Dyson V15 Detect Review
Avg. consumer rating = 96/100
Is this the best Dyson stick vacuum to date? It may well be. In this review we run the Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum through a host of tests and look at the unit’s many features. The V15 is a stick vac and a handheld vac so it is very versatile (vehicles, homes, stairs, etc). Unlike any of its predecessors it comes with special no-tangle tools which make it a great choice for homes with pets. It is designed for carpet and hard floors, and has a click-in battery which will double your run time if you buy a second battery. The V15 also has a few other tricks up its sleeve including a bright green laser in the cleaner head.
|Comes with 2 cleaner heads||Only comes with 1 battery|
|Anti-tangle technology in cleaner head||Over 4 hrs to charge battery|
|Laser highlights dust/debris||Must remove wand to empty|
|Hair tool works well||Effort to move on carpet on high suction|
|Plenty of tools/attachments||No power-trigger lock|
|Can store 2 tools on-board||Expensive|
|Reasonable battery life|
|Lots of suction|
|Automatic power setting|
|Best for...||Hard Floors & Carpet|
|Pet Hair Features||Yes|
|Approx. Weight||6.79 lbs|
|HEPA Level Filtration||Yes|
|Power Cord Length||Cordless|
|Motor Driven Brushbar||Yes|
There are currently two V15 models available in the USA:
1) Dyson V15 Detect
2) Dsyon V15 Detect +
The Detect + is different from the Detect in that it has:
- A combi-crevice tool instead of a plain crevice tool. This is a 2-in-1 tool which sports both a narrow nozzle and a brush.
- A low-reach adaptor. This attachment allows you to adjust the wand angle by up to 90% thereby helping to get under low furniture without having to reach down low.
- A HEPA grade filter.
There are currently two V15 models available in Canada:
1) Dyson V15 Detect Total Clean
2) Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
It appears that the V15 Detect Total Clean (Canada) is the same machine as the V15 Detect (USA) with all the same features, tools, attachments, etc. However, the V15 Absolute (Canada) is different from the V15 Detect (USA) in that it has:
- A crevice tool with built-in LED lights instead of a plain crevice tool
- A HEPA grade filter
- An extra battery
- An extra charger
We scoured the Internet for V15 Detect owner ratings on reputable online retail sites and we found over 300 – see table below. When we applied a weighted average to these figures we got an overall score of 96 out of 100. This is an excellent score. As a matter of fact “96” places the V15 at the very pinnacle of all the stick vacuums we’ve reviewed. You can see our full list of stick vacuum ratings or check out all our vacuum ratings in the vacuum cleaner finder application.
|Source||Consumer Rating||# Ratings|
|Best Buy||4.8 stars out of 5||209|
|Bed, Bath & Beyond||4.8 stars out of 5||40|
|Home Depot||4.8 stars out of 5||35|
|Target||4.8 stars out of 5||26|
See V15 owner reviews and comments on Amazon.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
- Handheld vacuum unit
- One battery
- High torque cleaner head (carpet & hard floors)
- Laser slim fluffy cleaner head (hard floors)
- Wall mount (with screws and drywall anchors)
- Hair screw tool
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Wand clip
The combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush and stubborn dirt brush are all non-motorized, simple tools that work fairly well. These are provided with the V11 Torque Drive as well.
The new and most interesting tool that comes with the V15 is the motorized Hair Screw Tool. It’s an odd looking unit and it has an anti-tangle conical brushroll which is great for pulling up pet hair in small spaces. The idea is that the hair moves towards the smaller end of the brushroll where it then gets sucked up into the dust canister.
How well does this work? We ran a short test on a combination of long black hair and short white hair on medium pile carpet. We ground the hair into the carpet the best we could and ran the unit on AUTO power mode – see video below:
Performance was excellent and as the video shows the tool picked up all the hair, kept almost all of it off the brushroll, and deposited it into the dust canister for disposal. Quite impressive.
POWER MODES & SUCTION
The V15 has 3 power modes:
The power modes are chosen via a button on the control panel at the back of the handheld unit.
MEDIUM power mode automatically becomes AUTO power mode when you are using one of the motorized tools (High torque cleaner head, Laser slim fluffy cleaner head, Hair screw tool). AUTO power mode will automatically adjust suction power depending on the floor type, the cleaner head, and the amount of dust/debris encountered. When not using one of the aforementioned three motorized tools, you will find the AUTO power mode replaced by the MEDIUM power mode in the LCD control panel.
The suction power in each mode is as follows:
ECO = 26 Air Watts
MEDIUM = 47 Air Watts
BOOST = 230 Air Watts
Note that we haven't listed a suction power for AUTO power mode – that's because because it is constantly being adjusted.
The V15 is more powerful than the V10 in all power modes and more powerful than the V11 in MEDIUM and BOOST power modes.
|Power Mode||Dyson V10||Dyson V11||Dyson V15|
|ECO||15.8 Air Watts||26 Air Watts||26 Air Watts|
|MED||33.8 Air Watts||38.6 Air Watts||47 Air Watts|
|BOOST||151 Air Watts||185 Air Watts||230 Air Watts|
See pricing for the V15 Detect on Amazon.
The V15 sports the same LCD display as the V11 Torque Drive, although it now shows a little more information. You will find remaining run time (in each power mode), run time count down in real time, power mode, as well as a host of maintenance alerts.
In addition, the V15 has an acoustic piezo sensor that counts the dust particles entering the vacuum and categorizes each particle into a size range – it does this 15,000 times per second. The results are fed in real time to the LCD screen at the back of the handheld unit and displayed in a colorful dynamic bar chart (see image below). The dust particle results are used to adjust suction on the fly when the vacuum is in AUTO power mode (suction increases when the number of particles increases and vice-versa).
V15 battery specifications:
- 7-cell rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack
- 25.2 V
- 3600 mAh
- 91 Wh
The V15 battery is what Dyson calls a “click-in” battery, meaning it can easily be popped off (a red button on the back of the battery is pressed and the battery easily separates from the handheld unit). This is handy if you want to charge the battery separately from the vacuum or if you want to purchase a second battery in order to increase your run time. If you have two batteries, when one is drawn down you can simply pop on another fully charged one and keep on vacuuming.
RECHARGING THE V15
To recharge a fully depleted V15 battery takes approximately 4.5 hours. The battery can be charged while it is on the vacuum but it can also be removed from the vacuum and charged separately. In addition, the battery will charge when the vacuum is placed in the wall mount.
RUN TIMES - OFFICIAL
According to the manufacturer these are the approximate run times:
(High Torque Cleaner Head)
(Laser Fluffy Cleaner Head)
|ECO||60 min||60 min|
|AUTO||20 min||30 min|
|BOOST||10 min||12 min|
RUN TIMES - TESTED
We tested the carpet run times on medium pile carpet and we tested the hard floor run times on tile.
|POWER MODE||CARPET - MEDIUM PILE
(High Torque Cleaner Head)
|HARD FLOOR - TILE
(Laser Fluffy Cleaner Head)
|ECO||43 min 31 sec||87 min 45 sec|
|AUTO||18 min 57 sec||43 min 13 sec|
|BOOST||11 min 49 sec||15 min 22 sec|
The tested run times on medium pile carpet in both ECO and AUTO modes were lower than the manufacturer’s estimates. This is unusual for Dyson (in our experience). We did notice that the Torque Drive cleaner head sucks down quite hard on the carpet – especially our medium pile carpet. So we ran a test on low pile carpet (still in AUTO power mode) to see if we might get a longer run time with a shorter pile carpet, and we did.
Low pile carpet:
AUTO – 20 min 43 sec
So with a lower pile carpet the run time is a little longer (we got another 1 min 46 seconds, or about 9.3%) and it now falls within the figures provided by the manufacturer. But it also highlights that deeper pile carpet reduces run times.
With respect to the hard floor, the tested run times on tile were well above those indicated by the manufacturer. In short, they were excellent, with close to one and a half hours in ECO mode.
With previous Dyson stick vacs the only way you got two cleaner heads was to purchase a second cleaner head separately or get the rather expensive and sometimes hard to find “Absolute” model. This is not the case with the Dyson V15 Detect. All Dyson V15’s come with two cleaner heads – the High torque cleaner head and the Laser slim fluffy cleaner head (one designed predominantly for carpet, the other solely for hard floors).
Unlike previous versions of the High torque cleaner head, the new V15 version (seen above) has an anti-tangle comb with 56 poly-carbonate teeth built into it, and the brushroll also has some anti-tangle tweaks. The purpose of all this is to get hair to the dust canister for disposal while keeping it off the brushroll. In some previous Dyson stick vac reviews we found that the brushrolls can get pretty bound up with hair when run through our hair test. This did not happen with the new cleaner head. You can see our V15 hair test further down in the review.
The new laser slim fluffy cleaner head (below) is designed for hard floors and has rows of woven nylon as well as anti-static carbon fibers. This cleaner head also sports an actual laser that is angled precisely to illuminate the area just in front of the cleaner head thereby highlighting hidden dust/debris. The laser emits a bright green light and there is a switch on the top of the cleaner head should you want to turn the laser off.
We ran the laser Slim fluffy over some debris in a darkish corner to show how it works. See video below:
We were suprised at how well the laser worked. Upon hearing about this feature we were rather skeptical, but it really does highlight otherwise hidden dust and debris on a hard surface. We also noticed, while reading many reviews from other owners, that the majority really like this feature.
We were a little concerned about the impact of the laser on battery life so we posed this question to a Dyson engineer. We were told that the laser draws 30 mA and over a 60 minute period the laser degrades the battery life by approximately 1 second. So it has virtually no impact on battery life.
The brushrolls of both cleaner heads can be easily removed for cleaning should you need or want to. The brushroll in the laser slim fluffy cleaner head can actually be washed but you need to remove the laser end before doing so – the steps are described in the manual which is available at the bottom of this review.
The V15 Detect weighs in at 6.79 lbs which is just slightly heavier than the V11 and substantially more than previous Dyson stick vacs. See table below.
|Stick Vac Model||Weight (lbs)|
|Dyson V7 (motorhead)||5.5|
|LG CordZero A9||6.0|
|Tineco Pure One S12||6.6|
|Shark Rocket Pro||7.3|
|Shark IONFlex / ION F80||8.7|
|Shark Vertex Cordless||9.0|
We feel the V15 weight is still reasonable as the unit isn’t that hard to move or hold for long periods. Also some stick vacs from other manufacturers are even heavier.
We have always been impressed with the maneuverability of the Dyson stick vacuums on both carpet and bare floors. The cleaner head can turn a full 90 degrees and run along a wall or edge. The vacuum also turns very well on carpet, something many other manufacturer’s stick vacs are surprisingly poor at (many other stick vacs we’ve tested kind of float over our low pile carpet and when you turn them there is still a fair bit of forward motion – they don’t turn sharply). The Dyson DOES turn sharply and it goes exactly where you want it to go.
The V15 moved very well on our tile flooring but we did notice that with the high torque cleaner head on carpet the unit seemed a little harder to push in AUTO or BOOST mode than we expected. With increasing suction the cleaner head gets sucked down into the carpet and movement gets more difficult. It’s not a show stopper but it is noticeable.
The handheld vacuum works well but it is a little on the large and heavy side. However that currently is the price you pay for a handheld with lots of power and long run times.
We weighed the V15 Detect handheld unit at 4.52 lbs which is hefty, especially if you compare it to the likes of our Dyson V7 Motorhead handheld unit which is 3.07 lbs .
All of the tools – including the cleaner heads – can be attached directly to the handheld. And using tools on the end of the wand allows for overhead cleaning and a long reach.
CLEANING PERFORMANCE – CARPET
We ran our carpet cleaning tests on low pile carpet with debris that consisted of chili flakes, flax seeds, and split green peas (small-to-medium sized debris). The debris was placed in a 5 ft long line and the cleaner head was run over it in about a 10 second pass. The tests were run with the suction slider on the front of the high torque cleaner head set in the middle (the suction slider opens and closes two slots along the front bottom of the cleaner head – it has three settings: fully open, half open, closed).
The results were very good and can be seen below.
|Power Mode||% Pickup|
We did notice that the cleaner head really sucks down onto the carpet in BOOST mode and we thought perhaps this was pushing debris ahead of the cleaner head (thus a pickup percentage that wasn’t higher than AUTO mode). So we decided to do an extra run with the suction slider on the front of the cleaner head fully open (to release a little suction under the cleaner head). The result of that test is shown below and you can see that it really made no difference.
BOOST = 98.6% (with suction slider fully open)
BOOST mode performance was pretty much the same as AUTO mode performance (I don’t think you can read into it that AUTO mode is better than BOOST mode). It may seem counterintuitive but this carpet test uses mostly surface debris and AUTO mode was more than up to the task. BOOST mode may come into its own for really ground-in, dirty areas.
CLEANING PERFORMANCE – HARD FLOOR
In this test we used the laser slim fluffy cleaner head on a tile floor.
|Power Mode||% Pickup|
Pickup was excellent in all power modes with AUTO and BOOST providing just a little bit better results than ECO (we noticed a little more scatter in ECO mode).
CLEANING PERFORMANCE – HAIR
In this test we placed short white pet hair and long black human hair on low pile carpet and ran the vacuum over it (AUTO power mode). The test was to see how much of the hair was picked up and how much of the hair remained tangled on the brushroll.
We were thoroughly impressed with the results of this test. Hair pickup was excellent and there was virtually no hair left on the brushroll. All of it had been sent to the dust canister. This was the best result we have seen for a stick vacuum with anti-tangle technology (and we’ve tested several).
CLEANING PERFORMANCE - EDGES
In this test we placed chili flakes up tight against a baseboard then ran the vacuum along it to see if it could pick up everything right up to the edge. We ran the vacuum in AUTO power mode.
Edge cleaning for the V15 was average. It left some material against the wall. We did notice that repeated passes helped (some vacuums won’t pickup close to the wall no matter how many times you go over it).
The dust canister is easy to empty (empties the same way as the V10 and V11) and you need to remove the wand before emptying. The dust canister has a capacity of 0.2 gallons which is a reasonable size. For short jobs you won’t find yourself having to empty it too often but for longer or particularly messy jobs you will.
When emptying the dust canister not everything falls out – especially if you are dealing with hair. Sometimes you will have to stick your hand inside and pull out stuck debris. This isn’t ideal but it is not unique to these Dyson stick vacs. We’ve seen this happen with a lot of bagless machines.
The V15 dust canister can also be completely removed from the handheld unit for wiping down or cleaning.
We placed a digital noise level meter 3 feet in front of the high torque cleaner head (on low pile carpet) and turned the vacuum on, testing peak decibels in the different power modes.
ECO = 66.1 dB
AUTO = 67.9 dB
BOOST = 70.0 dB
For comparison purposes we've put together a table of some popular stick vacuums and the the noise levels we've measured in both low and max power:
|Stick Vac Model||Low Power (dB)||Max Power (dB)|
|Tineco Pure One S12||61.1||66.7|
|LG CordZero A9||63.0||74.4|
|Shark IONFlex / ION F80||69.4||71.4|
|Shark Vertex Cordless||72.9||72.9|
|Shark Rocket Pro||74.2||75.1|
The V15 was a little louder in ECO mode and a little quieter in BOOST mode than some of the earlier Dyson stick vacs. It was also quieter than all the Shark stick vacuums in the table above, but not as quiet as the Tineco (the Tineco Pure One S12 is the quietest stick vacuum we’ve ever tested).
According to Dyson, the V15 Detect is capable of removing 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more. This increases to 99.99% in BOOST power mode.
The filter sits on the back of the handheld unit and to remove it you simply grab it, give it a twist and it pulls right off. The filter can be rinsed in water and reused which is a great feature – you don’t have to go buy a new one when it is dirty. However, the filter will take about 24 hours to dry and you cannot use the vacuum without it.
The V15 will not stand on its own. When not in use you either have to lay it on the floor, lean it against a wall, or place it in the wall mount (shown below with included screws and drywall anchors). Some owners wish that the vacuum came with a stand (our LG CordZero did). We have seen the Dyson Floor Dok available at Dyson.com (about $150) and other aftermarket Dyson stick vac stands on Amazon. But you do not get one with your V15. There are a few stick vacs that do stand on their own – one example is the Miele Triflex.
The Dyson V15 Detect carries a 2-year parts and labor warranty.
In our opinion, the V15 Detect really is the best Dyson stick vacuum to date:
- Lots of power
- Fantastic run times on hard floor
- Swappable battery
- Cleaner heads for both carpet and bare floors
- Excellent hard floor cleaning ability
- Effective anti-tangle technology
- Plenty of useful tools including the hair screw tool
The only thing to watch out for is the shortish run time on carpet in AUTO power mode. Still, if you have the cash, we think this is the one to get. However, it is a little hefty and, as mentioned, it is not cheap. Those looking for lighter and less expensive stick vacs might want to look to the V7’s/V8’s/V10’s. Check out our comparison articles first though:
DYSON V15 DETECT MANUAL
You can view a copy of the V15 manual here: Dyson V15 Detect User Manual