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iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum cleaner review

iRobot Roomba 690
PHVC Live mark
Random navigation
Return to dock
26 Wh battery
Round shape
Ordinary filtration
Dirt sensor
26 watts input power
1 side brush
3.6 inches height
0.48 liters dustbin
Wi-Fi Connectivity
60 minutes runtime
Smartphone App
Voice Control
The iRobot Roomba 690 was designed for families and pet owners to keep their homes clean in-between manual cleanings. Using the smartphone app (Android or iPhone), you can set a schedule for the Roomba to clean daily accumulating dirt such as pet hair, crumbs, and dust throughout your home, including in hard to reach places. It is a worthwhile budget-friendly investment.


  • Cleans pet hair, small particles, and large debris well on hard floors and thin carpets
  • Utilizes iAdapt technology with a dirt sensor for more thorough cleaning
  • Has a smartphone app for scheduling and control anywhere anytime
  • Can work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant


  • Noisy


The iRobot Roomba 690 is round, 13 inches in diameter, with side brushes sticking out from beneath it on the right side. It is 3.7 inches in height, allowing it to vacuum under furniture and hard to reach places on a consistent basis. The Roomba housing is made of black and grey plastic, with a sleek modern look to complement your home.

iRobot Roomba 690 Side

There is a soft bumper on the front of the vacuum with a padded light touch sensor to cushion contact between the Roomba and other objects, preventing damage. On top of the unit is a room confinement sensor (RCON), which is used to sense virtual walls and to find its charging station. Below the RCON sensor is a handle for easy pick-up and transportation of the Roomba as it weighs only 7.8 pounds. There is also a bin release button on the back to release the dust bin and filter for emptying.

The Roomba 690’s CLEAN button is in the middle of its faceplate. There are three LED lights on the faceplate above the CLEAN Button: a troubleshooting indicator that signals issues during cleaning; a Wi-Fi indicator to let you know if it is connected to the smartphone app; and a battery indicator to let you know when charging is complete. In front of the CLEAN button is the SPOT button and behind it is the DOCK button.

iRobot Roomba 690 indicators

On the bottom of a Roomba 690, you will find two large motorized wheels in the middle along with a non-motorized caster wheel in the front for balance. Between the two wheels is the cleaning head module, which houses the brush frame. The brush frame has a flexible brush (silicon) and main brush (soft thistles). On both sides of the front caster wheel are the charging contacts for the dock. There are four cliff sensors on the bottom of the Roomba.

iRobot Roomba 690 bottom

Cleaning Power

The Roomba 690 does a good job keeping your home free of pet hair, dust, food crumbs, and other debris left on the floor. It will work on laminate, wood, tile, thin carpets, and rugs. After the cleaning cycle, room-edges are mostly clean, but some dirt can remain in corners.

The Roomba 690 is meant to supplement your manual cleaning, as it isn’t capable of a deep clean on thick carpets / rugs and can miss areas due to random navigation. However, you can easily use it to keep your home cleaner between more thorough manual cleanings by using the smartphone app to schedule cleans.

The iRobot Roomba 690 utilizes a patented three-stage cleaning system:

  1. The spinning side brush is designed at an optimal 27-degree angle to sweep debris away from edges and corners and into the main two-brush cleaning area.
  2. Between the wheels are two brushes designed to work together to agitate, lift, and remove debris.
  3. The vacuuming fan suctions the lifted debris from the brushes into the dust bin and through the filter.

The Roomba is also equipped with dirt detection sensors so that it will recognize concentrated areas of dirt and clean such areas more thoroughly.

Noise level

The iRobot Roomba 690 produces a dull hum while in operation, but it is quieter than your average vacuum cleaner. Due to the noise, it’s hard to sleep or watch TV during vacuum operation. If the Roomba encounters trouble in the middle of cleaning, it will beep to notify you. This function cannot be turned off as it signals that the robot needs assistance.

Roller Brushes

The Roomba 690 has two roller brushes. The first is a flexible silicon brush designed to loosen dirt and debris from the floor. The main brush has soft thistles both to loosen larger debris and to lift dirt into the suction area of the vacuum. The brushes work together to optimize removal.

However, these brushes are prone to tangles, which will cause a troubleshooting error alert. When tangled, the Roomba will illuminate the troubleshooting LED and notify your app or beep until the issue is fixed. In situations where a normal vacuum would likely get tangled (on cables, rug fringes, etc.), the Roomba 690 probably will as well.

Keeping your home’s floors free from cables, shoe laces, and other small objects will give the Roomba a better chance at completing a successful clean. It is advised to check and clean the brushes once per week. The Roomba comes with a small cleaning tool for getting tangles out of the brushes.

iRobot Roomba 690 brushes


The Roomba 690 uses random navigation enhanced by iRobot’s iAdapt technology. It uses dirt sensors to detect and clean dirty areas more thoroughly. The robot will go in a straight line until it bumps into an object, softly without damaging it, and then it will turn and clean in a different direction. If dirt is detected, the robot will make a circle until its sensors do not detect anymore dirt. Then, it will continue random navigation.

Since the Roomba 690 cannot map a room / level, it should be run in the same room as its charging dock. If you want to run it in multiple rooms, you must either manually bring it there and back or move the charging port.

Return to the charging dock

The Roomba 690 goes back to the charging dock any time its battery is low or it is told to do so. However, it may take up to 10 minutes for the Roomba to return to dock and if it has left the main cleaning room, it may get lost and the battery will die as it tries to return home. Ensure the charging dock is in an appropriate location and all room exits are blocked with doors or virtual walls. To ensure proper charging, clean the charging contacts once per month.

Charging dock location

The charging dock should be in an area with 1.5 feet on each side open, four feet in front open, four feet away from stairs, eight feet away from virtual wall barriers, and in a location with consistent Wi-Fi.

iRobot Roomba 690 on charging dock

Navigating modes

Default mode

Before the battery becomes low, the Roomba 690 can thoroughly clean a 500 square foot area during one cleaning cycle. However, if placed in a larger room it will still do a good job, focusing on the dirtier areas due to the iAdapt technology, but typically won’t get to all areas of a larger room.

Spot Cleaning

The Roomba 690 does come with Spot cleaning technology. When the SPOT button is pressed, the Roomba will spiral out and then back to where it started covering an area three-feet in diameter. This allows you to manually move it to a dirty location and have it automatically clean this spot in your home.

Ability to go over moldings and carpets

The Roomba 690 has suspension built into the two motorized wheels. This allows them to move up and down over obstacles, moldings, and carpet edges. If the edge is too large, it will either not go over it or get stuck, causing a troubleshooting error.

Going under furniture and into tight places

The Roomba 690 is short enough to go under common furniture, such as chairs, couches, bed frames, dressers, etc. These areas are hard to reach with a standard stand-up vacuum, while the Roomba can vacuum these areas consistently without the need to move furniture.

If the furniture’s height is very close to 3.6 inches, the Roomba can get stuck. It is better to restrict access to rooms with lower clearance objects by shutting the door or using virtual walls. You can also use boxes or other objects to prevent the Roomba from trying to go under furniture where it tends to get stuck.

Cliff sensors

There are four cliff sensors on the bottom of the Roomba 690. These prevent the Roomba from going over stairs or cliffs, falling, and possibly getting hurt or damaging floors, and getting stuck off the cleaning floor.

However, the cliff sensors can also misidentify areas of floor as cliffs / edges, if it encounters a dark surface, causing the Roomba to get stuck and notify you of a troubleshooting error. It is recommended to check and clean the sensors once per month.


The iRobot Roomba 690 comes with a 14.4V 1800mAh 26Wh battery. With a runtime of 60 minutes on a single charge, this means that this battery has an input power of 26W. It will take three hours to charge a dead battery to full.


To replace the battery, you need to remove the side brush and the four screws that secure the bottom cover. The appropriate replacement battery, which is an upgrade, is 14.4V, 3300mAh, and 48Wh. With an input power of 26W, this means that with the new battery the Roomba 690 can run for approximately 110 minutes. This is 50 minutes more of cleaning time compared with the standard battery.


If you are not operating the Roomba through its Smartphone app, you can use the three buttons on top of it for operation:

  • CLEAN to start or stop a cleaning process.
  • SPOT to initiate the spot cleaning feature.
  • DOCK to send the robot back to the charging station. The robot shouldn’t be in the middle of a cleaning process to do so.

Smartphone app

The Roomba 690 has Wi-Fi so it can connect to the iRobot Home Smartphone App. The app has a user friendly interface for easy operation and more in-depth information on your Roomba. You can personalize your Roomba with a name, start / stop a clean, set a schedule, and view the Roomba’s status and errors, recent cleaning history, dirt detection count (times it detected dirt deposits), and care / maintenance schedules with instructions for keeping the Roomba performing well.

Voice-activated control

The Roomba 690 is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You must first connect these devices via the iRobot home smartphone app and then you can simply speak to these devices to command the Roomba to start, stop, or to dock.


On the iRobot Home Smartphone App, you can set a schedule for your Roomba to automatically start a cleaning cycle at certain times throughout the day up to seven times per week. This can give you peace of mind that your home will be clean when you come home from work.

Virtual Walls

The Roomba 690 also comes with a virtual wall (two AA batteries included) to set up an impassible barrier or Halo for the robot. You can use this if there is an area of your home that you don’t want the Roomba going into, such as an office while you are working or near animal food bowls. The wall extends ten feet straight out while the Halo confines the Roomba to a four-foot diameter circle around the device.

iRobot Roomba 690 Virtual Wall


The AeroVac dustbin is located on the lower back of the Roomba. It is bagless and able to handle a full cleaning cycle, unless you have multiple shedding pets. Since it has no ‘full’ indicator, it is recommended to clean and empty the dust bin after every usage to ensure it is ready for the next cleaning cycle.

Detach the dustbin by clicking the button on the top back of the Roomba. Then it simply slides out of the robot and you can take it to your garbage bin. Once over a garbage bin, open the latch on the dustbin door to empty. Once it’s empty, simply close the latch and slide the dustbin back into the Roomba.

iRobot Roomba 690 dustbin


The Roomba 690 uses an AeroVac filter, which will keep fine dust and debris out of the air you breathe at home. It is recommended to clean the filter when emptying the dust bin. To do so, simply pull the filter out of the dust bin and shake or tap it on the edge of the garbage bin.

iRobot Roomba 690 filter

What’s in the box

iRobot Roomba 690 box contents

  • iRobot Roomba 690
  • Home Base charging station
  • Charging station power cord
  • One Dual Mode Virtual Wall barrier (two AA Batteries included)
  • One extra filter
  • One flat cleaning tool
  • Owner’s Guide and Documentation package

iRobot Roomba 690 specifications

Bag typeBagless
Navigation PatternRandom
Return to dockYes
Roller brushDual
Battery energy26 Wh
Filtration EfficiencyOrdinary
Dirt sensorYes
Input power26 watts
Side brushes1
Height3.6 inches
Weight7.8 pounds
Dustbin capacity0.48 liters
Wi-Fi ConnectivityYes
Runtime60 minutes
Smartphone AppYes
Voice ControlYes
Battery replacementYes
Battery typeLi-ion
Virtual BoundaryVirtual wall
Warranty period1 years
Warranty typeLimited
Cleaning path7 inches
Length13 inches
Width13 inches

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