When you mention robot vacuums, there’s one brand that instantly comes to mind: Roomba. The company has been around for years at this point, and is responsible for creating some of the most advanced robotic vacuums. However, they are also prohibitively expensive — with some of their more recent premium models reaching prices of almost $1000. That’s pretty pricey for a vacuum! The Shark ION 750 offers a potential alternative to the Roomba, but is it capable of keeping up with the premium technology of this more-established brand?
We do feel that the Roomba 690 is the better choice, as it offers a more convenient way to set boundaries for your vacuum to avoid while providing just an overall better clean due to the Roomba iAdapt technology. The Shark ION 750 definitely does a passable job, but it can’t quite stand toe-to-toe with a mid-range Roomba.
With that said, you may draw your own conclusions from the shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 comparison below. Read on for a detailed breakdown of what each brand has to offer, or use the navigation bar to jump to the section that interests you most!
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Shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 — Things in Common
Smart Sensor Navigation – The ION 750 and Roomba 690 are both smart vacuums, meaning that they use proximity sensors in order to assess their current positions and adapt to surrounding obstacles. While there are some differences in the way their technology, they both work to accomplish the same goal of navigation throughout your home without any assistance.
App Control – Both robot vacuums are controlled through a smartphone app rather than a traditional remote control. The main advantage that this setup offers over a remote is the ability to control your vacuum from wherever you can get online. While you might not get a lot of use out of that feature on a day-to-day basis, it’s always nice to have the option to start up a manual clean while you’re still at work and come home to a freshly vacuumed floor.
Run Time – The Shark ION 750 and Roomba 690 each have a runtime of up to 60 minutes. This isn’t quite as impressive as some of the higher-end Roombas, but for an average home it should be enough to cover at least a few rooms. Both vacuums will also return to their base when they run low on charge, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your robot vacuum dying in inconvenient places.
Edge-Sweeping Brush – Sometimes it can be difficult to get into corners or clean along walls with a traditional vacuum, and the ION and Roomba might actually do a better job of it than you would yourself due to their edge-sweeping brush. In addition to the cleaning mechanisms that are responsible for the majority of the cleaning, both vacuums will be able to sweep horizontally as well — knocking any dust and debris into the path of the suction for a comprehensive clean.
Cleaning Schedules – The cleaning schedules are perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having a smart vacuum. Both the ION 750 and Roomba 690 support scheduling, which should allow you to take a hands-off approach to cleaning — allowing your robot to maintain the tidiness of your floors on a daily basis. You’ll still have to keep an eye on the dustbin and empty it pretty regularly, but it’s quite nice to be able to schedule a cleaning while you’re out and about and come back to a clean home.
Voice Control – Since both models can connect to WiFi, they can also take advantage of smart voice controllers like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This truly makes these smart robots feel intelligent, as you’ll be able to do everything from starting a manual clean to adjusting schedules with simple voice commands. In fact, if you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home Device, you shouldn’t really have to ever take the smartphone app out again!
Recharge & Resume – Unfortunately, these specific ION and Roomba models also share some disadvantages as well, most notable being the lack of a recharge and resume feature. Both vacuums are intelligent enough to recognize when they are low on battery and make their way back to their charging station. They won’t, however, resume the cleaning once they have sufficient charge. This means that if your robot happens to die in the middle of a cleaning, you’ll have to manually start it up again or just wait until its next scheduled run.
It’s certainly frustrating, and a significant disadvantage over models like the iRobot Roomba 960. For more information on how those two Roomba models shape up when compared to one another, check out our take on the iRobot Roomba 690 vs. 960.
Coverage Maps – Since the two vacuums have proximity sensors, they do a decent job of avoiding obstacles during their clean. One of the disadvantages of these cheaper models when compared to more premium offerings like the iRobot Roomba 890 or iRobot Roomba 980, however, is the lack of coverage maps.
Higher-end smart vacuums have proximity sensors as well, but they are also capable of remembering the layout of your home. While your ION 750 or Roomba 690 might bump into the same wall each and every time, other more capable smart vacuums will get smarter and more efficient over time when it comes to their cleaning pathing.
The lack of coverage maps is a definite disadvantage, and leads to a less efficient clean.
No Brushless Mechanism – The ION 750 and Roomba 690 both use traditional bristle brushes. These do a decent job of cleaning, but they also have the potential to get tangled when dealing with tassles, hair, or even carpet fibers. This can be a major hassle for pet owners, as you’ll likely spend a decent amount of time unclogging the vacuum which is never much fun. Newer models such as the iRobot Roomba 880 feature a brushless mechanism that manages to offer a thorough clean with nearly non-existent clogs.
Shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 — Differences
Difference #1: Navigation Technology – While the ION 750 and Roomba 690 both use sensors to guide themselves around their home, they use a different technology to do so.
The Shark ION uses heightened smart sensor navigation 2.0, which offers advanced sensitivity in order to expertly navigate around obstacles and objects during its scheduled cleanings.
The Shark model does a passable job of navigating, but the Romba 690’s iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology has a slight edge. It’s difficult to compare these two systems to one another in terms of the actual underlying technology, but in testing we found that the Roomba got stuck less often and generally did a more thorough job of cleaning.
Long story short, they both have their own individual navigation systems, but it’s difficult to beat the iAdapt cleaning technology. When you consider some of the more recent Roomba models with updated versions of iAdapt, it becomes clear that the navigation system is really solid and one of the best on the smart vacuum market.
Difference #2: Boundaries – Both brands offer a way to block your vacuum from specific areas you want protected. However, the Roomba makes the process a whole lot simpler than the Shark ION.
With the Shark vacuum, you’ll be using BotBoundary Strips in order to mark locations that you’d like your ION to avoid. The strips essentially look like black tape, and you can cut them to the appropriate size and place them around the perimeter of an object or across an entryway to a prohibited space. The package also includes some connectors that allow you to easily connect the strips in a way that best suits your space.
Overall, it’s not that difficult to get the system set up in the grand scheme of things, but it requires some cutting and time getting everything situated optimally. The tape can also be difficult to hide, so you may have black strips running across your home that aren’t exactly attractive.
When you take a look at the iRobot Roomba 690, the difference is truly night and day. The Roomba vacuum uses a Virtual Wall Barrier, which is essentially a node that you stick in an entryway that projects an infrared beam. When your vacuum senses the beam, it will turn around and head away from the blocked-off location. If you’d like to protect a specific object within the room, you can also enable halo mode and have the barrier project a circle that your Roomba will navigate around — perfect for fragile furniture or areas with lots of cords that your vacuum could potentially get tangled on.
Overall, it’s a lot easier to use the Virtual Wall Barrier. After everything is setup, they’re functionally the same, but the BotBoundary strips are a bit of an eyesore and a little bit more challenging to install.
Difference #3: Dimensions – This last difference isn’t much of a disparity in the grand scheme of things, but there’s a slight difference in dimensions when comparing the Roomba 690 vs. Shark ION 750.
With a diameter of 12.4 inches, a height of 3.5 inches, and a weight of 6.6 pounds, the Shark vacuum is slightly lighter and lower to the ground than the Roomba, which might make it a little bit easier for the vacuum to pass underneath furniture. However, when you consider that the 690 has a 13.0 inch diameter, 3.7 inch height, and 7.8 pound weight, it’s clear that the difference is negligible.
This probably won’t even factor into your decision making in the grand scheme of things, but it’s worth mentioning that the Shark vacuum is a little bit more compact.
Shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 — Comparison Chart
|Shark ION 750||iRobot Roomba 690|
|Smart Sensor Navigation||Yes||Yes|
|IR Remote Control||No||No|
|Recharge & Resume||No||No|
|Run Time||Up to 60 minute||Up to 60 minute|
|Lithium-Ion Battery||2,600 mAh||1,800 mAh|
|Boundaries||Boundary Strips||Virtual Wall Barrier|
|Voice Control||Alexa, Google Assistant||Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Diameter||12.4 inches||13.0 inches|
|Height||3.5 inches||3.7 inches|
|Weight||6.6 lbs.||7.8 lbs.|
Shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 — Accessories
The various accessories available for the ION 750 and Roomba 690 are mostly focused around maintaining the vacuum over time. Both robot cleaners are built well, but daily cleanings can start to wear down the various components over time. If you’d like to keep your Shark or iRobot vacuum running for years to come, you’re going to have to eventually swap out some of the equipment to keep things functioning like-new.
For the Shark ION Robot 750, we recommend purchasing extra Side Brushes and Pre-Motor Filters. Also worth looking into are extra Boundary Markers — especially if you have a lot of space you’d like to block off.
The iRobot Roomba 690 has pretty similar options, with the Side Brush 3-pack and the Roomba 600 & 500 Series Filter allowing you to easily replace major components as they start to wear out. Outside of that, you might want to purchase an extra Compact Home Base to give your vacuum more options when it comes time to dock.
Shark ION Robot 750 vs. iRobot Roomba 690 — Our Thoughts
Ultimately, when comparing the Shark ION Robot 750 vs. Roomba 690, there really aren’t any areas where the Shark model has an advantage. You could argue that the slightly more compact dimensions give it a bit of an edge, but the difference is so minimal that it almost isn’t worth even considering.
The two main reasons why we feel that the Roomba 690 is the better buy are the Virtual Wall Barriers and iAdapt technology.
Robot vacuums are supposed to be convenient, and it’s not exactly convenient to have to spend an afternoon laying down the “BotBoundary” strips when you could just use the Roomba’s virtual wall barrier and set it up in seconds.
Both systems do a comparable job of cleaning, but the Roomba 690’s navigation is a good margin ahead of the ION. The iAdapt technology is really solid, and it’s clear that Roomba is ahead of Shark when it comes to the underlying software.
Long story short, you should get the Roomba 690. While the Shark ION Robot 750 does an excellent job of providing a quality clean at an accessible price, it just isn’t quite good enough to compete with the excellent features and technology that the Roomba brand has to offer.
For a closer look at some other Roomba models, check our our comprehensive iRobot Roomba comparison Chart & Overview.
Last update on 2020-01-19 at 10:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API