Headphones are among the most popular accessories in the audio sector, and they have experienced a kind of renaissance with the wireless versions at the latest. While brands and names such as Sony, Apple or Bose usually fall in the mass market, it is of course always worth taking a look at manufacturers who operate outside the mainstream. This includes, for example, Cambridge Audio from Great Britain, which has been supplying first-class products in the audio and hi-fi sector for decades.
We recently got the from Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch True Wireless In-Ear Monitors viewed or listened to, which are not only particularly stylish and discreet, but also convince in terms of sound. You can find out where the strengths and weaknesses lie in our latest hardware check.
Cambridge Audio has always had extremely high standards in terms of sound and acoustics, and their products are always developed with your favorite artist in mind, as well as a clear focus on details and authenticity, whether in the bass range or crystal clear highs.
The focus of the Melomania series is particularly on authentic live music, live gigs and album playback – or as Cambridge Audio calls it: “crazy about music”that gets you moving, that you can completely lose yourself in or that you just enjoy.
It’s in the box
The most exciting thing about new products is usually the unpacking, because who doesn’t like to be surprised with various extras? Cambridge Audio is no different. The following contents are used with the Melomania Touch True Wireless In-Ear Monitors delivered:
- a pair of in-ear speakers in black or white
- a noble charging case covered with synthetic leather
- USB Type-A auf USB Type-C Kabel
- a set of in-ear attachments in three sizes
- a set of auricle mounts in three sizes
- Quick-Start Guide
- Touch button guide in a practical business card format for on the go
- Bluetooth Version 5.0, aptX.
- Battery 9 hours (up to 50 hours in low-performance mode)
- Frequency 20Hz – 20kHz.
- Finishes x2.
- Dimensions 2.4cm x 2.3cm.
- Weight 5.9 grams (per in-ear)
The charging case itself with the synthetic leather coating immediately attracts attention and stands out from most other manufacturers. It is easy to grip and is extremely comfortable to hold. At the same time, this serves as a charger for on the go, so that your in-ears are always ready for use as long as possible.
The in-ears themselves have a very classic anatomical shape that almost completely disappears into the auricle and does not stick out unsightly. For technical reasons, this visual flaw is usually of secondary importance for many manufacturers, which, however, has always kept me from switching to wireless in-ears. Not walking around outside as if you wanted to spark your extraterrestrial friends is a pretty critical point, which is at least important to me personally.
The combination of the various in-ear attachments and auricle holders, which can be combined until they sit really firmly and comfortably in the ear, is also particularly clever, which ultimately has a significant impact on the sound quality, especially when it comes to deep bass is possible.
Setup and Melomania app
If the Melomania Touch True Wireless In-Ear Monitors sit well in the ear, the setup is done, whereby a few simple settings via Bluetooth are sufficient to get started.
As soon as the in-ears are removed from the charging case, they start looking for Bluetooth devices such as your smartphone. Both in-ears coupled, so you’re ready to go. Child’s play!
You can then get the subtleties with the official Melomania app (Google Play / iTunes) from Cambridge Audio, which incidentally is the same for all wireless models, including the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, which we will report on separately again.
The Melomania app, which is held in funky blue-violet-pink colors, provides information in the hub about all the important stats of the in-ears, including battery status, earphone control and transparency mode. There is also an equalizer with various pre-sets and custom settings, as well as the mandatory settings for firmware updates, high-performance mode, earphone control, codec selection and voice guidance language.
Some settings here have a direct effect on the useful life of the in-ears, which, according to Cambridge Audio, can be pushed up to 50 hours. For this, however, an extra firmware is installed. After all, in high-performance mode you give a whopping 9 hours before you need juice again. After a good 3 hours of intensive and quite loud use, there is an average of 73% left, which means that Cambridge Audio can be believed.
The Transparency Mode is a kind of noise-canceling feature that allows ambient noises to be made audible. For this purpose, the ambient noise is recorded by the in-ears and superimposed on the actual music in a separate layer. This can even be intensified or weakened by means of a controller, instead of just switching it on or off. A real nice-to-have feature!
Touch me, i like it!
The name Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor was of course also thought, because the in-ears are operated entirely via a sensitive touch surface. Music on: tap once, tap it loud and quiet, double-touch for the next or previous track, etc. The Google Voice Assistant is also supported with its own command.
Works great and is just practical, sometimes maybe even too good, because the touch surface is indeed so sensitive that it is prone to unwanted actions every now and then. Sometimes it is enough if you just want to push the in-ears back into your ear. Absolute gross motor skills can also switch off the touch function via the app. Trick 17!
And how do they sound now?
This is of course the most important question to ask yourself about headphones. Standard in-ears (wired) from Google, which have always sounded excellent to me personally, as well as Air Pods from Apple, which are somehow the holy grail in this area, especially due to their discreet design, were used as a comparison in our test.
In terms of music technology, almost everyone is very broadly positioned – here for Berlin at the very top from electro, techno, house, to soundtracks or everyday pop music, everything was heard up and down. And listen, Cambridge Audio also manages to secure a special place here and to differentiate itself from the aforementioned competitors.
Especially in the highs and in the mid-range, the Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor is way ahead without having to completely bend the volume to notice it. On the contrary: take for example The World of Hans Zimmer – The DaVinci Code, which is known to play the highs for a long time and continuously, the volume had to be turned down so that the notes would not dig into the ear uncomfortably.
The same applies to the current club megahit and remix of Charlotte de Witte ‘Come on, dance with me’, almost in the trance area, the highs and mids are played out excellently, while at the same time other nuances are not drowned out, such as the classic scratching of the vinyl.
They do a little “weaker” Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor but in the bass range, at least compared to my usual Google In-Ears. But depths are generally an incredibly difficult topic and must be assessed very subjectively. What feels like tearing the ear canal in one person is not enough pressure for the other. Personally, I would rather classify myself with the latter – especially if you have ever walked past the boxes in Berghain in your life that are said to cause cardiac arrhythmias. After that you probably have a completely disturbed relationship in terms of bass and bass anyway.
One also misses a little bit the spatial audio technology from Apple for a room-filling sound experience. A similar technology is also available for Android, but unfortunately it is not yet widely accepted across the system. Here you actually have to use headphones that provide this by themselves, or use appropriate streaming providers that encode their music accordingly.
As mentioned, the enjoyment of the sound can be optimized with the equalizer of the Melomania app, which offers various pre-sets from immersive, electro, rock, R&B, as well as three custom pre-sets. Popularly used, but you don’t force the depths completely into the basement.
Further details on the Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor are available directly on the Cambridge Audio website.
Audio-Check: Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor by Cambridge Audio
“So far I’ve been quite skeptical about true wireless headphones, especially in-ears. Although the technology itself is impressively mature in so little space, it is often the visual aspect that makes it look anything but cool on you. Cambridge Audio relies on a design that can be described as a welcome step in the right direction, in which one fully incorporates the anatomy of the auricle instead of stacking it on the outside. We also like the stylish and modern app, the high-quality charging case in black synthetic leather, and the individual attachments and holders for the ear. In terms of sound, the Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor is primarily convincing in the treble and mid-range spectrum, while the bass range could build up a little more pressure for my taste. As I said, this is very subjective and can have a completely different effect on someone else. Nevertheless, it is the first True Wireless In-Ears that I really like, perform well and that you also like to wear outside, without attracting strange looks from others. The Melomania Touch True Wireless Monitor are clearly our insider tip away from the mainstream. “
Strong in the high and mid-range area
High quality charging case
Individual adaptation to the ear
Subjective bass could go deeper
Changing the performance mode overwrites FW
Some settings force a restart