Rapsodo Launch Monitor Box

Rapsodo Launch Monitor Review: Is it Worth $500?

While it’s been out for longer, the first time I learned about the Rapsodo MLM Launch Monitor was at this year’s PGA Show.

Frankly, it was one of the items that excited me the most. I mean, to have a portable launch monitor that connects to your phone, and fits easily in your golf bag?

If it works, that’s a pretty cool piece of tech that has the potential to have a real impact on your game.

It’s especially appealing considering it comes in around $500, making it a fraction of a traditional Trackman or Flightscope.

But the consumer launch monitor market is getting more and more fierce these days. Which begs the question, is the Rapsodo Launch Monitor king of the hill at that $500 price point?

The answer is a resounding….maybe.

Let’s dig in.

First Impressions of the Rapsodo Launch Monitor

Everything about the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (or MLM for short) appealed to me.

Rapsodo Launch Monitor

Unlike the Swing Caddie SC200 which I reviewed a few years ago, it has a built-in app for being able to easily review your statistics and track improvement.

But where it really sets itself apart is with the built-in camera. It records and plays back every single shot you hit, while also adding a shot tracer.

Pretty cool tech.

But what was it like out of the box?

The packaging was very nice overall, and the device came in a case similar to what you’d find a high-end range finder shipped with. It’s very sturdy and high-quality canvas, with a zipper pouch for the device.

Rapsodo Launch Monitor contents out of the box.

Rapsodo Launch Monitor contents out of the box.

Inside was the Rapsodo MLM, a USB charging cable, and some quick start instructions.

I’ve made the mistake many times of opening up a new product at the course. Fortunately for my first foray into the Rapsodo I was smart enough to take it out and charge it the night before.

Related: Is the Rapsodo the best golf launch monitor on the market?

Ease of Setup of the Rapsodo Launch Monitor

Once I got to the course, I took the device out, turned it on and went through the setup process on my phone – which was remarkably easy.

The instructions were very clear in the app, and with the latest version of the app there is no additional calibration you need to do with the device and the camera.

It connected via bluetooth right away.

I told it which clubs I had in my bag via a simple drag and drop interface with the app, and I was ready to go in just a few minutes.

Rapsodo Club Selection

I told it which golf course I was at, set my point to the exact spot on the range I was, and told it which direction I was hitting – should be ready to rock.

Rapsodo Heading

So with my phone tucked into the device, bluetooth connected, camera on, and a green LED light indicating I was ready to hit, I stepped up to the ball, and made a perfect swing.

Then….

Nothing.

The LED light immediately turned blue indicating it was processing the shot, but it just stayed blue.

It never went back to green,

I figured ok, maybe the device wasn’t close enough to the 8 foot distance behind the ball recommended?

Moved it around, set it on it’s case to make sure it was perfectly level behind the ball…

Nothing.

Restarted the app. Light turns green.

Hit another ball.

Nothing.

Hmmmmm, we’re not off to a good start here.

There was about 15 minutes of this before, I fully restarted my phone turned off the device, and went through the process again.

I stepped up to the ball after getting the literal green light, ripped a 7 iron, and lo and behold I turn around and see 161 yards. 116 ball speed. 89 clubhead speed.

Ok, now we’re onto something!

And to jump ahead and give you peace of mind, in the now three times I’ve gone back and set it up from scratch everything has worked perfectly each time.

For various reasons I’ve found that with many high tech training aids, the first time setup, even when it’s simple, can run into unexpected issues.

So I’m confident this was an isolated incident and not an indicator of any underlying quality issues.

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Looking to make the range fun again? Rapsodo MLM is for you. The Rapsodo is the most full-featured launch montior under $500. Plus the games and social aspect will make practice actually enjoyable to do.

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Using the Rapsodo Launch Monitor

Let’s cut right to it, the Rapsodo MLM is a cool device.

Under normal practice conditions, you’ll hit a ball, turn around, and it will tell you those three metrics: distance, ball speed, and clubhead speed, while also replaying the video of your swing with a shot tracer added.

I found the video to be even more useful than I expected. As I’m battling with years of coming over the top, to be able to see video of each shot while I actively work to correct it is hugely valuable.

You can also easily export your video to your phone with the stats embedded in the side, which is a nice feature.

With the standard MLM purchase of just the device, you’re supposed to get 100 saved videos within the app, so it will keep the video of your 100 most recent shots which you can review in the app.

Rapsodo Shot Tracer Export

This is how it looks when you export a clip from the Rapsodo Launch Monitor.

For some reason, when I tried to go back and review my videos, for each one I get an error that says “insufficient package size.”

There are an endless amount of jokes I can make about this, but I’m going to spare you on that one.

I’ve got an email into Rapsodo Support to see if I can figure out what the deal is, and I’ll update as soon as I hear back.

Another cool feature is that if you change clubs, all you have to do is hold the end of your club in front of the camera for a few seconds, and it will automatically recognize the club change.

In practice this worked pretty well, although I did have an issue where it thought my gap wedge was a 6 iron – but it only took 5 seconds to update it manually via an icon on the screen.

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Performance: Did it Live Up to Expectations?

After spending a few hours with the Rapsodo Launch Monitor I’ve found it to be a bit of a mixed bag in terms of performance.

85% of the time it seemed to work very well.

I compared the distances against both the Swing Caddie SC200 as well as the cheaper PRGR Launch Monitor, and for the most part it seemed to be very similar to the Swing Caddie, while the PRGR was about 5-7 yards longer consistently.

So I believe that both the Swing Caddie and Rapsodo have pretty accurate distances.

On my first use with it, I don’t think I quite had it positioned correctly behind me on the range, which led to some occasionally weird numbers. I had the MLM off-center, and a little bit more behind me than where it should have been directly behind the ball. This caused shots that were pulled across me to register weird numbers since the initial ball flight was blocked by my body.

When this was setup, it could also cause issues with the shot tracer feature, as to be expected.

But I’ve now had the Rapsodo for over two years, and rarely have any wonky readings like this anymore, once I focused on making sure it was aligned properly.

When I first got it, you were unable to use it indoors or into a net, however with a recent app update you can do this.

This is a fantastic feature, especially considering many of us aren’t able to play year round.

I haven’t been able to test inside, but will update this review when I do.

NOTE: Interested in picking up a Rapsodo MLM? Use the code “BreakingEighty” to get $50 off. Buy it here.

$19,000 Launch Monitors vs. $500 Launch Monitors

For devices that are $500 and below, I don’t think there’s a single product that is perfect. When you think of the staggering amount of variables and technology that go into these devices, it’s pretty amazing what they are able to for a few hundred bucks.

However, there isn’t a single one I’ve tested that truly gave Trackman like accuracy and performance.

But for literally about 1/40th of the price of a new Trackman? You start to see the value in these devices. Not to mention when you throw in the portability, and ease of setup – they can still be valuable tools even if they aren’t dead on every single time.

If you’re considering the Rapsodo and it’s closest competitor, the FlightScope Mevo – check out this comparison I did.

Other Rapsodo Launch Monitor Features

On top of just the standard practice features we’ve talked about, there are some other pretty cool features of the Rapsodo device.

One is being able to see a scattershot of all of your shots on a GPS overview of your range after each section.

Rapsodo Scatter Plot

I found this to be particularly interesting to get a sense of how consistent I actually was (usually, not very).

There are also built-in games you can play, like closest to the pin and long drive challenges which are a fun diversion, and help to keep things interesting while you practice.

The Swing Caddie had a few basic games as well, and this is one area where I’d love to see some of these lower-priced launch monitors really get creative.

The Rapsodo MLM App

Overall the app works well. It’s easy to pick the clubs in your bag, connect to Bluetooth, and do any of the other things you need to make the product work.

There’s an “explore” tab where you can watch other user’s swings, which I found surprisingly enjoyable.

It’s taken a little while to fully understand how to use the Sessions and Stats pages to dig into all of your data after the fact, but it’s all there, and the diagrams and scatter charts are a great way to visualize your game.

Rapsodo MLM Sessions

The sessions page took a bit of getting used to, but once you do you can drill down to a ton of information.

Rapdoso Shot List

I think they could probably improve the UX a bit to make the stats easier to navigate, but overall the app does it’s job and any issues I have with it are minor.

Rapsodo Launch Monitor vs. Swing Caddie SC200

This isn’t a 100% fair comparison, because it’s the Swing Caddie SC300 that is at the same $500 price point, and includes an app – but I have yet to test it out.

Which device is best for you will really depend on what you want to use it for.

The Swing Caddie SC200 is $200 cheaper, gives similar results, and has a remote control which I found really helpful for switching modes.

However, there is no app or video for reviewing data later.

If you’re the type of person who loves looking at video of your swing, will drill down to the analytics of your shots, and wants to be able to track improvement via an app over time?

It’s worth the extra money for the Rapsodo Launch Monitor.

If you like the app tracking analytics, but don’t care about video? You might check out the SC300.

And if all you want is a device to use on the range to get distances and make your practice a bit more enjoyable?

Save some money and pick up the Swing Caddie SC200.

Rapsodo MLM vs. FlightScope Mevo

If you’re looking at a Rapsodo, inevitably you’re probably going to come across the FlightScope Mevo as well. Based on my experience these are the two best launch monitors in the $500 range.

But for two products that essentially do the same thing, they both have very different strengths and weaknesses.

Short version: Mevo is a little more user-friendly with the app, and possibly slightly more accurate. Rapsodo has far more features, and features lateral data which can be a dealbreaker for many.

Check out Flightscope vs. Rapsodo to make the best decision for yourself.

Final Thoughts on the Rapsodo Golf Launch Monitor

The big reason I personally will continue to use this specific device is to:

  1. Have a way to get easy video reviews of each swing
  2. Make the range and practice more fun

And the Rapsodo Launch Monitor is great for this.

It gives good data, great video feedback, is fun to use, and gives me all the stats in my phone to review whenever I want.

I’ve also been impressed witn the updates they’ve made over the last couple years. Not only does it feel more accurate now than when I first tested it, the ability to use in nets and indoors will make this a strong choice for a lot of people.

It’s not perfect, but like I said above, I don’t believe any of the products in this price range are.

If you’re someone that wants to truly get better, track your distances, and make your range sessions more fun in the process? I’m not sure there’s a better device than the Rapsodo MLM.

I think both are solid devices and worth the money, as long as you understand their limitations and know what to expect.

Rapsodo MLM - Use Code "BreakingEighty" for $75 off
$499.99

Looking to make the range fun again? Rapsodo MLM is for you. The Rapsodo is the most full-featured launch montior under $500. Plus the games and social aspect will make practice actually enjoyable to do.

Buy Now Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!) This doesn’t effect or opinions or our reviews. Everything we do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of our reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.

8.8
Buy It!

Good Things

  • Extremely Portable and Convenient
  • Lots of features that make the range fun
  • Video review of shots very helpful

Bad Things

  • Device position can make or break accuracy
  • Shot tracer doesn't always work correctly
  • Lighting at the range can effect results

The Breakdown


Performance
8
Presentation
10
Price
8
Personal Affinity
9
Features
9




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