Irobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review

December 19, 2018

 

Links to all related vacuums here:

 

Roomba 690 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S2rHrD​
Roomba 690 on Ebay: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337945138&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp2380057.m570.l1313.TR10.TRC1.A0.H0.Xroomba%2B690.TRS1%26_nkw%3Droomba%2B690%26_sacat%3D0

 

Our Favorite Vacuums: See all the vacuums we recommend on our Amazon Shop Page (the best of the best): https://www.amazon.com/shop/vacuumwars

 

We are starting our series on low and mid-level robot vacuums with the Irobot Roomba 690. We put it thought a lot of

tests, and this video will be the results and our review. We have six more robot vacuums in this price range to test after 

this one. Be sure to subscribe. Links above for current prices and reviews on the 690, and let's get started!

 

So, the Roomba 690 is the cheapest Roomba from Irobot. It's based on the old 650 design which was probably the best selling robot vacuum of all time. But the 690 is updated in the sense that they added wifi capability and app controls.

 

It’s not a smart navigation robot. You have to upgrade all the way up to the 960 if you want it to clean in straight, efficient lines, so the 690 like many cheaper robot vacuums just randomly bounces around until it cleans the house. It's fairly efficient for a random navigation bot though, and though it did miss a spot in one of our tests, in general, it did what it was supposed to do even when a lot of obstacles were introduced.

 

I tested the airflow on the 690’s single power setting and was surprised to measure only 7 cfm, which is the lowest I have even seen in a robot vacuum. For comparison, we measured the higher end Roombas like the 980 and i7 at around 17 cfm on high and in the case of the 980, which has two power settings, 12 cfm on low power.  And even though the lack of airflow on the 690 does show up in a few ways as we will see, it is not a total deal breaker because the 690 has decent cleaning mechanics.

 

For example, on our carpet pickup tests it did excellent, picking up all the debris in the test including fine debris, pet hair, and large-to-extra-large debris, though it did kick debris around and blow around pet hair with its exhaust quite a bit, it wasn't as bad as it did on hard floors.

 

On hard floors, it, again, was able to pick up all the types and sizes of debris including pet hair, but it did struggle a little bit with fine debris due to its low airflow. It did pick it up eventually, but it took a few passes. In general, though, it was very messy, kicking around debris with its very fast side brush and blowing around debris with its exhaust. This is typical for even high-end Roombas, though, which tend to be more messy than other robots, but it did seem a little worse with the 690.

 

With deep cleaning, we rubbed 100 grams of sand into a medium pile test carpet and weighed the bins before and after, the 690 picked up 62% of the embedded sand. Because I am trying a new system with deep clean tests, I only have one other vacuum to compare it to right now which is the Roborock E25 which scored 74%. In general, robot vacuums are not all that great with deep cleaning carpet, but I suspect that the 690 will end up being one of the worst when we complete this series.

 

Its edge cleaning was also pretty bad. In fact, I can't remember seeing a worse performance on this test.  It was the same with the crevice pickup test, where again robot vacuums tend to struggle anyway, but the 690 really didn’t seem to pick up anything at all.

 

It did have great battery life, though. Irobot says the 690 can get 1.5 hours (90 min) on one charge, and this was the first robot we have tested that actually out-performed the specs, getting about 99 minutes on one charge. But the downside is that because of the random navigation it really needs that extra time since it is far less efficient than a smart navigation bot with a more systematic cleaning process.

 

It wasn’t too loud at about 72 decibels, which isn’t as bad as the more powerful Roomba 980, but it;s not exactly whisper-quiet, either.

 

The bin is really small even for a Roomba at .3 liters which we measured at about 1 dry cup. Compare that to the Roomba 980 at 1¾ cups or the Neato D7 at 2.5 cups.

 

The bin is easy to remove and not terribly difficult to empty, but you need to be very careful when picking up the robot since if you tilt it wrong, it will spill out due to the design of the dust bin.

 

It does come with one virtual wall barrier which can be set to a circular perimeter or a straight line to prevent the robot from going where you don’t want it to, and the app is good for basic tasks like scheduling cleanings, getting status alerts, and starting and stopping cleanings, but no mapping feature like you get with the smart-nav Roombas.

 

So, I would say that while the 650 and its successor the Roomba 690 were amazing feats of achievement back when there wasn’t as much competition, these days, with even cheaper robot vacuums getting more powerful and having smart navigation, the Roomba 690 is really not a great value in our opinion. Don’t get me wrong; it does the job, and Roombas are built like tanks. They have excellent customer service and easy-to-find, cheap parts, but if I were you, I would subscribe and continue watching this series as I'm sure you will find a robot vacuum that you will like a lot better.

 

Consider a like if this video helped you out and thanks for watching.

 

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