The Roomba 694 is one of the latest versions of iRobot and is currently the face of their basic variants.
It has received over 70,000 reviews and counting, which is the main reason I bought it to test.
How good is this robot? I put it through an exhaustive battery of tests to find out.
The cheapest iRobot vacuum cleaner
Roomba 694 review
Consumers shouldn't expect much from the Romby 694. It's iRobot's cheapest solution with the most basic features. This variant lacks the smart navigation options of advanced Roombas robots like the J7, I6, and S9. It doesn't even have gyro sensors with the I3, so it just rotates randomly. Nevertheless, the 694 is one of the most popular options on Amazon due to its workhorse characteristics and the availability of replacement parts.
*If you click on this link and make a purchase, we will receive a commission at no additional cost.
- Your Workhorse robot vacuum cleaner will last for many years (if properly maintained)
- Outstanding performance on carpets
- Large waste bin (600 ml)
- Lots of spare parts
- Smartphone app allows remote access (via WIFI)
- Random and inefficient navigation just backfires
- Poor airflow limits cleaning options
- Don't load and resume
- Some rooms cannot be cleaned
Introduction to Roomba 694
iRobot regularly updates its product line with new versions, as with the Roomba 694.
But most of their updates are cosmetic, and this variant is the best example of that.
The Roomba 694 is an updated version of the 675 with the same motor, battery and brush system.
However, there are subtle differences.
I noticed the lack of a handle on the dashboard of the 694, which helps consumers to move this robot around different parts of the house.
Another variant is cosmetic. This robot has a dark gray/graphite finish with a slightly different button layout.
iRobot has redesigned the top interface with the same button layout asRoomba 675[see picture below].
A variation with the 694 is the lack of a handle on the 675.
Why iRobot gave up this feature, I don't know. It could look more aesthetically pleasing, but for some reason I didn't think it was a good idea.
The handle helps consumers to move this robot in different areas as it was not a smart robotic vacuum cleaner.
Otherwise, the basic elements remain the same.
Underneath, the Roomba 694 retains the same layout as other variants of the 600 series.
Put the older 600 series next to the 694. You won't see the difference.
The only difference is the color of the steering wheel, which does not affect the cleaning efficiency.
All 600 series robots use the same blades and counter-rotating brushes. iRobot patented technology not found in other brands.
These brushes pick up dirt very well, making the 694 one of the best performing robot vacuums on carpets.
Like most Roomba products, the 694 has a single side brush that allows it to pick up dirt from corners and direct it to the counter-rotating brushes.
One problem is that it spins too fast and spreads dirt.
This was the problem with cleaning attempts and why the 694 only got decent ratings.
The side brush spread things like cat litter and quinoa over a larger area, but this issue was not a cleaning factor.
Design and volume of the waste container
The Roomba 694 has a rear-mounted 600ml dust container. It is the same design as the older Roomba 675 [both are interchangeable].
The advantage of the Roomba 694 bin is its wide opening, which facilitates the disposal of waste.
Unfortunately, it uses a lower quality filter and less paper material than newer Roomba models like the E5 or I3.
So it won't filter like variants that use a thicker filter.
This robot also does not have a self-emptying feature, which is what consumers wantyou must empty it manually.
The Roomba 694 is compatible with the iRobot Home App, but only offers basic features.
This app does not have the smart features of Roomba premium products such asS9 to J7.
So don't expect too much.
1. Explains robot error codes
Perhaps the most useful of these features for me is decoding the various error codes you are likely to encounter over the life of this robot.
Not only will it tell you what's wrong, but it will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to fix the problem.
The Roomba 694 app has a scheduling feature but is limited to scheduling once a day, which is its biggest downside.
Other cheap brands of robotic vacuum cleaners such asRoborock E4support for scheduling multiple passes, so iRobot needs to correct this limitation.
However, the iRobot app has a Genius feature that automates the cleaning process.
For example, you can activate location services so that the robot (automatically) cleans as soon as it detects that you are leaving the house.
This is a feature I believe iRobot has introduced in their product line.
The history tab is like a robot odometer, telling users how many times they have used the robot as well as other details like duration etc.
Since this product has no VSLAM, no maps are stored, only numbers and information.
How does Roomba 694 navigate?
There is nothing special about Roomba 694 navigation. It uses various sensors around and below it to detect and avoid obstacles and rock outcrops.
It slides in randomly, like a pinball machine bouncing around the room.
iRobot calls this adaptive navigation, but it's smart enough to clear (at least) most areas.
However, it is not efficient, which is its biggest limitation.
Consumers cannot trust this robot to clean multiple rooms without getting lost or failing to dock.
So I think removing the handle was a big mistake as it helps consumers move it.
I subject every robot I see to a range test in my small home office. This is a good benchmark to check the performance of the robot and the amount of waste it collects.
Smart robot vacuums pass this test, while ineffective robot vacuums leave a residue after the job is done.
Here is a photo before the Roomba 694 coverage test.
That's an impressive result for a randomly moving robot, but it left chunks of Quaker oats when first run.
I did another run and it picked up most of what was left but then I had to vacuum the dirt.
Overall, it's a decent result and proof that adaptive navigation works, but room by room.
How much power does the Roomba 694 have?
Then we look at its power and I used an anemometer to measure the air flow on the brush roll.
Robot vacuum cleaner brands don't have a universal measure of power, so it's an excellent barometer for predicting its performance.
High airflow models (eg
Other factors, such as agitation, also play a role in the performance of a robot vacuum cleaner, but airflow is a good indicator.
The Roomba 694 only has 7.27 CFM of airflow, the same as the Roomba 675.
These results confirm what I said in the video review that the 675 and 694 use the same motor.
But fortunately for potential Roomba owners, the 694 has excellent arousal and performed better than expected in the cleaning test.
I tested the Roomba 694 on a variety of dirt, including coffee grounds, quinoa, cat litter, Quaker oats, sand, and hair.
Here are the results.
- hard floor:96,3 %
- Sand on a hard floor:96,8%
- Koc:96,85 %
- Deep cleaning:80,2 %
Not cutting edge results, but decent for a low airflow robot vacuum cleaner.
It was better at cleaning carpets, with an 80% deep clean test score that ranks in the top percentile among robot vacuums.
Hard floor results
- Quaker holder:94,8 %
- Coffee beans:95,4%
The Roomba 694 was drivable on hard floors and began to gain popularity in the mid-1990s.
But it lags behind robots with higher airflowlike the Roomba J7na S9because of three things: low airflow, haphazard navigation, and a fast-spinning side brush.
I've mentioned the side brush issue before, but it's something to think about for pet owners who use cat litter in their homes.
Roomba 694's side brush can distract him.
Sand on a hard floor
Despite the low airflow, the Roomba 694 was excellent at picking up sand with a score of 96.8%.
It wasn't exceptional, but the random navigation pattern and fast-spinning side brush prevented it more.
Nevertheless, it is a good sandblasting option for those who live near a beach or sandy area.
Hair wrap test
Next, we'll take a look at how the Roomba 694 handles the tangles of five and seven inches of hair.
Here is the result after the five-inch experiment.
And the result after the seven-inch test.
Most of the hair wrapped around the bushy part after the five inch test and more in the seven inch experiment.
Overall, the Roomba 694 has just arrived51% with five-inch keysI32% with longer seven-inch hair.
This is not something I would recommend for cleaning pet hair as you will be spending a lot of time cleaning the brush.
Edge cleaning test
Another problem with round frame robots is their inability to effectively clean edges.
The Roomba 694 did not do a good job of cleaning this area and left quite a bit of dirt behind.
Despite the low airflow, the Roomba 694 was decent on carpet, even with sand trapped.
I experimented with different types of dirt on low and medium pile carpets to see how much it picks up.
Low stack results
- Quaker holder:98,4 %
- Coffee beans:86,6 %
- Grit:97,6 %
The Roomba 694 struggled the most with coffee grounds, an Achilles heel for almost all low-air robots I've tested.
But it did well with other junk and grew in the 90s.
Half stack results
- Quaker holder:98%
- Coffee beans:94,2 %
It's the same with half-fluffy carpets - they fought mainly with coffee grounds, but above average with other types of dirt.
The side brush scattering problem was not as common on carpets as there is more friction.
Deep cleaning test
Roomba productsare popular for their excellent deep cleaning, even lower grades such as 694.
The counter-rotating brushes provide double agitation, pick up a large amount of deposited sand (average 80.2% in two tests) and passed the sight test as not much sand was left on the surface.
How loud is the Roomba 694?
Noise level is another potential deciding factor for consumers looking for a robot vacuum cleaner.
I used a noise meter to check the noise level around the robot and thisThe Roomba 694 produced 65.6 decibels.
It's not terribly loud, but you could feel its presence with aggressive navigation bumping into furniture.
|battery||1800 mAh lithium-ion van|
|Duration||Up to 75 minutes.|
|Dirt capacity (dry)||600 ml.|
|Recharge and resume||NO|
|Additional filter||i 1)|
|Occupied||check the price|
Where can I buy Roomba 694?
This basic robot is available from online retailers such as Amazon. Check the link below for the latest pricing information.
- Roomba 694 turned onAmazon
Disclaimer: I earn a commission if you buy from the link above, but at no extra cost to you, so it's a win-win for us!
Is the Roomba 694 worth it?
The Roomba 694's core features pale in comparison to other brands offering smart navigation robots in similar price ranges.
The purpose of buying a Roomba is workhorse quality.
These machines will last a long time if properly maintained and a large number of parts (OEM and aftermarket) are available.
4 reasons to buy Roomba 694
- Roomba's cheapest option:This variant is the cheapest iRobot vacuum cleaner
- Detailed navigation:The adaptive navigation is thorough and will get to most junk if you use it long enough.
- Parts abundance:Due to the popularity of the iRobot, spare parts for the Roomba 694 will be available long after production.
- Above average on carpets:The Roomba 694 cleans carpet well despite poor airflow thanks to its counter-rotating brushes.
Verdict: Workhorse robotic vacuum cleaner for carpeted homes
While the Roomba 694 won't surprise you with its features, it makes up for it with its durability and plenty of spare parts.
Compared to other brands, it offers simple features.
However, it remains a popular option (over 70,000 reviews and counting!) due to its carpet cleaning efficiency and workhorse-like properties.
If you don't mind limitations and shortcomings, this is a good option for those looking for a cheap robotic vacuum cleaner to clean a carpeted home.
How good is the cheapest iRobot vacuum cleaner?
- Navigation -90%
- Surface cleaning -96,65 %
- Deep cleaning -80,2 %
- Quality -95%
- Project -94%
- Value -94%
The Roomba 694 is an entry-level robot vacuum that gets the job done. But don't expect fancy features from this basic option. The random navigation is accurate but inefficient, so I can't recommend it for cleaning multiple rooms as there's a risk of it not going back to charging rockets with this setup. One of the benefits of purchasing an iRobot product is the wide availability of parts, both OEM and replacement parts, which bodes well for long-term use. If this is a deal breaker for you, then definitely consider this entry-level Roomba product.
The iRobot Roomba 694 was first released in 2020 and is currently available on Amazon.com for $274.How long does Roomba 694 last? ›
iRobot estimates the Roomba 694's battery lasts for up to 90 minutes of continuous cleaning. When it does start to run out of steam, the vacuum automatically retreats to its included docking station to recharge, before returning to the exact spot it left off.Does Roomba 694 have room mapping? ›
Everything is controlled using the iRobot app, so you can tell Roomba when to begin, how long to clean for, and when to return “home” to its charging station. Unlike some other Roomba models, the 694 model doesn't have the ability to map your home and learn specific spaces.What are the negatives of a Roomba? ›
- Short Battery Life.
- Inefficient Cleaning.
- Extremely Noisy.
- Frequent Emptying.
If you get a more affordable model, like Roomba 675 you can expect a lifespan of up to two years. Go to the higher-end, like the iRobot j7+, and our research and testing suggest you can get five years plus of cleaning with proper maintenance.Is the Roomba 694 safe for hardwood floors? ›
For a basic, reliable robot vacuum that can handle hardwood, your go-to should be the the Roomba 694. This relatively affordable vacuum doesn't have the bells and whistles of other models, but it's highly effective and works well on both hardwood and carpet.Is it OK to leave Roomba plugged in all the time? ›
For the Roomba's nickel-based (not lithium ion like smartphones) batteries, it's best to keep the unit charging whenever you're not using it. However, don't leave it in its dock for days at a time -- lots of vacuuming will keep its battery healthy.Can you use Roomba 694 without Wi-Fi? ›
While the iRobot® HOME App provides many benefits, a Wi-Fi or App connection is not required for Roomba® and Braava jet® to clean.How noisy is Roomba 694? ›
I used a sound meter to check noise levels near the robot, and the Roomba 694 produced 65.6 decibels.Does Roomba 694 work on carpet? ›
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Personalized Cleaning Recommendations, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Roomba 694.
Keep your iRobot Roomba 694 vacuum in top cleaning shape with a filter replacement. A dirty vacuum filter restricts airflow and reduces the performance of your Roomba vacuum. iRobot recommends cleaning the Roomba 694 filter at least once a week and replacing the filter every two months.Does Roomba 694 avoid stairs? ›
The iRobot Roomba 694 isn't designed for use on stairs.Are robot vacuums really worth it? ›
Conclusion. A robot vacuum cleaner is a great addition to your home and provides you with more time to do the things you enjoy most – that is unless your thing is vacuuming! Robot vacuums are compact and will not take up too much additional space in your home and are a great addition to your home cleaning arsenal.Can I leave Roomba alone? ›
Yes it's safe to leave it alone. As far as it getting stuck on things it may not be able to make some clearances on items in your home. After the first couple times you'll figure out what to change so that you can set it on a schedule and when you come home it'll be back charging so all you'll have to do is empty it.What is the major disadvantage of using a robot? ›
Often robots are very costly – in terms of the initial cost, maintenance, the need for extra components and the need to be programmed to do the task.Do roombas kick up dust? ›
The vacuum sucks up dirt and dust as Roomba moves along the floor. You typically need to empty the dirt bin at least once for each room the Roomba vacuums, and possibly two or three times depending on how dirty your floors are. Roomba doesn't know when the bin is full -- it just keeps going.Do roombas pick up bugs? ›
“Roomba makes no distinction between a dust bunny and an insect,” I write in the book. “It gobbles both, indiscriminately.How often do roombas need to be emptied? ›
Most robot vacuum makers say you should empty their robots' dustbins after each cleaning session. Both iRobot and Neato suggest this for their Roomba and Botvac models.How long does Roomba 694 take to charge? ›
The Roomba 694 is equipped with a 2100 mAh lithium-ion battery that needs to be charged for 3 hours for a 1 hour use, enough to perform a complete cleaning cycle: the vacuum cleaner returns alone to its charging base.Will Roomba scratch my hardwood floors? ›
Some of the most common robotic vacuum brands are the Roomba and iRobot, with even more showing up on the market. One question we get asked is, do these types of vacuums ruin a beautiful hardwood floor? The short answer is yes; however, these vacuums can be safe for your floors as long it's set up correctly.
“Most iRobot Roombas have a dual brush system with all-rubber brushes,” says Alex Nasrallah, CR's test engineer for robotic vacuums. “They don't have bristles or nylon fibers, which typically cause hair to get stuck.Should you run Roomba every day? ›
Most owners believe that running their robot vacuums four times per week is sufficient to keep the floors dust-free. However, if you have children or pets, you should use your robot vacuum more frequently. Daily vacuuming is recommended if you suffer from seasonal allergies.What happens when Roomba runs out of battery? ›
Charging on the Home Base®
At the end of a cleaning job or when the battery is running low, Roomba® returns to the Home Base® to recharge. Note: Sometimes it can take up to one (1) minute for the robot to wake up if it has been fully drained.
Q. Can Roomba® 694 robot vacuums go back to dock to charge automatically? A. The robot automatically returns to the Home Base® charging station to recharge at the end of a cleaning job, or when the battery is running low.How do I get my Roomba 694 to go home? ›
To then send your robot back to the Home Base®, press and hold the button for 2-5 seconds on the robot, or press PAUSE -> SEND HOME in the iRobot® HOME App and then follow the instructions to end the cleaning job.Does Roomba require Internet? ›
Yes, Roomba models don't necessarily require a WIFI connection to function. Use the “CLEAN” button to start the device without WIFI. All Roomba models work just fine without a WIFI connection.Does the Roomba 694 have rubber brushes? ›
The 694 uses dual brush rollers, one bristle and one rubber, to sweep up debris from carpeted and hard-surface floors.Can you move a Roomba 694 from floor to floor? ›
Yes, you can use Roomba on multiple floors. Roomba needs your help to get from floor to floor as it can't navigate its way on the stairs. Roomba iRobot stores up to 10-floor maps, making it easy for you to move it from one floor to another. You don't need a Roomba for each floor; one is enough.What is the quietest robot vacuum? ›
Samsung - Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum with Object Recognition - White. "I've had other robot vacuums and this one by far is the most quiet and easiest to clean! ... The best and only LiDAR robot vacuum... Amazing technology!Does Roomba 694 detect stairs? ›
Adaptive Navigation. The Roomba 694 is built around a set of advanced sensors. These help the vacuum to navigate around furniture and other obstacles. Additionally, Cliff Detect functionality prevents it from tumbling down your stairs.
Can a robot vacuum ruin your carpet or rug? “Modern robot vacuums don't harm carpets and rugs, provided the suction you set isn't too strong,” says Johnson.Is Roomba hard on rugs? ›
Roombas can usually handle low-profile rugs just fine, but sometimes they will automatically avoid rugs, sensing them as an obstacle. To avoid robot vacuums getting caught on rugs, you can set digital boundaries via the Roomba app (other robot vacuum apps may have this feature, but it's not guaranteed).Can I tell Roomba which room to clean? ›
Name your Rooms
Roomba may even guess which rooms are which by proposing the exact room name or providing suggestions for you. Naming your rooms allows you to see them in your room list when starting a New Job. Now you can send your robot to specific areas to clean in any order you choose!
With the Roomba 980, there's a forward-facing camera angled up at about 45 degrees. That camera takes a picture of the room's floor plan, and the robot's software seeks out patterns in the picture's pixels.Does Roomba eventually learn the floor plan? ›
iRobot says the device can remember up to 10 floorplans, meaning you can “kidnap” it, take it to a new place, and it will learn that one, too.Can you tell Roomba where not to go? ›
Keep-Out Zones allow you to designate areas in your home where you don't want your robot to go. Keep-Out Zones can be added in the iRobot HOME App by adding rectangular zones to your Imprint™ Smart Map.How do I keep Roomba out of my room? ›
Yes, your Roomba comes with one unit to build a "Wall" by a unseen laser. You place this unit in the area you want your Roomba to stop and turn around. You can also purchase additional units to place throughout your house.How much should you spend on robot vacuum? ›
Those looking to simply supplement their cleaning routine with a few hands-free vacuuming sessions each week may prefer more affordable robot vacuum models—these lower-end (but still effective) products typically cost between $200 and $400.Do robot vacuums get corners? ›
Robot Vacuum Sensor
Sensors to robot cleaners are like eyes to us. Some of the sensors are designed to measure distance so that your robot vacuum cleaners are able to avoid corners and walls. Some are able to scan and recognize objects, which helps them to detect obstacles on the way.
Roomba volume can change a lot based on the type of floor it's cleaning. If your Roomba switches from a carpet to a hardwood floor, it's likely to get a lot louder — especially with the latest Roomba models that have the strongest suction motors.
Yes it picks up long hair! Just make sure to clean both brushes after.What happens when Roomba is full? ›
Your robot will not start any new cleaning jobs and will pause existing ones if it detects its bin is full. Your robot will start and complete cleaning jobs even when it detects its bin is full.What are 5 negatives of robots? ›
- Increased unemployment. ...
- Cannot handle unexpected situations. ...
- Lack critical thinking. ...
- Can cost more. ...
- Require installation and maintenance. ...
- Lack empathy. ...
- Security risks. ...
- Environmental risks.
- Robots are Expensive. Robots replace humans. ...
- Maintenance and Security. The upfront cost is not the only aspect of making the robots expensive. ...
- Human capabilities and Emotionlessness. ...
- Power and Programming. ...
- Increase in the rate of unemployment.
Data privacy and security are some of the most important issues that are currently prevailing in the industry. Robots too need several private data and process sensitive information in order to accomplish their tasks. But there is no guarantee as to how the robot will use this sensitive information.What year did Roomba 690 come out? ›
In 2017, iRobot released the 690, which has Wi-Fi connectivity, so it can be started with an app and some personal-assistant software. As of 2023, iRobot continues to market some 600 series models as budget models, with Wi-Fi connectivity.Does Roomba 694 connect to app? ›
To connect the Roomba 694 to your Wi-Fi, you press the Spot and Home buttons simultaneously for two seconds and then follow the prompts in the app to enter your login credentials. You can initiate a cleaning job by pressing the Clean button on the robot or from the iRobot app.Does Roomba 694 have an app? ›
Yes. Your Roomba® robot vacuum, Roomba Combo™ robot vacuum and mop, or Braava jet® robot mop can work without using the iRobot Home App. But, we recommend using the iRobot Home App to upgrade your cleaning experience and gain access to the latest features available for your robot.Can you use Roomba 694 without app? ›
While the iRobot® HOME App provides many benefits, a Wi-Fi or App connection is not required for Roomba® and Braava jet® to clean. For Roomba®, Clean, Dock, and Spot Clean do not require a connection to the app.Can Roomba 694 go on carpet? ›
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Personalized Cleaning Recommendations, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging, Roomba 694.
You want newer technology - The Roomba 695 is just as powerful as other Roomba models, however, it does lack all the new high-tech features found in the Roomba s series. If you're looking for the latest bells and whistles Roomba has to offer, the 695 isn't the right choice for you.How does a Roomba 694 charge? ›
Can Roomba® 694 robot vacuums go back to dock to charge automatically? A. The robot automatically returns to the Home Base® charging station to recharge at the end of a cleaning job, or when the battery is running low.How long does it take for a Roomba 694 to charge? ›
The Roomba 694 is equipped with a 2100 mAh lithium-ion battery that needs to be charged for 3 hours for a 1 hour use, enough to perform a complete cleaning cycle: the vacuum cleaner returns alone to its charging base.Does Roomba work without subscription? ›
If I stop my membership (or discontinue paying), can I still use the robot? An iRobot Select membership is required for your robot to operate. If you cancel your membership, your robot and Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal will not function or be able to operate.Does Roomba work without Internet? ›
Can I Use a Roomba Without WiFi? Yes, it will still clean your home. “The Roomba is very simple,” says Frank Rizzi, a Consumer Reports senior test technician.Do robot vacuums need Internet? ›
Yes. The robot cleaner work without Wi-Fi and can carry out full-home cleanups, spot cleanups, and return to their dock with the push of a button. Connecting to Wi-Fi enables advanced features including scheduled cleaning, suction power strength selection, and more.