Robotic Vacuums

iRobot Roomba 650 Review – Are the Features Worth the Price?

(Last Updated On: July 12, 2017)

If you have pets, the iRobot Roomba 650 is perfect for your home. This robotic floor cleaner is specifically for helping with removing pet hair and danger.

Other types of similar products can get clogged by such elements but this one won’t. The special design that it offers with powerful brushes and suction are the winning combination that make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your flooring. While the 650 is a bit older than the latest Roomba models, it was designed specifically with pet owners in mind.

In this Roomba 650 review, we will take a look at the main features, pros/cons, and overal impressions.

Important Features of the Roomba 650

  • 3 Stage Cleaning System: This product features a three stage cleaning system. It is able to pick up dirt, pet hair, and debris that other robotic devices leave behind. The stages work by loosening the materials, using high power suction to remove them, and ensuring every area of the floor is clean before it moves on to the next.
  • Advanced Sensors: The sensoring system is able to target the dirtier areas of flooring. As a result, they get more time and they will be very clean. Every section of the flooring gets clean so you aren’t going to have to go back and clean up missed locations. Since more time is spent on the heavier debris areas, this eliminates them not being as clean as the rest of the flooring.
  • Auto-Scheduled Cleaning: It is easy to program and can be schedule for up to 7 cleaning sessions. Just use the buttons to pick the date and the time. That is all there is to the programming so it isn’t intimidating or complex at all.
  • Simple Push Button Control: There aren’t complicated buttons or settings that can be confusion like with some similar products. Instead, there is a large button on the top for cleaning. When turned on, it will be green to indicate it is ready. When the battery is getting low it will turn yellow and when the battery is dead it will turn red.
  • Return to Base Charging: The dock button can be pressed to get it to return to the dock, which is the home base, where it will be stored and where it will recharge when not in use. You can also select the spot button so that it will only clean in the proximity of an area you have selected. This is perfect for small clean up jobs.
  • Powerful Clean for the Size: The cleaning brushes are very powerful and able to successfully pull debris and hair from the flooring. The design of these brushes is better than other similar products. It is this very design that enables the iRobot Roomba 650 to be able to successfully lift up the dirt, debris, and pet hair that other products would leave behind.
  • Best in Class Suction: The patented AreoVac offers spinning brushes along the sides of the device. While the brushes loosen things, the powerful suction pick them up.
  • Maintenance Accessories: There are some tools that come with this device to help allow the features to work like they should. Over time, the brushes can get debris stuck to them and it can be removed easily with the brush cleaning kit. This will ensure your device is able to continue working at its optimum level. It is a good idea to perform such maintenance on a regular basis, depending on how large your home is.

Pros of the 650 to Consider

  • It is a small, compact product that weighs about 12 pounds.
  • The iRobot Roomba 650 works on any type or height of carpeting. It is able to adjust automatically as it goes from one room to the next. It can also be used on tile, hardwood, and linoleum flooring.
  • The bin is larger than in other models of the Roomba so it doesn’t have to be emptied as frequently.
  • 12 month limited warranty.
  • Very simple to program. One touch start.
  • Able to detect furniture, cords, and stairs.
  • It is very quiet so you can clean your floors while you engage in other activities or even while you are sleeping.
  • The suction power is better than many of the other similar products on the market.
  • In addition to the dock for charging, there is also a cord that can be plugged into the device and then into an electrical socket at the other end.

Cons to Consider

  • The iRobot Roomba 650 isn’t the cheapest robot out there, (see here for lowest pricing). However, it is one of the cheapest Roomba’s out there (and the the cheapest model which still has auto scheduling, for example).
  • It is a round shape so that can make it harder for it to remove all dirt, pet hair, and debris in corners.
  • It does take a long time for the battery to become fully charged once it has died. It is a good idea to return it to the charging dock when not in use so that it can replenish what has been used of the batter life rather than allowing it to completely run down.
  • It can take 45 minutes to 1 hour to fully clean an averaged sized floor. This is due to the in depth cleaning that it offers. Yet when you empty it, you will be completely amazed at all it picked up!
  • Some owner’s complain that this device leaves patterns in their carpeting that are hard to disguise. It depends on the type of material and the height of the carpeting. To remove such patterns, you can quickly go over them with a regular vacuum cleaner.
  • The 650 does not have “memorize” the floor patterns like the newer versions due. Instead, it uses the “dirt detect” system to seek out problem areas. Sometimes this can lead to longer or varied cleaning times. The end result is the same, just a different slightly less efficient process to get there.
  • Sometimes, the iRobot Roomba 650 can become stuck or hung up going from carpet to another flooring surface. It is believed the sensors believe it is a drop off area and can’t distinguish that it is only a flooring transition. If that occurs, it may have to be programmed to only clean one room at a time.

Click Here to read customer reviews on Amazon

Roomba 650 Alternatives to Consider

It’s helpful to get a sense of other competing robots in the same price range. Below you will find a few suggestions to help you make a decision:

  • Roomba 630: Cheaper (check here for pricing), but doesn’t come with auto-scheduling. To me, this is a huge difference maker. I like knowing that my 650 will run at a certain time each day, when I am out of the house. If this isn’t a big deal for you, it’s worth considering the 630 and saving some money. You can check out the full review for more information.
  • Roomba 761: If you are willing to spend about $50 more (check latest pricing here), the 761 is a nice step up in terms of cleaning technology. It comes with HEPA filters (big improvement over the 600 series) and an upgraded cleaning system which I’ve found to be slightly better than the 600 series, particularly on carpets.
  • Neato XV-21: This is one of the older competitors from Neato, but it’s comparable in many ways to the Roomba 650. It’s also usually available for a slightly better price (check here). One of things people like is that it has an organized cleaning pattern (no random zig-zags like Roomba) and is better at getting into corners (due to the “D” shaped design). It also has auto-scheduling, making it a better choice than the 630 as an alternative. You can read my full review for more info.

Final Thoughts on the Roomba 650

Being able to save time is important, as no one wants to spend lots of time cleaning their home. Clean floors is an essential part of removing allergens, dirt, dust, and debris. Not only will your floors look clean when you use the iRobot Roomba, but you can feel great knowing they are deep down clean thanks to the powerful system it offers.

For pet owner’s, one of the difficulties is successfully removing pet hair from carpets. Many other similar devices can’t remove it as well as this one can. They don’t have the same brush system to loosen it up or the same suction power to remove it. Even a regular vacuum cleaner can have a hard time tackling pet hair.

The iRobot Roomba 650 is simple to use and it can be set automatically or it can be programmed to clean at particular times.  The ability to automatically schedule cleaning is one of the key features separating the 650 from its predecessors. It is a compact device that can easily get underneath items in your home. Even though it is small, it is very powerful and worth the investment. It is going to be nice to come home to clean floors all the time!

With it is more expensive than other traditional vacuum products out there; it is still more affordable than the 700, 800 and 900 series right now.

The additional cleaning power over the 500 series means you aren’t going to have to go behind the robot and clean the floors on your own.

This is a household tool that you will really appreciate, and you will wish you had invested in the iRobot Roomba 650 a long time ago.

Bottom Line: At this price point, a 650 is ideal for first time buyers who are looking for a proof of concept. It’s also the cheapest Roomba which still has key features like auto-scheduling (The 630 and earlier do not).

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

2 Comments

  • How dose this work for a bi level can you move it like room to room?we have hardwood kitchen with 2 steps down to a hardwood family room and hall -living room and dining room on same level as kitchen will it not scratch floors read a review that indicated it did?????

    • Jean – Should not scratch floors (at least I’ve never heard or experienced this). For multi-levels, you will have to manually pick it up and move it. But yes, no issues with moving it from room to room as needed. You can use the virtual walls and/or close doors to limit areas. Also, they do have cliff sensors, so you should not have to worry about it “falling” down the stairs.

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