Robotic Vacuums

Roomba 860 vs. Roomba 690: Which Robot Vac is Best?

(Last Updated On: September 3, 2017)

With a range of new robot vacuum models being introduced periodically, few people can accuse iRobot of being complacent or of sitting on its laurels.  With the release of the Roomba 690, a new model has been added to the lineup of functional and feature-filled robot vacuums.   

How does the Roomba 690 compare with the older Roomba 860?   

Twinning? The features and functionalities that the Roomba 690 and Roomba 860 share 

At their core, the Roomba 860 and Roomba 690 have similar technologies and features, such as: 

Design 

The Roomba 690 and 860 both follow the Roomba’s circular design, and have hard plastic construction.  The Roomba 690 has a black and silver
color combination.

Meanwhile, the Roomba 860 also has a black and silver color scheme, but unlike the Roomba 690 that sports a black rim, the 860 has a silver rim. Both models feature a carrying handle to make it easier for you to bring the robot vacuum into another room. 

There are slight differences between the two models in terms of dimension.  The Roomba 860 measures 13.9 inches in diameter while the Roomba 690 is only 13.0 inches.  The Roomba 690 is also slightly taller but more than half a pound lighter than the Roomba 860. 

 iAdapt Navigation 

If you have ever wondered how the Roomba 860 and Roomba 690 can find their way around the rooms that they are cleaning, then you should know that they both use software that allows them to map your room and follow an efficient cleaning pattern.

iAdapt navigation makes the robot vacuum go back and forth, mimicking the way you clean your floors. 

iAdapt navigation also guides your Roomba along the edges of walls and under or around furniture.  It also keeps your robot vacuum from falling down the stairs or bumping into anything.  Aside from that, the Roomba does not easily get tangled on cords, carpet tassels, and other low-lying obstacles.   

Scheduling 

You can set up cleaning schedules for both the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 690.  However, the way you do this is very different for both.  For the Roomba 860, you would need to set cleaning schedules on the robot vacuum itself.

This means that you have to cycle through the onboard buttons until you get the day and time right.  For the Roomba 690, things are much simpler because you can set the schedule up using the mobile app. 

Auto recharge and manual docking 

Both the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 690 can find their way back to the charging dock in order to recharge their batteries.  However, both of these models do not automatically resume cleaning after a full charge.

You would need to prompt them to start cleaning again.  You can also make the Roomba 860 and 690 go back to their docks to recharge even while they are still cleaning your floor instead of waiting for the battery to run out. 

Spot cleaning 

Invoking spot cleaning will make the Roomba 690 and 860 concentrate on a small area.  The robot vacuum will start cleaning a small spot of your floor in a spiral pattern and then go back to where it started.  The spot cleaning mode is ideal for those small spills and for dirtier areas. 

Lithium ion battery and running time 

Using lithium ion batteries, the Roomba 860 and Roomba 690 can give you 60 minutes of cleaning time with a single full charge.   

Roomba features that are missing from both Roomba 860 and Roomba 690 

iRobot, the company behind Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, is known for always coming up with new features and technologies to include in their new models.

However, there are some features that are missing from both the Roomba 690 and Roomba 860 but are available in the higher models such as the Series 900.  Some of these features include customized cleaning attributes such as: 

  •  Onboard camera: Series 900 Roomba robots have an onboard camera that allows these models to visually map out your floors, on top of using sensors and its efficient cleaning patterns.  This allows the Roomba 960 and 980 to more effectively navigate through your floors for a comprehensive cleaning session. 
  • Carpet boost: Carpet boost gives you more suction power to ensure that the dirt and dust settled deep in the carpet bed are picked up.  Carpet boost delivers 10 times more suction power than Series 600 robots. 
  • Edge cleaning: The edge cleaning mode ensures cleaner edges by sending the robot vacuum to the edges after it finishes its regular cleaning run. 
  • Cleaning passes control: This feature tells the Roomba 960 and 980 to clean the same area twice, instead of just once.  

Features that you can find on the Roomba 860 but not on the Roomba 690 

The Roomba 860 is, at its heart, a Series 800 robot and is more advanced than the Roomba 690 as far as its vacuuming technology is concerned.  The Roomba 860 uses AeroForce vacuuming technology. 

AeroFoce technology makes use of debris extractors, side brushes, and a powerful motor to deliver a very efficient clean.  On the other hand, the Roomba 690 only has the AeroVac vacuuming technology, which uses counter rotating brushes instead of the debris extractor.   

The debris extractor breaks down dust, dirt, and debris before sending these into the dustbin.  Because it does not have bristles, you get fewer tangles that you have to sort out.  Not only that, AeroForce technology delivers five times more suction power than AeroVac. 

The Roomba 860 also uses the AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter, which traps smaller and more dust, particles, allergens and pollens than the AeroVac filter you see in the Roomba 690. 

The Roomba 690 uses only acoustic sensors to detect dirtier areas so that it could give it more attention.  The Roomba 860 has Dirt Detect 2.0 technology that uses both acoustic and optical sensors to detect the areas on your floor that would need more thorough cleaning. 

Lastly, the Roomba 860 tells you when the dustbin is full so that you could empty it.  This indicator is not featured on the Roomba 690. 

Features where the Roomba 690 wins over the Roomba 860 

While the Roomba 860 proves to be better when it comes to cleaning your floors, there are some features on the Roomba 690 that are missing from the Roomba 860.  What are these? 

  •  Price When you choose the Roomba 690 over the Roomba 860, you can easily save $125. 
  • Wi-Fi connectivity. The Roomba 690 can connect to your Wi-Fi network and be paired with your smartphone or tablet.  Using the mobile app, you can control the Roomba 690 from anywhere in the world and set up cleaning schedules. 
  • Amazon Alexacompatible.  You can also control your Roomba 690 just by issuing voice commands if you have Amazon Echo, Dot or any other Amazon Alexa powered devices. 

In sum, the Roomba 690 might not be as efficient as the Roomba 860 when it comes to cleaning your floors, but it does have some neat features on top of a cheaper price tag. 

Side-by-side comparison: The Roomba 860 vs. the Roomba 690 

All of these features might be quite confusing to keep track of.  To make it easier to compare and contrast the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 690, here is a side by side comparison: 

 

  Roomba 690 Roomba 860
Manufacturer’s price  $374.99 (Check here for the latest price) $499.99 (Check here for the latest price)
iAdapt Navigation  Yes Yes 
AeroForce vacuuming technology  No Yes 
Entire level cleaning  No No 
Wi-Fi connectivity  Yes No 
Amazon Alexa Compatible  Yes No 
AeroForce High Efficiency Filter  No Yes
Carpet boost  No No 
Edge cleaning  No No 
Full bin indicator  No Yes 
Full bin action control  No No 
Onboard camera  No No 
Debris extractor  No Yes 
Scheduling  Yes Yes 
Cleaning passes control  No No 
Auto recharge  Yes Yes 
Manual docking  Yes Yes 
Spot cleaning  Yes Yes 
Lithium ion battery  Yes Yes 
Running times (minutes)  60 60 
Remote control   Yes, via mobile app No 
Carrying handle  Yes Yes 
Dimensions (d x h, inches)  13.0 x 3.7 13.9 x 3.6 
Weight (lbs.)  7.8 8.4 

Final recommendations 

The Roomba 690 is the most affordable Roomba available with Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile app access, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.  On its own, the Roomba 690 delivers a thorough clean that would leave your floors spotless and dirt free.   

However, if you are the meticulous type, you might want to consider the Roomba 860.

The 860 definitely delivers a better clean than the Roomba 690 because of its AeroForce vacuuming system and better dirt detection technologies.  You get a cleaner room without too much of a hassle from maintaining your robot vacuum. 

The question of which one you should buy would boil down to what you prefer.  If you want an affordable robot vacuum with all the latest technologies and is also smart and can be controlled on your smartphone, then the Roomba 690 is for you.

If you put more premium on keeping your floors clean, then you should go with the Roomba 860. 

However, if you are going to pay $500 for the Roomba 860, you might as well buy the Roomba 890.  The Roomba 890 has basically the same features as the Roomba 860, but has Wi-Fi connectivity, Amazon Alexa compatibility and comes with a companion app. 

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!

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