Cambridge Audio have been active in the field of high-end hi-fi technology for five decades. The British manufacturer does not limit itself to conventional components such as amplifiers, loudspeakers, CD or record players; they also support modern forms of music consumption such as streaming. And of course, headphones are included in their range.
Melomania Touch are the more expensive of Cambridge Audio’s two true-wireless products and they are available in two colours, black and white. They are high-quality units house in a plastic casing with touch-sensitive exteriors. The batteries deliver a remarkable runtime of up to seven hours. They come with the obligatory case, neatly packaged in vegan imitation leather, for storage and for charging via USB-C. The battery is also rechargeable. This provides additional battery capacity, so you ultimately achieve a runtime of about 40 hours in so-called high-performance mode, depending on the volume. An optional low-power mode adds even more reserves. It takes two hours for a full charge.
Bluetooth 5 ensures efficient and stable transmission across multiple rooms, while the aptX, AAC and SBC codecs take care of the sound output. Considering the manufacturer’s audiophile claims, I found myself missing the aptX HD and LDAC formats.
The lightweight housing, the ergonomically angled driver channels and numerous silicone fittings and ear fins ensure a good, secure fit that doesn’t become annoying, even during longer listening sessions. This makes these earphones ideally suited for every day and mobile use, and they’re also suitable for sports thanks to their IPX4 protection rating, which incidentally also applies to the charging case.
Each earpiece has a touch-sensitive surface on the outside that can be used for different functions. As with most of their competitors, there is a risk of unintentionally triggering functions by accidentally touching them.
The headphones switch on automatically and switch off again when placed in the case – and this process can also be carried out manually. Pairing with a Smartphone is quick and enables practical, straightforward use. If required just the one headphone can be used, e.g. for telephone calls.
The free Melomania app for iOS and Android takes care of configuration. It enables updates (we tested with version 1.18), shows the battery charge status, offers to track the location of the headphones in case of loss and the allows the comprehensive configuration of the aforementioned touch-sensitive surfaces. Play/pause, track skipping, volume, telephone calls, calling a voice assistant (Siri, Google Assistant) and activating an intensity-adjustable transparency mode are available, this allows outside noises into the ear via the built-in microphones in order to enable better communication with the outside world when the headphones are on. The usual single and multiple taps and longer touches on the control surfaces are used in combination with announcements (you can choose in which language). Unwanted functions can simply be switched off to simplify operation – which is a sensible approach. I would have found it even nicer if the transparency mode could also be activated, if only temporarily, by touching and holding.
The app also offers a storable five-band equaliser for personal sound tuning. Noise-cancelling, on the other hand, is not offered, but good passive background noise suppression is. But as these headphones are in the attractive price range of around 140 Euros, this is not a problem and at the same time shows a possible opportunity for improvement in a larger model in the future.
The dynamic 7mm drivers come with a graphene cone and a specially tuned signal amplification mode, which according to the manufacturer ensure rich, balanced and pleasantly low-noise sound via Bluetooth – with decent level reserves. You shouldn’t expect absolute neutrality in the audiophile sense though; in fact, the manufacturer is more concerned with sophisticated listening pleasure combined with sensible tuning for mobile use.
This starts with a tonally defined, clean, powerful bass, which also reaches deep down into the frequency range. The bass range tends to be somewhat accentuated, but it is pleasantly taut rather than boomy. For pop/rock, electronic and particularly in modern productions, this fine-tuning guarantees listening pleasure. The midrange is not pushed back. Vocals have the necessary fullness, warmth and intelligibility. The detail resolution is impressive. Rock guitars and drums as well as acoustic instruments like Benny Andersson’s Fazioli piano are reproduced engagingly and generate the necessary closeness, emotion and/or power.
The Melomania Touch sound confident in the treble range. At times, however, this crosses the border to harshness (Britney Spears: Toxic), but this is not an explicitly beautiful player. Their generally good detail resolution provides a feeling of speed and leads to a well-resolved, robust stereo panorama and the necessary fine nuances in vocals. Spaces and spatial effects are clearly discernible, but due to their design, the build-up of depth is rather unsuccessful. Glossy sheen and audiophile airiness are not to be found here, but at this price and given their construction, that would be too good to be true. Jazz and orchestral recordings demonstrate that the Melomania Touch are capable of an appealing dynamic gradation and they can handle these genres remarkably well – but due to the signal-to-noise ratio they’re naturally better in quiet conditions. Finally, the device I tested also impressed me with its clear voice transmission during telephone calls, which was realised via the two integrated microphones and the associated noise suppression.
For about 140 Euros, Cambridge Audio offers a pair of attractive true-wireless headphones that not only sound good, but are easy to use and deliver convincing battery performance. Noise cancelling is not included and, despite their reputation, you should not expect audiophile flights of fancy. Instead, you get in-ear headphones that are musically and accurately tuned for mobile use with a really attractive price-performance ratio. Proving you don’t always have to pick Apple.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Weight without cable5.9g per piece; charging case: 56 g
What's in the box
- 4 x silicone tips Small
- 4 x silicone tips Medium (2 x on headphones)
- 4 x silicone tips Large
- 2 x silicone ear fins Small
- 2 x silicone ear fins medium (on headphones)
- 2 x silicone ear fins Large
- 1 x USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- BT codecs: aptX, AAC, SBC
- BT version: 5.0
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Available on the manufacturer's website .