Time for another gadget comparison starring two contenders that you should be familiar with if you’ve been following this blog for some time. We compared Shark and Dyson’s hair dryer products and gave Dyson a victory and the two brands fought to a draw in the styling wand category as well. Now instead of blowing, we’re going to find out which vacuum sucks the most. Literally! If you are looking for a cordless vacuum with under $600 to spare, read on because both Dyson and Shark have compelling offerings here.
The Global Veteran vs. the Budget Underdog
Before I compare how each vacuum performs, I want to first point out that the Shark Detect Pro and Dyson V15 targets slightly different price brackets. Shark has a history of offering products that closely match their competitors’ feature sets while offering a lower price and not compromising so much on design. The Shark Detect Pro gets the upper hand here with its $379.99 USD / $399.99 price tag. What is striking is not only the price but the fact that it’s the launch price and Shark recently launched the Detect Pro brand in September 2023.
On the other corner is the Dyson V15 Detect which Dyson has been selling since mid-2021. Launched at $749.99 USD / $999.99, Dyson frequently offers the V15 Detect for around $600 USD. While pricier, the Dyson V15 has better global availability which means a larger ecosystem for spare parts too.
Design & Ergonomics
Shark comes out with a strong first impression when it comes to the vacuum’s overall feel. The Shark Detect Pro weighs just 6 pounds which is close to a full pound lighter than the Dyson V15. Whether intentional or not, Shark made the right call to undercut the V15’s weight because the Dyson V15 is well-known for its ergonomics and ease of use. The lighter feel makes the Shark Detect Pro a more agile and nimble cleaner which is important if you easily get tired of cleaning small rooms.
Cleaning & Convenience
Making a vacuum lighter usually puts it in a different category because suction power, battery life, and dustbin capacity are common sacrifices. Surprisingly though, the Shark Detect Pro picks up debris both small and large just as well as the Dyson. Matching that performance is a technical feat for Shark because the Shark Detect Pro really has weaker suction power. Shark’s unique floorhead design with QuadClean technology is the secret behind the vacuum’s impressive efficiency.
Shark closes the gap to Dyson’s offering in technologies too as both vacuums can automatically adjust the suction power depending on the dust or debris it picks up. The Dyson V15’s cool display gives a good array of stats on what it’s collecting while the Shark shows light indicators that become more pronounced if you pick up more dust.
Notice how both Shark and Dyson added “Detect” to their product names but they actually mean different things. Dyson’s approach to detecting involves the use of a laser mounted to the soft roller to reveal some dust you won’t normally see from a regular light. The Shark Detect Pro lacks this technology but the vacuum itself is tricked out with sensors for detecting walls and carpets. The vacuum uses the sensor data to adjust not just the suction power but also the roller speed. All these little innovations Shark worked on with this vacuum really help elevate this lightweight performer.
Dealmakers & Dealbreakers
Theoretically, the sensors and auto power adjustments should help with the battery life levels but the Shark Detect Pro has a similar overall runtime to the Dyson V15. Your mileage may vary though depending on the jobs you perform, and you’ll likely get better figures when doing fewer demanding tasks. The Shark Detect Pro doesn’t quite impress with 0.3-liter bin capacity as well because the Dyson V15’s bin is twice as spacious. Finally, the Dyson V15 offers more variants with the most basic model coming with plenty of accessories including a crevice tool, a combination tool, and several brush heads. Shark’s latest offering only comes with a crevice tool unless you pay more for the larger bundle which includes a brush and auto-empty system.
I’m really tempted to give Shark the win here because it managed to cram so much innovation in an affordable package. However, Shark did leave a few crumbs for Dyson to pick up so once again the best sub-$600 choice depends on your needs. Perhaps both are winners in a sense that you shouldn’t have any regrets about picking one over the other because both vacuums compete very well against other brands. The Shark Detect Pro is a reminder that Dyson shouldn’t rest on its laurels and try to package their cutting-edge technologies in smaller price points. Otherwise, I can imagine Shark creeping up to the mainstream continuing the strong momentum the Shark Detect Pro started.
So at these current prices, go with the Shark Detect Pro if you want something light and your budget is tight. For longevity and peace of mind ownership, the Dyson V15 remains a solid choice simply because it has proven its worth throughout the years.
Shop the Shark Detect Pro is on Amazon.
- Review: Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System
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