“ Brand: Hoover / Type: Bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner with pet tools / Capacity: 3.5L / Airwatts: 400 „
Without Prejudice...This is a long review of which you'll find:
Info on pricing.
Info on longer term ownership.
Info on rivals.
So, the time has come where you are fed up cleaning out filters from your bagless vacuum cleaner - and if you're a pet owner then your job of clean up is doubled when having to wash and wait for filters to dry - or pay out again for a brand new filter only to face the same hardship later on. However, if, like me you're a pet owner and you need a vacuum cleaner that's going to last the test of time, bagless is not an option especially when pet hair gets stuck up into the top part of the filter and you then have to take the whole bin apart to touch it and direct it into a refuse bin. Bagged vacuums are so much easier in this respect when the dust collected just goes into the bag and then the bag gets emptied once it's full; simple, effective and a lot healthier even though you do have to shop for bags. The trouble is if you're a pet owner, it's probably expensive enough to keep a pet alone, never mind keeping your home tidy from pet hair allergen and the brands don't make the purchase decision easy if you're after a compact vacuum that doesn't take up too much room - especially for under £100 at the time of purchase.
Hoover's Sensory TS2605 "Pets" may well look like a bargain slashed from its £109/£120 to a far cheaper £80 from Argos and because it has the additional name "Pets," you get a washable HEPA filter cartridge and a pet tool to help you clean house. The model is decked in a lovely matt black that has a shine to it and silver contrasting colours to the decals and controls whilst the overall design is quite masculine from the four-wheeled look thanks to bulbous edges and two concealed back wheels for easy movement. Strong suction is a factor for household dust, never mind pet hair and the Sensory looks like it has oodles of power thanks to its 2000 watt motor, variable from around 1600 watts which gives you the choice to be economical as well as kinder to your ears. For the price, you also get a lot of promises from large dust bag capacities bigger than most bagless vacuums and a compact design suitable for stairs as well as storing away.
The Sensory is no different from any other manufacturer's offering - but the features of the model on board are slightly disappointing because of cheap and poorly made components that ruins the otherwise good design, even it has been copied from other rivals over the years. For example, the Sensory has a duo-telescopic height adjustable suction tube. It is made of metal, designed not to crush and looks like it is up to the job - until full suction is applied and the height adjuster starts to slip making the job of clean up that little bit more difficult, having to constantly push the release down and pull upwards to make sure it locks to the height position you need. For the other fact that both the tools and the pipes slip onto the poorly made handle by friction fit only, only serves up double bad news for pipes that refuse to stay locked into the position I want them to be in! The tools can slip off if not tightened properly, and if you tighten too much they can be a pain to pull apart. SEBO and Miele do it better with better-made plastics and floor heads that lock to the pipes once and for all!
Carpet performance is at best okay if taken slowly - so the Sensory doesn't get the instant thumbs up for quick cleaning but then you're compromised by the only floor tool you get - suction only and has lint pickers which try their best to pick up pet hair and without a proper main sized turbo brush, daily clean up of hair is compromised by slow sweeps and the need to take out the pet hair brush tool you do get. As Hoover says "...Pets are part of the family home but we all know how quickly the house can become covered in hair..." Yes Hoover, but why only feature a mini turbo brush instead of a full size turbo brush so that owners can clear up on a daily basis? Without a full size turbo brush, the Sensory's high whine and suction only floor head makes cleaning difficult and has a poor thinly made pedal on the floor head that refuses to move unless you lessen the suction and press down the pedal for stiff bristles on hard floors. Sometimes depending on the power, the floor head just snaps down the bristles if you need more power, giving you an awkward and poorly designed plastic floor head that refuses to move on hard floors unless you switch off, start again or bend down and get a roasting facial of exhaust air before twisting the suction dial around for less power. When it comes to pet hair pick up, at least the mini tool you do get is well designed. It isn't as well made as other turbo brushes on the market though and you'll soon pine for a bigger floor head if you have tons of carpet and pet hair to pick up after because the turbo brush can clog up with so much hair and then be split apart to clean out. If you want the bigger floor tool, you'll have to visit Hoover's expensive accessory shop (or go through their equally expensive partner, Espares) for the J20 full sized turbo brush at a cost of £41 plus £3-95 for P&P.
Design wise, the Hoover Sensory itself is around eight years old and it shows very easily through a lack of perceived quality, general use and day-to-day maintenance. Compared to more compact and modern rivals the Sensory vacuum weighs a hefty 8kg to move around not helped by a very short hose at just 1.5 metres, making it more awkward to work with on stairs but more so when just normal vacuuming on floors and the Sensory is painful when it bumps into your back legs. Smaller cleaning tools consist of a triple combination tool which looks quite space age but is nothing next to useless as it clips onto the bottom part of the handle and sometimes flies off in use. The combination tool has a crevice pipe wedged into one section whilst a rounded cup design acts as an upholstery brush with a flush slider to retract and put out bristles for dusting - there's your three functions - except the plastic is thicker than anything else on the Hoover and in light silvery grey doesn't stand up to scratches particularly well. Whilst the crevice pipe is noisy when swapped around, the whole concept works easily for style but in action, the rounded cup like upholstery tool is most awkward when it comes to using and feels like dragging a cup over furnishings compared to more decent Hoover tools of old like their T shaped upholstery tool they used to kit older machines with. Hoover has copied Miele in the sense that the last section of hose before it reaches the handle can be removed if any clogged dust occurs - but what a pity Hoover haven't copied Miele (like they did with the older Telios model) in offering all the smaller cleaning tools safely hidden away under a flap on the body of the vacuum. The handle and clips on the main pipes are made of cheap plastic and if the converter tool doesn't take the first time after use, it becomes annoying when it refuses to lock on the second time! At least Hoover have retained the 6 metre industry standard power cord length - but it's a pity that the cord rewind is temperamental just like the rest of the controls - and sometimes doesn't retract all of the cord fully back into the machine. For a 2-month-old vacuum, (model no.2) I didn't expect Hoover ownership to be so short-lived...
Despite the fact that it can sit on stair landings in the upright position, the Sensory's chubby width also makes it difficult to stay on most steps because the excess design sticks out too much thanks in part to those oversized flush fitting "round" circles to the sides (and they mirror the same on the other side) and if the Sensory falls over, there is no protection given to the hood where the hose comes out of, which dulls the shine and black painted colouring instantly. The switches at the front - two round silver circles - act as the power on button and another for variable power, twisting it for suction and pushing it in for the auto cord rewind. My Sensory's suction dial has a temperamental attitude of increasing power whenever it likes and sometimes the power doesn't come on unless the pedal is given a hefty push - which it never did when I first bought it - only requiring a light tap of the foot. At least there's a LED light that comes on to show if the bag is full or if there's a blockage but mine doesn't work very well and it isn't as reliable as Miele or SEBO vacuums.
The problem of quality goes on through time with the Sensory though. When it comes to changing the bag or checking the filter, hard and sharp edges abound inside and unlike a lot of other brands on the market, the Sensory has a poor plastic catch that can literally catch my hand when trying to open the top and can be a right challenge to close and lock afterwards. You see, unlike any other cylinder vacuum on the market, the Sensory has a very strange design mechanism whereby you have to remove the hose and then unlock the lid at the rear of the vacuum, (if you don't remove the hose, the lid comes crashing down on your free hand because of the excess weight) and then swing the top upwards and over the main handle to gain access to the bag. The lid can independently be taken off and whilst this occurs, it starts to render the flush fitting hinges non-flush (and you'll know about it in time when it comes to carrying it the next time as the plastic bits jut sharply into your hand). Whilst the HEPA filter is easy to take out or place back in, it takes up the largest space inside the vacuum whilst the paper dust bag is located at the front. Access to the bag, when full is extremely time consuming to avoid any scratches to your hands! The bag holder itself on mine had to be replaced twice since the first one snapped off and getting to the pre-motor filter behind the bag is just as tricky. There's a snib on the back of the floor head to store on two places on the Sensory for storing but again like everything else plastic, it's made of poor quality and feels liable to snap off. The bulky size of the Sensory can equally be hard to store under limited shelves for example.
The "good" news is that the dust bags are packed with extra layers of filtration to minimise allergen and dust escaping and although well made, the Hoover bags mirror Hoover's last attempt of high filter bags known as "Pure Filt" which had to be taken off the market as they could only be used with vacuums that had 1400 watts or more to ensure the bags were properly filled. Hoover's latest attempt is healthier because the bags are just like SEBO, BOSCH and Miele - fibre cloth like but at the same time disposable and only one use only. I was shocked to discover how fast the bags actually fill up with dust though, requiring to be changed every couple of weeks as opposed to months with a Miele, Bosch or SEBO. This is why folks, not all vacuum cleaners that take bags are the same! The Sensory it seems, has an appetite for dust bags; a fact that seems to have been found with other users of this model online. This is also compromised by the fact that the Sensory Pets also has a habit of running out of suction despite the noisy, loud 2000 watt motor when increased, giving you a bit of a shock that the bag you put in weeks ago is suddenly full. For a bag that has supposed 3.5 litres capacity, I was expecting to change the bag after a month and a half, not after just three weeks!
Add to the disappointment of the lack of dust bags for the Sensory bagged vacuum, and it is no wonder that loyal buyers to the Hoover brand are pushed to pay premium for a product that should, in theory do better because it has the obligatory "who-better" Hoover brand name stamped on the machine. The Sensory does have sealable bags but this Hoover will also leak dust if the poorly made rubber seal that sits all around the perimeter of the vacuum's bin falls out and through time snaps in two, making the claimed "sealed suction" feature design a bit useless. For £80, it just isn't good enough to put up with all these weaknesses - even though other rivals from Bush and Dirt Devil "Pet" marketed vacuums may have bigger or small dust capacities, metal or plastic tubes - at the end of the day if the bags aren't available from a massive amount of franchises from the high street - you may as well forget the idea of any bagged vacuum to help with pet hair pick up unless you consider the bigger and bulkier Numatic Henry or German brands like the Sebo K1 Pet and Sebo D2 Total or Miele S5 Cat and Dog. Along with Bosch models, the Germans and the only British vacuum cleaner company products are easier to get because of their reliability. At one time John Lewis, Currys and Comet all sold dust bags for the Sensory and there are two types. The H30 "plus" has 5 bags in a soft pack costing around £7 to £8 but you get no filters with them - but be warned - these are the paper type bags that burst upon contact if full suction is applied in the Sensory vacuum which is why the fibre ones called Pure Filt Odour Plus cost more and are only supplied in boxes of 4 with no free filters for the motor and cost between £9-37 and £13 on average. Whilst Miele charge £9-99 for a box of four bags (and you get a free filter), at least with SEBO you get a lot more for your money (£13-25 for 8 bags per box remembering that the filters on the SEBO K1 last between 16 and 32 bags!) whilst none of Hoover's products give you free filters - you'll have to shop online for them, separately - which is bad news for pet owners unless you continually wear down the pre-foam filter and HEPA filter by washing it and drying it out.
Spending that little bit extra on a vacuum cleaner that has been designed for pet owners and their pets isn't going to break the bank. There are so many other alternatives on the market that make life easier, not just taking into consideration, Hoover's Sensory Pets TS2605. Whilst it may come with a five-year parts guarantee, I've had enough experience from this company to know that the Sensory has been built with less thought given to realistic use and pet owners expectations. That is clear from the poor build quality, lack of material dust bags and a hunger for the bags because of the strong suction and loud motor and dodgy electronics. Compared to the SEBO K1 Pet, which is perfect for small homes to Miele's Cat and Dog S5 or the SEBO D2 Total, which has the longest power cord and both are best for larger homes, other alternatives like Numatic's smiling Henry Xtra (big and bulky but has a massive dust capacity but can be difficult to store) are far more modern and better made. Yes they are far more expensive to buy than the Hoover Sensory too - but at least they are better designed and have far more versatile features one can certainly feel more at peace with whilst offering quality, availability of filters and bags and a far easier design to live with for day-to-day cleaning. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2011
* Prices are correct at the time of research for review.
Short name: Hoover TS2065