If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced and efficient robot vacuum, consider the Roomba 694 vs i1 duo. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The article below is my personal assessment of both models.
My tests show that the winner is the Roomba i1. This machine has an advanced sensor system that allows it to clean in straight, efficient lines, detect high-traffic areas, and avoid falls down stairs. Thanks to that, the cleaning process takes place faster and more effectively.
The Roomba 964 is still one of the top-selling robot vacuums despite its less efficient navigation in random patterns. Its reliable performance and user-friendly interface make it a popular choice.
Roomba 694 vs i1: Comparison Chart
Roomba 694 vs i1: Differences
After experiencing both machines, I conclude that the Roomba i1 wins 3:0 and ties 1 against the Roomba 694 thanks to its cleaning performance and many other amazing features. For more details, please read the breakdown below.
The winner: Roomba i1
Performance on hard floors
These Roomba models are effective at cleaning multiple surfaces. In my experience, they are more efficient on hard floors than on carpets.
In my testing of debris pickup on hard floors, I found that both products did well with small and lightweight items like rice, crumbs, and cereal. However, they struggled with larger debris, such as Froot Loops.
In comparing the performance of the Roomba i1 and Roomba 694 on hard floors, it was evident that the i1 was more efficient. The i1 utilized floor tracking sensors to navigate in straight lines, resulting in purposeful and logical cleaning in tidy rows. On the other hand, the 694 moved randomly.
Performance on carpet
In this aspect, both machines perform the best on low-pile carpets. They do a pretty good job of maneuvering themselves on carpeted floors and picking up large amounts of dirt. However, they still struggle with fine particles like sand. Additionally, these two machines do a decent job of surface-level cleaning on high-pile carpets but are not effective at deep cleaning.
To have a comparison, the Roomba i1 has the upper hand since it has stronger suction power, which is ideal for deep cleaning carpets. The plus points are their smooth transition from hard floors to carpets and their ability to detect stairs with cliff sensors to prevent falling.
Pet hair performance
In terms of cleaning pet hair, I have a vote for the i1. It can efficiently and rapidly pick up pet hair while experiencing fewer tangles. This is due to the Roomba i1’s powerful engine and brush roll system structure.
The i1 vacuum cleaner has two rubber brush rolls that effectively pick up larger debris and finer particles like pet hair and dust. In contrast, the 694 model is equipped with a beater brush and a bristle brush. The beater brush crushes debris first, while the bristle brush has the main role of collecting dirt and debris.
Although the bristle brush effectively removes dirt and debris from carpets, it may not be the best option for pet hair removal. Pet hair tends to get tangled around the bristles easily, making it difficult to clean. In contrast, the rubber brush is more effective at picking up pet hair and is easier to clean and untangle.
Design & Usability
The winner: Roomba i1
The Roomba i1 has decent build quality. This model features durable rubber brushrolls, a tri-pronged side brush, and a caster wheel located in the center. The top cover is fashioned from bronze-colored plastic with a matte finish. On the faceplate, it has three buttons: a large central button for initiating or halting cleaning cycles and two smaller buttons for directing the vacuum to its docking station or performing spot cleaning.
The Roomba 694 is also pretty well-built. It boasts a body made of high-quality hard plastic and drive wheels outfitted with rubber treads. The unit feels solid, and its detachable dustbin is more durable than similar parts found in other robot vacuums in its price bracket.
Both machines are easy to assemble out of the box. Setting them up is straightforward—simply plug in the docking station, and you’re good to go.
Dimensions and weight
Overall, there is not much difference in the size of the two machines, and they are both compactly designed. The Roomba i1 is 13.5 inches in diameter, 3.6 inches tall, and weighs 7 pounds. The Roomba 694 is about the same size but weighs a little lighter, about 6.77 pounds. The compact size and low profile of these machines make cleaning tight spaces easier while taking up minimal storage space.
Battery and charging
Both the Roomba i1 and Roomba 694 utilize lithium-ion batteries, which are known for their high energy density and long lifespan within the industry. In terms of battery life, the Roomba i1 can last up to 75 minutes on a full charge, which is shorter compared to the 90 minutes provided by the Roomba 694. Despite this difference in runtime, both models take around 2 hours to recharge.
These robots all offer the auto-recharge function. This feature automatically sends the robots back to their docking stations for recharging when their battery levels are low. It ensures that neither machine runs out of battery power midway through a cleaning task. They resume cleaning after recharging to complete any unfinished jobs, providing convenience and guaranteeing a more comprehensive cleaning process.
Both the Roomba i1+ and Roomba 694 have a battery indicator light that allows you to easily track when it’s time to recharge. This feature simplifies the user experience by eliminating the need to frequently check the app or navigate menus.
When it comes to their noise level, these Roomba vacuums are relatively quiet, and I don’t find the noise bothersome. You can use them to clean your home at any time since their noise is not a big deal.
When comparing noise levels between the two machines, it’s essential to take into account the type of surface they are cleaning. The Roomba 694 is generally quieter on hard floors, while the Roomba i1 is quieter on low-pile carpet. However, overall, the Roomba 694 is still the quieter option, with a sound range of 62–65 dB. In contrast, the Roomba i1 usually produces a sound range of 62–67 dB.
First, both Roomba models navigate based on adaptive algorithms and a variety of sensors. Each machine comes with an RCON sensor and cliff sensors, along with the iRobot dirt detection technology. Thanks to this technology, the robot can detect dusty areas and focus on cleaning those areas more thoroughly and effectively.
When these devices encounter an obstacle, they will either turn and go in a different direction or follow the edges, depending on the situation. The bumpers on the sides help these machines avoid colliding with walls or other obstacles in their path.
The Roomba 694 and Roomba i1 differ in their navigation algorithms. The Roomba 694 moves randomly, while the Roomba i1 can move in a straight path and in orderly rows thanks to its floor tracking sensor. This makes the Roomba i1 more efficient and faster at cleaning than the 694.
These two Roomba robot vacuums offer multiple methods for control, ensuring a convenient and customizable cleaning experience for users. One of the most straightforward ways to operate them is through their onboard control buttons.
Located on the top of the robot, these buttons allow you to start, pause, or stop a cleaning cycle. There is a large central button for starting and stopping the cleaning, along with smaller buttons for functions like sending the robot back to its docking station.
For more advanced control options, both of them come with the iRobot HOME app. The app offers several features, such as scheduling cleaning sessions, monitoring cleaning history, and personalizing cleaning preferences. Additionally, the app’s interface is easy to navigate, allowing you to set up and manage your Roomba from anywhere, as long as you have internet access.
In addition to manual controls and app-based management, these devices can be connected to smart home systems. This allows for voice control through virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. With simple voice commands, you can initiate, pause, or end cleaning cycles, making it extremely convenient to maintain a clean home.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The winner: Roomba i1
The Roomba 694 has a 300-ml dustbin, which, although small, is appropriate for the machine’s weight. The advantage of this design is that the bin is effortlessly detachable and easy to empty. The bagless design helps users save money on a monthly basis as there is no need to replace dirt bags frequently. The downside is that the dustbin cannot be washed with water.
The Roomba i1 comes with a 500-ml dustbin, which is compatible with a bagged dirt compartment. I find it impressive, as the bag can hold up to 2.65 liters of debris. With the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal feature, the Roomba i1 is able to empty itself for a period of 60 days. This means that you won’t have to manually empty the bin as the machine will take care of it for you, unlike Roomba 694. However, this advanced charging dock is an optional accessory, and you have to buy it separately from the robot.
Quick Rundown Of Roomba i1
Quick Rundown Of 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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- Roomba i1: https://www.irobot.com/en_US/wi-fi–connected-roomba-i1-robot-vacuum/I115220.html
- Roomba 694: https://www.irobot.com/en_US/roomba-vacuuming-robot-vacuum-irobot-roomba-69-4020/R694020.html
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.