Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy review

With no filters to clog, Dyson's most vicious vac yet keeps going, and going ...

Dyson’s DC65 Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy is one of the most high-tech, feature-packed vacuums the company has produced to date, but all these bells and whistles don’t come cheap.
Dyson’s DC65 Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy is one of the most high-tech, feature-packed vacuums the company has produced to date, but all these bells and whistles don’t come cheap.
Dyson’s DC65 Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy is one of the most high-tech, feature-packed vacuums the company has produced to date, but all these bells and whistles don’t come cheap.

Highs

  • Bagless
  • Filterless
  • Maneuverable
  • Lots of attachments
  • Great suction performance

Lows

  • Loud operation
  • Expensive

Dyson makes a lot of different products these days, from fans to hand dryers, but vacuum cleaners are still its bread and butter. The company spends millions of dollars each year on research and development, just to make machines that suck dirt out of your carpet better than ever before.

One of those innovations takes center stage in the DC65 Cinetic Big Ball Upright Animal+Allergy, which substitutes Dyson’s own Cinetic tech for a traditional filter, and allegedly loses no suction in the process. We fired one up to see whether it dirt and dust can drag it down.

Hands on video

Look and feel

As with previous vacuums, Dyson puts its obsessive engineering on display in the design of the DC65 Cinetic Big Ball. This isn’t a sleek, pretty-looking vacuum that hides its inner workings — Dyson spent more than six years and $200 million developing the technology inside of this beast, and it’s not shy about showing off all those crazy-ass features. It looks less like a vacuum and more like an alien suction weapon that somebody smuggled out of Area 51.

Weight and maneuverability

Despite being relatively hefty in comparison to most upright vacuums at 19.8 pounds, the Big Ball moves around the floor with such grace and agility that you hardly notice its mass. This is largely thanks to Dyson’s patented ball technology, which allows you to swivel and tilt the vacuum into turns for maximum maneuverability.

This isn’t a sleek, pretty-looking vacuum that hides its inner workings.

It’s worth mentioning that the vacuum remains corded, so even with such nimbleness, you’re not quite as free to roam around with the Cinetic Big Ball as you would be with a cordless model. That said, Dyson equipped the machine with a ridiculously-long cord, which means you can cover larger areas without having to switch outlets. Overall, it’s pretty easy to whip around your house.

Additional features

This is Dyson’s flagship upright vacuum, so it comes as no surprise that the Cinetic Big Ball sports a lot of bells and whistles.

First, and most importantly, there’s Dyson’s Cinetic technology, which isn’t new or unique to this particular model of vacuum, but it’s still pretty awesome. In a nutshell, it’s an array of different conical tips that vibrate at an absurdly fast rate — thereby preventing dirt from getting stuck on them and clogging up the vacuum. So not only are these vacs completely bagless, they’re also filter free — so they never lose suction and you never have to buy replacement parts. Definitely a big plus.

Also included on the vacuum is Dyson’s self-adjusting cleaner head. The baseplate is designed to automatically adapt to different floor surfaces, ensuring clean, unbroken seal that removes dust from carpet just as well as it does from hardwood floors. Close-edge pick-up technology also means that the vac head can clean right up to the edge of your baseboards — you don’t get that ribbon of unreachable dirt next to your wall (at least not as much as before).

The term “feature-packed” almost doesn’t do it justice.

Dyson’s Tangle Free Turbine Tool attachment makes an appearance in the Big Ball package as well, which is yet another brilliant innovation from Dyson engineers. This little sucker fits onto the vacuum’s hose and uses a pair of counter-rotating bristle discs to gobble up hair without getting tangled. It’s insanely handy if you live with people or pets that tend to leave long strands of hair everywhere.

Other little flourishes — like a hygienic bin emptying system, or Dyson’s instant-release suction wand– are present at every corner. The term “feature-packed” almost doesn’t do it justice.

Sound

When we used our trusty iPhone sound meter app to take a noise level reading, the vacuum hovered around 89 to 91 decibels, and peaked at 94. For comparison’s sake, that’s about as loud as the average motorcycle, heard from about 25 feet away.

It’s a bit louder than most of the other vacuums we’ve tested, and also has a bit of a high-frequency squeal to it (especially if you switch to hose mode). This isn’t unbearable by any means, but it also isn’t very pleasant. You might want to pick up some earplugs if you plan on buying one of these bad boys.

Cleaning performance

To get a sense of how Dyson’s latest vac performs, we ran it through our testing gauntlet. We start by dumping 100 grams of flour, sand, and rice onto a 5 x 3 foot strip of carpet. After one full minute of walking on it — and grinding each individual substance deep into the carpet fibers — we flip the switch and run the vacuum for one full minute. At the end, we weigh the contents of the dustbin to see how much of the original 100 grams it sucked up.

For the first test, the Big Ball managed to suck up an average of 89 grams of flour. That’s not too shabby. Actually, it’s really good. Our benchmark vacuum (a corded Royal Pro Series UR30095) didn’t even perform that well, coming in at just 82 grams of flour on average.

Dyson Cinetic Ball Vacuum wand

Bill Roberson | Digital Trends

Next we moved up to bigger, heavier grains with the sand test. Most vacuums struggle on this round, and while the Big Ball isn’t exactly an exception, it did do a better job than most high-end corded vacuums we’ve tested. When it was all said and done,  the vac picked up an average of 71 grams of sand — once again, just a couple grams higher than our reference vacuum, which picked up an average of 67 grams.

You might want to pick up some earplugs if you plan on buying one of these bad boys.

The rice test is where most vacuums excel, but in this final text, the Cinetic Big Ball did particularly well. It picked up an average of 99 grams of the 100 we put down. That’s pretty impressive, especially considering how vigorously we grind it into the carpet before we start vacuuming.

Dyson claims that vacuums with its Cinetic technology are the first that truly don’t lose suction through continuous use, because there’s no filter to clog. That’s a big claim, and not an easy one to simulate in a lab accurately, but anecdotally, we noticed no drop in performance during out testing, even when the dust bin was full. More importantly, Dyson backs all of its more expensive vacuums with a five-year warranty. So while we can’t say we’ve run six tons of dirt through this thing to say it will never lose performance, we can say you’d be covered if it did.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt in our minds that the DC65 Cinetic Big Ball is one of the best upright vacuums in the biz. The suction performance was top-notch, and all of the other bells and whistles Dyson included helped to really round out the package.

In terms of dirt pickup, it didn’t perform too much better than our reference vacuum, but a win is a win, and suction isn’t necessarily the only thing that matters. Dyson’s other additions — the ball for maneuverability, the bagless and filter-free design, and all the extra attachments — definitely gave the vacuum a nudge across the line that divides good from great.

We didn’t test it for long enough to actually get a sense of whether or not it loses suction over time, but if it lives up to Dyson’s claims (and based on the company’s insane testing procedures, we have every reason to believe it does) then the DC65 Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy is certainly a cut above the rest.

Highs:

  • Bagless
  • Filterless
  • Maneuverable
  • Lots of attachments
  • Great suction performance

Lows:

  • Loud operation
  • Expensive
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