Is Rapsodo MLM the best launch monitor under $500?

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Review

2021

1,000+Hours of Testing and Research
800+Customer Reviews
8,000+Launch Monitors Sold
20+Launch Monitors Tried & Tested

Today we’re offering up our honest feedback on the Rapsodo MLM, one of the most popular launch monitors under $500. In this Rapsodo Golf Review, we’ll go over the good, bad, and everything in between! Here are some links in case you want to skip to specific sections:

Rapsodo MLM Review

Quick Links

Is the Rapsodo MLM Accurate?
Rapsodo MLM Features
Rapsodo Data
Rapsodo vs more Expensive Launch Monitors
Overall Verdict


Is Rapsodo MLM Accurate?

Summary: Very impressive accuracy for the price with outdoor mode producing slightly better results than indoor mode.

MLM uses a combination of camera and radar technology to analyze the initial launch of the ball and calculate trajectory and distance. In our testing, Rapsodo was very accurate. On shots inside 100 yards the Rapsodo launch monitor is amazing. Almost always spot on or within a couple of yards of the actual shot both indoors and outdoors.

As you go up in distance, we found the data descrepencies to be a bit more apparent - but still very close! Where we saw the most inaccuracy was with the driver and woods. Most drives are within about 5-10 yards of what you'd expect. But every 5th drive or so it can spit out a number that leaves you scratching your head a bit!

However, for a unit that only costs $500, the accuracy is impressive.

Slightly better results outdoors than indoors

We found that the Rapsodo MLM does slightly better in outdoor mode than in indoor net mode - mostly with shots over 100 yards. And this isn't wildly uncommon, especially for a launch monitor that has a radar componment to it. Other radar based launch monitors like FlightScope and even Trackman, typically are more reliable outdoors.

Launch angle was the most inaccurate metric

When comparing the Rapsodo MLM side by side next to more expensive systems, the launch angle metric seemed to consistently show the most discrepancy. Sometimes being 3-4 degrees off - or around a 30% difference. We aren't totally sure why that would be. But that was somewhat of a trend.

Luckily, vertical launch angle is probably the least important metric that the Rapsodo launch monitor offers anyway. And the most important metrics - distance, ball speed, and club speed, seemed to be the most accurate.


Shot Direction

The MLM does not provide side spin data, but it does provide a shot tracer as well as a overhead view of your shot dispersion. While it would be nice if Rapsodo captured actual side spin, this is a nice comprimise given the price.

We found the shot direction or dispersion map to be very accurate on pushes and pulls, but under exaggerate or totally miss large hooks and slices. This could be directly due to the fact that Rapsodo doesn't capture side spin. But we found that the hooks and slices we hit looked better on the shot dispersion than they were in real life. Which is nice for your ego, but probably not as nice for your game..


Overall, the accuracy of the Rapsodo launch monitor exceeds expectations. It's definitely one of the more accurate launch monitors for under $500. We'll give the MLM a 4.25/5 combined rating for indoor and outdoor accuracy. The only thing keeping it from a perfect 5/5 is it's less consistent results on the longer clubs as well as it's under estimation of large slices and hooks.

Our Verdict?

Indoor Accuracy: 4/5
4
Outdoor Accuracy: 4.5/5
4.5





Rapsodo MLM Review of Features

Summary: An impressive list of features for a launch monitor in the budget category.

The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor has probably the most features of any launch monitor under $1000. Most budget launch monitors simply provide the numbers with little to nothing else. But the MLM gives you a ton more! Here are some of the great features it provides:

 

 

Overall, the Rapsodo may win over it's competition strictly due to it's features, as well as the app UI. The app is very modern and easy to navigate. The data charts and displays are really high quality and what you would expect out of a modern hi-tech app.

The best feature is probably the shot tracers. Being able to see a visual of your shot really is a big step up from the competition. No other launch monitor under $500 will give you any sense of shot direction or shape.

Many features are only available in outdoor mode

This may be the biggest disappointment for users wanting to setup Rapsodo in their garage or backyard. On Rapsodo's Indoor/Net Mode, shot tracers, auto club recognition, and the GPS shot map are disabled.

It's a big bummer, but...these features are not available in any mode on other launch monitors under $500. So Rapsodo still has that on their side.

Rapsodo Battery Life

The Rapsodo MLM's battery will last about 4 hours. However, since it connects to you iPhone (MLM is not yet compatible with Android), it also has an effect on your phones battery life. And kind of a big one!

Rapsodo can wear down your phone's battery pretty fast. Oftentimes by up to 50% over the course of an entire range session - sometimes more. So definitely something to keep an eye on if you are planning on using the Rapsodo for an extended period of time.

Rapsodo MLM's Premium Features - Are they worth it?

Rapsodo offers a "premium" subscription that gives you access to a few more key features. For $99/yr, or a little more than $8/mo, it provides:

  • Personalized Data Insights
  • Slow-motion video playback
  • Shot Apex Height
  • Cloud Storage for up to 10k videos
  • Coach Connect Online Golf Lessons

So Are These Premium Features Worth It?

For the beginner golfer, the personalized data insights can help you better understand shot data and the things you can glean from it. The Coach Connect access will also give you some helpful instructional videos. But for a more advanced golfer, I don't know if the subscription is a must have.

The slow-motion video is nice, but nothing you can't do on most modern phones. And the shot apex height is a fun data point to look at, but not neccessarily a very important one when it comes to game improvement.

The extra cloud storage may be the most useful feature. Since you only get 100 saved shots normally, which can add up quick over a few range sessions!

Rapsodo Premium Feature

Our Verdict?

Features: 4.5/5
4.5




Data Offering

Summary: Provides about what you would expect for $500

The Rapsodo launch monitor doesn't provide much more or less data than it's competition. Here are the metrics Rapsodo measures:

  • Distance (measured as carry distance)
  • Ball Speed
  • Club Speed
  • Launch angle (verticaly)
  • Launch direction (horizontally)
  • Smash Factor

You get launch direction but lose ball spin

The biggest competitor to the Rapsodo MLM is the FlightScope Mevo. The only notable difference in data points offered are the swap out of launch direction for spin rate. With the mevo, and Ernest Sports ESB1, you get ball spin rate, but no launch direction. As opposed to the Rapsodo MLM, which provides launch direction but no spin rate.

Personally, I think I'd rather have launch direction than spin rate. That way I can see which direction my shots are headed when practicing at home in my garage or backyard. But that depends on what type of things you'd want to evaluate in your game. Others may be more concerned with quality of strike, which would make spin rate a better number to look at.

Rapsodo Data

Data is "Normalized"

One important thing to note about the MLM, is that the data is "normalized". The MLM does not take wind, weather, slope, or elevation into consideration. It assumes you are using a premium ball at 70 degrees with no humidity and assumes you are at sea level.

This is a HUGE thing to understand. As your playing conditions can have a big impact on the numbers you see in real life. For example, if you are playing on a sunny 80 degree day in Denver, the MLM may show distances much shorter than what you are typically accustom to since the elevation in Denver is about a mile high?

Launch monitors such as the SkyTrak or Mevo+ will allow you to set these settings to match where you live. Which is a very important feature.

Compared to other $500 launch monitors, Rapsodo scores a 5/5 in the data category. But compared to more expensive units, we'll give it a 4 out of 5.

Our Verdict?

Data: 4/5
4

 



Rapsodo MLM Compared to More Expensive Launch Monitors

We've tested a lot of different launch monitors here at Rain or Shine Golf. So we feel that we have a pretty good understanding of how they all stack up.

With any "budget launch monitor", you'll miss out on a few things. Here are the main things you miss out on compared to the more expensive launch monitors:

    • Extensive Ball and Club Data

More expensive units will give you much more data than the MLM. The $2,000 units like SkyTrak and Mevo+ will provide around 10-15 additional data points including side spin, carry and total distance, spin axis, and more.

    • Video Analysis

While the MLM does provide video playback, some systems provide more video analysis features and allow you to draw lines, swing planes, etc.

    • Golf Simulation

One of the biggest upsides to more expensive units like SkyTrak, is that they can also be used for golf simulation. You can play real courses like Augusta or Pebble Beach!

    • More game/challenge modes

Many of the more expensive units will provide different skills competitions, or contests like long drive or closest to the pin.

The overall theme when comparing the Rapsodo to more expensive launch monitors is that you simply get a little less in each category. You get less shot data, less video features, less game modes, etc.

For many, however, the Rapsodo MLM provides more than enough! It's a great beginner launch monitor for the mid to high handicapper looking to improve their game and have some fun while doing it.


Rapsodo Launch Monitor User Review

Conclusion

Overall, the Rapsodo MLM launch monitor is a really awesome launch monitor for under $500. It's got a ton of great reviews in the industry and we can see why!

It's easy to use, accurate, and provides a ton of cool features. The biggest downside is that you lose some of it's great features when using in Net Mode. And it can be slightly less accurate with longer clubs. But for the money, it's one of the best systems you can buy!

Here is our quick breakdown on the MLM:

Rapsodo MLM is for you if you're looking for some basic feedback on your swing - especially when practicing at home. You'll be able to see your distances and shot direction even indoors when you can't make it out to the range.

If you're looking for more in depth shot analysis, as well as golf simulation capabilities, then check out either the FlightScope Mevo+ or SkyTrak.



Rapsodo Launch Monitor