Bird's eye view of the Roomba 614

Roomba 614 Review – Reliable Barebones Cleaning Machine

The Roomba line has been the bar setting standard for home robot vacuums since their first robot in 2001. Since that time they have constantly raised that bar, making all others keep pace. When iRobot released the Roomba 614, they took a turn back to the basics.

The Roomba 614 is a barebones cleaning machine. Is it the right cleaning robot for you, though? In this article I will examine the “featureless” wonder and get to the bottom of the low cost, entry-level machine. Continue to the article below and find out if this Roomba could be your perfect match.

Who Is The Roomba 614 For?

The 614 might be a great fit for you and your household if you:

  • Want a low cost, entry level Roomba for the name and reliability.
  • Don’t need to worry about allergens.
  • Don’t need schedules, programming or set up.
  • Want just to have a vacuum that works without the need for apps and voice commands.

Who Is The Roomba 614 Not For?

The Roomba 614 isn’t going to be a good match for everyone. It may not be a perfect fit for you if:

  • You need more control over your vacuum cleaning cycles.
  • Have allergies and need HEPA filtration.
  • Want a truly smart home with voice and wireless controls.

Dimensions, Features and Options

The Roomba 614 is being called a featureless robotic vacuum. However, the truth is it is still a Roomba has does have some features. It doesn’t have a lot, as you will see, and that simplicity is its appeal.

The Battery Life is Incredible But Could Use A Little More

When the original 600 series came out, iRobot was still using Nickel-Metal Hydride battery packs. They since upgraded to lithium-ion battery packs and the benefits are proven. Lithium-ion packs recharge faster, last longer and drain slower than the Nickel-Metal Hydride packs.

The Roomba 614 has the lithium-ion battery pack. The recharge time is just shy of three hours which is about average for a 2500 – 3000mAh battery. Depending on how much it takes to clean your house the robot can be charged and ready for the next cycle in about two hours. Although you shouldn’t need ever to test this.

The runtime is listed as up to 120 minutes. That is two full hours of cleaning time. This is normally the part where I chime in and go on a rant about how this will never be reached unless you can recreate lab quality conditions.

However, because the Roomba 614 doesn’t have a lot of the battery draining features that most other cleaners do, you will get pretty close. In fact, a runtime of up to 110 minutes is easily obtainable.

Because the robot will automatically return to the charging dock when the battery runs low, you don’t have to worry about finding a dead robot in the middle of your floor. However, one of the features that are missing is the entire level cleaning.

Without entire level cleaning the vacuum will not resume from where it left off after a recharge. This can be a problem for larger floor plans and homes with a lot of foot traffic the result in heavily soiled areas. With the Roomba 614 not being able to finish, you may have to run it twice, without voice commands, mobile apps or remote controls, this can (possibly) become a burden.

Filtration Did Not Get the Upgrade It Needed

Roomba vacuum's Aerovac filter.

When the 650 series was released the AeroVac filtration system was used. The term “AeroVac” is iRobots fancy term for their system; it holds no real meaning. However what is also doesn’t hold is allergens. Well, specifically not all of them.

HEPA certified filters will collect allergens down to 3 microns. The AeroVac filters will only collect particles to 10 microns. Without the HEPA certification you won’t capture up to 99 percent of the allergens in your home, but you will capture about 90 percent. However, for severe allergy sufferers, this might not be enough.

The HEPA filtration is found in Roomba models starting with the 700 series. I am not sure why they didn’t include them in the 615, but they kept the same 600 series formulation when it came to the filters.

There is No Containment Included

One of the drawing features of the Roomba line up is their Virtual Wall Barriers that prevent access to specific areas of your home. With these battery powered towers, you can set them to block off doorways, entire rooms. You can also set them on radius mode and prevent the robot from knocking into floor lamps, pet food dishes or other items on the floors you don’t want the robot near.

The virtual wall barrier prevents the Roomba from hitting a pet food bowl and a pet water bowl.

These barriers, however, are not included in the purchase of the Roomba 614. Unlike most of the others in the lineup. This is just one of the features they removed to keep the cost low. If you want a virtual wall barrier (or two), you can purchase them separately.

The sensors that detect the infrared beam and prevent the robot from accessing the area are installed as a part of the iAdapt navigation and mapping sensors. You just need to provide the barrier, at an extra cost, yourself.

Local Control and Nothing But Local Control

With the Roomba 614, you aren’t going to get a remote control. You can’t buy a remote control separately, either. There isn’t a remote control made for the model.

Another thing you won’t have is wireless capabilities. The Roomba won’t be connected to your WiFi and you can download the mobile app, but it won’t do you any good. This also means that there is no voice control with Amazin Alexa or Google Home devices.

The only control you get is local control, and this is even very limited. On the 614 itself is a single button. It is marked “Clean,” and when you press it, that is what the little robot does; it goes off and cleans.

You cannot create schedules to have it clean at a later date or time. You have to be there physically to press the button.

Now, some people will complain about this. Scheduling means they have the ability to clean when they aren’t home, this way the robot doesn’t get in the way, nor do they get in the way of the robot.

My answer is simple: you leave for work every day, right? Press the button on your way out the door. Taking the wife out for a Wednesday night dinner? Press the button and come home to a clean floor.

If, however, programing and scheduling are a must for you, the Roomba 614 is not the answer. There are other Roombas in a similar price range that have these options. If you are after simple and clean, the 614 might be the best option though.

Specifications Chart

Let’s take a look at the Roomba 614 and see what features it does (and doesn’t) include.

Roomba 614
Battery Lithium-Ion
Charge Time 3 hours
Runtime Up to 120 minutes
Navigation iAdapt Technology
Dirt Detection Sensors Yes
Drop Sensors Yes
Bump Sensors Yes
Filter AeroVac
Cleaning AeroVac 3-Stage
Remote Control No
Voice Control No
Local Control Yes
WiFi No
Mobile App No
Scheduling No
Exctraction Method Dual Brush Bars
Side Brushes 1
Full Bin Indicator No
Entire Level Cleaning No
Automatic Recharge Yes
Carpet Boost No
Virtual Wall Barriers Separate Purchase
Warranty 1 Year

Alternative Options

Perhaps the Roomba 614 isn’t quite what you are looking for. If that is the case, or you are still unsure, here are a few other options to think about.

Roomba 690

The Roomba 690 is the top of the 600 line class. While it doesn’t have HEPA filtration, it does have more bells and whistles than the 614. There are more local controls for one, and you also have wireless communications.

The Roomba vacuums on the carpeted section of a room.

With the WiFi, you have the ability to use the mobile app, which may be the best on the market, as well as voice commands through Amazon Alexa enabled devices as well as Google Home. It has the same cleaning and filtration as the 614, but the added features make it easier to operate. You can also create schedules and program the robot for future cleaning cycles.

Eufy 11 Plus

The Eufy is a rival for the Roomba 690. It is also an entry-level robot with basic controls. However, it does offer HEPA filtration. It isn’t the smartest robot vacuum, but it cleans fairly well. You will notices that there are some problems that may cause you hesitation though.

The navigation and sensors are spotty at best. It will often lose it’s way around your home and not clean the entire floor. It also bumps into things quite a bit. However, if you have allergies, an open floor plan and want a decent clean for a low price, then the Eufy 11 Plus could be for you.

Samsung POWERbot R7040

Samsung has its entry into the robotic vacuum line with the R7000 series. The R7040 is a decent clean as long as you don’t have a lot of carpets. Unlike the Roomba, the POWERbot seems to lack power on all types of carpet.

It does have features though, and wireless communications. If you are looking for a hard floor vacuum, this could be the one for you. However, if you have a lot of carpets, you may want to look at another option.

Frequently Asked Questions

I will answer some of the more common questions here, so you don’t have to go anywhere else to get all of your answers. Just one of the many services I provide to you. You’re welcome.

Q. I heard Roombas have trouble with dark floors or carpets, is this true for the 614?
A. This is true for all robot vacuums, including the Roomba 614. The problem isn’t with the flooring or the vacuum it is with the sensor technology.

All robotic vacuums use an infrared sensor to send a beam to the floor. If the beam “stops” within a certain range, the robot knows there is floor there and can continue moving that direction. With black carpet or flooring, the infrared beam is absorbed and doesn’t show that is has stopped. This confuses the sensor readers and they interpret it as a drop-off, like a stair or ledge.

When this happens, the robot will change direction to avoid a fall, even if there isn’t a fall to be had. You can circumvent this by placing a piece of tape over the drop sensor. However, if you do have stairs or ledges, you will need to make sure it doesn’t take a tumble.

Q. How large is the collection bin and when should it be emptied?
A. The collection bin is 0.7 liters in size, which is fairly large for this level of vacuum. When should it be emptied is dependent on a lot of things such as how often you run it, and what is it picking up?

The dust bin of a Roomba 600 series vacuum.

If you have pets that shed a lot, for example, you will need to empty the bin more frequently. Exactly how often is going to be a trial and error on your part. The best practice is to just clean it after every cycle. However, this isn’t always practical.

Instead, check it after the first few cycles, and when it is full, empty it. If after a few runs you notice you need to empty it between the second and third run, you have your answer.

Q. Can I name the robot?
A. You can put Hello Kitty Stickers on it and call it Beatrice. The robot doesn’t care. However, what I believe you are referring to is the Alexa commands. Once there is a robot synced to voice activation through Alexa, you will have the option to name it. This is so you can use your voice to say things like “Hey, Alexa, Tell Beatrice to clean.”

The issue here is that there are no voice commands for the 614, there are no mobile apps or wireless connections that will necessitate a name. However, you can still name it, and like a deaf dog, it won’t care.

Q. What is the maintenance for the Roomba 614?
A. The maintenance is actually quite simple and if you stay up on it, it won’t take you longer than about 15 minutes. It is recommended (by me) that you do a regular maintenance check weekly.

  • You will empty the collection bin, wipe it out and replace it: 2 minutes
  • Pull out the filter and wipe it off, brush (or beat) it clean: 2 minutes
  • Flip the robot over and check for tangles on the brush bars (removing and detangling): 10 minutes
  • Check the sensors for dust and wipe clean: 1 minute.

Keep up with this schedule and you won’t have many problems keeping the machine running smoothly.

The Wrap Up

The Roomba 614 is a solid cleaning machine. It will handle virtually any mess on any floor type. While it will struggle with high pile shag, because of the dual brush bars, all other carpet types are easily handled.

Without all the bells, whistles and added features of other Roomba models, the 614 just simply cleans. With the push of a single button, you get a clean floor with no fuss, no setup and no extras. However, that is all you get. There are no wireless communications, no mobile app controls and no fancy lights or sounds.

If an entry level, no mess robotic vacuum that just works is something you are looking for, though, the Roomba 614 could be your answer.

In a Nutshell

The Roomba 614 just works. It is simple and easy to use and it just cleans. However, the severe lack of features mean you will be missing out on a few standards in the industry. Even the mobile app control and a full bin indicator would help. If you need a little more the Roomba 690 is similar in price and value.

What I Like

  • Very simple to use. Press a button and go.
  • No set up and no programming.
  • Long battery life that actually lasts

What I Don’t Like

  • No remote control operations at all.
  • Lacking HEPA filtration.

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