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How loud is a Roomba? (With Noise Comparison Chart)

Roomba, a robot vacuum cleaner, is an autonomous cleaning device that makes your life easy and saves your time and effort by doing the cleaning chores for you. But you might be wondering, how loud is a Roomba? After all, what ease a Roomba would give if its noise couldn’t let you sleep or watch tv? 

Noise level is measured in decibels and denoted as dB. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national public health agency of the United States, a sound level of up to 85 dB is considered safe for human ears if not exposed for a longer time period. Getting exposed to noise levels higher than 85 dB can cause hearing loss and other diseases. 

The noise level can be measured through this NIOSH Sound Level Meter app developed by the National Institute of Occupational Security and Health. 

See the following table to better understand which activity makes how much sound.

roomba noise level comparison chart

How loud is a Roomba?

how loud is a roomba

After getting familiar with the noise level standards, now let’s talk about how loud is a Roomba.

The noise level of Roomba vacuum cleaners ranges from 54 dB to 70 dB. This value is way lower than other conventional upright vacuum cleaners that reach a sound level of up to 80 dB. The following table compares the noise level of different Roomba models while running on hard floors, on carpets, and while self-emptying. 

Roomba ModelNoise Level (dB) on Hardwood floorNoise Level (dB) on CarpetsNoise Level (dB) while self emptying dirt bin
400 series7672N/A
500 series7168N/A
600 series7167N/A
700 series7066N/A
800 series7166N/A
900 series7067N/A
i46261N/A
i7+535174
j7+554876
s9+545070

So, is a Roomba loud? The Roomba i7+ and the Roomba s9+ both are the quietest Roomba vacuum cleaner models both on hard floors – vinyl planks, tile, marble, concrete – and carpets. S9+ is even quieter while self-emptying the dirt bin on the Homebase. This self-emptying process doesn’t take more than 2-3 minutes. So, it is not that much of a problem. 

Not all Roombas are loud. Only the older models with obsolete technology make more noise. The newer models are more sophisticated and have advanced technology, so they make less noise. 

Why do Roombas make noise?

Now you might be wondering why my Roomba is making a loud noise. The noise level of Roomba depends on the following factors.

Roomba Models

How loud is a Roomba depends on its size and model. Older models of Roomba, 400 series, for example, are louder as compared to the latest models like the ‘s’ and ‘j’ series. The reason for this is obvious. As technology is evolving, machines and robots are becoming more sophisticated. They are becoming more powerful and better than their ancestors. The same is true for robot vacuums. Newer models are installed with more efficient parts that require less power and make less noise.  

How old is your Roomba?

Older Roomba models will make more noise as compared to newer ones. If your Roomba is ten years old, expect it to be louder. Roombas, and all other electronic devices for that matter, deplete as they age. Roomba parts should be replaced with time. This will keep it up to date and will result in less noise. 

If Roomba parts are not replaced, their parts will start to rattle and make noise while moving. The bumper of the Roomba will loosen up. The wheels will get increased resistance. 

Type of surface

roomba makes less noise on carpet as compared to hardwood

Another factor of Roomba’s loud noise is the surface it is cleaning on. A Roomba will be louder when cleaning on hard surfaces – tiles, luxury vinyl floors, marble, or hardwood – as compared to carpets and rugs. Since carpets and rugs absorb some of the noise, hence making a Roomba quieter as compared to hard floors, hardwood, vinyl, and tiles

If your Roomba is cleaning in an empty room or near bare walls, expect it to be louder than normal. There is no issue with your Roomba. Empty rooms, cornered spaces, and bare walls make echo that increases the noise level. 

How well Roomba is maintained?

The noise level of a Roomba also depends on how well you have maintained your Roomba vacuum cleaner. Roomba picks up fluff and pet hair that get stuck in its brush, bearings, and wheels. Clogged-up brush and wheels will definitely make your Roomba louder. To keep your Roomba quieter and live longer, you should clean it thoroughly at least once a week. This includes cleaning brush, bearings, wheels, filter, and dirt bin. Pulling out every pet hair and fluff out from the Roomba will make it quieter. Oiling or greasing the wheels once or twice a year will make it run smoothly with less noise. 

So keeping your Roomba clean is essential. Because no matter how sophisticated and sealed pack your Roomba is, the grime that it picks will somehow find its way into your Roomba and will wreak havoc if not cleaned on time. 

A Roomba not maintained well will not only become louder but its performance will also reduce and the battery charging time will increase. 

Which noise requires attention?

There are some situations where you should be concerned about the noise your Roomba is making. When your Roomba starts to become louder than normal, or when it starts to make unusual noises, there is a problem you need to attend to. These louder than usual and abnormal noises should not be ignored as these are the indicators of something bad going on inside your Roomba that needs to be fixed immediately. 

Some advanced Roombas alert you on the mobile application if they have any internal problems. But most of the time a Roomba will make different noises to seek attention. Following are some abnormal Roomba noises, their meanings, and how to fix them.

Roomba is making grinding noise

If your Roomba is making a grinding noise, this means the Roomba brush is tangled with debris and hair. This debris is causing traction between Roomba brushes. If you hear this grinding sound, you should stop the Roomba immediately and clean the brushes thoroughly. You should remove all the hair, debris, and fluff from the brush, its axles, brush bearings, and wheels as well. 

If you ignore this grinding noise, the brush of your Roomba will wear out because of the friction and the battery of your Roomba will also get depleted quickly.

Roomba is making clicking noise

If your Roomba is making a clicking noise whenever it is running, it might be because of the wrong assembly of the extractors. 

One way to find out is by removing the extractors and running the Roomba. If the clicking noise is gone this means the root cause for that noise is extractors. Assemble the extractors according to the guidelines provided by iRobot. 

Roomba is making squeaky noise

If your Roomba is making some annoying squeaky noise, there might be some debris or fluff trapped in the side brush of your Roomba. 

Roomba is making ticking noise while charging

Many users complain about Roomba, mostly 800 series, making a ticking noise while charging. There can be different reasons for this ticking noise. 

  • There might be an issue with the charging outlet. Consider changing the charging outlet and checking again if the noise is gone. 
  • This ticking noise can also be caused due to dirt bin not being properly fitted. Take out the dirt bin and fix it again. 
  • If the noise still persists, there might be a problem with the battery or the Roomba itself. You should contact iRobot customer support as a final resort. 

Is a Roomba worth the noise?

Since Roombas noise range from 54 dB to 70 dB, it is in the same range of noise level for a normal conversation. And this noise level is way lower than other conventional upright vacuum cleaners that are up to 80 dB louder. And there is always a way to make Roomba quieter

So, a Roomba is definitely worth the purchase. If you are concerned about sleeping kids or watching tv during Roomba action, you can schedule your Roomba to do the cleaning at a convenient time when a little noise is not an issue.