Dyson's newest V8 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner refines pretty much everything about the already impressive V6 Absolute.
Dyson isn't reinventing the wheel here, they've already done that in the past, it's just a case of improvement rather than radical changes now. At first glance, it looks exactly the same as the older model, but once you get a little closer you'll start to notice a few differences becoming much more obvious.
The V8 is drastically quieter than the previous V6, making vacuuming a less strenuous task. Dyson claims there's 50% reduction in noise, and while we'll have to take Dyson's word for it, it's definitely noticeably easier on the ears. It's a much lower frequency sound, and while vacuuming is never a silent activity, it's welcome to see the often excessive noise output has been reduced.
The digital motor inside the V8 Absolute has more power. It now runs at 425W, whereas the V6 made do with 325W. The bin, too, is now higher capacity at 0.54 litres to the former’s 0.4 litres.
It’s an important change as the battery capacity of the V8 has now been doubled to 40 minutes of running time. The bigger bin means you’ll be both emptying and charging the V8 far less frequently.
While Dyson would say that 20 minutes on the previous model was plenty for giving the house a quick clean, especially as the trigger power button meant it was only powered on when needed, extra run time is still a great thing to have. If you use the mini motorised tool you’ll get around 25 minutes. For the first time, there's a battery metre too, so you know how much charge is left.
Ease of use
The way you use the V8 hasn’t changed. It still uses a trigger grip with all of the major components positioned close to your hand. This aids the V8’s maneuverability and means cleaning ceilings becomes less tiring as most of the weight is positioned close to your hand.
For a cordless vacuum as expensive as the V8 is, I would have liked if the trigger grip was more comfortable. It’s made from hard plastic and the side of the motor rubs against the top of your thumb, which can become a little uncomfortable. A softer plastic or rubber coating wouldn't have gone amiss and would help with grip, too.
The V8 is still very much a dual-function vacuum, acting as both a handheld and a standard cordless. You’re able to attach the V8’s multitude of accessories either directly to the handheld vacuum or used in combination with the now orange extension tube for vacuuming high or low. It was just as easy to clean the floor as it was to clean bookshelves or dusty ceiling corners.
There’s another useful tweak here, where it comes to changing accessories. The release clip has now been moved to the accessory head, whereas it used to be on the extension tube and the main unit. Previously, it meant removing accessories became a juggling act but the operation is now swifter and far easier to complete with just your free hand.
The V8 Absolute comes with a soft roller cleaner head, direct drive cleaner head, mini motorised tool, combination tool and rigid crevice tool, so there’s a tool for basically every cleaning task you can think of. A docking station is included, which can be wall-mounted. This leaves you somewhere to store the V8 when not in use, as well as its accessories, and ensures it’s charged when you need it.
Emptying the bin is a pleasingly simple affair and has also seen further refinements from the V6. You simply need to release the catch at the top and pull upwards, which in turn releases the lid at the bottom to eject the dirt. In the V6, you found that dirt would get trapped in the bin when emptying, typically along the sides due to static. Now, a rubber collar slides down the side of the bin, scraping excess dirt off like a squeegee. It’s a simple but effective change and means you don’t have to manually clean out the inside of the bin.
If you’ve ever used an electric toothbrush you might have noticed that its motor begins to spin slower as the battery runs down. This isn’t the case with the V8, as with previous models, as a fade-free Lithium-ion battery is used. Whether you’re using it with a fully-charged battery or towards the end, the level of suction remained the same. Suction, too, isn't significantly affected by the level of dirt accumulated in the bin, either.
The V8's increased power amounts to the motor spinning at up to 110,000RPM, the same as on the previous model. Dyson’s rated suction power has increased, however, from 100 air watts to 115 air watts in the new model.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test the V8’s suction power using our standard test, which gives out a reading in Kilopascals (kPa). This is because when you create a perfect seal with the V8’s nozzle the motor shuts down automatically after just a second, making it difficult to get an accurate reading of its full suction capabilities. This prevents undue strain on the motor should the pipe become clogged, but means we've had to rely on our more subjective tests.
Needless to say, however, under our tests the Dyson V8 Absolute performed immaculately and just as well as some of the corded cylinder vacuums we’ve tested. The soft roller cleaner head made light work of our hard floor test, cleaning up 95% of the fine powder spill in one sweep and providing a buffeting shine while it went. This was with very little pressure exerted towards the floor, with a bit more force the V8 clears up the entire mess in one go.
The direct-drive cleaner head also performed excellently on our carpet surface, too, collecting the cat litter spill with minimal fuss and with only the occasional loose piece flying off waywardly. The direct-drive head is able to push its bristles deep into your carpet, pulling up fine debris even in the pile.
The direct-drive floor-cleaning head has an articulating ball-joint, which makes it incredibly nimble. Cleaning around chair legs and under cupboards became almost enjoyable as the V8 danced between objects and glided over surfaces aided by the power profile heads. The mini motorised tool made light work of more difficult ground in dirt, too.
For more difficult dirt, the Max power mode switch can enable even higher suction levels but this will drain the battery very quickly, providing just 7 minutes of continuous operation. The switch has been moved from previous models and is now found on the top, making it easier to toggle on and off as needed.
The post-motor filter has also been re-designed, meaning fewer allergens and dirt should be expelled back into the air. I'm fortunate enough to not be afflicted by allergies but during long-periods of vacuuming I never felt like air quality was being affected the same way old vacuums used to leave the air feeling heavy.
The V8 Absolute proved adept at going from hard floors to carpeted areas without any issues, making it a very versatile cleaner and certainly capable of a full-house clean with its improved battery life. You would hope so, too, considering its eye-watering price.
At £499 (now £430) it’s undeniably expensive. Yes, it’s the best cordless vacuum you can buy today, and yes it has some wonderful refinements over the previous V6 Absolute. The V6 Absolute is still on sale, however, and at £235 is still an excellent cordless vacuum. Then there's the V6 Fluffy (found at £249), too, depending on your needs either will save you a considerable amount over the newest model. Unless you absolutely need the best of the best, and have deep pockets, it’s a little difficult to justify the added expense of the V8 Absolute, but it certainly won’t disappoint.