The V15 Detect is Dyson’s latest cordless stick vacuum and like every new Dyson machine it is making headlines. To see if all the hype was true we tested the V15 on carpet and hard floors, on edges and on hair. We also performed run time tests and looked at a host of the vacuum’s features, including the green laser in the fluffy cleaner head. Like every vacuum the V15 has some good points and some not-so-good points. We walk through them all in this article – and we have included videos that show and discuss every point.
Includes 2 Cleaner Heads
Most previous Dyson stick vac models only came with 1 cleaner head. To get 2 cleaner heads you had to either get the “Absolute” model which was the most expensive or you had to separately buy a second cleaner head (typically the soft roller cleaner head). This is not the case with the V15 as it includes both a High Torque cleaner head and a Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head (which is a soft roller cleaner head). One cleaner head is designed for carpet while the other is designed for hard flooring.
The laser feature on the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head actually works (we had our doubts as to how effective it would be). It is designed to highlight hidden dust/debris on hard surfaces by shining a laser at just the right angle along the floor. We tested it and were surprised how well it worked. In addition, we have read many, many V15 owner reviews and found that most folks really like the laser feature.
Easy Brushroll Maintenance
The brushrolls of both cleaner heads are designed to be easily removed for maintenance. Maintenance usually involves the removal of hair/string/thread. In addition, the soft brushroll of the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head can also be rinsed in water.
Both the High Torque cleaner head and the Hair Screw tool have anti-tangle technology. We tested both on short white pet hair and long black human hair and the technology worked very, very well, leaving almost nothing on the brushroll and moving the hair to the dust canister for disposal. The technology in the High Torque cleaner head is slightly different than that in the Hair Screw tool and this is shown in our video below.
The Dyson V15 battery can be easily removed and easily re-attached. It can be done in seconds. The advantages of this include the ability to use multiple batteries and increase your run times (when one battery is depleted you simply pop it off and attach a fully charged one and keep vacuuming). In addition, a click-in battery allows you to charge the battery on or off the vacuum.
Lots of Power
The V15 has 3 power modes and has the same power as the V11 in ECO power mode. However it is more powerful than the V11 in both MEDIUM and BOOST power modes.
Excellent Movement & Maneuverability
The vacuum moves very well on hard flooring and the cleaner head can turn a full 90 degrees, which is very handy for running along edges. It also moves and maneuvers very well on carpet. We found that the Dyson cordless stick vacuums move better on all surfaces than any of the other cordless stick vacs we’ve tested from other manufacturers. Many other machines seem to float when moved in a straight line on carpet and some also snowplow forward when turning on carpet.
Automatic Power Mode
When using the High Torque cleaner head, the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, or the Hair Screw tool (all motorized), the vacuum power mode will automatically go into AUTO. This power mode adjusts power up or down on the fly depending on different factors. When using the High Torque cleaner head the vacuum power will adjust depending on the floor surface and the number of particles in the vacuum airflow (counted by a piezo meter). When using either the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head or the Hair Screw tool the vacuum power will adjust depending only on the number of particles in the vacuum airflow.
Easy to Empty
Like the V10 and V11, the V15 is also easy to empty with Dyson’s point and shoot approach. The dust canister is also designed to be easily removable should you wish to clean it.
Good on Carpet
We performed cleaning tests on low pile carpet in all three power modes: ECO, AUTO, BOOST. While the V15 was not quite as good as the V11 in ECO power mode, it was about the same as the V11 in AUTO and BOOST modes. Despite slightly underperforming the V11 in ECO power mode, we would still say the carpet cleaning performance of the V15 is very good.
Great on Hard Floors
We performed cleaning tests on hard flooring (tile) and found that the V15 did a great job – even at the lower ECO setting. This is mostly due to the excellent hard floor pickup abilities of the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head. It is much more effective on hard flooring than the High Torque cleaner head.
Run Time on Hard Floors
Run times on hard floors are excellent and testing showed that the unit got almost an hour and a half in ECO mode on tile. All of the test figures were substantially higher than those provided by the manufacturer. All figures can be seen in the video below.
LCD Control Panel
The LCD control panel that sits on the back on the handheld unit provides a level of control not found with most vacuum cleaners. You can easily cycle through the three power modes, and if there is an issue with the vacuum (blockage, dirty filter, etc) it will deliver a video showing you how to fix the problem. In addition, there is a run time countdown that changes in real time as you vacuum, so you have a very accurate idea of how much vacuuming time you have left before you need to recharge the battery. The V15 also shows a dynamic bar chart of particle sizes (and the number of particles) in the airflow.
Both the V11 and V15 come with a wand clip that carries two non-motorized tools. You can attach the clip to the wand and thus have two tools with you while you are vacuuming.
Our following video walks through all the great things about the Dyson V15
The Dyson cordless units continue to get heavier and heavier. When compared to all other Dyson cordless vacuums, the V15 is the heaviest of the bunch (with the exception of the larger Dyson V11 Outsize). This does result in the V15 feeling less nimble than earlier machines like the V6, V7 or even V8.
Heavy Handheld Unit
All Dyson cordless vacuums are 2-in-1 machines, meaning they are both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum. The Dyson V15 handheld component is heavier than its predecessors (with the exception of the V11 Outsize) and you can feel it when holding it in your hand. In addition, the V15 handheld unit is larger than that of earlier models – like the V6, V7, V8 – and is thus not as easy to use in cramped areas like vehicle interiors.
Only 1 Battery
The vacuum only comes with one click-in battery. One of the most useful aspects of a click-in battery is the ability to swap in a fully charged battery when the one you are using is depleted. But you can only do this when you have more than one battery.
Have to Hold Trigger Down
Since the very early Dyson cordless models there has been a group of owners who do not like to continually hold the trigger down to power the vacuum. They find that it tires their finger. Some vacuums have a trigger lock so that you do not have to do this while others just have on ON/OFF button. The V15 continues the tradition of having to hold the trigger down. This is an issue for some owners but not others.
Average Edge Cleaning
In the edge cleaning test the V15 did not clean up tight against the baseboards in the first two passes. We consider this to be an average result. It did however manage to pick up most of the debris along the edge with repeated passes.
Hard to Move on Carpet in BOOST Mode
When in BOOST power mode the High Torque cleaner head sucks down pretty hard on carpet and makes the vacuum harder to move around. This is not too big a deal but it is something that is certainly noticeable and may be problematic for some owners, especially during longer cleaning sessions in BOOST mode.
Limited Run Times on Carpet
Run time tests on medium pile carpet were shorter than the manufacturer’s suggested figures in both ECO mode and AUTO mode. This was surprising as our experience with Dyson cordless machines usually shows the manufacturer’s figures to be conservative. However it should be noted that the V15 did produce a longer run time than the manufacturer’s suggested figures in BOOST mode.
An Expensive Vacuum
There are currently two V15 models in the USA: the V15 Detect and the V15 Detect +. The Detect is about $700 USD and the Detect + is about $750 USD. We would consider both models to be on the expensive side.
In the following video we highlight issues or concerns with the Dyson V15