The iRobot Roomba 690 is a good, affordable linked robot vacuum, nonetheless it isn’t the very best for homes with pets. Those buyers should think about the Shark Ion instead.
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Maneuvers well in tight spaces
Dustbin too simple to remove
Is there anything much better than coming home to a clean house? Or at least a clean floor? The iRobot Roomba 690 seeks to balance cost-effectiveness with the simple using an software to order your robotic minion around. But while this midrange Roomba performs sufficiently to make our set of best robot vacuums, there are better options as of this price.
Like many robot vacuums, the 7.8-pound Roomba 690 includes a circular design, measuring 13 inches in diameter, with ample plastic bumpers around the edge. Three buttons sit in the heart of the 690: Clean, which doubles as the energy button; Spot, a target icon for initiating spot cleaning; and Home, for sending the vacuum back again to its home base.
Wi-Fi, battery and troubleshooting lights illuminate above the physical buttons when necessary. An unobtrusive black homing beacon sticks up slightly from the most notable. Gleam recessed carrying handle, making the Roomba 690 simple to carry between floors.
With a height of 3.7 inches, the Roomba 690 is taller compared to the 2.85-inch Eufy RoboVac 11S. However the 690 easily cleaned along the kick plate under our kitchen cabinets, sucking up the stray crumbs our regular vacuum can’t reach. Though it didn’t fit under a low-clearance couch, the Roomba 690 confidently disappeared under two living-room chairs.
The lower of the Roomba 690 features two large, springy rubber wheels and a little, swiveling, roller-type wheel. A bristle-brush roller sits parallel to a rubber-finned roller to aid with sucking up debris. There’s one three-armed side brush on the proper side of the vacuum. The dustbin pops right out of the front side with a release button that was almost too simple to depress, therefore i was susceptible to accidentally loosening the bin.
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The Roomba’s low-profile base is small and lightweight, but we wish it had built-in cord storage, just like the Neato Robotics D7’s base has. The Roomba got stuck on the cord once during our testing. Another time, the vacuum pushed the bottom just enough that it had been unable to dock.
App and Setup: Supereasy
The Roomba 690’s manual recommends inserting the base in a spot that leaves at least 1.5 feet on either side and at least 4 feet in the front. That is a much smaller area than that required by the Shark Ion, which recommends 3 feet on either side and 5 feet in the front. The Eufy RoboVac 11S needs a lot more space: 3 feet on the sides and 6 feet in the front.
If you can manually activate a cleaning by pressing the big Clean button on the vacuum, the true Roomba action originates from the companion iRobot software (Android and iOS). Simple, concise directions show you through connecting to the Roomba 690’s own Wi-Fi network to pair the vacuum together with your phone and then hook up it to your house network. The 690 makes happy, video-game-success-like sounds before its robotic female voice proudly announces it’s connected.
The app’s home screen mimics the button layout on the Roomba 690 but adds info on cleaning status and battery-charge level. Along underneath, there are options for history, gives performance and job information, and schedule setup. The Roomba 690 could be set to completely clean on a weekly schedule anytime and normally as once a day.
Although Roomba 690 doesn’t add a traditional remote, we didn’t miss it. We could actually tell the 690 to access work via Amazon Alexa and Google Home. It can be managed by IFTTT.
iRobot sells numerous replacement parts for the Roomba 690, making certain you can repair it rather than tossing it in a landfill.
Performance: Careful cleaner
Unlike the Shark Ion, the Roomba 690 has only 1 power option: Clean. iRobot says the 690 runs on the “patented 3-Stage Cleaning System,” but there have been no options for Quiet or Max Clean like there are on the Shark Ion Robot.
We set the Roomba 690 loose on the first floor of a residence with a mostly open floor plan. The vacuum traversed a variety of hardwood floors, carpets and doormats since it made its way through a full time income room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom.
We were impressed with how well the 690 maneuvered around dining area and kitchen furniture. Although robot appeared to take its time determining how to navigate a good maze of chair legs, it never got stuck. In your kitchen, it pushed around a location mat that sat beneath two dog bowls, nonetheless it was gentle enough that water didn’t slosh out of your bowl. Overall, the Roomba was more thorough than both RoboVac 11S and the Ion Robot since it searched for every nook and cranny it might find, then carefully worked its way to avoid it of these tight spots.
We were impressed with how well the Roomba 690 maneuvered around dining area and kitchen furniture.
On its first pass, the Roomba 690 completely missed our bathroom, which includes hardwood floors. The vacuum also shied from a set, stone fireplace hearth, so that it missed area of the living room. The cautious ‘bot totally avoided a 2.25-inch-thick shag carpet, a wise move taking into consideration the Eufy RoboVac 11S got tangled up in the shag twice during its attempts. The Shark Ion was more lucrative, but it addittionally had trouble.
During another run, the 690 made an instant in-and-out visit to the toilet and successfully conquered its concern with the hearth. The Shark Ion Robot followed an identical M.O., skipping both areas on its first cleaning. The RoboVac 11S hesitated on the hearth, but limited to a couple of seconds before rolling over it.
As the Roomba 690 sucked up the majority of things in its wake, it missed elements of a dead leaf and a thick little bit of fuzz left from a recently available dog-toy dismemberment. The Ion Robot also pushed away the fuzz, however the RoboVac 11S picked the stuff up – and then embed it in its brush roller.
Releasing the Roomba 690’s dustbin was easy enough, but removing the dirt was just a little harder.
After cleaning, we noticed the three-armed side brush of the Roomba 690 had strands of hair wrapped around it. The rubber wheel axles also had thick bits of dust and hair stuck in them, but that gunk was simple to remove with a sharp pull. iRobot includes instructions for removing the tiny roller wheel to dislodge debris.
After commanding the 690 to return to its base in the dining area via the app, we pointed out that the robot took an extremely circuitous route. The vacuum was about 8 feet from the bottom, but rather than turning left, it thought we would head right, sending it around the dining area table and off to your kitchen before it wound its in the past home, cleaning the complete way.
Releasing the dustbin was easy enough, but removing the dirt was just a little harder. The Roomba 690 has a tiny bar over the dustbin that easily swings open, theoretically allowing the dirt, dust and hair to just fallout with a light tap privately of the garbage can. The truth is, we’d to use our hand to free the lightweight dust bunnies that had accumulated around the filter in the bin. This didn’t result in a huge dust cloud, but persons who are incredibly sensitive to dust and allergens should avoid inhaling when emptying their Roomba 690.
Lab Test Results
Much like all robot vacuums, we tested the Roomba 690 inside our test lab, to observe how the ‘bot found Cheerios, kitty litter and dog hair on hardwood floor and carpet. The 690 performed admirably, since it scooped up typically 99.5 percent of the Cheerios cereal on both surfaces, although RoboVac 11S and Ion Robot bested the Roomba with perfect scores.
The Roomba 690 also sucked up 92.1 percent of the kitty litter we scattered on carpet, to arrive a hair below the Ion Robot’s 93 percent pickup rate but 7 points much better than the effect from the RoboVac 11S.
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The 690 averaged 73.3 percent when picking right up dog hair on carpet and hardwood. That’s much better than the Eufy’s result (67.5 percent), however, not as effective as the Shark Ion’s showing (88 percent). This is echoed inside our home testing, where the Roomba took a chunk of fuzz for a tour of the living room before abandoning it.
Overall, the Roomba 690 took typically one hour 12 minutes to complete its cleaning tasks, about 6 minutes faster compared to the Eufy 11S, but about 11 minutes slower compared to the Shark Ion.
In our tests, the Roomba 690 measured 66 decibels while cleaning, above the common loudness of 63.9 decibels for vacuums. We could actually conduct a loud conversation and mostly match the Chicago Bears game as the vacuum was running, nonetheless it was hard to listen to the ref’s penalty calls over the Roomba’s din.
The iRobot Roomba 690 is an extremely good robot vacuum for the purchase price. We loved how easily it maneuvered in tight areas, it had stellar performance picking right up cereal and kitty litter, and its own accompanying application is quite simple to use.