Dyson V8 cordless vacuum

Dyson V8 cordless vacuum doubles battery life, while new Big Ball gets self-righting powers

Dyson’s got a new version of its vacuum cleaners. The company hopes the V8 will convince those living in smaller homes to ditch the bulky dirt-suckers of old, in favour of its trendy, stalk-like cleaning machines — while the Cinetic Big Ball has been designed to right itself when it falls over.

The V8 isn’t cheap, starting at £450 or $600. Australian prices are yet to be announced, but £450 converts to around AU$840. The new Big Ball is pricey as well, costing £500 or $600. £500 converts to about AU$930.

The V8: Harder, better, faster, quieter

The new model replaces 2014’s Dyson V6. It has a similar look to its predecessor but boasts a number of improvements. Dyson says the battery will now last up to 40 minutes, a significant improvement on the V6’s 20 minutes. That still doesn’t sound like a lot of battery, but it should be enough to give your whole home a once-over before you return the V8 to a power source.

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Suction power itself has been boosted too, while the noise the vacuum makes has been reduced. This improvement is hard to measure (though Dyson boasts a reduction of 50 percent), but having heard the V8 running, it’s more of a high, airy whine than a jet-engine roar. I suspect you’d be able to conduct a conversation while it was going.

New dirt mechanism

A more understated — but in my opinion, far more valuable — addition is a new mechanism for emptying the V8’s drum. Anyone who’s used a Dyson vacuum cleaner will know that opening the bottom of the plastic dirt-collection cylinder and emptying the collected mess sometimes means getting your fingers involved, reaching in to the drum itself to fish out chunks of dust and hair that have become wedged up against the filter.

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When you click the button to empty the V8, however, the entire filter lifts out of the drum, so there’s nothing for dirt to get stuck against. It remains to be seen how big an improvement this is in practice, but in theory at least it sounds like a much better way of ditching the dirt. The drum’s capacity has also been beefed up from that of the V6.

The V8 weighs a mere 2.6 kg (5.7 pounds), and Dyson’s tried to position components closer to your hand so that it’s easier to lift the vacuum up and clean above you. If your curtains (or ceiling) could use a clean, you may appreciate that centre-of-gravity consideration.

Pricey cleaning tech

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All those improvements will take a toll on your bank balance. Two versions of the V8 are now on sale in the UK. The “Animal” version costs £450 or $600, which converts to about AU$780. The even pricier “Absolute” model (pictured above) costs £500 but comes with the soft roller cleaner head for hard floors. When in goes on sale in the US, it’ll replace the V6 Absolute. You’ll be able to pick it up from Dyson.com in August and other stores in September. Further pricing details are yet to come, but £500 converts to about $710 or AU$930.

That’s a lot of cash to splash on a vacuum cleaner, so stay tuned for the full review, where we’ll see if the V8 justifies its significant price tag.

New Big Ball

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Dyson’s also got a fresh take on its stand-up vacuum. The Cinetic Big Ball (best to get any laughs about the name out now, because we’re going to be saying it a lot more), is filter-free, has a similar dirt-ejection mechanism to the V8, and also brings a longer stalk, making it more comfortable for taller folks to clean up their living spaces.

The biggest new feature here, however, is a self-righting design. That means that if it falls or is knocked over, the new Big Ball is weighted in such a way that’ll it’ll bounce right back up. That could be handy if you frequently find your vacuum cleaner toppling over when you take it around corners or yank it over to you too vigorously.

Dyson’s Big Ball designs come in a number of variations, on sale now and with rather hefty price tags. The Cinetic Big Ball Musclehead costs £400 (which converts to about $570 or AU$745), while the Big Ball Animal costs at £450 ($600, which converts to AU$785) and comes with more, ahem, tools, for a broader range of cleaning options. There are cheaper non-Cinetic versions too, if you don’t mind a vacuum cleaner with a filter. The Big Ball Animal costs £350 (which converts to about $500 or AU$650), or the Big Ball Total Clean costs £380 (which converts to about $540 or AU$710).

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