Roomba 690 and 694 are two robot vacuums from the 600 series of iRobot, which is the entry-level series. They have a similar appearance, but they are not exactly the same.
The Roomba 690 has silver and black colors on the main body. It also has a handlebar for feasibly portable. The Roomba 694 is not different in dimension, but its color is all-black, and it does not have a handlebar like its rival.
For the Roomba 690 vs 694 cleaning performance, I find both of them give satisfactory results, especially on low-level carpets and hard floors and in uncluttered spaces. They can cope with pet hair quite well, but they face difficulty with hair tangling. Yet, for the value in a reasonable price range, I believe that the Roomba 694 and 690 turn out the best products in the market.
Roomba 690 Vs 694: Comparison Chart
Roomba 690 Vs 694: Differences
The Roomba 690 and 694 do not differ much in their performance and design. The differences I can notice are their colors and accessories. The Roomba 690 has two main colors, black and silver. It also has a handlebar on its top and includes a virtual wall in the box.
On the other hand, the Roomba 694 is all-black and does not feature a handlebar. However, it is still easy to carry with one hand as it is lightweight and has a low-profile body, similar to the Roomba 690. The Roomba 694 is compatible with a virtual wall, but you need to purchase it separately.
The Virtual Wall Barrier allows you to set up a virtual border that prevents the bots from accessing some areas, either circular or linear. This is handy if you have a lot of cords and wires on the floor that the bots could trip over because they do not have an obstacle-avoidance function.
The Roomba 690 is more convenient, in my view, because it has a Virtual Wall Barrier and a handle for easier carrying upstairs and downstairs. Other than that, they share the same motors, suction power, cleaning performance, and maintenance.
Roomba 690 Vs 694: Similarities
The performance of Roomba 690 vs 694 is not much different in my tests. They offer good cleaning efficiency and convenience in control.
Their suction is low, about 7 cfm airflow, but quite enough for picking up light and fine debris such as sand and scattering cereals. Both use the same brush roll system: the dual brushroll type, including a rubber-fin roller and a bristle roller. This brush roll system helps improve the carpet agitation and pulling of the embedded dirt.
Their transition between bare floors to carpet, especially high-pile carpets and rugs, is inefficient because the bot runs into the carpet’s edges and turns around. They may think the edges are a barrier or something similar and refuse to continue going. Therefore, if I want them to clean the carpet, I need to pick them up and place them in the carpeted regions.
The Roomba 690 and 694 models are most effective on hard floors or low-pile carpets. However, they may face challenges when operating on soft or long-pile carpets, as these surfaces tend to obstruct their brush roll systems. While these models can pick up pet hair pretty well, their brushes get clogged often due to the notable amount of hair tangling around the bristle brushes.
Design & Convenience
Navigation & Obstacle avoidance
Both Roomba 694 and 690 use random reactive navigation, by which the bots use their bump and dirt sensors to navigate and clean the house. For me, they give a nice coverage comparable to the results obtained with more expensive bots. However, their random navigating pattern is inefficient in larger spaces as they miss many spots, especially the areas cluttered with furniture.
Moreover, they will need to bump into things and walls to redirect, so it may be a negative point because of the constant crashing noise while they are cleaning. In addition to the dirt sensor, the Roomba 690 and 694 have cliff sensors, allowing them to detect the stairs and avoid falling down. In my situation, these sensors work great, as the bots defect high-density dirt areas well and haven’t fallen from the stairs so far.
In terms of obstacle avoidance, they fail the test. They will not recognize obstacles like shoes, kid/pet toys, or wires and cords. They often drag around the cords I forgot to pick up on the floor. So, to make the cleaning a bit faster and less difficult for the bot, I need to do prep work like moving the small bar stools or chargers and toys in the cleaning areas.
Battery & Noise
They have a battery life of about 90 minutes per charge, which may vary depending on the amount of furniture and carpets in the room. When their battery runs low, they will return to the charging dock by themselves, thanks to the RCON sensors (Room Confinement Sensor) on top of the charging dock and the vacuum body. The charging time often takes around 2-3 hours, as I remember.
Their noise can be loud for people sensitive to high-decibel sound, but for me, the noise is bearable. As measured, their noise level is around 65-71 dB, depending on the types of surfaces they are working on.
The Roomba 690 and 694 models have the same three buttons on their bodies: Dock, Power and Clean, and Spot Cleaning. You can use the Dock button to make the bots return to their charging station while they are cleaning. The Power and Clean button lets you start, pause/resume, or stop the bots from cleaning. The Spot Cleaning button is for cleaning a specific spot on the floor that you want to clean right away.
I can control the Roomba 691 and 694 with the iRobot app on my phone or tablet, as they can connect to the app through my home Wi-Fi network. The app offers basic but useful features, including scheduling the cleaning time and notifying the battery life and the status of my robot vacs. I can also set my Roomba 694 or 690 to clean when I am not at home. This is very convenient if I work outside often and don’t want to hear the noise of the cleaning.
Cleaning & Maintenance
I have to clean and check the robot vacuums regularly because they get hair stuck on them easily. I look at their bottoms every few days and remove any hair that is tangled on the main and side brushes or the wheels. It is not hard to take out and clean their brush rollers and castor wheels.
Besides, the Roomba 694 and 690 do not have HEPA filters, so they are not good at filtering out small particles and allergens from the air. If you have serious allergies, you should look for products that have a good HEPA filtration system. Additionally, I found that their dust bin is also very small, so I need to empty them very often as I have pets in my house, and the bins fill up very quickly.
Quick Rundown of iRobot Roomba 690
- Sleek, premium design complements your home décor; Includes 1 dual mode virtual wall barrier for more control over where your robot cleans
- 3 stage cleaning system and dual multi surface brushes pick up everything from small particles to large debris
- Patented dirt detect sensors alert roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high traffic zones of your home
- Full suite of intelligent sensors guide the robot under and around furniture to help thoroughly clean your floors
- Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot home app; Compatible with amazon Alexa and the google assistant. Mobile device compatible software version: iphone: ios 11 or higher, android: OS 5.0 or higher
Quick Rundown of iRobot Roomba 694
- MORE THOUGHTFUL THAN YOU THOUGHT - The Roomba 694 takes vacuuming off your mind with personalized cleaning suggestions powered by the unique intelligence of IRobot OS. Learns your habits and your routines..Runtime : 90 minutes
- 3-STAGE CLEANING POWER - The 3-Stage Cleaning system lifts dirt, dust and debris from carpets and hard floors while an Edge-Sweeping brush takes care of corners and edges. Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head automatically adapts its height to effectively clean carpets & hard floors.
- FOCUSED CLEANING YOU CAN COUNT ON - IRobot's Patented Dirt Detect Technology allows the Roomba 694 robot vacuum to detect dirtier areas of your home and clean them more thoroughly.
- DON'T LET MESSES MESS WITH YOUR SCHEDULE - Simply use the IRobot Home App or your voice assistant to tell the Roomba 694 robot to vacuum and consider it done.
- A FULL SUITE OF ADVANCED SENSORS - You don’t have to worry about Roomba 694 Series Robot Vacuum getting around your home to get the job done: A full suite of advanced sensors allow this robot to navigate under and around furniture, and along edges, while Cliff Detect keeps it from falling down stairs.
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- iRobot Roomba 694: https://www.irobot.com/en_US/roomba-vacuuming-robot-vacuum-irobot-roomba-69-4020/R694020.html
- iRobot Roomba 690: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/irobot-roomba-690-app-controlled-robot-vacuum-black-silver/5802801.p?skuId=5802801&intl=nosplash
Richard B. Schmidt is a prominent figure in the vacuum cleaner industry, boasting over 15 years of expertise. Armed with a Robotics Engineering degree from Northeastern University and a Master’s in Consumer Science from Harvard, his unique blend of technical knowledge and consumer insights positions him as a sought-after authority in vacuum cleaner evaluation. Richard’s career began at Dyson, where he contributed to the development of innovative vacuum models. Transitioning to advocacy and reviews, he co-founded the first Vacuum-focused blog in 2008, offering comprehensive analysis and user guides for various vacuum cleaners. In 2020, he founded RoboMop.net, providing ongoing insights through columns and buyer’s guides.