If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Roomba 761.
Sometimes it feels like I am always in a rush, dashing from appointment to appointment. When I finally get home and start to relax, I cannot help but notice the dust and dirt accumulating on the floors. When am I going to find time to keep the house clean and still handle my other responsibilities? In trying to solve this problem, I decided to explore different types of robotic vacuums as a possible solution. Read on for my Roomba 620 vs 761 comparison.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Robotic Vacuum
There is no doubt that a robot can free up your time by automating the vacuuming chore. As soon as you press the Clean button, your Roomba will roll into action, tackling dirt, dust and other dry messes along the way. These machines can work on any kind of floor surface, traveling from carpet to hardwood without a hitch. All you have to do is empty the dirt bin when it is full.
While a Roomba robotic vacuum may be helpful in many situations, there some for which it is less ideal. These devices are only able to clean one floor of a house at a time, and they cannot clean stairs. If you live in a multi-level home, it will take a good deal of time to clean it with a single machine. Your robot will probably go through a charge with each floor it tackles and then, with the models I am reviewing, it will require at least four hours to recharge. If you are looking for something that will clean all the floors of a large home in a short amount of time, you may want to consider investing in a whole house vacuum system.
Another issue to consider is how many places you would want your vacuum to avoid. If you have antique furniture or fragile items, you can use a Virtual Wall device to keep the Roomba away. However, if you are steering your robot away from many areas, it may not be a worthwhile investment. Instead, your best solution would be a regular vacuum with multiple attachments for careful cleaning.
Meet the Roomba 620
The Roomba 620 is a basic model in the 600-line of iRobot vacuums. If you want the simplest approach to robotic vacuuming, you will want to take note of the 620. This unit navigates with the object-avoidance guided iAdapt 1.0 navigation system. It uses the three-stage AeroVac cleaning system that is standard in the 600-series. It runs for about 60 minutes on a single charge, powered by a replaceable nickel-metal hydride battery. In the package for the Roomba 620, you will find the robot, a remote control, a charging dock, and a single Virtual Wall device.
- Simple, push-button operation
- Removes lots of dust with regular use
- Quieter than other robotic vacuums
- Brushes get tangled with pet hair
- Can scuff and scratch furniture
- Random navigation leads to missed spots
A Brief Introduction to the Roomba 761
iRobot equipment improves with every generation, so the Roomba 761 has several features that are absent from the 620. This unit uses the same iAdapt navigation system, but it has been modified to be gentler with obstacles. The AeroVac 2 cleaning system has a stronger vacuum and softer bristles. An important upgrade to the 761 is the ability to schedule a cleaning cycle while you and your family are out of the house. The Roomba 761 comes with a charging dock, remote control, an extra set of filters and two Virtual Wall devices.
- Gentler on wood furniture
- Easy, onboard scheduling buttons
- Reliable cleaning machine
- Remote control is not reliable
- Filters need frequent replacement
- Slow charging time
Other Roomba 761 comparisons:
Important Features of the Roomba 620
While the Roomba 620 is a simple robot, it is still a powerful cleaning machine. The standard features of the 600-line help this unit reliably remove dirt and dust.
The Roomba 620 uses the iAdapt 1.0 navigation system. While some users complain that this cleaning pattern is random, the robot is actually learning your floorplan while it cleans. When you press the Clean button, the 620 sets out straight until it encounters an obstacle. It then remembers that location and sets off in a new direction. Throughout the cleaning session, it begins to understand the contours of your home. It becomes more efficient as it cleans. An important note about this system is that the Roomba 620 does not store the map in its memory. It always starts with a clean slate with each cleaning session. This can be frustrating if you are only cleaning one space as you might think the robot would figure it out over time. However, this system allows your droid to adapt to changes in your floor plan. It also means that your Roomba can be used to clean multiple areas of your home without reprogramming.
In addition to the obstacle sensors that detect barriers, your Roomba has Cliff Detect sensors that keep it from falling down the stairs. These sensors are calibrated so that the unit can handle the small drops that come with changes in floor surfaces. When it detects a more significant drop, it will change directions and stay safe.
The 620 comes with a Virtual Wall device that can steer it away from sensitive areas by emitting an electronic signal that triggers the obstacle sensors. You can also use the Virtual Wall to block a doorway and keep the vacuum from leaving a room before it is totally clean.
AeroVac Cleaning System
The AeroVac Cleaning system has three stages of cleaning power. First, a spinning side brush and two main brushes loosen and lift dirt and debris, putting it in the path of the vacuum. Next, the dirt is sucked into the dirt bin. Finally, the AeroVac filter separates dust and dirt from the air, keeping it in the bin. Most people find that they need to change the filter every three months with normal use. You can purchase additional filters online.
When there is an unexpected mess, you do not have time to wait for your robot to find it on its own. The remote control allows you to guide the Roomba to the scene of the spill. This is also a helpful tool if you have a larger floor plan that requires multiple charges to clean. Instead of waiting for the vacuum to discover new territory, you can guide it to the place where it last stopped cleaning.
Rechargeable NiMH Battery
The replaceable nickel-metal hydride battery is the source of the Roomba’s power. The 620 has about 60 minutes of cleaning power on a single charge. When its charge drops too low, it will stop cleaning and automatically seek out its charger. For the best results, place your dock in an area with open space so it is easy to find. If the robot registers too many obstacles nearby, it may fail to find the dock and run out of power.
Clean, Spot, Dock
There are three buttons on top of the 620. The Clean button is the largest button that sends the unit on a standard cleaning mission. Although you cannot schedule a cleaning for the 620, some users make a habit of pressing the Clean button as they head out the door for the day. The Dock button interrupts the cleaning cycle and sends the Roomba back to its charging dock.
The final button is a special cleaning mode. When you place your vacuum in the middle of a spill and press the Spot button, it begins cleaning in a tight, spiral pattern. Unless you interrupt the process, it will continue this pattern until it has vacuumed a circle about three feet in diameter. Hopefully, you will not be dealing with many spills that are much larger than that.
The Essential Features of the Roomba 761
The Roomba 761 is part of the next generation of iRobot vacuums, so it has some important upgrades. The navigation behavior has improved. The cleaning system is a little stronger. It also has a helpful set of Dirt Detect sensors that find larger messes. Importantly, the 761 allows its users to schedule daily cleanings for greater flexibility.
The Roomba 761 uses the same basic navigation technology as the 620. However, its navigation behavior has changed to address issues with scuffing furniture. Some customers found the 600-series models could be too rough on furniture and other obstacles. Starting with the 700-series, the robots began to slow down when they encountered a potential obstacle. They push against it gently to see if it is solid. The 761 also has a rubberized bumper to lessen the blow.
AeroVac 2 Cleaning System
The AeroVac 2 cleaning system has a stronger vacuum that helps the 761 work more effectively on carpeted surfaces. The filter in this system has been redesigned. Rather than one large AeroVac filter, the bin has two dual filters. This saves space in the dirt bin allowing an increase in volume. The more dirt and dust your Roomba can hold in the bin, the longer it can run without interruption.
Easy Scheduling with Onboard Buttons
The ability to set a cleaning time for your vacuum is a very helpful upgrade. The scheduling buttons on the 761 work like the buttons of a digital alarm clock. When you first charge the unit, you will set the current date and time. From there, you can create a daily appointment for the Roomba. You can also vary the times by creating a weekly cleaning schedule.
Not all messes are the same. The Roomba 761 has a set of acoustic and visual sensors on its underside. These sensors help it spot areas that are in need of extra cleaning. When a spill triggers the Dirt Detect sensors, the unit will spend more time in that area until things are clean. The sensors in the 761 do a better job of detecting large debris like spilled cereal as opposed to fine spills like flour or sugar.
Public Opinion of the Roomba 620
In order to take a comprehensive look at these robotic vacuums, it is important to determine how well they work in customer homes. To learn this information, I have been looking through a variety of online reviews. In general, the 620 leaves a positive impression. Its owners celebrate the unit’s reliability. Although it is one of the simplest Roombas on the market, it still gets the job done for these consumers. Many noted how impressed they were with the amount of dirt and dust this unit removed from their homes every day.
Positive Reaction to the Roomba 761
People who own the Roomba 761 are also pleased with their purchase for the most part. In addition to the standard comments about reliable vacuuming, consumers also appreciated the ability to schedule a cleaning cycle. Several people commented on how great it was to come home from work to spotless floors.
My Choice: Resolving the Roomba 620 vs 761 Debate
In comparing these two robots, I think the Roomba 761 is the unit to choose. Before I give the reasons for my answer, I want to give credit to the 620. If you have a smaller home with a simple floor plan, the Roomba 620 may be all the power that you need. However, the 761 gives consumers an overall stronger unit with greater flexibility. The ability to program the unit gives it a big advantage over other models. You can walk out the door knowing that you will have a cleaner home when you return.
- Just press CLEAN on the robot vacuum, no programming required. With just the press of a button, Roomba gets to work.
- Patented 3-Stage Cleaning System and Dual Multi-Surface Brushes pick up everything from small particles to large debris
- Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home
- Full suite of intelligent sensors guide the robot under and around furniture to help thoroughly clean your floors
- Auto-Adjust Cleaning Head automatically adapts its height to effectively clean carpets and hard floors