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Dyson V6 Absolute

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Avg. consumer rating = 95/100 

In this review we take a look at the relatively new Dyson V6 Absolute cordless vacuum.  The Absolute is Dyson’s top-of-the-line cordless vacuum and consumer ratings are excellent.  It differs from the other V6 machines in the tools/attachments that are included and the level of filtration it provides.

While each V6 comes with a different package, what really sets the Absolute apart is the fact that it comes with two cleaner heads – the Direct-drive cleaner head for carpet, and the Soft roller cleaner head for hard floors (soft woven red & blue nylon sections that envelop debris and black anti-static carbon fibre filaments to remove fine dust). It also has a HEPA post motor filter, something none of the other V6’s have.

 

Quick Specs
Type Stick Vac
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features Yes
Approx. Weight 5.1 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration Yes
Power Cord Length Cordless
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 2 Years

 

Two cleaner heads. One for bare floors (right) and one for carpet.

 

Absolute bare floor cleaner head with soft woven nylon and fibre filaments

There are currently five different V6 cordless vacuums in the Dyson stable. The vacuums all look quite similar so Dyson has provided each with a different color scheme making it easier to tell them apart. The Absolute is easily identified by its bright red removable wand.

The new V6 series includes the following models:

- V6 Absolute (msrp $599)
- V6 Fluffy (msrp $499)
- V6 Motorhead (msrp $399)
- V6 Animal (msrp $499)
- V6 (msrp $299)

 

Note - if you shop around you can often find the vacuums for much less than the msrp (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) shown above. For example, the Absolute is now available on Amazon for about $485 (figure changes almost daily). Also, it is worth pointing out that the base V6 is a fairly good deal as the Dyson DC59 - virtually the same machine as the base V6 - initially retailed for $499, and the V6 is now only $299 (see it on Amazon).

 

Consumer Ratings
We’ve collected almost 1500 consumer ratings from across the online retail space and these are shown in the table below. For the most part these figures indicate that the Absolute is popular and very well-liked by its owners – despite the rather hefty price tag. Using weighted averages these numbers generate a healthy score of 95 out of 100 (or about 4.75 stars out of 5). This places the V6 Absolute near the very top of the stick vacs we have reviewed (see our table of stick vacuum ratings).

Source Consumer Ratings #Ratings
Amazon 4.7 stars out of 5 195
John Lewis 4.7 stars out of 5 213
Target 4.8 stars out of 5 94
Best Buy 4.8 stars out of 5 93
Bed, Bath & Beyond 4.6 stars out of 5 145
Lowe's 4.8 stars out of 5 82
Walmart 4.7 stars out of 5 89
JCPenny 4.8 stars out of 5 84
HSN 4.7 stars out of 5 3
Tesco 4.7 stars out of 5 191
Macy's 4.8 stars out of 5 83
Home Depot 4.7 stars out of 5 90
Kohl's 4.8 stars out of 5 93
QVC 5 stars out of 5 2

 

Consumer Insights
Consumer comments often yield important nuggets of information about a vacuum, and in some cases can help determine if it is the right (or wrong) machine for a particular person. Following are a list of likes and dislikes regarding the V6 Absolute and also points commonly made by owners.

PROS
- Lightweight
- Easy to maneuver and get into tight places
- Good on Carpet and Bare floors
- Capable on pet hair
- Fairly powerful for a stick vacuum
- High powered handheld vacuum
- Small footprint and can be hung on wall

CONS
- Expensive
- Filter can sometimes fall out
- Trigger must be depressed all the time (hard on finger)
- Small dust canister needs frequent emptying

As seen in the ratings table above, the bulk of owner reviews and ratings for this vacuum are extremely good. Nevertheless there are some issues/concerns voiced by owners.

Probably the most contentious issue with this vacuum is the battery life – about 20 min. Many owners report that it is insufficient, while others feel it is long enough given that the vacuum is not designed for large cleanups. This has been an ongoing debate since the Dyson DC59, and frankly we’ve seen these kinds of comments (run time is too short) for many cordless machines from a range of manufacturers. It is our opinion that if a run time of 20 minutes is going to be an issue for you then you may wish to consider a different stick vacuum – perhaps a corded unit (Hoover SH20030, Miele S194, Shark Rocket) or a machine with multiple batteries (Hoover Air Cordless).

Several owners have also commented that the “short” run time would be remedied if the V6 was able to run while plugged in and recharging - but it does not. Also, even if this approach did work, the unit would require a very, very long cable on the charger (which it presently does not have).

Another thing that bothers some people is the need to continually depress the trigger in order to keep the vacuum running. Some folks find that their finger gets tired. On the other hand, some owners report liking the instant release trigger as it doesn’t waste battery power between cleaning tasks. Again, this issue was first brought up by owners of the original DC59 however it would appear with the new V6’s Dyson has chosen not to change the feature.  For us this was not an issue as depressing the trigger is very easy and it requires little effort to hold it in place.

 

Also, the fact that most full size Dyson vacuums carry a 5 year warranty while their stick vacs, regardless of the price, all seem to carry a much shorter 2 year warranty doesn’t sit well with some owners.

Having pointed out some of the issues above it is only fair to highlight that there are also many positive owner comments. Folks report that the machine is lightweight and therefore easy to carry from floor to floor, that it is exceedingly easy to maneuver, and that it is effective on bare floors, carpet, and at picking up pet hair. It is also gentle on bare floors and does not leave scratches. We used the Absolute around the house (hardwood, carpet and tile floors) and have found all of these comments to be true.

You can read more V6 Absolute owner comments on Amazon here if you like.

The Absolute is very maneuverable. The vacuum is lightweight and the head turns with a twist of the wrist

Details & Specifications
The Absolute package includes a Direct-drive cleaner head, Soft roller cleaner head, Mini motorized tool, Mini soft dusting brush, Combination tool, Crevice tool, Removable wand, Battery charger and a Docking station (there is also an Operating manual, Quick start guide, and Product registration card). When the wand is removed the vacuum converts from stick vac to handheld vacuum which is a great feature and ultimately saves on having to buy a handheld unit.

Opening the V6 Box

 

V6 Absolute Tools

Also, it is worth pointing out that the Direct-drive cleaner head that comes with the Absolute generates 75% more power at the brushbar than the motorized cleaner head provided with the basic V6.

The Absolute has lifetime washable filters which save on money over time (the same for all Dyson vacuums). It also has HEPA filtration and a sealed system which ensures all of the air entering the vacuum is passed through the filters before being exhausted back into the room/area. This is a useful feature for those with asthma or allergies.  You can learn more about HEPA filtration and sealed systems in our HEPA Filter article.

The V6 series vacuums have 2 levels of radial cyclones (the space-age looking cylinders that sit above the dust canister) which comprise a total of 15 cyclones operating in parallel. This approach is said to increase airflow and ultimately remove more microscopic particles than the previous Dyson cyclone technologies. Cyclonic technology has been a hallmark of Dyson vacuums for the past 20 years and they are continually optimizing this process/technology.

Run Time
The V6 Absolute cordless has two power modes: Standard and Boost. On “Standard” the vacuum generates 28 air watts of power and the run time is 20 minutes, but this drops when some of the attachments are used. On “Boost” the vacuum generates 100 air watts of power and the run time drops substantially to 6 minutes. Check out the graphic below to better understand run time with/without tools/attachments:

 

Run time is “fade free” which means that the unit will generate strong suction right up to the point that the battery is drained – the suction does not slowly fade while the battery is drawn down. The V6 machines use a nickel manganese cobalt battery.

The Absolute in boost mode. Blue light appears around "MAX" button.

The vacuum also comes with a docking station which holds the vacuum while it is being recharged. The docking station can also be mounted on the wall, and it can hold some of the attachments. A full battery recharge of the V6 Absolute takes about 3.5 hours.

The dust canister on this unit has a volume of 0.11 gallons and is rather small. As a result it requires frequent emptying if you use it a lot. However most stick vacuums have fairly small dust canisters due to their small size and light weight.  Also, in our experience the dust canister, while easy to empty, did retain a fair bit of hair that wasn't easily removed (see images below).  It could be removed by dismantling the dust canister but this was a bit of a hassle.

Hair tangled inside dust canister

 

Dismantling the V6 dust canister to remove difficult to access hair and debris

The Absolute weighs in at 5.1 lbs, and while this is lighter than many other cordless stick vacuums, it is a little heavier than some of the other V6 models:

- V6 4.5 lbs
- Motorhead 5.0 lbs
- Animal 5.0 lbs
- Fluffy 5.1 lbs
- Absolute 5.1 lbs

For many folks the difference in weight between the base V6 and Absolute (0.6 lbs) may feel minimal but my 80 year old mother has tried both the base V6 and the Absolute side-by-side and felt that the Absolute was harder for her to maneuver. I personally couldn’t really tell the difference, but for those more sensitive to weight – especially given that this unit uses a lot of wrist action – it could be a slight issue.

The Absolute has a cleaning path width of 9.84 inches and it carries a 2 year limited warranty on parts and labor. In addition, it is both ETL and UL listed. ETL is a group that performs electrical and reliability tests on products to ensure they meet US product safety standards, while Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) is a nonprofit, independent product safety certification organization in the US.

Conclusion
This V6 Absolute cordless vacuum is designed for quick and easy pickups, and small-area vacuuming on both carpet and bare floors. For these tasks it works very well. It is lightweight, powerful, maneuverable and really easy to use. It is expensive however, and if you have a large area to clean you will need to have a second full size vacuum to do the job. Consider your needs carefully before buying the Absolute, but if it matches your requirements (and budget) it is a great machine.

 

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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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