Monday, December 11, 2023
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iRobot Roomba 966 – test and review

The Roombas are the reference models in the sector, both for their long experience and for their quality, but it is paid for. If you want a high-end iRobot vacuum but don’t need the latest, this veteran robot might be just what you’re looking for.

iRobot Roomba 966 data sheet

What we preferred

  • With special pet brushes
  • Optimized navigation
  • Highly efficient double central brush
  • Compatible with major voice assistants

What could be improved

  • Requires some light to navigate
  • The vacuum cleaner is not cheap
  • Doesn’t clean the floor

Analysis and testing

After having the Roomba 966 at home for several weeks, here are the tests we put it through and the results obtained.


The Roomba 966 combines the sobriety of black for the details revealing matt chrome colors such as silver or gold (depending on the model of the family you are sandblasting), which results in a very elegant design. a premium looking premium vacuum cleaner.

During our weeks of testing, we carried it by hand without worrying about staining it, as it is very durable. fingerprints do not remain on its surface. The plastic of the case also holds up to the occasional knock it has taken.

It is a vacuum cleaner with a classic shape and a bit large in size but not tall (thanks to the fact that it does not have a laser sight), which means that all the benefitsThe fact that it’s large means it doesn’t require as many passes to clean it and since it’s not particularly large it slipped under the sofa and bed without any problems.

What we liked the most about the Roomba 966 was that when we turned it over, we found two central rubber brushesa material particularly resistant to animal hair.

We were surprised to find that he has a large tankwhich allowed us to prevent it from filling up too quickly (and therefore having to be emptied). We also believe that a top-of-the-range model in this price range should have a self-draining base. The good thing is that at least this base is very space-saving.


The Roomba 966 has a camera on top that serves as its eyes. He can thus map our house to explore it without getting lost and avoiding getting stuck. After several weeks of testing, we are satisfied with the way it navigates:

  • He is able to move intelligently to cover the entire area by optimizing passages.
  • He draws the cards with extraordinary precision.

roomba 966 vacuum cleanerAlthough it is rarely blocked.but since the camera is pointed six inches away, there are obstacles like sneakers that it can run over. Without going any further, she rolled over one or two cables in front of our apartment.

What we didn’t like was that you need a little light to see the surroundingsso it has to be daylight and the blinds up. We have had to turn on the light at times to prevent him from being disoriented and he can also suffer in low light areas such as under the bed.


Although iRobot never indicates the suction capacity of its vacuum cleaners, after testing the Roomba 966, it is clear to us that it is a powerful robot for two reasons:

  • That can be noisywhich provides that it incorporates a powerful engine.
  • Lo well it catches dirt that is on the ground, be it crumbs or even blades of grass that fall from our dog’s paws when he returns from the field.

But the second point is also due to its brush configuration, the most ambitious we testedRubber traps hairs better and since there are two rollers it is more effective at capturing dirt. If, like us, you have a furry animal, you will appreciate its power and its brushes.

When he climbed onto the living room carpet.we were surprised at how clean it left it. Without being as effective as a manual cleaning, we think it is more than enough to keep it clean.

There is two aspects that could be improvedThe first is that for what it costs, we’d like it to be able to scrub the floor as well. The second is that since there are no power levels, it still sucks just as hard. And it’s not the same to vacuum when the dog stains the floor than when there’s just a little dust.


The navigation algorithm of this robot vacuum cleaner is so refined that iRobot has integrated “only” navigation functions. autonomy of 75 minutesa figure more than enough to vacuum our small 50-meter apartment almost twice, but which, in our opinion, is not enough for larger houses.

In this sense and given the fact that it is a top-of-the-range model, we missed a larger capacity battery.especially considering it’s a big vacuum.

However, the advantage of this vacuum cleaner is that when it runs out of battery and returns to the base to recharge, it resumes cleaning in the same place, which is therefore not a major problem: we found that the time needed for a full charge is around 2 hours.


If there’s one thing we liked about this robot vacuum, it’s its app.. It is not easy to design an application that is not only clear and intuitive, but also satisfies all types of users.

It is true that the absence of options such as suction levels or washing simplifies its use, but in practice it essentially serveshouse cleaning, scheduling or room cleaning.

The design is pleasing to the eye, the synchronization between the application and the robot is immediate and works well, is manageable both for tech people like us and for my mom.who manages with WhatsApp. There’s no remote control, but we didn’t miss that.

And if you’re tech-savvy and have a smart home, we think you’re going to love the fact that it’s compatible with voice assistants from Amazon, Apple and Google..

Our Verdict

If you are willing to pay for a reference brand robot vacuum cleaner and you are looking for a model only for vacuumingbut who aspires to a high level, the Roomba 966 has every chance of seducing you.

Keep in mind, however, that you will pay the price of the mark and that there are less efficient models. (for example with more autonomy, with a washing or self-draining base) which are more affordable.

After testing it thoroughly, we recommend this robot for medium-sized households with pets.because its power and its brushes will leave the floor clean of all hair and other solids. We have analyzed few vacuum cleaners as effective in removing the hairballs left by our dog.

What we liked the most is attention to device and application design.You will appreciate it both if you care about aesthetics and if you are looking for a good user experience, suitable for all types of users.

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