It was a huge turnaround as all of their previous products used a standard algorithm that moves randomly.
Roomba 960 was released soon after the 980, saving consumers With a less expensive alternative.
Please Check out the comparison here Learn more about the similarities and differences between the 960 and the 980.
However, the 980 is no longer in production because the Roomba I7 (“None” Plus version) is close in price and performance but with a fingerprint mapping feature that gives it the ability to clean different areas.
S9 is another change of trend It is the first Roomba to use a D-shaped design similar to and Neato BotVac.
It is currently iRobot’s flagship robot vacuum and its best performing product to date.
In this article, we are going to compare these two, Roomba S9 against 960.
Quick Overview Roomba S9 for 960
- Energy: 25 cubic feet per minute
- the show length: 75 minutes
- deep cleaning: 93%
- dust cup: 0.4 liters
- Automatic emptying container: yes
- Save the map: yes
- Energy: 9 cubic feet per minute
- the show length: 90 minutes
- deep cleaning: 85.6%
- dust cup: 0.6 liters
- Automatic emptying container: no
- Save the map: no
* If you click on this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
presented to Roomba S9 and 960
In this section, I will give you a brief introduction to each of this robot vacuum cleaner, its strengths and weaknesses, and the different available sub models.
There’s a huge difference in price between the S9 and the 960, but surprisingly the Roomba 960 doesn’t lag far behind when it comes to cleaning performance.
There are some issues to note with the 960, especially with cleaning heavy objects like sand on hard surfaces due to reduced airflow.
S9 is Roomba best performing device Comprehensive and smartest robotic vacuum yet, thanks to a new bumper sensor and brush upgrades.
The Roomba S9 Represents a seismic change of direction for iRobot with respect to robotic vacuums. They no longer use a round design that their most loyal customers have grown to love.
It now has a square interface which use much wider extracts and a redesigned side brush meant to improve performance and efficiency, especially around the edges and corners that previous Roombas encountered.
This model is (currently) the main model for Roomba, and there are two options.
All of these upgrades come at a premium like the S9+ One of the most expensive options available And it costs more than a thousand dollars.
The bot-only version (without the “plus”) is cheaper but is still currently at the four-figure level.
Thanks to the broader extracts, this alternative is Roomba Best performing robot on carpets and hair.
The clean base station gives it hands-free independence Similar to i7 + This cleans better.
Advantages Roomba S9+
- Distinguished in carpet cleaning: The Roomba S9 Do you The best robot for cleaning dirt on carpets (93%), Thanks to the wider brushes that sit at the bottom and provide better irritation.
- Excellent at cleaning edges and corners: Square front, wider hoods, and redesigned side brush They all work together to make the S9 the best Roomba for cleaning edges and corners.
- hands free independence Automatic dirt disposal system Empty the robot’s dirt tray every time it dockswhich frees you from this task.
- Cleans specific areas: Fingerprint smart navigation Allows the S9 to clean certain areas of your home The time and day you choose through the app.
- Great for cleaning hard floors: This robot has one of the highest airflow numbers which enables it to pick up hard-to-clean objects like sand well on hard floors.
- Expensive robot: The S9 is the most expensive option available and one of the biggest reasons It’s not as popular as I7.
- Complaints about buggy software: Reading the reviews section, I noticed that many people are complaining about software bugs that can cause the robot to get stuck in confined spaces.
The Roomba 960 is similar to the 980, albeit with a smaller motor and battery.
It has the same iAdapt 2.0 navigation as the 980 but with Worst performance on hard floors (at least for cleaning sand) due to lack of air flow.
VSLAM’s camera-based system skews from random Roombas, so this bot is more efficient.
it’s the The cheapest smart navigation device Roomba, but it does not have the smart fingerprint system, so it does not save maps. The Roomba 960 It will not clean a specific area such as a file Roomba I7 or S9.
This model also does not have a clean base, so you will have to empty the dust cup after each cleaning cycle.
Surprisingly, the Roomba 960 Works better on carpet than Roomba I7 Based on built-in sandblasting tests, so it’s a good choice for homes like this one.
Roomba 960 . Features
- Cheapest Roomba with Smart Navigation: Roomba 960 It is the cheapest Roomba robot with an upgraded navigation system that go in a predictable back-and-forth pattern.
- Clean carpets well: Despite the lower airflow, the 960 It performed well on carpet cleaning at 91%..
- Intelligent navigation: Unlike the older Roomba 600 and 800 series, the 960 has intelligent navigation It helps her get through it more efficiently.
- Restart and resume: This robot will automatically resume cleaning from where it left off after recharging if it did not complete the task in the previous attempt.
- Not good on hard floors: Low air flow hinders the performance of the device, at least for cleaning sand on hard surfaces.
- short term time: This robot will work For only 75 minutesBut the recharge and CV make up for it.
Design Roomba S9 and 960
This section will look at the similarities and differences between the S9 vs the 960. There is a lot to talk about here.
Roomba S9 Design
One thing that stands out with Roomba S9 is the shape.
The circular design that consumers have known since iRobot began manufacturing robotic vacuum cleaners more than two decades ago is gone. In its niche a D-shaped design brings a lot of benefits.
It’s like putting the efficiency of Neato and the high-tech tools of the i7 into one robot.
The square interface allows the use of iRobot To put wider brushes (to be more specific, abstracts) and Return the side brush.
These design changes, along with a 3D time-of-flight sensor, greatly improve how the S9 cleans edges and corners, which was a weak point in previous Roomba models. It also enhances the way it navigates around confined spaces.
The center of the robot is a round golden disk on top of the dust cup.
There are three buttons in the upper right: Home, Cleanup, and Dock.
An infrared sensor (front bumper) helps the S9 identify the charging base. The optical sensor below it aids in mapping and location tracking in low-light conditions.
But the primary sensor is the top-mounted camera, which helps it remember landmarks in your home.
View from the bottom
S9 has Broad extracts 30% larger than I7 which covers almost the entire width of the robot.
Another change from the i7 is the placement and design of the side brush. On the Roomba I7, the side brush is in front of the main brush while the S9 is closer. Almost on the side.
She also has More prongs (five, to be exact) rotate slower.
This change reduces the distraction that afflicts other Roomba options such as 675And 690And e 5And I3And m 6even J7.
Behind the main brush there is an opening for the clean base station to suck the contents of the dust cup.
Only the “plus” version has this slot, while the basic version (without the “plus” sign) does not.
Roomba 960 Design
The Roomba 960 retains the shape of the Roomba 800 and 600 bots. It has Same design cues as the more expensive 980 But with a lighter color scheme.
One of the drawbacks to the circular shape design is that the edges are not poorly picked.
It also limits the brush size, and the robot needs more swipes to clean the same area as the S9.
The 960 features a streamlined design with just three buttons – the clean, home and clean buttons. All functions, such as scheduling, are accessible within the application.
iRobot abandoned the scheduling buttons on the robot because consumers did not find it easy to use.
Behind the clean button is a file Onboard the camera, the primary sensor For the upgraded navigation system.
The dust cup slides in, and the notch you see is the release button that opens it.
View from the bottom
The design of the 960 is similar to the 980 and 800 series robots. It has one side brush in front of the rubber straws at the rear.
You will notice that all three models of different generations have the same design and brush position.
One difference will be the grooves, which are deeper on the newer I series versus the 800 and 900 series.
Similarities and differences in Roomba S9 and I7
Now let’s look at how similar and different these robots are.
Similarities Between Roomba S9 and I7
- Intelligent navigation: These robots Use VSLAM (or Visual SLAM technology) that relies on the camera to set its exact location Help him remember which areas were cleaned and which weren’t.
- Recharge and resume: Both models will resume cleaning after recharging if the level is not completely cleaned.
- WiFi and Smartphone App: The majority of controls for these two products Found in the iRobot Home app, Where you can schedule, adjust power, check status, and more.
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant: There is an option to use Voice to control these bots through Alexa or Google AssistantWhich application do you prefer?
Differences between S9 and 960
- Fixed maps: S9 has Intelligent fingerprint navigation (also known as continuous mapping) It saves the map drawn by the robot in the cloud. This feature gives users the option to select areas to be cleaned at specific times.
- appearance: The 960 has a rounded shape, narrower extractors and a three-prong side brush, while the S9 has a D-shaped design with wider extractors, and a five-prong side brush that works better at cleaning edges.
- Automatic dirt disposal system: S9 hasClean Base” automatically empties the dirt tray Using a second vacuum cleaner inside the sidewalk.
- More air flow: The S9 has higher airflow at 22 CFM while topping the 960 at 9 CFM. This contrast is seen in hard floor cleaning tests, as the S9 . does Much better when cleaning sand.
- price: Roomba 960 costs nearly a third of the cost Roomba S9+, which is amazing.
When the 980 appeared, it was a historic moment for iRobot such a model It was the first Roomba product to have smart navigation Which makes it more efficient than previous models.
You will no longer be playing the ball in a random direction, but it will travel in a straight back and forth cleaning pattern capable of cleaning a larger area with better efficiency.
960 It uses the same smart navigation Able to create a map of your home and use it to determine its exact location.
On top of the robot is a camera (at an angle of 45 degrees behind the “Clean” button) that helps it find the most efficient path around the house.
The data collected from the camera is transmitted to VSLAM software, which builds the map and tracks the robot’s location.
There are sensors around and below the robot that help it avoid obstacles and fall off cliff points.
The floor tracking sensor helps create maps and track location. It’s the same sensor on the i3.
This feature enables the 960 to recharge and then resume cleaning when the battery is low.
So a 75 minute runtime for the 960 won’t happen be a big problem.
constantly take the camera Snapshots of his environment and looking for distinctive features It is moving.
This helps him keep track of the areas he cleaned and the areas he didn’t.
one difference between Roomba S9 and 960 is The ability of the S9 to save the maps it draws.
iRobot calls this intelligent fingerprint mapping, taking all the data from the camera and optical sensor for mapping.
The S9 has a unique feature they call Play Maps, which switches into exploratory mode (with the dump engine turned off) to speed up the map creation process.
Shutting down the motor helps conserve battery life and allows the robot to cover a larger area.
The ability to save maps has many benefits. One of them is that it allows consumers Cleaning a specific room or area.
You can use this with Alexa or Google play. For example, you can say, “Roomba, please clean the living room,” and the robot will clean only that area.
It brings ease of use and convenience to the next level.
S9 too It has a new sensor on the front bumper called the 3D Time of Flight Sensor It constantly scans what lies ahead at a rate of 25 times per second.
This sensor helps the S9 get closer (in millimeters) to effectively clean the edges and corners of rooms.
It also helps the robot to better navigate small areas and avoid hitting hard or bright objects.
How does the Roomba S9 And 960 clean?
The Roomba S9 The 960 relies on a single-sided brush, reverse spin hoods, and suction to pick up dirt from the engine behind it.
iRobot has Patented on these extractors, So I doubt you’ll see it in any other brand.
It’s one of the best ways to pick up dirt, especially on carpets where you don’t rely so much on airflow.
However, the S9 more than doubles the power output of the 960’s with 25 CFM versus the 960’s 9CFM.
Both models have acoustic sensors Which “listens” for dirt when picking it up. The more noise it detects, the more passes it makes.
The 960 still uses the old, long-bristled side brush to guide dirt at the edges toward the main brush.
One problem with the 960 . side brush is the speed at which it rotates. He. She Tends to scatter dirt instead of cleaning it. The robot eventually picks up the dirt it’s spreading, but it’s annoying.
Behind the side brush is the main brush or extractor that rotates in reverse to move and clean dirt.
Roomba robots have consistently scored high in cleaning tests, and these two brushes are a big reason.
The design of the S9 is very different from the 960, I7, etc. Roomba products Kiss.
she has Wider brush (by 30%), and A tighter side brush with more arms.
The changes are aimed at improving how the robot picks up dirt along the edges and overall efficiency.
Cleaning tests show that the S9 performs better at cleaning corners, deep cleaning better, and reducing tangles.
The side brush also rotates at a slower pace. So Don’t spread as much dirt as I did 960.
Not only will the S9 clean independently, but it will also empty the container itself, thanks to a clean base station.
iRobot says the bag is inside It can contain the equivalent of thirty S9 containersso it’s virtually hands-free for up to a month depending on how much dirt it handles and coverage.
this feature Only available with the “plus” version. This is much more expensive.
The discrepancy in strength is evident in the cleaning trials where the S9 beat 960 in each category.
It’s not just an airflow problem. The wider brush and the slower spinning side brush are huge factors that make it pick up more.
If cleaning performance is a top priority, the S9 wins a landslide. But the 960 was decent, at least with our deep cleaning tests.
However, lack of airflow hurts it the most in hardwood floors where the problem of dispersal is amplified.
Which is better on hard floors?
One of the metrics I use to determine the performance of a robot vacuum is sand. If it works well on sand, it will probably work well on other debris.
The Roomba S9 It is by far the best choice of sand I’ve tested, with an average of 100%,
In contrast, Roomba 960 was slightly worse at 97.06%. It’s not much of a contradiction, but an eye test shows that the S9 is much better.
Edge cleaning comparison
Another experiment I did was edge cleaning. The S9’s D-shaped frame makes it much better in this area.
After one pass, I picked up almost every crumb in this test area and got most of them.
The 960 was decent, but the round frame hampers its reach and efficiency.
You can see that it left traces of debris after running a multi-pass cleaning so use the S9 feature.
Hair wrap comparison
Another advantage of the S9’s wide blades is its tangle resistance. Rollers that are 9 inches wide will resist tangling better, catching 80% on both 5 and 7 inch threads.
Most of the hair is wrapped over the axes.
The Roomba 960 is much worse, getting 15% of both lengths.
You can see how much she is struggling in the photo above. Almost every strand of hair is coiled on the roller and hubs.
I do not recommend 960 on hair (pet or human).
Which is better on the carpet?
The S9’s higher airflow makes it better on the carpet, test results confirm.
It performed better on both surface debris and embedded by piece. One measure is the deep cleaning test, which picked up significantly more (93%) than the 960 (85.6%).
Superficial tests also confirmed that the S9 is better.
How long will you Roomba S9 And 960 run?
960, with the smaller Li-ion battery, It will only last for 75 minutes.
This lack of range doesn’t hold it back, thanks to the recharge and resume feature where the robot continues to run if the battery is low at any point in the cleaning cycle.
Once the battery is low, it recharges and resumes cleaning from where it left off.
S9 thanks to its bigger battery It will work longer – up to 120 minutes. Again, its uptime won’t be an issue because the smart navigation bots will resume cleaning after recharging.
But the extra range makes it a better fit inside larger homes.
Dust cup comparison
The Roomba 960 is loaded from the robot’s back while the S9 dust cup is in the middle and can be accessed by opening the gold disk on top.
The 960 has a larger capacity at 600ml versus the S9’s 400ml.
However, I still give the S9 the edge with its clean base station as it increases capacity by 30x.
Even with a smaller capacity, the S9+ automatic dirt disposal system Eliminates contrast because it empties the trash for you.
So it can go further without interference.
Maintenance and operating costs for the S9 for 960
The intrinsic quality of a robot does not mean that it is maintenance free.
Components such as sensors, dustbins, brushes, and filters need regular cleaning.
Here are the basics of Roomba maintenance
High Efficiency Filter [replace once or twice a month]
Roomba S9 purifier
Roomba filter 960
iRobot recommends replacing the filter once or twice a month. Note that high-efficiency filters are not washable. You will need a file Brush or handheld vacuum cleaner with brush To expel dirt from filters and extend their service life.
clean base bags [S9+ only]
Roomba S9 clean base bags
Replace these bags Only applicable to S9+ users With a clean base station.
It has a capacity of 30 containers, lasting for weeks (iRobot says up to a month).
Unless you live very dusty or have dozens of pets, you don’t need to replace them often.
side brush [varies]
Roomba S9 side brush
Roomba 960 . Side Brush
The side brush is another part that will wear out eventually – either you run out of bristles or the rubber arm breaks.
How long will it last? This will vary between six months to a year, but it will depend on how much maintenance he gets.
Regularly check if the hair is wrapping around the base. If so, removing the brush is easy with a small Philips screwdriver.
rubber extracts [depends]
Roomba S9 extractors
Roomba 960 hoods
iRobot says the rubber extractors on the 960 and S9 are “tangle-free.” This is true to an extent, but longer hair will wrap around the 960 extractors. The S9 with a wider brush is more resistant to hair coils, but you will have to check it periodically so that it lasts as long as possible.
Because there is friction, this part will eventually wear out, and there is no set timeline for replacing it. iRobot says one year, but it could be longer.
All new Roomba vacuums will contain Li-ion batteries of various capacities. The S9 comes with a large capacity of 3300mAh Li-ion battery which will work for up to 120 minutes.
These batteries It should last for at least two or three years with proper maintenanceSuch as keeping it plugged in when in use or disconnecting the battery from the robot if you are not going to use it for a long time.
One advantage of Roomba compared to other brands is the availability of batteries from iRobot and aftermarket. Replacing the battery is a simple task that requires only basic tools.
full container sensor [every two weeks]
There is a sensor inside the dust cup that needs some TLC every two weeks. The full container sensor signals to the application that the container is full.
castor wheel [depends]
Another part that gets a lot of abuse is the castor wheel. For the 960, it is the wheel in front of the main brush that guides the robot. On the S9, it’s located at the rear of the rubber wheels.
This part will collect a lot of dirt and hair, and you should clean it regularly to keep the robot running smoothly.
The frequency depends on the environment; Just do a regular visual check.
What is the size difference between Roomba S9 and 960?
The Roomba S9 It measures 12.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches long, while the 960 is 13.8 inches wide and 3.63 inches tall, Which makes it the biggest robot.
Where can I buy Roomba S9+ and 960?
You can buy both of these robot vacuums from online stores like Amazon.
- Roomba 960
- Roomba S9+
Disclaimer: I’ll earn a commission when you buy through any of the links above, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us!
Which robot should you buy?
The choice between these two models will depend on these factors: the amount of money you are willing to spend and the features you value most.
There is no doubt that Roomba S9 It is a robot with superior performance all around, thanks to changes in design and software.
It will pick up dirt better on hard floors because it has more air flow.
Cleaning corners and edges is also better than the 960 because of the wider brush and square front design that works better in these areas.
An upgrade in navigation thanks to the 3D time-of-flight sensor. This upgrade makes S9 hugs edges and wraps better around furniture.
Although some may not agree, check out the reviews.
The main differences between the S9 and the 960 are the smart fingerprint system and automatic dirt disposal, making the S9 a truly independent home assistant.
The latter eliminates the tedious task of having to empty the dust cup. The smart fingerprint system allows consumers to To clean specific areas to clean at home using the app or sound.
This convenience is simply not possible with the Roomba 960. But all these features will come at a hefty premium if you are willing to spend on it by all means.
Verdict: Roomba S9 It is the superior robot but
One of the biggest surprises for me comparing these two is how well the Roomba 960 does carpet cleaning.
Even though there was a third of the airflow in the S9, it was still capable of Pick up 91% of the sand on medium pile carpet.
It’s a testament to the great design cues of the rubber extracting machines that are exclusive to Roomba products that they hold a patent for.
The Roomba S9 It is the best performing robot for Compact dirt cleaning 94.5%, It is better than some stick and existing brooms.
5 reasons to choose Roomba S9
- Best Carpet Cleaning Robot: The high suction power and great excitement of the S9 make it the best of the S9 Best performing robot for cleaning dirt on carpets.
- Automatically empty the container: S9 Plus Edition has the clean base station that Is this job for you.
- smart fingerprint system Continuous Maps saves cloud data and files Help the robot clean certain areas On schedule through the app or audio.
- Excellent on hard floors: It will clean hard floors evenly.
- Really independent: The smart fingerprint and automatic dirt disposal system make the S9 a truly autonomous robot vacuum.
3 reasons to choose Roomba 960
- Much cheaper: costs 960 More than a third less Manal Roomba S9+.
- Surprisingly, it performs well on carpets: Despite the lack of airflow, this robot It will clean carpets almost as well as the S9.
- Recharge and resume: It can recharge and then continue cleaning if the battery is low To clean larger areas without any problems.