Roomba J7+ Vs S9+: Is the J7+ Really a Worth-The-Money Upgrade?

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Roomba J7+ vs S9+: Both are undeniably among the cream of the crop in the Roomba vacuum robot lineup, but there are some differences in design, features, and performance that make one better than the other.  And at the end of the day, the latter got my vote.

The Roomba J7+ was released in 2019, two years after the S9+, with notable improvements. This one is equipped with a front-facing camera, enabling it to easily detect obstacles and avoid them. Plus, it has a longer battery life and some extra features when paired with the iRobot Home App.

As for the Roomba S9+, it has wider brushrolls and higher airflow, resulting in better cleaning performance. Yet, it’s difficult to rationalize its higher cost when it falls short on many of the innovative features that are standard on the J7+. It’s like buying a first-class ticket but not getting the full range of amenities.

Roomba J7+ Vs S9+: Comparison Chart

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#1 WINNER
iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550) Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum – Avoids Common Obstacles Like Socks, Shoes, and Pet Waste, Empties Itself for 60 Days, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa
#2 RUNNER-UP
iRobot Roomba s9+ Self Emptying Robot Vacuum - Empties Itself for 60 Days, Detects & Cleans Around Objects in Your Home, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Corner & Edge Cleaning
Model
Roomba J7+
Roomba S9+
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.3 x 3.4 inches/7.49 lbs
12.25 x 3.5 inches/8.15 lbs
Shape
Round-Shaped
D-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Obstacle Detection
Map Saving
Number of Maps
10
10
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2 x Rubberized Rollers/1 x 3-Prong Brush
2 x Rubberized Rollers/1 x 5-Prong Brush
Dust Tank Capacity
0.5 Litert
0.5 Litert
HEPA Filter
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
75 minutes/2 hours
120 minutes/2 hours
Mopping
Headlight
What I Like
Price
$685.00
$989.99
#1 WINNER
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iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550) Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum – Avoids Common Obstacles Like Socks, Shoes, and Pet Waste, Empties Itself for 60 Days, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa
Model
Roomba J7+
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.3 x 3.4 inches/7.49 lbs
Shape
Round-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Obstacle Detection
Map Saving
Number of Maps
10
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2 x Rubberized Rollers/1 x 3-Prong Brush
Dust Tank Capacity
0.5 Litert
HEPA Filter
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
75 minutes/2 hours
Mopping
Headlight
What I Like
Price
$685.00
More Info
#2 RUNNER-UP
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iRobot Roomba s9+ Self Emptying Robot Vacuum - Empties Itself for 60 Days, Detects & Cleans Around Objects in Your Home, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Corner & Edge Cleaning
Model
Roomba S9+
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
12.25 x 3.5 inches/8.15 lbs
Shape
D-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Self-Empty
Obstacle Detection
Map Saving
Number of Maps
10
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2 x Rubberized Rollers/1 x 5-Prong Brush
Dust Tank Capacity
0.5 Litert
HEPA Filter
Recharge & Resume
Run Time/Charging Time
120 minutes/2 hours
Mopping
Headlight
What I Like
Price
$989.99
More Info

Roomba J7+ Vs S9+: Differences

Without further ado, the J7+ wins 4-2 against the S9+. Keep scrolling down right now for more information!

Cleaning Performance

Winner: Roomba S9+

Hard Floor

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
≈ 95%≈ 99%

This was where the powerhouse motor on the S9+ really shines. It could remove nearly 100% of debris of all sizes easily but struggled somewhat to clean the tight corners and edges due to its square front design. The Roomba J7+ also did a reasonably good job on my hard floor, leaving behind only a minimal amount of small debris.

Carpets

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
Low-pile Carpet≈ 92%≈ 99%
High-pile Carpet≈ 96%≈ 99%

Once again, the S9+ proved itself to be the better option on carpet. Thanks to its high airflow, wide extractors, and maybe side brush placement, this one could pick up more than the J7+. On the flip side, the J7+ still achieved respectable scores on the board, with only small amounts of debris missed, but it fell short of the higher expectations I had for a newer model.

Hair Pet

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
5-inch strands≈ 72%≈ 89%
10-inch strands≈ 56%≈ 78%

The S9+ also picked up hair better, with the ability to almost completely remove hair of all lengths, whereas the J7+ struggled much more, especially with long 10-inch hair strands. There was a large amount of hair wrapped on their rollers, but that’s not a massive deal since they can be easily removed for untangling.

Design & Usability

Winner: Roomba J7+ 

Dimensions & Weight

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
Dimensions (WxH)13.3 x 3.4 inches12.25 x 3.5 inches
Weight7.49 lbs8.15 lbs

I have a lot of interesting things to say about these fellows, but let’s kick things off with their looks. Right off the bat, the S9+ is the first and only Roomba with a D-shape frame. I personally guess the manufacturer soon identified a potential snag in this square-front design – it makes navigating through tight areas, such as between chair legs, more difficult. This likely leads them to opt for the traditional round frame for the J7+.

the s9+ is the only roomba with a d-shape design
The S9+ is the only Roomba with a D-shape design

The Roomba J7+ is wider than the S9+ and most Roombas but has a slightly lower configuration, meaning the former can get under low-clearance furniture more easily. There is a difference in their weight, but it is negligible.

Extractor & Side Brush

Both models have iRobot’s signature counter-rotating extractor system, featuring twin rubberized rollers that rotate in opposite directions for efficient debris pickup. But the rollers on the S9+ are located at the front of the unit and are wider than those found on the J7+, which are situated between its wheels. That means the S9+ can sweep a larger area in one go, thereby shortening the time it takes to complete a cleaning cycle.

roomba j7+ vs s9+'s extractor systems
Roomba J7+ vs S9+’s extractor systems

Turning to their side brushes, the S9+ is fitted with a five-prong side brush that doesn’t spin too rapidly compared to the three-prong one on the J7+. That way, the S9+ almost doesn’t scatter debris, leading to more efficient and effective debris pick-up (more on that later).

roomba j7+ vs s9+'s side brushes
Roomba J7+ vs S9+’s side brushes

Navigation

Most of the Roomba smart robots from iRobot, including the S9+, rely on the Visual SLAM algorithm, or VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). That means they both use a camera sensor and SLAM as their brains for mapping their surroundings and navigating. This is technology on par with what’s used in Google’s self-driving vehicles, allowing these vacuum robots not only to move intelligently across rooms but also to keep track of their location and their way back to their docks. Meanwhile, the J7+ is the first iRobot robot to use PrecisionVision Navigation.

The issue is that these Roombas still rely heavily on sufficient lighting for proper functioning. So these Roombas only work properly in areas with enough ambient light and avoid dimly lit spaces. So, for those super dark corners, you’ll still need a traditional stick or upright vacuum to get the job done.

Another difference between them is the placement of their cameras. Unlike the top-position camera on the S9+, the J7+ features a front-facing camera and sensor for better obstacle detection. iRobot even backs this capability with their Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P.), guaranteeing a free replacement if your robot doesn’t successfully avoid pet waste!

the front-facing camera on the roomba j7+
The front-facing camera on the Roomba J7+

The combination of sensors and an on-board camera on the J7+ is truly a godsend for animal owners. I mean, who wants their expensive devices covered in animal feces? During testing, I found it effective for common household obstacles like power cords and headphone cables – this one just saw things and maneuvered around them.

Even better, for unknown objects, the J7+ will take photos and show them to you through the iRobot app. That way, you can label them as obstacles if you want your robot to avoid them in future cleaning cycles.

Battery Life

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
Battery Life≈ 98 mins≈ 38-63 mins
Charging Time≈ 120 mins≈ 96 mins

The Roomba J7+ vs S9+ use 2410 and 3200 mAh Li-ion batteries, respectively. Interestingly, despite its larger battery, the S9+ depletes its charge more quickly. That turns out to be a trade-off for a higher-powered motor and stronger airflow. The S9+ can also be fully charged in less time. Anyway, I believe both units offer enough juice between charges to tackle cleaning in your household setting unless you’re living in a jumbo-sized castle.

Control 

Winner: Roomba J7+ 

Manual Control

The S9+ uses a three-button control system, compared to the one-button control on the J7+. Having more buttons makes the former a little less simple, but it also makes it easier to access the functions directly from the robot because you don’t always need to use your smartphone to control it remotely.

roomba j7+ vs s9+’s control panels
Roomba J7+ vs S9+’s control panels

App Connectivity

They can pair with the iRobot Home App for remote control. They can even be compatible with home assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to conveniently control their cleaning through your voice. You’ll need to download this free app to your phone to unlock a wide range of advanced features, and the Roomba J7+ vs S9+ share many among them with slight variances.

They share a map-saving feature, allowing you to customize and save up to 10 levels: clean zones, no-go zones, custom names, etc. The clean zone feature allows you to choose high-traffic areas or specific vacuuming zones using virtual boxes. The no-go zone option is an inverted version of the clean zone, where you can also use virtual boxes to block off some areas as you wish. Additionally, you can also give a name to a specific room or area and specify these robots vacuum it only instead of the whole floor.

Now is the time for features exclusive to the J7+. As mentioned earlier, it can take pictures of unknown objects and ask you to classify them as either permanent or temporary obstructions. If you opt for the permanent option, the app will establish a no-go zone around it. 

Another unique feature of the J7+ is the robot health tab, where you can monitor the condition of the extractors, side brush, and filter. That way,  you can know when to clean or replace them, and you will also have quick access to how-to posts for these tasks.

The Roomba j7+ has a “Clean While Away” feature that uses your phone’s location to discern when you’ve left the house and then automatically triggers the cleaning cycle. It’s like having a considerate roommate who tidies up only when you’re not around.

clean while away function
Clean While Away function

cleaning & Maintenance

Winner: Tie

They share a removable 0.5-litre dustbin and a HEPA filter that need to be replaced every two months or so, depending on how often they are used.

both come with a self-emptying station
Both come with a self-emptying station

By the way, both come with a self-emptying station, which doubles as a charging tower, and a self-emptying base station. When the robot docks for recharging, it also empties its dustbin into a single-use dirt bag located within the station. The process is entirely sealed off, so people with severe allergies won’t have to worry about being exposed to allergens during the emptying process. Both include two disposable bags, and each one can house a lot of dust and dirt before a replacement is required. 

the single-use dirt bag
The single-use dirtbag

If you can live with emptying the dust cup manually, you can save a pretty penny by buying the Roomba J7 or S9. These normal versions offer all the same features but sans the self-emptying towers. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to spend the extra bucks for a hands-free cleaning experience.

Other Features

Winner: Roomba J7+

Noise

Roomba J7+Roomba S9+
Working≈ 59 dB≈ 63-72 dB
Self-Emptying ≈ 72 dB≈ 74 dB

These Roombas aren’t too noisy when in operation, or at least they’re quiet enough not to ensure your morning serenity remains undisturbed. However, you might notice a bump in the decibel count when the self-emptying process kicks in.

Imprint Link

This seamless pairing technology works with these Roomba vacuuming robots and the Braava M6 mopping machine. Once your J7+ or S9+ has completed its vacuuming cycle, it will communicate directly with the M6 to signal that it’s its turn to mop your floors. 

Headlight

The J7+ features a small headlight on the front to help the built-in camera see in low-light conditions. I always prefer thoughtful things like that!

roomba j7+ features a headlight
Roomba J7+ features a headlight

Quick Rundown Of Roomba J7+

Sale
iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550) Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum – Avoids Common Obstacles Like Socks, Shoes, and Pet Waste, Empties Itself for 60 Days, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa
  • CLEANS WHEN AND WHERE YOU WANT– Only iRobot brings you Imprint Smart Mapping allowing you to control and schedule which rooms are cleaned and when, while storing multiple maps for easier cleaning on each level of your home; Plus customizable Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones allow you to tell them the exact area to avoid and clean
  • CLEANS WHEN & WHERE YOU WANT– Only iRobot brings you Imprint Smart Mapping allowing you to control & schedule which rooms are cleaned and when, while storing multiple maps for easier cleaning on each level of your home; Plus customizable Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones allow you to tell them the exact area to avoid and clean
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions
  • CONQUER PET HAIR Uniquely designed Multi Surface Rubber Brushes and Edge Sweeping brush pull in dirt, debris, and pet hair from wherever it hides
Pros
  • Avoids obstacles thanks to PrecisionVision Navigation.
  • Comes with a clean base.
  • Saves up to 10 maps.
  • Easy to set clean and no-go zones.
  • Supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Cons
  • Loud when self-emptying.
  • Quite costly.

Quick Rundown Of Roomba S9+

iRobot Roomba s9+ Self Emptying Robot Vacuum - Empties Itself for 60 Days, Detects & Cleans Around Objects in Your Home, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Corner & Edge Cleaning
7,013 Reviews
iRobot Roomba s9+ Self Emptying Robot Vacuum - Empties Itself for 60 Days, Detects & Cleans Around Objects in Your Home, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Corner & Edge Cleaning
  • CLEANS UP AFTER YOU AND ITSELF: With groundbreaking technology and a sophisticated design, the s9 plus is one of the smartest, most powerful robot vacuum yet. With 40x the suction power, the superior 3-Stage Cleaning System lifts, loosens, then eliminates debris and pet hair from deep within your carpets for a clean you won’t believe — with no effort from you. It automatically increases suction to clean even deeper into carpets with power boost technology
  • DETAILED POWERFUL CLEAN: PerfectEdge Technology with advanced sensors and a specially designed Corner Brush, this vacuum offers optimized cleaning deep into corners and along edges. The approximately 30% wider Dual Rubber Brushes then Roomba 600 series don't get tangled with pet hair making it ideal for homes with pets. With vSLAM navigation, the s9 plus learns the layout of your home and builds personal Smart Maps, enabling it to expertly clean and navigate in neat, efficient rows
  • VACUUMS MESSES IN THE MOMENT: Cleaning crumbs is now as easy as “Roomba, clean under the kitchen table.” A simple request to your voice assistant or via the iRobot Home app enables the s9 plus to clean messes for you, right when they happen — immediately clean that spot and consider it done. The updated iRobot Home App allows you to upgrade your overall cleaning experience
  • COMPLETE CONTROL: With Smart Mapping, your robot knows your kitchen from your living room, so you can decide where it cleans and when. And with Keep Out Zones, your robot knows to avoid sensitive areas like pet bowls or play areas. The Roomba s9 plus robot vacuum is smarter than ever, learning where and when you normally clean and suggesting personalized schedules so you can focus on everything else
  • DREAM TEAM OF CLEAN: With Imprint Link Technology, the Roomba s9 plus robot vacuum and Braava jet m6 robot mop (available separately) team up to vacuum then mop automatically in perfect sequence, giving your floors a comprehensive clean with just a command to your voice assistant or in the app
Pros
  • Voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Self-emptying dustbin is included.
  • Smart mapping and navigation.
  • Easy to control via the iRobot app.
  • Remember up to 10 layouts.
Cons
  • Can’t detect and avoid obstacles.
  • Mediocre battery life.

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