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Shark IQ vs Roomba i7 vs Roomba 960

Roomba vs SharkToday, I will be reviewing the Shark IQ vs. Roomba i7 vs. Roomba 960. All three models are smart navigation robots, which means they use a camera for mapping. The market today has a chock-full of robot vacuums that offer various abilities and features, but these three models are among the best.

The price for the Roomba 960 is coming down, but the majority still considers it a pricey robot. Is the Roomba 960 worth the splurge, or should you spend a little more and opt for the Roomba i7? How about the Shark IQ with a self-emptying dustbin?

Read on and learn the main differences between these smart navigation robots.

Quick Summary

  • The Shark IQ is ideal for homeowners who are looking for an affordable robot vacuum with a self-emptying base.
  • The Roomba i7 may be the best choice for you if you will use it to clean a large house or an office with multiple stories. You can also purchase the Clean Base® if you decide to make an upgrade at a later time. While this model has a powerful motor generating 1700 Pa, you may have to recharge the unit more frequently if you run the robot in its highest setting.
  • If you have a small home, the Roomba 960 may be the best option for you. The Roomba i7’s ability to save up to 10 floor layouts might not be worth the added cost.

Main Differences

  • Dustbin Sensor
    The Shark IQ does not have a dustbin sensor that the Roomba i7 and Roomba 960 have. This robot relies on pre-programmed, proprietary algorithms to send itself back to its charging base.
  • Brushes
    The Shark IQ uses a brushroll consisting of fins and bristles, while the Roomba i7 and Roomba 960 use the patented Dual Multi-Surface Brush System. However, the brushes for the Roomba i7 have longer treads compared to the Roomba 960. Additionally, the upgraded brush system mounts on a new self-adjusting plate to keep the brushes constantly in contact with floors and carpets.
  • Self-Emptying Base
    The Roomba 960 is the only robot vacuum in this review that does not support a self-emptying base. If you get the standalone Roomba i7, you can at least purchase the Clean Base™ soon. By then, the smaller dustbin of the Roomba i7 will become irrelevant.
  • Virtual Boundaries
    The Roomba i7 and Roomba 960 offer the easiest way to prevent your robot vacuum from entering specific areas through the Keep-Out Zone feature that you can access via the iRobot Home app. The Shark IQ, on the other hand, requires a little bit of manual labor on your part with its BotBoundary® strips.
  • Suction Power
    Unfortunately, the Roomba 960 had left the group chat when the Shark IQ and Roomba i7 started boasting about their pick-up abilities. With only 900 Pa. of suction power, this Roomba failed in the crevice test and did below average in the fine debris test.
  • Dirt Detect™
    Dirt Detect™ is a feature exclusive to Roomba. Understandably, you will not find this feature in the Shark IQ. But although the Roomba 960 has dirt detection, it isn’t as advanced as the Roomba i7. The Dirt Detect™ feature of the Roomba i7 makes a note of the concentrated areas it cleaned and uses it as a reference for future cleaning cycles.

Comparison Prce History

Comparison Table

Listed below are the most important specifications of each robot vacuum. Read on so that you can easily differentiate the Shark IQ vs. Roomba i7 vs. Roomba 960.

Model
Good Choice
Shark Empty XL RV1001AE...
Best Choice
iRobot Roomba i7 (7150)...
Nice Choice
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot...
Star Rating
Dimensions
12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5 inches
13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 inches
13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 inches
Weight
6.90 lbs
7.44 pounds
8.6 pounds
Navigation
IQ NAV
iAdapt® 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM®
iAdapt® 2.0 Navigation with vSLAM®
Virtual Wall
8 ft. BotBoundary® Strips
Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barrier + Keep-Out Zones
Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barrier
Mopping
Imprint Link® Technology (for Braava jet® m6)
Filter
High-efficiency
High-Efficiency Filter
High-Efficiency Filter
Battery
90 minutes
120 minutes
75 minutes
Recharge and Resume Feature
Charging Time
4 – 5 hours
2 – 3 hours
2 – 3 hours
Noise
65 dB
68 dB
65 dB
Alexa & Google Assistant
Suction Power
Powerful
1700 Pa
900 Pa
Dustbin Capacity
600 mL
460 mL
600 mL
Self-Emptying Bin
Dustbin Indicator
Good Choice
Model
Shark Empty XL RV1001AE...
Star Rating
Dimensions
12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5 inches
Weight
6.90 lbs
Navigation
IQ NAV
Virtual Wall
8 ft. BotBoundary® Strips
Mopping
Filter
High-efficiency
Battery
90 minutes
Recharge and Resume Feature
Charging Time
4 – 5 hours
Noise
65 dB
Alexa & Google Assistant
Suction Power
Powerful
Dustbin Capacity
600 mL
Self-Emptying Bin
Dustbin Indicator
Check Price
Best Choice
Model
iRobot Roomba i7 (7150)...
Star Rating
Dimensions
13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 inches
Weight
7.44 pounds
Navigation
iAdapt® 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM®
Virtual Wall
Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barrier + Keep-Out Zones
Mopping
Imprint Link® Technology (for Braava jet® m6)
Filter
High-Efficiency Filter
Battery
120 minutes
Recharge and Resume Feature
Charging Time
2 – 3 hours
Noise
68 dB
Alexa & Google Assistant
Suction Power
1700 Pa
Dustbin Capacity
460 mL
Self-Emptying Bin
Dustbin Indicator
Check Price
Nice Choice
Model
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot...
Star Rating
Dimensions
13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 inches
Weight
8.6 pounds
Navigation
iAdapt® 2.0 Navigation with vSLAM®
Virtual Wall
Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barrier
Mopping
Filter
High-Efficiency Filter
Battery
75 minutes
Recharge and Resume Feature
Charging Time
2 – 3 hours
Noise
65 dB
Alexa & Google Assistant
Suction Power
900 Pa
Dustbin Capacity
600 mL
Self-Emptying Bin
Dustbin Indicator
Check Price

Shark IQ

Shark ION R101AE
View on Amazon

SharkNinja shook the market when the company introduced its first smart robot vacuum with a self-emptying base to boot. Not only that, but this model also distances itself from other Sharks with its camera-based navigation and advanced software.

So, who is this smart robot? Let me introduce to you, the Shark IQ.

The Shark IQ promises better cleaning coverage and performance than previous Sharks. Equipped with a self-cleaning brushroll, human and pet hair can’t stop the Shark IQ from keeping your home tidy. This model also has two side brushes that spin lento to ensure it doesn’t make a bigger mess while it cleans hard floors.

If everything goes according to plan, you wouldn’t even have to think about the Shark IQ until the base is full. You won’t have to buy dirt disposal bags for the base, either. The self-emptying base for the Shark IQ is bagless, which makes it an eco-friendly and economical choice.

Pros
  • IQ Nav Technology (onboard camera + advanced software)
  • Multi-room coverage and room selection
  • Equipped with 2 spinning side brushes and a tangle-free brushroll
  • 23 cfm airflow
  • 90 minutes of run-time
  • Recharge and resume feature
  • 600-mL dustbin capacity
  • Bagless self-emptying base
  • Smart Home Integration (Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant)
  • Best for pet hair, hard floors, and low- to medium-pile carpets
Cons
  • BotBoundary® are time-consuming and less effective in the long run
  • Doesn’t have a feature similar to Dirt Detect™

Roomba i7

Roomba i7
View on Amazon

The Roomba i7 is rich in impressive features, which makes it one of the most coveted robot vacuums in the market. This model comes equipped with an upgraded design of the patented Dual Multi-Surface Brush System installed in a height-adaptive cleaning plate. With these features combined, you get an awesome robot vacuum that can effectively clean all floor types.

The best game-changing feature I love about the Roomba i7 is its ability to create 10 accurate and detailed floor plans. I don’t know why robot vacuum manufacturers took a while to make this happen, but I’m glad it is already here! The iAdapt® 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM® technology opens a new world of opportunities for robot vacuums. With this tech, I can create multiple Keep-Out Zones via the app and further improves the Dirt Detect™ feature.

And if you purchase the Clean Base™, you will have a robot vacuum that will automate daily cleaning tasks. Remember Rosie from the Jetsons? Yeah, I imagine myself having my own little Rosie around the house with the Roomba i7.

Pros
  • Adapt® 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM® technology
  • Imprint™ Smart Maps (can save up to 10 different floor plans)
  • Imprint Link™ Technology
  • iRobot Home app and Smart Home Integration (Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant)
  • AeroForce 3-stage Cleaning System
  • 1,700 Pa suction power
  • Dirt Detect™ Technology
  • Wi-Fi controlled via the iRobot Home app, Alexa, or Google Assistant
  • Create multiple Keep-Out Zones via the app
  • Supports Virtual Wall® barriers
  • Compatible with the Clean Base™
  • Recharge and resume feature
  • Best for pet hair, hard floors, and low- to medium-pile carpets
Cons
  • Expensive and needs AllergenLock™ replacement bags if you buy the Clean Base™
  • May struggle with high-pile carpeting

Roomba 960

Roomba 960
View on Amazon

The Roomba 960 is the last robot standing in the 900 Series showroom. This model still sits at the expensive side of Roomba despite the introduction of the Roombas e5 and s9+. I am pretty sure its navigation technology has something to do with its hefty price tag. After all, even the Roomba e5 still bounces around despite its powerful suction.

Speaking of suction power, this Roomba falls behind in that department. The motor for the Roomba 960 generates 900 Pa at best, which is proven inadequate in my medium-pile and high-pile carpet tests. This poor suction can also be seen in the crevice pick-up test.

Nevertheless, the Roomba 960 has several features that you can only find in top-tier Roombas. These features include Dirt Detect™ and Imprint Link® Technology, which allows your robot Roomba 960 to work in tandem with the Braava jet® m6.

Pros
  • iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with vSLAM® technology
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brush System
  • Multi-room coverage and room selection
  • iRobot Home app and Smart Home Integration (Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant)
  • Supports Keep-Out Zones and Virtual Wall® barriers
  • Dirt Detect™
  • Imprint Link® Technology
  • 460 mL dustbin capacity
  • Recharge and resume feature
  • Best for pet hair, hard floors, and low-pile carpets
Cons
  • Often struggles with fine, heavy debris due to its low suction power
  • May not perform well in medium- to high-pile carpets
  • Failure to identify dark-colored surfaces

Face to Face Comparison

Let us run through a face to face comparison about the main features of the Shark IQ vs. Roomba i7 vs. Roomba 960.

Design

Shark IQ

Shark ION R100
Unlike earlier models, the Shark IQ aimed for a premium look this time. There are brushed silver accents on the faceplate and a glossy black plastic around the sides that complement the matte black components. All in all, the design and color scheme of the Shark IQ closely resembles the Roomba i7 right down to the oversized bumper.

You will also find a camera on the faceplate of the robot. A Clean button and Dock button sit atop alongside the battery and Wi-Fi indicators. Several sensors also line the front and sides of the robot vacuum.

Flipping the Shark IQ over reveals the bristle brush sandwiched between two chunky rubber wheels. There is also a small caster wheel upfront. Instead of one spinning side brush, the Shark IQ has a single-spoke brush that spins on either side of the robot vacuum.

As with the majority of robot vacuums, the Shark IQ comes pre-installed with all the accessories it needs to perform its duties. All I needed to do was to snap the two front side brushes, and the robot is ready to go!

Shark seems to be a little bit frugal when it comes to providing spare parts and accessories. Aside from the robot itself, I only got the self-emptying base and a mat for putting the unit on a carpeted area.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7
At the front of the chassis is the touch-sensitive bumper, while the waste bin and filter sit back at the opposite side. That tiny circle you see on top of the robot is the RCON (Room Confinement) sensor, which detects the Home Base® and Virtual Wall® barrier. If you wish to make an upgrade and purchase the Clean Base®, the RCON sensor will enable the Roomba i7 to communicate with the self-emptying base.

There are three buttons on the faceplate of the Roomba i7. At the center is the Clean button, where I would press to initiate or end a cleaning job manually. There is also an LED indicator ring around it. To the right is the Spot Clean button. Pressing this button sends the robot to boosts its vacuum power as it cleans a localized area about three feet. Then there is the Home button for sending the robot back to its dock.

The first thing that caught my eye when I flipped the robot over is the neon Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brush System between the treaded wheels. Also, there is the three-spoke side brush that gets into areas where the main brushroll cannot reach. There is a caster wheel at the bottom front for easy maneuvering.

To clean and replace these brushes, I only need to pull up the latches on each side of the brushroll. Around the edges, I found six cliff sensors that detect stairs or steep drops.

Aside from the robot vacuum itself and the Home Base®, the Roomba i7 package includes:

  • one Virtual Wall®
  • two batteries for the barrier
  • a power cord for the Home Base®
  • an extra filter
  • another side brush (one side brush is already attached)
  • a product manual
  • a quick setup guide,
  • a warranty booklet.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960
The Roomba 960 shares many similarities with the Roomba i7 in terms of design.

Although this model has a different layout, everything else looks the same as the Roomba i7.

The 960 has the same primary control options: Clean, Spot Clean, and Home. You will also find the onboard camera on the faceplate of the robot. A touch-sensitive bumper also runs along the front of the robot vacuum.

Aside from the robot vacuum itself and the Home Base®, the Roomba 960 package includes:

  • one Virtual Wall®
  • two batteries for the barrier
  • a power cord for the Home Base®
  • an extra filter
  • another side brush (one side brush is already attached)
  • a product manual
  • a quick setup guide,
  • a warranty booklet.

Setup and Connectivity

Shark IQ

Shark iq connectivity
First, you will want to place the base in an open space that your robot can easily access. Ideally, the area should be 3 x 5 feet.

Then take out the cord wrapped behind the dock and shorten it as needed. Don’t forget to attach the two side brushes before you charge the robot vacuum. While the robot is charging, the two LED indicator lights will blink blue continuously until it completes the charging cycle.

The last thing you want to do before the Shark sails through your home is to download the SharkClean™ app and set it up. While I can use the primary controls to start a cycle, I prefer the convenience and versatility of the app.

Initiating a cleaning cycle, setting a schedule, and customizing cleaning modes are just a few of the things I can do.
The Shark IQ also supports Smart Home Integration.

Roomba i7

roomba i7 connectivity
The setup is a piece of cake as the iRobot Home app guided me through personalizing my Roomba’s name, as well as connecting to my Wi-Fi. After all, Roomba is the most user-friendly robot vacuum! By the way, you need to make sure you have the latest firmware, and this will take a couple of minutes to complete.

To start a cleaning cycle, I can either press the Clean button on the robot itself or hit Clean on the Roomba app. From there, I have two options to choose from: clean all rooms or choose rooms. This convenience is another benefit of the Imprint™ Smart Mapping.

I also have the option to create a schedule, as well as tackle rooms in different ways. The robot likewise sends me notifications via the app and shows me a map of the areas it cleaned. Through the use of the app, I can see status events such as the location of the robot, how long it has been cleaning, what it has left to clean, and more.

Understandably, I also want to take full advantage of the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa with the Roomba i7, given the hefty price I paid for this unit.

Roomba 960

Smart 960
Setting up the Roomba 960 is also a cinch. All you need to do is to remove the robot from its box. I can likewise use the robot vacuum right off the bat because it already has 50% juice. There is no assembly required. But I do recommend that you charge your robot vacuum. A maximum battery life ensures your robot vacuum can map out more spaces in its first run.

You will most likely be using the iRobot Home app to connect your Roomba 960 through your home’s Wi-Fi and smartphone. Even if I’m away, I can create and edit schedules, initiate or end cleaning cycles, send the robot back to its base station from my phone. I also have the benefit of Smart Home Integration.

As with any Wi-Fi enabled Roomba, it will let you know if there is something wrong with your robot by flashing a red exclamation point via the app. Clicking the exclamation will lead you to a set of common problems, solutions, diagrams, and such.

The bottom line is that the Roomba i7 and Roomba 960 have the same control options, including local controls, smartphone integration, and voice commands. Push notifications for the robot and the Clean Base® will only work with the Roomba i7. But that aside, everything else is similar.

Navigation

Shark IQ

Shark IQ Navigation
If the Roomba i7 has iAdapt technology, the Shark has IQ Nav. The Shark IQ scans its surroundings and learns the floor layout using a suite of sensors and an onboard camera. This feature also helps the robot avoid obstacles to make sure the entire room has been cleaned.

The Shark IQ is a far cry from previous Sharks because it learns the layout of your home. After the Shark IQ maps the spaces, you can use Room Select on the app and send your robot to tackle one or two rooms. Like a little lawnmower, the Shark IQ zigzagged around my house and left beautiful carpet lines.

But based on my experience, the Shark IQ took a week before it finalized the map. The Shark IQ sometimes had trouble heading back to its station, and I could not send the robot to clean a specific room during this time. All in all, it took about nine runs for the Shark IQ to develop a complete map of my humble abode.

I admire this robot for correcting itself to ensure it was following the right path, though. However, it might be best to run the Shark IQ during daytime or with the lights on because optical sensors do not navigate well in low-light areas.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7+ Navigate
iRobot coined its navigation tech “iAdapt 3.0” with vSLAM® Technology. The Roomba i7 uses this patented tech and an integrated camera to capture thousands of precise measurements that will further enhance its coverage. As the clever bot scanned my home, it created visual landmarks to help itself identify and differentiate one room from another.

The Roomba i7 began to learn my floor layout after three runs. But if you have a large home with plenty of furniture, it may take five runs for the robot to achieve a complete map. As soon as the robot is done, I can create a label for each room. This feature is handy when I only needed to clean my daughter’s messy bedroom.

The best thing I love about high-end Roombas, such as the i7, is that you can use the robot vacuum for multiple floors. Once the robot has detected a new layout, I can make use of the Imprint™ Smart Mapping to identify different rooms and floors.

Moreover, I was curious to see how the Roomba i7 would handle detecting a drop. Happy and relieved, the robot vacuum turned away from the stairs when its sensors detected the edge of the step. Likewise, I tested the ability of the robot to distinguish dark floors from drops. Again, the Roomba i7 passed my test.

On a side note, I like that the camera used to map floors is obscure, not a protruding turret. But by having a camera-based system, the Roomba i7 may not operate well in the dark. As a result, you would want to turn on the lights while the robot cleans.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 Navigation
The i Series and s Series no longer use the iAdapt 2.0 with vSLAM® Technology that the Roomba 960 has. iRobot may find this technology outdated, but the Roomba 960 is still a few steps ahead of its competitors in terms of navigation. Yup, that’s right! If you compare the Shark IQ vs. Roomba 960 in this department, I will choose the latter as the clear winner without further hesitation.

The Roomba 960 uses infrared and camera navigation the same as the Shark IQ, but its ability to create a map of my home is a lot quicker and more accurate than its competitor. I likewise appreciate how the Roomba 960 cleaned in parallel lines as a human would use an upright vacuum cleaner. My only complaint is that the Roomba 960 struggles with differentiating a black rug or dark-colored floor from a drop-off. The robot would move away and ignore these surfaces.

Nevertheless, moving the Roomba 960 upstairs is not an issue. While this model does not memorize up to 10 floors, it would figure out how to clean a new area and remember the coverage map from session to session. Therefore, you should have no issues changing the floors, too. The robot will adapt to the arrangement changes of the furniture and obstacles. However, you should also relocate the charging base.

Brushes

Shark IQ

Shark IQ R101AE Self-Cleaning Brushroll
The Shark IQ comes equipped with a self-cleaning brushroll, which consists of yellow rubber fins and bristles.

Likewise, it has a spinning side brush for each side of the robot vacuum. Since the main brush has fewer bristles, it helped lessen tangles inside the main brush.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7+ Brush system
Among the best features of the Roomba i7, which its competitors find it difficult to compete against, is the new and improved Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes. These counter-rotating rollers deliver excellent work at digging debris out of the carpet.

If you compare the Shark IQ vs. Roomba i7 in terms of resistance to tangles, the latter is a lot better. Unlike the traditional brush-and-blade design that the Shark IQ has, the cylindrical rubber brushes are much more resistant to tangles. Regardless, I would rate the two equal in terms of hair pick-up.

However, strings, shoelaces, and the like could still wrap extensively around the rollers. If this happens, the Roomba i7 will turn off with an error until the debris is removed.

Lastly, the Roomba i7 has a three-spoke edge-sweeping brush.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 brush
The Roomba 960 also uses the old version of the Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brush System. As you can see, the extractors are black and grey, not the neon ones you see from the Roomba i7.

This model likewise has auto-adjusting wheels, so that the cleaning head remains in contact with whatever type of floor it is currently cleaning. There is also a three-spoke edge-sweeping brush to the Roomba 960.

Dustbin and Filter

Shark IQ

Shark IQ filter
I wished there was a dustbin sensor to the Shark IQ. I had no way of telling whether or not the dustbin had reached its 600 mL capacity. Nevertheless, the robot uses pre-programmed proprietary algorithms that send it back to its self-emptying base and unload its contents.

One of the major highlights of the Shark IQ is the self-emptying base. When the Shark IQ completes a cleaning cycle, it will automatically navigate back to its base. From there, the base will suck out the contents from the onboard dustbin and into the larger waste disposal inside the station itself.

According to SharkNinja, the base can hold up to 30 loads of debris. There is also a small window for you to check. On a side note, I think the Shark IQ looks like a toilet bowl when the robot parks to its station.

As for the filter used, SharkNinja claimed that it is a HEPA filter.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7+ Filtr
The Roomba i7 comes equipped with a High-Efficiency Filter, which collects particles down to 3 microns in size.

With my one-kid and one-dog house, I have to empty the 460-mL dustbin every three days or after I make a full-floor cleanup. Note that the frequency may vary depending on your household activities and the size of your abode. If you have a large home, you may have to clear out the dustbin more at shorter intervals.

Nevertheless, you have an option not to empty your robot vacuum. iRobot offers the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal. The Clean Base® will suck out everything from the dustbin and store the contents inside the base. No mess. No fuss whatsoever.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 filter
The Roomba 960 also uses a High-Efficiency Filter that effectively traps allergens up to 10 microns in size.

The dustbin has a 600 mL capacity, which is of standard size in robot vacuums.

Suction Power

Shark IQ

shark iq Suction Power
SharkNinja boasts that the Shark IQ has an impressive suction power, but they did not mention specifically how much. Using an anemometer, I did measure the Shark IQ at 23 CFM. Know that Roomba’s current flagship model, the s9+, has an airflow of 22 CFM.

Roomba i7

Roomba-i7-cleaning
The Roomba i7 has a powerful motor that generates 1,700 Pa of suction power, which is 10x more compared to earlier Roombas from the 600 Series.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 Cleaning Performance
The Roomba 960 has 5x the suction power compared to the 600 Series. But at 900 Pa., it isn’t much compared to the Roomba i7.

Virtual Barriers

Shark IQ

shark iq Virtual Barriers
I am not impressed with the BotBoundary® strips that came along with the Shark IQ. This magnetic marker, which looks exactly like a roll of black electrical tape, is an eyesore compared to the infrared Virtual Wall® barrier and digital Keep-Out Zones the Roomba i7 offers.

What’s more, the adhesive backing of the strips is not strong enough to stay in position for long. While the BotBoundary® strips come in eight feet, which you can later cut into shorter pieces, it can run out quickly.

A little bird has told me that Shark will make a software update, giving its users the ability to create virtual boundaries via the SharkClean™ app. However, there is no specified date.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7+ Floor mapping
The Keep-Out Zones are useful when I want the Roomba i7 to avoid certain areas. In my case, I don’t want the robot vacuum to bump into my dog’s works of art (if you know what I mean.) But to utilize this feature, you need to make sure the robot has already achieved a complete and accurate floor plan beforehand. Otherwise, you will need a Dual-Mode Virtual Wall® barrier.

You can place the Virtual Wall® on the outside of a doorway to prevent the robot from entering a specific room. By activating the Halo mode, you can also create a circular barrier that will extend 24 inches around the device that the robot will stay away from.

Roomba 960

Roomba i7+ Boundary Marking
The added Keep-Out Zone feature in the last app update back in 2019 was a Christmas gift to Roomba 960 users. Because originally, this model did not support Keep-Out Zones and only had one Virtual Wall® barrier for each purchase.

Run-Time

Shark IQ

shark iq Run-Time
The Shark IQ has a longer battery life, offering 90 minutes per charge. This model also has a “recharge and resume” feature so that it heads back to its base when it is running low in battery.

Unfortunately, I had to wait almost five hours for the robot to charge from 30% to 100%.

Roomba i7

roomba i7 Run-Time
The battery life for the Roomba i7 is less than you would expect with robot vacuums in this price range. Although the manufacturer claimed that it lasts for about 75 minutes per charge, it may decrease if the robot spots several areas with concentrated amounts of dirt. High-traffic areas, such as the kitchen and dining room, will often trigger the Dirt Detect™ feature of the Roomba i7.

Nevertheless, the LED ring indicator will glow red to indicate that the robot vacuum is running on juice. Then the robot will head back to its station to charge. Since the Roomba i7 has a “recharge and resume” feature, it will continue cleaning where it left off.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 Cleaning priority
The Roomba 960 has an average battery life of 75 minutes, and it arrived at my doorstep already 50% charged. Regardless, I had to charge the unit for at least an hour to make sure that it has enough juice for its first run.

Cleaning Performance Tests

Shark IQ

Shark IQ Cleaning Performance
If the name isn’t obvious enough, the Shark IQ is a smart navigation robot vacuum that knows where to go and avoid. If you watch this robot clean, you will think it has missed a few places. Give it some time, and you will see that this clever shark will swim back to the areas it missed before it ends its cleaning cycle.

SharkNinja announced that the Shark IQ brushroll is tangle-free, and as a pet owner, I was excited to try it out. I tested the self-cleaning brushroll by scattering 10 grams of debris and a handful of shredded cotton balls. The first thing I noticed was the side brushes.

Unlike the edge-sweeping brush that Roombas have, these sweep nice and slow so that they don’t scatter debris. To my delight, the Shark IQ picked up the hair without causing tangles in the brushroll.

When comparing the Shark IQ vs. Roomba 960, I would say that the Shark IQ has better pick-up ability. After all, the Shark IQ cleared the grit off my patio, which is something impossible for the Roomba 960 to do.

Attention

However, I do recommend that you remove loose power cords, clothes, toys, and low-hanging drapes before you run your robot. If ever the Shark IQ does get stuck into something, place it one foot away from its cleaning point.

Roomba i7

roomba i7 Cleaning Performance
When transitioning from one type of floor to another, I am impressed that the Roomba i7 maneuvered from hardwood to carpet to mats without a problem. The robot navigates around my home in a straight cleaning path, and it makes swift obstacle avoidance decisions.

Due to its self-adjusting cleaning head, I witnessed a marked improvement from the Roomba i7 when I used it to deep-clean low- and medium-pile carpets. The robot vacuum picked up fine debris to pet hair to extra-large debris. The only time the robot had a difficult time was with the shag carpet. Regardless, the Roomba i7 finished the given task with flying colors.

The robot vacuum also went over thresholds with ease. However, the Roomba i7 can only handle thresholds around 1.6 cm tall. A clever way to fix this problem is by placing a doormat on the edges of the doorway threshold.

The only thing that bothers me is that the Roomba i7 tends to throw away light debris when cleaning hard floors. Nevertheless, the robot vacuum managed to clean up everything after its full run.

Important

What I love most about the Roomba i7 is that it avoids pet and human hair tangles, which many cheap robot vacuums struggle with.

I tested the hair pick-up of the Roomba i7 using 10 grams of synthetic hair and a handful of shredded cotton balls. There was no hair caught in the brushes. Although I found a few strands in the axles, they weren’t much of a concern, and I could take them off easily.

Roomba 960

High-Pile Carpet Cleaning
The Roomba 960 is well above average in terms of navigation efficiency, thanks to iAdapt 2.0. Although this robot lacks many of the exciting features that the Roomba i7 offers, I find most of its cleaning abilities satisfactory.

I used the Roomba 960 to clean my 130 square feet office, and it finished in 15 minutes. The robot vacuum also delivered similar results when I started a cleaning cycle in my 215 square feet living room.

Important

One of the areas that the Roomba 960 excels is cleaning low-pile carpets. Despite having a lower suction power, this robot vacuum managed to deep-clean the Berber carpet in my living room and picked up many types of debris. The Dirt Detect™ was particularly helpful in cleaning various types of kitchen detritus.

While the Roomba 960 does not need a robust motor to clean low-pile carpets, its lack of suction power does show when it tackled hard floors. Due to the lack of airflow, there was still a visible amount of sand in the patio to the hallway.

Don’t get me wrong, though. The Roomba 960 is almost as good as the Roomba i7 when picking up large debris from the surface of hard floors. Then again, the Roomba 960 will have trouble picking up debris from floors with crevices. The robot vacuum was also losing so much battery life while dealing with medium- and high-pile carpets.

In the end, I had to raise the white flag and take away my defeated robot. Lastly, I frown upon this Roomba’s ability to identify black rugs. As mentioned earlier, the Roomba 960 tends to avoid dark-colored surfaces and consider them as drop-offs.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Is the Shark IQ robot loud?

The Shark IQ has a quiet operation at 65 decibels, even on its highest setting. However, you will hear a 75-decibel buzz each time the Shark IQ unloads its contents from its onboard dustbin into its base.

Does Roomba 960 scratch hardwood floors?

Both the wheels and brushes used by the Roomba 960 are engineered so as to not scratch hardwood floors.

Can I use Shark IQ without Wi-Fi?

While you can use the Shark IQ without Wi-Fi, you could not utilize the special features it offers that would require a Wi-Fi connection.

How long does it take Roomba i7 to learn your house?

On average, the Roomba i7 will take three to five cleaning missions to finalize a single Imprint™ Smart Map, which you can customize later on. However, the duration may depend on several factors, such as the size of your home, the number of furniture, obstacles, and carpets, etc.

Can I pick up Roomba or Shark and move it?

You should not pick up your robot vacuum while it learns your home. Doing so will hamper the robot’s ability to create an accurate map.

Conclusion

Important

In this article review, I conclude that the Roomba i7 is the best robot vacuum in every facet. After all, this model is what iRobot envisioned 20 years ago. Regardless, you might discover a few disappointments along the way. There won’t always be sunshine and rainbows even for a robot vacuum of this caliber. Every homeowner has different needs.

If you think the features offered by the Roomba i7 don’t justify the cost, you may want to choose between the Roomba 960 and Shark IQ. You can’t go wrong with any of the two. It is no secret that these robot vacuums have excellent navigation, mapping abilities, and smart home integration, among others.

Attention

The Shark IQ even has a self-emptying base, just like Clean Base™ for the Roomba i7+. But because Roomba i7+ pioneered this feature, iRobot filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against SharkNinja in 2019. And according to the news, SharkNinja has also filed a pre-emptive lawsuit. Nevertheless, the battle between these giant companies is not yet over, and you can still get the Shark IQ from online markets and local stores.

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