Pet Helpers

Roomba 690 Review

Our Roomba 690 review describes the features and the technology passed down by the higher priced Roombas from yesteryear.

Roomba 690 Review

INCLUDED WITH THE ROOMBA 690: Home Base Charging Station, 1 Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (2 AA Batteries Included), 1 Extra Filter, 1 Flat Cleaning Tool, Manufacturer’s Warranty, Owner’s Guide

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Released in 2017, it has many of the patented tools that Roomba’s designer, iRobot, developed for their more expensive Roomba vacuums over the years.

Oh, and it’s iRobot’s lowest priced Roomba today.

Roomba 690 Review – Cleaning

In 2002 iRobot unveiled their flagship Roomba which went on to do two things:

  • sell a million units
  • launch the robot vacuum industry

Since then iRobot has sold more than 8 million home robots. They’re a trusted brand in the robot vacuum industry.

The Roomba 690 has not just one, but two spinning “extractors” that spin in opposing directions.

Roomba 690 Extractor Brushes

Roombas are the only robot vacuums on the market that use this style.

They work together by rotating toward each other to lift dirt and debris from the floor.

Think of a printing press that squeezes paper between rollers and shoots it out the other side.

  • The first extractor loosens particles and pet hair.
  • The second extractor sweeps it off the floor toward the suction chamber.
  • From there the vacuum sucks the debris into the dust bin.

These twin extractors auto-adjust to stay in ideal contact with the floor.

This compliments the Roomba 690s Three-Step Cleaning System.

  1. Twin extractors
  2. Excellent suction strength
  3. Single side brush

It’s a pretty effective system on most floor types.

It’s also relatively tangle free although the twin extractors will snag things like power cords.

$ = less than $250 / $$ = $250 to $500 / $$$ = $500 an up









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Cleaning the extractors is as simple as lifting two tabs on the brush guard.

The side brush requires a small screwdriver to remove and a cleaning tool is included in the box.

The bin itself is a decent size and easily removed when it needs emptied. It uses HEPA style filters to keep smaller particles from circulating back into the air.

Roomba 690 Review Dustbin

Dirt Detect™ Technology

The Roomba 690 also uses acoustic sensors as part of iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect™ Technology. These sensors identify thicker areas of dirt. The robot vacuum will then dig in and circle the area a few times before moving on.

Overall, the Roomba 690 cleaning performance is what you should expect from a brand that has been developing successful robot vacuums for over 15 years. For around $300 its among the best robot vacuums in this price range in cleaning performance.

At 3.7 inches high and 7.8 lbs heavy, the Roomba 690 is a bit bulkier than similar priced robot vacuums. It’s also a bit louder. But the vacuum technology is effective in keeping floors clean from everyday traffic.

Roomba 690 Review – Navigation

The Roomba 690 uses the regular array of sensors like cliff detection and collision avoidance. These make up its iAdapt® Navigation.

They do well in guiding the Roomba 690 around a room. However, it uses random navigation more than any type of intelligent mapping. This is pretty much the norm for robot vacuums on the lower end of the price spectrum although the Roomba’s sensors are more precise than most.

The unit does have CLEAN, Spot, and Dock buttons on top. There’s also a nice handle inset in the top when you need to pick it up. A single charge will last around an hour which is plenty of time for average sized floors.

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Included in the box is a Virtual Wall Barrier that has two different modes. Wall mode extends a 10 foot “virtual” barrier across a space like a door entrance so the Roomba 690 will stay out. Halo mode places a “virtual” zone around a space like pet food areas.

Also, while it can return to the dock to recharge on its own, you would still need to manually restart the Roomba 690 for it to resume and finish cleaning. It does have some trouble finding its way back to home base.

Roomba 690 Review – iRobot HOME App

The Roomba 690 uses the iRobot HOME App for most controls. The App gets pretty good reviews from the Google Play and iTunes stores and the developers are keeping it updated and adding new features regularly.

iRobot Home App

The features available on the app do depend on which Roomba you own. With the Roomba 690 on the low end of the list it has the fewest features.

You can schedule cleanings for each day of the week and see reports that show run times and the amount of square feet cleaned. Areas where the robot vacuum used Dirt Detect are also marked on the map.

You can monitor the Roomba 690 battery life from that app and see stats on cleanings and it will also send push notifications when the robot gets stuck or needs other attention.

Finally, the Roomba 690 is one of only a couple robot vacuums around this price that have voice controls with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can start, stop, pause, and resume the device simply by saying it.

Amazon’s Best Seller List 

  2. iRobot Roomba 690
  3. DEEBOT N79
  4. eufy RoboVac 11+
  5. Housmile Robotic Vacuum

Roomba 690 Review – Summary

The Roomba 690 is a solid step up from the $200 robot vacuums. It has more precise sensors, better suction strength, multi-surface extractors, and convenient smart controls.

It lacks any real mapping technology and the random patterns with 60 minute run times are just par for the course at this price range. Ultimately it’s great for pet hair and every day debris removal. With regular use you’ll see a great improvement in the look and feel of cleanliness within your home.

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