Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System review: untethered performance

Powerful for a cordless vacuum

Shark Detect Pro against a wall
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System is mostly a wonder. Sure, it isn’t quite as powerful as some corded models, but performance remains stellar for the form factor. It offers decent battery life and can be used as a handheld in a number of situations, although it is a bit heavy for overhead use.

Pros

  • +

    Powerful suction for a cordless vacuum

  • +

    Can be used in multiple situations

  • +

    Odor neutralizer tech

  • +

    Decent battery life

Cons

  • -

    Somewhat pricey

  • -

    A little on the heavy side

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Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: one-minute review

The Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System is certainly one of the best Shark vacuums out there right now. In my opinion, it may also be among the best vacuums available.

There are certainly some caveats. The price tag, although reasonable compared to rivals, might appear high, plus it isn’t as powerful as some tethered models – an important consideration for those who like to deep clean from time to time.

Still, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro’s power is very good for a cordless vacuum. And since it can be easily disassembled into a handheld, not to mention the fact that it comes with a few attachments, it can be used in a variety of situations. The self-emptying base station, along with its large dust bag, is also a welcome part of the experience since it makes charging and storing the vacuum simple. While most of the best cordless vacuums somewhat fit that description, the majority don’t leave your floors smelling fresh. 

Overall, then, this is a capable cordless vacuum that most people will find more than delivers for their needs.

Shark Detect Pro clleaning a floor

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System
Watt:240 watts
Suction power: Not specified
Speeds: 3
Bin volume: Unspecified / 2L dust bag in self-empty station
Battery life: 60 minutes
Filtration:HEPA
Noise volume: 80dB on paper / 69dB in use
Tools:Crevice tool, pet multi tool
Weight: 14.8lbs / 6.7kg

Shark Detect Pro accessories and components

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: Price & availability

  •  How much does it cost? $449.99 / £449.99 / AU$999.99 
  •  When is it available? Available now 
  •  Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia 

At $449.99 / £449.99 / AU$999.99, the Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System is unlikely to be the budget option for anyone. Of course, you can save a little by skipping the Auto-Empty base station, which brings the price down to $379.99 / £349 / AU$799.99. But, in my opinion, that isn’t enough of a reduction in price to do away with functionality that not only empties the dust bin for you, but charges and stores the vacuum, too. Without the base, you’ll actually have to find a place to plug in the vacuum each time.

Considering that the Tineco Pure One S11 – a cordless stick vacuum with a similar auto-detect feature – comes in at $399.99 / £269 / AU$699, for example, and is missing that self-empty base station, the Shark Detect Pro Cordless’ price tag isn’t bad.

You can certainly spend much more. For instance, the LG CordZero arrives with a self-empty base station that doubles as storage for $999 / AU$1,299 (about £785).

Value: 4 / 5

Shark Detect Pro chamber

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: design

  •  Easy to assemble and disassemble 
  •  Large LED display 
  •  Base station is discrete and hides the odor-neutralizer cartridge 

Adorned in an attractive white and gold colorway, the Shark Detect Pro Cordless follows the general outline of other such stick vacuums. The floorhead, with a single self-cleaning brushroll, features a strip of LED lights to illuminate any mess in the path of the cleaner. The stem is lightweight but large enough for decent-sized debris to pass through unencumbered, plus it also easily clips and unclips into the floorhead and handheld. Disassembling the vacuum takes just a press of a few buttons.

The handheld itself is the brains of the operation. To convey this fully, a sizable LED display as well as the two control buttons – one for power and one for mode – cover the top of it. This display is bordered by a ring of color that changes with the soil level.

As far as controls go, there are three modes to choose from: Eco, Detect, and Boost. While somewhat self-explanatory, the Detect mode became my go-to option, with the Shark Cordless Detect Pro adjusting its suction power according to the amount of dirt or debris it comes across. This does away with the need to switch from Eco to Max on a particularly dirty section, and then back again, in order to save battery.

One of the great things about cordless vacuums is the versatility of being able to remove the handheld and use it for not only more detailed spot cleaning, but also vacuuming the ceiling or upholstery, for example. And, with the couple of attachments Shark has included, I was able to do just that with this vacuum.

The self-emptying base station is fairly discrete, despite containing a 2L dust bag. It features a handle to not only hold the Shark Detect Pro Cordless for easy grab-and-go use, but to charge it as well.

In addition, this Shark Cordless vacuum takes advantage of the company’s odor neutralizer technology. Unlike the Shark Stratos corded vacuum I tested, the odor neutralizer cartridge is inserted into the base station, not the floorhead. How the vacuum still manages to spread that scent around to leave floors smelling fresh is beyond me – but it works.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Shark Detect Pro auto-empty base

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: Performance

  •  Powerful… for a cordless vacuum 
  •  Does well on edges and corners, but not going backwards 
  •  A bit heavy when using overhead 

The performance of the Shark Detect Pro Cordless is pretty impressive for an untethered stick vacuum. If you’re hoping for suction comparable to that of the most robust corded vacuum cleaners out there then, sadly, cordless models aren’t quite there yet.

But that’s the price you pay for the convenience of cordless. Having tested this model right after the Shark Stratos corded model, it was obvious to see that the Detect Pro Cordless needed an extra pass to clean up extra dirty areas compared to the Stratos, not to mention the fact that it didn’t perform as well sucking up debris with the backward pass.

Nevertheless, I found performance more than acceptable, even in homes where the Shark Detect Pro Cordless might be the only vacuum cleaner. It was able to pick up fine dust as well as large debris without too much issue; I even managed to vacuum up trimmings off a Christmas tree (not just individual needles).

The Shark Detect Pro Cordless was able to get pretty close to the edges and corners of floors. And the LED lights on the floorhead made it easy to see if any mess remained to be cleaned up – at least on hard flooring.

Shark Detect Pro control panel

(Image credit: Future)

I tested this vacuum across carpets, rugs, and different types of hard flooring, and found that it performed equally well across all surfaces. Getting under furniture was no hardship, as it’s possible to get the floorhead to essentially lay flat. 

Getting up high proved a cinch, too. I simply removed the floorhead and clipped on one of the attachments to remove cobwebs in the corners of rooms. The only real issue with using the Shark Detect Pro Cordless in handheld mode is its weight. Using it to clean the couch wasn’t a problem, but holding it over my head for extended periods of time did become tiring.

As for the self-emptying base station, it does a wonderful job of keeping the vacuum charged and accessible. It’s also quick with the self-emptying function; it pulls the contents of the dustbin into the bag in the basestation. Plus, it does so more quietly than using the actual vacuum (69dB vs 76dB during use).

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Shark Detect Pro control panel

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System: Battery

  •  Around 60 minutes’ runtime in Eco mode 
  •  Battery life drops significantly in other modes 

The 60 minutes that the Shark Detect Pro Cordless can muster is fairly impressive, although it isn’t quite out of this world – and, of course, that’s 60 minutes in Eco mode. When using the vacuum in Detect mode, for instance, the LED display was showing a single bar of battery life after about 20 minutes. If you have a big area to clean, you might have to do it in shifts if it’s particularly dirty.

Battery: 4 / 5

Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System: Report card

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Attribute Notes Score
Value It’s reasonably priced for what it is, but remains expensive.4 / 5
DesignIt’s attractive, modular, and comes scented.4.5 / 5
Performance It’s powerful for a cordless vac and does well around edges and in corners – although it’s a bit heavy for overhead cleaning.4.5 / 5
Battery Battery life is good enough for most people’s needs.4 / 5
Average rating The modular design, self-emptying base station, and powerful cordless performance all make this an easy recommendation.4.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want to go cordless
This vacuum cleaner is fantastic if you’re tired of being tethered to a wall or having to worry about the cord getting in the way. Plus, battery life is fairly decent.

You want a vacuum for multiple situations
The Detect Pro Cordless can handle a variety of cleaning tasks, from ceilings, upholstery, hard flooring, plus rugs and carpets. The lack of cord means you can use it to clean inside the car, too.

You’re able to splurge
While you can spend more on a cordless vacuum, the Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System isn’t cheap. However, it’s worth the cost.

Don't buy it if...

You want deep-cleaning power
There’s plenty of power on tap, but the Shark Detect Pro Cordless isn’t the final word when it comes to deep-cleaning vacuuming prowess. Even the slightly cheaper corded Shark Stratos offers a little more suction.

You’re on a budget
Unfortunately, this isn’t a cheap vacuum, even without the self-emptying base station. If you’re on a budget, then opt for a corded model minus some of the features.

Also consider

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Header Cell - Column 0 Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty SystemGreenworks 24V Deluxe Cordless Stick VacuumTineco Pure One S11
Watt: 240W 500W450W
Suction power: Not specified 170W130W
Speeds332
Bin volume:Unspecified / 2L dust bag in self-empty station 0.52 qt / 0.49L0.63 qt / 0.6L
Battery life: 60 minutes45 minutesUp to 40 mins
Filtration: HEPAHEPA 13Four-stage sealed HEPA filtration
Noise volume 80dB on paper / 69dB in use78dB72dB
Tools Crevice tool, pet multi-tool‎Deep cleaning fur brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, crevice tool, soft bristle brushLED multi-tasker power brush, mini power brush, 2-in-1 dusting brush, crevice tool, pre-filter cleaning tool with pre-filter, hair cleaning tool
Weight 14.8lbs / 6.7kg15.07lbs / 7kg5.96Ibs / 2.7kg

Greenworks 24V Deluxe Cordless Stick Vacuum

You don’t have to spend a fortune for a cordless vacuum with this model from Greenworks. It comes with a smaller dust bin, but offers up to 45 minutes of use per charge (it comes with two batteries) and can also transform into a handheld.

Read our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/greenworks-24v-deluxe-cordless-stick-vacuum" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Greenworks 24V Deluxe Cordless Stick Vacuum review 

Tineco Pure One S11

Great battery life and maneuverability are just some of what makes this cordless Shark rival such a stellar option. It can automatically detect different levels of dirt, and it’s cheaper than the Shark Cordless Detect Pro. There’s no self-empty base station, however.

Read our full <a href="https://www.techradar.com/home/vacuums/tineco-pure-one-s11-smart-vacuum-review-an-effective-and-robust-cordless-vacuum-with-some-niggles" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">Tineco Pure One S11 review 

How I tested

I used the Shark Detect Pro Cordless Auto-Empty System for a few weeks. I used it on carpet, upholstery, hard flooring, and even ceilings. And, in the course of these different cleaning scenarios, I tried all the different attachments, as well as using just the handheld on its own. I tested the odor neutralizer to see (or smell) if it was a gimmick or worthy addition, plus paid attention to how well it cleaned edges, corners, and debris of all sizes.

I’ve tested a lot of gear over the years from laptops and audio equipment to vacuum cleaners and air fryers, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test. 

Read more about how we test

Tested December 2023

James Holland
Freelance writer

James Holland loves audio gear! So much so that he covers all the ins and outs, good and bad for TechRadar and T3. Where does that so-called expertise come from? Not only is he a lifelong music-lover but he also works in the music industry and is a musician. When not testing headphones or listening to music, he loves to travel, rage at the latest PC games, and eat off-the-beaten-path but not too off-the-beaten-path food.