Roomba 694 In-Depth Review in 2024 – Specs & Setup

Last updated on February 15th, 2024

Vacuum cleaners have reached a great level of automation, but that necessarily doesn’t align with everyone’s cleaning needs. While advanced features like self-emptying and mopping are good to have, your cleaning requirements might be much less.

If you want a vacuum cleaner with less hassle and a simple cleaning system, then the Roomba 694 will serve your needs. It is iRobot’s currently bestselling low-range smart vacuum. Let’s learn more about it to find out how good a fit it is for you.

Our Roomba 694 review in 2024

The Roomba 694 turns out to be a decent vacuum cleaner at the given price. You will get superior cleaning performance that most cheap models fail to deliver. Even if it doesn’t have a defined navigation system, it rarely gets stuck where it shouldn’t. You get a good runtime for this, as even some high-priced robot vacuums don’t run for 90 minutes.

Roomba 694 Specifications

Specifications of Roomba 694
Specifications of Roomba 694

The table below contains the specifications of the Roomba.

SpecsRoomba 694
Dimensions13.4 x 13.4 x 3.54 inches
Weight6.77 Pounds
ColorCharcoal Grey
ShapeRound
Dustbin Capacity0.3 L
Suction Power600 Pa
Battery Capacity1800 mAh
Runtime90 mins
Noise level62 dB
Warranty1 year
Specifications of Roomba 694

How to set up the Roomba 694?

To set up this vacuum, follow these simple steps for a smooth installation process:

Step 1: Place the charging station in such a location that there is at least 1.5 feet of space on either side of the charging station; it is 4 feet away from stairs and 4 feet away from any objects in front.

Step 2: Align the robot correctly on the charging station and look for an orange light that indicates charging. It will turn green once fully charged. Let it charge for at least 3 hours.

Step 3: Download the iRobot Home app and create an account. Grant all the necessary permissions.

Step 4: Tap on Select Product, then choose Vacuum Robot and select Roomba 600 from the options provided.

Step 5: Set up the Wi-Fi by entering your password.

Step 6: Connect the vacuum to the app by simultaneously pressing the Spot and Home buttons on the vacuum.

Step 7: You can pair it with Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant for voice control.

  • For Amazon Alexa: In the Alexa app, go to Devices, select the plus sign in the upper right corner, then tap on Add Device. Choose Vacuum Cleaner, then iRobot, and follow the given instructions.
  • For Google Assistant: In the Google Home app, go to Devices, then Add, then Works With Google, then iRobot Smart Home, and sign into your account.

Features of Roomba 694

The following are the Roomba 694 features.

Packaging

The Roomba 694 comes in standard iRobot packaging. The outer cardboard box is strong enough to protect its contents. There’s a plastic handle on the box for easy pickup. Inside, you will find that the box is lined with a cardboard casing to keep the contents in position.

Note: All the items are individually packed in a separate plastic bag. This makes storage easy, especially for the extra filter. Even the user manual is packed in a separate bag.

Design

The Roomba 694 is built using high-quality materials. It has a significantly altered top compared to the previous versions. This one has a more aesthetically pleasing, shiny black finish. The Clean button is still in the center, with Spot and Home buttons forming a ring around it.

The backlights in these buttons indicate battery and Wi-Fi connectivity. The previous models of the 600 series had a carrying handle, which the iRobot didn’t give in this one.

Bottom view

The bottom has no change from the previous models. They are literally indistinguishable. There are two multi-surface main brushes. One has bristles to loosen dirt, and one rubber brush rotates in the opposite direction to pick up dirt, dust, and debris.

The three-pronged edge-sweeping brush directs dirt toward the center of the vacuum where it is suctioned.

Dustbin

Dustbin used in Roomba 694
Dustbin used in Roomba 694

The Roomba 694 has a rear-mounted dustbin. There is a small button on the top of the 694 for releasing the dustbin. It has a 0.3 L capacity, the same as other models like the Roomba 671 from the 600 series. This small capacity can often be a nuisance as you will need to empty the bin frequently, especially if your home has large amounts of pet hair scattered around.

How much time can the Roomba 694 run for?

The Roomba 694 has a powerful lithium-ion battery. Its capacity is slightly higher than many vacuums in the 600 series. On a complete charge, you get about 90 minutes of runtime. If you have a small home, it is very likely that the 694 will complete cleaning it on a single charge.

You don’t have to worry about it running out of battery because it has an auto-recharge feature. When low on power, it will find its docking station and align with it to initiate charging. Now, the problem here is if you have a big home.

The battery can run out before reaching the charging dock, and it will die somewhere in the middle of your home. You have no option but to manually carry it to the docking station.

Note: It is suggested that you avoid manually placing the robot on the Home Base. This affects the ability to dock in the long run. Users have reported that after several months of use, the vacuum finds it difficult to align with the dock for charging.

How is the navigation of Roomba 694?

Roomba navigating the floor
Roomba navigating the floor

The Roomba 694 has the most basic navigation system. It does not follow a defined path. It uses a bump-and-clean method to maneuver around your home. It follows a straight line until it encounters an obstacle and bumps into it. On bumping, it changes its direction to follow a different path.

  • It moves around your house in effectively random directions but manages to get the whole floor covered. Unlike other cheaper models like the OKP Life K2, this does not often get stuck in places.
  • You will hardly find that it stopped because of getting stuck somewhere. It has an auto-adjust cleaning head that easily shifts from one surface to another without much difficulty.
  • The 694 can also cross different rooms with ease. It can even cross the laid-out railings of doors if they are not too high. Make sure you keep all the doors open when you let your vacuum loose in the house.

Note: Unlike higher models like the Roomba i3, the 694 is not capable of mapping your house. If you have a complex floor plan, you should consider getting a vacuum with mapping capabilities.

Cleaning Performance

Roomba cleaning a room
Roomba cleaning a room

As compared to other brands like Eufy, Roomba does a better job of cleaning both hard floors and carpets. Roomba 694 suction power is not as high as the Roomba 900 series, but it still does a pretty good job of picking up minute dust particles and pet hair.

The pet hair often gets stuck on the bot instead of getting suctioned in the dustbin. You will find hair wrapped around the main brush as well as the side brush. This causes a nuisance as you have to manually clean it before letting it out again. Otherwise, it will hinder the performance of the vacuum.

3-Stage Cleaning System

The 694 uses a 3-stage Cleaning System in which the main brush with bristles loosens the dirt from your surface. The second rubber main brush lifts the dirt off the floor, and then the robot uses its suction power to suck in the debris. It’s all an efficient cleaning routine.

Dirt Detect Technology

The vacuum can even detect regions that are more concentrated with dust than the others with its Dirt Detect Technology. Once such areas are identified, the vacuum spends more time and power cleaning those spots. And if you think it missed a spot or a particular spot needs more cleaning, you can use the spot mode.

Note: You have to press the Spot button on the vacuum to do this, as the spot clean option is not available in the app.

How to operate the Roomba 694?

Operating the Roomba 694 is a piece of cake. There are 3 ways in which you can do it.

  1. By pressing the buttons on the vacuum itself: There are 3 buttons on the vacuum. The clean button is used to begin a cleaning cycle, the spot button is used to initiate cleaning of a particular spot, and the home button is used to return the robot to the docking station.
  2. By giving voice prompts through Amazon Alexa or Google Home: By following the instructions given in the ‘how to set up your Roomba’ section, you can enable voice commands for your vacuum. Simply instruct the home assistant to instruct the robot to do a particular task. For example, “Okay, Google, ask (robot name) to start cleaning for 15 minutes.”
  3. By using the iRobot Home mobile app: The iRobot Home app also has a function to initiate a clean. There are several different features of the app, which we will discuss in the next section.

App Features

The iRobot Home app uses the iRobot OS, which has a very easy-to-use interface. You can easily carry out all the necessary tasks from the app. It is powered by iRobot Genius, which helps it learn your cleaning habits and gives personalized cleaning recommendations.

Cleaning history

The Roomba 694 app keeps a history of all your previous cleaning cycles. The history shows data like

  • The exact time it started cleaning
  • The duration of the cycle
  • How did it get the cleaning command if it was from the app, a voice prompt, or it was scheduled?
  • The status of the cycle if it was completed
  • The bin was full.
  • The battery ran low.
  • The dirt event count indicates the number of times Dirt Detect technology was used by the vacuum.

Scheduling

The app also lets you schedule your cleaning cycles. You can select the day and exact time when cleaning should begin. You can set a defined schedule for when your vacuum should be cleaned and for how much time. You have the option to select between 12, 30, and 45-minute cleaning cycles.

Geofencing

If you prefer that your vacuum be cleaned after you leave the home, then you can set up geofencing. The app can detect when you leave the house and go beyond a specific distance from the house. Or you can use a third-party app like August, Ecobee, Leviton, or MyQ to alert your vacuum to start cleaning.

List of items present with the vacuum

On purchasing the product, you will get the following items in the package:

  • 1 Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
  • 1 Home Base Charging Station
  • 1 Power Cord
  • 1 Extra High-Efficiency Filter

Where to buy the Roomba 694?

The Roomba 694 price was $274.99 when it was first released in the market. With time, it dropped to $249.99 on the iRobot’s official website. Best Buy is also selling it for the same price.

You will find it on Amazon for a dollar less. However, Target is still selling the product for the original cost, which is $274.99. On the other hand, Walmart is offering a discount and selling it for $239.99.

If you don’t want to spend so much on a new model, you can always get a refurbished one. You will find those on eBay for as low as $169.99. Even Amazon sells refurbished models, but they are at slightly higher prices.

Maintenance

By taking care of the following parts, you can easily keep your robovac in proper condition.

Dustbin

Remove the dustbin and empty it in your garbage bin. Tap it down to remove all particles. Do not wash the dustbin to clean it. You can use a microfibre cloth to run over it.

Sensors

Don’t let dust collect on sensors. Wipe them often with a microfibre cloth or a soft cotton ball. Make sure you don’t scratch the sensors.

Charging Contacts

If dirt is accumulated on the charging contacts, then you have to clean it. Unplug the power cord and use a clean, lightly dampened melamine foam to remove the accumulated dirt. Magic Eraser is the best option for doing it. Make sure your charging contacts are always shiny.

Caster wheel

A castor wheel
A castor wheel

The caster wheel often gets hair-tangled around it. Remove the wheel from its socket and clear it of all hair. Even look inside the socket for hair and dirt. Wipe the wheel and the socket with a clean cloth and place it back.

Side wheels

Shake the side wheels to remove any loose debris collected in them. Roll your hands over them and ensure they are moving without resistance. If they offer resistance, keep your robot on the ground and move it forward and backward until the wheels move freely. You can even blow some compressed air into the wheels to remove any hidden debris.

Brushes

Main brush of Roomba 694
Main brush of Roomba 694
Side brush module used in a Roomba
Side brush module

The main brushes and the side brushes often have hair and debris tangled around them. Carefully remove all the brushes and rid them of hair and dirt. The main brushes have bearings that need cleaning as well.

They are detachable, so you can take them out separately and clean them with a microfibre cloth. Carefully place all the brushes back, and don’t forget to close the cage on the main brush.

Check out: Why My Roomba Brushes Not Spinning?

Pros and cons

The following are the pros and cons of buying the Roomba 694:

ProsCons
Better designSmall dustbin capacity
Longer battery lifeNo mapping
Good cleaning performanceStruggles with large volumes of hair
Easy-to-use appDoesn’t include virtual wall barriers
Pros and cons of Roomba 694

Conclusion

The Roomba 694 is a good vacuum cleaner to satisfy your basic cleaning requirements. It even navigates better than most robots at this price. It was released as a successor to the Roomba 675. But it couldn’t be beaten. That makes us believe you could rather opt for the 675. But 694 is not a bad bot itself.

You wouldn’t expect this level of cleaning with other cheap models. It also has a better runtime than many Roombas. The app is very user-friendly. If it had mapping ability, it would have made an excellent robovac for this price.

FAQs

Does Roomba 694 do mapping?

No, Roomba 694 cannot do the mapping. It does not have the necessary sensors responsible for Roombas’s mapping ability.

Can Roomba 694 clean the carpet?

Yes, Roomba 694 can effectively clean low-pile and mid-pile carpets. But it struggles with high-pile and shag carpets.

How noisy is Roomba 694?

The Roomba 694 is not that noisy, but sometimes it goes out of its way (not literally) to create a ruckus.

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Mark Thompson

Hi I am Mark, the founder of Smart Home Bulls. Having spent 5 years immersed in the intricacies of smart home gadgets at a leading tech company, I decided to chart my own course side by side along with the job. Enter Smart Home Bulls – the result of my desire to simplify the smart living experience.

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