Shark AI Vs Shark IQ, which will win the combat of entry-level robotic vacuums? After quick tests and comparisons, my preference is the Shark AI model.
The Shark AI (RV2001) becomes the winner for its LiDAR technology, enhancing mapping precision, compared to the vSLAM technology used on the Shark IQ (AV970). Besides, with the Smart Mapping function, the Shark AI can save the floor plan and allow users to select a specific room for the bot to clean. This enhances the convenience of using the Shark AI app.
The Shark IQ (AV970) lacks the ability to save maps and select rooms to clean. Its mapping is not as quick and efficient as its rival, owing to its vSLAM technology. Apart from that, the Shark iQ does provide decent cleaning performance, comparable to the Shark AI model.
Shark AI Vs Shark IQ: Comparison Chart
Shark AI Vs Shark IQ: Differences
The Shark AI wins 2-0 against the Shark IQ for its more versatile app control and excellent LiDAR mapping technology. The Shark IQ is a formidable counterpart, offering comparable pick-up efficiency and flexibility in transition between cleaning surfaces.
|Pick-up efficiency at normal suction (%)||Shark AI||Shark IQ|
In general, these two robot vacs have proven themselves adept at handling various debris types, from crumbs to pet hair, effectively addressing everyday messes. While their suction power is not as intense as that of my upright vacs, they can pick up bread crumbs, cat litter, bird feathers, and the bulk of dog hair. Moreover, the hair tangling on the brushes is insignificant after the cleaning tests.
Particularly, they perform much better on hard floors than on carpets, which is also the common case for robotic vacuums. Despite using the maximum suction power, these vacuums struggle to completely remove small pet hair and small dust clumps from standard, short-fiber carpets. Yet, they can still handle solid particles like rice and cereals on carpeted surfaces pretty well.
Design & Convenience
Winner: Shark AI
Both the Shark AI and Shark IQ robot vacs have the same number of brushes: one main brush roller and two side brushes. Their side brushes are identical, while the main brushrolls are relatively different.
The main brushroll of these two bots is the combo of bristle and silicone brushes. However, the brush of the Shark AI is different from that of the Shark IQ, due to the equipped flexible silicone fins or the PowerFins technology. Though the brand states that the power-fin technology offers more frequent contact to the surfaces, increasing the overall pick-up efficiency of the bot, I found the difference in their cleaning performance was insignificant in real tests.
Navigation & Obstacle avoidance
- Navigation & Mapping
The Shark AI RV2001 does a better job at mapping due to the LiDAR technology. The laser-based front LiDAR will scan the room much more quickly than the vSLAM technology used on the Shark IQ. As a result, the Shark AI takes a shorter time for a discover run to complete the floor mapping.
Another thing that the LiDAR technology is superior to the vSLAM one is the ability to work without light. In other words, the Shark AI can work in a dark or dim environment, enabling the option of cleaning after your family’s bedtime. The vSLAM, on the other hand, needs light to function well, as it uses a camera to capture and recognize your living environment. If working in a dark environment, the Shark IQ will bump into furniture more often than usual.
Apart from that, both of the bots utilize the IQ navigation technology, which directs the bots to clean in straight and neat rows. Moreover, after circumventing the obstacle, the bots will return to the initial cleaning pattern rather than randomly bouncing from one to another obstacle. Therefore, compared to the bouncing random navigation, the straight-row navigation can ensure a more systematic and thorough cleaning process and coverage.
- Obstacle avoidance
Both do not feature any specific obstacle-avoidance technology, but the Shark AI can avoid objects better than the Shark IQ. It can be attributed to the font LiDAR laser. The LiDAR can detect objects with a height of more than 2.8 inches, yet it is still inferior to the specialized obstacle-avoidance function on other higher-price robot vacuum models.
This means that both the Shark AI and IQ cannot avoid objects lying flat on the floor, like socks and cords, for example. When in the test, both of them suck up the socks, and I need to stop them to remove what they chewed up. So, I need to clean scattered objects before using them.
These robots can climb over the door thresholds in my house, which I found to be attributed to their tall wheels. These elevated wheels allow the robot to effortlessly surmount door thresholds and glide over area rugs without a hitch. In my experience, this design feature has notably reduced instances of the robot getting stuck, primarily limited to encounters with objects obstructing its path rather than struggling with uneven surfaces.
|Shark AI||Shark IQ|
|Max battery life||~90 minutes||~90 minutes|
|Max charging time||~4-5 hours||~4-5 hours|
Their battery life is great, in my experience. In the lowest suction power and cleaning on low dust density areas, the battery life can reach approx. 100 minutes. With dusty surfaces and stronger suction power mode, their running time decreases by about half of that time.
Additionally, both of them feature the Recharge & Resume function. This function allows the bot to continue its cleaning where it left off once it is sufficiently recharged. Thus, ensure you turn on the recharge and resume function in the app to optimize the cleaning time.
The noise levels of these two bots are okay with me, but some may find them noisy. Personally, I’ve observed that the operational sounds haven’t been disruptive, allowing me to comfortably multitask. For instance, I’ve let it clean my home office during work calls without causing any significant disturbance. Moreover, I’ve even set it to run during the night after I’ve gone to bed, finding the noise levels tolerable and not substantial enough to hinder my sleep.
|Noise levels||Shark AI||Shark IQ|
|Vacuuming||~50 – 72 dB||~50 – 73 dB|
Winner: Shark AI
These two models have the same control buttons on the top, including the “Clean” and Dock buttons. The Clean one is to start the bots’ cleaning task, and the Dock button is to stop the cleaning and send the bots to their charging dock.
They are all controllable via the app on your smartphone. The app presents a commendable suite of functionalities catering to diverse user needs. In the app, I can monitor battery life, switch between cleaning modes, schedule cleaning sessions, and review cleaning history. Additionally, both of them can be connected to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home so that you can easily speak to control the bots.
Yet, the Shark AI app control is more versatile than the IQ model. Specifically, it has the Smart Mapping function, allowing the bot to save the floor plan of your house. Additionally, with the app, I can send the Shark AI to clean specific rooms after the floor plan is created. The app for the Shark IQ model does not have this function.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The Shark IQ (AV970) features a larger dustbin capacity than the Shark AI (RV2001). However, the difference is insignificant, just about 0.3 liters. Specifically, the dust cup capacity of the Shark AI is ~0.3 liters, while that of the Shark IQ is ~0.6 liters.
The brand claims that the high-efficiency pre-filter of Shark AI and IQ can highly filter 99% of microdust ~1.0 microns. However, they do not have HEPA post filters, meaning they are less efficient in capturing allergens and microdusts of 0.3 microns. Their filters may not be ideal for allergy sufferers, but still decent for regular users. Besides, their pre-filters are not washable, meaning you need to tap them to remove dust.
The Shark AI and IQ in this comparison are not compatible with a self-empty dock. The self-empty station is a great feature to keep your hands dirty-free when emptying their dustbins. So, it is useful to reduce the chance of exposure to dust clouds, which is an advantage for allergy or asthma sufferers. If you’re looking for the Shark robot vacs with an auto-empty station, the Shark AI Ultra, or the Shark IQ with the model number containing “AE” in the end, such as RV1001AE.
Quick Rundown of Shark AI (AV2001, RV2001)
- POWERFUL CLEANING PERFORMANCE: Incredible suction picks up all kinds of dirt and debris and in UltraClean Mode, you get 30% better carpet cleaning (vs. RV1100AE single pass coverage, tested with sand on level loop).
- ON-DEMAND DEEP CLEANING: Select UltraClean Mode in the SharkClean app to target specific rooms, high-traffic zones, or spots for multi-directional deep cleaning coverage.
- PERFECT FOR HOMES WITH PETS: With powerful suction and Shark’s self-cleaning brushroll, the robot picks up pet hair and removes it from the brushroll as it cleans.
- PRECISION HOME MAPPING: LIDAR technology quickly and accurately maps your home so you can set up cleaning areas and No-Go Zones in the SharkClean app.
- DETECTS & AVOIDS OBJECTS: AI Laser Navigation ensures total home coverage with precise row-by-row cleaning, day or night, while detecting and avoiding objects 4 inches high or taller.
Quick Rundown of Shark IQ (AV970, AV993)
- INCREDIBLE SUCTION: Deep-cleaning power to take on large debris, small debris, and pet hair on carpets and floors.Specific uses:hard floor,carpet
- NO HAIR WRAP: Self-cleaning brushroll removes pet hair and long hair as it cleans--no more hair wrap.
- PHONE OR VOICE COMMAND: Schedule whole-home cleanings with the SharkClean app or voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- ROW-BY-ROW CLEANING: Methodically cleans row-by-row and then navigates room-to-room for complete home coverage.
- RECHARGE AND RESUME: The Shark IQ Robot vacuum will return to the dock, recharge, and can pick up where it left off.
Related Articles to Shark Iq
- iRobot S9 Vs Shark IQ Robot: Which One Has My Vote?
- iRobot Roomba S9+ Vs Shark IQ: Which One Is Better?
- Shark AI: https://www.sharkclean.ca/products/shark-ai-robot-vacuum-zidRV2001CA
- Shark IQ: https://support.sharkclean.com/hc/en-us/sections/360005923820-RV1000-Series
Richard B. Schmidt is a prominent figure in the vacuum cleaner industry, boasting over 15 years of expertise. Armed with a Robotics Engineering degree from Northeastern University and a Master’s in Consumer Science from Harvard, his unique blend of technical knowledge and consumer insights positions him as a sought-after authority in vacuum cleaner evaluation. Richard’s career began at Dyson, where he contributed to the development of innovative vacuum models. Transitioning to advocacy and reviews, he co-founded the first Vacuum-focused blog in 2008, offering comprehensive analysis and user guides for various vacuum cleaners. In 2020, he founded RoboMop.net, providing ongoing insights through columns and buyer’s guides.