Roomba 560 Speaking Robot - 2007

We have two Roombas plus a Scooba in our house. When one of the batteries on one of our Roombas finally reached the end of its life cycle, we decided to donate that Roomba to a friend and to get ourselves the new top of the line - the Roomba 560. We got this right when it first came out, but we waited several months before posting a review. It's pretty much impossible to review one of these Roombas after only a few days! It takes weeks if not months to start to see how well they last over time, and what breaks down. Believe me - been there, done that.

So now it's many months later, and I have to say, we are quite pleased with the improvements of this Roomba over the previous generations of Roombas. So first, for those who don't even have ANY Roomba yet (hard to believe!). Roombas are awesome. We have cats, and we work from home so we're home all day. It is AMAZING how much dirt and dust and junk collects in the carpet every single day. Who really has time to vacuum their carpets twice a day any more? With the Roomba, you set the scheduler to do it while you are asleep. You wake up in the morning, the carpets are clean, the air is fresh, and you empty out the dust bin. It is just wonderful.

Even those without pets might be amazed how much lint and such the Roomba will find every morning for you.

I have a noise meter and have done several tests with the noise meter. The Roomba is much quieter than other regular vacuums. It is NOT silent - it can't be! How could it vacuum up dirt and be silent? But it is quieter than the alternatives, and heck, you're sleeping anyway. I can easily sleep through a Roomba running.

Now, on to the improvements of this new Roomba over previous models. First, it has a cool feature where the speed drops when it senses it is approaching a solid object. The old Roomba would just run full tilt into an object - wall, couch etc. - and then turn around. This one slows down so that it hits the object gently. Sure the old Roomba wouldn't dent the walls with its powerful force, but still, it's nice to have it be gentle on furniture and your building.

Next, for better or for worse, the new Roomba is much more aware of when its bin and brushes are getting grungy. I admit I didn't clean my other Roombas as often as I should have. And it led to problems. This new Roomba will actually stop and warn you when it's getting full and when the brushes should be cleaned. If you're a procrastinator like I am, this is a good thing. If you're a clean freak that empties the bin every time, and cleans the brushes every time, then you probably won't even notice this feature.

The anti tangle technology is nice. The previous Roomba would start to eat a cord and just keep going until it was really stuck. This Roomba at least tries to get itself untangled. Still, I don't recommend leaving cords and strings and things lying around. You're just asking for trouble if you do.

The new system uses a "lighthouse" instead of just a wall. With a lighthouse, you mark out a room so the Roomba finishes with that room completely before going on to the next room. They are like section markers. We tend to just use walls, but if you have two large rooms the lighthouse feature might be really helpful for you.

After several months of running we have had NO problems at all with our Roomba. No broken brushes, no falling off pieces, nothing. It is still going strong and we are very pleased with it.

Highly, highly recommended! I am happy to give personal advice and I even have videos of Roombas on my website. I love Roombas, they have saved me countless hours of work, and they make my home a much cleaner and easier-breathing place to be.

Released: September 2007
Price: $349
Charge Time: hours

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