Fuse Audio Wrap Vertical Record Player Review

Fuse Audio Wrap Vertical Record Player Review

Review by Angie Kibiloski

Fuse Audio's Wrap vertical record player with splatter paint vinyl attached

Spin Me Right Up

In the last decade there’s been a major resurgence of vinyl records, in tandem with a boom in new record players of all types, sizes, and feature packages. Any lover of the medium will want a cool player to spin their growing vinyl collection, and Fuse Audio delivers a unique line of vertical record players that take boring, flat turntables and flip them upright. I took a look at the Wrap model, featuring Bluetooth connectivity, FM radio/alarm clock functionality, a retro wooden body to give it that throwback feel, and a price tag of $209. Let’s take a look at what Fuse Audio has to say about the Wrap, and a bit about my own experience while reviewing it.

A Player with Pizzazz

Fuse Audio's Wrap vertical record player front view with logo slip mat attached      Fuse Audio's Wrap vertical record player, view of the back

The Wrap is one of 3 current vertical record player models from Fuse Audio, soon to be joined by a couple more, all for around the same price. It has a fairly standard turntable mechanism, which can play at 33/45/78 RPM, encased inside a lovely coffee-colored ash wood body, with seamless black mesh fabric concealing a pair of 2″ 5-watt speakers. The front face houses a digital readout with control buttons and knobs for volume, radio tuning, Bluetooth, and alarm, alongside a basic manual tonearm. This tonearm is counter weighted and dynamically adjusted for the right balance and 4g of tracking force at a vertical angle, and crowned with Fuse Audio‘s own ceramic needle cartridge. You can add an upgraded Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge for $35 if you want a slightly better needle. Sitting upright and proud above that is the vertical platter with magnetic cap to hold your record in place, and a shallow slot behind it all to display your record sleeve vertically during playback.

Fuse Audio's Wrap vertical record player, closeup on radio controls      Fuse Audio's Wrap vertical record player, closeup on vinyl sleeve stand

In addition to the straightforward Vinyl Mode, the Wrap has Bluetooth Mode, which not only allows you to play your records through connected wireless headphones or external speakers, it can also receive audio from another device to play through the Wrap‘s onboard speakers. The Bluetooth Out will be more beneficial than the Bluetooth In, but more on that later. If you’re looking for a wired approach, there’s an Aux Mode with Aux In 3.5mm jack, and RCA Out preamp connections at the back of the machine. In FM Mode, the tuner can scan through available stations, and auto-assign each across 30 preset memory channels, or you can use the dial to manually tune the radio if you know which frequency you’re looking for. Finally, there’s a digital clock display and alarm clock settings for those users who don’t always have their phone in hand to check the time or set a reminder bell.

Variations on a Theme

Fuse Audio's Vert vertical record player with colorful striped vinyl attached      Fuse Audio's Rec vertical record player with empty spin platter

The other current models are the Vert and Rec, both at a similar price point, and offering just slightly different features and designs. At $199.99, the Vert is a good bargain, with the same internal mechanisms, cartridge options, and speaker set, as well as all 3 playback speeds. As an added bonus, it has a USB port so you can plug in your favorite playlist of MP3s if you don’t feel like connecting up the Bluetooth. It has an attractive oval body, also made from ash wood, with a slightly lighter finish that the Wrap. The more squared off Rec model, priced at $219.99, only has 33/45 RPM speeds and lacks the digital readout and FM radio features, but does come standard with the upgraded Audio-Technica cartridge and a pair of slightly larger 3″ speakers.

A Reviewer’s View

I really love the way the Wrap looks, with the warm-toned wood, black fabric speaker wraps, and slightly rounded off front corners of the otherwise boxy cabinet. It’s giving early 1980’s vibes, and as an 80’s baby, the aesthetic speaks to my soul. The vertical platter is undeniably cool as well, and definitely a conversation piece for company. I also like that it takes up almost half the shelf space as a standard flat record player, though it obviously makes up for that in height. The Audio-Technica cartridge is a decent upgrade option, and I appreciate the addition of the Aux and Bluetooth In/Out functions for versatility. The platter spun evenly, the needle arm glided smoothly, and the inclusion of a slip mat accessory was considerate.

However, I have a couple points of disappointment that I hope will improve in the next models. The speakers really let this player down, in my opinion, and make me thankful for the option to send audio to my Bluetooth headphones and external speaker array instead. For higher notes, the speakers are actually fine, sounding decently clear and crisp, but base notes go hollow and flat, and the max volume is relatively quiet if you’re trying to fill a room with music. These speakers would be on par with your basic suitcase style record players that are popular with entry-level users, but audiophiles will want more. This may be the reason that an upcoming model will come with 2 external 30-watt speakers instead of the embedded 5-watt units in the 3 current models.

My only other gripe with the Wrap is the radio feature, which is so frustrating to use that I wish it hadn’t been included. There are 30 preset slots to add radio stations to the Wrap‘s memory, but it seems the only way to program them is to let it automatically cycle through stations and add them in the order it detects them. Instead of being able to program your 5 favorite stations in spots 1-5 for easy access, you’ll have to scroll through 30 to find where the machine stuck them, rendering this a fairly dysfunctional function in my opinion.

That’s a Wrap

All in all, I do like the Fuse Audio Wrap, along with their other current models, mostly for the eye-catching aesthetic and space-saving design. Due to the lower-quality speakers, and to a lesser extent the finnicky radio controls, I’m not sure I’d say the price is right, but it really depends on whether you’re willing to pay a little more for a uniquely designed player while sacrificing a bit of sound-quality. This is definitely a line geared towards entry-level users, or someone looking for a statement piece to add to their entertainment console, and the Wrap, Vert, and Rec are all undeniably cool looking. If you’d like to take the Wrap for a spin, or keep your eyes open for the next model coming out with the external speakers, I encourage you to check out their website and take a look for yourself.

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