Roomba 675 vs Roomba 960 - Budget Over Abilities?

Roomba 675 vs Roomba 960 – Budget Over Abilities?

With new models coming out on a regular basis the older generation Roomba vacuums are getting price cuts. Because of this, old robots are finding new homes. The most popular 600 series robot, the Roomba 675, is one such robot. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, but it performs.

Today, we look at the Roomba 675 vs. the Roomba 960, another older robot that has a high popularity rating. Is the 675 worth saving the money over the better performing 960? We find out right here. In a hurry? I’ll tell you right now that the 960 is still the better deal. Read on to find out why.

Differences between Roomba 675 and Roomba 960

The Roomba 675 and 960 are a few generations apart, and of course, there will be differences. I outline the major ones here for you. Enjoy.

  • Navigation system. The Roomba 675 uses the original iAdapt version where the 960 uses the iAdapt 2.0 navigation system.
  • You will find a HEPA quality filter on the 960 but not on the 675.
  • Battery and runtime. The 675 has a smaller battery capacity and less active runtime than the Roomba 960.
  • Carpet boost. The 960 will increase motor speed and suction power when it is on carpet. The 675 doesn’t have a multi-speed motor.
  • The Roomba 960 ships with a dual-mode virtual wall barrier. While compatible with them, the Roomba 675 doesn’t have one included with purchase.
  • Extraction method. There is a bristle brush roller on the 675 for lifting debris. The 960 uses the twin rubber extractors without bristles.

Similarities among Roomba 675 and Roomba 960

In almost every other aspect, the two models are the same. The highlights are listed below.

  • Automatic recharge. Both robots will monitor their battery levels and return to the charging dock for a recharge when that level drops below about 15%.
  • Dirt detection. The 675 and 960 both use the drop sensors to also detect if dirt still remains after a cleaning pass. If so, they will both return to the spot and clean it again.
  • Wireless controls. Through the wireless control options you can use Alexa skills or the iRobot mobile app to control either robot.
  • Floor types. Each of the robots is rated to clean all floor types.
  • Collection bin capacity. The 960 and the 675 have the same 0.5L collection bin capacity.
  • The iRobot 1-year warranty applies to new purchases of either the Roomba 675 or the Roomba 960.

Specifications Chart

On paper, the two models have a lot to offer. See for yourself.

  Roomba 675 Roomba 960
Size 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches 13.8×13.8×3.6 inches
Weight 7.8 pounds 8.7 pounds
Navigation iAdapt 1.0 iAdapt 2.0
Battery 1800mAh Lithium-ion 3300mAh lithium-ion
Runtime Up to 90 minutes Up to 120 minutes
Charge Time About 3 hours 3 hours
Automatic Recharge Yes Yes
Entire Level Clean No Yes
Filter Standard High-efficiency
Carpet Boost No Yes
Drop Sensors Yes Yes
Bump Sensors Yes Yes
Dirt Detection Sensors Yes Yes
Camera Navigation No Yes
Wireless Communications Yes Yes
Mobile App Yes Yes
Voice Controls Yes Yes
Floor Types All All
Collection Bin Capacity 0.5L 0.5L
Containment None Included Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
Warranty 1 Year 1 year
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Comparing the Roomba 675 to the Roomba 960

Now we get to the important bits. As you have seen from above, the robots have a lot to offer and on paper, at least, look to be a viable option, which ever one you choose. Let’s break them down by sections and features to see where one shines more than the other.

Robot Basics

Batteries, rollers, filters, sensors. These are things every robot has, which I have termed “robot basics.” The 675 boasts an 1800mAh battery with a runtime of up to 90 minutes. An hour and a half of running around your home, cleaning, is not a bad thing. Not as good as the 960, with double the capacity and 30 more minutes of runtime, though.

The filter leaves a little to be desired. By today’s growing standards a filter should not only maintain the cleanliness of the motor area, but filter out allergens in our homes. The Roomba 675 only does one of these; bad news for those with allergies.

The bristle brush roller uses soft bristles to sweep floors and agitate carpeting. It gets clogged with hair and string and larger clumps of dust. You can use the cleaning tool to help get it unclogged, but it still takes time. Meanwhile, the bump and drop sensors are the only forms of knowing where to go. It isn’t highly effective, but it gets the job done.

The Roomba 960 on the other hand is opposite in almost every way. The filter it a HEPA quality filter. It will keep the motor area free of debris and the exhaust air free of in-home allergens such as pollen pet dander and dust mites.

The rollers don’t have bristles. Instead, they use rubber paddles to sweep the floor and agitate the carpet fibers. They are much more effective and can clean more surfaces than the brush roller of the 675. The sensors are the same type but have slight upgrades to make them more accurate.

Bottom Line: When it comes to the basics, the robots are similar, but the 960 is superior in every aspect, so it gets the win here.

Voice and Mobile Control Options

The Roomba 675 and 960 both come with wireless communications. This enables you to do a setup and programming through the mobile app. Once you have the app downloaded and the robot connected (a process that takes about 5 minutes), you can then use the mobile app for complete control over the robot.

With the app you can start and stop a cleaning session. Pause and resume functionality are there, too, as well as the ability to force the robot back to the charging station. The mobile app controls allow for schedule making, editing and deletion as well. You can program either robot to clean your home at any time of any day that you need it done.

This works well if you are at work and need the floor cleaned for the dinner party later that evening. The 960 gives you a few more options in the app such as status reports and filter monitoring. However, for the most part the controls through the app for the 960 and 675 are the same.

You also get voice commands through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices. These give you the same controls as the mobile app, where you can start or end a session or make a scheduled cleaning. Both of the robots have several voice commands. The i7+ and s9+ have more, of course, since they have more digital technology. The 960 and 675 aren’t lacking, though.

Bottom Line: This is a tie. Both of the robots have the same mobile app and voice controls.

Navigation and Mapping

The navigation system used by all Roomba robots is called iAdapt. It is a camera-based system that uses low-resolution photos to create a map of your home. This mapping feature wasn’t introduced until the 900 series and was then added to certain 800 series robots like the 880 and 890.

The 675 doesn’t have a camera and doesn’t create a map. Instead, it relies only on the bump sensors to move around the home and the drop sensors to know when not to fall off a ledge. The sensors work well, but the cleaning paths are sporadic and confusing.

The 960 answers this by using human-like cleaning patterns. Because of the camera added to the iAdapt 2.0 system, the created map works like a guide for the robot to follow. It will use parallel lines to go back and forth over your floors.

There are some times when the 960 will miss spots and it doesn’t navigate through tables and chairs very well, but it does a better job than the 675. With the mobile app, you can see the map as well. While you cannot interact with it (this feature isn’t available until they released the Roomba i7 in late 2018), you can see where the root has already cleaned and what is left to be cleaned.

Bottom Line: The 960 clearly wins this round. With better navigation and the ability to map your home for a more thorough cleaning, is it a slam dunk over the 675.

Real-World Cleaning

So we know how these robots are reported to work. We know their capabilities as they are listed on paper. How do they actually clean though? This is what matters the most, and why reviewers and video makers insist on using lab-quality testing areas, I will never know.

Unless you live in a lab, in which case you can skip this section, let’s see how the robots perform for real, in your home.

On Carpeting

The Roomba 675 does a decent enough job on low pile carpeting. When it gets to medium pile, you have about reached its limits. The brush roller is to blame. It isn’t thick enough or strong enough to make its way through high pile carpet.

What you will notice, though, is that with the 675 used daily, your standard upright will stay in the closet longer. If you use the upright every Saturday, with the 675, you can skip to every other Saturday. The carpets will appear cleaner, even if the 675 doesn’t get as deep as it should.

The Roomba 960, though, does an incredible job on carpet. With the carpet boost technology, you will think the 960 is the best vacuum ever (until you see the s-series). With the rubber extractors, the carpet fibers get agitated and beaten until they release the deep down dirt.

Add in the human-like cleaning patterns and you have a carpet that doesn’t need to see the upright for at least a month, maybe more, depending on your carpet type.

On Hard Flooring

When it comes to the hard surfaces, the two robots are more evenly matched. The 675 will clean along the edges with the single side brush. It tries to get into the corners as best it can, but you will find some debris, dust-bunnies and pet hair left behind.

On the main floor area, though, there isn’t much left for you to worry about, unless you have uneven flooring, such as natural stone, or tile with wide grout. The 675 suction isn’t strong enough to get into these crevices too well.

The Roomba 960 can get them. The crevices, the edges and even better in the corners than the 675. You will still see some debris along the edges and in corners, this is to be expected with a round robot (Neato tries to win a battle here with the D-Series).

In the middle of the floor, there is basically nothing left behind. You don’t want to watch the cleaning though, you will get frustrated. With the high speed of the side brush and the non-buffered exhaust air, light debris on your hard flooring will be blown around. The robot looks like it is making a bigger mess, but fear not. Eventually everything will be collected.

Dealing with Pet Hair

When it comes to pet hair, you are better off not using the Roomba 675. It does a good job of picking up hair and fur, but it stops when the bristles get clogged, which happens pretty quick. You will find that you spend more time unclogging the brush roller and intake port than the robot does cleaning.

However, for those of you with shedding pets, the Roomba 960 will be a lifesaver. Not only will it have enough suction power to get all the hair, but the tangle-free rollers won’t clog with it. Sure, some hairs and string will wrap around the rollers (especially under the end caps, make sure to remove them when cleaning), but cleaning them off can wait until the cycle is done and the maintenance only takes a few seconds, not minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

As we draw to a close, let me take some time and answer a few of the more common questions surrounding the Roomba 675 and 960. As always, if you have further questions, feel free to use the comment section below.

Q. What kind of warranty does iRobot offer?

A. All Roomba vacuums come with a standard iRobot 1-year warranty. It protects you against defects, broken parts due to craftsmanship and will cover all parts, including the battery, with some exceptions. Those exceptions are the replaceable parts. Things like the filters, side brushes and rollers are not covered.

Q. How do I contact Roomba?

A. The fastest way is to head to the contacts page on their website, scroll to the bottom and click on the live chat link. If you prefer email, all the contact information and email addresses are on that page as well. Finally, you have the option to call them on the phone at 1-800-727-9077.

Q. Can I still get parts for older Roomba vacuums?

A. You sure can! You can get parts through Amazon or through the iRobot shop for any Roomba model going back to the 400 series.

Q. What should I name my robot?

A. Funny you should ask. I have written you a complete guide to naming your robot that will give you ideas, things to think about and perhaps a smile or two. You should check it out. If in doubt, you can always name it Vaccy McVacface.

What I Like About the Roomba 675

  • Simple operation for a standard cleaning robot with no fuss.
  • Mobile app is tops in the industry, even for the older generation robots.
  • Low maintenance

What I Like About the Roomba 960

  • Mobile and voice commands for easy control.
  • iAdapt 2.0 navigation and mapping for a more human-like cleaning experience.
  • Brushless extractors that won’t tangle and can free themselves.

Conclusion

This is an unfair fight on almost all fronts, if we are being open and honest. The Roomba 960 is by far a better cleaning robot. Unless the features are identical, the 960’s are going to be better. There is one area, though where the Roomba 675 wins and it has a lot of fans; the price tag.

The Roomba 675 will clean your floors. It may not be the prettiest girl at the ball, but it will collect a lot of dust, dirt and debris. For the price, you may be willing to overlook some of the shortcomings from the 600 series generation of robots. For the rest of us, there is the Roomba 960.

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