iRobot Roomba 690 image

Best Bang for the Buck

iRobot Roomba 690

4.2 Avg Rating
  • Description

The iRobot family of vacuums has been around the longest is likely the name that many people make synonymous with robot vacuums. We are the same way. From a price point perspective, the Roomba 690 would be considered to be a mid-priced product, but can also be on the lower end of this price range when there are good promotions going on. Our overall impression of the 690 is that this is a very good product for the money. There are a couple of features included in the higher priced models, but quite honestly the only "real" thing that we considered to be different is a slightly lower quality filter in this model as compared to the 980, which costs $400 more than the 690.

The overall reaction of the 690 is that it's a good solid product that gets a little smarter over time. The Roomba 690 has some of the same issues that the more expensive 980 has in that there are some issues with dark rugs as well as with shag carpeting. The dark rug issue seems to be a big problem with the entire family of iRobot products, so if you have a dark rug (or even think that you do), hit the back button and read another review. One of two things seem to happen with dark rugs. One issue is that the vacuum can 'think' that there's a very dirty spot and could get stuck trying to clean the spot for a very long time. The other, somewhat more common problem is that there's a 'cliff' detector in the iRobot vacuums and the dark rugs seem to indicate that it's a cliff. In order to protect itself, the vacuum won't even venture into the darkness - just in case it falls off this non-existent cliff.

The good news for everyone else is that the 690 works pretty well. The vacuum picks up dog hair, dust balls and can even pick up small objects like cereal so the vacuum works well from that perspective. The vacuum needs to get trained and will get smarter over time. There's been a lot of users that have commented that the pattern seems to be erratic after looking at carpet trails, but if it misses something, it will go back the next day to pick up what it missed. Remember, with a robot vacuum, you can be vacuuming your house every day so things will be cleaner and you don't have to think about what you dump out of your vacuum in a weekly cleaning because you're now able to do it 7 times in that span.

Most of the users that we interviewed had some very helpful advice for these products. You have to remember things that you typically have to think about when you are using a hand-pushed vacuum, but you have to think about it when you're not actively vacuuming. You will need to keep things like phone charging cables of the floor. If there are stray threads on rugs you will need to keep them trimmed as they can get clogged in the vacuum. You have to remember it's a vacuum, it's not like Rosie the maid from the Jetsons.

Our bottom line is that this vacuum is a really good value for the money. For most people, this vacuum is really perfect for what you want. For the most part, we really don't see the need to fork over 2 or 3 times the cost of this vacuum for the 980. Unless you have dark rugs, this is probably your best pick.

  • Bottom Line
  • Pros
  • Cons
Works with Alexa, Google Home, phone App. Wifi Operation
Doesn't do a terrific job on lips between rooms, App isn't great. Can bump into things hard. Doesn't do well with dark rugs Finicky performance
Comments
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