Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

True-Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Cambridge Audio is more known for classic hi-fi and home cinema components than for headphones, but the dynamic true wireless Melomania 1 headphones are aimed at users who demand completely mobile music playback.

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingIn-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Weight without cableKopfhörer: jeweils 4,6 g (zusammen 9,2 g); Ladebox: 37 g; Gesamt: 46,2 g

What's in the box

  • 4 eartips
  • USB charging cable
  • Charging case

Special features

  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
  • BT version: 5.0
  • BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Processor: Triple-core processor: Dual-core 32-bit processor subsystem with Qualcomm QCC3026 single-core 120 MHz Kalimba DSP audio subsystem
  • Playback time (headphones): up to 9 hrs.
  • Playback time (total): 45 hrs.
  • Maximum battery charge (charging box): 36 hrs.
  • Charge time charging box: approx. 15 min./60 min./90 min.
  • Standby time: approx. 1 year

The IPX5 splash-proof and cylindrically shaped earbuds are available in black and light grey colour variants, are extremely lightweight, and arrive in a compact transport case in which they are held in position by a magnet – with automatic switching on and off.

The integrated rechargeable battery, with USB micro connector, increases the realistic playing time of approximately nine hours by a further four charges. The state of charge is shown by an LED indicator.

The sound is processed by a 3-core processor and a Qualcomm QCC3026 DSP. The system supports Bluetooth 5 and higher quality codecs aptX and AAC. For movies, however, the aptX LL codec would have offered a better lip synchronicity.

Practice

Four tips ensure a good fit in the ear canal. The earbuds, therefore, fit securely in the ear canal and also offer good passive noise isolation. However, I find them less suitable for sports use. In my case, there is also the fact that the earbuds press on the ears due to the size of the upper housing cylinder, and for longer listening sessions they became uncomfortable.

Cambridge Audio does without an app control. Instead, the handsets are equipped with mechanical buttons on the left and right upper sides of the housing. In addition, blue and white light rings provide a status indicator.

The volume can be changed by pressing and holding the left or right button. Single clicks start and stop the music, while double clicks jump forwards and backwards through the titles. Pairing with up to seven devices, handling calls and calling a smartphone voice assistant can also be controlled in this way. This works very comfortably, but has a conceptual disadvantage – each time the buttons are pressed, the earbud is pressed lightly into the ear. In addition, it was too easy to accidentally trigger a key function when adjusting the plugs.

The range of the Bluetooth connection was good and covered several rooms in the test.

Sound

The most important basic prerequisites for in-ears are the right tips to give the right fit in the ear canal. If a good fit is achieved, the dynamic drivers with graphene diaphragms deliver a pleasantly balanced sound with good level reserves (with only low noise emission to the outside), compression and warm, full bass, which is precisely contoured and also takes tonality and dynamics into account during playback. The small earbud can also reproduce low bass, but fortunately, there are no life-like bass storms. However, due to the inaccurate fit caused by head and jaw movements, there were changes in bass reproduction.

The basic tuning in the midrange is rather warm, which flatters voices and acoustic instruments as well as distorted rock guitars. This full-bodied character usually provides a powerful listening experience. For pop, rock and modern genres this works splendidly, but this in-ear also delivers for classical and jazz. Melomania 1 can sound full, but also dynamic and intimate.

The higher frequency range is resolved well and avoids unwanted harshness. This allows many details to be heard, which has a positive effect on the image of the stereo panorama and movements in it. But I hear weaknesses in the playback due to the construction. You shouldn’t expect the brilliance and airiness of high quality, open over-ear headphones from Melomania 1. At this point, one should simply note that this Cambridge Audio product can easily stand up to Apple’s product standard, provided the fit is right. Finally, it should be mentioned that I would only rate the call quality for telephone calls as “acceptable”.

Ulf Kaiser
4 weeks ago by Ulf Kaiser
  • Rating: 3.75
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Cambridge Audio makes a good start in the True-Wireless arena. Melomania 1 is a well-tuned system with good codecs and useful features. The price is absolutely competitive, proving it doesn’t always have to be Apple. With the importance of accuracy of fit, I would absolutely recommend a personal test.

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