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iRobot Roomba 560

*Est. $350
Reviewed
March 2011
by ConsumerSearch
iRobot Roomba 560

A good robovac, but messy to maintain

Pros
  • Autonomous operation
  • Programmable schedule
  • Returns to base to charge
  • Works well on pet hair
Cons
  • Not as thorough as regular vacuuming
  • Brushes can be tricky to clean
  • Reliability complaints

For the most part, users express satisfaction with the iRobot Roomba 560's cleaning capability and many report that it is entertaining to watch. However, owners and experts caution that the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner isn't as thorough as vacuuming by hand and the dust bin must be emptied frequently. We also read quite a few reports that the side brushes can break during the course of cleaning (these parts are fairly inexpensive to replace). We did, however, find several complaints about iRobot's customer service: Owners who attempted to obtain replacement brushes say it takes several weeks to receive them. The Roomba 560 robotic vacuum returns to its base when it needs recharging and can be programmed to clean while you're not home. It includes virtual walls to prevent it from wandering into rooms you don't want it in. For a bit more money, we found better reviews overall for the Neato Robotics XV-11 (*Est. $400), a robotic vacuum cleaner that uses a different navigation technology, and which gets slightly better user reviews.

PCMag.com offers a particularly thorough review of the iRobot Roomba 560, covering both its features and performance under real-world conditions. A useful comparison review on BotJunkie.com pits the Roomba 560 against the Neato Robotics XV-11 vacuum cleaner. We also found a combined total of nearly 700 owner reviews for this version of the Roomba at Amazon.com and Epinions.com.

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Neato XV-11 All Floor Robotic Vacuum System
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iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver

 (918 reviews)
Buy new: $449.99   7 Used from $219.45

 
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WayfairWayfair rated 4.41 (6660 reviews)6,660 store reviewsIn Stock. $409.95
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$349.99
 

Our Sources

1. PCMag.com

This detailed review of the iRobot Roomba 560 includes two pages of discussion and a slideshow. Brian Bennett details the new features on this version and describes his experiences while using it to clean his apartment.

Review: IRobot Roomba 560, Brian Bennett, Aug. 22, 2007

2. Amazon.com

More than 575 Amazon.com users contribute to the iRobot Roomba 560's average rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5). Several reviews here are remarkably detailed. Most users appear to be pleased with the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, but some report problems with breakdowns and side brushes snapping off during cleaning.

Review: iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver, Contributors to Amazon.com

3. BotJunkie.com

This useful comparison review pits the iRobot Roomba 560 against its biggest competitor, the Neato Robotics XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner. Photos detail the differences between the design and cleaning patterns of each model, and the pros and cons of each are discussed. The author says he prefers the Roomba's virtual walls to the XV-11's magnetic strips, which can be difficult to position and are easily destroyed by puppies or toddlers. But overall, the Neato robovac has the edge for its more efficient navigation.

Review: IRobot Roomba 560 vs. Neato XV-11, Evan Ackerman, June 4, 2010

4. Epinions.com

The iRobot Roomba 560 receives an above average rating from about 50 users posting reviews to Epinions.com. Several owners report reliability problems, and a few are disappointed that the Roomba doesn't clean as thoroughly as a human-powered vacuum.

Review: iRobot Roomba 560 Bagless Robotic Vacuum, Contributors to Epinions.com

5. Good Housekeeping

This short article describes four vacuum cleaners, including the iRobot Roomba 560. Although Nathaniel Benforado is mainly positive, the author does note the Roomba's inability to deep clean. We aren't told if vacuums were tested before being included in this article.

Review: Best Vacuums, Nathaniel Benforado, Oct. 2007

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