About Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal claims to be the only vacuum on the market that doesn’t lose suction, and its proprietary ball steering technology allows all of the vacuum’s technology to fit neatly inside, while also providing full and accurate steering control with the flick of a wrist. In addition, the Big Ball Animal’s Cinetic technology (more about this in a moment) is claimed to provide superior vacuuming with no suction loss, as well as not having to worry about cleaning or replacing filters.
In addition, each model in the lineup also features a self-adjusting cleaner head that’s uses an active base plate to automatically adjust its height based on floor type, and seals in the suction across carpet and hard flooring surfaces. The motorized brush bar also uses stiff nylon bristles to remove deep, ground-in dirt.
On top of this, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal features whole machine HEPA filtration, a hygienic bin emptying with push button dirt release, and completely sealed, highly efficient cyclones that allow the vacuum to be certified asthma and allergy friendly.
Because of all these benefits, the Big Ball Animal is claimed to be ideal for homes with pets, hence its name.
Here at HighYa, we bought and tested the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal in order to provide you with firsthand feedback about whether or not this pricey vacuum is worth your money. We’ll discuss our observations in a moment, but let’s first take a look at the Cinetic Big Ball Animal’s specs and unique technologies.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Specs
In addition to the features noted above, here is Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal by the numbers:
- Weight: 17.2 pounds (TechCrunch claims the actual weight is 19.8 pounds)
- Suction Power: 180AW
- Bin Volume: 0.57 gallons
- Cord length: 22ft
- Max Reach: 33 feet
- Dimensions: 43.3 x 13.4 x 17.2 inches
- Filtration: No prefilter, non-washable lifetime post-motor filter
Note: According to CNET, the average weight of an upright vacuum is 14-17 pounds, so the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal is definitely at the higher end of the spectrum (for details about other types of vacuums, be sure to read our Vacuum Cleaner Buyer’s Guide).
What is Cinetic Technology?
According to the Dyson website, their Cinetic tips oscillate at up to 5,000 Hz and produce enough centrifugal force to separate and capture smaller dust and dirt particles, which prevents dust from building up in a traditional filter (like you’ll find with most other types of vacuums) and causing a decrease in suction power.
It’s because of these Cinetic tips that Dyson claims the Big Ball Animal will never lose suction.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal vs. Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy
Other than the slight difference in their names, what’s the difference between these two models?
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy vacuum features many of the same benefits as the standard Animal model, including ball steering and Cinetic technologies, a self-adjusting cleaner head, and HEPA filtration, but with 4 additional cleaning tools to remove allergens from homes with pets. These include:
- Carbon fiber soft dusting brush – Features a thin profile, angled handle, and ultra-fine carbon fiber filaments to suck up fine dust.
- Reach under tool – Features flexible construction and a paddle shape to pick up dirt and dust from hard-to-reach areas.
- Multi-angle brush – Uses a rotating joint to twist into multiple angles and clean various surfaces in your home.
- Mattress tool – Attaches to the wand or hose and uses “front and back edges [to] gather, ball and release fibers into the airflow, where they are sucked away,” which can help remove dirt, allergens and dust mites.
In other words, you’ll be paying an extra $100 for the Allergy model’s tools, which are claimed to be ideal for allergy sufferers who might need extra options to rid their homes of as many allergens as possible.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Customer Reviews
Overall, it appears that the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal vacuum has primarily positive online customer reviews.
On the Dyson website, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy comes with an average rating of 4.5 stars, with 100% of customers claiming they would recommend it to a friend. Common compliments appear to reference its cleaning ability, its maneuverability, and its filterless technology.
Elsewhere online, both CNET and PCMag rated the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy as 3.5 stars. They felt that it is a really nice vacuum and were impressed that it didn’t lose suction (no matter what they threw at it), especially for fine particulate matter, such as sand. However, despite these compliments, they didn’t necessarily think that the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy’s high price was worth the money compared to some of the equally performing (and lower priced) competition.
TechCrunch liked the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy’s maintenance-free operation and included attachments, but were a little put off by its weight and high price.
On Amazon, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy had an average rating of 4.5 stars based on 37 customer reviews (as of 5/6/15). Common compliments cited its filterless technology, great suction, and ease of use. On the other hand, the most common complaints referenced difficulty locking it into an upright position (more about this in a moment), low value for the money, and heavy weight.
From a company perspective, Dyson Inc. (who also makes the 360 Eye and DC65 vacuums) has a reputation for durable, reliable products, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Based on the company’s 196 complaints, most appear to reference difficulty obtaining refunds/getting products repaired or replaced under warranty.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Pricing & Refund Policy
If purchased directly through Dyson, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal is priced at $599.99, while the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy is priced at $699.99. However, at the time of our research, the Animal + Allergy model could be purchased elsewhere online for as little as $515 on eBay, and the Animal model for as little as $449.
All Dyson-direct orders come with free shipping, as well as a 30-day return policy, less S&H charges and a $14.99 per-unit restocking fee. According to the Dyson website, it can take 4-8 weeks for your refund to be processed.
The Cinetic Big Ball Animal vacuum also comes with a 5-year warranty, although there aren’t any additional details provided on the Dyson website.
In order to request a refund or file a warranty claim, you’ll need to call Dyson’s customer service at 866-693-9766.
Our Observations About Dyson’s Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy
In addition to the above, here’s what we learned from using the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy firsthand:
Overall, ordering our Cinetic Big Ball Animal through the Dyson website was a straightforward process, and it was delivered to our door soon thereafter.
We had some warranty questions, which one of their knowledgeable representatives clearly answered via online chat.
Unboxing the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy
Although there was some assembly required, it wasn’t all that complicated, but it did take some figuring out. This is because the included instructions are really basic and could definitely be more helful.
From a visual perspective, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal is a beautifully designed vacuum—almost like the Apple of vacuum cleaners—which made cleaning significantly more enjoyable (and cooler). If fact, my 6-year old constantly wanted to vacuum for an entire week after receiving it.
Also, the prospect of never having to clean filters is very appealing and we immediately notice the air in the room felt fresh after cleaning; not the dusty smell commonly associated with vacuuming.
Cleaning Hard Floors
The Cinetic Big Ball Animal provided excellent performance on hardwood and vinyl floors, and picked up dirt and sand very well without scattering anything. In addition, the vacuum picked up most pet hair on the first pass, but it never took more than 2 passes to catch everything.
The Cinetic Big Ball Animal’s on/off brush roll feature definitely allows bare floors to be cleaned easier, and also makes it easier to clean small rugs since the fibers won’t becoming entangled in the roller.
Overall, after we finished using our Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy, the floors looked very clean, without any visible dust, hair, or dirt.
Cleaning Carpeting & Rugs
Similar to hard flooring, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy performed extremely well on a variety of carpet by picking up most of the dirt, sand, and hair, as evidenced by how often we had to empty the bin.
On the downside though, hair did get caught in the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy’s brush roll, and the height adjustment lacks manual fine-tune adjustability. Also, we tested the vacuum on a fluffy rug with tall fibers (similar to this) and found that moving it around was a challenge.
In fact, in this instance, we could only move the Dyson backward. As such, in order to vacuum the rug, we had to carry it to the edge, position it just right, pull it backward, and then repeat the process until we had covered the entire area. Granted, it cleaned the rug very well, but it wasn’t easy.
To test the Dyson’s effectiveness, we vacuumed our carpeting with another upright in the $65-$100 range, and found that the Dyson picked up significantly more debris.
Other Thoughts About the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy
Driving: We had never used a “ball” vacuum previously, so it definitely took some trial and error to get used to the Dyson’s steering motion. Although once we did, the tighter turns we were able to make immediately became evident, although my wife felt that it was so difficult to steer that it was a major drawback.
In addition, the size of the ball will limit to how far you can get the vacuum underneath furniture, but the “reach under” tool that can be used for better performance.
Weight: At 19 pounds, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal is fairly heavy to push around the house. If your home is smaller this might not represent much of an issue, although if your home is larger, you’ll almost certainly become fatigued.
Noise Level: Compared to many other vacuums, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy is not very loud. In fact, if the brush tool is turned off, you can easily hold a normal conversation with the vacuum running.
Tool/Attachments Use: We found the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy’s hose and instant wand to be high quality, convenient, and fairly easy to use. The vacuum feels stable in the upright position; even after trying various angles, we were still not able to cause it to fall over.
Cord Length: The Dyson’s long (35ft) cord length definitely makes it easier to clean your entire home, although at this price range, we would have expected a retractable cord (although this is more common on canister vacuums than on uprights).
Bin Emptying: Although emptying the Dyson’s bin is a bit messy, it is easy, which is a common tradeoff with bagless vacuums. Pro tip: A simple trick to avoid most of this mess is to empty the bin into a mostly empty trash can. This way, you can lower the bin into the trash can and then remove the contents.
However, on more than one occasion, chunks of hair and dirt would get stuck in the Cinetic Big Ball Animal’s bin, requiring us to pull it out with our fingers.
Locking Mechanism: Finally, one of the biggest complaints we had about the Cinetic Big Ball Animal is that in order to lower the handle into the vacuuming position, you have to yank it. There isn’t a release lever and it honestly sounds like something is breaking each time it’s lowered into position.
In addition, even after we thought we heard a click when returning the vacuum to its fully upright position, there were several occasions when it didn’t engage and caused it to fall to the floor. This happened to my wife as well, so it’s obviously confusing, and the only way around the problem if to really make sure that you push the vacuum all the way in and not be fooled by the initial click.
In a nutshell, the process of lowering the handle and returning it to its original position makes this vacuum feel somewhat flimsy, which is surprising considering its ultra-high price.
Chopping to the point: Overall, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy provides excellent cleaning capabilities on nearly all flooring types; enough so that we feel it provides a level of value that’s well within its price tag. We really enjoyed cleaning with it, although at this price, we honestly expected it to be more user friendly.
With this in mind, we’d certainly recommend the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy to others, but only as long as you fully understand its limitations and shortcomings. However, we’ll have to wait and see if it “never loses suction,” as the manufacturer claims.
A fine vacuum cleaner!
Dyson included two air filters after the suction motor to ensure only clean air was returned to the room. Dyson also claims that they need no service for the life (10 years?) of the machine. The way that I treat mine, I believe that I'll never need to touch them.
A cousin of mine owns the Ball Animal which has more suction power (and more noise!) than this Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal. I was impressed enough with hers that I bought this one. She must regularly wash, rinse and dry two filters, placed one before and one after the suction motor. I empty my bin often and even wipe out the interior of the port so that the bin door closes against. Some owners will not empty their bin until dust and debris are at or above the maximum fill line, but by then, the weight of the material has compressed and compacted the waste enough to create an overload.
Using this vacuum reminds me of the purr of a heavy, powerful luxury car. A benefit of the self-adjusting cleaning head means that this vacuum tends to leave my throw rugs in place rather than try to pluck them from the floor or carpeting!
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
4 out 6 people found this review helpful
The Cinetic Big Ball, the one that has No filters to Wash or Replace' has TWO filters you DO need to REPLACE! They are located, one on either side, of the motor, i.e. the BIG BALL! Good luck finding them.
I run a well-established, 70+ brick & mortar warranty & repair center for vacuum cleaners. I do know that of which I speak. Dyson lies a lot!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend