Melomania 1 review: True Wireless earphones from Cambridge Audio
By Sigismondo Eisenhower 2019-06-26 8092 0
If you really want it without cables, look around for earphones with the addition "True Wireless", of which we had the chance to try out some of the models in the blog with Apple's current AirPods or the Mobvoi TicPods Free. But now the British manufacturer Cambridge Audio wants to offer a device that not only offers excellent sound, but also long endurance and top hardware and functions.
The product was christened Melomania 1, comes with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX and AAC support and should cost you almost 130 Euro. Whether the price can really be justified or whether you should rather invest your money somewhere else, I would like to tell you this with my short test report. Cambridge Audio is a British manufacturer of premium audio equipment, such as hi-fi devices or home cinema systems. If you take a closer look at the company's large portfolio, you'll soon realize that you can expect a grandiose sound from Melomania 1 earphones.
Specifications of the Melomania 1:
- In-Ear, True Wireless
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Triple Core Processor Architecture: Dual Core 32-Bit Processor & Qualcomm QCC3026 Single Core 120 MHz Kalimba DSP Processor
- Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Codecs: aptX, AAC, SBC
- Latency: 70 mS (aptX)
- Driver 5.8 mm graphene reinforced diaphragm
- Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Distortion factor <0.04% @1kHz 1mW
- Runtime: 9 hours (uninterrupted A2DP playback)
- Charging case: 36 hours (four additional charging processes)
- Standby time when fully charged: Approx. 1 year
- Microphone: MEMS with cVc Noise Cancellation
- Microphone sensitivity: 96dB SPL at 1kHz
- Frequency range (micro): 100 Hz to 8 kHz
- IPX5 (Headphones & Case)
- Dimensions: Charging case: 59 x 50 x 22 mm / headphones: 27 x 15 mm
- Weight: Headphones: 4.6 g single (9.2 g both headphones) / Charger
- Case: 37 g
- Scope of delivery: headphones (2 pieces), silicone attachments: Small (2 pieces) / Medium
- (2 pieces) / Large (2 pieces), Memory Foam attachments: Medium (2 pieces), Charging case, Micro-USB charging cable (31 cm), Operating instructions, Instructions for wearing comfort, Safety instructions, Feedback/comments booklet, Cambridge Audio Stickers & Brand booklet
- Price: 129,95 Euro via the webshop of the manufacturer
The Ladecase is kept simple, but snaps the two earphones by magnetic connection, which allows them to sit securely even when the flap is open, while the flap also closes with a magnet. There are also five LEDs on the front, which indicate the charge levels for 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent batteries. The two earphones are supposed to last up to nine hours on their own, while the charging case is supposed to deliver another 36 hours on top. With a total running time of 45 hours with only one case and earphones to recharge properly, hardly anyone would really be able to make these things report a low battery level.
During my previous test period I could already reach the nine hours runtime, but whether the charge case then really comes to a total of 36 additional hours, I could not fully exhaust that so far. However, the course so far also seems to confirm this. Those who find the plain black of the case too boring can also purchase an additional silicone case in the colours orange, pink, blue, light green, light grey and red for ten euros each. If you take the two earphones out of the case for the first time, they start directly in pairing mode, so you can immediately connect them to your smartphone and so on. When pairing, you will be offered both the left and right earphones, but only one can be connected at a time. The second earphone will of course be connected automatically.
The fit of the Melomania 1 is great. Both devices do not protrude too far from the ear, which I personally would find very annoying. With my eavesdroppers I only have to insert the devices and press them lightly into the ear for one or two seconds so that they have a stable hold. Of course, this can express itself differently for each user. The parts are really comfortable to wear, so I can easily wear them for several hours at a time without any negative effects.
Whether I can recommend the Melomania 1 for every athlete despite the IPX5 certification (applies to earphones and case), I honestly don't really know. On the crosstrainer and during walking and everyday movements I rarely had the feeling that I had to press the two earphones afterwards. For health reasons I can't test how the whole thing behaves when walking. But I would like to say from the first impression that due to the weight on the outer side the Melomania 1 would rather "shake off".
The operation of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 is done exclusively via a single button that is located in the middle of both devices. But just because there are no touch inputs or other buttons available, this does not mean that only the music can be started and paused here. For example, the button detects multiple taps, distinguishes between "pressed during playback" and "pressed during pause" and of course also detects whether the button on the left or right earphone has been used. This also results in the different functions that can be triggered via it. You can see an overview in the following photo, for example you can also activate Google Assistant or Apple's Siri by pressing a button:
Let's get to the most important factor of an earphone test report: the sound. As already mentioned, Cambridge Audio understands its craft in the audio field very well and, in my opinion, can embody this knowledge excellently in the Melomania 1. I may not be an expert, but if I never get the impression that the (5.8 mm graph-enhanced) drivers reach a kind of "limit" with any music genre and any highs, mids and lows, then that convinces me. Even at the really high volume levels there's no humming or rattling, bass is all very powerful and every fine sound snippet is reproduced accurately. I didn't notice any differences in the synchronicity of the music on both earphones. Even if one of the two devices was switched on much later, the sound started at exactly the same point to the millisecond. The same applies to the synchronicity of the sound in videos and films, so that lip-sync can easily be heard here.
And so in the end I'm really convinced that you can't invest your 130 Euros in True Wireless earphones more sensibly than in the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1. The sound is reason enough, but there are also features like aptX and AAC support, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 ranges of up to 30 meters (depending on the environment) and the enormously long battery life. The button on the left and right allows you to perform all the necessary functions for music playback without any problems, and pressing the button at the same time ensures that you keep pressing the earphone to your ear, even if I don't think this is absolutely necessary.
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