Dyson Ball Animal 2 Review
Pros: Good with carpets and hard floors, nimble, fantastic at picking up pet hair
Compare to Similar Products
Dyson Ball Animal 2
$464.99 at Amazon
$399.99 at Amazon
$201.76 at Amazon
$82.99 at Amazon
$74.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Good with carpets and hard floors, nimble, fantastic at picking up pet hair||Great at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to use||Good price, cleans carpet very well, picks up pet hair with ease||Inexpensive, easy to clean with, good cleaning performance on hard floors||Inexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning|
|Cons||Expensive||Pricey||Not particularly impressive at cleaning hard floors||Struggles with pet hair, mediocre on soft floors||Lackluster at cleaning hard floors, so-so ease of use|
|Bottom Line||While this vacuum has a lot going for it, its performance doesn't match the high price point||If you are looking for something that sweeps the rest of the competition under the rug, this is our current favorite vacuum||If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great bet||We think this canister vacuum is one of the best options if you are shopping on a slim budget||If you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option|
|Rating Categories||Dyson Ball Animal 2||Shark Vertex||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka Mighty Mite||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Carpet Cleaning (35%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (10%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Dyson Ball Animal 2||Shark Vertex||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka Mighty Mite||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Cleaning Path Width||13.5"||12"||11.25"||10.5"||13.25"|
|Measured Brush Width||12.25"||10"||9"||N/A||10.5"|
|Measured Weight||17.1 lbs||16.3 lbs||14.4 lbs||10.3 lbs||10.1 lbs|
|Variable Suction Control||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Brush On/Off Switch||Yes||Slow||Yes||N/A||No|
|Measured Maximum Reach||32'||32' - 40'+||31'||30'||25'|
|Measured Power Cord Length||30'||30'||30'||18.5'||24'|
|Automatic Cord Rewind||No||No||No||No||No|
|Measured Noise||76 dBa||75 dBa||73 dBa||74.5 dBa||76 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a high-tech, performance vacuum. It cleans very well, handles great, and true to its name, does an excellent job at collecting pet hair. However, it wasn't the best overall in our tests and thusly failed to win an award. In addition, it is exceedingly costly — all of those fancy cyclonic separators and other top-of-the-line features aren't cheap.
Carpet cleaning is by far the most important of our tests and comprised 35% of the total score for each vacuum. This metric consisted of evaluating each vacuum's ability at collecting oats, flour, cereal, and rice — both on the low-pile flat carpet and medium-pile fluffy carpet. The Animal 2 did well but was outshined by a few other models.
The Animal 2 did very well in our rice collection test on low-pile carpet, taking two passes to get 99% of the rice and a final third pass to collect some residual fragments and dust. It performed similarly in the fluffy carpet, but it only took two passes — no final cleanup pass required. Flour collection was a bit of a disappointment though, with the Animal doing an overall mediocre job on both low and medium-pile carpet.
Performance improved in our cereal collection test. This model did an exceptional job at collecting Cheerios from flat carpet, practically getting everything on the first pass and grabbing the remainder with a second. It did a little worse on the fluffy carpet, tending to push the cereal around rather than collecting it.
This vacuum finished out this performance with an alright score at collecting oatmeal. It did fine on flat carpet, though left some crushed up oat dust behind. A similar instance occurred with fluffier carpet, with all of the large flakes collected after two passes. However, plenty of crumbs and fragments were embedded in the carpet that refused to be sucked up, even after 8-10 passes.
Ease of Use
Ranking next in terms of importance, this metric accounted for 25% of the total score. Testing for this category consisted of evaluating how easy it was to transition between different flooring types, each vacuum's maximum reach, its noise levels, and how closely it could clean next to an edge or under furniture. This was the weakest metric for the Animal 2, though it certainly wasn't the worst of the bunch.
The Animal 2 makes it super easy to switch between hard and soft flooring. This model automatically adjusts the height, as well as having an option to disable the rotating brush. It also did well in our edging test, collecting almost all of the debris.
For the furniture test, the Animal 2 did about average. This model reached 5.5"-6" under our simulated box sofa — about half as far as some of the top models. The maximum reach is also about average, measuring in at 32' with 30' of that being cord.
This vacuum is a little on the loud side, especially when it is on carpet, reading 76 dBa on the SPL meter, among the louder readings in our lineup, though not by much.
The Animal did well here. To assess this, we rated and compared the pushing and pulling effort, the maneuverability, and the ease of cleaning a flight of stairs. Altogether, these three tests accounted for 20% of the total score.
It was quite easy to clean a flight of stairs with the Animal 2. This model has a nice long reach and could clean 12 stairs before needing to be moved. However, this vacuum is a little on the heavy side at 17.1 pounds. Still, it excelled in our maneuverability tests. We cleaned around a set of typical furniture, noting where each vacuum got stuck or missed spots. The Animal is one of the easiest upright vacuums to maneuver and only takes moderate to mild effort to push or pull — only slightly hampered by its weight.
Hard Surface Cleaning
The Ball Animal 2 did well in these tests too, but not the best. We once again used rice, flour, oats, and cereal, conducting each of these tests on a section of laminate hardwood floor. This vacuum automatically adjusts the height for hard floors and we turned the brush off for all of these tests.
The Animal 2 did very well in the rice test, picking up all of the debris on the first pass. However, it did not continue this performance with our flour test, a tough one for many of our contenders. It collected all of the flour off of the surface of the floor but left plenty of residual debris in the cracks — even after multiple passes.
The Animal resumed its solid performance in our cereal test, collecting all of the Cheerios in a single pass. We were somewhat skeptical at first, as the vacuum initially piled them up instead of sucking them away, but it shifted partway through and collected every single Cheerio. This vacuum also cleaned up the vast majority of the oats in a single pass, with only a light cleanup pass required to finish the job.
The final metric in our tests, pet hair, takes credit for the remaining 10% of each total score. True to its name, the Ball Animal 2 did exceptionally well in this test, collecting 94% of the hair. We tested this by spreading 5 grams of pet hair from a local groomer out on medium-pile carpet, then pressing it in with a floor roller.
Unfortunately, this isn't a great value product as its performance — while good — doesn't quite match the premium price point the Dyson name commands.
Loaded with technology and other features, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is priced as a top-of-the-line, premium vacuum. However, it is hard to recommend this model when it was outperformed by substantially less expensive models.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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