Cool geometric patterns on the earcups.
Poor audio performance. No included audio cable. Convoluted volume/track navigation buttons.
- Bottom Line
The Origaudio Wrapsody Bluetooth is a cool-looking pair of headphones that deliver poor sound quality.
It can be hard to navigate the seemingly endless supply of Bluetooth headphones out there—some of them, like the Origaudio Wrapsody Bluetooth, look so cool, it's hard to imagine they won't sound great, as well. Unfortunately, beyond the visual design, virtually nothing about these headphones earns a $109.99 price tag—or even a $50 price tag, for that matter. The sound signature is muddy and the control pad functions feel like an afterthought.
When the headband is fully retracted and all of the matte rubber pieces line up, there is an undeniable allure to the circumaural (over-the-ear) Wrapsody's design—angled, geometric patterns form a striking visual. Retracting the headband slightly, which is necessary for most adult heads, breaks the spell somewhat. The outer panels of the earcups, with a glossy sheen and a Paramount Pictures-esque font for the logo, makes it feels like there are several different designs melded together, rather than one cohesive product. Regardless, the most striking aspects will prevail from even a slight distance—those geometric patterns catch the light and look good in doing so.
The earpads and the underside of the headband are generously cushioned with a material that doesn't quite respond like memory foam, encased in a material that looks and feels a lot like leather. The fit is comfortable and secure for short listening spans, less so for longer ones.
On the left earcup, there's a 3.5mm port for wired listening, though no cable is included. It's also home to a power button and up/down buttons. Counterintuitively, a long hold increases or decreases volume with these buttons, while simply tapping up or down skips a track. In other words, you will likely be accidentally skipping many tracks when you intend to adjust the volume. To answer phone calls, you quickly tap the power button, and to power up or down, you hold the button in place.
Origaudio claims "85 percent noise cancellation" on the product's website. We won't call this false advertising, but there is no active noise cancellation circuitry here, so the claim should be that the earpads themselves eliminate 85 percent of ambient surrounding noise passively. That said, while it's quite possible for earcups to eliminate a wide swath of ambient noise passively, this was not our experience with the Wrapsody Bluetooth. For instance, with them on my head as I write this, the whir of my heating unit sounds nearly as loud as it does with the headphones removed. I would estimate this to be something more like 10 to 15 percent incidental noise reduction at best, and that's generous.
The mic offers mediocre intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we could understand every word we recorded, but the words were muffled and the mic sounds far away. This is fairly common for a Bluetooth headphone pair's mic, so we'll give Origaudio a break on this one.
There's a micro USB port on the right earcup for the included USB charging cable. Origaudio estimates battery life to be roughly 10 hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the headphones deliver solid bass depth. At high, unwise volume levels, the drivers vibrate inside the enclosures intensely, but there's no point where they reach distortion. At moderate listening levels, the bass response is still quite full, but the highs seems dialed back to a strong degree.
Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the Wrapsody's general sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on bass-forward headphones, but here the drums sound modest, which is closer to reality. However, the modesty is coupled with a dialed-back high-mid and high frequency presence that muffles everything, from the drums to the treble edge of Callahan's baritone vocals. It sounds like someone's fingers are covering your ears in between the drivers and your eardrums, but this is just the sound of the drivers: muffled, with a lack of clarity in the highs.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the kick drum loop doesn't get the high-mid presence it needs, so its sharp attack is dulled and has trouble cutting through the layers of the mix. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are seemingly nonexistent—there's not enough sub-bass presence to bring out their depth, and their raspy top notes are also lost due to the lack of high-mid and high frequency presence.
For orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, the lower register instrumentation is pushed significantly forward in the mix. Since these instruments exist more in the lows and low-mids and less in the sub-bass realm, they get boosted through the Wrapsody's drivers. The boosted bass coupled with the seriously dialed back treble makes for a muddy sound signature that throws clarity out the window.
The Origaudio Wrapsody Bluetooth headphones simply do not deliver quality audio. You can spend half as much and still buy a better-sounding pair—the Skullcandy Uproar Wireless and House of Marley Rebel BT are two examples. In the $100 range, consider the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 and JBL E45BT. We don't expect perfection for $110, but we do expect a modicum of quality, and Origaudio fails to deliver here.
About the Author
Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, Audio
Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear.
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