Roomba 650 vs. 690

Derek HalesBy Derek Hales
Updated January 4, 2018

Roomba 650 vs. 690

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This head-to-head robot vacuum battle is going to be Roomba vs. Roomba — the Roomba 650 vs. 690. Both of these robot vacuums would be considered more of a budget-conscious choice, compared to some newer or more advanced models, like the Roomba 890 or the Roomba 980.

FAQ: Wondering which model might be right for you? Click here to check out our full breakdown of Roomba reviews

In the case of these two vacuums, the Roomba 650 is a bit of an older model. In fact, the Roomba 690 was introduced to replace the 650, and remains one of Roomba’s five flagship models sold on its website. The Roomba 650 is only offered from third party retailers.

Both the 650 and the 690 do have comparable features like the three-stage cleaning process, a virtual barrier, HEPA filtration, and infrared navigation. This review is going to tackle all of these features as well as other factors like design, usability, value, features, battery power, price, company, returns, warranty and more.

This review is full of information, so let’s go ahead and jump in — Roomba 650 vs. 690.

Roomba 650 vs. 690 — Which Is Better?

Both the 650 and the 690 are in the 600 series, so overall, they are extremely similar. The most noticeable difference is wifi connectivity and voice control, which allows you start or schedule a clean from your smartphone or using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. While the 690 is a bit more expensive, you get a few extra features that really improve the value. As a result, the Roomba 690 is our winner.

Roomba 650 Review

The Roomba 650 comes in at a lower cost than the 690 model and is an affordable option if you’re in the market for a robot vacuum. While it lacks bells and whistles of newer models, like the Roomba 890, the 650 still covers all the basics. It comes with a three-stage cleaning process, spot cleaning mode, scheduled cleanings, and a handle to easily relocate it around your space. It was designed as a budget-friendly robot vacuum.

Roomba 650 robot vacuum review

Pros

  • Great value – has all of the basics and solid cleaning performance.
  • Scheduled cleanings are a nice feature for this entry level model.

Cons

  • No memory feature means slightly clumsier navigation.
  • There is no wifi or app remote control.

Bottom Line

The Roomba 650 robot vacuum is a great option for people who want basic features and a lower price. While it lacks advanced navigation and wifi connectivity, scheduled cleanings and spot clean were nice bonuses that made it a bit more user-friendly.

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Roomba 690 Review

The Roomba 690 robot vacuum  has a little bit of an updated look compared to the 650, although many of the features remain the same. In addition to the features listed for the 650, the Roomba 690 also has wifi connectivity and voice control which allows you to start or schedule a cleaning with your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. This wireless connection allows for a sleeker look on the robot itself and puts the power right in your hands.

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum review

Pros

  • Wifi connectivity and voice control means improved usability.
  • Its slightly smaller than the Roomba 650 model, which can allow it to squeeze into tighter spots.

Cons

  • No memory feature means slightly clumsier navigation.
  • It’s slightly more expensive than the Roomba 650.

Bottom Line

This robot has all the features of the Roomba 650, and it also has smartphone / voice control. Overall, the Roomba 690 is a great value if you’re looking for top-tier cleaning performance, smartphone control, and a sub-$400 price tag.

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Roomba 650 Design

Roomba design is one thing that can be difficult to distinguish, since many of the models look similar. The Roomba 650 has a mainly black body with a slight melon colored accent distinguishing the setting and auto clean buttons. The buttons are also silver for an extra visual pop.

Similar to the 690 mode, the 650’s handle is at the front of the unit, with the dust bin release level at the rear; however the 650 also has additional setting buttons beyond the central “CLEAN” button.

  1. Auto clean: start / return home
  2. Handle
  3. Bumper
  4. Dust bin release

Roomba 650 robot vacuum features

Roomba 650 robot vacuum – features

cRoomba 690 Design

The design of the Roomba 690 is extremely similar to the 650 model. The main differences here are the aesthetic. The 690 introduces a black and silver color scheme with neon green accents to point out special features like the lift handle or the dust bin release.

The center control pad is simplified on the 690 model, compared with the 650. With the addition of wifi connectivity, scheduled cleanings and other settings buttons can be accessed using the iRobot Home app on your smartphone. You can also use voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

  1. Auto clean: start / return home
  2. Handle
  3. Bumper
  4. Dust bin release

How Roomba 650 Cleans

The Roomba 650 has no memory feature, but it does use dirt detection to find the dirtiest spots in the house. Roomba uses infrared light to scan the room up to 60 times per second, in order to limit its bumps and bruises.

The 650 uses a three-stage cleaning process: agitate, brush, and suck. The bristle brushroll agitates the debris and the spinning side brush gathers debris from the edges. Once all debris is in the path of the central brushroll, the vacuum sucks it up and deposits it into the dustbin.

This cleaning process is nearly identical to the Roomba 690 cleaning process and uses the same basic parts to do it.

  1. Wheels
  2. Spinning brush
  3. Charging pins
  4. Brushroll
  5. Dust bin / filter

Roomba 650 robot vacuum how it cleans

Roomba 650 robot vacuum – how it cleans

How Roomba 690 Cleans

The Roomba 690 cleans using the same basic systems as the 650 mode. It uses the same style of spinning brushes, center bristle brushroll, and filtration system. Even the navigation system is the same with the same number of edge sensors, in the same locations. Under the hood, these robot vacuums are nearly identical.  

As a general note, the bristle brushroll on both of these vacuums is a little difficult for people with pets or homes with lots of hair, pet or otherwise. Newer Roomba models like the Roomba 870, 890, 960, or 980 have the advanced dual brushrolls which use rubber debris extractors and helps prevent tangles.

  1. Wheels
  2. Spinning brushes
  3. Charging pins
  4. Brushroll
  5. Dust bin release
  6. Edge sensors

Roomba 690 robot vacuum how it cleans

Roomba 690 robot vacuum how it cleans

Roomba 650 Size & Dimensions

The Roomba 650 model is 3.6″ tall and 13.4″ in diameter. Compared to the Roomba 690, this model is slightly wider, overall. This model weighs 11.8 pounds.

  • Diameter – 13.4″
  • Height – 3.6″
Roomba 650 robot vacuum size comparison

Roomba 650 robot vacuum – size comparison

Roomba 690 Size & Dimensions

The Roomba 690 model is 3.6″ tall and 13″ in diameter. Compared to the Roomba 650, this model is slightly smaller in overall width. This model weighs 7.8 pounds.

  • Diameter – 13″
  • Height – 3.6″

Roomba 690 robot vacuum size dimensions

Roomba 690 robot vacuum – size comparison

Roomba 650 Accessories & Parts

The Roomba 650 comes with the following parts and accessories:

  1. Virtual wall barrier
  2. Charging station
  3. HEPA filter
  4. Cleaning tool
  5. Battery
  6. Spinning brush
Roomba 650 robot vacuum accessories

Roomba 650 robot vacuum – accessories

Roomba 690 Accessories & Parts

The Roomba 690 comes with the following parts and accessories:

  1. Virtual wall barrier (advanced with Halo mode, see below)
  2. Charging station
  3. HEPA filter
  4. Cleaning tool
  5. Battery (not shown)
  6. Spinning brush (not shown)

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum accessories

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum – accessories

Roomba advanced virtual wall barrier halo mode

690’s Advanced Barrier — Halo Mode

Unlike the barrier for the Roomba 650, which can only be used for doorways and straight paths,  the Roomba 690 model barrier can operate with two separate modes. Use it to block a straight line up to 10′ (like a doorway) or you can use Halo Mode to create a 4′ diameter zone (for example, around a piece of furniture or pet food area).

Cleaning Tests

In order to evaluate the cleaning performance of these two Roomba robot vacuums, we put them both to the test. We tested each of these vacuums on three different flooring types and used four different debris types. For flooring type, we tested on engineered hardwoods, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

On each of those flooring types we executed a rice test, a dry cereal test, a kitty litter test, and a sugar test. The image below shows the exact volumes of each debris type that was tested. For each test, we allowed the vacuums to run for up to 14 minutes each, although each vacuum is different and some finish the cleaning cycle early.

  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces
Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Roomba 650 Hardwood Floor Tests

The Roomba 650 had good performance for the hardwood test, collecting at least 89% of all debris types, but collecting no more than 95% on any given test.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 93%
  • Cereal 89%
  • Kitty Litter 95%
  • Sugar 95%

Roomba 650 Low Pile Carpet Tests

Performance on low-pile carpet was similar to hardwood floors for rice, cereal, and kitty litter. Sugar was more of a struggle for the Roomba 650, where it was only able to remove 73% of the debris.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 99%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 98%
  • Sugar 73%

Roomba 650 High Pile Carpet Tests

The 650 did well on high pile carpets. Yet again, rice, cereal, and kitty litter were all easily managed. However, sugar remained difficult for the 650 at only 49% removed.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 92%
  • Cereal 98%
  • Kitty Litter 93%
  • Sugar 49%

Roomba 690 Hardwood Tests

On hardwoods, the Roomba 690 had an excellent performance, cleaning at least 95% of the debris for every test.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 99%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 96%
  • Sugar 95%

Roomba 690 Low Pile Carpet Tests

On the low carpet, cleaning performance for the rice, cereal, and kitty litter remained exceptional, while the Roomba struggled a bit with the fine debris for the sugar test, collecting only 72% of sugar dropped.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 100%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 98%
  • Sugar 72%

Roomba 690 High Pile Carpet Tests

The results of the high pile carpet test were consistent with the low pile carpet — continued success with rice, cereal, and kitty litter, with continued struggles for the fine sugar tests.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 99%
  • Cereal 99%
  • Kitty Litter 99%
  • Sugar 66%

Roomba 650 Usability

The usability of the Roomba 650 has that classic Roomba simplicity. Setting it up is as easy as unboxing it, charging it, and letting it get to work. You can start a cleaning cycle by pressing the center “CLEAN” button or scheduling a clean for a later time.

iRobot Roomba 650 usability

Roomba 650 – usability

Roomba 690 Usability

The usability of the Roomba 690 is consistent to many other Roomba models — simple, easy, and time efficient. The one extra step you have with the 690 is setting up wifi connectivity. Installing the app and setting it up took a few minutes and then it was ready to clean.

iRobot Roomba 690 - close up shot of the top

Roomba 690 robot vacuum – usability

Roomba 650 Maneuverability

The overall maneuverability of the Roomba 650 is quite good. It falls under 4″ for the height and is just a tad bit wider than 13″ diameter for the width. The way this model navigates and maneuvers through your space is a bit sporadic. Since there is no memory feature, this model relies heavily on the bump ring, drop detection, and infrared sensors to navigate each space.

  • Weight – 7.9 lbs.
  • Width – 13.4″
  • Height – 3.6″
  • Turning – 360°
Roomba 650 robot vacuum cleaning

Roomba 650 robot vacuum cleaning paths over a 10 minute period

Roomba 690 Maneuverability

Overall, the maneuverability of the Roomba 690 is similar to that of the 650 model. The height is identical to that of the 650 model. The 690 is 0.4″ narrowed, but in terms of maneuverability, this small difference is negligible.

The advanced virtual barrier does help the Roomba to maneuver around difficult furniture or awkward spaces.

  • Weight – 7.8 lbs.
  • Width – 13″
  • Height – 3.6″
  • Turning – 360°

In terms of navigation, they both use iAdapt 1.0 and have no memory feature. This means that the robot’s traffic pattern is a bit more sporadic, moving in straight lines until it bumps into an edge, where it can rotate and turn around.

The image on the left shows a 10-minute span during which we topped the Roomba with an LED light and let it loose. You can easily see it’s traffic patterns and behavioral tendencies, using this method.

Roomba 650 Maintenance

The maintenance of the Roomba 650 is comparable to that of the 690 model. Empty the dustbin, clean and replace the filter as needed, and properly maintain the larger brushes and extractors.

The cost to maintain the Roomba 650 is around $33 / year.

If you purchase the parts from iRobot, replacement costs can get a little high, but Amazon sells sets of off-brand Roomba replacement parts, that can drastically reduce the annual costs.

Accessory / PartReplacement FrequencyReplacement Cost
HEPA filter2 months$1.50 / per - Buy
Spinning brush6 months$1.25 / per - Buy
Front wheel12 months$8 / per - Buy
Brushroll12 months$5 / per - Buy
Battery18-36 months$20 / per - Buy

Roomba 690 Maintenance

Maintenance for the Roomba 690 is extremely similar to the 650 model. Since they are both in the 600 series, they use many of the same parts and replacement procedures.

The cost to maintain the Roomba 690 is around $33 / year.

Similar to the Roomba 650, there are also non-branded replacement part sets for the Roomba 690 via third-party retailers, like Amazon.

 

Edit
Accessory / Part Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost
HEPA filter 2 months $1.50 / per – Buy
Spinning brush 6 months $1.25 / per – Buy
Front wheel 12 months $8 / per – Buy
Brushroll 12 months $5 / per – Buy
Battery 18-36 months $20 / per – Buy

 

Roomba 650 Battery

The battery for the Roomba 650 can run for around 60-90 minutes, depending on the mess and the number of obstacles in the space. It has a capacity of 3,000 mAh. A full charge takes 2-3 hours (more if it’s completely dead). Run time and battery charge time should be substantially similar between the Roomba 690 and 650.

BatteryDetails
Size3,000 mAh
Charging Time2-3 hours
Run Time60-90 minutes
Replacement Cost$20 - Buy

Roomba 690 Battery

The battery for the Roomba 690 can run for around 60 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the space and level of clean. The 690 battery has an 1,800 mAh capacity.

As with the Roomba 650, the Roomba 690 takes 2-3 hours for a typical charge (longer if it’s completely dead).

BatteryDetails
Size1,800 mAh
Charging Time2-3 hours
Run Time60 minutes
Replacement Cost$20 - Buy

Roomba 650 Noise

We put all of the vacuums on Modern Castle through a standard noise test. For this test, we use a decibel meter to determine the volume of noise emitted from the vacuum at 3′ away.

Obviously, for the case of robot vacuums, this distance can be much greater since it doesn’t require any intervention from you to clean. Compared to the Roomba 690, the Roomba 650 was noticeably quieter.

Roomba 650 robot vacuum decibel test

At 3′ away, the Roomba 650 emits 61 dB of sound.

.Roomba 690 Noise

Here at Modern Castle, we perform a standard noise test which measures the amount of decibels that the vacuum emits. We take this measurement from about 3′ away.

Of course, in the case of robot vacuum, you don’t even have to be home for Roomba to get the job done. That being said, if you do find yourself in the same room with your robot companion, it helps to know how noisy it’ll be. Compared to the Roomba 650, the Roomba 690 was slightly louder.

Roomba 690 robot vacuum noise test

At 3′ away, the Roomba 690 robot vacuum emits 68 dB of sound.

Roomba 650 Value

Overall, the Roomba 650 presents a solid value. It offers simplicity, a sleek design, scheduled cleanings, and dirt detection navigation. Maintenance costs are low and replacement parts are readily available from third party retailers.

The 650 model has larger capacity battery (3,000 mAh, but less efficient), the same HEPA filtration system (AeroVac), and the same style brushroll (bristle). Advanced models like the Roomba 890 offer an advanced filtration system (AeroForce) and the dual brushroll debris extractors.

iRobot, as a company, has a very positive following and strong reviews. Furthermore, we saw no record of questionable practices or frivolous consumer lawsuits, pertaining to their product or company as a whole. These types of activities are red flags for companies and may be a sign of suspicious business behavior.

  • Warranty – 1-Year limited
  • Returns – 30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
  • Company – Great
  • Value – Great

Roomba 690 Value

All things considered, I consider the Roomba 690 to be a great value (arguably the best I’ve tested in a robot vacuum to date). It offers many of the same features as the Roomba 650 such as the easy-to-use design, scheduled cleanings, dirt detection, and navigation. Because the 690 replaced the 650 that means that it is still listed on iRobot.com as one of its flagship models.

Although it is slightly more expensive than the Roomba 650, it offers a variety of features to provide value for the higher cost, like the wifi connectivity, voice control, and advanced virtual wall barrier. The advanced virtual barrier is handy for pet owners or people who have radial areas they want the Roomba to steer clear of.

As a company, iRobot has a solid foundation. During its review, we looked at consumer ratings and checked for frivolous lawsuits or questionable business practices. We review all of these parts together as a way of assessing the company as a whole.

  • Warranty – 1-Year limited
  • Returns – 30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
  • Company – Great
  • Value – Great

Roomba 650 Specifications

Specifications 
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba 650
Length (inches)13.4
Width (inches)13.4
Height (inches)3.8
Weight (pounds)7.9
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery3,000 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity0.3 liter
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
BuyBuy

Roomba 690 Specifications

Specifications 
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba 690
Length (inches)13
Width (inches)13
Height (inches)3.6
Weight (pounds)7.8
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity0.3 liter
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
BuyBuy

Roomba 650 vs. 690: Which Should You Buy?

So the big question; Roomba 650 vs. 690— which one should you buy? Both of these robot vacuums are nice starter models with efficient cleaning power, despite their simpler features. While each vacuum has their advantages and disadvantages, overall the winner of this robot vacuum comparison has to be the Roomba 690.

In the Roomba world, the 690 model was introduced to replace the 650 model. As its successor, the Roomba 690 offers a few features and upgrades that the Roomba 650 just doesn’t have, including wifi connectivity, smartphone control, voice control, and the new advanced barrier.

Check Roomba 690 Price on Amazon.

Check Roomba 650 Price on Amazon.

Both of these models are in the Roomba 600 series so they have a lot of similarities. For the sake of simplicity, here is a concise list of model similarities:

  • Auto clean
  • Auto recharge
  • Scheduled cleanings (up to 7 days)
  • AeroVac filtration system
  • Bristle brushroll
  • iAdapt 1.0 navigation
  • 3.6″ height
  • Virtual wall barrier (style varies between 650 and 690)
  • 0.3L dust bin capacity
  • Full bin indicator light

Some new technologies that the Roomba 690 brings that the 650 lacks includes:

  • Wifi connectivity
  • Voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Virtual wall barrier (versus the standard virtual wall with the 650)
  • More efficient battery usage (so if you upgrade the battery, you should see longer run times)

Looking for more comparisons? Check out our Roomba comparison series:

Roomba 690 Wins

While the Roomba 650 and Roomba 690 do have many similarities, the Roomba 690 was designed to be the replacement for the 650. Newer features like the advanced virtual wall barrier and wifi connectivity are bonuses for the Roomba 690 and even the cleaning performance was slightly better.

Winner by Category

CategoryWinner?Explanation
AccessoriesThe 690 includes everything the 650 has, but also includes iRobot's advanced virtual wall barrier. While it's a small difference, it's still noteworthy.
CleaningWhile both vacuums have the same struggles with fine debris, the 690 model was able to collect more sugar on all flooring types than the Roomba 650.
UsabilityBoth vacuums have good usability, but wifi gets the win here since you can do it straight from your smartphone or using voice control, via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
MaintenanceDraw
Both of these vacuums have the same annual cost to maintain (around $33) and use basically the same parts. For these reasons, this category was a draw.
BatteryDraw
The Roomba 650 uses an 1,800 mAh nickel hydrate battery compared to the Roomba 690's 3,000 mAh lithium ion battery. However, the 690 uses the battery more efficiently, so if you did upgrade it in the future you should see longer run times. Given the pros and cons, I would still call this a draw.
NoiseRoomba 650 robot vacuum reviewThe Roomba 650 was slightly quieter at 61 decibels compared to the Roomba 690 which ran closer to 68 decibels.
ValueUnder most normal pricing conditions the better value goes to the Roomba 690. Most of the time they are within $25-$50 of each other, in which case the Roomba 690's added features and performance make it a better overall value. However, if you find the current price of the Roomba 650 is $100 or less compared to the 690 it's basically a draw.

Should You Buy the Roomba 650?

For a budget-friendly robot vacuum, the Roomba 650 remains a popular choice. Despite its replacement by the Roomba 690, the 650 is still sold at many third party retailers and is a quality vacuum cleaner. The bristle brush is one of the biggest disadvantages of the Roomba 650 compared to newer models, but for the sake of this comparison, it’s kind of a non-factor since the Roomba 690 uses the same brush.

The Roomba 800 series introduced an advanced dual debris extractor system that uses rubber brushrolls compared to the bristles. This new system prevents unnecessary tangles and can be a great option for pet owners.

FAQ: Looking for a budget friendly robot vacuum with dual brushrolls? Check out the Roomba 890

You Should Buy If You…

  1. Want the lowest price – Between the 690 and the 650, the 650 is generally a little less expensive, although sales and promotions may vary. If you can find it for $250 or less, it’s a great buy.
  2. Want controls on the robot – Wireless tech not your style? If you prefer to not deal with smartphone controls and just want to use the control panel on the robot itself the 650 is the better choice.
  3. Want a quieter vacuum – During our decibel test, the Roomba 650 measured slightly qulieter, compared to the Roomba 690.

For more information or to buy check out the Roomba 650 on Amazon.com.

Should You Buy the Roomba 690?

Overall, the Roomba 690 offers a budget price and the convenience of still being one of Roomba’s flagship models. The voice control, wifi connectivity, and upgraded virtual wall barrier are just a few small details that make the 690 a step ahead of the 650.

By being a flagship model, the Roomba 690 is for sale on iRobot.com as well as many third party retailers like Amazon.com. If you’re looking for an affordable robot vacuum less than $300, the Roomba 690 is an excellent option.

You Should Buy If You…

  1. Want wifi and voice control – If you want to be able to schedule cleanings with your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant, you’ll need the wifi connectivity that comes standard with the Roomba 690.
  2. Want an advanced virtual wall barrier – The 690 robot vacuum comes with a virtual barrier that can work as a wall or a “halo”, creating a safe zone up to 4′ in diameter.
  3. Want a current model – Since the 650 was replaced by the 690, it may be easier to get replacement parts or service the 690 as the years go by. The 650 is not obsolete, by any means, but with technology rapidly changing, it helps to have the current model — especially when it doesn’t cost that much more.

For more information or to buy check out the Roomba 690 on Amazon.com.

Last Updated - January 4, 2018
  • January 4, 2018 – Errors regarding the battery type, capacity, and efficiency of the Roomba 650 were corrected.
  • January 3, 2018 – Initial version of the page was posted.
Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.

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