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One of the greatest things about technology is that it has resulted in all kinds of convenience for our lives. We have everything from the best means of communication through our smartphones to robotic vacuum cleaners that take away all the effort we never want to put into keeping our homes clean.
In fact, it is not uncommon to find robots doing the work that we never wanted to do ourselves. Robots first came around when we created machines to take on more intricate tasks like shaping, cutting and welding in factories. The machines offer better precision and take away a lot of the physical labor we would otherwise invest in performing various tasks. This saves us a lot of time, money and effort, so we can focus on other important things.
Nowadays, robots are becoming more commonplace. You can find them in homes carrying out household chores. One of the most dreaded chores is sweeping and vacuuming the floors and the iRobot Roomba models make life a lot simpler for us.
We are going to take a look at and compare three of the best iRobot Roomba models: 675, 680, and 690. This will give you a better idea of the qualities these devices bring with them, so you can make the best buying decision for your home.
At first glance, you might think that all three models have little to no difference between them. Each model looks similar and it would not be surprising to assume that they have minor improvements. Our detailed look into all the three models will tell you exactly how different they are from each other, so you know which one offers you the best value for your money, based on your needs.
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iRobot Roomba 675 vs. 680 vs. 690
Roomba needs little introduction itself since it is one of the first robotic vacuums that came into existence. The iRobot Roomba 675 is a good example of the company’s engineering ingenuity.
The first aspect we are going to look at in this comparison guide is the filtration system. There is a removable dirt bin in the 675, which is capable of holding 0.6 liters of debris, which is significantly large for robotic vacuum cleaners. The bin does not just contain dirt and debris, but it also houses the filter.
The frosted and net-style filter is a standard filtration media. It can trap a decent range of small and large particles. Pretty much a standard filter, you need to replace it every couple of months. The filter is not an HEPA-filter, so it might not perform very well in a household where you have pets.
The filter on the iRobot Roomba 685 is a lot better at capturing and retaining super-fine dust particles as it sweeps and vacuums the flooring. This model features the same construction with a removable dirt and dust bin, which is capable of holding the dirt and debris collected. It also comes with a standard filtration system.
The finest dust and debris like pollen, pet dander, and microscopic bugs require something super-fine like a HEPA filter and unfortunately, the 680 does not feature that.
While both the 675 and 680 have substantial filters, the iRobot Roomba 690 beats them because of one vital factor: it boasts a HEPA filter. The filtration system on the 690 is far more efficient at capturing and eliminating up to 99% of the microscopic particles as small as 0.3µ.
People who suffer from allergies or those with pets will really appreciate this cleaner because of the HEPA filter.
When you have a HEPA filter in place, you can never go wrong. Of course, a premium feature like that entails premium pricing. If you are a homeowner who does not have pets or experience breathing problems due to allergies, you might be better off with the 675 or the 680. For those who really need to get something comprehensive in taking care of microscopic dirt and debris, the 690 is definitely the way to go.
Wi-Fi Connectivity and Smartphone App
iRobot offers several ways to connect to the 675 and control it. For people who prefer straightforward controls, there are several buttons on the unit itself, along with indicator lights that tell you about the functions and battery life.
Those who want their home appliances to be smart and compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, you will really love the 675. You can pair the vacuum to any of these two AI assistants and you can control the device without even having to touch it.
You can even enjoy WiFi connectivity without the need of a virtual assistant by installing the iRobot App on your Android or Apple smartphone. Use the app to decide on an automated cleaning schedule. You can even set the device to send you push notifications on your phone about the status and minute-by-minute update on the device’s cleaning efforts.
The iRobot 680 should offer you the convenience of WiFi connectivity and the use of a smartphone app to allow you to control the device remotely. After all, having a robotic vacuum cleaner is only as good as the convenience it provides, right?
It is unfortunate that the iRobot 680 does not offer WiFi connectivity or control through a smartphone app. You can still press the buttons on the device itself so that it has an automated schedule to work with, so the 680 is not entirely cumbersome.
The 690 does not just give you WiFi connectivity options with the robotic vacuum cleaner. You can connect it with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home to make the appliance a much smarter device, which you can control through simple voice commands.
You also have the option of using an app on your smartphone to set the schedule, based on your convenience.
Having a smart vacuum cleaner that can automatically clean your home is the kind of convenience you expect when you get a robotic vacuum cleaner. In terms of maximum convenience, the 675 and the 690 definitely have an edge over the 680 that does not offer WiFi connectivity or smartphone connectivity.
Recharge and Resume
With these portable robotic devices, it is really important that they are able to take on the function of cleaning the home comprehensively whether or not you are around. That is the whole point of getting an automated machine, right?
Well, there will come a point when the battery will run low. The iRobot 675 has sensors, which allow it to navigate back to the charging port when the battery is low and the device stays there until the battery gets back to 100%. The device does not resume where it left off, if it had to recharge during a cleaning cycle.
The iRobot 680 is similar to the 675 when it comes to its low battery level and charging situation. When the appliance has a low battery level, it will head back to the charging dock on its own and stay there until the battery is fully recharged.
Unfortunately, the device will not resume picking up where it left off, if the battery became low during a cleaning cycle. The device will sit and wait at the charging dock until you get back home and set it off on the cleaning cycle again.
Just like the 675 and the 680, the iRobot 690 will return to the charging dock when the battery becomes low. After the device recharges, it will stay there until you provide it the command to resume cleaning. Of course, that does not mean you need to be home in order to operate the device.
When the battery is charged, the device will send you a push notification on your smartphone if you have an internet connection. You can decide to set it off to resume the cleaning cycle. You can send it a command and it will get right back to work.
Carpet Cleaning Capability
If you have ever looked at robotic vacuum cleaners before, you might have heard about iRobot’s three-stage cleaning system. This is a simple configuration in which there is a powerful suction flow, two brush rolls below and one side brush.
On a smooth surface, almost any robotic vacuum can do a good job. The real test is in cleaning carpets. The brush rolls, right next to the suction inlet, work together by spinning in the opposite direction to loosen up dirt and debris from carpets. The smaller brush is rubberized to help pick up dirt more efficiently. The 675 does not disappoint when it comes to the performance on a thin carpet.
The iRobot 680 delivers flawless results on hardwood floors and tiles. However, when it comes to cleaning carpets, it is a major disappointment. The brushes and suction power are pretty good, but they are incapable of providing a great job of cleaning carpets.
The 690 does not come with specialized features for cleaning carpets, but it is definitely a device that boasts the kind of power to clean at least thin carpets. It has more than enough suction flow to pick up debris and microscopic organisms that its brush rolls dislodge from between the fibers.
If the floors in your home do not primarily consist of shaggy and thick carpets or rugs, any of these three will work out well for your needs. Of course, if your home has pets and you need a device that is able to pick up dust mites, pet dander and dirt particles from thin rugs, the iRobot 690 is definitely going to be your best bet.
Remember that you can get other models, which are better equipped to deal with carpeted floors than these three.
A virtual wall is essentially a barrier that you can set, which will prevent the robotic vacuum cleaner from passing through. Some people want to keep their robotic vacuum cleaners limited to a particular room, or keep it from wandering into areas of the house where they do not need it. Placing a virtual barrier near the locations will make sure that the robotic vacuum cleaner remains in the allocated area. The 675 does not feature that option.
The iRobot 680 also does not feature the virtual wall setting. This means you cannot expect it to avoid going to a particular area until and unless there is something physically blocking its path.
The iRobot 690, on the other hand, does have this incredibly convenient feature if you ever need it. You can set up the virtual wall to limit the areas where the vacuum cleaner will go to clean. If you have a particularly problematic area where you need spot cleaning, you can set up the virtual walls to limit the device to that particular area.
While you might think the virtual wall is a pretty big feature, it really does not matter a lot unless your requirements are very specific. The 675 and 680 models still offer comprehensive cleaning and the only difference between them and the 690 is that they do not discriminate whose room they are cleaning.
Roomba 675 vs 680 vs 690 Bottom Line
We do feel that at the end of the day, the winner between these three models is quite clearly the iRobot Roomba 690. While we would not call the iRobot Roomba 675 or the iRobot Roomba 680 exactly obsolete, they are slightly outdated as compared to the 690.
The 690 is far more convenient to operate. All you need to do is connect it with your virtual assistant or smartphone through an app to give it remote commands. You can set its cleaning schedules based on your convenience without having to even touch it and you get all the push notifications for the device status right on your phone.
All three models are quite good, but based on the features of all three models, we would suggest going for the iRobot Roomba 690.