AEG QX9 review: A light, agile and extremely capable cordless vacuum
AEG’s designers have a tendency to step away from traditional shapes and configurations when conceptualising products, and the AEG QX9 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner doesn’t buck this trend. While most cordless stick vacuums add an extension wand and a motorised floor head to a handheld vacuum cleaner, the QX9 takes a typically different approach.
It still has a handheld cleaner at its core but, instead of simply attaching an extension to the business end, the QX9 is seated into a frame shaped like an elongated teardrop, with a motorised floor brush at the base. The main unit can be popped out of the frame when you want to use it as a handheld and connected to a variety of attachments.
Also, surprisingly uniquely amongst cordless sticks, the QX9 can stand up on its own when it’s in its frame. The only other cordless sticks we’ve come across that can do this are Shark’s cordless vacuums (although you have to fold them up first) and the Miele Triflex HX1.
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AEG QX9 review: What do you get for the money?
The AEG QX9 is available in a variety of different guises aimed at different needs. I tested the QX9-1-ANIM, which comes with a smaller motorised brush head designed for handheld use on stairs, upholstery and car interiors. This has an RRP of £370.
There’s also a version of this model with extra filtration designed for people with allergies for the same price, plus a couple of cheaper models that lack the smaller motorised brush head. One of these – the QX9-1-40GG – also has a smaller battery, a shorter run time and a lower power motor.
In the package with our review model is the main vacuum along with that smaller motorised head, plus a crevice tool and a long dusting brush. The QX9 also comes with a charging dock: a small plastic tray that sits on the floor and charges the QX9 when it’s parked on it. It’s much simpler than plugging in cables, doesn’t require any installation, and is a welcome addition to the package.
The main vacuum measures 256 x 132 x 1,102mm (WDH) and weighs a feather-light 2.75kg. On its own, the handheld unit is an even lighter 1.5kg and measures 105 x 118 x 465mm (WDH). The latter only has a single power setting but, when attached to the frame, there’s an extra button that cycles the vacuum through three power levels.
The only other control on the device is a foot pedal, which you can press to clean the roller of tangled hair. There’s also a strip of LED headlights along the front of the motorised head to illuminate dark corners.
The collection bin has a relatively small capacity of 0.3l, which is about as small as they come. It’s unlikely that you’ll get this all the way around a modestly-sized house without needing to empty it mid-clean.
AEG QX9 review: What’s it like to use?
In cordless stick mode, the AEG QX9 is light, agile and simple to use. Although it sounds like a small thing, I was impressed with the vacuum’s ability to stand up on its own. It saves hassle finding somewhere to lean it when you take a break from cleaning and it means it’s always ready to go when you return from that hard-earned cuppa.
Another bonus is that it only comes with one motorised floor head that’s always attached to the frame, so there’s no need to swap heads when cleaning different surfaces. The head only has a single roller, though, which is lined with bristles and is most effective at cleaning carpets.
You can use it on hard floor but it isn’t as effective as the specialist, soft roller brushes you get with vacuums like the Dyson V15 Detect, or those that combine both soft and brush rollers in a single floor head, like the Shark IZ300UKT.
Popped out of the frame and into its handheld mode, the QX9 feels quite weighty but it’s reasonably well balanced, the battery unit at the back acting as a counterbalance to the motor and dust collection bin at the front. It’s comfortable to hold, too, with a handle that’s wrapped in the kind of grip tape you might find on a tennis racket.
Adding and removing attachments is straightforward. The motorised pet tool attachment clips onto the end with a button release but the rest of the attachments simply slip over the end of the vacuum unit and can be removed by simply pulling them off.
The selection of tools that came with the QX9-1-ANIM are a good mix. The long dusting brush works well on lampshades and the combination of the motorised pet tool and crevice tool makes short work of vacuuming stairs, too. Because it uses a frame and not a wand to convert into a cordless stick vacuum, you don’t get the option of using it to give extra reach to the attachments, however.
It’s also good to see anti-tangle tech in place here. Although not automatic – you have to press the roller clearing button on the floor head with your foot to enable it – it works very well and saves you having to get your hands dirty.
AEG QX9 review: How well does it clean?
The AEG QX9 proved highly proficient at cleaning in all but one of our cleaning tests. It performed very well on short-pile carpet, collecting 24g of a 25g spillage of Cheerios, and 48g of a 50g flour spillage on a single pass. Repeat passes got the flour collection up to 49g.
It was even more efficient at gathering flour from hard floor, collecting 49g of a 50g spill on a single pass. However, it wasn’t able to gain enough traction to gather Cheerios from such a smooth surface, simply pushing the cereal ahead of the floor head like a snowplough. Removing the handheld unit from the frame and using that to clean up larger particles works fine but you’ll need to get onto your hands and knees to do it.
Overall, however, discounting its disappointing performance with large particles on hard floor, the QX9 is impressive, punching well above the weight I was expecting from such a small and light vacuum.
Battery life is good, stretching to nearly 53 minutes with the vacuum on its lowest power setting. On its middle setting it lasted 24mins 30secs and we were able to extract 15mins 30secs from it on its highest power setting. From empty, it takes around four hours to fully charge, which is performed by placing the vacuum into the supplied floor dock. Three LEDs on the main unit let you know how much charge is in the device, to the nearest 25% (once battery life falls below 25%, the final LED flashes).
Unfortunately, there’s no visible way to check the power level you have the vacuum set to. The previous setting is recalled when you stop and start the vacuum but if you can’t remember what that was, you need to cycle through the three settings and work it out by listening to it.
This is a bit disappointing, because you could end up using the boosted mode and only getting 15 minutes out of the device without realising it. If you’re hard of hearing, there’s absolutely no guidance available.
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AEG QX9 review: Should I buy it?
Despite being a relatively small handheld device wedged into a larger frame, the AEG QX9 is more powerful than it looks. It blitzed most of our cleaning tests, and combines that performance with the agility and light weight that makes it a pleasure to use.
For a similarly-priced Dyson alternative you’d have to head back through the range to the Dyson V8. That model, while still available, is looking a bit long in the tooth and doesn’t have the cleaning power of the QX9.
The pricier Shark IZ300UKT comes with the added benefit of a built-in soft roller, making it a more effective all-rounder than the QX-9; it’s more expensive than the AEG but not as light and maneuverable. Finally, the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity is a feature-packed and lightweight vacuum but doesn’t stand up on its own like the QX9.
Despite a couple of niggles, then, I’d recommend the AEG QX9 as one of the best cordless vacuums you can buy. A fantastic product that’s well worth the money.