Review of The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

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Cambridge Audio joins the ranks of true wireless earbud manufacturers with the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1. These bullet-shaped ‘buds are lightweight, water-resistant, and feature great battery life. Let’s find out if Melomania 1 is extraordinary or just ordinary.

Review of The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

1. Design

Melomania 1

The earphones, available in black or off-white, feature earpieces that are among the smaller true wireless in-ears we’ve seen. They lack a stem or stabilizing fins—they’re essentially bullet-shaped and exceptionally lightweight. While they feel secure, runners and other athletes will likely want a pair that has stabilizing fins. There are three pairs of silicone ear tips included, as well as a pair of Comply foam ear tips. Internally, the earphones house 5.8mm graphene-enhanced drivers delivering a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz.

An IPX5 rating means the earphones can withstand some light splashes or mist, but it’s probably best not to let them get soaking wet, and to avoid cleaning them under a faucet. The case has no IP rating, so never place the earpieces inside it when they’re wet.

The earpieces each have push-button controls on their ends, with some controls divided between the two. Tapping once on either ear controls playback or answers incoming calls. Tapping twice summons your phone’s voice assistant when no music is playing; when there’s audio, tapping twice on the right ear skips forward a track, while the left ear navigates back a track. Pressing and holding the left ear lowers the volume level, while the same action on the right ear raises the volume. It’s not necessarily complicated, but we have dealt with more intuitive on-ear controls before.

The charging case for the earphones is also quite compact, with a flip-top lid and a battery life LED indicator on the front face. The included micro USB charging cable connects to the side of the case.

Cambridge Audio estimates battery life to be roughly nine hours, which is very good for true wireless earphones, but your results will vary with your volume levels. The charging case carries an extra 36 hours of charge—but again, that number is based on volume levels, and you may find your results are a bit lower. Regardless, these are very solid numbers for the category.

2. Sound Performance

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

The Melomania 1 has very good bass. Their low-frequency extension (LFE) is down to 10Hz, which is great and indicates that they can produce very deep bass. Their low and mid-bass performance follows our target curve accurately which means they produce an appropriate amount of thump and rumble, but they have a bit of overemphasis in high bass, which makes them also sound slightly boomy and muddy.

The Melomania 1’s mid-range performance is very good, but there is a slight tilt favoring lower frequencies. This will result in slightly thick and cluttered-sounding vocals and lead instruments.

The treble response on the Melomania 1 is decent. There’s a nearly 10dB dip just after 5kHz which negatively affects the presence and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. The 7dB peak just before 10kHz could also make sibilants like S and T sounds sharp and piercing, especially on brighter tracks. Not everyone will find them as sibilant, though, and the overall lack of detail is likely to be more noticeable.

3. Battery

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

When set to a constant 75dB output, the earbuds yielded 6 hours, 17 minutes of playback. Sure, this doesn’t meet Cambridge Audio’s specified nine-hour battery life, but it’s perfectly suitable for general use. Chances are you’ll listen to volumes quieter than our testing methods require and won’t keep the earbuds in for six consecutive hours.

Again, the charging case provides an additional four charges and requires 1.5 hours to complete a full charge. This gives you approximately 24 hours of listening before you need to dig around for a pesky micro USB cable. Yes, you read that correctly. Cambridge Audio selected a micro USB charging mechanism, rather than future-proofing it with USB-C input. For over $100, that’s a bad gaffe.

4. Calling Quality

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 microphone has a sub-par recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 364Hz means speech recorded or transmitted will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.3kHz is poor and results in speech that will sound muffled and lacking in detail but will still be decently understandable in very quiet environments.

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 true wireless headphones have a lot going for them. They boast a stellar battery life, great, natural sound quality, and a portable design. They’re not perfect though — they’re not very comfortable, and not great at staying in your ears. If you can look past that, they’re absolutely worth buying.

That said, they’re not necessarily the best for all situations. If you’re looking for true wireless headphones you can use for sports, then the JLab Audio Epic Air Sport headphones are the way to go.