Reviewing the Roomba 614 – Back to the Basics for Roomba

Roomba 614 is iRobot’s new entry level model that allows you to forego on the bells and whistles and get a robotic vacuum cleaner that does the job of cleaning your home and does it well.

Special Holiday Pricing Update: In case you missed it, the Roomba 614 is available here for 26% off. That puts it currently as the most affordable Roomba ever.

Current Robot Vacuum Landscape

We have seen various models of the Roomba come out over the past few years, and with every release, we see more and more technology added in.

To best illustrate this, take a look at the Roomba 980, which came with Wi-Fi support, a smartphone app, a built-in camera, a carpet boost mode, and an edge cleaning mode.

All of these features justify a hefty price tag of around $900 (as of July 2017) for the Roomba 980.

With the Roomba 614, however, iRobot goes back to the basics and removes all the bells and whistles that it has been putting into recent Roombas.  It also reels back the price, thus giving you a low-cost, no-frills alternative to the Roombas coming out lately.

For this review, let us look at the key features of the Roomba 614.  Let us tell you now that most these are very similar to the rest of the devices belonging to the 600 series.

Then we would take a look at the pros and cons of the Roomba 614.  And of course, we would suggest similar Roombas that you can consider if you are not impressed with the Roomba 614 (although we have a feeling that you would be!)

Bottom Line: I would personally much rather go with a Roomba like the 690 available here. It has the same features + WiFi capability + auto-scheduling features, for around the same price.

Key features of the Roomba 614

So what could you expect from the Roomba 614?

  • Three-stage cleaning process. The three-stage cleaning process is standard for all Roomba robots, wherein you have the counter-rotating debris extractor or brushes, the rotating side brush, and the vacuum system that pulls the hair and dirt off the brushes as well as the ones left on the floor.
  • iAdapt Technology.  Another standard feature you have here is the iAdapt Technology that makes use of the sensors to avoid stairs, to get around or under furniture, and to do multiple passes, all giving your room a more thorough clean.  You will notice that the Roomba 614 will pass over a certain area repeatedly, and that is because the sensors on the device detected dirt in that spot and will continue to clean there until the remaining dirt or hair is gone.
  • AeroVac vacuuming technology. All 600 series Roombas have this technology that pulls the hair and dirt off the brushes and then deposits it into the back of the bin.  This process fills the bins more evenly and, as such, allowing you to empty it less frequently.
  • AeroVac filter. The AeroVac filter does a good enough job of handling hair, lint, carpet fuz or pet fur.  Pet owners would love how the Roomba 614 is able to clean their houses thoroughly as it sucks up pet dander.
  • Lithium-ion battery. These batteries last longer than the nickel metal hydrite batteries found on most other Roomba models.

The Roomba 614: The features that really stood out

The Roomba 614 has quite a few selling points that should make you want one and order it now, including:

  • Lower Price. The 614 retails for $379.99 as of this writing (check here for latest price) but you might be lucky enough to find deals like the recent (and sadly, concluded) Prime Day offers, which reduced prices for the Roomba 614 by $130.  Yet even at its regular price, the Roomba 614 has the low price market covered.
  • Cleans everywhere. The Roomba 614 can get to hard-to-reach spots like under your beds, closets, tables, and even dressers.  Instead of moving or lifting furniture or crouching down on your knees and sometimes getting flat on the floor just to clean the hidden areas, you can just use the Roomba 614 to do it for you.

  • Multiple passes and zigzag motion. Roombas are known for having better cleaning coverage than the upright vacuum cleaner.  Most people usually run upright vacuum cleaners back and forth repeatedly when they clean and this makes them miss a good amount of dirt, hair and dust on the floor.  The Roomba 614 moves in a zigzag, allowing it to cover an area several times.
  • Good for larger rooms or small apartments. Most robotic vacuum cleaners use nickel metal hydrite batteries that only allow for two hours of cleaning on a full charge.  The Roomba 614 uses a lithium ion battery that allows for a longer cleaning time before needing to recharge.  This is the same battery type that you see on much more expensive Roomba models such as the Roomba 980 and 860.

Roomba 614 downsides:  Wouldn’t it be just perfect if these things were improved?

Nobody’s perfect right?  This does not exclude the Roomba 614.  The entry-level model has some cons that you might want to know before making your buying decision.

  • No virtual walls, virtual wall lighthouses or virtual wall barriers.  There are devices that control where your Roomba goes using infra-red beams that promptly send it away from areas that you do not want it to go or that you do not want cleaned.  The Roomba 614 does not have any of these navigation control devices included in the standard package.  However, you can purchase virtual walls, lighthouses and barriers from Amazon, such as this Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier.
  • No scheduling options.  One of the biggest hassles of operating the Roomba is that it sometimes get in the way, or, if we look at it the other way around, WE sometimes get in its way.  And this is why auto scheduling is one feature that most people appreciate in the newer Roomba models such as the 650, 980, 860, and 770.  So there is no way for you to set your Roomba 614 to start cleaning at a time when you are out of the house or when you are staying in another room.
  • No full bin indicator.  This is a minor annoyance, but with the Roomba 614, you have no means of knowing when it’s time to empty the bin of dust and debris unless you manually check the bin.
  • No HEPA filter.  With the introduction of newer Roomba models starting from series 700, people have been introduced to HEPA filters, which remove 99.97% of particles that are up to 0.3 microns small.  Roomba 614 uses AeroVac filters instead of HEPA.  Nevertheless, you would not even detect the difference, unless you suffer from allergies.  In which case, the AeroVac might not be a sufficient filter for you.

Roomba 614 alternatives to consider

The Roomba 614 is for those people who just want the basic autonomous vacuum cleaner.  ‘No bells and no whistles’ means that you are blessed with a simple operating system that even a child could learn to use.

If you are not sold on that premise, then there are other alternatives that you can consider.  You can extend its functionality with the Roomba 770 (Check out our review here).

The Roomba 770 is pretty much the Roomba 614 with scheduling functions and dual HEPA Filters.

If you have pets or if you suffer from allergies, then you should definitely go for the Roomba 770.  Other features on the Roomba 770 are the remote control and the full bin indicator.

Nevertheless, you would find that all of these features add $120 (check here for latest pricing).

At a glance Features Comparison

Roomba 770 Roomba 614
HEPA Filters About $120 cheaper (check here)
Additional features such as the remote control and full bin notifications
Persistant Pass Cleaning

Roomba 614 vs 650 (652) Series

If you are looking for something at roughly the same price as the Roomba 614, then you can check out the Roomba 652.

It basically has the same specifications as the Roomba 614, but you have scheduling features and it makes use of a nickel–metal hydride battery, as opposed to the lithium ion battery type you see on the 614.

This means that the battery on the 614 has higher life cycles, can be relied on to deliver higher performance in cold weather, is very light, and charges faster.

Final Pass: Is Roomba 614 a good buy?

The Roomba 614 is the company’s new entry-level device and it gives you basically all the things you want in a robotic vacuum cleaner.  If you are the type who just wants to get the floors clean and you do not care about other more advanced features, then the 614 would be perfect for you.

As it is, the Roomba 614 gets trumped up by the Roomba 652.  For basically the same price, the Roomba 652 allows you to schedule your cleaning when you are  out of the house, helping you get the vacuuming out of the way when nobody’s home, rather than have your kids or yourself tripping over it.

Bottom Line: the Roomba 614 is a great buy for those who want the no-frills variety that gets the job done.

2017 UPDATE: If you want something slightly smarter and with WiFi (app) control, go with the Roomba 690 here instead. iRobot recently released this version, specifically for people who want mobile control from their phones.

It is also a great choice for first-time Roomba users, or those who still use the traditional vacuum cleaner but want to use the Roomba so that they only have to lug out the heavy vacuum cleaner once a week instead of every other day.