Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy Upright
Avg. consumer rating = 91/100
We recently got our hands on the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy upright vacuum cleaner. Dyson is known for pushing the boundaries of technology and this machine is no exception. Not only is it bagless, but it also has no filters to clean or replace. All you have to do is empty the dust canister once in a while.
The New Cinetic Machines
Lets face it, many of us don't clean our vacuum filters as often as we should. As a result, airflow is restricted and the vacuum loses efficiency resulting in poor suction. If you are the more diligent type you may undertake timely cleaning of your filters but this generally requires washing the filter and leaving it to dry for many hours. Other filters simply have to be replaced which costs money. This, in a nutshell, is why a vacuum with no filters to maintain is attractive.
Presently there are 3 different Cinetic vacuums available from Dyson.
- Dyson Cinetic Animal (canister vacuum)
- Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal (upright vacuum)
- Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy (upright vacuum)
The difference between the Big Ball Animal and the Big Ball Animal + Allergy (besides the price) is the tool set. The Animal + Allergy comes with 4 more tools and a tool bag. Also, the Big Ball Animal + Allergy version is identified by its nickel sprayed cyclones (top of the dust canister) while the Big Ball Animal version has purple cyclones.
At this time the new Cinetic vacuums are only available at QVC but will be available through other retail outlets beginning March 1, 2015. These are fairly expensive machines and the Big Ball Animal + Allergy costs in the neighborhood of $700USD, while the Big Ball Animal is closer to $600USD. The Animal (canister vacuum) is about $550.
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy carries a 5-year warranty on parts and labor. Our box says Designed to last 10 years with a 5 year warranty.
You may want to watch our detailed video review of the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy below:
Cyclonic technology involves rapidly spinning air and allowing centrifugal force to push the dust and debris out of the air and into the dust canister. The technology behind this machine, known as Dyson Cinetic science, is an extension of this cyclonic technology
Like the DC50, the Cinetic has two layers of cyclones on top of the dust canister, but these cyclones are smaller. Smaller cyclones make it easier to capture smaller dust particles (the smaller the cone the faster the air spins). Dyson indicates that these new cyclones will remove particles as small as 0.5 microns in diameter - thus the ability to operate with no filter maintenance.
But there is a problem - smaller cyclones have narrower openings at the end, and therefore clog easier. To solve this, Dyson made the tips at the end of the cyclones oscillate at 350 times per second. The dust and debris then go straight into the dust canister. A good solution, but is it possible the cyclones could clog over time? The Dyson website states that the vacuum was tested with 10 years worth of dust and it had absolutely no loss of suction. This, presumably, also means that the cyclones did not clog.
Besides saving money and/or time on filters, Cinetic science also results in whole machine HEPA filtration. HEPA filters are commonly found in vacuum cleaners today and are used to remove the likes of tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, etc from the air (read more in our article on HEPA filtration). This is especially beneficial in homes with allergy or asthma sufferers.
In addition, the vacuum is designed with a sealed system. Having HEPA-level filtration in your machine is no guarantee of clean air. In order for proper filtration all the air entering the vacuum must be filtered/cleaned before it is exhausted from the machine. This requires that air does not escape through cracks or seams in the vacuum body. Most machines are not built to these specifications - but some, like the Cinetic, are.
After using the Cinetic we found the following pros and cons:
- Many tools & attachments
- Long cleaning reach
- Handy automatic height adjustment
- Capable on carpet and bare floors
- Easy to empty dust canister
- No bags
- No filters
- Not too loud
- Some debris in dust canister can be tricky to remove
- Awkward system for locking into upright position
As of the end of March several consumer ratings have appeared online. These are provided in the table below, and when averaged they yield on overall score of 91/100 (or about 4.5 stars out of 5). You can compare this to other machines in our list of Dyson vacuum ratings, Upright vacuum ratings, or All vacuum ratings.
|Amazon||4.2 stars out of 5||370|
|Best Buy||4.7 stars out of 5||712|
|Bed Bath & Beyond||4.6 stars out of 5||457|
|Overstock||4.5 stars out of 5||15|
|*Costco||4.4 stars out of 5||451|
|*Walmart||4.6 stars out of 5||409|
|*HSN||4.5 stars out of 5||11|
* Consumer ratings for the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal (not the Animal + Allergy). Machines are essentially the same with only a change in tool set.
We've never seen a vacuum with so many attachments and tools.
The Dyson Cinetic Animal + Allergy includes the following:
- Crevice-tool/dusting-brush combo tool
- Stair tool
- Tangle Free turbine tool
- Multi-angle brush (Animal + Allergy only)
- Mattress tool (Animal + Allergy only)
- Carbon fiber soft dusting brush (Animal + Allergy only)
- Flexible reach under tool (Animal + Allergy only)
The reach under tool (below) is quite novel as it allows you to get under very low furniture - you can see how flat the head is and that the extension bends. However if bent at too great an angle the rubber extension can kink thereby restricting suction at the end of the tool.
In addition, we found the multi-angle tool very good for cleaning the tops of book cases and cupboards - areas you often can't see and are hard to reach. We've used the tangle free turbine tool before and found that it did a good job on loose string/hair/thread, but nothing too large. The tools all fit on the end of the telescopic wand or hose. The combo tool and stair tool can be stored on-board the vacuum. Due to the volume of tools, the Cinetic Animal + Allergy comes with a tool bag (below).
The cleaning reach of the Cinetic Big Ball is substantial at about 50 feet. The vacuum has a lengthy 35 foot power cord and the hose, by our measurements, is in the neighbourhood of 14-15 feet long.
The Cinetic Big Ball machines have 180 air watts of suction power. How does that stack up against other machines in the Dyson upright stable? Following are suction power figures for several of the Dyson Uprights:
Cinetic - 180 air watts
DC65 - 245 air watts
DC41 - 235 air watts
DC40 - 200 air watts
DC50 - 128 air watts
Despite having lower suction figures than some of the other uprights we found pickup on both carpet and bare floors to be quite good. The active base plate ensures easy transition from bare floors to carpet and back, and it also optimizes suction on the different floor types. However, we did notice that the base place can sometimes get in the way of larger debris, not allowing it to get under the nozzle. If it doesn't get under the nozzle it doesn't get picked up. You may find yourself lifting the nozzle a bit to get the debris underneath.
The vacuum has a motorized brushbar (with on/off capability) and ground-in pet hair was easily picked up from carpet. However long pet hair does have a tendency to get wrapped up in the brushbar.
We found that the Cinetic also cleaned up tight against the baseboards. This is a nice feature/capability as you don't have to go over these areas with a hose and tool after finishing a room.
In terms of weight, the Big Ball Animal + Allergy is a hefty machine weighing in at 19.8 lbs. To our surprise the Big Ball feature didn't really help much with maneuverability on carpet or bare floors. Having said that, maneuverability is still acceptable but the heft of the machine makes it a bit of a chore to carry up and down stairs or from room to room.
For those not familiar with the Dyson Ball concept, following is a great video showing how it works and how it was originally devised. Instead of a vacuum that travels on wheels, the Dyson Ball vacuum literally moves around on a ball, thus enabling tight turns and a high level of maneuverability. The ball houses the motor and helps to create a low center of gravity making the machine easier to move. The Ball is designed to make cleaning in cramped spaces and around furniture much simpler.
Emptying the dust canister on the Cinetic is very easy and it can be removed from the vacuum, emptied, and then reattached all with one hand. However dust bunnies and the like can sometimes get caught up in the canister and may require one to reach in and pull them out. The dust canister has a volume of 0.57 gallons.
Placing the vacuum in the upright position can be a bit annoying much like we experienced with the DC65 (see DC65 review/video). To lock the unit in the upright position, one has to push the vacuum handle forward until you hear a barely audible click. If the unit doesn't click into place then the vacuum handle will fall to the floor. It is easy to miss the click and you will frequently find yourself testing the handle to see if it is going to stay in place or fall.
Cinetic Big Ball vs DC65
If you are considering a Dyson upright you may be wondering how the new Cinetic stacks up against the DC65 Animal, the previous top dog in the Dyson upright stable. You can see the two units side-by-side in the image below.
The ball mechanism on the Cinetic is extra large. Is the Cinetic therefore more maneuverable than the DC65? Not really. Maneuverability is still acceptable but, in our opinion, not as good as the DC65. Perhaps the larger ball is necessary simply because the Cinetic is a larger machine (we dont know) but it doesn't provide any mobility advantage.
The nozzles on the two vacuums look similar and both have motorized brushbars that can easily be removed for cleaning. Both also have the active base plate and as a result often experience the same issue of pushing some dust and debris ahead of the nozzle.
From a cleaning perspective both machine performed similarly in our tests (using typical household dust and debris) although we would expect the more powerful DC65 Animal to prove more capable on very heavy debris (we did not test this). Audio tests also showed the Cinetic to be the quieter of the two machines: 73.6 dB in idle mode and 76.2 dB with brushroll on, compared to the DC65 Animal which was: 75.3 dB in idle mode and 79.2 with the brushroll on. While the figures may seem very close there is an audible difference and the Cinetic is noticably more quiet.
The DC65, besides being less expensive (about $450USD), is also slightly smaller and it weighs in at 17.4 lbs while the Cinetic tips the scales at 19.8 lbs. Also, despite the larger size, the Cinetic does not have the suction power of the DC65. The Cinetic has 180 air watts of suction while the DC65 has 245. Of course the DC65 does not have Cinetic technology so it has 2 filters that need to be maintained.
The Cinetic and the DC65 have similar size dust canisters (0.55 gallons for the DC65 and 0.57 gallons for the Cinetic) and frequency of emptying for each machine is about the same.
Both the Cinetic and the DC65 have about the same cleaning reach of 50 feet. This is more than most uprights we have investigated over the past eight years. The hose on the Cinetic, like the hose on the DC65, is a bit difficult to stretch out to its full 15 feet it has a tendency to pull back and will sometimes pull the vacuum over.
We found the Cinetic easier to click into the upright position than the DC65. The Cinetic only requires about half the forward push before we hear the "click" that lets us know it is locked in place.
In short the Cinetic is quieter and has no filter maintenance, while the DC65 Animal is more powerful, less expensive and lighter.
|Nigel Russco has been writing for Vacuum Cleaner Advisor for years and has a background in business and engineering, as well as a keen interest in anything related to vacuum cleaners. Connect with Nigel on Google+|