Roomba s9+ Review: Inspired by Neato Robotics

iRobot Roomba s9 + Review. The s9 + is the latest robot vacuum from iRobot, but also the most successful. Following the Roomba i7 and i7 +, this new version offers a makeover and is in the form of a “D” which differs from the roundness of its predecessors. The Roomba s9 + is a robot vacuum cleaner that can clearly be described as high-end. Launched at 1,500 €, it is to date the most expensive of iRobot vacuum cleaners, thus dethroning the i7+. With its elitist positioning, the s9+ exhibits many features and a new “D” shaped design. The latest iRobot has a mapping system (called vSLAM) allowing the robot to recognize all the rooms in the house. Finally, there is the automatic drain system installed on the robot charging base inaugurated on the Roomba i7 and i7 +. So what is “the world’s most advanced robot vacuum” really worth?

The Roomba s9 + Robot Vacuum Review

The Roomba s9+ is arguably the most disruptive robot vacuum of iRobot devices. For good reason, it has a “D” shape and not circular, as is the case with the rest of the range. A choice not only aesthetic but which allows you to go along the walls and reach all the nooks and corners of the house. This “D” shape was historically the hallmark of robot vacuums from Neato, the iRobot’s main rival.

Who says premium positioning says quality materials and coating. The s9+ sports a plastic dress that inspires confidence and sturdiness. On the hood, a copper halo almost recalls collector’s vinyl.

So, just like the i7 +, the Roomba s9 + is quite thin and measures only 9.2cm thick. As a result, it goes easily under tables and low furniture. In addition, this vacuum cleaner integrates its camera in the shell and not on the outside, in order to save space. Well seen! In addition to its camera intended to map the room, the s9 + is also equipped with obstacle sensors to avoid hitting too many walls or sucking a cable or a sock.

On its shell, there are three physical keys: the “Clean” button which allows you to start or switch off the device, but also to reset the vacuum cleaner (by pressing it for 10 seconds); the “Spot” button allows you to clean a very precise area; finally, the “Home” button allows you to return the vacuum cleaner to its charging base. Note that all these features are also accessible via the iRobot application.


Roomba s9+ Connectivity and application

The application has not changed at all since the release of the i7 + and it is just as ergonomic and intuitive. Setup is a snap. The user’s smartphone must first be connected to the home’s Wi-Fi network before downloading the iRobot application. Once this application has been downloaded, you must simultaneously press the “Home” and “Spot” buttons. The application immediately recognizes the robot and guides us step by step.

Once the robot is connected, the app offers a lot of cool features. Of course, the interface offers to start and stop the vacuum cleaner remotely, but also to follow the progress of cleaning or to empty the bin. A notification is sent if the robot gets its wheels on the carpet, if it does not have enough battery or if any maintenance is required. This Roomba offers three types of cleaning: “thorough” (for deep cleaning), “silent” (low power to be as quiet as possible), and “personalized” which allows you to adjust the power as desired.

It is also possible to program the days and hours of vacuuming or to view the history of the last robot exits (time, duration, surface). The main feature (inaugurated on the i7 +) is the delimitation for room-by-room cleaning using smart cards. It is important to note that before using virtual cards, the robot must recognize its environment and therefore make two or three passages in the house in order to memorize its space as well as possible.

Once the learning is done and the map completed, you have to go to the “smart map” tab which allows you to create virtual barriers, name the rooms and even create zones in each room. A function that may seem abstract at first glance, but which is essential on a daily basis to organize and schedule cleaning as desired!

Filling capacity 0.4L
Covered area NC
Battery Type Li-ion
Sound level 61 dB
Programmable Yes
Suction on carpets and long pile rugs Yes
Filter type Foam
Height NC
Navigation system Laser rangefinder + Camera (s)
Connected Yes
Automatic surface detection Yes


Roomba s9+ Test

The maintenance of the s9 + could not be simpler. The 0.4-liter waste container is no longer located on the walls of the vacuum cleaner, but directly under the hood. Manual emptying of the hopper only takes a few seconds. If the collector is too dirty, it is possible to run it under hot water, taking care to remove the HEPA filter first. According to the manufacturer, this filter should be replaced every two months, but we recommend that you dust it regularly!

Although it is possible to empty the collector manually, note that the major advantage of this vacuum cleaner is above all its automatic emptying system: within the base, there is a bag with a capacity of 1.7 liters which accommodates dust from the vacuum cleaner hopper. As soon as the robot returns to its base and the collector is full, the dust is sucked into the bag. This automatic system facilitates maintenance, but also wants to be more hygienic since the mouth of the bag closes as soon as it is removed from the base, thus avoiding any contact with dust. Two dust bags are supplied with the s9 +.

As for the two rubber blades, given that they have no nylon hair, as on the Neato Botvac D6 for example, they are less conducive to catching hair, strings, or other hairs lying around on the ground; a good point! You can access the status of the different parts of the robot (tank, main brushes, and robot body) via the “Help” tab then “Precautions and maintenance” of the application.


Roomba s9+ Navigation System

Equipped with a laser rangefinder, the s9 + is a smart robot vacuum cleaner that is supposed to ensure orderly navigation without repeating the same spot several times. In addition, his camera allows him to map the rooms and therefore to better locate himself in space.

Unfortunately, the s9 + did not always show optimal navigation. Not only did we notice that it was ironed several times on the areas that had already been cleaned, but it also got its feet caught in the carpet! Indeed, quite regularly, the s9 + had difficulty moving from hard floor to carpet and lifted the carpet instead of climbing it. A pitfall that we also find on the Rowenta Smart Force Cyclonic Connect. Despite its two large wheels, it, therefore, finds it difficult to climb onto carpets or raised door sills.

For the rest, the s9 + handles obstacles perfectly well despite its looks. He perceives table or chair legs or even furniture and does not bump regularly. In addition, its height of 9.2 cm, allows it to pass without problem under low furniture!

The sensors supposed to allow the device to locate the baseboards and therefore to suck along the walls are not very useful, however. The vacuum cleaner failed to suck up all the sawdust that we purposely placed along the wall. We end with a positive point: the s9 + carefully avoids cables and other objects lying around on the ground. A good point that is not found in most other robot vacuums.


Roomba s9+ Suction

As we have seen in lab news devoted to suction performance, the s9 + is doing very well on all types of soil. Note that we performed the tests in “Automatic” mode and “Silent” mode (via the application). On thick carpet, first of all, a twisted zone for vacuum cleaners, in Auto mode, the s9 + was able to vacuum 92% of the waste, and this in 10 min. In Silent mode, it took 12 minutes to collect 90% of the material.

On fine carpet, it sucks up 93% of waste in 8 min in Auto mode. In Silent mode, the s9 + returns to its base after 12 min of suction (90% efficiency). Finally, on hard ground, it takes 8 min to vacuum 98% of the rubbish in Auto mode and all the same 14 min in Silent mode (for 95% of the rubbish collected).


Roomba s9+ Autonomy

At minimum power, the s9 + ran out of steam after just over 1 h 30 min of suction. In maximum mode, it lasted 50 min before fully discharging. When its battery is low, it automatically returns to its base to recharge before resuming work in progress. It is currently the Roborock S6 which holds the palm of autonomy (2 h 25 min in “Silent” mode). It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes for a full charge of the s9 +.


Roomba s9+ Noise

We advise you to leave the room when you launch the s9 +! It turns out to be quite noisy and reaches up to 71 dB (A) in maximum mode. In silent mode, it emits 60 dB (A). In comparison, the sound level of the i7 + is much lower: between 58 and 61 dB (A) depending on the soil.


Roomba s9+ Pros:

  • Ease of use.
  • Intuitive and relevant application.
  • Easy maintenance.
  • Very good suction performance.
  • “D” shape for easy suction in corners.
  • Complete mapping.
  • Good autonomy.

Roomba s9+ Cons:

  • Iron regularly on certain areas already cleaned.
  • High noise level.
  • Difficulty moving from hard floor to carpet.


Roomba s9+ Conclusion

The Roomba s9 + is iRobot’s most successful robot vacuum cleaner to date. If it looks a lot like the Roomba i7 + with its famous automatic drain system that we are particularly fond of, this time it sports a “D” shape which allows it to run along walls and vacuum in corners. Its application is as simple and complete as ever. It provides smart cards for cleaning adapted to the rooms. If this robot is complete, note that for around € 500 less, the Neato Botvac D7 is just as powerful and offers the same features, except for the automatic drain system.

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