Dyson V15 Detect review: It brings a laser to the party
- Exceptional suction and great battery life
- Large bagless bin and washable filter
- Low maintenance powered heads, with a laser
- A bit heavy, with weight poorly distributed
- Accessories not sold separately
Dyson has become the name in vacuums. It revolutionised the market with its bagless vacuums, then again with its cordless stick vacuums. These boast such impressive suction that Dyson has stopped making corded vacuums altogether, and are blazing forward on the cordless front.
The latest is the V15 Detect, which hit the market mid-2021. It most notably brings a laser to the party. That's right, this baby has a laser to help reveal otherwise difficult-to-see debris on hard floors. However, cutting edge technology isn't cheap, with the V15 Detect starting at an eye-watering $1,399.
Dyson V15 Detect design
Dyson has always had a bit of flair in its designs, with pops of colour and clean lines. The V15 is no different, showing off a cool purple filter on the butt end for the base model and a gorgeous teal filter for the upgraded V15 Detect Absolute Extra. This can only be bought at the Dyson website for $1,449.
The V15 Detect Absolute Extra also comes with a HEPA filter and free-standing Grab and Go Dok, which alone could be worth the extra $50 if you can't wall mount Dyson's classic docking station. However, it appears the Grab and Go Dok only has space to hold the vacuum with stick attachment and 1 extra accessory. Where are you meant to put the other 6 odd attachments, you ask? That is between you and God.
And that's a problem overall – your beautiful, fancy new vacuum will leave you with a smattering of accessories left around the house, or stuffed into a cupboard or plastic bag, because it does not come with a suitable organisation solution.
While the main body design is almost exactly the same as the previous V10 and V11, it has a few nice upgrades. There's now a full colour LCD screen on the back of the filter, which shows you projected run time. While this was introduced in the V11, it now has a graph charting how much crud you've sucked off your floor. And it's helpfully categorised into 4 different particle sizes.
This feature ends up a bit more novel than useful as it's difficult to see the screen while you manoeuvre the vacuum to actually, you know, vacuum. It also seems impossible to achieve complete cleanliness, with the counter for the smallest particle size (that of pollen) continually climbing no matter how long you suck the same square inch of carpet. If you're not careful, this can lead to some existential questioning about the inescapable filth we reside in.
The filter housing has been improved to provide better sound dampening. Helped along by automatic performance switching, which balances suction and run time according to how much debris is being sucked up, the V15 runs significantly quieter than the V10. This is a big deal for me, given I've suffered some minor hearing damage from using the V10 at full blast in close quarters. Car cleaning demands the utmost in sucking power, so achieving that with less noise is fantastic. The automatic performance switching also works very well, albeit slightly delayed.
Maintenance is pretty easy. Most parts can be disassembled to some degree for cleaning, the filter is washable rather than disposable, and the bagless design also does away with consumable costs.
The accessories are where the V15 really shines. They've had a redesign to minimise maintenance and improve performance, including the star of the show: the Laser Slim Fluffy head. However, despite the connection being identical to the V7, V8, V10 and V11, you cannot buy these accessories separately. If you wish to benefit from the upgraded attachments, you need to splash out for a whole new vacuum. No spares allowed. And if you were to break one? Well, I suppose you'd need to try your luck with a warranty replacement. Fortunately, I've had great experiences with Dyson customer service.
Everything is well-built and made to take a battering. However, the V15 appears to have the same weak spot previous models had: A small lip of plastic on the main body is all that stands between the bin and freedom. Overzealous sliding can easily cause this lip to snap, allowing the whole bin to slide right off during emptying – as I unfortunately discovered with my V10. In order to resolve the issue, you need to replace the entire body. Yup, everything minus the bin, filter and battery. It seems wildly wasteful, and a rare example of poor design in a Dyson unit.
The V15 also has a bit of heft to it at 3kg. The weight isn't particularly well-balanced, being quite top heavy. This isn't a problem for able-bodied people, but may prove challenging for people with mobility or strength issues – including grip strength for the trigger button. The weight is also noticeable while emptying the vacuum or using it at more odd or extended angles.
The Dyson stick vacuums have been providing adequate suck since the V6, and have hit truly wild levels since the V10. The performance of the V15 is not at all in question – it's a wonderfully sucky machine that holds power no matter how full the battery and bin are.
The bagless bin is emptied by pushing a latch on the underside, which slides the entire bin forward. This allows for a larger capacity than the old bottom-emptying design, and a rubber skirt that helps scrap debris out. However, it can be a messy affair with hair getting caught or fine dust flying into the air as the internal filter is exposed while emptying. I regularly need to vacuum the floor immediately after. The latch also sticks from time to time, requiring a bit of wrestling to open.
The 3 powered cleaning heads on the V15 feel thoughtful and refined. The High Torque Cleaner head, designed for carpets, has an integrated comb to help minimise hair tangling around the brush. Even with daily vacuuming of my floor with 2 long-haired women and a long-haired dog for months, I've not had any dreaded tangles on the brush bar. A miracle.
The Hair Screw tool, which replaces the Mini Motorised tool, has been specifically designed with a conical screw-shaped brush bar to prevent hair tangles. It's honestly a little magical to watch hair simply fly into the bin. Hair is the enemy of vacuum maintenance, and I'm thankful for these design choices.
Then there's that Laser Slim Fluffy head. A majestic green laser shines at just the right angle to light up even the tiniest bits of dust on hard floors. The effects are multiplied tenfold in the dark, throwing you into your own personal cleaning rave, but even during daylight it's surprisingly good at guiding you towards debris. It's equal parts novel and helpful, and can be enough to turn your "quick vacuum" into a whole house deep cleanse.
You've also got your more standard accessories, such as the crevice tool and soft brush tool, which have you covered for almost anything you want to vacuum. I do lament the exclusion of the extension tool as it's very useful for the car and entertainment units – especially given the bulk of the main body. You can purchase one for $29, but after already paying over a grand for a vacuum, I don't really think you should have to.
Dyson V15 Detect battery
The V15 Detect lists 60 minutes of fade free power in Eco mode on hard floors, though I found this to be a pretty conservative estimate.
But let's be honest, who wants to vacuum for an hour? I love vacuuming and that's too much, even for me. I pretty much exclusively use Auto, and have never run out of juice vacuuming my carpeted 2-bedroom apartment, no matter how meticulous I'm being.
That being said, if you have a larger space or are worried about the battery, just remember to pop it back on charge after every use. Not being able to vacuum when you want to is annoying and the Dyson V15 Detect takes around 4.5 hours to go from 0% to 100% charge.
I've also never run the battery down vacuuming the car. The intelligent switching is a little delayed, but does a decent job at recognising changes in surface or amount of debris being picked up, and maximises your battery life with adequate suction.
I've never found I needed Boost, even cleaning dog hair out of the car. Auto does the job just fine. Here are approximate run times according to the estimates given on the machine. I found these tended to be somewhat conservative:
- Hard floor/non-powered accessory: 40min (Auto), 10-50min (Boost), 70min (Eco)
- Carpet/powered accessory: 25min (Auto), 10-15min (Boost), 45min (Eco)
Battery performance is also helped along by the stick form factor, which lends itself to quick, small cleans rather than a huge clean once in a blue moon, and click-in batteries which are easy to swap out if you choose to run spares.
Should you buy the Dyson V15 Detect?
- Buy it if you want a top-performing vacuum and you can afford it.
- Don't buy it if you have a ''close enough is good enough'' attitude to vacuuming.
Dyson produces some of the best stick vacuums in the market, and the V15 Detect is its best yet. The V6 is actually the model that changed the game for me, and transformed the chore of vacuuming into a joy (and dare I say, passion). The V15 has continued to innovate and build on that strong foundation for a truly impressive machine.
But there's no denying the price. This isn't just a vacuum anymore – it's a luxury item. Everything about using it (other than that breakable plastic stopper) is certainly luxurious, but not everyone wants that from their vacuum. Which is absolutely fair enough.
Pricing and availability
How we tested
The Dyson V15 Detect was put through its paces in a 2-bedroom apartment with low pile carpet, inhabited by 2 long-haired people, a huge long-haired dog and a cat.
Hard floors included the kitchen, bathroom and balcony (yes, I vacuum my balcony – only God can judge me). It was also tested on a car and household surfaces, such as tables, TVs, skirting boards and the dust vents on gaming consoles.
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