Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 full review
The true wireless earbud market is positively bustling with new entries since the launch of Apple’s AirPods and with more and more phones ditching the physical headphone jack. Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1s are the latest to come along so we’ve given them the full review treatment.
The name Melomania, if your wondering, means an ‘abnormal liking for music and melody’. The firm has now announced a second-generation model called the Melomania Touch.
Some pairs of true wireless earbuds cost £200 or even £300 with similar prices is dollars but the Melomania 1s are closer to the £100 mark.
Check out our chart of the best wireless earbuds.
Design & Build
Whether they look like electric toothbrush heads or some other whacky shape, wireless earbuds can look a little odd.
The Melomania 1 design couldn’t be much simpler. These little bullet-shaped earbuds are symmetrical and have a clean look that many buyers will appreciate. We thought they might look a bit strange when in but they don’t, they’re a little like earplugs.
We prefer the black finish but Cambridge also offers them in a stone grey colour if you like.
There’s little to talk about the design apart from the fact these earbuds are extremely lightweight at just 4.6g per bud. They also have an IPX5 rating so are splash and sweat resistant.
Whether they are comfortable depends on the shape and size of your ears but there are three sizes of silicone tips to try as well as one pair of memory foam. We found them to be very comfortable almost straight away.
Hidden within the simple design are ring of light that pulses around the button on each earbud.
The case is similarly simple and compact with a magnetic lid and five LEDs on the front to indicate its battery level. The earbuds themselves snap into place with fairly strong magnets so there’s little chance of them not making contact to charge.
Thanks to the symmetrical design, you can pop them into either hole. A minor quibble here is that the case uses old Micro-USB instead of USB-C.
Largely thanks to the case, battery life is a huge feature here. The earbuds can last up to nine hours on their own but the case can charge them another four times, making a total of 45 hours.
That’s way more than others on the market so if you don’t like the idea of being stuck with dead earbuds then the Melomania 1s will suit you well.
As mentioned earlier, there’s a button on each earbud and they are a little too easy to press, especially when putting the earbuds in. We appreciate this once they are in though, as too much required force simply leads to ramming the bud into your ear canal in order to register a press.
Play and pause is pretty easy but you’ll have to remember which bud to press and how many times for different functions. For example, two quick presses on the right bud is skip a track and the same on the other bud is skip back.
You can also change volume which is unusual with a longer press. Luckily Cambridge Audio supplies a credit card sized reminder sheet which you can carry around and refer to until you learn them all.
Thanks to noise-cancelling microphones on each earbud you can use the Melomania 1s for phone calls and using digital assistants. There’s support for Siri and Google Assistant.
Something missing that you might be looking for is active noise cancelling. This is very rare on true wireless earbuds so look to the Sony WF-1000XM3 if this is a must have item.
So far so good for the Melomania 1s but it’s all a bit pointless if they don’t sound very good. Fortunately, you’re in good hands with Cambridge Audio and we’re impressed with the sound quality on offer here.
Inside each earbud is a 5.8mm driver which is ‘enhanced’ by graphene; an incredibly strong but lightweight material. Cambridge says this “strength-to-weight ratio generates a dynamic and responsive performance.”
There’s a pretty standard frequency range of 20-20,000Hz and you’ll connect over Bluetooth 5.0 which offers up to 30m of range. We certainly had no problems with connectivity during weeks of testing.
There’s also both AAC and aptX codecs so you get good audio quality whether you’re using an iPhone or Android.
Testing with various devices, the Melomania 1 earbuds sound excellent across the board with a superbly detailed sound which also very spacious, too. Music really comes to life and that’s what you want from some headphones.
The tone is rich and warm with largely bass and mid-range being given the pedestal but there’s enough top-end to give colour and vibrancy. Enough to still hear every hit of a ride cymbal.
Like the RHA TrueConnect, the Melomania 1 have a tuning that suits a wide range of music genres and also sound good for things like podcasts and audiobooks.
They might not have the most attractive design in the wireless earbud market but that doesn’t really matter when Cambridge Audio has hit the nail on the head in so many other areas.
We find the Melomania 1s comfortable due to the lightweight design and the buttons are more useful than most once you learn the code of presses.
Battery life is a standout feature with a whopping 45 hours total between the earbuds and the charging case.
They also sound excellent when you throw all sorts of different audio at them. With both AAC and aptX codecs, they’re also versatile in terms of what devices you can pair them with and keep good quality.
Really the only thing you might want is noise cancelling but that’s not to be expected at this affordable price.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1: Specs
- Driver: 5.8mm graphene dynamic
- Frequency range: 20-20,000Hz
- Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0, AAC, aptX
- Range: Up to 30m
- Voice control: Siri, Google Assistant
- Battery life: 9 hours Charging case: Extra 36 hours
- Ear tips: Silicone and memory foam
- Design: IPX5 sweat and splash resistant
- Dimensions: 27 x 15mm
- Weight: 4.6g per earbud
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