The Dyson V15 Detect is the definitive difference between a clean home and a healthy one. Why? Because it lights up dirt and detritus that you never knew is there. It can turn you into an obsessive-compulsive cleaner even if you hate vacuuming – and I do.
Damn you, Sir James Dyson. I was blissfully ignorant of the pigsty that I was living in. Once a week, I would set off Robbie the robovac to fill its 500ml dustbin and return home for a charge about an hour later. I knew it could not do the stairs, was not terrific on carpet, and choked on the shag pile feature rug but it passed the barefoot test for clean.
The Dyson V15 Detect (reviewed after two weeks of use) on average found about 300ml detritus more after the robovac and pulled 400ml out of the feature rug that we had conveniently not vacuumed for a while.
But what is most telling is the ‘Mr Fluffy’ Laser-lit rotating head that exposes dirt and detritus that Robbie misses. It is not just under the cupboard eves or edges (Robbie does not do edges) but in places that you would assume a LiDAR equipped robot could easily access.
Damn you, Sir James Dyson, for that infernal readout that tells me that I vacuumed up 626,613,348 <10um particles, not to mention the 871,000 dust mites (or it could be fine sand – I prefer to believe the latter).
Dyson V15 Detect – top-gun stick vac for whole-of-home clean
Note there are four models
V15 Detect Total Clean (this review)
V15 Detect Absolute Extra (Dyson online only)
V12 Detect Slim Total Clean – a scaled-down V15 800g lighter and a smaller .35l dustbin
V15 Detect Total Clean $1399 V15 Detect Absolute Extra $1449 V12 Detect Slim Total Clean $1199 V12 Detect Absolute Extra $1249
Country of Manufacture
British engineer Sir James Dyson founded Dyson in 1991. It designs and manufactures household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters, beauty appliances, and lights.
You can read more GadgetGuy Dyson news and reviews here
I have been reviewing Dyson stick vacs since the V8 circa 2017. Apart from some cosmetic changes, the concept has been:
125,000 RPM Hyperdymium miniature DC motor (the name must come from the same place as Unobtainium).
Cyclone air system that maintains vacuum pressure regardless of how full the dustbin is. Air science is a Dyson strength.
Filtration – the air it expels is clean – no redistributing dust.
Battery technology – electronic monitoring and auto adjustment to eke out every last minute.
Brush technology and the use of carbon fibres (expensive but more effective and longer wearing).
And high technology – enough to send a man to the moon that monitors engine speed, suction, and so much more.
The most significant cosmetic change came in 2018 when the V10 design changed to ‘straight through’, altering the centre of gravity and making it more balanced in the hand.
Since the V10, we have seen a removable battery (around $199 and V11 onwards); an Outsize version (gets the job done faster); larger .76/1.9L dust bins; intelligent suction power adapts to different surfaces; and now a laser-lit head, and it counts and categorises dust and detritus particles. Oh, and let’s not forget the new anti-tangle conical brush that is a daemon cleaner for hair and mattresses (easily sucks up dust mites and hair).
Damn you, Sir James Dyson? Do we have to throw away our old vacs because once you experience the V15 Detect, you wonder, “What’s next?”
Well, I can try to answer that.
Dyson’s seven million engineers (just kidding) will find vacuum and cleaning issues we never knew we had and herald in the V16! I want to say it is a robovac, but no matter how hard Dyson engineers tried with its Dyson 360 Eye (circa 2016), it did not meet their standards. And that is how I feel about the plethora of robovacs I review, nice try, but no cigar!
The remainder of this review is the boring stuff – nuggets you will pore over if you are planning to spend $1399/1449 on a stick vac.
Accessories – almost everything
The Dyson V15 Detect comes with
Laser Slim Fluffy 25cm motorised head for hard floors
High torque motorised head with anti-tangle comb – for carpets, but it is fine on all floors
Hair screw motorised too for mattresses, pet bedding, upholstery – works like an Archimedes screw.
Extension wand (pipe)
Crevice tool for edges
Mini soft brush for dusting – no scratches
Stubborn dust brush – stiffer bristles and perfect for cars, carpet etc.
Combo tool with pop-out mid-hard bristles and wider crevice tool
Wall mount (screw to the wall) docking station
Wand storage clip holds two tools on the extension wand
All that is missing is a flexible hose wand to allow you to use it as a handheld cleaner. I am not too keen on screwing the docking station to the wall either (you never know when you will sell the home). To that end, the LG A9 series comes with a floor stand, flexible hose and two batteries. It is the only serious contender to the Dyson V11 series.
No app – charge and go.
You can select Eco, Auto, or Boost from the colour readout. Auto is the default, and it moves between Eco and Boost based on the amount of suction needed. Note that this only works with motorised brushes. All other tools require manual power selection. You can also go into the menu and adjust the sensitivity.
On the first run, we set it to Auto, and on the second, we used Eco – there is no appreciable difference apart from the feature rug. The screen gives a real-time estimate of the battery minutes left.
Power – one of the most powerful stick vacs
Few vacuums advertise the air watt power – Dyson included. This is capable of 230 Air watts on Boost mode. By comparison, the V11 Outsize has 220AW, and V11 has 185AW. The LG A9 has 175AW. Frankly, it is hard to see the difference except on our shaggy feature rug.
Battery Life – 60 minutes typical use
The battery is not just a collection of Lithium-ion cells. It is a complex Dyson engineered electronic device with considerable electronic smarts to get the most run-time and care for the battery.
The charger is 45V/1.1A/50W feeding a 25.2V/3.6A/91W battery. It plugs directly into the battery – no need to use the dock. You can also charge the battery outside the vacuum.
Regrettably, two weeks trial is not quite enough to be definitive. Let’s just say that a 75m2 area takes about 35 minutes to vacuum thoroughly. It includes 25% sisal carpet, 10% ceramic tiles, 15% feature rug and 50% bamboo hardwood flooring. In the end, I have about 25% battery left. Dyson claims up to 60 minutes of fade-free power on Eco/hard floor – pass!
As is typical with any vac, the more suction power you use, the less battery life you have. We tested turbo on the feature rug and got around 9 minutes.
Battery charge from 0-100 is just over four hours. You could buy another battery ($199) if your home is larger.
Dustbin – larger than most
It is 770ml, and given its efficiency, it fills in the 75m2 test area. What is more impressive in the first test is that we used it after a robovac had already collected about 500ml of detritus. The Dyson and its laser-lit Mr Fluffy show just how inefficient robovacs can be.
How does it clean? Brilliantly
We have a 100g mix of detritus, including fines, long hair and rice bubbles. We measure the amount picked up in one pass on the default setting.
Hard floor – recovers 100%
Sisal short pile carpet – 99%
Longer pile carpet – 95%
Even the best 4000Pa robovac takes two passes to get over 90% across the board.
The readout shows collection by dust size, and that uses a Piezo sensor in the airflow.
But the most exciting thing for obsessive-compulsive cleaners is the readout makes you want to clean all over again, and again, and again! Yes, you can achieve no detritus!
My wife has longish 250mmm hair. The hair screw is 100% effective with no hair in the brush. The Torque drive is 100% effective, but a few strands wrap around the brush.
Noise – acceptable
It ranges from 70-75dB at 1m. It is not intrusive.
Emptying the dustbin – hands-free
It’s a single red, push down, lever over a waste bin. Unless it is over-full, the detritus comes out easily or repeat a few times to shake out dirt.
Maintenance – almost none
The dustbin is removable and washable. The fine steel filter inside the dustbin can be wiped clean.
The top filter is washable – wonderful – and in theory, lasts forever. It needs to dry for at least 24 hours, so it may pay to buy a spare. In fact, there are no running costs for replaceable items, so it’s a keeper.
Mr Fluffy brush is removable from the motorised head and washable – another wonderful. Ditto to drying. You can wipe clean the rest of the head assembly.
The High torque brush and Hair Brush are removable, and they and their head assembly wiped clean. You can’t wash these.
The other tools can be wiped clean or, if necessary, washed.
The slimline laser Mr Fluffy head fits better under cupboard overhangs, especially those with timber overlay on the previous surface and lost 10-15mm clearance.
The laser works best in-office light <500 lumens or less. But even in bright sunlight, it still shows up larger detritus. You are going to be gobsmacked when you see how much dust there is, even in an apparently clean home.
Manoeuvrability is quite good as the vacuum head can turn sideways to get under low furniture as long as you crouch down!
When vacuuming the feature rug, there is quite some head resistance, but it is worth the effort to get a deep clean.
The hand vac section is 2.07kg plus any wand or tools. It is comfortable enough as a floor vac but can get heavy when using it as a hand vac in the car etc. Those with weak wrists should consider this.
The Dyson V15 Detect main competition is the price – $1399/$1449 for a stick vac! There are more than a few Darryl Kerrigan’s shouting, “Tell ’em they’re dreaming” – this is not for Darryl et al.
In fact, until I joined the Dyson clan, I probably would have agreed with Darryl. But gradually, we bought Supersonic hair dryers (9.2/10 – two if you count one for the daughter); Air purifiers (9/10, and they remain the only combo fan/heater/air purifiers); Light Cycle (9.4/10 – amazing task light) – I no longer wince at the price.
Because when I see the amount of design and engineering, I appreciate the cost. For example, when I compare the tech in other stick vacs that ranges from an on-off switch to a mild degree of auto-sensing – this is light years ahead. Even the new Chinese knockoffs claiming to do all for half the price don’t!
Dyson has a 45-day, no questions, free-of-charge return policy. That is confidence.
Grey Market and parallel imports
Dyson is a desirable brand and attracts its share of counterfeiters and parallel importers. The approved retailers are Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Big W, Costco, Shaver Shop, David Jones and Myer. Occasionally retailers use Catch.com.au to move superseded stock.
Do not buy from Kogan, Dick Smith, Matt Blatt (all Kogan fronts), or other dodgy online merchants. You will get international or refurbished models with no Dyson guarantee.
The Dyson V15 Detect Total Clean and its Absolute Extra (Hospital grade HEPA filter) are at the leading edge of a new breed of vacuum that focuses on both a clean home and a healthy home. While I thought my home was clean (enough), it is a real eye-opener to see how much detritus traditional, and robovacs leave behind.
If you are an allergy, hay fever, or asthma suffer this is for you. In fact, get a Dyson air purifier as well if you want a healthy home. It is capable of whole-of-home cleaning on any surface. Well done, Sir James Dyson.
Given that there is nothing like it, then it is now the class leader. And if you can get to the end of a 2-week trial and can’t find a single thing to whinge about, you know it is good.
The Dyson V11 Outsize scored 9.4/10, losing a few points for weight and manoeuvrability – it is big. This is more powerful, and the laser and auto-suction are tangible improvements.
Dyson V15 Detect
The Dyson V15 Detect uses laser light to show you dust you never knew you had., It is frightening good.
Value for money
Ease of use
Excellent suction on Boost and plenty on Auto
Excellent suction on Boost and plenty on Auto Great range of tools and heads