November 24, 2020

🏆 Roomba 960 vs 980 – Which is the Better Price?

Here’s our Roomba 960 vs 980 comparisons. The iRobot Roomba 960 is a small downgrade of its big brother, Roomba 980, but at a much cheaper price. The control is mainly done via the app, as is the daily and weekly planning for the vacuum cleaner. Hardly any weaknesses could be identified in the test, only optimization potential in the app.

Roomba 960 vs 980 – Which One is the Better

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  • Start and stop possible via app
  • Configuration of the vacuum cleaner via app
  • Daily and weekly planning for vacuuming are possible
  • Room-to-room navigation of the robot
  • A virtual wall is included
  • In the test it sucked up almost everything that was suckable
  • The robot vacuum cleaner is relatively quiet
  • Good navigation and systematic operation of the Roomba
  • The Roomba 960 interrupts its work when the battery is empty, charges itself automatically and then continued where it left off in the test
  • The robot had no problems with carpets in the test (even without turbo mode / boost)
  • Also sucks on checkered and colored carpets


  • Lower suction power than the iRobot Roomba 980 (which is better suited for animal hair)
  • The vacuum cleaner cannot process corners and small slots
  • The app can do a lot (setup), but it lacks further options for personalizing the robot (warning tones, statistics, dust hotspots, …)
  • At 75 minutes, the battery power is less than that of its big vacuum cleaner brother, the Roomba 980 (120 minutes)
  • The vacuum cleaner does not yet have a carpet boost or carpet turbo mode

Comparison of iRobot Roomba 960 and iRobot Roomba 980

  • Roomba 960 has a lower suction power but is also quieter. The built-in motor appears to be a Gen2 motor, the Roomba 980 has a Gen3 motor
  • Roomba 960 has a smaller battery, only sucks 75 minutes (120 minutes on the 980)
  • The Roomba 960 has no “carpet boost”

Tips and Tricks

  • Empty the dust container sufficiently often, otherwise, the robot will not even start
  • If the Roomba does not vacuum thoroughly enough (because of the weak motor or too many small rubbles of sand etc.), then activating the “second cleaning” can help. In the test, the robot vacuumed the rooms again, only in the opposite direction
  • Test report iRobot Roomba 960 vacuum cleaner robot
  • The Roomba 960 as the little brother (or downgrade) of the iRobot Roomba 980 convinced in the test. The suction power was solidly good, carpets were vacuumed well even without turbo mode. The robot shows minimal weaknesses in the configuration via W-LAN and app, but if that is done it can be programmed on a daily and weekly basis. The robot vacuum cleaner can also be activated and stopped easily while on the move using the app. So you can also let the Roomba 960 vacuum “ad-hoc” when someone has spontaneously announced a visit.

In Homearama’s test, it was noticed that the app can use a few more functions that would certainly help the personalization of the robot one more step forward.

Since the Roomba 960 has the smaller motor (of the 880 models) built-in, it is quieter than the Roomba 980, but the smaller battery also makes it tire faster. This could be determined in the test, although it is hardly a notable shortcoming, as the vacuum cleaner robot simply goes to the charging station by itself when the battery level is low, charges and then continues where it left off.

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