Vacuum Cleaner Picks

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity is iRobot's entry level and rather affordable home robotic vacuum cleaner. Roomba 690 is designed for cleaning hard floors and low-pile carpets and thanks to its compact dimensions and number of sensors, it can easily avoid obstacles and furniture and can reach under the beds and sofas.

And when the battery is discharged, unit automatically finds the Home Base and recharges itself.

Updated: June 22, 2019.

irobot roomba 690 1

iRobot Roomba 690 uses patented so-called '3-Stage Cleaning System' which loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt off the floors.

Main cleaning tools are so-called 'Dual Multi-Surface Brushes', designed to work together to pick both small dust and dirt particles and large debris.

Unit comes with so-called 'Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head' which adapts its height to keep the multi-surface brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, helping the unit clean hard floor and low-pile carpets. Medium- and high-pile carpets and area rugs can cause issues to Roomba's and other similar robotic vacuum cleaner due to their body's design and the size of the wheels.

Unit is very compact and lightweight: 13.0 inches in diameter, 3.7 inches in height (33 x 9.4 cm) and it weighs just 7.8 lbs (3.53 kg).

It can get stuck on soft carpets or if it stumbles onto some larger debris, but even a child can push it to harder and obstacle-free surface (children and elderly can have issues with carrying the unit around, so be careful).

Also, unit features a specially designed 'Edge-Sweeping Brush', designed for cleaning along the baseboards and walls - as the unit follows the wall, the edge-sweeping brush sweeps the debris to the unit's center, where multi-surface brush and vacuum suction do the rest.

Air filtration is good, but it is not true HEPA air filtration. Nonetheless, mechanical filter captures fine dust and debris easily, helping the unit to keep the home clean.

irobot roomba 690 features

iRobot Roomba 690 is Wi-Fi enabled residential robotic vacuum - it can be controlled via iRobot's Home App - using this app, users can monitor cleaning activity, view cleaning history, watch maintenance videos, access various tips and tricks etc.

However, users don't have to use this app in order to use the robot vacuum itself - by pressing 'Clean' button, unit will navigate the room and clean the areas it can access until the task is done or until the battery needs to be recharged.

Note: Roomba 690 returns to Home Base after the cleaning is done or after the battery is discharged. But, if the cleaning task was interrupted due to the low battery condition, after fully charging the battery (3-4 hours), it will NOT resume the cleaning task.

The use of iRobot's Home App is highly recommended - for example, the Roomba 690 can be scheduled to clean the home up to 7 times per week, keeping the home much cleaner.

iRobot Roomba 690 uses 'iAdapt Navigation System' which uses various sensors to guide the robot under and around furniture, stairs, along the edges and similar to help thoroughly clean the floors.

More advanced and more expensive Roombas use 'iAdapt 2.0 Navigation System' which enables the multi-room cleaning, recharge and resume operation, clean map reports etc.

Thanks to 'Cliff Detect' sensors, Roomba 690 will not fall down the stairs or tumble over other drop-offs.

Also, unit feature 'Dirt Detect' sensors which detect buildups of dirt on the floor and alert the Roomba to clean harder on such concentrated areas.

Although it is one of the entry iRobot robot vacuums, the Roomba 690 robot vacuum is compatible with the Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant - after settings things up, it is possible to say to the Roomba to clean the home (or to return to the Home Base or ...), without the need to even touch the smartphone with Home App installed.

Note: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices must be purchased separately.

Although iRobot Roomba 690 is simple to use robotic vacuum cleaner, it is highly recommended to thoroughly read the manual before the very first use!

The Use of the Home Base

The Home Base (or charging base, or charging station) should be positioned where it can be easily found by the Roomba vacuum, using its RCON sensor.

To avoid any interferences and to help the Roomba find the Home Base, it is recommended to leave some free area around the Home Base:
- at least 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) on each side of the Home Base,
- at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) in front of the Home Base,

- position the Home Base at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) away from stairs,

- position the Home Base at least 8 feet (2.4 meters) from the Virtual Wall Barrier.

To enable the Roomba to receive information from the iRobot Home App, the Home Base must be in the area with consistent Wi-Fi signal.

Virtual Wall Barrier

Virtual Wall Barrier is cordless device that is used to prevent the Roomba from exiting the room - it is commonly positioned next to the doorways that can be used by Roomba to leave the area.

If required, more Virtual Wall Barriers can be ordered later. Or one can simply close the door and thus prevent the robot from exiting the room.

iRobot Roomba 650 vs. Roomba 690

 irobot roomba 650 vs 690

 Roomba 650 and Roomba 690 are two very similar units - after all, Roomba 690 is based on the Roomba 650's proven design.

However, there are few very important differences:

- Roomba 690 model is Wi-Fi enabled unit, allowing the use of iRobot Home App. Also, Roomba 690 is Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible device.

- Roomba 650 is older model which uses NiMH battery, while Roomba 690 uses newer lithium ion battery. Such battery is lighter, having no memory effect of any kind and can withstand more charging/discharging cycles without any capacity issues.

- physically they are also very similar units, with Roomba 650 being 13.39 x 3.6 inches and 7.9 lbs in size and weight, while Roomba 690 being 13 x 3.7 inches, 7.8 lbs in size and weight.

Long Story Short: when being compared with Roomba 650, Roomba 690 comes with several new and very interesting features, making it better choice.

If you need an entry level robot vacuum cleaner that can help clean your home and you don't want to spend large amount of money, consider Roomba 690 - it does its job well, it is simple to use and if you decide to make your home smart using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, Roomba 690 can fit nicely into your future plans.

For more reviews and recommendations and latest offers and prices, check iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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