iRobot, pushed the evolution of robot vacuums with the Roomba i7+, a super-sophisticated robot vac that could empty its dustbin, thus delivering the most completely automated cleaning you can get. The s9+ doesn’t break any new ground, nonetheless it does build on the building blocks laid by its predecessor, with strategic improvements including a fresh design, drastically increased suction power, more accurate navigation, and the capability to be associated with iRobot’s Braava Jet m6 robot mop to execute dual cleanings of hardwood floors. That results in the innovative robot vacuum we’ve seen, one many will covet, but only a well-funded few should be able to afford.

Design
With the s9+, iRobot has introduced a D-shape design rather than choosing their customary circular shape. As we’ve seen with Neato’s D-shaped BotVac products, this design helps the vacuum hug walls and angle into corners for more thorough cleanings. The s9+ is smaller compared to the BotVacs we’ve tested, though, measuring 12.5 inches across and 3.5 inches high, when compared to Neato Botvac D7’s 13-by-3.9-inch dimensions.

The new form has taken some layout changes aswell. THE HOUSE, Clean/Power, and Spot Clean buttons have already been repositioned to the most notable right corner, and the iAdapt localization camera has been moved to the very best back. This accommodates a copper-colored lid along with the vacuum that flips available to access the relocated dustbin. Moving the bin from the trunk to the most notable of the vacuum helps it be much much easier to remove and reinsert, especially by adding a plastic handle.

iRobot
The s9+ D-shaped design permits it to hug walls and angle into corners.

The lower of the s9+ in addition has been tweaked. Some grooved-and-threaded rubber rollers remain the key agitators for sweeping debris in to the vacuums ample vent. However the suction has been pumped up to four times the energy of the i7+, and 40 times that of the Roomba 600 series. The three-armed corner brush on the i7+ has been replaced with a five-arm one that’s been redesigned at a 26-degree angle to raised grab dust bunnies and other debris from those tight spots.

The Clean Base, which doubles as the vacuum’s charging dock and its own dirt disposal canister, looks just about unchanged. When its dustbin is full, the vacuum parks itself on underneath of the Clean Base, which sucks the dustbin’s contents from a particular vent beneath the vacuum. The dirt is deposited in a disposable bag in the compartment near the top of the Clean Base. Each bag can take up to 30 dustbin’s worth of debris; once it’s full, you open the compartment’s lid, take away the sealed bag, and use a new one.

Setup and usage
The s9+ is relatively simple to install. Really the only hurdle continues to be finding a workable location for the Clean Base. It requires of just one 1.5 feet of open space on its right and left sides, and 4 feet before it, using its back flush against a wall. In addition, it requires a foot of clearance above it to supply unimpeded usage of the canister, and it ought to be put at least 4 feet from any stairs to lessen the chance of the robot falling. Proximity to a power outlet and Wi-Fi are crucial as well.

iRobot
The vacuum’s low-profile allows it to get under most furniture.

After the robot vacuum is fully charged, you can initiate cleaning by pressing the Clean button on its top, or an identical button in the iRobot Home app, or through the use of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice commands. The software supplies the most control over the vacuum, like the capability to build and store up to 10 floor maps when you activate its Smart Maps feature.

It’s recommended you supervise the s9+’s first cleaning, as in this run, the robot vacuum will “feel” its way through the area using its various sensors since it learns the layout. It didn’t enter any trouble that required my intervention when I first turned it loose on my living room, but its wayward movement meant a whole lot of bumping into table legs and walls.

It requires two to five passes through an area to create a floor plan, but once it’s done, the s9+ does its better to divide it into rooms. It accurately delineated my downstairs in to the living room, kitchen, entryway, and bathroom, nevertheless, you can always create divisions yourself by drawing straight lines on the map and labeling the rooms.

Michael Ansaldo/IDG
The iRobot Home software enables you to control the s9+, stores up to 10 floor maps, and a brief history of cleaning jobs.

With a completed floor plan, you have far more control over your cleanings. You can send the vacuum to a specific room, schedule cleanings, and set virtual barriers-iRobot calls them Keep Out Zones-to tell the robot which areas in order to avoid. I created a couple to keep carefully the vacuum from my dog’s crate and a tangle of electrical cords, plus they worked flawlessly.

The s9+ performed the best cleaning jobs I’ve seen. My carpeted, hardwood, and tile floors were swept clean of dirt, dust, food crumbs, and pet hair. The vacuum was particularly efficient with the last as its rubber roller brushes avoid the tangles than can tie up bristles. When the vacuum encountered areas with heavy dirt, it went into Dirt Detect mode, moving backwards and forwards to completely clean it thoroughly.

The vacuum had no issue transitioning my home’s different floor types, and its own excellent navigation enabled it in order to avoid collisions with furniture and other obstacles. It got stuck only once, under an ottoman, and alerted me with a chime and a note in the app.

It ought to be noted the s9+ isn’t particularly quiet. The whir and clatter of the vacuum’s motor, suction, and different brushes won’t drown out conversation, nonetheless they are an intrusive background buzz. So when the vacuum empties its dustbin, the suction from the Clean Base is even louder. Those shouldn’t be deal breakers, though, and can certainly be prevented by scheduling cleanings when no-one is home.

The iRobot Home app, as I’ve noted in other Roomba reviews, makes managing cleaning a cinch. The vacuum’s current status is always displayed prominently, and controls for scheduling and viewing cleaning history and floor plans are obviously identified. Also you can access through the iphone app the Imprint Link Technology which allows you to hook up the s9+ with iRobot’s Braava m6 robot mop for combined cleaning. We’ll be going for a closer look at that in a dedicated overview of the Braava m6 to come.

Verdict
The Roomba s9+ successfully refines the advances of the Roomba i7+, and that means it is our new pick for the most superior robot vacuum. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for everybody. The s9+ costs an impressive $1,400, putting it well outside most folks’ budgets. The s9 robot vacuum comes without the Clean Base-and thus the opportunity to empty itself-but which will still cost you $1,100. That’s a substantial expense, especially considering even the very best robot vacuums remain supplements to cleaning with a typical vacuum. To be certain, the s9+ will probably be worth every penny, but those of more modest means would do easier to browse the many more-affor