Roomba 690 Vs 694: Compare Two Budget-Friendly Robot Vacs – Are They Different?

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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

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THE WINNER (#1)
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Personalized Cleaning Recommendations, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Roomba 694
Model
iRobot Roomba 690
iRobot Roomba 694
Color / Shape
Black-Silver/ Circle
Black / Circle
Handlebar
Dimensions (W x H) / Weight
13.4 x 3.54 inches / 7.7 lbs
13.4 x 3.54 inches / 6.77 lbs
Self-Empty
HEPA Filter
Obstacle Detection
Navigation Pattern
Random Navigation
Random Navigation
Map Saving
Scheduled Cleaning
Mopping Mode
Main & Side Brushes
1x Dual Brush Roll / 1x 3-prong Side Brush
1x Dual Brush Roll / 1x 3-prong Side Brush
Recharge & Resume
Run Time / Charging Time
~90 mins / 2 hours
~90 mins / 2 hours
Cliff Sensor & Dirt Detect
Virtual Wall Barrier
Included
Optional
What I Like
Price
Price not available
$74.68
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
Model
iRobot Roomba 690
Color / Shape
Black-Silver/ Circle
Handlebar
Dimensions (W x H) / Weight
13.4 x 3.54 inches / 7.7 lbs
Self-Empty
HEPA Filter
Obstacle Detection
Navigation Pattern
Random Navigation
Map Saving
Scheduled Cleaning
Mopping Mode
Main & Side Brushes
1x Dual Brush Roll / 1x 3-prong Side Brush
Recharge & Resume
Run Time / Charging Time
~90 mins / 2 hours
Cliff Sensor & Dirt Detect
Virtual Wall Barrier
Included
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Personalized Cleaning Recommendations, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Roomba 694
Model
iRobot Roomba 694
Color / Shape
Black / Circle
Handlebar
Dimensions (W x H) / Weight
13.4 x 3.54 inches / 6.77 lbs
Self-Empty
HEPA Filter
Obstacle Detection
Navigation Pattern
Random Navigation
Map Saving
Scheduled Cleaning
Mopping Mode
Main & Side Brushes
1x Dual Brush Roll / 1x 3-prong Side Brush
Recharge & Resume
Run Time / Charging Time
~90 mins / 2 hours
Cliff Sensor & Dirt Detect
Virtual Wall Barrier
Optional
What I Like
Price
$74.68
More Info

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.

The Roomba 690 has a handlebar
The Roomba 690 has a handlebar

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.

The virtual wall barrier in the box of the Roomba 690
The virtual wall barrier in the box of the Roomba 690

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.

Cleaning performance

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.

The Roomba 690 (and also 694) refuses to go on the carpet
The Roomba 690 (and also 694) refuses to go on the carpet

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 RCON sensor on the Roomba 690 (and 694)
The RCON sensor on the Roomba 690 (and 694)

Control

Physical control

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.

App control

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.

Their bristle brush roll needs to be cleaned often to remove tangled hair
Their bristle brush roll needs to be cleaned often to remove tangled hair

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

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
  • 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
Pros
  • Decent cleaning efficiency
  • Features a handlebar, making it easy to carry around
  • User-friendly app with useful features
  • Cliff sensors work great
  • Included a virtual wall barrier in the box
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistants for voice control
Cons
  • Random navigation is ineffective in larger rooms
  • Lacks HEPA filters

Quick Rundown of iRobot Roomba 694

Sale
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Personalized Cleaning Recommendations, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Roomba 694
  • Design: Sleek, premium design complements your home decor; The Roomba 694 is a great way to begin cleaning your home smarter. Just schedule it to clean up daily dirt, dust, and debris with the iRobot Home app or your voice assistant. - for effortlessly clean floors
  • Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head: Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head automatically adapts its height to effectively clean carpets and hard floors
  • Adaptive Navigation: A full suite of advanced sensors allows Roomba to navigate under and around furniture, and along edges. Cliff Detect keeps it from falling downstairs
  • Clean Floors Every Day: The Roomba 694 provides a system of cleaning features and smart sensors that allow the robot to adjust to your unique home and deliver a daily clean
  • Automatically Recharges: The Robot Vacuum runs for up to 90 minutes before automatically docking and recharging
Pros
  • Good cleaning performance and pet-hair picking up
  • Has cliff sensors to prevent the bot from falling from stairs
  • Can schedule the cleaning time with the iRobot app
  • Can use voice commands via voice assistants
Cons
  • Fails the test of obstacle avoidance
  • Hair easily get tangled on the bristle brush

Product Videos

Related Articles to Roomba 694

  1. Roomba 692 vs 694: 2 Of The Best iRobot’s Budget-friendly Robot Vacuums
  2. Roomba E6 Vs 694: Is There Any Upgrade In iRobot Entry-Level Robot Vacuums?
  3. Roomba 694 Vs 960: The Pros And Cons – Which Is Better?
  4. Roomba 694 vs i1: Detailed Comparison – Are There Any Differences?
  5. Roomba 691 Vs 694: Are There Any Differences?
  6. Roomba 675 vs 694: Which Is The Best Option For Entry Level?

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