Roomba 690 next to Roomba 960.

Roomba 690 vs 960 – Very Different Robot Vacuums

There’s a wide selection of vacuum robots in the market and it could be difficult to choose which vacuum robot to get since there are a lot of things to consider before buying – cost, features, usability, cleaning performance, and design.

In this article we will compare the iRobot Roomba 690 and 960. These two vacuum robots are among the brand’s best sellers. One is ideal for someone who would like to try vacuum robots for the first time and the other is perfect for someone who wants more extra features.

The Roomba 690 is a vacuum robot with good cleaning performance, can connect to your home network, and has voice control. You will get all these features without breaking the bank.  Meanwhile, the Roomba 960 is more advanced. It has better cleaning performance, has intelligent navigation, and upgraded technologies.

We will discuss the differences, similarities, and specifications of the Roomba 690 and 960. We hope we can help you  make an informed decision before investing on any of these vacuum robots

The Differences between Roomba 690 and 960

  • The Roomba 960 has iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation while the 690 still uses the older version, iAdapt Navigation technology.
  • The Roomba 960 is capable of entire level cleaning while the 690 does not have that feature.
  • The Roomba 690 can run up to 90 minutes while the 960 has a running time of up to 75 minutes.
  • The Roomba 960 has a camera while the 690 does not have a camera.
  • The Roomba 690 has a random navigation while the 960 moves in straight lines.
  • The Roomba 960 has 5x more air power than the 690 which makes it ideal for pet owners.
  • The Roomba 960 uses a HEPA type filter while the 690 uses an AeroVac filter.
  • The Roomba 960 makes use of the technology called the Virtual Wall Barrier.
  • The Roomba 960 uses an AeroForce type dust bin while the 690 uses an AeroVac type dust bin.

See Roomba 690 on Amazon

The Similarities between Roomba 690 and 960

  • They both use a 3-stage cleaning system: loosens, lifts, and suctions.
  • The Roomba 690 and 960 use a duo brush design: Edge-Sweeping brush and Dual Multi-Surface Brushes.
  • Both of them have a 600 ml dust bin capacity.
  • They use iRobot Roomba’s patented Dirt Detection technology.
  • Both are WiFi-enabled.
  • Both use lithium ion batteries.
  • They can be linked to the iRobot Home App to schedule and monitor cleaning sessions.
  • They recognize voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • They both have anti-tangle sensors.
See Roomba 960 on Amazon

The table below provides the specifications for the Roomba 690 and 960:

Roomba 960 Roomba 690
3-Stage Cleaning Yes Yes
Brushes Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, Edge-Sweeping Brush Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, Edge-Sweeping Brush
Power-Lifting Suction Yes No
Multi-Surface Cleaning with Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head Yes Yes
Automatically recharges itself Yes Yes
Automatically resumes cleaning Yes No
iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation Yes No
Navigation Camera Yes No
Battery  Lithium Ion Batteries Lithium Ion Batteries
Running Time Up to 75 minutes Up to 90 minutes
Dirt Detect Technology Yes Yes
Imprint Link Technology Yes No
Filter HEPA Type Filter AeroVac Filter
Dust Bin capacity AeroForce Bin, 600 ml AeroVac Bin, 600 ml
Scheduling Yes Yes
Cleaning Reporting Yes No
Automatic Dirt Disposal No No
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
Smart Home Integration Yes Yes
Intelligent Navigation  Yes No
Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes No No
Entire Level Cleaning Yes No
Height 3.6 inches 3.6 inches
Weight 8.6 lbs 7.8 lbs
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Comparing the iRobot Roomba 690 and 960 in Detail

Design and Dimensions

Design is the first thing that you will notice when buying things and it’s the same with buying vacuum robots. At first glance, you will notice that the Roomba 690 and 960 have very different appearance, although they both have the same round and black body, the Roomba 690 has a touch of silver on top with 3 control buttons in the center. Meanwhile, the 960 has a grey top and aside from the 3 control buttons, it also has a built-in camera. The logo placement is different as well. The 690’s logo is located at the bottom of the control panel while the 960 has its logo. Underneath the Roomba 690 and 960 you will find a pair of wheels, brushes, and the sensors.

The two vacuum robots are both 3.6 inches tall. The 960 weighs 8.6 lbs, a little heavier than the 690’s 7.8 lbs. They also have a bumper ring, a handle, and full bin indicators.

Performance and Technology

In terms of technology and performance, the Roomba 960 could easily win this round, however, the 690 still has its perks even though it is a basic vacuum robot.

The Roomba 690 and 960 both use the same 3-stage cleaning system using the same Dual Multi-Surface Brushes that pick up dust, dirt, and large debris; Edge-Sweeping Brush that removes the debris away from edges and corners; and a vacuum suction to lift deep seated dirt – this is where the 690 shies away from the 960 because the 960 uses a power lifting suction that has 5x more power than its predecessor while the 690 uses a regular vacuum suction.

Aside from that, the 690 and 960 both use filters as well. The 690 uses the AeroVac filter to capture all the fine dust but the 960 steps up its game by using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Type Filter that captures 99% of allergens and small dust particles, as small as 10 microns, which makes it more ideal for homes with pets. They also use different dust bins, the 690 uses an AeroVac Dust Bin with 600 ml dust capacity while the 960 uses AeroForce Dust Bin that has the same dust capacity as the 690.

These vacuum robots use state-of-the-art technologies as well. They are both equipped with Dirt Detection Technology that allows them to detect dirty areas and clean that area more by going through it back and forth until it is thoroughly clean. The 690 uses iAdapt technology for navigation. It uses cliff and bump sensors to prevent the device from falling down the stairs and from bumping into a wall. Meanwhile, the 960 uses a more advanced iAdapt technology called the iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation. Other than the cliff and bump sensors, the 960 uses a camera for navigation. The camera helps the device to map its surroundings.

The Roomba 960 is capable of entire level cleaning as well, a feature that the 690 does not have. It also has a Virtual Wall Barrier, a technology that creates an invisible barrier the device can’t cross. The barrier makes it easier for you to confine the vacuum robot to a particular area in the house and it also prevents the device from getting too close on fragile and delicate objects. These vacuum cleaners are both equipped with Anti-Tangle sensors that recognize electrical wires, cords, and tassels.

The more expensive Roomba 960 is smarter as it uses more advanced technologies than the 690. Technologies like the Imprint Link Technology which allows the Roomba 960 and Braava Jet M6 Robot to work together for more effective cleaning. The 690 is not equipped with this kind of technology.

Power and battery life

The Roomba 960 has a shorter battery life compared to the 690. They both use the same lithium ion batteries but the 960 can only run for up to 75 minutes per charge while the 690 has a running time of up to 90 minutes per charge. Both of these vacuum robots automatically reach for their dock to recharge if their batteries are low. However, after charging, the 960 resumes cleaning where it left off,  a feature that the 690 does not offer.

Navigation

The Roomba 690 does not have smart navigation. It randomly pinballs around the area as it cleans since it is not intelligent enough to map its surroundings. On the other hand, the Roomba 960 uses a navigation camera and cleans the house methodically and in straight lines.

Connectivity

Both the Roomba 690 and 960 support WiFi which is a very great feature to have. The WiFi feature of these vacuum robots allows you to connect the device to the iRobot Home App – an app that you can download on your smartphone or tablet that lets you directly control the device without physically reaching for it. You can monitor and schedule cleaning sessions through the app. You can also check through the app if the dust bin is full or if the battery is low. The Roomba 690 and 960 also recognizes voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Which is better for pet hair?

A. The vacuum suction of Roomba 690 is okay but the 960’s vacuum suction has 5x more air power.

Q. Will the vacuum robot suck electrical cords and wires?

A. No, the Roomba 690 and 960 have Anti-Tangle sensors that recognize cords, wires, and tassels.

Q. Do these vacuum robots clean better than a regular cleaner?

A. Yes, the Roomba 690 and 960 have great cleaning performances, especially the 960.

Q. Does it have WiFi?

A. Yes, the Roomba 890 supports wireless connectivity and is WiFi-enabled.

Q. How long is the battery life of these vacuum robots?

A. The Roomba 690 has up to 90 minutes running time per charge while the Roomba 960 can run up to 75 minutes per charge.

Q. What would happen if the vacuum robot sucked lightweight objects?

A. The Roomba 690 and 960 will automatically go into error mode and will shut down until the object is removed. You will also be notified about the alert through the iRobot Home App.

Q. Are the batteries replaceable?

A. Yes, the Roomba 690 and 960 have replaceable batteries. You can unscrew the five screws on the bottom of the device that houses the batteries.

Q. Does it have a remote control?

A. No. Unfortunately, both the Roomba 690 and 960 do not come with a remote control, however, you can turn your smartphone and or tablet into a remote control by downloading the iRobot Home App.

Q. Will the Roomba 690 and 960 damage hardwood baseboards?

A. No, the Roomba 890 and 960 will not markw or damage any type of flooring.

Q. Can these vacuum robots reach into corners?

A. Yes, the Roomba 690 and 960 both have Edge-Sweeping Brush designed at a 27-degree angle to sweep dust and debris away from edges and corners.

See Roomba 690 on Amazon

What to like about the 690

  • Cleans everywhere, even under the furniture.
  • Has s a 3-stage cleaning system: loosens, lifts, and suctions.
  • Has duo brush design: Edge-Sweeping brush and Dual Multi-Surface Brushes.
  • Uses vacuum suction.
  • iAdapt technology along with cliff and bump sensors that keeps the device from falling off the stairs.
  • Uses 600 ml AeroVac Dust Bin and has an AeroVac filter.
  • Patented Dirt Detection technology.
  • Lithium ion batteries that can run up to 90 minutes.
  • WiFi-enabled
  • Can be linked to the iRobot Home App to schedule and monitor cleaning sessions.
  • Recognizes voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Has anti-tangle sensors.
  • More affordable than the Roomba 960.
See Roomba 960 on Amazon

What to like about the 960

  • It has everything the 690 offers.
  • Its vacuum suction has 5x more air power than its predecessor.
  • Automatically resumes cleaning after charging.
  • Has an AeroForce Dust Bin with 600 ml dust capacity.
  • Has a HEPA type filter.
  • Has a Virtual Wall Barrier.
  • iAdapt 2.0 technology with vSLAM Navigation.
  • Has a navigation camera.
  • Methodically follows a straight line route as it cleans.
  • Can clean the entire level.
  • Has Imprint Link Technology.

Conclusion

The vacuum robots from iRobot Roomba are very good. They are made of high quality materials and they look sturdy and sleek. Vacuum robots are a good investment because they are very helpful in keeping your floors clean. They also give you more time to do other things. The iRobot Roomba 690 and 960 are both very good machines. They are capable of cleaning any type  of floor including hardwood, tile, linoleum, and carpet.

The 960 obviously uses more advanced technologies therefore it has more smart features compared to the 690. The 690, on the other hand, is very capable of cleaning your house as well but you have to take note that it is ideal for cleaning small to medium houses. The 690’s cleaning performance is good but since the 960 is equipped with high-tech features it obviously has more power and definitely does the cleaning job better than the 690. It even resumes cleaning after charging, and it’s only one of the features the 690 does not have.

The 960 is the clear winner here but the Roomba 690 puts up a good fight too. The 690 is perfect for people who are still new with vacuum robots. It is also great for people who are looking for a good quality vacuum robot but do not want to spend a lot of money. The Roomba 960 offers a lot of useful smart features but it is a little pricey.

Which model to get is up to you now. You have to consider your budget and the qualities that you need before buying. Also, you do not have to get any of these products if it does not meet the qualities that you are looking for. There are a lot of other brands out there and even iRobot Roomba have other models too so you might want to check it out before adding any of these vacuum robots to your cart.

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