If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Roomba 650.
In an effort to keep things clean, I always make my family members take off their shoes when they come inside. I hoped that this would prevent them from tracking outdoor dirt on our floors. However, I have noticed that everyone’s socks are dingy when I do the laundry. It is unbelievable how much dust can build up in our home. On my quest to find a tool that keeps my floors reliably clean, I have started looking at a variety of different robotic vacuums. Keep reading to learn my thoughts on the Roomba 650 vs 655.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Robotic Vacuum
In many homes, a robotic vacuum like an iRobot Roomba will be a big help in the battle against dust and dirt. iRobot developed the Roomba line of products as a way to make daily vacuuming a simple chore. All you have to do is press a button. These electronic marvels will travel around the floors of your home, picking up dirt and other debris all the way. Not only do Roombas clean the floor surfaces you can see, but they also are small enough to get under a good deal of furniture. They can find dust in places where you would rarely clean with a normal vacuum. At the end of the cleaning session, it takes about a minute to empty out the unit’s dirt bin. With a robotic vacuum, you can have consistently clean floors with very little effort.
There are some situations where you might want to think carefully about whether a Roomba is the best solution. If you have to clean a multi-story home, you may not have the patience for a Roomba to get everything done. Because of their design, they can only work on one floor at a time and will probably require charging between floors, a process that can take up to five hours. In addition, Roomba vacuums can only handle level surfaces. They will not be able to vacuum your stairs. If you need to get a large house done quickly, you may want to invest in a backpack vacuum that is easily portable from one level to the next.
A Roomba robotic vacuum may also not be a great solution if you live with someone who has issues with their sight. These robots follow an unpredictable pattern when cleaning. A small robot following a random path might be a tripping hazard for an older person with poor sight and balance. These robots also stop wherever they are when they have a full dirt bin or run out of charge. Again, this situation could present a danger for someone with low sight or no sight. If you are going to use a Roomba, make sure it always makes its way back to its charging dock.
An Introduction to the Roomba 650
The Roomba 650 is one of iRobot’s most popular models in recent years. It is an entry-level robot with simpler features than more advanced models. However, even though it is a basic Roomba, it can be a powerful cleaning tool in small to average-sized homes. The three-stage cleaning system does a great job tackling dust and dirt, especially on non-carpeted floor surfaces. Many users are surprised at how much dust the unit finds as it navigates their homes. The Roomba 650 has a set of programming buttons that allow you to schedule cleaning sessions at any time of the day or night. In the Roomba 650 package, you will find the robot, a charging dock and cord, an extra filter and a single Virtual Wall device.
- Reliable daily cleaning
- Simple scheduling buttons
- 60 minute cleaning time on a single charge
- Brushes get tangled with pet hair
- Noisy operation
- Can get stranded or stuck
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Meet the Roomba 655
The Roomba 655 is similar to the 650 in several ways. They share the same navigation and cleaning systems. This unit also has simple, onboard scheduling buttons. The 655 comes with an XLife extended-life battery that can take twice as many charges as the regular battery in the Roomba 650. The unit’s exterior design is unique with a silver and gray finish as opposed to the black finish of most Roombas. In addition, the 655 comes with several important replacement parts. When you open the Roomba 655 package, you will find the same supplies as in the 650 package. You will also find an extra edge brush, bristle brush and beater brush.
- Bonus replacement parts
- Unique exterior design
- Great on hardwood floors
- Random navigation does not clean easily
- Weak on carpets
- Long charging time
The Basic Features and Benefits of the Roomba 650
The 600-series of Roomba robotic vacuums are ideally suited for smaller homes with a simple floor plan. They do not have the advanced navigation or Wi-Fi connection of more recent models. However, these are very capable machines that can keep your floors reliably clean. The Roomba 650 is a popular model because of its strong cleaning features.
Three-Stage AeroVac Cleaning System
The AeroVac cleaning system is the key to giving you a clean house. This system loosens and removes dirt in three, powerful steps. First, brushes attack the dirt and dust. A spinning edge-sweeping brush pulls dirt from the side of the unit and straight into its path. The two central brushes then loosen and lift dirt toward the vacuum. Over time, the various brushes will wear down with use. However, replacement parts are available for purchase online, giving renewed cleaning power to your Roomba.
The second step is the AeroVac vacuum. This vacuum is powerful enough to pull dirt, dust, and debris from most surfaces. More recent units have stronger vacuums that do a better job pulling dirt from carpet fibers. If your house has a good dealing of carpeting, you should probably upgrade to a Roomba with a newer generation of the cleaning system.
Finally, the dirt travels into the Roomba’s dirt bin where it is trapped. A filter then traps finer particles, keeping them in the bin. This filter is great at removing most dirt and dander from your environment. However, it is not a HEPA filter. If you are trying to remove smaller irritants like pollen, you will need a more powerful vacuum system.
The 600-series of Roomba vacuums navigates through object-avoidance. When you start a cleaning cycle, it begins its journey with a clean slate. When the Roomba encounters an object or barrier, it remembers that location and changes direction. As it cleans, it slowly learns your floorplan, becoming more efficient as it goes through the cleaning cycle. It is important to note that these robots wipe their maps every time they recharge. Your Roomba 650 will start from scratch the next time it cleans.
While I love to watch a Roomba learn its way, some consumers become frustrated because the pattern can be inefficient, with the robot crossing some areas several times while rarely touching others. For these units, your best bet is to make certain that you remove any extra clutter from your floors so it is dealing with fewer obstacles. When there are more obstacles in the way, the Roomba has to make more calculations and avoid more areas.
The 650 comes with a single Virtual Wall device that works with the navigation system. There are some areas that you may want your robot to avoid. You may have a display table with fragile items that you do not want the robot to touch. The Virtual Wall sends out a signal that triggers the sensors on the droid, causing them to register an obstacle to avoid. People also use these devices to prevent the Roomba from leaving a room before it has cleaned it completely. You can purchase extra Virtual Wall devices online.
The Roomba 650 powers itself with a nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable battery. On hardwood floors, this battery gives the unit about 60 minutes of cleaning time on a single charge. If it is cleaning carpeted surfaces where it has to work harder, it will have a shorter cleaning cycle. When its battery charge becomes low, the unit will automatically end its cleaning cycle and seek out its charging dock. It takes four to five hours for the Roomba 650 to recharge fully. It is important to place the dock in an open area so that it is easy for the Roomba to reach. Otherwise, you may experience a stranded Roomba that runs out of charge.
Dirt Detection and Spot Cleaning
Underneath the Roomba 650, there is a set of sensors designed to recognize larger messes. When extra dirt triggers these sensors, the Roomba spends more time in that area. It will work until the sensors say that the mess is gone. Users find that these sensors do a better job of recognizing larger debris like spilled popcorn rather than fine dust like spilled sugar.
The Roomba 650 has another special cleaning mode. The Spot mode allows users to clean up unexpected dry spills. I have used this mode when my dog knocks over a houseplant spilling dirt on the floor. You place the Roomba in the center of the spill. Then, you press the Spot button. The unit then starts to clean in a tight spiral. It will follow this pattern until it has cleaned a circle that is three feet in diameter, the right size for catching many household accidents.
One of the great features of the Roomba 650 is the ability to schedule a cleaning session at any time of the day. A set of buttons on top of the Roomba gives you the power to create a daily cleaning time or a weekly cleaning schedule. As much as I like to watch the Roomba work, it is more helpful to have the unit clean while everyone is out of the house. One helpful habit is cleaning the unit’s dirt bin when you get home from work. This is a short chore, but it will help prevent your unit from having to stop during the next cleaning cycle.
The Features of the Roomba 655
If you take away its unique design, the Roomba 655 is almost the same unit as the Roomba 650. Just about everything I wrote about the Roomba 650 is also true for the 655. It shares the same cleaning system, navigation system, and programming capability. However, the Roomba 655 has a few features that give it some cleaning advantages.
Enhanced Battery Life
The Roomba 655 comes with an XLife nickel-metal-hydride battery that, according to iRobot, can take twice as many charges as the battery in the 650. This means a longer time before you have to replace the battery in your Roomba. It is important to note that the batteries in both the 650 and 655 are replaceable. These droids have the potential to clean your home for years to come.
If design is important to you, the 655 may the robotic vacuum for you. Most Roomba robots have a plain black finish. The 655 is designed with a silver and gray color-scheme that gives it a retro, sci-fi look. I always imagined robots that looked like metal machines. The Roomba 655 fits this description.
Bonus Replacement Parts
iRobot packaged the Roomba 655 with longevity in mind. A robotic vacuum is a serious financial investment. You want to know that your robot can clean for a long time. The 655 comes with a full set of replacement brushes for the cleaning system. These are the parts that are in constant contact with your floors and will wear down over time. By including a set in the basic package, iRobot is giving you the ability to extend the usable life of your vacuum.
User Reviews of the Roomba 650
I have been looking at several online sites to see what people think about their robotic vacuums. I can report that the Roomba 650 gets positive reviews. This is especially the case for people with smaller homes or apartments. When they set the unit loose every day, they see a big difference in the cleanliness of their homes. They also appreciate the ability to run the unit while they are away for the day.
Positive Reviews for the Roomba 655
The Roomba 655 also receives positive reviews. Most of the reviews about performance are similar to those for the 650. After all, these are almost the same machine. However, several commenters noted their appreciation for the 655’s unique style, setting it apart from other Roomba robots.
My Choice: The Roomba 650 vs 655
It is difficult to make a strong comparison between the 650 and 655. So many of the features are identical, and the reports about their performances are similar. Either one will give you a reliable clean with regular use, especially for uncarpeted floor surfaces. The Roomba 650 is much more common and can be found through several vendors. However, if you can find a Roomba 655, the number of extra parts in its package gives it a slight edge in my opinion. The extended-life battery and extra brushes will set you up with a cleaning partner that will last.
- iAdapt Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home
- 3 Stage Cleaning System agitates, brushes and suctions floors
- Conveniently schedule up to 7x per week, or just press CLEAN on the robot
- Automatically docks and recharges; At just 3.6 inch tall, Roomba has been specifically designed to fit under most furniture and kickboards so dirt has no place to hide
- Automatically adjusts to all floor types of carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate and more
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