Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Review
Is high-end affordable? The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 is available for around 130 euros, the manufacturer behind it for over 50 years. But not only the price and sound should convince, but the battery life of 45 hours is also unparalleled. So is this the new reference among true wireless headphones?
Most hi-fi fans should know Cambridge Audio primarily for its amplifiers, players, and D / A converters. How good the products from Cambridge in the UK are, among other things, shows our Cambridge Audio Edge A test – an institution in its amplifier class.
- Battery life is excellent.
- Among wireless earphones, the audio quality is among the best.
- Excellent construction quality
- Priced reasonably
- Wireless performance that is faultless
- The bullet form doesn’t fit well in my ear, and the included ear tips don’t seal well enough to obtain good bass.
- Call quality isn’t great.
- Charging through micro USB
This year the manufacturer was a little keen to experiment. On the one hand, he introduced the Audio Alva TT, the first (Bluetooth) record player in the company’s 50-year history. On the other hand, his first in-ear headphones. As a result, two product categories are trendy on the market.
We took on the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless headphones to hear what the British can do besides classic hi-fi.
True wireless headphones
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless headphones
Admittedly, I haven’t liked true wireless headphones for aesthetic reasons. The plugs usually protrude clearly from the ears, and if they do not fit perfectly, there is a risk of losing them on the way.
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 is no exception. Admittedly, the in-ear is a bit more discreet than some of its competitors, but it still stands out clearly.
On the other hand, an advantage is the low weight of 4.6 grams per earplug, which results from the pure plastic housing with a black body and silver-colored rings.
The ear tips in four different sizes should ensure a secure hold. Other manufacturers are even more generous on this point when it comes to the number of earmolds.
Although I generally have difficulty finding a correct size, one of the included attachments fits surprisingly well here. Whether at my desk, going for a walk, or doing sports – the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 never fell out of my ears during the test.
On the back of the earmuffs, a multifunction button establishes the Bluetooth connection to the player, controls the playback, and provides information on the connection and the battery level via an LED ring. We only have to do without a hear-through mode, which lets ambient noises such as voice announcements through for a short time.
There are no flaws in the quality, and the feel is pleasing. So far, Cambridge Audio’s debut work in the field of true wireless in-ears has cut an astonishingly good figure.
Charging case with 36h battery
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 charging case with 36-hour battery
In addition to the manual, stickers, and brochures, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 comes with a case. This is intended to protect the headphones when they are not in use and bring a few spare batteries.
The case is hardly larger than the earplugs themselves, impresses with a high-quality feel, and can be opened and closed almost blindly with just one hand. On the front, the current charge level of the case is displayed via five LEDs. The battery can be refueled via a micro-USB connection – the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch (test) can do better.
This is also the first real point of criticism I notice about the Cambridge audio headphones. In the recent past, I’ve replaced almost all of the micro-USB cables. As a result, the MacBook I am currently writing on only has a single USB-C input. My external monitor also only offers USB-C connections.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Micro-USB instead of USB-C
Competitors like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless In-Ear (test) or the Klipsch T5 True Wireless are already one step ahead of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1. However, the choice of interfaces can be argued with the lower price, which is outrageously cheap for true wireless headphones with a retail price of 130 euros.
The Cambridge audio headphones are catching up again in battery life and promise a full nine hours of playing time and a further 36 hours (four charges) via the charging case. These values are at record levels.
What I particularly like is the voice announcement of the melomania when the battery level is nearing its end. How often have I been able to hear them over Bluetooth headphones before they said goodbye just a few minutes later?
The Melomania 1, on the other hand, leaves enough time to end the walk or workout in peace before it comes to the charging case to be refilled. So, in addition to the sound quality, it is the small details that influence a purchase decision.
Separately available silicone covers in different colors ensure individuality.
Official silicone case for Melomania 1 from Cambridge Audio
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 In-Ear with Bluetooth 5.0
The connection to the smartphone, tablet, or computer is possible via the Bluetooth 5.0 standard. It contains the codecs AAC, aptX, and SBC, ensuring the best possible signal transmission for Android and iOS devices.
Briefly press the buttons on the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 to pair the devices. This means that communication between the devices is established within seconds.
There is also nothing to criticize when it comes to range. The smartphone can remain on the desk when switching between different rooms without connecting to the headphones being lost.
Another advantage of Bluetooth version 5 is the careful handling of battery consumption. This not only applies to the Melomania 1 but also to the coupled playback device.
The integrated microphone is more of a gimmick than a serious function. This should allow phone calls to be made via the smartphone, but from a sound perspective, this works rather average. After all, the Apple Siri or Google Assistant voice assistants can be controlled by voice, depending on the device.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Review
I start the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 test at my desk and play videos from Netflix and YouTube on my computer. In addition to the natural reproduction of speech, which is also popular with podcasts and audiobooks, the headphones score with their lip-synchronicity between image and sound.
From outside into the loud street noise, the previously gained impression is confirmed: The Cambridge audio headphones focus on the language area, which prevails at any time, from a solo line-up to a ten-piece ska band.
While the general sound tuning trend – especially in the cheaper price range – tends towards club-compatible bass, the Melomania 1 is comparatively slim. Bass guitars play gnarled, synthetic lines lay a solid foundation, and kick drums come dry with sufficient attack.
The Cambridge developers have also found a healthy mix of resolution and neutrality in the opposite frequency range. Not quite as detailed as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, but balanced from start to finish.
I don’t know of any better-sounding true wireless headphones for this price.
With its debut in the field of true wireless headphones, Cambridge Audio has launched a Bluetooth in-ear that is unrivaled not only in the immediate price range. Thirty-six hours of battery life make the Melomania 1 an endurance runner. In terms of price and sound, it easily outperforms Apple’s Airpods 2. The Bluetooth connection is stable even at a large distance and is also pleasing thanks to its lip-synchronicity when watching films. There are only a few drawbacks compared to numerous pluses. For me, a clear price-performance winner.