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Product Review & Information

iRobot Roomba 614 Review

We test, review, compare and critic the features of this popular robotic vacuum.

by

Product Review & Information

iRobot Roomba 614 Review

We test, review, compare and critic the features of this popular robotic vacuum.

by PITeam

by PITeam

The Roomba 614 is just one of over a hundred different robot vacuums you have to choose from. A robot without a lot of flash, extras, or options shouldn’t be so popular. Yet, that is precisely what makes the 614 so sought-after.

In a market where the latest and greatest keep increasing in price, the Roomba 614 remains one of the models that quietly does its job and has an affordable price tag. This review will examine the iRobot Roomba 614 to find out if it is the perfect robot vacuum for you.

iRobot Roomba 614

iRobot Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum- Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
1,239 Reviews
iRobot Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum- Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
  • 3-Stage Cleaning system loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and hair from hard floors and carpet.
  • Dual Multi-Surface Brushes work together to grab dust, dirt, and large debris. The Auto-Adjust cleaning head automatically adapts its height to effectively clean both carpets and hard floors.
  • Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home.

Robot vacuums don’t work quite the same way as their plugged-in, upright counterparts. Robots use a series of sensors and computerized technology to move around the home and clean the floors.

The Roomba 614 uses a combination brush roll to collect dirt and separate larger debris for collection. The rubber roller works to help keep the main, bristled brush roll clean and to help pull apart hairs and strings to prevent clogs.

Roomba 614 steps

The robot travels around on three wheels, using drop sensors to keep it on flat, level ground. Drop-offs, such as stairs, are detected and avoided while the motor pushes the wheels forward and creates the suction needed to gather the dirt.

Infrared and acoustic sensors let the robot know when an obstacle is coming up, and the robot will slow its approach before using the touch sensors to find out if the obstacle should be avoided or not.

The entire process is automated and requires little to no attention on your part. Once you have the robot programmed and set up, it will take care of the cleaning. It then becomes your job to maintain the robot and keep it working at peak performance.


Benefits of Robotic Vacuums

The one thing a robotic vacuum cannot do is replace your upright vacuum. Although some models, like the Roomba s9, are getting closer to this feat it is not their designed duty. Instead, a robotic vacuum is made to help you maintain the cleanliness of your floors between regular cleanings with your upright model.

The main advantage of owning a robotic vacuum is that your floors will be guest-ready every day, regardless of when your guests arrive. The Roomba 614 can be scheduled to clean your floors once per day, which will help keep up on stubborn, high-traffic areas and general daily messes that occur.

In the event there is a mess made during the day, it is also easier to have the robot run to the spot of the mess, clean it up and return to the charging station. Instead of having to do the ritual of pulling out the huge upright, running the power cord and dealing with the noise an frustration, the robot can do it while you continue with your other tasks.


Features of Roomba 614

Let’s showcase what the Roomba 614 has to offer you. We break down each feature and show you how it helps keep your floors clean.

Cleaning Time/Runtime

Up to 90 minutes

Charging Time

3-3.5 hours

Robot Weight

7.9 LBS

Robot Dimensions

13.7L X 13.7W X 3.6H inches

Coverage Area

About 900 square feet

Coverage Area
Warranty

12-month limited warranty for the robot and the battery

Multi-Floor Vacuum

The Roomba 614 is capable of cleaning many different floor types. The 614 is rated for cleaning carpets as well as hard flooring surfaces. When dealing with carpet the 614 is capable fo agitating, loosening and lifting dirt from low and medium-pile carpets. This extends to area rugs, throw rugs and floor mats as well.

The brush rolls prevent the robot from being effective on high pile carpet, though, and if you have rugs with fringe, you will need to pick them up or tuck the fringe underneath so it won’t get snagged in the rollers.

For hardwood floors, almost any hard flooring type will be cleaned by the Roomba 614. If you have softwood floors, like pine or fur, you should test in a small area to make sure the bristles won’t scratch the finish.

Pet Hair Vacuum

When it comes to collecting pet hair, the 614 will get a lot. Over time the amount of fur on your floors will diminish. However, because the 614 still uses the bristle brush rollers, you will need to do a bit of extra maintenance. The rollers will get tangled and full of hair that you will need to remove regularly. Luckily, iRobot includes a cleaning tool to help this process.

If you have multiple shedding pets, the maintenance routine may need to be done after every cleaning run. You will be able to tell, though, as the 614 will stop being as effective when the rollers get full of hair.

AeroVac Technology/Filter

AeroVac is the 3-stage cleaning technology behind the cleaning and filtration system of the 600 series robots. It is also the technology that all other Roomba models are compared against. While vast improvements have been made, most notably in the AeroForce system of the 800 series robots, the AeroVac system does its job well.

The brushes work to lift and separate the debris while the motor creates the suction power to deposit the dirt in the dust bin. The AeroVac filter works to purify the exhaust air, capturing fine dust particles and keeping the motor area clear of dust build-up. It is not a HEPA filter, though, so allergens can get through.

iAdapt Technology

As AeroVac is the technology behind the cleaning, iAdapt is the technology behind the movement. There are currently three editions of the iAdapt technology, and it all started with the original version of the 600 series.

Three main sensor types help the robot navigate around your home. The touch sensors use infrared, acoustic, and touch sensing technology to control the speed of the robot as it approaches a detected obstacle. Once verified, the robot will maneuver around the obstacle, or if able, through it.

The drop sensors keep the robot from falling down a flight of stairs or traversing over a significant threshold. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until iAdapt 2.0 that camera-based navigation was introduced. So there isn’t a way for the 614 to map your home or remember the layout.

Dirt Detect Technology

Another sensor type that is less often noted is dirt detection. The drop sensors on the bottom of the robot also act as infrared scanners. When the robot is cleaning in a path, the sensors can detect dust particles in the area. If too many particles are detected, the robot is alerted that the area is still dirty.

When the alert comes through, the robot will make a 360-degree loop to clean the area once again. This is a common sight to see when the robot is cleaning a high-traffic area of the home. Multiple loops are not uncommon.

Bagless Vacuum

Unlike many upright models, you don’t have a bag to contend with. The dust bin is a removable plastic tray that holds the dust and debris until you empty it. This should be performed after every cleaning session to prevent the robot from shutting down due to a full bin.

When emptying you just remove the tray from the back of the robot, carry it to the trash can and remove the filter. You can then dump the contents into the trash, knock the filter against the side of the can to keep it cleaned off and then reassemble the pieces back into the robot. The entire process takes less than a minute, and your robot is ready to continue cleaning.

Side Brushes & Bristled Brush Rollers

roomba 614 brushes

You will find two types of brushes on your Roomba 614. The side brush is a silicone bristled brush that rotates to capture dust and debris from outside the reach of the robot.

It gets along edges and in corners to remove the dirt build-up in these areas. After collecting the dirt, it pushes the debris into the path of the robot so it can be collected.

The brush rollers then work to sweep flooring, agitate the carpet and lift the debris into the air chamber. Two rollers rotate against each other.

The smaller roller has two functions. First to help grab the debris lifted by the primary roller and second to pull apart larger debris like hair, strings, and pet fur.

Home Base Charging Station

The Roomba 614 will monitor its own battery, and when the charge level drops too low, it will return to the Home Base charging station for a refill. After the initial charging cycle, you won’t have to recharge the robot again manually.

Instead, the root will continue the cleaning session until the battery is about to die (usually about 15% charge remaining), where it will stop the cleaning and begin making its way to the Home Base. As long as the Home Base is set up correctly (details below), the 614 will dock and recharge. The recharge process takes about three hours.

Automatic Cleaning Head

Another worry you won’t have is if the robot is capable of changing to different floor types during a cleaning session. The 614 has an automatic cleaning head that adjusts to the various floor heights.

The head senses what type of flooring it is and will pivot the cleaning head up or down. This ensures that the brush rollers are in constant contact with the floor for optimal cleaning effectiveness.

Lithium-Ion Battery

The battery in the robot is a 1800mAh lithium-ion battery pack that will provide about an hour and a half of cleaning time. Depending on the floor types and how dirty they are, the average runtime will fall between 60 and 90 minutes.

As mentioned above, the robot will recharge the battery as needed. The battery won’t last forever, though and after about 2500 recharge cycles it will stop holding a charge. You will notice that the robot doesn’t perform as well, or last as long when this starts to happen. You can expect about 18 to 24 months worth of life out of the battery pack before it needs to be replaced.

Special Note on the Batteries:
All Roomba 600 series robots initial shipped with a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery pack installed (with a rare exception of a few models with Nickle Metal-Hydride batteries.). iRobot has done away with the multiple battery capacities and has settled on 1800mAh for the robots with fewer features, and 3000 and 3300mAh options for those with iAdapt 2.0 and iAdapt 3.0 technologies.

If your Roomba comes with a 2600mAh battery pack, all of the runtimes, features and recharging times are the same. The only difference is that when the battery needs to be replaced, you will need to choose the lithium-ion 1800 battery since the 2600mAh battery is no longer an option.


Performance of the iRobot Roomba 614

We all have floors that need to be cleaned. How well does the Roomba 614 perform on various floor types and cleaning situations? Let’s find out.

Carpets

Roomba 614 carpet + hard wood

Because of newer technology, the Roomba 600 series, including the 614, isn’t the best for carpets. The bristled brush rollers get tangled with hair and strings easily and demand extra attention during maintenance.

Newer models use rubber extractors that don’t have bristles to get as tangled. If you have a lot of carpeting, the Roomba 800 series models such as the Roomba 880 or the 900 series robots like the Roomba 980, will be a better option for you.

That being said, the Roomba 614 will handle low and medium pile carpeting well enough. If you have a room or two with carpet, the more expensive models may not be worth the cost for such small amounts of carpet.

Hardwood Floors

Most hard surfaces are no match for the 614. The side brush makes short work of baseboards and the combination brush rollers easily lift debris off the floor. There are a couple of instances when the 614 may not be the best option for your hard flooring, though.

If you have softwood, like pine, the bristles might scratch or dent the flooring. You will need to check in a small area before you allow the robot free reign over the flooring surface.

It is also noted that debris build-up in corners isn’t cleaned as well as you may hope. While the corners will get attention, the shape of the robot and the length of the side brush prevent deep cleaning in corners.

Pet Hair

Pet hair, as we mentioned earlier, will be collected with relative ease by the 614. You will need to perform regular maintenance on the brush roll to keep the pet hair collection at its maximum, though.

A weekly cleaning and maintenance regimen should be performed anyway, so adding a detailed brush roll cleaning to the routine isn’t going to hurt much. If you can maintain the cleanliness of the brush roll, there shouldn’t be any issues collecting pet hair during a cleaning session.

Area Size

One downfall to the Roomba 614 is the battery life and cleaning patterns. Because the patterns are random and the robot can exit a room to start cleaning another before finishing the first, you may not get complete coverage in larger homes.

The ideal range is between 600 and 900 square feet. In this range, the entire floors should be cleaned with each cleaning session without missing any critical areas. If you have a floor plan that is larger than this, you might find the Roomba 614 to be a bit lacking, or needing extra cleaning sessions (started manually) every day just to keep up.


Comparison with Other Roomba Models

Roomba offers several popular models, each with various features and options that might be better or worse for your needs. We will compare the Roomba 614 to some of these other popular models to see how it compares.

Roomba 614 vs. 618

If you are doing your comparison shopping, you have probably seen the Roomba 618 and wondered how it is different from the more popular 614. The truth of the matter is that there is no difference. The only reason for the separate model number is sales exclusivity. Several various retailers sell Roomba vacuums. They do not wish to compete against each other for price and availability.

To avoid this, iRobot issues separate model numbers so that competitors coupons become invalid. This is such the case with the Roomba 618. The 618 has all of the same features, abilities, and specifications as the Roomba 614, except that the 618 was sold exclusively through Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Roomba 614 vs. 690

The Roomba 690 is the top of the 600 series robots and has the features and performance to prove it. This isn’t just another random exclusive number given to the 614. The Roomba 690 comes with more features and options than the 614.

The most notable is the addition of wireless communications. This allows you to use the Roomba 690 with the iRobot Home app as well as voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

On top of the WiFi capabilities, you also receive a dual-mode virtual wall barrier for containment purposes. Of course, the Roomba 690 costs a little more, but it is still a budget option. If you don't need wireless controls, the Roomba 614 is a more economical purchase.

Roomba 614 vs. 650

Roomba 614 product

Aside from the color of the robot, there isn’t much difference in the Roomba 650 and 614. It is counter-intuitive, but the Roomba 614 was actually released after the 650 model.

The 650 model is the basis for all later models and is what the 614 and 690 versions were built off of.

The 650 doesn’t have the wireless capabilities of the 690, but it does come with an automatic virtual wall. Unlike the dual-mode, the automatic virtual wall stays on and only activates when the robot is near.

It is an economical containment option that you don’t have to place and move or retrieve continually. You can set it in place and leave it there without having to wonder if it is working.

Roomba 614 vs. 620

Just like with the Roomba 618, the Roomba 620 is another exclusive vendor robot. Sometimes the vendors will get additional parts included to help with sales. Other times options will be removed to lower the overall cost. The latter is the case for the Roomba 620.

The Roomba 620 was an exclusive for Kohl's stores. Instead of being precisely the same as the Roomba 614, the 620 was stripped of the additional filter. Besides only beginning initially available exclusively at Kohl's, the Roomba 620 only comes with the preinstalled filter. The 614 model has an additional AeroVac filter included with the purchase price.

Roomba 614 vs. 630

If you are beginning to see the pattern here, good for you. The Roomba 630 is another exclusive robot. The 630 was released for sale only through Costco and Canadian Tire. However, unlike the Roomba 620, the 630 models had an additional feature included.

With the purchase of the Roomba 630, you received the extra filter like with the 614, but you also received a dual-mode virtual wall barrier. These containment devices help you control where the robot can and cannot go. While you can buy them separately, having one included is an incentive.

Roomba 614 vs. 770

The Roomba 700 series was relatively short-lived and didn’t get a lot of fanfare. The advancements that were being made at the time of the 700 series debut were put forward and incorporated with the 800 series. As such, the 700 series robots were more of a melting pot of technologies.

One of the advancements that stuck, though was the use of HEPA filtration. The Roomba 770 uses a HEPA filter instead of the AeroVac standard filter to help reduce allergens in the home. The local controls were different than the 614, and scheduling was made slightly more accessible.

Aside from these two features, though, the 770 and 614 are more identical than different. The cost and availability of the Roomba 770 make it less viable than the more popular and accepted Roomba 614. If, however, you need or desire the HEPA filtration, there are better and more cost-effective models that come with it. The Roomba 890, for example, uses HEPA filtration and cleans better than the 770 for about the same price.


Downsides of The Roomba 614 Model

The 600 series models aren’t without their problems. The 614 is no different. With the advancements the company has made in technology and cleaning abilities, the Roomba 614 is all but extinct.

The brush rolls are one of the most significant issues that the robot has. Keeping them clean is a hassle, and if they aren't maintained almost daily, the robot won't be able to pick anything up. Another problem is the lack of wireless communications. Limited local controls mean less functionality and enjoyment from your purchase. This was corrected in the 690 model, but it was too little, too late.

Finally, the navigation technology means that the cleaning isn’t extensive. Instead of ensuring your entire floor space is cleaned every time, you have to rely on multiple outing over several days to get every square foot covered. For those looking for an inexpensive robot to help maintain the floors, the Roomba 614 works. Just don’t expect miracles.


Roomba 614 Accessories

There aren’t a lot of optional accessories with the Roomba 614. You can purchase the dual-mode virtual wall barriers or the compatible automatic virtual wall. However, other models already come with them.

The battery is decent enough for what it has to do, and you will receive an extra filter to aid in your maintenance duties. You will be required to purchase new filters, side brushes, brush rolls, and maybe even a wheel or two throughout the robots life.

All accessories are readily available through Amazon or the iRobot store.


How to Charge this Roomba Model

Upon first receiving the robot, you will need to charge the battery. Once the Home Base is set up (see below), you just place the robot on the Home Base, and it will charge the battery for you. Once the charging is complete, the robot will begin to self-monitor the battery level, returning to the Home Base as needed.

In some instances, the battery will die before the robot can return to the Home Base. In these cases, you will find the Roomba 614 somewhere in the middle of your floor. When this happens, you simply place it on the Home Base as you did the first time and let the battery recharge completely.


Positioning the Roomba Home Base

The Home Base charging station is fairly straightforward when it comes to set up and use. There are a few things to keep in mind when positioning the Home Base, though.

  • Maintain clearance on either side of the unit for at least two feet.
  • There should be four feet of open space in front of the station.
  • Make sure the docking ramp is flush with the floor and that the station isn’t placed on carpeting.
  • Don’t place near any heat sources. These can be things like windows, dryers, heater vents, etc.
  • Do not cover the Roomba or the Home Base while either is being used. This can cause overheating of the robot and battery.

Common Roomba 614 Issues & Fixes

Over the lifespan of your Roomba 614, there will be mechanical or electrical issues that arise. Most can easily be solved. However, the difficult portion is determining what is wrong with the robot. To help you, the Roomba 614 will sound a series of beeps or flash the battery icon a specific number of times. These trouble codes are explained in the chart below.

Code/Number of Beeps

Error

What to Do

1

Collection bin is inserted improperly.

Remove and replace the collection bin, making sure it is inserted correctly.

2

Something is caught in the extractors

Remove the extractors and wipe them off, clearing out any tangles you find.

5/7

One (not both) of the wheels is stuck.

Inspect the wheels for anything wrapped around it preventing it from spinning.

6

Cliff sensors dirty/ robot is high-centered on a ledge

Clean the sensors or move the robot to a new location and press the Clean button to restart.

9

Bumper sensor is dirty, or the bumper cannot move.

Tap the bumper a few times to ensure it is working properly, or clean the bumper sensor.

10/11

Both wheels are stuck.

The Roomba is unable to move so you must move it to a new location or unclog the debris from both wheels.

Battery Indicator Blinks

Reason

What to Do

1

Battery not inserted.

Ensure the battery is properly seated and that you have removed the plastic tabs.

2

Battery current is too high.

If in warranty, make a battery claim. Outside of warranty period, replace the battery.

3

Battery contacts not making connection

Return to manufacturer for service, or try cleaning the battery contacts.

5

Charging contacts not making connection

Clean the contacts on the bottom of the robot and the Home Base to ensure proper seating.

6

Battery overheating

Move the Roomba to a cooler spot, along with the Home Base. Make sure it isn’t in direct sunlight and that nothing is on the robot while charging.

7

Battery cannot cool.

The sensors regulating temperature detect the battery is hot longer than 4 hours after use or charging. Remove the robot from the charger for an hour and try again.

8/9

Cannot communicate with battery

The battery needs to be replaced.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer the common questions that come up regarding iRobot and the Roomba 614 model robotic vacuum.

Does Roomba 614 remember a home’s layout?

The Roomba 614 will not map or remember the layout of your home. Every time the robot leaves the Home Base, it is as if it is the first time. There is no way for the robot to store a map, even if it could create one. You will need a Roomba with camera-based navigation for mapping features, such as the Roomba 960 or Roomba 980.

How do I reset a Roomba 614 unit?

To reset the Roomba, you press and hold the Clean button for about 10 seconds. Some reports state that the reset can take up to 20 seconds, or multiple attempts. When you let go of the Clean button, the robot will beep, and the display will read “rSt” to indicate the reset was performed correctly.

How do I contact iRobot Roomba customer support?

While there are many methods of contact, the easiest is to call the iRobot customer care line at 1-800-727-9077.

Where are the best places to buy a Roomba 614?

The best place to purchase a new-in-box Roomba 614 is through Amazon. When you do so, you will receive a 30-day trial period that allows you to return the robot for a full refund within 30 days of the purchase date. If you decide to keep the robot, the full 12-month limited warranty will kick in.

How quiet is the Roomba 614 when cleaning?

On average, when cleaning hardwood floors, the Roomba 614 produces between 65 and 67dB of noise. This is quite loud, and if you find yourself int eh same room as the Roomba, you may have to talk louder or raise the volume on your TV to hear.

Is Roomba 614 good for those with pets?

The Roomba 614 isn’t bad for pet hair collection. It also isn’t the greatest. For the cost, though, the additional cleaning time is worth it for those that have pets and are on a tighter budget. If you have multiple pets, you might want to look into purchasing a Roomba 880, which is superior at collecting pet hair without adding maintenance time.

Can I replace the Roomba 614 battery by myself?

You can replace the battery yourself. There is a door that protects the battery from exposure and a simple pull tab that connects the battery to the robot. Open the door, separate the plug at the connection spot, and recycle the old battery. Installation of the new battery is the opposite of removal.

When should I replace my Roomba filter?

The owner’s manual suggests that you replace the filter every four months. However, depending on your usage, this will vary. In most cases, the filter is viable and performs well for up to six months, even with daily cleaning sessions.

Can a Roomba 614 clean stairs?

The Roomba 614 will not perform well on stairs. In most cases, the robot is wider than the stair surface and will not move. Aside from that, the random cleaning pattern prevents straight line cleaning, and the robot is apt to fall and tumble off of the stairs.


Conclusion

When it comes to maintaining your floors, you have options. With new technology making older robots obsolete, the Roomba 614 has stuck around. It’s low cost, easy setup, and simple programming make it ideal for certain homes.

If you are looking for a second robot to keep on a different floor, or as a backup, the Roomba 614 can’t be beaten. It is affordable and reliable for these purposes. It is also an ideal robot for the elderly or those with bad backs who just want their floors cleaned in the simplest terms.

You won’t have all the bells and whistles, nor will you get a lot of extras. For larger homes or those that prefer smart home integration, the Roomba 614 won’t work well for you. While better models can be had for not much more, there is still room for the Roomba 614 in the market.


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