Roomba 800, 700, 600 & 500 Series Comparison/Review (880, 870, 790, 780, 770, 760, 610, 620, 630, 650, 530, 532, 535/540, 550/551, 555, 560, 562, 564, 570, 572, 580, 585, 595)

The robots were first introduced in 2002 and the latest is the 6th generation Roomba 880 introduced in November 2013 for $699.99. A more economical variant of the Roomba 880 called the Roomba 870 was also released in March 2014 for $599.99 (limited availability) - the latter has Virtual Walls instead of Virtual Lighthouses and does not come with a remote. The main features of these new robots are:

  • Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors: Dual counter-rotating extractors incorporate a durable rubber tread design that grabs and breaks down dirt and debris from any floor type.
  • Airflow Accelerator: The accelerator brings the vacuum power right down to the floor surface, creating a sealed channel that concentrates the airflow, drawing in more debris.
  • High-Efficiency Vacuum: A compact and efficient high-powered motor provides a five times improvement in air power than previous Roomba generations. 
  • XLife Battery: Twice as many cleaning cycles as previous Roomba batteries.
The 700-series models introduced in 2011 have the following key technologies:

  • The 760, 770, and 780 models have the dual-HEPA filters that capture dust particles as fine as 0.3 microns.
  • The 760, 770, and 780 models have the AeroVac Series 2 bins that holds more than standard bins and also pulls debris and hair from brushes into the bin.
  • The 770 and 780 models have the Dirt Detect Series 2 technology that uses optical sensors to detect dirt and debris in addition to acoustic sensors used in the other models.
  • The 770 and 780 models have a Full Bin Indicator.
  • The 780 model has a Touchpad Control as opposed to Buttons in the other models.
  • The 790 model introduced in June 2012 adds a wireless command center to 780 for $100 more. 
 The primary differences in technology between different 500 (introduced 2007) and 600-series (introduced in 2008 and revamped in 2012) models are:
  • Technology: Aerovac (suitable for pets) and cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect) technologies are new on the 620 and higher models. 
  • Lighthouse vs Virtual Wall Technology: Virtual wall technology allows Roomba to block off areas and lighthouse allows Roomba to navigate between rooms thereby allowing cleaning of multiple rooms efficiently: Earlier, 535 and above had lighthouse technology while the 530 had the virtual wall technology only. As of 2010, this has changed: the Lighthouse technology is included only on 570 & above models. 550-based vendor-exclusive models such as Roomba 585 (Sam's club) and Roomba 595 (Costco) also do not have the Lighthouse technology.
  • Wireless Remote Activation– Allows Roomba to be controlled and scheduled remotely – Included with 570 and up. $59.99 upgrade for 535 and upwards.
  • On-board scheduling – 560 and up.
  • A high-capacity sweeper bin – this came new with the 532 and 562 pet series. It holds three and a half times the amount of debris that the standard one that comes with the other 5-series products hold. The 564 pet series product feature the AeroVac bin which combines the high-capacity capability without degrading the vacuuming power (has a suction motor).
  • Max Mode – Allows Roomba to run until batteries are almost drained and then return to home base. This feature can be very useful to clean large open areas such as in an office floor.
It is possible that all 500 series machines can be upgraded to have the above features through a firmware and/or hardware upgrade, but iRobot has not made any such promises. The other difference between the models boils down to the additional accessories; power rating of the batteries included and/or replacement parts that are part of the package.


Below is a comparison spreadsheet of the different Roomba 500 and 600-series models:



Comparison Term530532 - PET535550 560562 - PET564-PET580610
List Price$269.98 $329.00$249.99 $279.99 $349.99$369.99$379.99$529.99$599.99
Thumbnail
Virtual Wall or Lighthouse****Virtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallLight houseLight houseLight house
Number of Virtual Walls or Lighthouse in the package221222222
On board schedulingNoNoNo Yes Yes YesYesYesYes
RemoteNo NoNo No No NoYes YesNo
Brush Kit***No YesNo No No YesYes YesYes
Accessory Kit**No YesNo No No YesNo YesYes – with Bonus Kit and Storage Case
Room Coverage334444444
WarrantyOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearTwo Years
Max ModeN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
High-Capacity Sweeper BinNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNoYes


  • **Accessory Kit contain silver face plate, additional virtual wall lighthouse, 3 bristle brushes, 3 beater brushes, 3 side brushes, and 3 extra filters.
  • ***Brush Kit contains 1 bristle brush and 1 beater brush.
  • ****Lighthouse has 2 modes – virtual wall & lighthouse.
  • Roomba 620, Roomba 630 and Roomba 650 are models introduced in August 2012. They have Aerovac (suitable for pets), and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect) technologies. The 650 has scheduling while 630 does not. The models are good upgrades to the 530 and 550 models respectively. Compared to the 700-series, they do not have the dual-HEPA filters and the heavy duty "Aerovac Series 2" and "Dirt Detct Series 2" technologies.
All 700, 600 and 500-series models have the following common features:
  • 3-hour charging – Faster charging compared to the previous model that has charging time of 7 hours.
  • Spot cleaning – Allows quick cleanup of spills and concentrated masses.
  • Self-charging home base – Automatically returns and self-charges.
  • Voice Demo – Quick introductive video with self-demo – Cool!
  • Light-touch bumpers – Identifies furniture, etc. slows down, lightly touches, and changes direction.
  • Dirt detection – spends more time on dirtier areas.
  • Virtual Wall – Allows blocking off specific areas within a room.
Pricing:

Below is a table that shows the best prices for each of the 800, 700, 600, and 500 series models along with the incremental features they offer:



Model*ThumbnailStoreBest Price


Added Feature, Accessory, and replacement part
530Amazon.com$269.98


2 virtual walls.
532 - PETAmazon.com
$329.99







Features in 530 PLUS High-Capacity Sweeper Bin, Accessory And Brush Kit MINUS Spot Mode, Voice Demo.
535NA$249.99


Features in 530 PLUS One extra filter. Only 1 virtual wall.
550eBay$279.99**


Three extra filters and 4 “C” batteries. 2 virtual walls. On-board Scheduling. Black design. Amazon.com sells a rebranded 551 model with additional accessories for $329.99
560Amazon.com$349.99***


Silver on black design. Pricing is a rip-off!
562 - PET



Amazon.com$369.99




Features in 560 PLUS High-Capacity Sweeper Bin, Accessory And Brush Kit MINUS Spot Mode, Voice Demo.
564 - PETAmazon.com$379.99


Features in 562 PLUS Pet Food Halo Functionality and better Aerovac suction.
572-PETeBay$499.99


Features in 570 PLUS High-Capacity Sweeper Bin, Accessory And Brush Kit MINUS Spot Mode, Voice Demo.
580eBay$529.99


Extra Lighthouse, silver faceplate, 11 brushes, 7 filters.
610 - ProfessionaleBay$598


Features in 570 PLUS Max Mode, 2-year warranty, Bonus Accessory Kit, and Storage Box.
620Amazon.com$324


Technology: Aerovac (suitable for pets), and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect.
630Amazon.com$349


Features of 620 PLUS Lighthouse Technology (room-to-room navigation).
650Amazon.com$399


Features of 630 PLUS Scheduling.
760Amazon.com$449


Features in 572 PLUS Dual HEPA Filters, AeroVac Series 2 Bin MINUS Room-to-room Navigation.
770eBay$499


Features in 760 PLUS DirtDetect Series 2 Optical Sensor, Full Bin Indicator.
780Amazon.com$579


Features in 770 PLUS Touchpad Control, Room-to-room Navigation.
790Amazon.com$699


Features in 780 PLUS wireless command center, extra filters and brushes, storage and carrying case.
870Amazon.com$599


New Technology: Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors, Airflow Accelerator, High-Efficiency Vacuum, XLife Battery.
880Amazon.com$699


Features of 870 PLUS Remote Control and Lighthouse Technology (room-to-room navigation) instead of Virtual Wall.

  • **550 – Occasional manufacturer's discount can reduce this price.
  • Roomba 572, a pet-series model was introduced in September 2010.
  • Roomba 585 is a Sam's club version which is an upgrade tothe 550 - it has Aerovac technology (better pet hair cleaning) and the latest cleaning technology (iAdapt & Dirt Detect)
  • Roomba 595 is a Costco-exclusive product that is the same as the 585 with the following extras: 2 extra side brushes, 2 extra beater brushes, 2 extra bristle brushes, 3 extra AeroVac filters, and 4 Duracell C Batteries for the virtual walls.
Roomba also sells certain models with technology from the previous generation as well as a number of remanufactured models. Re-manufactured Roomba's are available for between $50 and $100 less than their brand new counterparts. The downside is that they come with a 90-day warranty..

Our Experience:

Our purchase decision was made after reading the vast amount of information available at RoombaReview and Amazon.com. We settled on the 535 from Home Shopping Network as it offered the best upgrade path for the least amount of money. An additional virtual wall ($29.99 list price) was in the plans for us but after using it for almost two years, we have come to the realization that bells & whistles are not that useful:
  1. The lighthouse and virtual wall technology – we tend to use it a room at a time and the door amply serves to keep the Roomba in. Even in an open floor-plan family area, it is easier to block access to certain areas than reaching for the lighthouse.
  2. The self-docking capability – Roomba is usually transported to the desired location sans the dock and returned to the dock for charging.
  3. The scheduling interface and the voice demos - The remote for the scheduling option is beyond the scope of our purpose and the voice demo was used only the first time and its real value is moot.
Roomba performs better with a certain amount of preparatory work. This could involve such things as moving light furniture like chairs out of the way, picking up bigger pieces of garbage, dusting down furniture and baseboards, etc. Not all of it needs to be done every time as Roomba is able to handle most obstacles, albeit less efficiently.

Unlike with a vacuum, it makes a lot of sense to use the Roomba frequently – it involves minimal work on your part and the Roomba does its thing while you leave it alone and does not require light. Further one can quickly warm up to the fact that Roomba is relatively quiet and cleans hard-to-reach areas. It is best to clean up the brushes, filters, and empty the debris bin after every run. This takes less than 5 minutes and the modular design along with the fact that Roomba is light makes this less of a chore than it sounds.

Following is a summary of some of the cons we have noticed:
  1. Roomba does not suck in pencil point tips. Instead it drags the Pencil tip and leaves pencil marks all over our laminate floor. We usually use an eraser to get it off,
  2. Roomba misses certain spots,
  3. Transition strips that are between our laminate and tile floorings are problematic for the Roomba, especially when the tile area is very small as around our fireplace & entrance – it attempts to get over it and in the process bumps on the wall turns back and the process continues.
  4. Roomba was a little bit hard on one of our glass cabinets as the bumping is not that light. We use the lighthouse for these purposes.
  5. The adhesive on the bumper pad does not stick on easily.
Replacement parts are sometimes back-ordered. This is something to watch out for. One solution may be to keep one set of replacement parts handy.

Cleaning Head Module (CHM) is a part that Roomba has historically been below-par as far as performance. There have been multiple redesigns over the years but the current design is still not that durable - your best bet is to keep one handy, if your warranty has run out ($49.99).

Best Value Recommendation:

The 800, 700, 600, and 500-series Roomba’s are excellent products that can save busy households’ valuable time. Among the Roomba 500 & 600 series models, our recommendation is to go with the basic model with the best proven technology: Roomba 620 (~$299) or Roomba 630 (~$349) depending on whether you need the lighthouse or not - the latter ships with one while the former does not. If you need the scheduling functionality, go for the Roomba 650 for around $50 more. Among the 700-series models, the best value is the Roomba 770 (~$499) - it incorporates all the features in the 700-series (Dual Hepa Filters, Aerovac Series 2, and Dirt Detect Series 2) with the room-to-room navigation virtual lighthouse technology, the touch-pad control, and the wireless command center as the missing items compared to the top-end Roomba 790 model which is priced at $200 more. Among the new 800-series models, the best value is the Roomba 870 for $599.99- it has the key technology enhancements made in that series (Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors, Airflow Accelerator, High-Efficiency Vacuum, XLife Battery) but lacks a remote and the virtual light house (room-to-room navigation). If you need those and newest technology enhancements, go with the top-end Roomba 880 for $100 more.
 

Upgrading: If you have pets but own a 500-series robot as opposed to the PET-series robots, purchasing the Aerovac upgrade kit for around $70 is a good option to consider.


Parts & Accessories:  The one part that require periodic (every six months or so depending on use) replacement with Roomba are the side brushes - they are inexpensive (less than $10). The brushes along with the filters are available in a kit as well for around $40. Other parts that need replacement, albeit less frequently include the batteries ($25 and up) and what is termed the Cleaning Head Module (CHM) (around $50).


Hard Surface Cleaning:

iRobot acquired Evolution Robotics, a pioneer in hard surface robotic vacuums (Mint 4200 released in January 2010). Last week (August 22, 2013), iRobot announced the following hard surface robotic vacuums: iRobot Braava 320 for $199 and the iRobot Braava 380t for $299. The primary difference between the two boils down to a better battery (four hours dry-mop or 2.5 hours damp-mop), Turbo Charge Cradle (two hours), and the Pro-Clean system (includes a system to keep the cloth clean & damp throughout the cycle and the cube-to-cube navigation for larger areas). For hard floors, these vacuums are equipped to do a much better job than the Roomba - the cleaning method consists of a dry cycle that sweeps the floor followed by by a wet cycle that mops the floor. The relatively silent operation and ease of handling make it a very good option for regular cleaning.

and introduced a new line of two robotic vacuums for hard surface cleaning:

Earlier in 2013, iRobot announced a set of three robotic vacuums based on Evolution Robotics Mint product technology. The line included the original 4200, a vastly improved 5200, and 5200c (came with a charging cradle). Pricing for the 4200 was $199, 5200 was $299 and the 5200c was $50 more.  These products are still being sold through Amazon.com and other retailers. The products are good and so are worthwhile options, especially in a close-out deal.


iRobot's Scooba line is an alternative and is suitable if your cleaning requirements are more heavy duty (Three-Cycle Cleaning Process - automatically sweeps and pre-soaks, scrubs, squeegees, tackles stuck-on messes and washes away over 99.3% of bacteria.): Scooba 450 (suitable for areas up to 300sft per cycle for $599).

Hacker's Corner:


Roomba provides an open API and encourages robotic enthusiasts to explore the limits of the product. Below are links to resources. Anyone inclined to explore this option should also invest in the following additional resources:
  1. Hacking Roomba: ExtremeTech (Paperback) by Tod E. Kurt or the Kindle Edition that explains the following cool projects: Build a serial interface tether, Set up a Bluetooth® interface, Drive Roomba, Play with sensors, Make it sing, Ceate a Roomba painter, Use your Roomba as a mouse, Connect Roomba to the Net, Wi-Fi your Roomba, Replace Roomba’s brain, Build the RoombaRoach, Install Roomba-cam, Put Linux® on Roomba.
  2. Companion HackingRoomba Website.
Related Posts:
  1. Roomba 700, 600 & 500 Series Comparison/Review (780, 770, 760, 610, 530, 532, 535/540, 550, 555, 560, 562, 570, 580).
  2. iRobot (IRBT) Analysis.
  3. ConnectR delays highlight growing pains at iRobot (IRBT).
  4. Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-1, QQ-2 – An Alternative To The iRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuums – Comparison and Review!.
  5. iRobot Roomba 5-series Robotic Vacuum Part/Accessory Replacement (Side Brushes) – Customer Support/Warranty Coverage Experience
  6. Best Value Robotic Vacuums - A Comparative Review.
Last Updated: 08/2014.


76 comments:

Tony333 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren said...

Your table of features indicates that the 550 does not have on-board scheduling. The iRobot site say that it does. Look here:
http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg

ks said...

Hi Warren:

Thanks a lot for pointing this out. We have corrected the error.

Regards,
One Family's Blog

Joe said...

The HSN link in the posting now says the Roomba 535 is sold out. Also, the Linen N' Things coupon for Romba 560 has expired. Are there other alternatives for those deals?

ks said...

Hi Joe:

Thank you for pointing out the sold-out link on HSN and the question about LNT coupon. We did a little lookup and here is what we found:

a) For HSN, the following link works and it is listed as in stock:
http://home-solutions.hsn.com/irobot-roomba-vacuum-cleaning-robot_p-4136931_xp.aspx
b) For LNT, there is now an exclusive email signup that allows 20% discount in their main page:
http://www.lnt.com/mailinglist/index.jsp

We have updated the links in the post as well.

Hope this helps!
Regards,
One Family's Blog.

JT said...

Hi, it seems that the 550 is a better deal than 560, as it comes with 2 extra filters and 4 batteries for the lighthouse, am i right to say that? Other than that, are there any other diff between the 2?

ks said...

Hi jt:

Yes, feature wise, they are the same. And, the 550 is a better deal. The only caveat is that you either need Costco membership or have someone that has that membership buy it for you.

Our second table seems to say 550 does not have on-board scheduling. But, the following link says it has it: http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg. So, we have updated that table.

Regards,
One Family's Blog.

Elizabeth said...

I've read contradictory comments for the 500 series re success with pet hair. Do you have an opinion? What is the 400 pet bursh that I read can bee used instead of the regular brush?
Elizbeth

Michael said...

Own 535 model for about a week. Use it every day. Works great so far.
I currently live in a carpeted 3br alone, being out to work 12 hours a day, so this thing is absolutely invaluable for me. I've read all the negative reviews, then bought it. $212.42 at hsn.com, + $34.95 2yr warranty (I guess you'd want it too). No illusions, prepared to spend some money for spare parts in (near?) future. Reviews are discrepant about the iRobot customer service, from "excellent" to "it sucks". I somehow more inclined to believe in the latter, but we'll see.
The thing is FUN to watch (and show to a guest ;o), but it does really good job too, judging from the amount of dust it gathers every time. Of course, have to spend 2 minutes cleaning it after every 2-hour working cycle, which is fair enough, if you ask me. Cut hair from the brushes with scissors. Remove all chairs, shoes, etc, from the room, place the base there, shut the door, then leave for a day. At night, find the room (supposedly) clean, and Roomba charging itself at the base. Cool!
Had to adjust the height of a sofa to let it under. 10 minutes of hard work, but I am a man in the house, am I not? (Remember, no illusions! It's NOT your regular vacuum..).
Have not used the lighthouse yet, the instruction is a mess, bought D-size batteries, but they do not fit, need C-size. But (!!) I found that closing doors works perfectly as well! Otherwise, it works too, but sometimes has trouble returning to the base from another room. Not really a problem, just works till the battery dies, then has to be charged for a few extra hours.
One of my rooms is a loft, and the robot feels pretty comfortable there, has not fallen from the stairs so far. Runs at full speed towards the abyss, then somehow manages to stop on the brink every time. Could not believe it at first, stayed "on belay" for a half an hour, but now feel comfortable leaving it working upstairs unattended (we'll see ;).
For a computer guy, it is really interesting to guess its algorithm from its behavior. My best guess it is completely randomized, with ~60% chance to go at a sharp (~15-20 degrees) angle after hitting an obstacle, and the rest is showing a "smart" behavior following a wall. Resulting in some room areas covered obviously better than others. iRobot says everybody's welcome to play with its programming through some open (?) API, but I did not investigate it yet. Depending on its computational power, it might be possible to apply some state-of-the-art AI algorithms to improve it. At least, make it remember the room configuration...

ks said...

Thank You Michael for posting your user experience.

The API specification mentioned in the comment is here: Roomba_SCI_Spec_Manual.pdf

More information about the open interface, whether your Roomba is equipped with it, and how to upgrade is here:

Roomba Open Interface - More Info

Regards,

Steve said...

I noticed that you list the 535 as being able to do 4 rooms (upgraded battery). Could you tell me how you found that specification?
Also, could you tell me how you figured out that the 535 could be upgraded to have programmable cleaning times?
Thanks so much, and great blog!

ks said...

Hi Steve:

That information is from the following link from iRobot:

http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg

Hope this helps,

cecilia said...

Your review has been very helpful but I would like your opinion as I am still undecided. What model, personally, would you go with for heavy pet hair, hard wood floors, and a few area rugs? I am trying to determine if the 562 is worth the extra $50? Any help would be appreciated.
Cecilia

ks said...

Hi Cecilia:

I would go with the 532 instead of the 562. The biggest difference is virtual wall vs lighthouse and as was indicated in our recommendation, the bells and whistles do not add significant value and so the most bare-bones option that fits your needs is best.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

It looks like HSN is now carrying the 550 instead of the 535:

http://home-solutions.hsn.com/irobot-roomba-500-series-with-on-board-scheduling-and-6-replacement-filters_p-5642418_xp.aspx

ks said...

Thanks for the info - yes, 535 is discontinued - I have updated the post.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

Do you have any info on Roomba model #565 as sold by Costco (at least in Canada)? Does it have all the features of #560? I am specifically interested if it has on-board scheduling. Also what accessories does it come with? Thanks! (Great blog - has really useful information).

ks said...

The Costco listing of the Roomba 565 (http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10319271&lang=en-CA) indicates it has scheduling and comes with Self Charging Home Base, 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses, 1 brush cleaning tool, and One Extra Filter.

MJ said...

Hi, I want to buy a Roomba eider 550 or 570. My place is one level hardwood and one level carpet + a few small rugs. Costco Canada has both models and there are more than $100 deference. I don't really care about the number of the Virtual Walls, remote, or pre-scheduling.Just the quality of cleaning, the power and the suction. Any suggestions? What is the advantage of 570 to pay this extra dollars? Thanks

ks said...

Hi MJ:

We would recommend the 550. The 570 has accessories which you are not interested in. Power, suction, and the base unit is pretty much the same except for appearance.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the info and model# differences.Greatly helped in my search.I purchased a 565 from Canadian Tire for $225.00.(good deal,I think)It will be a Christmas gift for my wife.Yes,the romantic devil that I am,will be giving my wife a vacuum for christmas.I will update my comment in the new year,stay tuned...
Mitch

tzd said...

I just bought a model 550 (it says 551 on the bottom) from Costco in USA. It ships with 2 virtual walls, but does not support virtual lighthouse. It does have onboard scheduling.

ks said...

Yes, there is a change with the new Roomba's. Only 570 & above ships with lighthouses. It used to be that 535 and above had this technology.

CJ said...

Can you elaborate on the difference between the virtual wall and the lighthouse? I'd like to save some money but since the newer models come with the lighthouse it would seem like those would be more likely to be compatible with newer models as they come out. (Can newer models also use the virtual wall? Confused...)

I'm looking at getting both a PET series Roomba and the new Scooba that is coming out in Spring 2011. Would one charging base would be compatible with both, and if so which model of Roomba? Also, can anyone attest to how well the Scoobas do cleaning dirt/liquid out of tile grout? Word on the 'net seems to be mixed.

Lastly, I know people have recommended the lower model numbers of PET series (e.g. 532 over 572), and my question is why? The iRobot site itself has not been very helpful to me answering this question.

ks said...

Hi CJ:

From the 2010 model onwards, the lighthouse technology is available only with models 570 & above compared to 535 & above previously. Lighthouse models also include virtual wall technology.

The charging bases of Roomba & Scooba are different.

We recommend going with the lower model numbers because the bells and whistles do not seem to enhance the cleaning experience that much.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

Another addition. Sams sells model 540 for $219. It has 3 room coverage, charge base, and one auto virtual wall.

kfisher said...

So glad I found this site - you seem very educated about the Roomba's. I live in Florida with tile throughout the 3 bdrm house which I share with my 2 dogs (a German Shepherd and a boxer mix) and 2 cockatiels. Sweeping about twice a week I seem to create a small dog every time! My yard has no grass - only weeds and lots of sand which they seem to bring in with them every time they go outside.

I'm looking for a Roomba that I can program to work everyday while I'm gone for the day, so I know I have to have a programmable one. My concern is if the 550 or 560 is going to be able to hold the dog hair well enough if I run it every day. Or should I pay the extra to get the pet series vacuums. Is it going to be able to pick up all the sand or will the sand be a problem with it?

I've been researching this for about 2 months now, but these two questions are what's holding me back from purchasing one.

ks said...

Hi kfisher:

From 2010 onwards, lighthouse technology is there only in 570 and above models. So, unless you can live with no room-to-room navigation (program one room at a time), you have to go with the 570 or 572. Either one will pick up sand. The 572 has the Aerovac technology which is better at pulling the hair & dust from Roomba's brushes on to the bins. It also holds more.

Regards,

Judy said...

I can get a great deal on the 560 and then purchase the aerovac bin to make it a better unit for cat hair. Do you think that is a good idea or should i buy one of the 5-2 pet series?

ks said...

Hi Judy:

560+Aerovac is a good value compared to the 572. The 532 may be a good alternative to consider.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

Right now Amazon has the 532 for $280. You have to add it to your shopping cart to see the price. And free shipping. YAY!

ks said...

Yes - that is right - Roomba 532 for $280.49. Here is the product link to Amazon: Roomba 532

Regards,

Lorna (in France) said...

Thanks for a very informative and useful review. I have been considering buying a Roomba for a while but yours is the first site I have found which properly explains the features, pros and cons of each model.

ks said...

Hi Lorna:

Great - glad you found our review useful.

Regards,

Anonymous said...

shbrtami

I bought the Roomba 565 Series and it was great but it never picked up my cat hair, I used it for 3 months and then took it back to buy the Pet Series 550 model (I bought mine from costco and it comes with extra parts which I found in the 3 months I used the 565 was I probably would need to replace parts in another month i.e- side spinning brush) the only thing I miss is the handle on the 565 series. I hope downgrading to a 550 was a good idea, I thought I was getting the one on line from costco which was the 572 series but when I arrived at the store it was the 550 series and I already took my 565 series back and it was on sale for $250.00 when I bought it.

db said...

Hello, first...thank you for putting this comparison together; it is the most imformative I've found. I have been trying to decide between the pet series 550 and 532. Costco lists the 550 as a pet series with aerovac, but I noticed your list does not show it as a pet series. Also, I can't figure out if the 532 has aerovac. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.

ks said...

The 532 has the high-capacity bin, but does not have AeroVac. What Costco sells is an upgraded version of the 550 that has AeroVac.

Regards,

MrB said...

Great info. I have the 563 pet version, that works great but gets packed with fur. Do you know if the cleaning head module of the 700 series can be used in the 560 series Roomba?

ks said...

No, the 700-series cleaning head module is not compatible with the 500-series robots.

Regards,
John.

jackie said...

I currently have a Roomba 550 from 4 years ago. It now died, and I saw a new 595 at Costco online. What's the difference between my 4 yr old 550 vs this new 595?

http://www.costco.com/iRobot%C2%AE-Roomba%C2%AE-595-Pet-Vacuum-Cleaning-Robot.product.100010805.html?catalogId=10701&langId=-1&storeId=10301&krypto=J71XftbfAzy3UFXAbDOOzA%3D%3D

It seems the same as the new 600 series that came out a few months ago.

ks said...

Hi Jackie:

The 595 is a Costco exclusive model. Compared to 550, the main differences are Aerovac technology (designed to handle pet hair, better suction, and bin) and the cleaning system is upgraded (iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology & Dirt Detect).

Regards,
John.

Anonymous said...

Is the 585 offered at Sam's the same as the 595 at Costo?

ks said...

The base product is the same. But the Costco 595 version comes with extras:

2 extra side brushes, 2 extra beater brushes, 2 extra bristle brushes, 3 extra AeroVac filters, and 4 Duracell C Batteries for the virtual walls.

Regards,
John.

Dave said...

Hi,

I'm wondering if there's a difference between the 595 and the 660 (which appears to be the same as a 650 with a few extra accessories). It seems the 595 has the same technologies as the 650 - just wondering if you know whether there are any underlying (hardware?) differences between the 2. I can get the 595 for $20 cheaper and it comes with an extra virtual wall as well as extra bristle and beater brushes. If there aren't any noticeable differences between the actual robots, it seems the 595 would be the better deal. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

ks said...

Hi Dave:

595 and 650 have the same technology. So, from what you say, 595 is a better deal.

Regards,
John.

trigger1937 said...

Thanks again for the outstanding blog. I have the 550 and the bin and parts look identical to the AeroVac upgrade. Is there a way to tell if the unit I have has already been upgraded. I'm very impressed with the vacuum that it does. It takes 5 passes to pickup lint from under the bed

trigger1937 said...

Thanks again. Your table indicates that the 560 only has Virtual walls but every 560 I've seen on eBay show pictures of switch for Wall or Lighthouse. It is standard. Also,..Is there any marking on a AeroVac to identify it?

trigger1937 said...

How can I tell if the Virtual walls in the 595 are also Lighthouses?

ks said...

Virtual Walls are not Lighthouses - sometime in 2010, iRobot switched to virtual walls for most models. 595 & 650 have the same technology and they are an upgrade to 550. Among the current models in the iRobot online store, only the 780 and 790 models have light houses.

The ebay ones with light houses might be older models.

Regards,
John.

Anonymous said...

Which is better? the Costco 595 or the 770, ignoring the price difference.

ks said...

If you ignore the price difference, 770 is definitely better as the following features in it are state of the art: Dual HEPA Filters, AeroVac Series 2 Bin, and Dirt Detect Series 2.

Regards,
John.

Sam said...

Thank you so much for a terrifically thoroough job.

I am 99% convinced to get the 595 at Costco, which seems to be the sweet spot between price and the performance I am looking for.

One question please: does the 595 have the larger bin or the very small one common in older models? Thank you so much for your time and expertise.

ks said...

Hi Sam:

The 595 Aerovac bins have less space, less suction, and is harder to clean compared to Aerovac series 2 bins in the 770 & 780 robots. However, the 595 bin is much better than the old 500-series bins.

Regards,
John.

Unknown said...

On the list it shows that the 550 supports lighthouses. It also says that the 595 is just an upgrade of the 550. But I asked iRobot and they said that the 595 does not support lighthouses. Can anyone confirm?

ks said...

Hello:

585 & 595 do not support lighthouses. 550 models prior to 2010 had lighthouse technology but now they do not. So, the vendor-exclusive models based on 550 (Sam's Club - 585, Costco - 595) also do not have that technology. I have added a clarification to the post to make it clear.

Regards,
John.

Mary said...

Hello,

I've read and reread your posting in addition to exploring all the model options that seem to best suit my needs. I read your comments and there is a question from someone back in 2009 that is similar to mine.. but four years later, perhaps the answer has changed.

I'm looking for the most cost effective choice of a Roomba that can pick up exceptional amounts of pet hair and debris from hardwood floors. Even after reading everything, I'm still perplexed as to which model could be the cheapest and where I would get the most bang for the buck. Everything from the 532, 626, 564, 572, 585, 595, and in some instances I'm not certain if some of those older models are still around.

With that said, what is your recommendation for me? I know that you say the bells and whistles are no matter and I agree - I just want the best cleaning job for the least amount of money (cake and eat it too).

I appreciate your feedback.

Thank you.

ks said...

Hi Mary:

Value-priced Roomba's have quickly become a thing of the past - unless you want to go for a refurbished one, many of the 500-series models are not available in the market anymore.

My recommendation would be to go with the 630. If you monitor the online vendors, the price fluctuates, and below $300 is a good price: Roomba 630 @ Amazon.com


Hope this helps,
John.

Anonymous said...

John, The 500 models CAN be upgraded to the 700 CHM (brush box)

Mel said...

Between the 595, 620 and 630, which would be the best to purchase? I see only a $40 price difference between them but can't tell which ones have better/more features or accessories. I can get the 595 for $299, the 620 for $328 and the 630 for $339. I have cats so a pet series would be best but don't really need a scheduler. Thanks!

ks said...

Hi Mel,

If the price difference is $40, my recommendation would be to go with the 630 - Aerovac (suitable for pets) and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect) technologies make it worthwhile: Roomba 630

Regards,

Anonymous said...

Rachel (in London)

Hi, I'm looking to get one for my 3 storey house which is mainly carpeted throughout. Could you recommend which model to go for? And also, can you programme it to stop when it has completed a floor even if docking station is on another floor? Thanks!

ks said...

I would stick with one of the basic models - either the Roomba 630 or the newer Roomba 760. Docking station is needed for it to recharge. If it cannot find it, it will stop when the battery has drained.

Regards,
John.

kaylee clover said...

How is the 620 I haven't seen it even mentioned on here??

ks said...

Hi Kaylee,

Roomba 620 does not come with a virtual wall while Roomba 630 ships with one. That is the only difference.

Hope this helps,

Regards,
John.

Unknown said...

Hi is the 770 compatible with virtual lighthouses? Thanks.

ks said...

No, they are not. Roomba 780 and Roomba 790 are the only 7-series models that support the lighthouse technology.

Regards,
John.

Ian said...

So I am considering either the Costco 595 for $340 or the CTC 560 now on sale for $270. Is the Costco model at $70 more the way to go?
Thanks, Ian

ks said...

Hi Ian:

I would go with the 560. While the extras might be worth the additional money, you are not going to use any of them for a while!

Regards,
John.

Anonymous said...

Hi, we are considering one of the 700- or 800- series, but would like to make sure that we can input different programs for 2 totally different spaces and save those programs, rather than needing to re- program it every time we change areas. Does anyone know for sure?
Great resource! Thanks very much for keeping this up!

ks said...

Roomba can handle multiple programs in the scheduler. Here is a link to a very helpful video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5XyyoSOOok

All the best,
John.

JB said...

Hi! Thank you so much for all of the information! It's so helpful in making a decision.

I am also one of those people trying to decide between two - the 585 from Sam's Club and the 620. Removing cost from the picture (as the costs are virtually identical), what are the differences? I have a cat and a household member with plaque psoraisis so it would be fantastic to have something to go over our tile and laminate floors each day.

What difference is there as far as maintenance? Bin size?

Thanks again!

ks said...

Hi JB,

There are two basic differences to consider when making a decision between 585 and 620: a) 620 does not come with virtual wall or lighthouse while 585 comes with a virtual wall, and b) although the 600-series features (Aerovac, iAdapt, & DirtDetect) are all incorporated in the 585, the hardware changes in the 600-series models are not there in the 500-series models. So, cleaning will be more efficient in the 600-series models.

All the best,
John.

PAUL said...

Sam's Club has model 645 on a special VIP event this Sunday, 8/17/2014, for $279. Are you familiar with what that model includes?

ks said...

The Sam's club specific 645 looks like an upgrade to 620 with a virtual wall & the newest battery introduced in the 800-series (XLife Extended Life).

All the best,
John.

Curtis said...

Hello. I have a 562 that isn't working too well anymore, even with new batteries. If I switch to a different model, will my 562 batteries be compatible with the different model?

ks said...

Hi Curtis,

The replacement batteries are in general compatible with 500, 600, and 700-series. But, there are many manufacturers and so please check with the vendor to be sure.

All the best,
John.

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