Roomba e5 vs Roomba 960

Roombs e5

Roomba E5

Roomba 960

Roomba 960

Price History Chart

Roomba E5 Roomba 960
Main Features
Navigation iAdapt iAdapt 2.0
Cleaning Modes Auto, spot cleaning Auto, spot cleaning
Suction Power 900 Pa 900 Pa
Dustbin Capacity 600 ml 600 ml
Automatic Dirt Disposal Yes Yes
Noise Level 65 db 65 db
Wi-Fi Support Yes Yes
Multi-Room Cleaning No No
Full Bin Indicator Yes Yes
Virtual Walls Yes Yes
Dirt Detect Technology Yes Yes
Run Time 90 minutes 75 min
Сleaning Area 1615 ft2 / 150 m2 1615 ft2 / 150 m2
Wet Mopping No No
Carpet cleaning Yes Yes
HEPA Filter Yes Yes
Brushes Unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes Unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
Best for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
Battery Capacity 1800 mAh 2600 mAh
Run time 90 minutes 75 min
Charging Time 180 minutes 120 min
App & Control Features
Remote Control No No
Smartphone App Yes Yes
Support Alexa Yes Yes
Support Google Assistant Yes Yes
Support Scheduling Yes Yes
Other Features
Weight 13.4 x 13.4 x 3.6 inches 8.38 lbs
Size 7.23 pounds 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in
In the box
  • Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum,
  • Home Base Charging Station,
  • North American Line Cord,
  • Owner’s Guide,
  • Documentation Package
  • Charging station,
  • Line cord,
  • Extra filter,
  • Cleaning tool,
  • Owner’s guide,
  • Documentation package,
  • Dual-mode virtual wall,
  • Extra side brush
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The American company iRobot, engaged in the production of various robotics since 1990, is preparing to celebrate its next anniversary – next year it marks 30 years of leadership in the market of automatic devices for domestic use.

IRobot logo Probably in honor of this event, for the last couple of years engineers have been releasing a completely new lineup of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners.

The corporation has abandoned the previous inconsistent numbering of the lineup. Now, the new robot vacuum cleaners get the letter designation: iRobot Roomba e-series, iRobot Roomba i-series, and their modifications.

In today’s review, we`re going to examine two robots from different generations: Roomba 960, which belongs to the old models with digital numbering, and Roomba e5 released in 2018.

Since its release in 2016, the 960 managed to appeal to many users and confidently occupies a leading position in all tops. The e5 is considered a relative newcomer and so far the general public doesn`t know it so well. Let’s find out what`s better!

Roomba e5

Nowadays, there are 2 modifications of the “e” series: iRobot Roomba e5 and iRobot Roomba e6 (a complete analog of the e5, but in an expanded configuration). At its core, the “e” range is an upgraded line of the previous 800 series of robot vacuum cleaners. Let’s see if there`s anything new in Roomba e5.

The shape and dimensions of the robot are still the same. It`s a black glossy puck with a movable protective bumper against shocks and scratches. It measures 13.3×3.6 inches and weighs 7.2 pounds.

On the top panel, we see the classic, large round “Clean” button (start/end cleaning) and two small buttons “Home” (forced return to the base) and “Spot” (activation of spot cleaning). Any other manual control has been removed as unnecessary: setting the time, programming cleaning according to a schedule is now carried out exclusively using a smartphone.

You only need to install the native iRobot HOME app. If your hands are busy, you can always give the robot a voice command. Such management is possible thanks to the support of Google and Alexa voice assistants.

Keeping up with the times, iRobot began to equip almost all its models with a Wi-Fi module and voice control. The same thing happens with lithium-ion batteries.

Roomba e5 has the 1800 mAh Li-ion battery, which is enough for 90 minutes of cleaning. Recharging takes 180 minutes.

All garbage collected by the side brush and the main double rubber rollers-extractors comes into a 600 ml dust collector. After cleaning, you can rinse it under water.

The vacuum cleaner is quiet and powerful as Roomba e5 has a 900 Pa suction that`s 5 times greater than suction power in Roombas of the 600 series.

The in-built HEPA filter provides anti-allergenic air conditioning.

AeroForce three-stage cleaning system with rollers and greater suction force allows the robot to knock out and remove fine debris and dust from hard floors and pile carpets. The vacuum cleaner also copes well with the removal of hair and pet fur and doesn`t wind them on the rollers. It greatly facilitates the ensuing cleaning of the vacuum.

The robot uses sensory navigation. The set of infrared and cliff sensors as well as iAdapt technology help define and avoid obstacles and stairs. The e5 can overcome 2 cm elevations, too.

In addition to these navigation helpers, iRobot Roomba e5 uses Dirt Detect sensors to determine the most polluted area and vacuum it more thorough. This function is similar to the Local cleaning mode when the vacuum deals with some special place.

The set also includes one virtual wall that restricts the movement of the robot. This boundary marker works in two modes: prohibition of entry into another room and installation of a circular perimeter into which the robot vacuum cleaner cannot enter.

Summing up the analysis, we`d like to note that this model has improved characteristics that provide a more thorough cleaning. The robot is suitable for those who are looking for a budget assistant for regular dry cleaning of a small room. It copes with dust, small debris and hair and does nice air freshening. Best of all, the robot shows itself on the same hard floor and low-piled carpets.
The pros of the robot are:
  • double rollers-extractors
  • three-stage AeroForce cleaning
  • high suction
  • HEPA filter
  • iAdapt navigation
  • cliff sensors
  • Dirt Detect sensors
  • virtual wall
  • iRobot HOME app and voice control
  • powerful battery
The cons of the robot are:
  • small dustbin
  • no Carpet Boost and bad cleaning on high-piled carpets
  • navigation only through the sensors without mapping or vSLAM
  • no Recharge and Resume

Roomba 960

The iRobot Roomba 960 robot vacuum cleaner has a stylish and elegant look. The color is usually black with a matte finish. Thanks to its round shape, the robot can penetrate to various places, thereby cleaning a large surface area.

The slopes of the case along the edges reduce the chance of getting stuck between obstacles or under furniture. It won`t get stuck due to its dimensions, too. The height and the width of the robot are 3.6 inches and 13.8 inches respectively. It weighs 8.3 pounds.

At the edges, the bumper is protected by a special film and rubber, which soften the blows and touches of the device to obstacles.

On the front panel of the robot cleaner, you can see three large control buttons. The tinted plastic on the front panel hides the set of sensors, with the help of which the device finds its charging station and detects obstacles.

On the bottom, you can notice the side brush, wheels, silicone rollers, and the dust bin. Special sensors in the dust bin inform you when the 600 ml bin is full giving you a sound notification. There are also cliff sensors at the edges of the bumper to avoid elevations and drops.

The robot vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, thanks to which dust and dirt particles don`t enter the air.

A distinctive feature of the device is its control system. Roomba 960 can be controlled via a mobile application and the Internet.

Thanks to this app, you can configure the robot to schedule cleaning as well as get acquainted with the current state of the device. To start app control, you should first download and install it on a mobile phone or tablet. As soon as you download the application and install all the settings and necessary functions, the robot vacuum cleaner will start working.

It makes a review of the room and draws up a cleaning plan, taking into account the obstacles in its path. You can manage your device through the voice assistants, too.

As for the brushes, there are one side brush and two silicone scraper rollers. The advantage of such rollers is that they don`t wrap hair and thread. A side brush sweeps dirt along the edges, the main rollers pick it up and direct it to the waste bin.

The 960 model works in two main modes: automatic and local.

  • In automatic mode, the robot cleaner vacuums the entire free area and then returns to its station. Local cleaning is used when it`s necessary to clean a heavily polluted area.
  • In the local mode, you need to transfer Roomba 960 to the desired location manually. If you need more thorough vacuuming, the robot has Dirt Detect sensors that capture extra polluted spots and make the 960 increase its efforts.

The kit includes a virtual wall that helps organize the operation of the vacuum cleaner. The suction power of 900 Pa provides great AeroForce cleaning on any floor type. With this device, you can limit the cleaned area. Thus, the robot can`t independently move to another room and zone.

The iAdapt and vSLAM technologies with all their in-built sensors and cameras guarantee high-quality visual navigation. The robot gets signals from its low and ceiling cameras, sensors and infrared detectors and chooses the route.

The robot has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2130 mAh, which gives you up to 80 minutes of running with three hours of charging time.

This vacuum cleaner is suitable for performing absolutely any household tasks. It quickly and efficiently removes dirt, hair, old pollution, dangerous particles in the air. The robot is designed for medium and large rooms with a diverse type of coverage.
The pros of the robot are:
  • bumper protection
  • double rubber brushes
  • good hair collection
  • full dust bin indicator
  • high suction
  • HEPA filter
  • iAdapt 2.0 and vSLAM navigation
  • Dirt Detect and anti-drop sensors
  • virtual wall
  • iRobot HOME app and voice control
The cons of the robot are:
  • rather small dustbin
  • no Carpet Boost system
  • doesn`t save maps of the rooms after cleaning is completed
  • may be rather noisy

Differences between Roomba e5 and Roomba 960

So both models are very similar in almost all of their characteristics. A detailed analysis shows that they have the same brushes, filters, dust collectors, suction force, control system, sensors, cleaning modes, etc.

If we talk about the differences, we find only three important points.

  • The first difference between the two robots is the dimensions. Roomba 960 is slightly wider and heavier than its rival, which can affect maneuverability and cleaning.
  • Secondly, although the navigation systems in both robots are very similar (both of them use a set of sensors and iAdapt technology), the Roomba 960 has an excellent addition in the form of vSLAM visual orientation.
  • And thirdly, we see a slight difference in battery life. Roomba e5 guarantees 90 minutes of operation, while Roomba 960 gives ten minutes less – you can expect 80 minutes of cleaning time.
As we can see, two of the three differences don`t have a significant effect on cleaning. The larger size and slightly shorter cleaning time of the 960 robot doesn`t make it worse than its opponent and practically doesn`t influence the quality of work.
But the lack of vSLAM navigation at Roomba e5 can be called a significant drawback.

Which one to choose?

As a result of all the analyzes and comparisons, we conclude that the Roomba e5 and Roomba 960 are identical in terms of cleaning quality and functionality as well as in price.

Although the 960 was released two years earlier than his opponent, it`s somehow better.

Roomba e5 as a representative of the later e-series should have more advanced characteristics. But on the contrary, we see that it`s even slightly inferior to the 960. This is clearly visible in the weaknesses of navigation and the lack of vSLAM.

Based on the foregoing, we give our preference to the Roomba 960 robot vacuum cleaner that offers an excellent set of functions and high quality for $ 400.
And if you want to purchase something more modern, then you can search for models with more functionality than e5.

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