iRobot Roomba 690 Review

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Are you looking for a little help around the house keeping your floors clean of dirt and pet hair?

The iRobot Roomba 690 is a robot vacuum that picks up both smaller and larger debris from any floor type.

Wi-Fi connectible and compatible with Amazon Alexa, the Roomba 690 can be controlled by voice and through the iRobot HOME app, so users can schedule, start, or stop cleanings while at home or on the go.

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This robot’s sleek design and three-stage cleaning system allows it to clean up dirt in hard-to-reach parts of the house, creating convenience for users.

However, in some cases, users have found that the Roomba struggles to differentiate between dark-coloured carpeting and the edge of staircases, and occasionally gets stuck, unable to return to its home base charging station.

Still not sure if the Roomba 690 is the best robot vacuum for you? Here we lay out all the details, both positive and negative, so you can make the best decision for yourself.

iRobot Roomba: The Details

Specs

  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 3.6 inches.
  • Product Weight: 8 pounds.
  • Product Type: Robot vacuum.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa? Yes – this product can be controlled by voice through Alexa devices, and through the iRobot HOME app. It is also compatible with Google Assistant.
  • Also included: Home base charging station, line cord, 1 dual mode virtual wall barrier, 2 AA batteries (for dual mode virtual wall barrier), 1 extra filter, 1 flat cleaning tool, manufacturer’s warranty, owners guide, and documentation package.

How Does it Work

The iRobot Roomba 690 is equipped with sensors which allow it to navigate around furniture and clutter, seeking out hidden dirt and dust while avoiding collisions or falling down stairs.

Its low-profile design enables the robot to maneuver and clean underneath furniture like beds and sofas, and its system automatically adjusts to clean all floor types, including carpet, hardwood, and tile floors.

Users can start, stop, and schedule cleanings from anywhere via the iRobot HOME app, or by using voice commands through their home Alexa device.

The app also provides tips and support, and includes the option for users to receive real-time updates and notifications on cleaning jobs via their smartphone.

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Because of its Wi-Fi connection, the Roomba is compatible with Amazon Alexa devices and the Google Assistant, and can be controlled and activated by voice command through those devices. Voice commands can start, stop, or dock the Roomba robot.

The included Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier allows users even more control over the robot’s cleaning pattern.

It features two modes: Virtual Wall mode, which keeps the robot in the specific rooms that the user wants to be cleaned and out of the rooms that they don’t want cleaned; and Halo mode, which keeps the robot away from protected items.

This robot includes an iRobot-patented three-stage cleaning system. The three stages – loosening, lifting, and suctioning – work together to pick up both small debris such as dirt and dust, and larger debris such as pet hair and cereal from the floor.

The Roomba 690 also includes a spinning side brush that cleans wall edges and corners. This is handy as edges and corners are often missed when cleaning manually.

The Roomba 690 self-charges, running for up to 60 minutes and then automatically returning to the home base charging station, keeping itself constantly ready to clean.

iRobot: The Brand

Founded in 1990 by roboticists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot has spent the past quarter century as a pioneer of robotic technology.

iRobot remains at the forefront of the robotics and consumer products industries, having sold more than 20 million robots around the world. Their mission is to create robots that are practical, valuable, and empowering.

In addition to creating products, the company has an educational outreach initiative, iRobot STEM, which inspires students to choose careers in science through online resources, classroom visits, and demonstrations.

iRobot Roomba 690 Review

The Positives

Sleek Design Allows Access to Hidden Dirt

When you invest in a smart vacuum, you expect it to make life easier – not force you to custom-arrange your house so it can get in all the nooks and crannies.

You also don’t want to follow it with a broom to get under the edge of cabinets or chairs. Luckily, this smart robot does exactly what it promises and more.

The Roomba’s small size and thin design allows it behind, under, and around furniture of various sizes and shapes, cleaning even hard-to-reach corners.

Easy Set-Up

Those who aren’t so good with technology can halt their worries since the Roomba 690 is a cinch to set-up.

We understand that bringing more technology or a robot into your home might be alarming to those who find it difficult to navigate computers or other techy devices.

Thankfully the Roomba takes no time to set-up and can be done in a matter of minutes.

Once out of its packaging, simply load the robot onto its charger before downloading the app. Once the app is downloaded, you can set your vacuum to clean right away or start setting up its schedule.

No pain. No frustration.

Here’s a video showing what the iRobot Roomba 690 looks like outside of its box and running.

Dirt Detect

The Roomba robot vacuum comes equipped with a handy feature called ‘Dirt Detect’.

There are sensors included on the Roomba 690 that tells the robot when a spot on the floor is a little dirtier or grimier than other areas. This sensor signals the Roomba to work a little bit harder and spend an extra couple seconds on this section to make sure the dirt disappears.

This feature is great when it comes to high-traffic areas like the doorway or kitchens and saves you the task of extra scrubbing later.

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Navigates Rooms Without Causing Damage

The Roomba 690’s sensors guide it around furniture and clutter without damaging the floors it crosses or items it may bump against.

It is also able to drive across the lips of doorways between rooms and across fringed carpeting without hesitation, meaning you can set it to work and leave it alone – it’s got the job handled.

Operates With or Without Wi-Fi

In addition to its convenient iRobot HOME app controls, the robot has built-in buttons to initiate cleaning, pause cleaning, and a button to send the robot to dock at the charging station.

This allows it to operate even when there is no Wi-Fi available.

The robot can connect to both Wi-Fi routers and iPhone hotspots for added convenience.

Automatically Returns to Recharge

While some robot vacuums require manual recharging once they run out of battery, the Roomba 690 automatically returns to its home base charging station to recharge after an hour of work, saving time and hassle for users.

Warranty

When any appliance comes with a warranty, it’s reassuring to know that the company backs and protects the product they’re putting on the market. For example, we know that iRobot stands behind their product thanks to their one year warranty.

iRobot’s one year warranty is included with the purchase of your Roomba 690 and covers any manufacturing defects or damages.

This means iRobot will cover any repairs or replacements at no charge to you if an issue were to arise.

Just be sure you are using your Roomba responsibility and with care so your warranty won’t be voided.

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The Negatives

Requires More Cleaning for Pet Hair

The Roomba 690 is able to pick up all kinds of debris, including pet hair.

While the hair will not clog the vacuum, Roombas that pick up a lot of pet hair will need to be cleaned out more often than some users might find convenient.

Can Knock Over Lightweight Furniture

Although the robot navigates around large furniture, we found that it bumps into and knocks over lightweight furniture like stands or loose items like book stacks, potentially causing damage to these items.

We recommend using the Halo mode or the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier to avoid this problem.

Users with a lot of loose items on the floor in their house might find their Roomba getting stuck or trapped among them more often than those without much items laying out.

So in addition to turning on the modes specific for this situation, you also might have to take a little extra time to remove some things off the floor before turning the Roomba on.

Can Have Difficulty Locating Charging Station

Some users find that their robot has a difficult time locating the home base charging station, particularly in houses with a lot of clutter on the floor.

As a result, it runs out of battery before it is able to automatically recharge, forcing users to manually hunt down the robot and plug it in.

Mistakes Dark Rugs for Stairs

Though the robot’s sensors allow it to avoid furniture and keep from falling down stairs, some users report that the sensors interpret dark-coloured rugs and carpets as cliffs, and will not go onto the surface.

As a result, these rugs will not be cleaned, and the robot may have extra difficulty navigating rooms with darker looking flooring and rugs.

Overall Verdict

We would recommend the iRobot Roomba 690 to anyone who is already pretty tidy, without a lot of lightweight clutter around their house, who wants to save time on sweeping or vacuuming the floor.

However, if you have a pet that frequently sheds, you might want to weigh the amount of time you’ll spend cleaning out the Roomba against the time you’d normally spend sweeping up the hair.

People with dark-coloured carpeting might have a difficult time getting the most out of this product, but this would be the best robot vacuum for users with lighter coloured carpeting or mostly uncarpeted floors.

Where to Buy The iRobot Roomba 690

The Roomba has become a popular home purchase since being introduced in 2002. Since then, the name has only risen in popularity being noted in popular culture and media.

For these reasons, it’s become an easier task to find this automated cleaning robot in-store or online.

To start, check out the following online retailers where the iRobot Roomba 690 can be purchased.

And of course, it’s also available on Amazon.

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That’s all for our review on the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum. Have we tempted you to give it a try?

Staff Writer

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