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(Last Updated On: September 15, 2020)

Keeping the floors clean can be a major hassle, and who hasn’t had the fantasy of a self maintaining home? While there’s no magic table that cleans the dishes on it, and no floor that waxes itself, there is a more accessible solution that more and more people are turning to: robotic vacuums. Read on to find out about Roomba 690 vs 960!

Robot vacuums add a big dose of convenience to any home, and as a result, more people are investing in one. They are quickly gaining popularity thanks to their ability to give your home a virtually hands-free clean, reducing the stress of having to do it all yourself.

Now, most people have some familiarity with these kinds of vacuums, even if the details are not actually spot on. Many robotic vacuums are a bit more expensive than regular vacuums, but many people are willing to spend their money on an effective product once they are able to find the perfect balance between technology and price.

By far, Roomba has the biggest name in the robot vacuum game. Made by iRobot, the two most popular Roomba models include the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 960. They both come from the same company, so how different are they in comparison? We’re going to get down to the nitty gritty and give you all the details in this comparison guide.

If you’re short on time and just need the big picture however, here it is:

The Roomba 690 is a really good choice for someone just getting into the idea of a robotic vacuum. That said, the Roomba 960 wins as the best robot vacuum in general.

Main Differences Between the Roomba 690 and 960?

Both vacuum models look very similar. However, do not be fooled into thinking that means they have the same features. There are actually plenty of differences between the two that you would not otherwise notice. All you really have to do is carry out some research for both products and weigh your options accordingly.

The Roomba 690 is one of Roomba’s most budget friendly product options and it is considered to be more of an entry level robotic vacuum that will still give you the deep cleaning power you need. It is still entirely capable of giving you the WiFi connectivity features that you need, making it compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa.

However, it will not be able to clean multiple rooms in one go, which will make it a less appealing option if you have a bigger house to worry about. If you are looking for a more budget friendly robotic vacuum with the features you will need to clean in small spaces, the Roomba 690 may be the option you will want to lean towards.

The Roomba 960 is a more modern robot vacuum that has all of those features and more. It is more technologically advanced with all of the latest features, sensors, and cleaning capabilities that will make cleaning your home less of a struggle. The 960 is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and will provide you with the excellent cleaning performance you have been striving for. If you need an efficient robotic vacuum that will be capable of cleaning larger areas without any issues, then you may want to invest in the Roomba 960.

Overall, the Roomba 960 is better to use for a larger range of space while the Roomba 690 will be better for smaller spaces. The 960 will be a bit harder on your budget, but the value of it is worth the price you will pay for it. Keeping that information in mind, you will need to determine which features of both products will suit your personal needs more efficiently. You will definitely need to weigh their performance level, their cleaning abilities, and the efficiency of their special features. Here is a quick look at the some of the other bigger differences when it comes to comparing Roomba 690 vs Roomba 960:

1. Design

While looking at both the 690 vs 960 vacuum designs, both have slightly different designs and sizes and there is only a slight difference in the dimensions. The diameter of the Roomba 690 is 13 inches and 3.7 inches in height. Roomba 960 has a diameter of 13.78 inches and a height of 3.58 inches.

The Roomba 960’s design is sleek with a combination of dark charcoal, black, and gray finish. The layout of the buttons slightly differ between the two models. You have to carry it using your hands since the robot has no handle. There is a large, clean button with the home and spot buttons on both sides. A camera that maps out the area which is being cleaned is below the buttons.

The Roomba 690 is a combination of black and silver accents. It has a middle large, clean button in the middle used to set up the default cleaning mode. Unlike 960, 690’s home and spot buttons are located above and below the clean button. Also, the 690 has a handle that helps you carry the robot.

As far as the shape goes, both products are designed with the round puck shape design that Roomba has been using for decade. This shape design allows them to move around and get underneath furniture to clean.

2. Battery Recharge

Battery life is good on both. The 960 automatically recharges itself when it is low on battery life and resumes cleaning once charged. The 690 must be prompted to clean again once its charged. The ability of Roomba 960 to automatically recharge its battery and continue with the existing cleaning job until it is finished makes it the one of the most recommended options, especially if your house is large or if you have to clean many rooms.

3. Tech version and navigation differences

The 690 uses older versions of sensor technology while the 960 uses an improved tech version of the iAdapt 2.0 technology to navigate and map cleanings. Thus the 960’s navigation system is considered more advanced. Also, the 960 has a camera mounted to improve navigation. This makes the Roomba 960 the ideal robot if you have many rooms. The robot automatically recharges and resumes cleaning, making it more convenient and time-saving to clean.

The Roomba 690’s infrared sensors is what help it gets a clear visual of the room it is cleaning in order to help determine the distance within the room and if there are any obstacles it needs to look out for. It also has a sensor that will help it detect walls in order to help avoid running into them. However, it slows down and stops when it is close to coming in contact with with a huge obstacle instead of continuing on its path. It also does not learn the floor plan and instead relies on the standard navigation algorithm to get it where it needs to go.

The Roomba 960 is a definite upgrade from the less modern navigational system that the 690 has. Instead of going in random directions like the 690 will do with its standard navigation system, the 960 will follow the floor plan that is created within its system thanks to iAdapt 2.0 navigation. The second sensor at the bottom of the 960 will allow it to effectively monitor which directions it travels in as well as any movement patterns to follow. There are also six drop sensors that will be able to prevent the 960 from falling off the edges of the surfaces it is cleaning.

Overall, you will be able to tell that the Roomba 960 is definitely more technologically advanced than the 690 just by researching about its navigational features. In terms of navigation and reliable cleaning and monitoring technology,

4. Cleaning and maintenance differences

Looking at how easy it is to clean using the Roomba 690 vs 960, you can notice a slight difference in the level of cleaning. Although both of their cleaning efficiency levels are high, the 690 and 960 use two different cleaning technologies. The Roomba 690 utilizes AeroVac technology while the Roomba 960 utilizes Aeroforce cleaning technology using a brush-less debris extractor.

The AeroVac technology uses counter-rotating brushes during the cleaning process to remove dirt and debris. The only problem is that this brush traps pet and other hairs around it, which makes it less effective for cleaning hairs, especially if you have pets. Because the dirt and debris is guided into the vacuum, 690s require more time for maintenance.

With the AeroForce cleaning technology using a brush-less debris extractor, using 960 lessens the problem of hair wrapping around it. If you have pets, this feature is the best option for pet hair removal. The brushless extractors collect dirt and debris which is broken down and then sucked into the vacuum. This results in more cleaning power and less time for maintenance.

  • The 690 needs to be emptied more frequently to avoid overfilling it, since it does not have a ‘full’ indicator for the dust cup. The 960 automatically alerts you when the dust cup has reached capacity.
  • The 960 includes HEPA filtration and improved Aeroforce technology to contain allergens. The 690 has the Aerovac three stage cleaning system and filter.

5. Wi-Fi Connectivity and iRobot Home App

Luckily, both the Roomba 690 vs 960 are capable of connecting to the Wi-Fi in your home, and to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The iRobot app can be used to connect to your Roomba so you can control it from the convenience of your phone. This will add a whole new level of simplicity to your cleaning routine and will be able to ensure that you will get the best personalized level of cleaning from your vacuum.

Similarities Between Roomba 690 vs 960?

Both models have features that still make life a lot easier, and it’s good to take a look at what they have in common.

When you’re on the fence between the two, this can make it easier to decide which extra things are necessary, and which ones you will not miss not having.

  • Both have rechargeable, Lithium Ion batteries which are included with the product.
  • Both the 690 and 960 can interact with either Google Assistant or Alexa with voice control.
  • Each model can be controlled with the iHome app, and they both connect to your home’s Wi Fi connection.
  • The iHome app allows you to initiate spot cleaning with both models.
  • The 690 and 960 each automatically return to their charging dock when low on battery.
  • Each model comes with a blocking system to keep the vacuums out of certain areas, with virtual wall barriers.
  • Both the 690 and 960 allow for customized cleaning schedules, and allow you to schedule cleanings far in advance.

Comparing Their Features

Now it’s time to get more into the details for each of these vacuums. We’re going to look at the options and features available with each model so you can make the best choice for your home. Keep in mind that while they are both great vacuums, you still might have to weigh your options and decide what you can’t live without, and what you don’t mind giving up.

1. Multiple Cleaning Functions

The 690 model does not include any kind of multiple pass function. The 960 however, was built with this new feature, also called MPC, or Multiple Pass Control. That means you can direct the vacuum to clean difficult areas a second time over.

This is an ideal feature for homes with kids and pets, where there tends to be an excess of messy areas and spills. You do not have to manually initiate MPC either, you can set it to automatic and the robot vacuum uses sensors to determine when another pass is needed.

In Summary: Since the 690 does not include the option for multiple passes over, the 960 wins without contest.

2. Navigation Efficiency and Mapping

The newer navigation technology, iAdapt 2.0, is definitely a big leap toward more comprehensive mapping and navigating for robot vacuums. It allows for more accurate mapping, and helps vacuums avoid obstacles and ledges much better. Roomba 690 mapping is also worthy to mention.

The iAdapt 2.0 technology certainly works more like we would expect, and cleans a room much like you would: in a straight (whenever possible of course), methodical process. While the older technology did seem to have the vacuums moving about in random patterns, it still works sufficiently to clean your floors. The virtual wall function is great as well. Both come with their own virtual wall.

In Summary: The 960 wins this round thanks to its superior iAdapt 2.0 navigation system.

3.  Wireless Abilities: iHome App

The iHome app allows you to have the wireless ability for both the Roomba 690 and 960 to connect to your home network so you will be able to have full access and control of your Roomba from the convenience of your smartphone. With iHome App Control, you will be able to give your robot vacuums a designated time to clean, turn on the spot cleaning feature. start or stop it from cleaning, and will even give you the option to name your robot vacuum. No matter where you are, you will be able to have an extra level of control over your robot vacuum just by utilizing the iHome app.

In Summary: You can easily control either models with the iHome app on your smartphone for extra levels of cleaning and personalization.

4. Brushless Extractors

The Roomba 960 has brushless extractors that will allow you to loosen the dirt and debris out of certain areas for easier cleaning. They will not get tangled easily with threads and long hair as opposed to the Roomba 690, whose bristle extractors have to constantly be cleaned in order to function properly. Carrying out maintenance on these extractors on the 960 are much easier than the Roomba 690 because you will not have to remove any string or hair from any of the brushes.

In Summary: The maintenance process is easier to carry out with the extractors on the robot Roomba 960 and it will do an amazing job of clearing out any kind of debris from smaller spaces.

5. Camera Functions (Built In)

The Roomba 960 is designed with a built in camera with VSLAM technology to assist it in its capability to create a navigational map of your house to clean and move around any obstructions in its way. Once it has a precise map of the area you want it to clean, it can start moving along its path efficiently to give you the best cleaning results. The camera will make it easier to detect anything obstructing its path and form a new pathway to avoid them.

This is another feature that sets the Roomba 960 apart from the 690 as the 690 does not have the VSLAM technology included in its design. The 690 will only be able to rely on its physical sensors to detect its designated path or any obstacles. The 960 outshines the 690 in the navigation department.

In Summary: The Roomba 960’s built-in camera with VSLAM technology gives it an advantage with precise mapping and navigation features that rival the navigation abilities of the 690.

6. Filters

While Roomba has always had boasting power when it comes to its microfiltration systems, there are differences in how the two models achieve it. While the 690’s Aerovac technology can collect small particles, the 960 uses HEPA filtration. This means that it gets rid of 99.99% of allergens and dust particles, which makes it ideal for people with allergies or pets.

In Summary: There is no disputing the topic of which model has a better filter based on these statistics. Thanks to immensely effective HEPA filtration, the 960 comes out on top.

7. How Well Do They Spot Clean?

The Roomba 690 and the Roomba 960 are both capable of having the Spot Cleaning feature. With this feature that you can access through the iHome app control, you will be able to move your iRobot to a specific path or area of your house for a more thorough level of cleaning. It will be able to clean that one spot by moving around in a circular motion in a three foot diameter in order to get it clean. It will then divert back to its original path once that area is completely clean.

In Summary: Spot Cleaning is an excellent feature that both models are capable of and it will allow you to clean any specific area you desire, which can come in handy in case of a sudden messy accident.

8. Efficiency in Edge Cleaning

The Roomba 960 has a new form of cleaning technology called Edge Cleaning. The side brushes on the 960 will be able to reach edges and corners that are otherwise difficult or impossible to reach. This is a feature that the  690 does not have, so the 960 takes your cleaning abilities to a whole new level.

In Edge Cleaning Mode, the 960 will go along its designated area of cleaning and clear the debris from any hard to reach area it comes across. The only flaw of this feature, however, is that the Roomba 960 will run slower while it is using this function. This will cause the battery life to drain faster, which can easily become an inconvenience.

In Summary: Edge Cleaning mode on the Roomba 960 is an amazing feature. It will allow you to have a more thorough cleaning in more tight spaces. The only downside is that you will have to pay attention to the battery level if you are worried about it draining too quickly.

9. Cleaning/Vacuuming the Whole Level

Both Roomba models are capable of cleaning designated areas at the times you set for them, but only the Roomba 960 will give you entire level cleaning. During entire level cleaning, the Roomba will automatically leave its cleaning area to go back to its dock and recharge, then it returns to its job once the battery level is full. The Roomba 690 will go back to its dock to recharge as well, but you will have to personally make it move again manually or through your iHome app once it is done charging.

In Summary: The Roomba 960 is much more efficient for entire level cleaning since it will resume its job automatically once it is fully charged again.

10. Smart Home

Smart Home Integration provides you with an extra level of convenience because it will allow you to connect your Roomba device to any home device, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, through the Wi Fi in your home and your iHome app. This is so you can use your voice to give it a new command. Both the Roomba 690 and the 960 are capable of having this feature. You will not be required to move from your seat to control your iRobot vacuum when you have voice activated home devices to do the work for you.

However, the Roomba 960 has a few features within the iRobot app that is specific solely to its functions, features that you will not be able to utilize with the 690. The 960 will give you options that will let you customize your cleaning preferences to help get the job done based on your own needs.

The 960 allows you to activate an edge cleaning mode that will give the room a deeper clean, and will give you a clean map report after the completion of each cleaning cycle. All of this can be done with the simple use of your voice after connecting it to your home devices.

In Summary: Since both iRobot devices are capable of Smart Home Integration, you can now control your iRobot with the sound of your voice connected to your home devices. However, the Roomba 960 has an extra cleaning functionality that you will not be able to have with the Roomba 690.

11. Cleaning Multiple Areas

When it comes to cleaning multiple rooms, you will want to invest in the Roomba 960 over the 690. The 690 is incapable of cleaning multiple rooms in one go, but the 960 robot will be able to cover about 2,000 square feet with every cleaning job. The 690 roomba will need to charge the battery before it goes to a new room to clean. You will have to start it again yourself, but the 960 robot will start go to charge automatically when the battery is low and continue its job when it is ready to go again.

In Summary: The Roomba 960 is the most viable option by a landslide in this case. It is much more capable of cleaning bigger spaces and multiple rooms, while the 690 robot would only be able to cover one room at a time.

12. How Easy is it to Maintain Each Model?

One important factor of robotic vacuums that you will want to consider the most is how easy it is to maintain. You will need to carry out proper maintenance procedures periodically in order to keep your vacuum working effectively. This will involve cleaning off the roller brushes when hair and debris gets trapped around it, and cleaning and replacing the filter as often as you need to.

The Roomba 690’s AeroVac technology utilizes counter rotating brushes to help remove the dirt and debris from its system, but it will be susceptible to getting pet hair and human hair tangled around inside of it. You will also not be able to wash the filter. The Roomba 960 robot vacuums utilize a brushless debris extractor that will greatly reduce the chances of that happening, which will be an amazing option if you are a pet owner. The 960’s filter is also washable. Therefore, the Roomba 960 robot is much easier to maintain.

In Summary: The Roomba 960 robot is much easier to maintain while the 690 robot is at greater risk of getting hair and other types of debris tangled inside of it. The 690’s filter is also not washable, whereas the 960’s is.

13. Battery Life and Charging Time

The Roomba 690 and 960 robot both use lithium batteries as their power source, and both take around three hours to fully charge. However, the 960 robot can run for about 75 minutes on a full charge while the 690 will only be able to last for 60 minutes.

In Summary: The Roomba 960 robot will have a longer running time than the 690 by fifteen minutes on the same amount of charging time.

Highlights I Like About Roomba 690

The Roomba 690 has many essential features that you will discover to be an excellent addition to your home:

  • Automatic charging and docking capabilities that will allow the 690 to go back to its dock to recharge when its battery is low.
  • iHome capabilities will allow you to have a bigger level of control over your Roomba device. It also gives you the ability to control your robot vacuum with your home devices.
  • Virtual Wall Barriers designed to help your Roomba avoid any obstructions in its designated cleaning areas.
  • Powered by Lithium-Ion batteries.
  • Capable of spot cleaning.

 

Highlights I Like About Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 comes with many essential features that will have you wondering how you went without it before:

  • Built-in camera with VSLAM technology will allow your iRobot to have top notch navigation capabilities.
  • IAdapt 2.0 software will increase the power of your Roomba’s sensors to improve its overall functionality.
  • Designed with HEPA filtration which will be good for homes with pets and people with allergies.
  • Capable of Entire Level cleaning.
  • Less maintenance required with brushless extractors.

Where to Buy the Robots

Both the Roomba 690 and 960 are available in online stores like Amazon and Walmart. You can get the Roomba 690 on Amazon and the Roomba 960 on Amazon via the links and you can also check their latest prices. Also remember to check different robotic vacuum reviews to determine which one among the two will serve the intended purpose you desire.

My Final Verdict?

So what’s the verdict for roomba 960 vs 690? if you are in search of a high quality device for your home that will still give you the best value for your budget then the Roomba 960 robot will be the best option for you. The Roomba 960 has many essential features that the Roomba 690 robot just cannot measure up to. The Roomba 690 is more affordable up front, but the Roomba 960 robot will prove to be more valuable to you in the long run.

The Roomba 690 will still be an amazing cleaning system robot to keep around the house if you have to remain on a tighter budget. Although it does not have the features of the 960, it will still be able to save you money while giving your house the thorough cleanup it needs. It will still have some of the same amazing features such as Smart Home Integration and iHome App capabilities.

My personal choice would be the Roomba 960 because of all of the extra features that are included in this product. With the information provided, invest your focus on which option would work best for you.

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