Roomba 694 is one of the latest versions of iRobot and is currently the face of their basic variants.
He has collected over 70,000 reviews and is still growing, which is a huge reason why I bought it for testing.
How good is this robot? I underwent an exhausting series of tests to find out.
The cheapest robotic vacuum cleaner iRobot
Roomba 694 reviews
Consumers should not expect much from Romba 694. It is the cheapest variant of iRobot with the most basic functions. This variant does not have the clever navigation capabilities of higher Roombasses, such as J7, I6 and S9. It doesn’t even have gyroscopic sensors like I3, so it only spins randomly. However, the 694 is one of the most popular options in Amazon due to its quality and availability of parts.
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- Workhorse robotic vacuum cleaner lasts for many years (with proper maintenance)
- Above-average performance on the carpet
- Large dustbin (600 ml)
- Lots of spare parts
- Smartphone application allows remote access (via WIFI)
- Random and inefficient navigation just fluctuates
- Poor airflow limits its cleaning potential
- No recharging and recovery
- It is not possible to clean specific rooms
Introducing Roomby 694
iRobot frequently updates its product line with releases, as is the case with Roomby 694.
But most of their updates are cosmetic and this variant is a great example of this.
Roomba 694 is an updated version of the 675 with the same engine, battery and brush layout.
However, there are subtle deviations.
I noticed a missing handle on the fascia 694, which helps consumers move this robot to different places in their homes.
Another option is cosmetic. This robot is available in a dark gray / angled version with a slightly different button layout.
iRobot restored the top interface with the same button layout as u Room 675 [check photo below].
One deviation from the 694 is the absence of a handle present at the 675.
I don’t know why iRobot gave up this feature. It might be more aesthetic, but whatever the reason, I didn’t think it was a good idea.
The handle helps consumers move the robot in different areas, because it was not an intelligent robotic vacuum cleaner.
Otherwise, the basic elements remain the same.
Below it, the Roomba 694 retains the same layout as the other 600 Series variants.
Place an older variant of the 600 series with 694 next to each other. You won’t know the difference.
The only difference is the color of the wheel, which does not affect its cleaning performance.
All 600 Series robots use the same blade and bristle counter-rotating brushes. Patented iRobot technology, so you won’t find it on other brands.
These brushes excel in catching dirt, making the 694 one of the most powerful robotic carpet vacuums.
Like most Roomba products, the 694 has a single side brush that helps it pick up dirt from the corners and direct it toward the counter-rotating brushes.
The problem is, it’s spinning too fast and scattering debris.
It was a problem during the cleaning experiments and why 694 only got a decent score.
The side brush scattered things like pet litter and quinoa into a larger area, but this problem was a non-factor cleaning powder.
Dustbin design and volume
Roomba 694 has a 600 ml trash can located at the back. It’s the same design as the older Roomba 675 [both are interchangeable].
The advantage of the Roomba 694 bin is its wide opening, which facilitates the disposal of dirt.
Unfortunately, it uses a lower class filter with less paper material than newer Roomba models such as the E5 or I3.
Therefore, it will not filter like those variants that use a more robust filter.
This robot also does not have a self-emptying function and consumers will have it it must be emptied manually.
Roomba 694 is compatible with the iRobot home application, but has only basic features.
This app does not have the luxurious features of Roomba’s premium products, such as S9 and J7.
So don’t expect too much.
1. Explains robot error codes
Perhaps most useful for these functions is decoding the various error codes you are likely to encounter during the life of this robot.
Not only will it tell you what’s wrong, but it will also give you a detailed guide to solving the problem.
Roomba 694 has a scheduling feature, but is limited to scheduling once a day, which is its biggest drawback.
Other cheap brands of robotic vacuum cleaners, such as Roborock E4 they support multi-run scheduling, so iRobot needs to improve this limitation.
However, iRobot has a Genius feature that automates the cleaning process for you.
For example, you can enable location services so that the robot will vacuum (automatically) when it detects that you are leaving home.
I think it’s a feature that iRobot has introduced in its product line.
The history card is like a robot’s odometer that informs the user how many times they have used the robot, plus other details such as duration, etc.
Because this product does not have VSLAM, no maps, only numbers and information are stored.
There is nothing special about navigating Roomba 694. It uses various sensors around and below to detect and avoid obstacles and cliffs.
He walks in randomly, like a pinball bouncing inside a room.
iRobot calls it adaptive navigation, but it’s smart enough to clean up (at least) most areas.
However, it is not effective, which is its biggest limitation.
Consumers cannot rely on this robot to clean more rooms without getting lost or anchored.
That’s why I think removing the handle was a big mistake, because it helps consumers move.
I had every robot I checked passed the coverage test in my small home office. It’s a good metric when testing the effectiveness of a robot and the amount of dirt it catches.
Smart robotic vacuum cleaners handle this test, while inefficient ones leave residue after running.
Here is the previous photo for Roomba 694 coverage test.
And after the shot.
It’s an impressive result for a random navigation robot, but after the first launch, pieces of Quaker oats remain.
I did a second run and picked up most of what was left, but then I needed to vacuum the debris.
Overall, this is a decent result and proof that adaptive navigation works, but in terms of room.
What is the performance of Roomba 694?
Next we look at its performance and using an anemometer I measured the air flow at the brush roller.
Robotic vacuum cleaner brands do not have a universal performance metric, so it is an excellent barometer for predicting its performance.
High airflow models (such as Roomba S9 and 980) tend to work better than lower airflow options.
Other factors, such as mixing, also play a role in the performance of a robotic vacuum cleaner, but airflow is a good indicator.
Roomba 694 has only 7.27 CFM airflow, which is the same number as Roomba 675.
These results prove what I said in the video review that the 675 and 694 use the same engine.
But fortunately for potential owners, the Roomba has an excellent movement and performed better than expected in cleaning tests.
I tested Roomba 694 on various types of dirt such as coffee grounds, quinoa, pet bedding, oats, sand and hair.
Here are the results.
- Overall: 92.53
- Hard floor: 96.3%
- Hard floor sand: 96.8%
- Carpet: 96.85%
- Deep cleaning: 80.2%
These are not top results, but they are decent for a robotic vacuum cleaner with low airflow.
It was better at carpet cleaning and an 80% score in deep cleaning tests is in the upper percentile of robotic vacuum cleaners.
Results on a hard floor
- Quaker Oats: 94.8%
- Coffee grounds: 95.4%
- Quinoa: 97%
- Pet litter: 98%
Roomba 694 was decent on hard floors, rising to mid to high 90.
But it lags behind robots with higher airflow as Roomba J7 and S9 for three things: low airflow, random navigation, and a fast-rotating side brush.
I’ve mentioned the side brush problem before, but it’s something pet owners who use bedding in their homes should think about.
The Roomba 694 side brush can distract it.
Sand on a hard floor
Despite the low airflow, the Roomba 694 was decent at picking up sand with a score of 96.8%.
It wasn’t great, but the random navigation pattern and fast-rotating side brush kept it from catching more.
However, it is a decent budget option for cleaning sand for people living near the beach or sandy area.
Hair wrap test
Next we look at how the Roomba 694 resists tangles on five- and seven-inch hairs.
Here is the result after a five-inch experiment.
And the result after a seven-inch test.
Most of the hair was wrapped around the bristles after a five-inch test and more in a seven-inch experiment.
Overall, the Roomba 694 only rose 51% with five-inch springs and 32% with longer 7-inch hair.
This is not something I would recommend for cleaning pet hair, because you will spend a lot of time cleaning the brush.
Edge cleaning test
Another problem with round frame robots is their inability to clean edges effectively.
Roomba 694 did not clean the area very well, leaving a lot of debris.
Carpet cleaning tests
Despite the low airflow, the Roomba 694 was decent on the carpet, even with the sand in.
I experimented with different fragments on a carpet with low and medium hair to see how much it was gaining.
Low count results
- Quaker Oats: 98.4%
- Coffee grounds: 86.6%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 97.6%
The Roomba 694 struggled most with coffee grounds, which is an Achilles’ heel for almost every low-flow robots I’ve tested.
But he did well with other debris that had accumulated in the 1990s.
Results of the middle meeting
- Quaker Oats: 98%
- Coffee grounds: 94.2%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 100%
It’s the same on a medium-pile rug – he struggled most with coffee grounds, but above average with other types of dirt.
The problem of scattering the side brush was not so common on the carpet because there was more friction.
Deep cleaning test
Roomba products are popular for their excellent deep cleaning, even in lower variants such as the 694.
Counter-rotating brushes provide double agitation, take up a good chunk of embedded sand (average 80.2% in two tests) and also passed an eye test because there was not too much sand residue on the surface.
How Noisy Roomba 694 is?
Noise level is another potential deciding factor for consumers buying a robotic vacuum cleaner.
I used a sound level meter to check the noise level near the robot and Roomba 694 produced 65.6 decibels.
It is not downright noisy, but its presence was felt with aggressive navigation hitting the furniture.
|Battery||1800 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 75 mins.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||600 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||No|
|Extra Filter||Yes (1)|
|Price||Check the Price|
Where can I buy Roomba 694?
This basic robot is available in online stores such as Amazon. For the latest pricing information, see the link below.
Disclaimer: I get a commission if you buy from the link above, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win for us!
Is Roomba 694 worth it?
The features of the Roomby 694 barebones fade compared to other brands that offer smart navigation robots at similar price levels.
However, the purpose of purchasing the Roomby is its quality as a pull.
With proper maintenance, these machines will last a long time and there are many parts (OEM and aftermarket) available.
4 reasons to buy Roomba 694
- Cheapest variant Roomba: This variant is the cheapest robotic vacuum cleaner iRobot
- Thorough navigation: Its adaptive navigation is thorough and will get to most debris if you run it long enough.
- Number of parts: Replacement components for the Roomba 694 will be available long after production, as iRobot is popular.
- Above average on the carpet: Roomba 694 cleans the carpet well despite low airflow thanks to counter-rotating brushes.
Verdict: Workhorse robotic vacuum cleaner for carpeted households
While the Roomba 694 won’t impress you with its features, it makes up for it with durability and many spare parts options.
Compared to other brands, the features it offers are basic.
However, it still remains a popular option (over 70,000 reviews and more and more!) Due to its performance in carpet cleaning and the quality of hard workers.
If you don’t mind its limitations and shortcomings, this is a good choice for people looking for a cheap robotic vacuum cleaner to clean their homes with carpets.
How good is the cheapest robotic vacuum cleaner iRobot
- navigation – 90%
- Surface cleaning – 96.65%
- Deep cleaning – 80.2%
- quality – 95%
- Design – 94%
- Value – 94%
The Roomba 694 is a basic, hard-working robotic vacuum cleaner that can handle this job. However, don’t expect any luxury features from this basic option. Its random navigation is thorough but inefficient, so I can’t recommend it for cleaning multiple rooms because of the risk of not coming back and recharging in this setting by rocket. One of the benefits of buying an iRobot product is the full availability of parts, both OEM and aftermarket, which is a good sign for long-term ownership. If this is convenient for you, then definitely consider this basic Roomba product.