iRobot Roomba robotic vacuums have been making their way into homes for over 20 years. Isn’t it time your home had one? While it can be challenging to narrow your choices down to that one perfect model, you should do your research and know what you are getting yourself into and how the machine will help.
This article will compare two of the more popular 600 series Roomba models for you. This Roomba 675 vs. 690 review will showcase the two cost-friendly models and explain their differences. We will explain how the vacuums work and which model is better suited for your needs.
When you boil everything down, the Roomba 675 and Roomba 690 are the same robots. As you will see later in this article, there are only three differences, and none of them have to do with performance or ability.
The 690 is more popular, showing more rated and verified reviews, while the 675 is less expensive. However, with the popularity of the 690, it shows up more frequently in Amazon Black Friday iRobot deals than the 675 does.
How These Roomba Models Are Similar
As stated above, these are virtually identical robots. As such, they share a lot of similarities. We have outlined and briefly explained these features for you here.
Both robots have the same round Roomba design we have come to know and love over the years. Only the s9 has a different body design.
The 675 and 690 utilize the same faceplate with controls, brush rollers, side brushes and filters. They also use the same navigation and filtration technology.
When it comes to the batteries, the Home Base charging, and other accessories, the two models will be interchangeable in those respects as well.
The overall aesthetics (except for the color, as explained in the next section) are all identical.
Size & Dimensions
The Roomba 690 and 675 also share the same size and dimensions. Being a part of the 600 series, they fall under the same building core that casts the body and pieces everything together. You will find that both models stand a mere 3.6 inches tall. Any furniture that is at least 3.75 inches off the ground will be accessible to the two robots.
The Roomba 675 and 690 also have a diameter of 13.7 inches and weight 7.9 pounds. Only the i-series and s-series robots are smaller. The i-series measures 13.4 inches in diameter and the s-series clocks in at 12.5 inches. However, the s-series robots weigh more, tipping the scales at 8.15 pounds.
The physical buttons, or local controls, are located in the center of the robot faceplate. You will only find three buttons here as most of the controls have been moved to the app for your cell phone.
The big Clean button in the middle wakes the robot, sends it out for a cleaning session, or pauses a session already in progress. The Home button circles the bottom half of the Clean button, and if a session is paused, it will send the robot back to the Home Base to recharge.
Finally, the top button is the Spot Clean button that will make the robot spiral outwards and back inwards (up to 3 feet in diameter, outward). A spot clean handles a specific area before coming to a rest and awaiting further instructions.
iAdapt Navigation technology
The robots use a series of sensors, computer algorithms, and programmed responses to traverse your home. This technology is called iAdapt by iRobot and is the basis for movement and cleaning of your floors.
Both the 675 and 690 use the first generation of the technology (sometimes called iAdapt 1.0 to avoid confusion). It wasn’t until the release of the Roomba 900 series that iAdapt saw significant changes.
By using drop sensors, the robots avoid ledges or falling off stairs. With their touch sensors, they know to avoid solid obstacles and avoid damaging themselves or the objects they come in contact with.
All in all, the technology works exceptionally well, though you may find some of the impacts with walls and furniture legs a bit brutal at first.
Unlike some of the earlier 600 series robots, the Roomba 690 and 675 can be programmed to perform scheduled cleans. This is done through the iRobot Home app and allows you to select any date and any time for the robots to go out and do their jobs.
You will be able to create a single cleaning session every day without having to recreate the scheduled sessions every week. The older versions ran on a 7-day cycle, which meant you have to reprogram them every seven days. With the mobile app, this process is obsolete.
Dirt/Cliff Detect Sensors
There are a few sensors on the bottom of the robot that use infrared lighting to detect the presence of dirt particles in the flooring after the vacuum has passed.
The dirt detection system alerts the robot that the area it just went over isn’t clean enough. When this happens, the robot will make a 360-degree loop to go over the area once again before continuing.
The sensors also double as the cliff detection sensors. The infrared lights measure the bounce-back of the light and can determine how far off the ground the robot is.
If there is a ledge or a drop off (such as a staircase) measuring greater than an inch and a half, the robot is alerted.
The robot will stop its forward movements and turn to a different angle, slowly moving forward to test the new direction. Once the drop-off is no longer detected, the robot moves forward to continue cleaning.
Both the Roomba 675 and Roomba 690 use the original 3-stage cleaning system with AeroVac technology. Don’t worry if you get confused by these names. AeroVac, iAdapt, AeroForce, etc., they are all just the names of the collected technology that iRobot has given their systems.
AeroVac is the system that collects the dirt, deposits it into the dust bin, and filters the exhaust air. AeroVac technology is the basis that all future Roomba lines are measured against. It predates the newer and more efficient AeroForce technology, but the idea behind it is the same.
The side brush and brush rollers work together to collect debris form hardwood floors and carpeting. They lift the debris into the collection chamber where the motor produces the suction needed to lift the debris and place it in the bin.
From there, the exhaust air is filtered to keep the motor clean from dust build-up and prevent larger dust particles from reentering your home.
Edge Cleaning/Sweeping Brush
As mentioned above, the edge cleaning brush (also known as the side brush) works to remove dust and dirt from the edges and corners of walls. By sweeping along baseboards and getting as deep into corners as possible, this little brush helps get the areas the main brush rollers can’t reach.
The primary job is to reach the debris in these out of the way areas and push it into the path of the robots. From there it is collected and deposited into the dust bin. You may notice that with these two models, the lighter debris is pushed around instead of collected.
The brushes spin fast, and the exhaust air blows hard. These two factors combined will blow and push lighter debris away from the robot, making it appear the robot is making a bigger mess than it is cleaning. Fear not. All the dust will be collected eventually, as the robot moves around the room.
Dual Multi-Surface Brushes
Once the side brushes do their job, the debris is collected by the dual multi-surface brushes. These brushes also work to agitate carpet and sweep hardwood floors. They collect the debris, lift and separate clumps and push the waste into the collection chamber.
The bristles on the primary roller are soft and don't usually scratch any surfaces. However, if you have softwood or sealed surfaces in your home, you may want to check the results in a small area first. In rare occasions, the rollers have been reported to leave minor scratches in sealant and even more rare on floorings such as pine or fir.
Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head
One of the most understated features of Roomba vacuums is the auto-adjust cleaning head. The cleaning head holds the dual multi-surface brush rollers and will pivot slightly depending on the height for the flooring underneath,
This pivoting keeps the brush rollers in constant contact with the ground and at the optimal height for suction and debris collection. This pivoting functionality is fully automated and happens in less than half a second. You don’t have to worry if the robot is working as hard as it can or not. With the auto-adjust cleaning head, it will always be optimal.
Auto Clean, Spot Cleaning
There are two basic cleaning modes that the 675 and 690 use. The first is the automatic mode. When the robot goes out to clean your home, either through manually pressing the Clean button or a scheduled session, the robot will use automatic mode. It selects the path and how long it stays in an area.
The second mode is a manual operation started with the physical buttons on the robot or through the mobile app. Spot cleaning mode is a temporary cleaning session that focuses on a smaller area about three feet in diameter.
You will need to place the robot in the center of the area to be cleaned and press the Spot Clean button. Once the area has been cleaned, the robots will shut down, waiting for the next instruction.
Self-Docking & Recharging
One of the best features is that you don’t have to worry about the robot waiting for you to pick it up after a cleaning session. Both the Roomba 675 and 690 will monitor their battery charge level. Once the level drops below 15 percent or so, the robots will abandon their cleaning session and start heading for the Home Base charging station.
If correctly set up, the robot will be able to dock on the Home Base effortlessly. It will recharge the battery and await the next cleaning session. In rare cases, the battery will die before the robot can dock. When this happens, you can use the carrying handle to lift the robot and place it manually on the Home Base cradle to recharge.
WiFi Connectivity & Smartphone App
In a rare turn of events, the 600 series received wireless communications. Not all of them, mind you, just a few. The Roomba 690 and 675 are among the lucky models with this important feature.
WiFi connectivity allows you to add control options to your arsenal. Now you can use the iRobot Home app to get updates, see the status of a cleaning session, and much more. Through the app, you can name your robot, create schedules, or start a cleaning session from anywhere.
Unlike with physical controls, you don’t need to be near the robot. You don’t even have to be in the house to start a cleaning session. This benefit alone makes the 675 and 690 among the best options for buying a 600 series Roomba.
Voice Control Capability (Alexa Support & Google Assistant)
Along with the smartphone app, you can also utilize the voice commands, thanks to the WiFi connectivity. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant enabled device, you can use a host of voice commands to control the Roomba 690 or 675.
Like you can with the mobile app, you can start, stop, and cancel a cleaning session. You will also be able to edit a scheduled cleaning time or create a new one. Unlike the mobile app, you will need to be in the home to use this feature and close to your Alexa device so it can hear you.
Both of the models use the Roomba 1800 battery pack. This is an 1800mAh lithium-ion battery that provides about an hour and a half of runtime. The battery will take around three hours to fully charge once it is drained.
Through your research, you may have heard of the XLife battery. This battery lasts longer (in terms of recharging cycles, not runtime) than the Roomba 1800 battery. However, neither of the two models discussed here are compatible with this battery.
When it comes time to replace your battery pack, you need to ensure you purchase the right option. If you buy the XLife by mistake, you will have to return it for the 1800.
How These Roomba Models Are Different
As we mentioned near the start of this article, there aren’t a whole lot of differences between the two machines. Let’s take a look at where these two machines differ.
Virtual Wall Barrier
The most significant difference is the containment options. Both models are compatible with the dual-mode virtual wall barrier. However, only the Roomba 690 comes with one (and the batteries needed to use it).
The barrier uses infrared light to alert the robot that it cannot pass. You can use either of the two light modes (linear and halo). The different modes have different uses. Use halo mode to protect items on the floor such as pet food dishes, floor lamps, etc., or block off doorways and portions of entire rooms with linear mode.
These devices are available as a separate purchase. However, if you need one, the cost difference between the two models is negligible enough to make it worth buying the Roomba 690.
Technically the collection bins are different, though they are never mentioned. The reason this isn't a difference often noted is because there really isn't any difference. Both robots have the same dust bin capacity, full-bin sensors, and hold the same filter.
However, the Roomba 690 almost didn’t exist and was going to be the Roomba 700. iRobot started making functionality changes to the 600 series and was going to release the 690 as the first model to utilize these changes.
The collection bin was the primary change. However, a few months before release, the powers that be decided there weren't enough changes to necessitate an entire new Roomba series. The inclusion of the virtual wall, as well as the colors, were the only big changes. iRobot kept the dust bin in the 690 upon its release.
The only difference is where the full-bin sensors are located (and a few cosmetic changes you won’t even notice unless you study the two bins up close). For this reason, we mention it here. If you purchase a Roomba 690 (or 680) and find you need to replace the dust bin, you need to ensure you are buying the right one.
The other change is in the robot color. While this does not affect the performance or functionality of the robots, it may be a small deciding factor in your purchase. Having a robot of any color won’t get your floors any more or less clean. However, it could do well to better match your other appliances.
The Roomba 690 is silver on black. The rubber edges are all black as well as the black faceplate. The rest of the body is silver, giving the 690 a clean, modern appearance.
The Roomba 675, on the other hand, is black on black. The entire robot is black, including the faceplate. The black on black is the primary Roomba color, and as noted above, the 690 is silver, because it was going to spear-head the 700 series robots.
The final difference between the Roomba 675 and the Roomba 690 is the price. The 690 is generally more expensive because of the inclusion of the virtual wall.
However, the cost isn't so high that you will obtain huge savings, especially if you choose the 675 and later purchase a virtual wall or two. The only time the 690 is offered for less than the 675 is during an Amazon Black Friday Roomba deal, or an Amazon Cyber Monday Roomba special.
If you are close to these sales times, it may be prudent to wait on your purchase. You will want to see if you can shave off a few extra dollars or if one of the models will end up significantly cheaper than the other.
iRobot Roomba Performance: 675 vs. 690
While the two models function the same, we can’t really compare how they clean against each other. However, your specific type of flooring, or other factors like size and shedding pets, may cause you to consider if the Roomba 675 or 690 is right for you. Let’s find out.
The Roomba 600 series, including the 675 and 690, are rated to clean all floor types. When it comes to carpeting, though, you may be slightly disappointed. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you will find that you spend more time than wanted cleaning out the brush rollers. iRobot recognizes this issue and includes a cleaning tool to help make the process quicker.
However, it is such a problem that by the 800 series, they had abandoned the brush rollers completely. However, for single rooms of low or medium pile carpeting, you will be fine. If your home is predominately hardwood flooring, having throw rugs and area rugs won’t be an issue either. You need to ensure you fold any fringe underneath the rugs, though.
Almost every robot vacuum will do exceptionally well on hardwood flooring. Sweeping and suctioning without having to contend with carpet fibers makes light work of hard floor surfaces. The Roomba 675 and 690 are no different.
As we mentioned earlier, the only thing you need to watch for is on softer surfaces. Some flooring types require an annual sealant be applied. This includes stone and some tile floors.
The brush rolls of these two models have been reported (albeit not very often) that the brushes scratch the sealant surface. If you have softwood flooring, they may develop scratches over time.
If you are worried about this happening to your floors, you may want to look at the Roomba 890 or Roomba 960 models, that don’t have brush rollers. Otherwise, you have nothing to worry about on your hardwood floors.
The Roomba 690 and 675 are decent at collecting pet hair. The main issue is the bristle brush rollers that need to be continuously cleaned off. If you have multiple pets that shed (or one that sheds a lot), you might be better off with the rubber extractors found in models like the Roomba 980. The rubber extractors are far superior at collecting pet hair and staying clean.
For most situations though, the brush rollers won’t get too clogged where you need to clean them out after every use. It should be a part of your weekly maintenance, though.
The Roomba 600 series doesn't have the most exceptional battery life or runtimes. However, they are ideal for specific situations. Apartments and condos, for example, are perfect for the capable robots. Larger, open floor plan homes may find that they Roomba 690 and 675 don’t keep up as well as they should.
If your home is less than 1000 square feet, you will be fine. If your home is all hardwood flooring, you can have these two models keep up well with up to 1100 square feet. Smaller houses in the 800 to 900 square foot range and those without a lot of rooms are the best matches.
Direct Roomba 675 vs. 690 Comparison
The Roomba 600 series has particular accessories for various models. If you decide to pick up extra parts, or added accessories, you need first to double-check that they are compatible. Do not rely on product listings on third-party sites. Before making your purchase through Amazon (which is recommended), you should first look up the accessories on the iRobot website to see the compatibility.
Each accessory, be it the Roomba 1800 battery, extra AeroVac filters or even the adjustable cleaning head, will list which models it is compatible with right under the product description. Only by getting authentic iRobot parts will your warranty stay valid.
Filters, for example, are produced and sold by third-parties at often reduced prices. While this may be fine for normal conditions, if you need to make a warranty claim, they could deny it because of that. The Roomba 690 and 675 are compatible with the same replacement parts and accessories with the sole exception of the dust bins.
However, some parts listed in the 600 series menu are not compatible with either model, like the XLife battery. If you are ever in doubt, you can contact iRobot with your model and serial number to get the correct item.
How to Charge these Roomba Models
The Roomba 690 and Roomba 675 both monitor their battery charge levels. When the level gets low, they will both return to the Home Base automatically to recharge.
The initial charge after unpacking your robot will need to be done manually. You do this by placing the robot on the Home Base cradle after it is correctly set up (see below). On some occasions, the robots will not be able to locate the Home Base before the battery dies. You will not be alerted to this, but instead, come home to find the robot sitting dead in the middle of the floor.
If this happens, you need to pick the robot up and manually place it on the Home Base to recharge.
Positioning the Roomba Home Base
Taking the time to set up the Roomba Home Base properly will be crucial in the recharging and docking abilities of the robots. You can find all the needed diagrams and instructions in the owner’s manual. Below are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure proper charging and docking.
Tips for Using a Roomba
There are a few tips and tricks to using your Roomba 690 or 675 to get the most out of its productivity.
Troubleshooting Your Roomba
As with anything that is electrical and has moving parts, things will go wrong from time to time. Knowing what the issue is will help you fix it or decide to make a warranty claim. The following chart will outline what the various trouble code beeps mean and what you can do to repair them.
Number of Beeps
What to do
Collection bin is inserted improperly.
Remove and replace the collection bin, making sure it is inserted correctly.
Something is caught in the extractors
Remove the extractors and wipe them off, clearing out any tangles you find.
One (not both) of the wheels is stuck.
Inspect the wheels for anything wrapped around it, preventing it from spinning.
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.
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.
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.
What to do
Battery not inserted.
Ensure the battery is properly seated and that you have removed the plastic tabs.
Battery current is too high.
If in warranty, make a battery claim. Outside of warranty period, replace the battery.
Battery contacts not making connection
Return to manufacturer for service, or try cleaning the battery contacts.
Charging contacts not making connection
Clean the contacts on the bottom of the robot and the Home Base to ensure proper seating.
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.
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.
Cannot communicate with battery
The battery needs to be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will now answer some of the more commonly asked questions about the Roomba a675, 690 and iRobot.
Does Roomba resume after charging?
Neither of the two models in this review will resume cleaning after the battery has been recharged. The feature, known as Recharge and Resume, is only available on models with a mapping feature. The robots that use the iAdapt 2.0 or 3.0 technology have this feature, but you will not find it on the 690 or 675.
Can a Roomba battery be replaced?
Yes! Replacing the Roomba battery is a simple process that should only take you about 60 seconds. The only caveat is to ensure that your replacement battery is the correct type. For the Roomba 690 and 675, you will need to purchase the replacement battery labeled as Roomba 1800 lithium-ion battery. The XLife battery will not work in these two models.
How do I reset a Roomba unit?
From time to time, you may find that you will need to perform a factory reset on the device. For the Roomba 690 and 675 models, the process is simple. Remove the robot form the Home Base and press and hold the Clean button for 10 seconds. When you release the button, the robot will beep to let you know the reset was performed properly.
How do I contact iRobot Roomba customer support?
The easy method is to make a phone call. You can reach iRobot customer care at 1-800-727-9077. If you prefer to use the live chat feature, you can find the link (as well as contact email addresses for your issue) on the iRobot customer care page.
Where are the best places to buy a Roomba 600 series?
Currently, the best place to buy is Amazon. The Roomba 690 is hit or miss when it comes to availability on the iRobot website, and generally, they only sell returns and refurbished units as the 600 series isn't being produced anymore. Amazon still has new-in-box models for both the Roomba 675 and 690, complete with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 12-month limited warranty.
If your final purchase decision has come down to the iRobot Roomba 690 vs. 675, you only have a few factors to consider. If you want a dual-mode virtual wall barrier included with your purchase, then you choose the Roomba 690.
However, if you want to save a little cash and don't need the containment option (or you like an all-black robot), then the Roomba 675 is your choice. Both models are identical in cleaning performance, reliability, and functionality. Your choice boils down to additional accessories and color options. Beyond that, either model you go with will be the right one.
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