iRobot Roomba 694 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 18, 2021 at 09:13 am
iRobot Roomba 694 Picture
7.2
Bare Floor
5.3
Low-Pile Carpet
6.5
High-Pile Carpet
5.0
Pets
6.0
Stairs
5.5
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No

The iRobot Roomba 694 is a well-built robot vacuum. Overall, it's better suited to cleaning bare floors than low or high-pile carpet, and it struggles to pick up pet hair on all surfaces. Although it doesn't have a smart pathing feature, it has other useful automation features like automatic height and power adjustment, which are based on the cleaning conditions. It also has dirt sensors that it uses to clean messy areas more thoroughly. However, like many robot vacuums, it's quite difficult to maintain and has high recurring costs.

Our Verdict

7.2 Bare Floor

The iRobot Roomba 694 has decent performance on bare floors. While it doesn't pick up pet hair too easily, it has no problem cleaning debris like rice and cereal, though its performance may decrease as the dirt compartment fills up. This well-built model is also quite compact, so it can clean under most furniture. Although it doesn't have a smart pathing feature, it still has good area coverage.

Pros
  • Long battery life.
  • Automatic power adjustment.
Cons
  • High recurring costs.
  • Difficult to maintain.
5.3 Low-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a disappointing performance on low-pile carpet. It struggles to pick up pet hair and fine debris like baking soda, while it still only picks up larger debris like sand decently well. This vacuum also has a lot of recurring costs, since many parts need to be replaced periodically. Thankfully, its automatic height adjustment feature is helpful when moving between different surface types.

Pros
  • Long battery life.
  • Automatic power adjustment.
Cons
  • High recurring costs.
  • Difficult to maintain.
6.5 High-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba 694 has an adequate performance on high-pile carpet. It automatically adjusts its height based on the surface it's on, which helps it clean high-pile carpet. However, it doesn't do a great job of picking up pet hair and large debris like sand and struggles even more with fine debris like baking soda. It sometimes gets caught on rug tassels, which may be annoying.

Pros
  • Long battery life.
  • Automatically adjusts its height to the surface.
Cons
  • High recurring costs.
  • Difficult to maintain.
5.0 Pets

The iRobot Roomba 694 has poor performance for pets. It struggles to pick up pet hair on all surface types and doesn't come with any accessories that are specialized for pets. Also, it doesn't come with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which may be annoying for some users. Like many robot vacuums, it's difficult to maintain since a lot of parts need to be cleaned fairly regularly.

Pros
  • Sturdy build.
  • Automatic power adjustment.
Cons
  • Struggles to pick up pet hair on all surfaces.
  • Difficult to maintain.
6.0 Stairs

The iRobot Roomba 694 isn't designed for use on stairs.

5.5 Cars

The iRobot Roomba 694 isn't designed for use in cars.

  • 7.2 Bare Floor
  • 5.3 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 6.5 High-Pile Carpet
  • 5.0 Pets
  • 6.0 Stairs
  • 5.5 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a very good build quality. Its body is mostly made of hard plastic, while the drive and swivel wheels are made out of rubber. The body has a sturdy feel. Though the dustbin feels like it could break if dropped, it feels sturdier than most other plastic dustbins. It's really easy to set up since there's no assembly required for the vacuum itself, and you just need to plug in the dock station.

5.0
Design
User Maintenance

The iRobot Roomba 694 is a bit difficult to maintain since there are a lot of parts that need regular maintenance. Thankfully, they're all easy to access.

  • Dustbin: The dustbin can be removed by pressing the release button. You should empty it into a garbage bin after every use.
  • Brushrolls: The brushrolls can be accessed by removing the brushroll compartment door. The brushes and their bearings should be cleaned once or twice per week, depending on whether or not you have pets.
  • Filter: The filter is located inside the dustbin and can be pulled out via release tabs. You can clean it by tapping it against the edge of a garbage can. It should be cleaned once or twice a week, depending on if you have pets. Make sure to remove it and clean it before emptying the dustbin.
  • Side brush: The side brush can be removed by unscrewing it from the bottom of the vacuum. You should clear it of any hair or debris that's stuck onto it approximately once a month.
  • Front wheel: While you can pull the wheel out of its socket by hand, you may find it easier to use a tool to pry it out. It should be cleaned every two weeks. Also, you should clean its socket of any debris to allow it to spin freely.
  • Sensors/Charging pads: The sensors and charging pads on the vacuum and dock station should be wiped down with a dry cloth once a month.

5.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
4636450
HEPA Filter Part Number
No HEPA Filter

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a lot of recurring costs. Thankfully, they can all be purchased from iRobot's website individually or together as a 'Replenishment Kit'.

  • Filter: The filter should be replaced every two months.
  • Brushrolls: The brushrolls should be replaced every six to 12 months.
  • Front wheel: The front wheel should be replaced every 12 months.

9.0
Design
Storing
Height
3.94 in (10.0 cm)
Width
13.39 in (34.0 cm)
Depth
15.75 in (40.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The iRobot Roomba 694 is remarkably easy to store. It has a compact design, so it doesn't take up much room. Also, it comes with a charging station that the vacuum mounts itself to.

6.1
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.09 gal (0.35 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
No
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a mediocre dirt compartment. It's fairly large for a robot vacuum, but it doesn't have a max fill sensor to indicate when it's full.

Design
In The Box

  • iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
  • AeroVac dirt compartment
  • 2x AeroVac filter
  • Beater brush
  • Bristle brush
  • Charging dock
  • Charging cable
  • User guide

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a virtually unlimited range as long as it has battery life remaining and room left in its dirt compartment. However, it can't go up or down stairs.

7.9
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.43 lbs (3.37 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
No

The iRobot Roomba 694 is very portable. While it doesn't have a carrying handle, it's fairly light, so you can easily bring it between rooms.

9.5
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
130 min.
Maximum Battery Life
130 min.
Recharge Time
107 min.
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The iRobot Roomba 694 has an outstanding battery performance. While it doesn't have any manual power mode settings, it automatically adjusts its suction power based on the cleaning conditions. It lasts over two hours on a single charge, though it automatically returns to the docking station after 90 minutes. There's a battery indicator light on top of the vacuum, and you can also see the battery level through its companion app.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
No
Power Adjustment
No
Self-Propelled
Yes
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Automatic

This vacuum has a few quality of life features. Its cleaning head automatically adjusts its height based on the surface it's on. Also, the vacuum automatically adjusts its power setting based on the cleaning conditions. It has dirt sensors that it uses to detect which areas to clean more thoroughly.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
No
Upholstery Tool
No
Soft Bristle Brush
No
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
No
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

This vacuum has a few accessories included. It has a two-part brushroll that uses a beater brush to crush debris and a bristle brush to pick up these smaller pieces. It also has a side brush that pushes debris from around the vacuum towards its cleaning path.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Performance
7.8
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
51 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
56 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
98 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
97 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

This vacuum has a very good performance on bare floors. While it struggles to pick up pet hair, it has no problem cleaning small and bulky debris like rice and cereal. However, when picking up bulkier debris, its performance decreases noticeably as the dirt compartment fills up.

4.2
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
48 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
61 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
60 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
10 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
10 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba 694 has a poor performance on low-pile carpet. It can pick up some pet hair and larger debris like sand, though it may need to take an extra pass to clear it all. Unfortunately, it really struggles to pick up fine debris like baking soda. Thankfully, its performance is consistent as the dirt compartment fills up.

6.4
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
59 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
57 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
56 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
26 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
27 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba 694 has an acceptable performance on high-pile carpet. It can clean a reasonable amount of pet hair and larger debris like sand. Unfortunately, it really struggles to pick up finer debris like baking soda. Thankfully, its performance doesn't decrease much as the dirt compartment fills up.

7.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Good
Under Low Table
Good
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Ok
Electric Cord
Ok

The iRobot Roomba 694 is decently maneuverable. Its small size lets it fit under furniture like couches and low tables. While it can move freely from bare floors to rugs, it sometimes gets caught on rug tassels. It doesn't get caught on low-lying obstacles like electrical cords, though, but it may push them around a bit. This vacuum uses random pathing, but it still results in good coverage.

Automation
6.7
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
Yes (App only)
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
Yes
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
iRobot HOME

The iRobot Roomba 694 has okay automation features. This vacuum uses random pathing, which isn't as efficient as smart pathing, but it still does a good job of covering the whole area of a room. Using the iRobot Home companion app, you can start and stop the vacuum, check the battery, schedule cleaning times, and get the vacuum to return to its charging dock. You can also set up voice commands with Alexa or Google Home devices. Although you can't create virtual boundary markers in the app, you can buy physical boundary markers at an additional cost to stop the vacuum from going to certain areas.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The iRobot Roomba 694 comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across a variant not listed here, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The iRobot Roomba 694 is a robot vacuum that's very similar to the iRobot Roomba 692 but has a slightly better cleaning performance. It's most suitable for use on bare floors, though it can clean high-pile carpets acceptably well, which not all robot vacuums can do. It has a twin-brushroll configuration that breaks up larger debris, and its cleaning head automatically adjusts its height to the surface it's on, making it quite versatile. It can last over two hours on a single charge, in part thanks to its automatic power adjustment feature. Like most robot vacuums, it's quite difficult to maintain and has quite a few recurring costs.

See also our recommendations for the best robot vacuums, the best robot vacuums for pet hair, and the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors.

iRobot Roomba 692

The iRobot Roomba 694 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 692. Although they share a lot of the same features, the 694 has a better cleaning performance on all surface types. It can especially pick up pet hair more easily, while the 692 struggles to clean pet hair on bare floors and low and high-pile carpet. The 694's battery also lasts slightly longer, which is nice.

iRobot Roomba E5

The iRobot Roomba E5 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 694. The E5 clears pet hair much more easily and has a better cleaning performance overall on low-pile carpet. That said, the 694 has a better performance on bare floors and its battery lasts longer.

iRobot Roomba 981

The iRobot Roomba 981 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 694. The 981 has a better cleaning performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet, though it performs similarly on high-pile carpet. It also follows a more efficient cleaning route than the 694. That said, the 694 has longer battery life.

Roborock E4

The Roborock E4 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 694. The Roborock has a much better cleaning performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet, and it follows a more efficient cleaning path. Its dirt compartment is also larger, and its battery can last longer when used on the lowest power setting. However, the iRobot does a better job of picking up large debris like sand on high-pile carpet, and it has dirt sensors that detect which areas need to be cleaned more thoroughly.

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