For this comparison, we’ll look closely at iRobot’s two entry-level robot vacuums – the Roomba 675 vs. 690.
These variants are excellent options for folks looking for a robot vacuum adept at cleaning a carpet on the budget.
The Roomba 675, in particular, is one of the bestselling robot vacuums in the budget category or vacuums below $300 in Amazon.
First, here’s a quick look at the Roomba 675 vs. 690
- 1 Introduction to the Roomba 675 vs. 690
- 2 Similarities of the Roomba 675 and 690
- 3 What is the difference between the 675 and 690?
- 4 How does the Roomba 675 and 690 navigate?
- 5 App features
- 6 Cleaning performance comparison
- 7 Which is better for hard floors?
- 8 Edge cleaning comparison
- 9 Large debris comparison
- 10 Hair wrap comparison
- 11 Deep cleaning comparison
- 12 Dust bin comparison
- 13 Noise level comparison
- 14 Run time comparison
- 15 Maintenance
- 16 Availability of parts
- 17 Spec comparison
- 18 Where can I buy these robots?
- 19 Which is better, Roomba 675 or 690?
- 20 The Verdict: Roomba 675 is a Better Alternative
Introduction to the Roomba 675 vs. 690
With most new budget robot vacuums going with high-tech with gyroscopes and optical sensors, Roomba keeps it basic with the Roomba 675 and 690.
Despite the lack of high tech features, these two models are still some of the more popular options in Amazon.
One reason why Roomba products are so popular is its two brush system that performs exceptionally well on carpet.
It scores consistently high on carpet tests despite having the standard navigation. The dirt detect sensor helps in this regard as it tells the robot to focus on these areas more.
Please note the Roomba 690 has been discontinued by iRobot, and the 675 takes its place.
Roomba 675: Entry-Level Price, High-End Deep Cleaning Results
One reason the Roomba 675 is so popular in Amazon despite the pinball navigation is its ability to deep clean carpet.
In deep cleaning tests with 100 grams of embedded sand on mid pile carpet, it was able to pick up 83%, which is better than some more expensive robot vacuums like the Roomba I7 (79%), Neato D4 (79%), Dyson 360 Heurist (80%), and Shark IQ (83%).
However, the 675 isn’t perfect. First, the random navigation isn’t efficient, and won’t do well cleaning multiple rooms.
Lastly, the side brush spins rapidly, so it tends to kick debris around. It won’t be a problem in the real world since you’ll be using it for cleaning dust. If you want to use this to clean pet litter on tile – it will scatter these items around.
Roomba 690: More Expensive, Same Specs as the 675
Looking at the product specifications, the Roomba 690 is very similar to the 675. There are some differences with the color combo and design of the dust container, but everything under the hood is the same.
Like the 675, the 690 traverses in a random direction, but it’s sophisticated enough to cover the whole area it’s cleaning.
The bad news is you’ll have to wait a long time, and this coverage is only applicable for single rooms.
Cleaning more than one room will be a challenge for the 690 (or the 675) because of this randomness.
It’s slightly better than the 690 when it comes to deep cleaning carpet at a little over 85%, so it’s something to consider for homes with mostly carpet surfaces.
Similarities of the Roomba 675 and 690
Let’s quickly go through the similarities of these entry-level Roombas.
1. Round Shape
Most Roomba robot vacuums (except for the S9) have a round shape, and these two are no exception. Each one measures 13 inches wide and 3.7 inches tall. So it can go underneath furniture with at least 3.9 inches of clearance.
The button interface is also similar – the round “clean” button at the middle flanked by the spot and dock buttons.
Both also have handles making it easier to move these around the home.
3. WIFI, Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant
One feature l like with the 675 and 690 is it has WIFI. My back stiffers up from time to time, and bending over to push the “Clean” button is something unpleasant when it flares up.
The option access the robot through the app is appealing to me, and I like the convenience it brings to the table.
Also, these robots are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and using voice is something more and more people use these days.
4. Dual brush
These robots have the same dual brush system found in all 600-series robots – bristle + squeegee combo. It’s one reason why Roomba products do so well cleaning carpets.
5. Single side brush
Another similarity with the 675 and 690 is both have one side brush. The design is the same, and both spin at the same speed.
All Roomba 600 series robots – 614, 675, and 690 utilize a standard algorithm. These robots will pinball around in a random direction. However, the algorithm is sophisticated enough, so it covers the whole area it clears.
It isn’t efficient and best suited for cleaning single rooms where its thoroughness is most felt.
What is the difference between the 675 and 690?
Roomba 675 and 690 are the same robots at its core.
Both have the same motor, battery, brush, and layout, but there are subtle differences I’ll enumerate below.
The Roomba 695 has a darker color scheme with the matte black, charcoal gray combo, and silver buttons. In contrast, the 690 has a lighter light gray and matte black finish. Note that there are glossy areas that can attract fingerprints, so just a heads up.
2. Virtual Wall
Only the Roomba 690 comes with a virtual wall in the box. If you purchase it online from Amazon or iRobot, you’ll get one.
The 675 doesn’t come with any virtual wall – you’ll need to purchase one separately.
A virtual wall is an apparatus that blocks the robot’s path from off-limit areas.
It has two modes:
- Wall mode: fires an IR signal with a range of 10 feet, preventing the robot from going past it.
- Halo mode: instead of a straight signal, halo mode fires a 4-foot diameter area the robot can’t enter.
Neither robot supports no-go lines or no-go zones present in other Roomba options like the 960, I3, I7, and S9.
3. Dust bin latch
Lastly, there’s a slight variation with the dust container latch. The 675 has a round latch, and the 690 is more of a trapezoid shape. This difference doesn’t affect how you empty it. However, avoid picking up the robot from the rear, or you’ll risk dropping it if you accidentally press on the handle.
As I’ve said earlier, the 675 and 690 traverses like a pinball. It toggles between cleaning in a random direction and going to the edges to tidy up the baseboards.
However, one difference between these robots and other random navigating robots is the dirt detect system.
It’s a sensor underneath the robot that tells it to focus on dirtier zones. I’ve seen this in action in all of the cleaning tests. It’s a reason why, along with the dual brushes, why the 675 and 690 did so well in cleaning embedded sand.
As you can see above, the 690 goes in a random direction.
One issue I have with the Roomba 600 series is it doesn’t slow down and bumps into furniture hard.
I’ve seen it time and time again. It can be a problem for delicate, easily scratched furniture.
I don’t have any expensive furniture in my home, so it’s not something I worry about.
The 675 and 690 works with the iRobot Home app.
You won’t get a lot when it comes to features than a Xiaomi Home App, but it’s quite responsive.
It has a revamped interface, and you’ll have access to basic features like scheduling.
However, you won’t be able to schedule more than once per day. After choosing the day, you cannot select the same day in subsequent tries, which I hope iRobot can remedy.
This feature is the reason why I like the Xiaomi Home app.
There’s also an automation tab providing users an option to sync with other home integration apps. Please check the screenshot below.
How much power does the Roomba 675 and 690 have?
Neither of these robots is airflow monsters. Each one registered below 10 CFM with the anemometer.
The Roomba 675 recorded 9 CFM, and the 690 at slightly lower at 8.2 CFM.
Even if the 675 appears to have more power than the 690, the difference is minimal and has little bearing with how well it cleans.
Cleaning performance comparison
Next, we’ll look at how well each robot cleans hard floors and carpet.
One issue with the 600 series is the side brush. To be more specific, how fast it spins.
This issue is most prevalent on hard floors, where it tends to scatter debris around.
In all the tests I did with the 690, it dispersed stuff around, resulting in a bigger mess.
However, I don’t think it’s a big deal for daily cleaning since you’re dealing with dust. It’s going to be a problem if you’re using this for cleaning a big pile of a mess, as you’ll see in the clip below.
The Roomba 690 still was decent with the test results.
- Overall: 94.25%
- Hard floor: 97.55%
- Carpet (Surface pickup): 97.92%
- Carpet (Deep cleaning): 85.16%
Which is better for hard floors?
Even if the cleaning test results are high, the side brush issue remains. Both vacuums will provide roughly the same result when cleaning hard floors. One redeeming factor of its random navigating pattern is thorough and will go over certain areas more than once.
Edge cleaning comparison
These two robots didn’t do well cleaning the edges. I did a test by scattering pet litter at a corner of the room. It didn’t pick up very much – only a small percentage of it.
The round shape and narrow brush limit its capability to clean these areas, plus the rapidly spinning brushes scatter debris.
Large debris comparison
There will be no issues with either the 675 and 690 in terms of cleaning large debris like Fruit loops and Cheerios.
As you’ll see below, it will pick up large pieces of dirt.
Both have the clearance and agitation to do the task. Again, the issue is the side brush scattering bits and bits around.
Hair wrap comparison
I tested the Roomba 690 how it fares against one gram of human hair, five to seven inches long on hard floors and carpet.
It did not do as well as I’d hope it would. Most of the longer strands wrapped on the bristle brush. Please note the 690 or 675 don’t have an anti-tangle system that can resist hair wrapping on it.
I’ve also seen reviews mentioning the 675 able to resist tangles from shorter strands of hair (5 inches).
But realize these robots utilize the same brush, so you’ll have to clean it if you live with something with long hair or you got pets.
Deep cleaning comparison
One reason why Roomba products are beloved is its ability to deep clean carpets. The Roomba 675 and 690 are some the best at doing so at the budget category.
For the test, 100 grams of sand were rubbed on mid pile carpet with the robot running its default cycle for five minutes.
The bin was weight empty and full, and here are the results.
- Roomba 690: 86%
- Roomba 675: 83%
Surprisingly these robots are better than the Roomba I7 in this test. The Roomba 690 at par with the Roborock S5 max, which is a more expensive option.
Dirt detect helps as it focuses on areas with more dirt.
Dust bin comparison
While there are some differences with the release-latch, the basic design of the 675 and 690 is the same.
Here’s a close look at the Roomba 690 dust bin.
The 675 dust bin has a similar design. It looks big from the photo, but it doesn’t hold much dirt – only 0.3 liters because the door sits low. You’ll have to empty the bin often.
Both robots have a standard filter and it isn’t a HEPA, so it cannot block allergens. The material on it is quite thin and doesn’t have a lot of surface area.
However, these bins aren’t interchangeable – the 690 latch is a different shape from the 675 bin that has a rounder shape.
Also, there’s no sensor inside it to notify users if it’s full – you’ll have to check manually. The best practice for me is to dump it after every cleaning cycle.
Noise level comparison
I tested the Roomba 690 using a sound meter from a few feet away, and it recorded 65.7 decibels, while the 675 is slightly less noisy with 62 decibels.
Run time comparison
According to Roomba, both the 675 and 690 will run for up to 90 minutes.
It’s a decent figure, but the lack of a smart navigation algorithm or recharge and resume limit its coverage.
To maximize its strengths, you’ll have to move it from one room to another to clean it individually.
Upkeep will be similar for both the 675 and 690. You’ll need to clean these areas regularly.
- Main brush and side brush: These components take the most beating and oftentimes stuff like hair and grime accumulate under the side brush and the axles of the primary brushes. Check these areas at least once a week.
- Sensors: Check the cliff sensors beneath these robots and clean it using clean cotton buds or a microfiber towel for it to function at its optimum level.
- Wheels: Perhaps the most neglected part of a robot vacuum. The 675 and 690 have three wheels – one castor wheel in front for steering and two rubber wheels in the middle. Use a slightly damp towel and wipe these parts down.
- Dust bin: Empty the dust container after every cleaning cycle, so dust mites don’t breed. Check the filter for dirt that can accumulate. The filter isn’t washable so don’t immerse it underwater.
Related: Please check this how-to guide on how to clean the Roomba 690.
Availability of parts
Buying components for any Roomba model won’t be a problem. Even with older models like the Roomba 675 and 690. Since both these robots use the same modules, you can purchase parts for the 675, and it will fit the 690 and vice-versa.
Another reason to strongly consider these products is the ease of replacing components. Parts like the battery are easily replaced using a Philips screwdriver.
Parts such as filters and brushes are available in stores like Amazon, Walmart, and even Aliexpress if you live in the ASEAN region.
|Run time (Turbo mode)|
Where can I buy these robots?
You can buy the Roomba 675 and 690 from online stores like Amazon and Walmart. Check the links below for the latest pricing.
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us!
Which is better, Roomba 675 or 690?
Comparing the features, there isn’t much of a difference between these two entry-level Roomba products.
The power figures are close, which is echoed in its deep cleaning performance, where the difference is only a few percentage points.
Both will run for up to 90 minutes and utilize a random cleaning pattern, so these robots are essentially the same products.
Right now, the Roomba 675 is the cheaper option than the discontinued 690, so it’s the better option even minus the virtual wall.
You can purchase this part separately and still spend less than the 690.
4 Reasons to buy the Roomba 675
- Cheaper than the 690: The 675 is less expensive than the 690 making a better alternative of the two.
- Decent at deep cleaning carpet: Even with the low airflow, it picked up 83% of embedded sand on medium-pile carpet.
- Dirt detect: Tells the robot to focus on dirtier areas, which is one reason why it did well cleaning embedded dirt.
- Availability of parts: The 675 has a plethora of components available, and the modular design makes it easy to replace.
2 Reasons to buy the Roomba 690
- Virtual wall: The Roomba 690 comes with a virtual wall while the 675 does not. This device blocks the robot’s path from off-limit zones in your home.
- Slightly better at deep cleaning: It scored higher marks with the deep cleaning tests than the 675. Though it’s only a touch better, for what it’s worth, this model a good budget option for cleaning carpets.
The Verdict: Roomba 675 is a Better Alternative
I like the Roomba 675 better because it’s cheaper by a significant amount in Amazon. Even if you purchase two virtual walls, you’d still be spending less than the 690.
Realize that the prices are fluid and may change anytime.
The bottom line is these two robots are the same products with minor variations with the color, accessories, and dust bin latch. So as long as the 675 stays at its current price levels, it’s the better buy versus the 690.