Do you find yourself dreaming of hiring a professional cleaning service to take care of all the vacuuming at home, without incurring the monthly costs for extra help? If so, you should consider investing in a robotic vacuum.
Now, this technology is no longer new, and prices of robots have dropped dramatically. iRobot dominates this space with their Roomba range, offering the perfect combination of capable performance at a price you’ll love.
The problem is, when you’re faced with so many different but similar looking models, how do you tell them apart and decide which would make the best fit for your home?
Well, we’re here to help you.
Today, we’ll walk you through the similarities and differences between 2 leading models in iRobot’s range, so you can get a cost-effective way of lessening your load on the cleaning front.
Before we break these hard-hitting models down, a word of warning. You should keep your expectations reasonable with a robotic vacuum, especially at the lower end of the price spectrum.
If you view your robot as an assistant rather than a miracle cure, you can sit back and let the machine do the work so you can spend more time enjoying your home. Let’s get right to it: Roomba 761 vs. 650.
What’s The Difference Between The Roomba 761 vs 650?
Both of these Roomba models pack iRobot’s AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system, so you’ll get more than enough power; whichever robot you opt for.
The dirt and debris are suctioned very well, and that means you can get to the bottom of stubborn and ingrained messes. With its powerful intake, these handy cleaners will get rid of nearly any disaster.
Since the 761 is a little heavier, it might lack some power compared to its bigger brother. However, it still gets the job done in a no-nonsense fashion. It’s also rated at 30 watts whereas the 650 is a 33-watt unit.
Both vacs have the ability to suck in hair without it getting tangled up. On the power front, they both perform equally well across the board.
Pretty much all robotic vacuums should be emptied after each use. This is a small price to pay when you consider you’ve had all the hard work done for you.
Since both Roombas are compact units, you will need to stick to a consistent schedule of emptying them. Yet, at just under a half-liter, both have more than enough capacity for you to put your cleaner to good use throughout the house.
Robot vacuums are more limited by the runtimes of the batteries than the dustbin capacity. All you really need to know is that both these models will hold in the dust and debris from a full-clean up with no requirement to empty the dustbin mid-cycle.
Wi-Fi connectivity via a smartphone app gives another layer of convenience to some iRobot models.
With the 650, you can schedule your cleaning up to 7 times weekly either by hitting Clean on the unit itself or by making use of the Wi-Fi capability.
You won’t get the same Wi-Fi add-on with the 761, although you are supplied with a remote control that allows you to carry out some simple programming.
You should ask yourself whether you will use the Wi-Fi connection frequently or not. It doesn’t make sense to base your decision on this feature alone if it’s not going to be used.
Perhaps surprisingly, the cheaper vacuum wins out on the filtration front.
The pricier 650 uses iRobot’s 3-stage cleaning system to get rid of deeply embedded mess without you breaking your back.
The 761 comes with a true HEPA-filter, making this the go-to choice if you have asthma or suffer from any allergies. With 99.97% of all contaminants sealed safely inside the robot’s body, you’ll notice far fewer sneezes and much drier eyes if you decide on a vacuum with a HEPA-filter.
This does not mean that the filter on the 650 is bad, merely that the less expensive vacuum wins out in this regard.
3-Stage Cleaning Process
Rather than simply sucking, both of these Roombas clean using a triple-pronged attack. Initially, the robot agitates the debris, whether on the surface or ground deep into your carpet. This loose dirt is then brushed and finally sucked up into the dirt bin.
Where most robotic vacs give carpets a once-over, this innovative cleaning process makes the Roomba models stand out if you have lots of soft carpeted surfaces.
Edging is taken care of with a sweeping brush so you can make sure the baseboards are all grime-free without having to clean them by hand.
Both of these models perform capably on a range of floors, making it the perfect weapon in homes with mixed flooring.
As with many manufacturers, iRobot steers away from stating runtimes for the battery-operated Roomba units.
This is not such a bad thing since most of these claims tend to be wildly ambitious. You can get a far more accurate idea of runtimes under normal operating conditions by reading user reviews. Luckily, we’ve done that for you.
With both Roomba models, you can expect roughly 90 minutes of action before your robot needs to recover.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Think about how long you normally spend manually cleaning your house. Then, determine whether an hour and a half is enough time to get the job done.
If you live in a smaller apartment, you’ll have more than enough power to clean up in a single sitting.
If you have a larger house to deal with, you might need to consider cleaning rooms on a schedule so you won’t need to worry about the Roomba letting you down mid-flow. By having a schedule, you’ll be able to have it clean in numerous areas.
How about the issue of charging, then?
Charging takes around 3 hours to give a flat battery a full boost.
Once you’re ready to give your Roomba some juice, you just pop it back on the charging base provided, sit back and wait.
Once the time is up, either reboot your robot by hitting Clean or leave it to assume its scheduled duties on demand.
There’s varied behavior with the buttons as your battery is charging. The clean indicator will illuminate solid green when charging is complete.
If you care for your Roomba battery properly, you should get hundreds of cycles of use before needing to think about a replacement. A cycle involved a complete discharge of the battery and subsequent recharge.
Unfortunately, wireless charging is not an option with either of these models.
There is always some degree of compromise with cheaper models. In the end, we believe these wireless charging shortcomings are by no means deal-breakers since they have nothing to do with build quality or performance issues.
If you’re looking to buy your first robotic vacuum and not entirely sure of whether you’ll embrace this cleaning system or not, buying one of these lower-end iRobot Roomba’s makes perfect sense.
Rather than risking wasting your cash on a cheap but ineffective vac, you can buy into a pioneer of the robotic vacuum segment with the Roomba 761 or 650.
If you’re primarily motivated by price, and you don’t mind dipping out on Wi-Fi connectivity, the 761 is a real bargain. The added bonus of opting for the cheaper home assistant is that you’ll also get a full HEPA-filter thrown in. For allergy sufferers, this is a great way to clean the house while also minimizing the amount of irritation you experience.
The pricier 650 is a really solid multi-surface vacuum. It gives you all of the worthwhile functionality of a range-topping robot without the eye-watering price tag.