Although Rosetta Stone is more popular within the language learning industry based on total number of courses sold, Rocket Spanish has been making waves lately with their unique learning framework and comprehensive lessons. In this article, we cover the pros and cons of each program so that you can determine which one is the better fit to help you learn Spanish.
- Free Trial
- Money Back Guarantee
- Overall program is much more comprehensive than Rosetta Stone’s
- Engaging and helpful audio lessons develop your listening and verbal skills
- Top-notch speech recognition software for pronunciation feedback
- Reinforcement drills following audio lessons help with material retention
- Clear and easily digestible grammar lessons
- Not an ideal fit for visual learners
- More expensive than the Rosetta Stone Spanish course
Why Rocket Spanish Is Better Than Rosetta Stone
In order to keep this article narrowly focused and genuinely useful, rather than providing general reviews of each of these Spanish programs, I’m instead going to run down the key areas where I see each company winning and having an advantage over the other.
With that in mind, let’s start with Rocket Spanish. I have them beating the Rosetta Stone Spanish program in five key areas.
First, and most importantly, is that the Rocket Spanish lessons are much more comprehensive than the lessons from Rosetta Stone.
Not only are their lessons longer and more detailed, but they also include a larger variety of practice drills and exercises across the different aspects of language learning—reading, writing, speaking, and listening. And this doesn’t even take into account their dedicated grammar and culture lessons, which I will touch on a little later.
In contrast, the lessons from Rosetta Stone can become monotonous at times as they essentially all revolve around matching phrases to images. In short, the drills are just a little derivative.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for the deeper and more comprehensive program, I think Rocket Spanish is the obvious choice.
Simulated Conversations With Fluent Speakers
The Rocket Spanish program also does a better job of developing your conversational skills. This is in large part due to the company’s interactive audio lessons, which form the backbone of the Rocket Spanish course.
Unlike the Rosetta Stone verbal practice exercises (which are mostly listen-and-repeat type drills), the Rocket audio lessons are designed to have you participate in simulated conversations with fluent Spanish speakers.
The lessons do a really good job of getting you to think under pressure and use the language in context, just as you would in real life situations.
Another major advantage for Rocket is that they make grammar and Spanish culture a priority while Rosetta Stone does not.
In fact, as I noted earlier, the Rocket Spanish course includes specific lessons dedicated to grammar and culture. Plus, the nice thing is that these lessons are not long, boring textbook-style explanations.
Rather, the lessons are comprised of short, two-to-three sentence explanations broken up by examples and drills to keep you engaged.
Plus, they sprinkle in helpful tidbits about do’s and don’ts, etiquette, and manners as well.
Simply put, you just don’t get these types of insights and detail with Rosetta Stone. For the record, the Babbel Spanish program includes helpful grammar instruction too.
Additionally, I give the slight edge to Rocket Spanish as far as pronunciation feedback goes. In other words, I think Rocket’s speech recognition technology is better.
Don’t get me wrong, Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent speech software is good as well, but I like that Rocket’s software utilizes Google’s Web Speech API, which is arguably the best in the entire world.
It’s quick, accurate, easy to use, and I also like that Rocket gives you a score from 1 to 100 on verbal practice exercises rather than a more generalized pass or fail like other Spanish apps.
All in all, I just think Rocket Spanish does a better job of helping you refine your pronunciation (and as an aside, it’s the same story with the Pimsleur Spanish program in comparison to Rosetta Stone).
This might be a minor point for some people, but I like the flexibility of the Rocket Spanish lessons. As I noted above, the core of the program is the company’s audio lessons, and because of that, you don’t need to be constantly glued to your iPhone or laptop screen.
You can complete these lessons while you’re doing chores around the house, taking your dog for a walk, gardening, etc. I just know that personally, when I’m working or learning something new, it’s nice to get up every once in a while, move around, and break up the monotony. I actually think that type of flexibility helps aid the learning process (and save time).
- Multiple Subscription Options
- Money Back Guarantee
- Subscription plans are highly affordable
- Learning framework built around immersion
- Lessons include lots of graphics and images (visual learners take note)
- Organized and easy-to-use digital platform and mobile app
- Bonus resources such as short stories, on-demand videos, and more
- Lessons are somewhat boring in comparison to Rocket Spanish
- Wish there was more in-depth conversational practice
Why Rosetta Stone Is Better Than Rocket Spanish
Now that you have a good idea of what Rocket Spanish has to offer, let’s turn the tables and discuss the major advantages of using Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish. I have them beating Rocket Spanish in just three categories.
Rosetta Stone Is More Affordable
Very simply, Rosetta Stone beats Rocket Spanish when it comes to cost. The company offers three different plans: (1) a 3-month subscription for $36; (2) a 12-month subscription for $96; or (3) a lifetime plan for $300 that can regularly be found on sale for $180 or less.
Rocket Spanish, on the other hand, is a little different in that they don’t offer any monthly subscription plans. Instead, you have to purchase levels or the entire course on a lifetime basis (i.e. you buy it and own the program for life).
Rocket Spanish Level 1 goes for around $150, Levels 1 and 2 together cost around $300, or you can purchase the entire Rocket Spanish package for around $450.
Therefore, Rosetta Stone is obviously the more affordable option if you’re on a budget. However, it’s definitely worth mentioning that Rocket Spanish is very aggressive with sales and discounts, and you should not have to pay full price for their courses. They regularly discount their packages by 50% or more, so keep an eye out for sales.
👉 Looking to keep your learning cheap? Babbel offers a great budget Spanish app as well.
Images For Visual Learners
Next, there’s no question that Rosetta Stone is the better choice for visual learners. In fact, nearly every single practice exercise and drill that you will be asked to complete within the Rosetta Stone Spanish course includes images and pictures.
Plus, Rosetta Stone also offers supplemental video lessons as well, which are solid in their own right.
This is in contrast to the Rocket Spanish program, which is more audio- and text-based (similar to the Pimsleur language programs).
Bottom line, if you like to see what you’re learning and you understand and remember things better by sight, then Rosetta Stone should be an excellent fit for you.
Supplemental Tools & Resources
Rosetta Stone offers a ton of supplemental tools and resources for learners, all of which I was a huge fan of. This includes on-demand video lessons, live lessons, short stories, downloadable audio companions, phrasebooks, and more.
My favorite of these tools is definitely the stories feature. To me, the stories are just a great way to break up the standard Rosetta Stone lessons and really improve your listening and reading skills.
Plus, the stories themselves are actually pretty interesting. There are several per unit to choose from, and they all vary in terms of topic.
Verdict: Rocket or Rosetta Stone To Learn Spanish?
Time to answer the big question—should you choose Rocket or Rosetta Stone to help you learn Spanish?
It’s a tough call. Although Rosetta Stone certainly scores points in a few categories (e.g. visual learning framework and bonus features), unless you’re on a tight budget, I have to give the win to Rocket Spanish here.
Their course overall is just much more comprehensive from top to bottom. Between their interactive audio lessons, grammar instruction, and diverse drills, I think you’ll find that Rocket will help you get to an intermediate or advanced level of Spanish much more quickly than Rosetta Stone. Their core curriculum and practice exercises are just more detailed and effective.
All in all, if you’re serious about learning Spanish, I would suggest going with Rocket Spanish.
The Rocket Spanish and Rosetta Stone Spanish programs differ in several important ways. The most notable differences are learning framework (audio vs visual), lesson format, and grammar instruction.
After testing and evaluating each program, our team thinks Rocket Spanish offers the more well-rounded and complete Spanish course from top to bottom.
Based on our team’s experience with each program, we think you will learn Spanish faster by opting to go with Rocket Spanish over Rosetta Stone.