9 + It is, by far, the best performing robot vacuum cleaner if you look at the performance of the vacuum cleaner.
No other brand comes close to picking up wrecks.
It features a rare combination of excitement and airflow, enabling it to capture more debris with every pass.
Combining that with wide straws, the S9+ will be the most efficient (on a per-pass basis). And Much better than Neato D8 I tested recently.
Thus, when iRobot returned to the round frame with the J7, I was surprised because the square front is a frame proven for excellent cleaning performance.
other than Roomba 980No other robotic vacuum comes close.
However, there are issues with the S9+, particularly the navigation.
Although iRobot’s VSLAM algorithm is smarter than its entry-level counterparts, it’s not perfect.
Its dependence on light and the use of the optical sensor has its limitations.
Most obvious is the lack of accuracy compared to a laser-powered robot.
Also, the square front tends to buttress itself in confined spaces, and iRobot says the navigation efficiency is one reason it’s back with the round bezel.
Another problem with the high-powered motor is the reduced operating time. S9 works for Only 75 minutes in minimum mode and 45 minutes maximum.
I wouldn’t recommend this for larger homes, even with recharge and resume.
still Roomba S9+ Excellent choice for consumers Who appreciates cleaning performance And you don’t mind the extra noise, short runtime, and other quirks.
Best obstacle avoidance robot: Roomba J7 +
- Excellent at avoiding obstructions (pet poo, wires, shoes, etc.)
- It has a hole in the clean base station for an extra bag
- Auto discharge feature
- Not too noisy
- Low-profile design matches low-clearance furniture
- double airflow
- Noisy clean base station
- It doesn’t clean like S9+
After the S9+, I wondered what iRobot would bring next, and it didn’t take long to figure out Roomba J7 +.
iRobot reverted to the circular frame, realigned the clean base station, removed the IR sensor, and moved the camera forward.
According to Spectrum.IEEE, iRobot has reverted to the circular frame to make it more efficient.
The J7 is better at traversing tight quarters than iRobot’s entry-level options: the 600 series and E . series.
However, it still suffers from efficiency because it uses a camera sensor.
It’s the same problem as the S9+ – missing places and hesitation in tight spaces.
However, this is an issue with camera-based bots, not just the J7 and S9.
The J7’s biggest advantage over the S9 is obstacle avoidance with the front camera.
It’s (probably) better at dodging things thanks to an algorithm smart enough not to get too close.
J7 Avoid pet faeces and extend wires without touching them.
This feature is backed by a POOP (or Pet Owner’s Solemn Promise).
The warranty states that if the J7 comes in contact with any dry stools, iRobot will replace it for free.
Unfortunately, this variant has the same engine as Class I: A Weakest under 10 CFMLow air flow motor.
Expect the same cleaning performance as the I3 and I6: although better of the two, based on tests.
J7 is a file An excellent choice for people who have pets Or you don’t want to move the wires, and expect the robot to escape from them.
It won’t clean like a file S9 or 980but good enough for your daily cleaning chores.
Similarities between Roomba J7 + and S9 +
We’ll look at the similarities between Roomba J7 and S9 in this section.
1. Self-discharge feature
Both products have a clean base station, Empty the robot’s trash can after each run.
The J7 and S9 use the same case despite the cosmetic discrepancy, which I like because availability wouldn’t be an issue.
These bags have (approximately) a 2.4L capacity which iRobot says will last (up to) 60 days.
However, the duration will depend on the frequency of use and the environment (or the type of debris the robot needs to clean daily).
2. VSLAM algorithm
Since iRobot launched its range of smart robots, it has relied on the VSLAM or Visual SLAM algorithm.
This means that it uses the camera sensor and SLAM as the robot’s brain for navigation.
This feature is similar to Google’s self-driving car and equips these robots with intelligence to traverse, track location and dock independently.
3. Reverse alternating extractors
The J7 and S9 use iRobot’s patented anti-rotation straws of varying lengths.
These pulleys are excellent for moving and assisting Roomba products To thrive in picking up debris, even with low airflow.
4. iRobot Home App
Both models are compatible with the iRobot Home app. Consumers will need to download it to unlock all the features.
This app provides access to many features like block zones, clean zones, scheduling, and much more.
I will discuss in detail the similarities and contrasts with these applications in another section below.
Differences between Roomba J7 and S9
Next, we’ll look at the differences with both robots.
The most obvious contrast is the frame. The Roomba S9 It has a D-frame and remains the only Roomba product in this design.
I thought (initially) that iRobot would always make this change with subsequent models, but with the release of the J7, that wasn’t the case.
iRobot prioritized navigation efficiency over cleaning efficiency when it reverted to the J7’s round frame.
One feature of the S9’s square interface is its efficient debris capture. Combined with the higher airflow, it dumps more debris on each pass than any other model I’ve tested.
But its biggest drawback is the difficulty of navigating through tight areas, especially the legs of office chairs.
2. Side brush and extractor design
The shape differences mean a different brush and side brush design is used, with the S9 having wider extractors than the J7.
The side brush placement is another difference due to the shape.
The S9 uses a five-pronged side brush at the edge, which gives it the superior edge-cleaning performance over the J7.
It doesn’t spin at the same speed, so it won’t scatter as much debris – an advantage of the S9.
J7 extractors and side brushes are like Roomba I3 and I6.
Expect the same issues as the other Roomba products I mentioned above.
This fast-rotating side brush includes scattering and less efficient debris pickup.
3. Placement and size of the litter box
The J7 and S9 trash can come in different designs, positions, and sizes.
The J7 trash can is smaller (400ml) with a rear-mounted position, while the S9 is larger (500ml) with a top-mounted stand.
Another variation is how these litter boxes are opened. The S9 opens from the top, providing plenty of access for cleaning, and the J7 has a front door, which is more narrow.
4. Camera mode
Another contrast is the camera position. With the J7 prioritizing obstacle avoidance, iRobot moved the camera forward.
At first, I thought iRobot kept the same top-mounted camera in the J7, but that’s not the case.
The front camera doubles as a navigation sensor similar to the S9’s top-mounted camera: the reason is that it’s tilted slightly upwards.
5. Clean the base station
iRobot has modified the J7 clean base station. Instead of using the tall, skinny bezel on older variants, they widened it and cut a good chunk off its vertical position.
This change does not affect the horizontal footprint much since it does not exceed the diameter of the robot.
The redesign also allowed the iRobot to add a slot to store an additional bag.
It also has this leather tab, which is a nice touch that helps consumers open the top door.
6. Infrared sensor
I noticed that iRobot removes the IR sensor on the J7. It’s significant (at least to me) because it reduces its vertical footprint from the front, allowing it to succumb to less clearance furniture than an S9 or I6.
The difference is not much, but every centimeter helps in this aspect.
These robots are compatible with the iRobot Home app, and we’ll take a look at the feature set.
The Roomba S9 The J7 shares many features with slight differences.
1. No live map [Both]
One feature that iRobot lacks is the live app. Only a graphic of a robot appears while running.
So there is no way to know where the bot is while running.
But it shows maps of previous cleaning cycles in the History tab.
2. Save map [Both]
What I like the most about iRobot is the map save feature because it can save up to 10 levels.
People can customize each map level: add block zones, clean zones, custom names, and more.
There is no difference between the two variables in this category.
3. Confined areas [Both]
The most useful customization is the exclusion zone. It’s iRobot’s primary containment feature, blocking restricted areas using default tiles in the app.
Consumers can add multiple zones as needed in areas they don’t want the robot to enter.
Unfortunately, the iRobot app doesn’t have the equivalent of an invisible wall feature (on other brands), and it can’t obstruct diagonal areas.
4. Clean areas [Both]
One of the cool features of the iRobot app is the clean areas. These are opposite segregation zones that designate specific “clean” or sweeping areas.
It’s an inverted version of the confined areas where clean areas are assigned to these chests.
None of the other apps have this feature, and it helps identify areas of high traffic.
5. Label the custom room [Both]
Both apps have a custom room naming feature, allowing users to select any name they want.
This feature is usable with Alexa, which adds another layer of convenience for consumers.
6. Selective room cleaning [Both]
Using VSLAM unlocks the selective room cleaning feature, which means these bots can clean a specific room or area.
Custom label also improves this feature since you are in control of the label.
7. Android Settings [Both]
Consumers can control settings such as suction and accuracy.
However, there are slight differences. The S9 app can only adjust settings (up to three options) that are absent on the J7 since it only has one suction setting.
Here is a screenshot of the S9 options.
Next, a screenshot of the J7 options.
Consumers can turn on/off the obstacle avoidance feature.
8. Obstacle areas [J7 only]
The obstacle area is a unique feature of the J7, allowing users to determine whether an object is a permanent or temporary obstacle.
If you select the permanent option, the app will automatically create blocking zones.
9. Robot health [J7 only]
Another J7 feature missing from the S9 is Android Health. It’s something new implemented from iRobot and it shows the status of the filter, side brush, and extractors when they are replaced.
This tab also provides quick access to how-to articles for replacing these parts.
There is not much difference with mobility. Both robots will move in what iRobot calls “clean rows.”
Since they both use VSLAM, these will rely heavily on light to function.
One downside to using the camera sensor is its inefficiency, as both robots took over 30 minutes to complete a run in my small room.
However, thanks to its wide hoods and higher airflow, the S9+ is more efficient with the amount of dirt it cleans in every swipe.
By comparison, the J7 isn’t skilled with narrow rollers and poor airflow.
The feature in this category goes to the S9.
Once again, the S9’s wide hoods and superior airflow allow it to collect more debris during the coverage test.
I got more Quaker Oats on each pass and got almost everything after the first pass.
Sure, there are some missing spots, but it’s much less than the J7.
If you value efficiency, the S9 is the better alternative.
Air Flow Comparison
One big advantage of the S9 is the airflow. I used an anemometer to measure this statistic for all robotic vacuums I tested, and the S9 was higher (so far) at 25 CFM.
The J7 uses the same I-Series engine, so it wasn’t surprising to see the result below par (7.27 CFM only).
This airflow disparity shows itself in our cleaning test (next section), where the S9 performed much better.
As you’ll see in the table above, the S9’s superior airflow means much better cleaning performance.
It scored highest across the board, both surface and compact dirt tests.
Wide hoods and higher airflow are the big reasons why it performs so much better.
And the slowly rotating side brush doesn’t scatter much debris, giving it better efficiency in this class.
I would recommend this to homes with (a lot of) carpeting because it excels at cleaning built-in dirt, and scores the highest (93%).
Which is better on hard floors?
The above results clearly show that the S9 is better on hard floors. It rose a few percentage points in all tests.
It might not sound like much, but an eye test reveals that the S9 had cleaner lanes, fewer littering debris, and better efficiency.
Another sign of the superior performance of hardwood floors is the sand on the 100% hardwood floor.
The S9 counted up pretty much every crumb of sand I sprinkled on without the slightest build-up on the brush assembly.
This variant is an excellent alternative for people who live in a sandy area.
The only anomaly with the S9 is the shortened runtime, especially at the maximum setting of 45 minutes.
Edge cleaning comparison
The square front of the S9 also gives the J7 a big edge in cleaning the edges, being more efficient.
After the first pass, I picked up most of the wreckage and weren’t even close.
Here’s a before and after shot of trying edge cleaning on the J7.
I considered the J7 result to be good, but it took more than two passes to achieve this result.
The J7’s round frame severely hampers its efficiency.
Hair wrap comparison
Moreover, the S9 is better at picking up hair.
Again, thanks to the higher airflow, it was more consistent, rising 81% and 82% with five- and seven-inch leads, respectively.
The J7 was fit with five-inch hair but struggled with seven-inch-long strands (only 30%).
You can see in the photo above that most of the hair strands are wrapped on the axles, which isn’t a bad thing because it’s easy to clean.
Which is better on carpet?
Once again, the S9 is the better choice on the carpet. Picked up with more surface and embedded dirt than the J7.
The higher airflow, wide hoods, and side brush position give it a huge advantage over the J7.
The S9 is (by far) the best in our deep cleaning test with a score of 93% (vs. 85% in the J7).
I will repeat it. The S9 is a better choice for carpet.
While the S9 is the best vacuuming robot, the J7 will last longer.
Not because it has a bigger battery, but because it has a smaller motor and It will last for 85 minutes.
This number is slightly higher than the I6 and I3 number of 75 minutes.
If there’s one downside to the S9’s brutal airflow, it’s its short run time, considering its premium price tag (only 75 minutes).
The S9 uses iRobot’s largest capacity battery: 3600 mAh, but the high-powered motor uses a large portion.
Compared to other brands like Roborock (180 minutes), the S9’s runtime is short.
The good news for potential J7 buyers is that it won’t be as noisy as the S9. I used a sound meter to check noise levels, which is Only 63 decibels were recorded.
In comparison, the S9 can be annoyingly loud, Max 74.1 dB.
The J7’s low power output is the main reason why it’s not loud, but a clean base station will screech when it’s working (More than 84 decibels).
These Roomba products will require some TLC to function at their peak.
I will enumerate the components that need to be replaced or cleaned at specific intervals below.
- Extractors: These rollers withstand the most abuse and need frequent cleaning. Once a week, take it out and wipe it down with a slightly damp microfiber towel to remove accumulated debris. Check the axles for any hairs on them to remove unnecessary friction.
- Side brush: Check once a week for tangles in the hair or the base. Remove the side brush and clean accordingly.
- Dustbin and filter: Empty the trash after each run (done automatically if you purchased the “plus” option). Check the trash once a month and clean up any buildup. Also check the filter and clean the dirt stuck on the folds (press it against a hard surface to get it out).
- robot body: Wipe the frame of the robot to rid it of fingerprints and dust.
- fall sensors: Use a clean microfiber towel or any cotton swab to clean the drop sensors. These are found under Android. Please check this out Roomba maintenance articles for detailed steps.
- Clean base station: Empty the bag when it reaches its full capacity. iRobot will notify users when this happens. Check the outlet on the ramp for any blockage that might interfere with the clean base vacuum function.
Availability of spare parts
Historically, Roomba products have enjoyed excellent parts availability. Consumers won’t have any problems buying easy-to-find parts like the batteryside brush, extractors, etc.
The beauty of iRobot products is that even components like the bumper sensor, brush assembly, side brush motor, and caster wheel are hard to find in online stores like eBay and Amazon.
One reason is the popularity of iRobot, so they both score high here.
Where can I buy these bots?
Roomba J7 and S9 are available in online stores such as Amazon. Check out the links below for the latest pricing information.
- Roomba J7 +
- Roomba S9 +
Disclaimer: I’ll earn a commission if you buy through any of the links above, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win for us!
Which is the better option, Roomba J7 + or S9 +?
Two robots, different price tags, different features, which one is better?
The answer depends on what you prioritize and how much you are willing to spend.
While the S9+ is the best performing robot (in terms of cleaning), the J7 is cheaper, less noisy, and better avoids obstructions.
It all boils down to what you want, and I’ll enumerate why you should choose a particular variant.
4 reasons to choose Roomba S9+
- Superior cleaning performance: The Roomba S9 It is a much better cleaning robot than J7 on surface and built-in dirt.
- more effective: Its wide hoods and high airflow will pick up more debris with every pass.
- Misses fewer points: The wide cleaning path ensures that it misses fewer stains and cleans the edges better.
- Deep Clean Carpet Better: Another benefit of the higher airflow is its deep cleaning performance, which is by far the best among the robot vacuums I’ve tested.
4 reasons to choose Roomba J7 +
- Cheaper option: The Roomba J7 will cost less than the J7 and is much cheaper in the right season (for example, the sale season).
- Better avoids obstacles: The front camera and LED light will avoid things like pet poo and extended wires. Plus, the algorithm is smart enough not to let the bot get too close.
- Still decent performance: The J7 is still decent at cleaning up debris, especially on carpets, even with low airflow.
- Extra bag stores: Users can store an additional bag in the J7 clean base station.
Verdict: Choose one based on your needs
These two robots bring something unique to the table.
The Roomba S9square front provides best-in-class cleaning performance and suction efficiency thanks to its wide aspiration and high airflow.
In comparison, the J7’s front camera will avoid obstructions better than any robotic vacuum.
An algorithm smart enough to not get too close and a viable option for pet owners who may not clean up pet feces right away.
This alternative is the first robot I’ve tested that is able to avoid the faeces of large and small pets.
Plus, it has an official pet owner promise (or POOP) that iRobot will replace it for free if it comes into contact with dry pet feces. Do you accept the challenge?