The Melomania 1+ True Wireless in-ear headphones from Cambridge Audio promise wireless hi-fi sound at a fair price. The predecessors were already able to convince with successful acoustics almost two years ago. In the new edition, the British manufacturer focuses on improved ease of use, high-performance sound and a USB-C port. Our test reveals what the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ has up its sleeve.
|Maximum operating range||9m (without obstacle)|
|Battery life||Up to 9 hrs; 45 hrs total with charging case (varies depending on volume level and audio content)|
|Size Earbuds (H x W)||27 mm x 15 mm|
|Size charging case (H x W x D)||59 mm x 50 mm x 22 mm|
|Weight||46.2 g (charging case & earbud); 4.6 g per earbud|
|Scope of delivery||Melomania 1+, charging case, charging cable, 2 quick start guides, product catalog, 6 pairs of silicone attachments, 4 pairs of memory foam attachments|
|Price||€ 59.95 *|
Scope of delivery
The Melomania 1+ come in a classy gray and white cardboard box complete with magnetic clasp, which when opened greets you with a message from Cambridge Audio CEO James Johnson-Flint on the left side. On the right, both earbuds and charging case are placed separately on a cardboard slipcase, which can be conveniently removed with a handle.
Below that, the manufacturer positions a short quick-start guide detailing the initial pairing process, as well as a cardboard box containing safety and warranty information and much more. Practical: A small card in credit card format is also included, which informs about the buttons’ various functions.
But that’s not all, because the scope of delivery of the TWS earbuds, which cost around 100 Euros, is more than generous. Besides a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, there are two sets of ear tips in the package. These consist of a total of six pairs of silicone tips in sizes S, M and L, as well as two pairs each of memory foam compact tips. The latter are intended to provide a particularly comfortable wearing comfort with a more effective noise insulation.
The scope of delivery of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ is unprecedented. There is more in the package here than is the case with most premium headphones. Another positive thing to note is the complete absence of plastic. Even the sachets of the accessories are 100 percent plastic-free and are made of corn starch – more than commendable in this day and age.
Design and workmanship
The design of the Melomania 1+ takes some getting used to, to put it nicely, and is different from anything you’re normally used to in the in-ear headphone space. The manufacturer consequently does without earbuds that stick out. Instead, the earbuds look more like small round speakers that are sunk directly into the ear canal and still protrude visibly. The 27 mm x 15 mm TWS in-ears are certainly eye-catching, but the clunky design is not really pretty.
On the other hand, they are pleasantly light. Each of the two earphones weighs just 4.6 grams, which is significantly less than the top models from Sony or Bose, for example. Cambridge Audio offers the Melomania 1+ in black or white. The corresponding color scheme is consistent throughout the entire design of the headphones and the charging case. Only a silver stripe at the bottom of the earbuds stands out as a highlight.
The 59 mm x 50 mm x 22 mm small charging case is hardly bigger than the headphones themselves and also leaves a high-quality impression. It easily fits in a trouser pocket. The magnetic closure is also appealing, easy to open and securely closes the case at the same time.
It is interesting to note that Cambridge Audio completely eliminates buttons from the charging case. There is simply no pairing button, pairing is started on the earphones themselves. Only a USB-C port on the side stands out next to the LED battery indicator on the front.
While one can argue about the design of the cylindrically shaped earbuds, the Melomania 1+ hardly offer any reason for criticism in terms of wearing comfort. Once you’ve gotten used to the unique fit, the in-ears fit comfortably in the ear even during several hours of use. There is no feeling of pressure even during longer use.
Personally, I like the fit in combination with the Comply inserts even a bit better, because they adapt (within the realm of possibility) to the shape of your own ears and hold a bit tighter. Thereby, the in-ear headphones sit securely even during fast movements and do not slip out. However, since there is no protection against falling out, you should probably rather refrain from using them during sports. It is also worth mentioning that the Earbuds are protected against splashing water and sweat according to IPX5.
However, due to the design, you never really feel safe when using the Melomania 1+. You constantly have the feeling that the Earbuds could fall out – even though that is never the case. Thus, during the test, I found myself locking the seating position again and again.
The tightness against ambient noise is also impressive, even though the in-ears do not have active noise cancellation (ANC). Nevertheless, the silicone attachments already seal so well that even street noise is not let through in large parts. The seal is even better with the memory foam earpieces. In fact, the headphones block ambient noise better than some dedicated ANC in-ears in the same price range.
Features and battery life
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ establish the connection to the smartphone or other audio sources via Bluetooth 5.0. To initiate pairing, the outer surface of one of the two earbuds has to be held down for two seconds, after which the in-ears are immediately found and reliably connected.
There is also nothing to complain about in terms of the stability of the connection. We did not experience any connection interruptions during our test. Even at a distance of around 10 meters from the source and through several walls, the music playback could always be continued stably.
If you take the in-ears out of the charging case, they automatically connect to the last device used. This always works reliably. However, it is a bit strange that the volume is always turned down to 50% and the Earbuds do not connect to the last used setting. However, it is conceivable that this is just a bug with the current firmware.
I was particularly impressed with the battery life. According to the manufacturer, up to 9 hours of music playback is possible, and we can confirm this value in combination with the energy-saving mode including the lower audio codec. The battery life decreases noticeably in high-performance mode including Qualcomm’s aptX codec – however, about 6 hours and 37 minutes at a volume of 80 percent are still excellent rates. The charging case also provides enough juice for four full charges (up to 36 hours), so a maximum of 45 hours of combined operating time is possible in total.
In terms of operation, the Melomania 1+ doesn’t exactly rely on touch control, but comes with classic switches that take on different functions on the left and right sides. Of course, this has the advantage that there are no operating errors when you want to quickly make a change. On the other hand, physically pressing the buttons pushes the in-ears further into the ear canal, which naturally affects the sound.
Nevertheless, we like the classic control concept relatively well, especially since the actions are well thought out and work without problems. In order to internalize the multitude of commands, the manufacturer includes a command list in credit card format, which proves to be handy especially in the first few days.
A single tap starts or pauses playback, while a double tap jumps to the previous song (left side) or next track (right side). Holding the buttons down for two seconds increases or decreases the volume. In addition, there are commands for activating the voice assistant (Google Assistant or Siri) as well as for manually triggering pairing. This is a lot to remember, but goes very well by hand after a bit of familiarization.
Once again, the dynamic 5.8 mm driver with graphene diaphragm, which was already convincing in the previous model, is responsible for the sound. Here, Cambridge Audio relies on a 3-core processor as well as a QCC3026 signal processor from Qualcomm, which, in addition to the SBC and AAC codecs, also play Qualcomm’s high-resolution aptX codec (albeit without aptX HD support).
Let’s make it short: The sound of the Melomania 1+, combined with the right attachment and proper fit, is among the best you can get in the price range below 200 Euros and stands out positively across the board.
Even without an equalizer preset, the in-ear headphones score with a relatively neutral and at the same time rich sound stage. The bass is mixed rather warm, but offers incredible dynamics and precision. However, you should not expect a massive low bass, even if you turn it up with the help of the app – we are happy about that.
The minimally emphasized bass skillfully underlines the mids and trebles, which are equally detailed. This results in an all-around coherent sound that lets you hear nuances even in your favorite songs that you have missed with cheaper (or worse) headphones so far. Across genres, this results in an excellent soundstage that handles heavy metal and electro music just as well as orchestral recordings.
For additional fine-tuning, six different equalizer presets can be activated using the free companion app, which can also be further customized and saved. This really gives every user the sound that suits them best.
Another interesting feature is the high-performance audio mode, which can be activated in the app. Here, the built-in amplifiers switch to Class A/B operation, which is supposed to result in an even better sound quality. However, the difference only turns out to be minimal and hardly justifies the accompanying reduction in battery life.
When making calls, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ make use of a MEMS digital microphone that employs Qualcomm’s CVC noise-cancellation technology. The combination ensures a clear reproduction of one’s voice, while wind or ambient noise from even busy roads is filtered out surprisingly effectively. The in-ear headphones are well suited for making calls, although the microphone is positioned a bit far away from the mouth due to the design – and the other person will notice that.
In contrast to the predecessor, the Earbuds can be controlled with the help of an extensive companion app, which builds on the Melomania Touch from last year in terms of functionality. After the initial installation, the app already offers a firmware update for the in-ears that minimally improves the sound and can be installed within a few minutes. The app first welcomes you with an extensive tutorial that explains all functions of the headphones in detail and provides additional tips for achieving the optimal fit.
In addition, you can deactivate the earphone control and switch between high-performance and energy-saving mode. The choice of audio codec is also done in the app settings, as are some more or less useful companion functions.
However, the equalizer proves to be particularly practical, in addition to the battery level indicator. Besides six presets (Neutral, Immersive, R&B, Electronic, Rock and Voice), it allows you to save three user-defined profiles. Here bass, mid and treble can be adjusted separately from each other and with an intermediate stage.
With the Melomania 1+, the British hi-fi experts from Cambridge Audio deliver their best in-ear headphones to date, scoring points primarily for their excellent sound and impeccable build quality. In combination with the impressive battery life, the gigantic scope of delivery and the excellent app connection, they put together an inimitable overall package that leaves even much more expensive models behind.
The same applies for the strong seal that effectively suppresses background noise despite the lack of an ANC function. The Earbuds only have to contend with the design and the slightly complex handling, but that is complaining on an extremely high level.
Even at the RRP of 129.00 Euros, we can highly recommend the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+. At the current offer price of 99.95 Euros, there is no way around the in-ear headphones if you don’t necessarily value active noise cancellation.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ True Wireless Earbuds price comparison
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