Comparing the Roomba 770 vs 980 – Which is the Better Value?

When the Roomba 980 first came out in the later part of 2015, a lot of people were excited for its remote control properties and Wi-Fi connectivity.  Finally, a Roomba that they could control using a smartphone and with features that would allow them to do more with their automatic vacuum cleaner.

However, the new Roomba’s price tag had shocked and turned off many.  This has prompted us to consider as a good alternative the Roomba 770, which has the best set of features at a price that people would find reasonable.

So how does the Roomba 770 compare with the 980?

First Up: The Roomba 770

The Roomba 770 is probably the best-value Roomba, giving you features at a price point that is budget-friendly.  Some of the features you see on the Roomba 770 include some that you will find in the 800 series.

At its core, the Roomba 770 is able to get your cleaning done the same way that you use all the other Roombas: with a touch of a button.  It works on all types of floors and can even clean your carpet.  It is able to give a thorough and deep vacuuming.

This particular model makes use of the 3-stage cleaning system that cleans carpets, linoleum, hardwood floors and tiles.  It also comes with a side brush to ensure that it also cleans along the edges of your walls.  It has counter rotating brushes that sweep and pick up dirt simultaneously.

The vacuuming bin also pulls hair off the brush so that it does not wrap around the brushes, saving you the trouble of having to pick the hairs off yourself.  You can also preset your Roomba 770 to clean while you are out of the house.

Choose from three different cleaning modes: spot, clean, and scheduled cleaning mode.  Meanwhile, you also have a collection of sensors that allows for a more comprehensive and thorough clean.

The Roomba 770 also uses dual HEPA filters that capture dander, dirt and dust without them escaping and recirculating around the room.

Warranty is good for one year with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to get a full refund if you are not satisfied with your Roomba 770.

Controlling your Roomba 770 is very easy using the control pad that is easy and intuitive to use.  After that, you can basically leave the Roomba 770 to do its work because it returns to the charging base once it finishes. For more on the Roomba 770, you can read the full review (link to review).

Next Up: The Roomba 980

The Roomba 980 is a game changer for iRobot.  Since being launched in 2002, the Roomba has seen a lot of changes from the technology used to air filters and other features.  But most of these changes were rudimentary and were introduced to make the Roomba work better and more efficiently.

I’ve completed a full review of the 980 (link to review), if you are interested.

The Roomba 980 is the first Roomba to feature advance localization technology, a camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity.  Out of all the Roombas, it is the 980 that makes use of the latest technologies and specifications.

The Roomba 980 is simply the best Roomba to date but all of these superlatives came with a downside.  Priced at $900 as of this writing (check here for latest), it is just not affordable for a lot of people.

The Tale of the Tape: the Roomba 980 vs. the Roomba 770

The easiest way to compare the Roomba 980 and the Roomba 770 is through a side by side comparison of features and specs:

Model Roomba 980 Roomba 770
3-Stage System Yes Yes
iAdapt Technology Yes Yes
Vacuuming Technology Aeroforce AeroVac2
Dirt Detect Dirt Det. II+ Dirt Det. II
Entire Level Cleaning Yes No
Wi-Fi Support Yes No
Filter Type HEPA HEPA
Carpet Boost Mode Yes No
Edge Cleaning Mode Yes No
Built-in Camera Yes No
Debris Extractor Yes No
Scheduling Yes Yes
Full Bin Indicator Yes Yes
Home Base Yes Yes
Battery Type Lithium-ion Ni-Mh
Remote Control App-based ü
Carrying Handle Yes Yes
Diameter 13.8 inches 13.9 inches
Height 3.6 inches 3.6 inches
Weight 8.7 lbs. 8.4 lbs.
Warranty 1 year 1 year


What Are the Similarities

  • Similar Cleaning Technology: Both the Roomba 980 and the 770, like all the other Roombas, make use of the 3-stage vacuuming system, with the counter-rotating brushes, the spinning side brush and the strong vacuum power that pulls debris, hair and dirt off the brushes and into the dust bin.  And both models have the iAdapt technology that employs a wide range of sensors to help the Roomba avoid stairs, get under furniture or around it, and generally ensure that you get a more thorough cleaning.
  • Both Use High Efficiency Filters: Both the 980 and 770 make use of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters that trap dust and dander particles that are as fine as 0.3 microns.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, HEPA filters remove up to 99.97% of particles in the air.
  • Both Feature Scheduling: Scheduling is also standard on all Roombas except for the 614 and 620.  The 770 and 980 both allow you to set schedules for seven cleanings a week. Both of them also return to their home base to recharge and have a carrying handle to make it easier for you to lug your Roomba around the house.
  • Similar Height: Lastly, both the 770 and the 980 have the same height at 3.6 inches, allowing them to go under some furniture.

And the Differences?

In terms of dimentions, the Roomba 770 has a diameter or 13.9 inches while the Roomba 980 is slightly smaller at 13.8 inches, which means that the Roomba 980 can get into slightly tighter corners than the 770.

AeroVac 2 vs AeroForce

The 980 uses AeroForce vacuuming technology while the 770 has the AeroVac2 vacuuming technology.

AeroVac2 is a powerful vacuum technology that pulls hair and dirt from the brushes so that your Roomba can do its job more effectively, while the AeroForce technology is used in the 800 and 900 series and uses debris extractors that breaks down debris and takes them off the brushes.

As a result, the robot jams less frequently.

AeroForce also uses an airflow accelerator that allows the Roomba 980 to suck more dirt.  By all accounts, the Roomba 980’s Aeroforce vacuum system allows it to clean five times more efficiently than any series 700 Roomba.

Dirt Detect II and Dirt Detect II+

The Roomba 770 has the Dirt Detect II system, which means that it makes use of acoustic and optical sensors that allow it to find dirtier areas so that it could concentrate cleaning there.

The Roomba 980’s dirt detect II+ system of sensors builds on that with the addition of a camera and more sensors that allow for better visual localization.

The Roomba 980 does not only pinpoint dirtier areas in your home but also knows where it is so that it can efficiently navigate through your house.  This entire level capability is something that the Roomba 770 cannot do.

No Wi-Fi capability vs. Wi-Fi support

The Roomba 980 connects to the Internet via your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control it using the iRobot Home app that you can download on your iOS or Android devices.

That helps you schedule, clean, and manipulate your Roomba 980 remotely.  The Roomba 770 is controlled using the physical control pad.

Lithium vs.Nickel Metal Hydride

The lithium ion batteries that you find in the 980 are designed to last longer than the nickel metal hydride batteries in the 770.  They are also more durable, so you need to replace them less over time.

Other Features the Roomba 770 Doesn’t Have:

  • The carpet boost mode. The Roomba 980 can sense when it is on a carpet to up the power for more cleaner carpets.
  • The edge cleaning mode. While all Roombas have side brushes to help you clean wall edges, the Roomba 980 has additional edge cleaning action that removes even the most stubborn debris on wall edges.  That means that compared to the 980, the 770 would leave a lot more dirt at wall edges.
  • Debris extractor. The debris extractor not only picks the dirt, dust and other things stuck to the brushes but also breaks them down so that your Roomba jams and tangles no more.  It also has an airflow accelerator that sucks in more debris because of the concentrated airflow.
  • Remote control. The Roomba 980 is connected to your Wi-Fi network and you can use the Roomba app to remotely control your 980.  The 770 comes with a remote control device and you cannot control it with your smartphone.

The Final Verdict: Which one it the better buy?

Comparing the Roomba 770 vs 980 – Which is the Better Value?

The Roomba 980 has more features than the Roomba 770.  Even with the feature set that it does share with the 770, the 980 has better technology and more power.  It can even get into more tight spaces than the 770 can.

Plus the added convenience of being able to remotely control the robotic vacuum cleaner using your smartphone has been one of the long-awaited features for Roomba fans.

However, for many people, its hefty price tag (close to $900!) makes consumers think twice about buying the 980. For the latest pricing, you can check here.

The 770 costs about 1/3rd less than the 980 and yet provides features and functionality that is sufficient for most homes today. You can see the latest deals on the Roomba 770 here.

That means that for the average home owner who is on a budget, the 770 would be a good choice as it still gets the job done.  It still gives customers the best value for money.

But for those who have carpeting, those who want to be able to control their Roomba remotely, or those who want to have all the best features and the latest technology, then it should be the 980.