Can Cambridge Audio improve its previous wireless earbuds?
The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch are near being perfect wireless earbuds, providing glorious audio efficiency, lengthy battery life and nice design. However, points with connectivity and irritating controls imply that they aren’t the most effective true wireless earbuds you should buy today.
- Excellent audio performance
- Long battery life
- Comfortable design
- Persisting connectivity points
- Frustrating touch controls
- No noise cancellation
Cambridge Audio is a model greatest recognized for its high-end audio tools – till it launched the Melomania 1 true wi-fi earbuds, that is, which rivaled even the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro with their glorious sound high quality.
Two years on, and the corporate has launched the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch, bringing touch-sensitive controls, upgraded battery life, and a brand new accompanying app to the wireless earbuds.
Costing $149.95 / £129.95 (about AU$200), they’re somewhat pricier than their predecessors, however nonetheless cheaper than the AirPods Pro – though there’s no lively noise cancellation right here.
The design of Cambridge Audio’s Melomania Touch is vastly improved over the earlier model, with ear fins to maintain them securely in place. We found them to be supremely comfy, and an IPX4 water-resistance score means you can use them with out worry of somewhat sweat or rain ending their life.
While the touch-sensitive controls are the brand new earbuds’ most-lauded feature, they don’t work as seamlessly as we’d have hoped. They aren’t terribly laggy or overly delicate, however the Melomania Touch typically register taps incorrectly, which can result in your music being inadvertently paused or skipped to the following track.
Connectivity isn’t seamless, both. We’d heard reports of users struggling to pair their Melomania Touch earbuds – and having examined two different pairs, we’ve found performance to fluctuate wildly. On pairing the earbuds for the primary time, we have been unable to attach them to our cellphone with out performing a full factory reset first – which is frustrating, when you think about their worth.
However, the place some customers found these connectivity points to persist even after a manufacturing unit reset, the buds labored completely effectively for the rest of our tests. It seems that whether or not or not your earbuds pair efficiently is a little bit of a fortunate dip, which means we are able to’t suggest them wholeheartedly.
It’s a shame, as a result of audio efficiency is outstanding. Support for aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs means you’ll be able to take heed to Hi-Res Audio streams, with the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch actually doing these higher-quality files justice due to their large soundstage and agile rhythmic handling.
The bass response is phenomenal, too. While some may discover the low-end somewhat wealthy for his or her style, bassheads can be delighted by the pumping sub-bass, which is way more highly effective than we have heard from in-ear headphones before.
The battery life is additionally impressive, coming in at a mixed 50 hours, with 9 hours of playback supplied by the earbuds themselves. Meanwhile, the brand new Melomania app is simple to make use of, provides simple management of the EQ settings, and may also help you find your misplaced buds with a ‘Find My Earphones’ function.
If you do purchase the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch, you won’t be disillusioned by the sound quality, battery life or design. Just watch out for these lingering connectivity points, and be ready for probably frustrating contact controls.
Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch price and release date
- Launched on January 1, 2020
- $149.95 / £129.95 (about AU$200)
The Cambridge Audio Melomania are available to buy now, having launched on January 1, 2021.
They’ll value you $149.95 / £129.95 (about AU$200), which is somewhat pricier than their predecessors at $129.99 / £119.95 upon their release in 2019. It’s price noting that, if you’re hoping to avoid wasting cash, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are usually heavily discounted now that they’re somewhat older.
Saying that, the newer earbuds aren’t notably costly, sitting smack-bang in the mid-range of the wi-fi earbuds worth scale. They’re cheaper than the Apple AirPods Pro, but not as budget-friendly as super-cheap models such because the Lypertek SoundFree S20.
- Comfortable fit
- IPX4 water-resistance rating
- Sensitive touch controls
The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch sport an entirely different design to their predecessors, eschewing the bullet-style build of housings that fill the outer part of your ear, with ear fins to maintain them in place.
It’s a welcome change, and so they certainly felt safe after we examined them – plus that cosy match does wonders for the audio high quality (however extra on that later). They’re mild, too, weighing solely 6g. A alternative of silicone ear ideas and ear fins means you should have the ability to discover a comfy match.
Fitness fanatics can be happy to be taught that the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch sport an IPX4 water-resistance score, which suggests they need to happily stand up to some rain, or somewhat sweat in the event you use them whereas understanding – though you may want one thing somewhat extra rugged if you’re planning to place your earbuds by way of very intense train sessions.
A leather-look, pebble-shaped charging case appears to be like stylish, and it’s sufficiently small to simply slip in your pocket. A row of five LEDs on the front of the case offers a sign of battery life, and around the back there is a USB-C charging port.
As you may have guessed from the title, the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch feature touch-sensitive housings, allowing you to manage your music playback with a series of faucets.
Now, touch-sensitive controls could be slightly hit or miss. We’ve usually discovered ourselves annoyed with buds that don’t register our faucets, buds that lag, and buds that are so extremely strung that a gust of wind is sufficient to have interaction a skip of your favourite music.
Thankfully, the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch don’t fairly fall into that class, though the controls aren’t seamless. An extended tap to regulate the amount was usually picked up as a brief faucet to pause our music, which shortly became frustrating, whereas simply inserting the earbuds within the ears usually resulted in unintended pauses and track skips.
Since these buds place a lot emphasis on touch control, it’s disappointing that the feature doesn’t work higher. While it is potential to show off the touch controls within the Melomania app, that’s hardly the purpose.
- 7mm graphene drivers
- Powerful sub-bass
- Noise-cancelling mics for calls
The audio quality displayed by the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch is excellent, just like their predecessors.
In half, this is due to an innovative High Performance Audio mode that makes use of hi-fi grade amplification technology – the same methodology of amplification found within the firm’s award-winning CX vary of hi-fi amplifiers.
Inside the buds sit 7mm drivers that have been enhanced with graphene, a fabric favored for its rigidity and energy, with its use contributing to the tightly managed bass frequencies and agile rhythmic dealing with by the Melomania Touch.
That agility turned apparent as we listened to Adrianne Lenker’s something, with busily overlapping guitar ostinatos gently undulating beneath her childlike vocal, never overpowering it.
As Lenker climbs to larger notes, the trebles by no means sound harsh, whereas the soundstage feels large open, with each instrument placed naturally.
Foo Fighters’ Everlong feels equally expansive, with Dave Grohl’s vocal rising above the dirge of distorted guitars and thrashing drums.
Moving on to Wesley’s Theory by Kendrick Lamar, that sense of area remains, from the warm crackling sound of the sampled introduction to the chest-pumping sub-bass as the music kicks in.
Now, that sub-bass could also be somewhat a lot for some, notably if you’re looking for a pure soundstage – however for bassheads, the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch offer a formidable low-end that belies their small size.
And whereas that bass is critically powerful, it doesn’t bleed into the opposite frequencies. The earbuds really revealed new particulars within the monitor that we hadn’t observed earlier than, equivalent to refined backing vocals that usually become misplaced within the mix with inferior headphones. It makes for an incredibly spectacular listen; you’ll virtually neglect you’re not listening on a pair of studio quality over-ear headphones.
While there’s no active noise cancellation on supply right here, the buds present a great quantity of passive noise cancellation due to their snug fit. The Transparency mode is decent, too, permitting a great quantity of noise to go through the earbuds when you’re listening to music – this function could be adjusted within the accompanying app (more on that later).
Meanwhile, a cVc noise-cancelling mic inside every bud ensures calls sound crisp and clear.
Battery life, app, and connectivity
- Persistant connectivity issues
- Excellent battery life
- AAC, SBC, and aptX support
The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch include a whopping 50-hour battery life, with 9 hours contained inside the buds themselves and a further 41 hours provided by the charging case.
This is not fairly as prolonged as the Lypertek Pure Play Z3 (Tevi)’s 70 hours, however the Melomania Touch are still far longer-lasting than most wireless earbuds on the market today.
Pairing straight out of the field was a nightmare, nonetheless, with just one bud connecting at a time on the uncommon event we have been able to hook one up to our phone.
It wasn’t till we carried out a factory reset that we have been in a position to join each earbuds to our phone simultaneously. It’s price mentioning that the 2 earbuds are designed to pair independently, so you can use one bud at a time, if you want. However, we found that listening to music by way of each buds on the same time was impossible till that factory reset.
We have been surprised to encounter such issues. With reports of connectivity issues plaguing the bud’s launch earlier this yr – that our pals at What Hi-Fi? detail of their evaluation – Cambridge Audio issued a swift firmware improve and app update, which it claimed would fix the problem.
While connectivity was positive after performing the factory reset, it’s a shame that these buds didn’t work straight out of the field – and it looks as if a fortunate dip as as to whether your buds will pair instantly otherwise you’ll must run a factory reset to make use of them.
Codec help consists of aptX, AAC, and SBC, and whereas there’s no aptX HD help, you should have the ability to enjoy Hi-Res Audio files over a wireless connection.
As for the app, it’s easy to make use of, with a slick interface that displays the battery life of every earbud, lets you use the ‘Find My Earphones’ function in the event you’ve lost them, and activate the Transparency mode with a slider, offering lots of control over how a lot environmental noise comes by way of the buds.
There are additionally six EQ presets to play with, and the power to create your individual customized presets, permitting you to essentially tailor the sound to your tastes.
Should I buy the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch?
Buy them if…
You’re looking for the bassiest earbuds you can buy
The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch present an unbelievable bass response, regardless of their small size. Combine that with a large soundstage and glorious rhythmic agility, and also you have a great-sounding pair of wi-fi earbuds.
You want Hi-Res Audio help
Support for the aptX codec means you’ll be able to stream Hi-Res Audio files utilizing these earbuds, so your Tidal subscription gained’t go to waste.
You want a lengthy battery life
With 9 hours onboard and an additional 41 hours supplied by the charging case, the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch are among the longest-lasting true wi-fi earbuds on the market.
Don’t buy them if…
You need simple connectivity
Connectivity is such a combined bag with the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch that we wouldn’t suggest them for anybody who needs to pair their buds straight out the field.
You hate contact controls
The contact controls on the Melomania Touch could be overly delicate, and so they’ll simply get in your nerves in the event you’re not a fan of the management methodology. Still, you’ll be able to flip them off within the app, so utilizing contact controls isn’t obligatory.
You desire a very pure sound
Since the decrease frequencies are so pronounced, these craving a really pure, audiophile sound could also be turned off by the heavy bass supplied by the Melomania Touch.