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iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner- Roomba 960 vs 980

iRobot Roomba 980 is a high-end Roomba robot vacuum cleaner model. It comes with many features not found on other robot vacuum cleaners, but it also lacks some of them. Having such a capable, autonomous unit can save plenty of time and keep the home clean.

Published: September 1, 2018.

roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

iRobot Roomba 980 is capable of cleaning various types of floors, including hardwood and laminate floors, carpets, rugs, etc. Best cleaning results are achieved on bare floors and on low- and medium-pile carpets. Soft, thick and high-pile carpets and rugs are not the best floor types for Roomba 980 or any other similar robot vacuum cleaner.

New Roomba 980 cleans using so-called '3-stage cleaning system' - first, it loosens the dirt, then lift it and in the end suck the dirt and debris off the floor. One of the important features of Roomba 980 is that it can deliver 10x more air-power than Roomba 600 and 700 series, if required.

Operating time depends on the floor types and on bare, flat floors, Roomba 980 can operate up to 120 minutes. Operating time is shorter on the carpets and rugs, where more power is required to obtain optimal cleaning results (more suction required) and when the unit has to change surface types - climb on and off the carpets and rugs.

Thanks to the new iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system, Roomba 980 automatically returns to the charging station when its lithium-ion battery is almost fully discharged and it resumes its cleaning job, after the battery is fully charged.

roomba 980 lighthouse

Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (also known as the 'lighthouse') gives a user a greater control over the robot vacuums. Virtual Wall Barrier operates in two modes (hence the name): as the barrier to contain the robot vacuum within a desired area and to protect certain objects/areas from the robot vacuum.

roomba 980 wifiiRobot Roomba 980 is WiFi enabled robot vacuum cleaner and is operated and monitored using the iRobot HOME App. The iRobot HOME App helps the user to remotely clean and monitor Roomba vacuum cleaner and if required, to access official support using smartphone. Of course, use of this application is not mandatory, but in order to use full potential of this, not so cheap robot vacuum cleaner, iRobot HOME App is highly recommended. Note that the Google Assistant and the Amazon Alexa are supported, too.

Thanks to the new iAdapt 2.0 navigation system, multi room cleaning with Roomba 980 is done easily.

Actually, this navigation system is a foundation for few other features as well: multi room cleaning becomes cleaning of the entire home level, 'recharge and resume' operation, clean map reports using iRobot HOME app and in the end, more efficient and faster cleaning.

Roomba 980 also comes with:

- 'Custom Cleaning Preferences', which enables the user to set custom cleaning settings like edge cleaning or number of passes,

- 'Dirt Detect System' which uses acoustic and optical dirt sensors to detect concentrated areas of dirt (so that the unit can cleaning in those areas more thoroughly),

- 'Tangle-Free Rollers' are dual counter-rotating rollers are designed to clean thoroughly various floor types and to reduce pet and human hair tangles. Although advertised as 'tangle-free', they are not 100% tangle free rollers, but their maintenance is significantly easier than rollers in previous Roomba models. To avoid uncleaned areas and to improve cleaning of the edges and corners, Roomba vacuums (980 model included) come with the motorized 'Side Brush', which is designed to push the dirt from the edges into the the cleaning path of the main cleaning system.

roomba 980 carpet climb- Roomba 980 is the only Roomba model which comes with the 'Deep Cleaning on Carpets' feature. This feature enables the Roomba 980 model to increase air power up to 10x (compared with older Roomba 600 and 700 series), in order to clean more thoroughly on carpets and rugs. Such cleaning discharges the battery faster, but thanks to the new navigation system and 'recharge and resume' operation, cleaning is in the end better and faster (no more unneeded multiple passes).

- air filtration is done using new 'High Efficiency Air Filter', which captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and other particles as small as 10 microns. This on paper looks great, but this is far from true HEPA air filtration systems that capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. Such HEPA filters do cause larger pressure drop and require more power, thus shortening operating time on a single battery charge, but it would be a great feature to have, especially considering the price of the Roomba 980 vacuum. Hopefully in the future, iRobot will manufacture true HEPA grade filters for Roomba 980. Note: there are non-OEM air filters that are allegedly 'true HEPA' air filters, but personally I would not install such filters, especially not during warranty period.

roomba 980 obstacles

Roomba 980 comes with drop and other sensors, which help the unit to avoid getting damaged, to avoid bumping into the walls and moving obstacles (people, pets), falling off the stairs and similar.

roomba 980 under furnitureRoomba 980 dimensions (diameter x height): 13.8 x 3.6 inches (35.0 x 9.2 cm). Also, it weighs 8.7 lbs (3.94 kg). Unit is obviously small enough to clean under the furniture and beds. Such small dimensions also help the unit to navigate and avoid various obstacles commonly found at home.

Note: robot vacuums, Roomba 980 included, are not very fond of loose objects like wires, ropes, or anything similar. Such wires can get entangled around moving parts of the robot and can prevent it from cleaning. In that case, free your unit from such objects and before next cleaning, remove such wires off the floors.

Noise: when cleaning bare floors, Roomba 980 is rather quiet vacuum, but when cleaning carpets in 'boost mode', it is louder - not yet as large uprights, but nonetheless, it is not 'whisper' quiet :)

iRobot Roomba 675 vs. 690 vs. 890 vs. 960 vs. 980

Following comparison chart shows similarities and differences between iRobot Roomba 675, 690, 890, 960 and 980 models:

Roomba Model iRobot Roomba 675 iRobot Roomba 690 iRobot Roomba 890 iRobot Roomba 960 iRobot Roomba 980
Photo irobot roomba 675 table roomba690 table 1 roomba890 table 1 roomba960 table 1 roomba980 table 1
Floor Types All All All All All
3 Stage Cleaning Yes Yes 5x 5x 10x
Hard Floor Run Time Up to 60 min Up to 60 min Up to 60 min Up to 75 min Up to 120 min
Self-Charging Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery Type Lithium Ion Lithium Ion Lithium Ion  Lithium Ion  Lithium Ion 
WiFi Connected Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
iRobot HOME App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dirt Detect Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tangle-Free Rollers No No Yes Yes Yes
Side Brush Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
High Efficiency Air Filter No No Yes Yes Yes
Navigation iAdapt Navigation iAdapt Navigation iAdapt Navigation  iAdapt 2.0 Navigation iAdapt 2.0 Navigation
Drop Sensors Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recharge and Resume No No No Yes Yes
Multi Room Cleaning No No No Yes Yes
Clean Map Reports No No No Yes Yes
Deep Cleaning on Carpets No No No No Yes
Custom Cleaning Preferences No No No Yes Yes
Weight 7.8 lbs (3.53 kg)  7.8 lbs (3.53 kg) 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg) 8.5 lbs (3.85 kg) 8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)
Dimensions (D x H) 13.0 x 3.7 inches
33 x 9.4 cm
13.0 x 3.7 inches
33 x 9.4 cm
13.9 x 3.6 inches
35.3 x 9.2 cm
13.8 x 3.6 inches
35.0 x 9.2 cm
13.8 x 3.6 inches
35.0 x 9.2 cm
Amazon Link iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new window, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

All iRobot Roomba models shown in the table share some similarities, but also differ in some very important details:

- they are designed for all floor types commonly found at homes. They come with adjustable cleaning head which automatically adjusts to the current floor type to thoroughly clean all floor types. Note that Roomba vacuums can have issues on high-pile carpets and thick area rugs.

- they all feature '3 Stage Cleaning', but when compared with 600 and 700 series, Roomba 890 and 960 feature 5x increase in air power, and Roomba 980 10x increase.

- all these models are powered using lithium ion batteries and come with self-charging feature. If the charging station is positioned properly with no obstacles that would prevent Roomba from finding the charging station, Roomba robot vacuum cleaner should be able to recharge itself.

- all these models have the option of being WiFi connected and controlled using iRobot HOME App. Use of iRobot HOME App is optional, although there are certain features that are available only through the use of this app, like cleaning while away from home, managing robot's cleaning schedule, customizing cleaning preferences etc. Note: Some of these iRobot HOME App features are model dependent.

- also, they feature dirt detection sensors to detect the dirt and to improve cleaning.

- Roomba 890, 960 and 980 come with so-called 'Tangle-Free Rollers', while Roomba 690 feature older type of rollers.

- all models feature side brush for improved cleaning along the walls.

- Roomba 890, 960 and 980 come with 'High Efficienty Air Filter', while Roomba 690 comes with older type of air filter. Note that none of the Roombas is true HEPA vacuum cleaner.

- Roomba 690 and 890 come with older iAdapt Navigation, while Roomba 960 and 980 come with newer and improved iAdapt 2.0 Navigation. Thanks to the iAdapt 2.0 Navigation, Roomba 960 and 980 feature 'Recharge and Resume', 'Multi Room Cleaning', 'Clean Map Reports', and 'Custom Cleaning Preferences' options.

 - only Roomba 980 feature so-called 'Carpet Boost' for improved carpet deep cleaning.

Physical dimensions of Roomba models are very similar: they are round units with 13-14 inches in diameter and are 3.6-3.7 inches tall, with weight ranging from 7.8 to 8.7 pounds.

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980

irobot roomba 960 vs 980

As one can see, these are two very similar units. Their main differences include:

- 3-Stage Cleaning system of Roomba 960 has 5x air power when compared with Roomba models of 600 and 700 series, while Roomba 980 features 10x air power. Thus, Roomba 980 has stronger suction which is automatically increased when cleaning carpets - if required, making the Roomba 980 better suited for cleaning carpets than Roomba 960,

- Roomba 960 can operate up to 75 minutes on a single battery charge, while Roomba can operate up to 120 minutes. Although both units feature 'Job Resume' option (thanks to iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system and other improvements), having longer operating time helps with the cleaning at exact specified cleaning window (no need to wait for the unit to get recharged and the cleaning task to get completed),

- although these units are physically the same, Roomba 960 is slightly lighter than Roomba 980 (8.5 vs 8.7 pounds).

These are the main differences between Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 robotic vacuums. Choose according to your needs and preferences.

Long Story Short - Roomba 980 is excellent robot vacuum cleaner, even when considering its price. The only thing that I don't like is that it is not true HEPA vacuum cleaner - it has good air filtration, and excellent suction, but with HEPA air filtration it would be fantastic robot vacuum cleaner.

iRobot Roomba hardly can replace main vacuum cleaner at homes and apartments, but it can keep floors clean with minimum interventions by their owners, thus saving valuable time and improving the cleanliness of home.

For the best offers, check iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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