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iRobot Roomba 770 Review: A Close Look at How the Robot Vacuum Cleans

Oct. 13, 2015
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iRobot Roomba 770 Review: A Close Look at How the Robot Vacuum Cleans
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Smart consumers don’t make major purchase decisions lightly. There’s a lot of research, comparison homework and deal searching that happens well before a transaction ever occurs.

If you’re considering buying a robot vacuum, we’re here to do that shopping research for you. Before you purchase the iRobot Roomba 770, check out our analysis of the vacuum (based on actual user reviews).

The vacuum

The iRobot Roomba 770 is a vacuum cleaning robot from popular brand iRobot. Designed to remove dirt, dust and pet hair, this product is intended to clean carpets, hardwood, tile and laminate floors.

The Roomba 770 features an advanced cleaning head that’s specifically suited for pet hair pickup, a soft-touch bumper to avoid damaging run-ins with furniture, an onboard scheduling option that allows users to preset up to seven cleanings per week and self-charging functionality (the robot returns to its Home Base when its battery is running low).

This model comes with a rechargeable battery, a battery charger (3-hour charge time), a compact self-charging Home Base, two auto Virtual Walls (for marking off-limit areas), an extra filter, two brush cleaning tools, a remote control and an instructional DVD.

The robot has a regular retail price of $499.99 from the iRobot Store, but it can be purchased for less than that from Amazon.

Compare the iRobot Roomba 770 with other top vacuums in NerdWallet’s Best Robot Vacuums of 2015.

The reviews

With features like those of the iRobot Roomba 770, robot vacuums are arguably the most convenient vacuum type of all, but these devices are only as helpful as they are efficient.

To determine how well popular robot vacuums worked, we conducted a thorough analysis of some of the top robot vacuums on the market, including the iRobot Roomba 770.

First, we narrowed down the large number of robot vacuums by looking at expert opinions from review sites such as The Sweethome, CNET and Good Housekeeping. Then, we analyzed user reviews on each of these models. After combing through 7,882 reviews, how did this Roomba fare?

The iRobot Roomba 770 came out with an overall rating of 8.1 (compared with an 8.6 average among other robot vacuums we studied). Its peak performance categories included durability (9.4 compared with 9.0 average), setup and operation (9.3 compared with 9.2 average) and efficiency on hardwood floors (9.1, although the average was 9.2).

But there were several categories in which the 770 didn’t live up to its competitors. These included maneuverability (6.3 compared with 8.0 average), battery life (5.5 compared with 7.0 average) and noise (6.0 compared with 7.9 average).

Let’s look a little closer at the high and low points of this robot vacuum. 

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The pros

Users appreciate the Roomba 770 most for its optimal performance on hard flooring. The vacuum’s performance isn’t quite as stellar on carpet (7.6 compared with 8.7 average), but it’s nearly perfect with its dirt pickup on hardwood and tile.

Buyers also enjoy how straightforward and easy it is to set up, program and operate this Roomba. Additionally, the product’s durability means it’ll be a home cleaning device that you can keep for the long haul.

The cons

If you want your vacuum to clean your whole house in one sweep, you may be disappointed. Users expressed dissatisfaction with the vacuum’s battery life, as well as the loud sound it makes while it’s working.

Maneuverability is a common concern too. The product is intended to work its way around rooms and even under furniture, but users report that the 770 has a tendency to get stuck while it’s cleaning. This can add more work for residents who have to free up their robot.

The verdict

So where does that leave you? If you have a home filled with hardwood flooring, you may consider the iRobot Roomba 770, despite its lackluster reviews on noise and battery life.

Of course, the 770 isn’t your only option for a robot vacuum. Its sister Roomba model, the iRobot Roomba 880, earned a higher overall rating in our review (an 8.7), but this version also carries a regular retail price of $699.99. So if reviews aren’t as important to you as affordability, you may want to stick with the 770, which is $200 less.

Check out our reviews of other popular robot vacuums:

For more vacuum buying advice, see:

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.