Written by Cheryl Tan
Cambridge Audio is better known for their Hi-Fi and speaker systems, but they came out with the Melomania 1 true wireless earbuds earlier this year and we’ve finally got to try them here.
These earbuds come in a small carrying case (we got the gray version) that’s just a bit bigger than the AirPods case, which makes it very pocketable and easy to carry around. The one thing I don’t like about the case? It’s still using a Micro-USB charging port. It’s 2019, true wireless manufacturers really should be moving to USB-C now.
Aside from that, the case snaps close with a really satisfying force and it stays securely in place so no worries about the lid flipping open and the earbuds dropping out. The buds themselves also stay securely in place with strong magnets that do require a bit of force to detach from the case.
Battery life on these are great; Cambridge Audio claims 9 hours, but I reached 7.5 hours while testing with my playlist at 70% volume. That’s definitely not the longest battery life, but more than enough for most use scenarios.
The carrying case has another four charges in it for a total of around 37 hours for me or a claimed 45 hours. I’m really quite impressed by this battery life, seeing as the case is so small and not at all heavy.
The earbuds are bullet-shaped, and that makes for a couple of problems. The first is that our ear canals are not straight, so it might be a bit uncomfortable over a prolonged listening session. The second is because of the bullet shape, there’s nothing to really hold the earbuds in the ears. This results in a less secure fit than other true wireless earbuds, and I’ve found myself twisting the earbuds around to try and ensure that I get a proper seal and sit in the ear.
The elongated earbuds also stick out of the ear a little and could be an issue for those with smaller ears. Passive noise isolation is decent though, and when the music is turned on, most of the external noise will be blocked out.
Sound quality is as to be expected from Cambridge Audio. There’s good bass response, although not so much that it’ll muddy the rest of the sound. Bassheads should look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for accuracy and speed over booming bass, this will work nicely.
Mids are accurate and on the warmer side, but I do find the vocals aren’t as prominent as I would like. Highs are good and natural sounding, if I have to nitpick, it would be that it’s lacking just a bit of clarity. The soundstage is wide enough and imaging is relatively accurate, on par with other true wireless earbuds that I’ve reviewed previously.
I do have to point out calls made with the earbuds aren’t the best. My voice doesn’t come across quite as clearly, while there is occasional distortion and crackling. The Melomania 1 earbuds are running on Bluetooth 5.0 which makes for a more stable connection, along with the fact that you can choose either the left or right side to be the master side.
All in all, I’d say that this is a worthwhile pair of true wireless earbuds if you’re looking for decent sound and battery life at this price point. The fit isn’t for everyone, however, and it’s definitely a point of contention.
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 (S$239) is distributed by The Experts Group in Singapore and is available at their showroom at #04-09, Funan Mall.