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Dyson Ball Animal 2 Review

While this vacuum has a lot going for it, its performance doesn't match the high price point
Dyson Ball Animal 2
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Price:   $500 List | $534.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good with carpets and hard floors, nimble, fantastic at picking up pet hair
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Dyson
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 12, 2017
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 7
  • Ease of Use - 25% 6
  • Handling - 20% 7
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 10% 7
  • Pet Hair - 10% 9

Our Verdict

There is no question that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is an overall great vacuum. However, it was not the best in our review, earning a runner-up position. While this vacuum has a long reach for cleaning stairs and does well on both carpet and hard floors, even excelling at collecting pet hair, it is hard to get past the exorbitant price. It is also on the heavier side, something we noticed from time to time when maneuvering. Overall, we'd still recommended this vacuum if you can find it on sale, but other models perform a bit better for a much friendlier price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Dyson Ball Animal 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $500 List
$534.99 at Amazon
$430 List
$349.99 at Amazon
$200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$500 List
$499.00 at Amazon
$88 List
$79.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good with carpets and hard floors, nimble, fantastic at picking up pet hairGreat at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to useGood price, cleans carpet very well, picks up pet hair with easeVery good at picking up pet hair, light, maneuverableInexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning
Cons ExpensivePriceyNot particularly impressive at cleaning hard floorsExpensiveLackluster 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 pointIf you are looking for something that sweeps the rest of the competition under the rug, this is our current favorite vacuumIf you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great betThis vacuum performs respectably for those that prefer the canister-style, but it's expensive and requires bagsIf 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... Miele Compact C1 Turbo Eureka PowerSpeed
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Handling (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Hard Surface Cleaning (10%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
3.0
Pet Hair (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Dyson Ball Animal 2 Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Miele Compact C1 Turbo Eureka PowerSpeed
Vacuum type Upright Upright Upright Canister Upright
Model Number 227635-01 AZ2000W NV356E SCAE0 NEU182A
Bag Type Bagless Bagless Bagless Bag Bagless
Cleaning Path Width 13.5" 12" 11.25" 10.75" 13.25"
Measured Brush Width 12.25" 10" 9" 9.75" 10.5"
Measured Weight 17.1 lbs 16.3 lbs 14.4 lbs 15.2 lbs 10.1 lbs
Variable Suction Control No Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch Yes Slow Yes Low No
Measured Maximum Reach 32' 32' - 40'+ 31' 30' 25'
Measured Power Cord Length 30' 30' 30' 18' 24'
Automatic Cord Rewind No No No Yes No
Measured Noise 76 dBa 75 dBa 73 dBa 70-81 dBa 76 dBa
Swivel Head Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Carry Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper No Yes No No No

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.

Performance Comparison


The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a good vacuum, though it isn't amazing.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a good vacuum, though it isn't amazing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning


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.

This Dyson performed just fine, but wasn't the best.
This Dyson performed just fine, but wasn't the best.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

This model did somewhat poorly, taking plenty of passes and leaving...
This model did somewhat poorly, taking plenty of passes and leaving plenty of residual flour behind.
Credit: Austin Palmer

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 actually collected the Cheerios, rather than just...
This vacuum actually collected the Cheerios, rather than just pushing them around.
Credit: Austin Palmer

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 Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum in use.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum in use.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

The vacuum cleaned in close to the edges and corners of our test...
The vacuum cleaned in close to the edges and corners of our test space.
Credit: Austin Palmer

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.

The Animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.
The Animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.
Credit: Austin Palmer

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.

Handling


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.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an exceptional reach and was able to...
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an exceptional reach and was able to clean an entire flight of stairs without needing to be moved.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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 DBA 2 got practically all the oats in a single pass.
The DBA 2 got practically all the oats in a single pass.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

All of the surface flour was collected, but plenty remained in the...
All of the surface flour was collected, but plenty remained in the gaps between boards.
Credit: Austin Palmer

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.

Pet Hair


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.

This Dyson model did very well at collecting pet hair.
This Dyson model did very well at collecting pet hair.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Value


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.

Conclusion


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