Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Updated Aug 14, 2019 at 10:12 am
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Truly Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.0
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
7.1
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
5.1
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are decent truly wireless headphones with a unique earplug-like design. Their sound profile is decent for fans of bass-heavy music genres, but they lack detail on vocals and lead instruments. They’re not the most comfortable in-ears we’ve tested, and some people may even have trouble getting them to fit at all, but if their fit works for you they have outstanding passive isolation. Commuters will appreciate how well they reduce noise without leaking and athletes will like their stable fit and IPX5 rating for water resistance. Unfortunately, their battery life measured lower than advertised, which is a bit disappointing. That said, their physical controls are easy-to-use and they feel well-built, so those who appreciate their earplug design will likely find they provide decent value.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are decent for mixed usage. Their sound quality isn’t great but should satisfy fans of bass-heavy genres. Their earplug-like design isolates an impressive amount of noise, which makes them very good for commuting, but their fit won’t be comfortable for everyone so they might be best for shorter trips. If you can achieve a stable fit, though, they’re great for sports. However, they’re a poor choice for watching TV and gaming due to their poor latency, which means you’re likely to notice a delay between what you see and what you hear.

7.0 Neutral Sound

Alright for neutral listening. The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 have deep, powerful, bass and a fairly even mid-range, but their treble can sound a bit dark. Their bass and mid-range are also slightly boomy and cluttered, which can muddy or thicken up the mix. Also, their deep in-ear fit won’t be comfortable for long listening sessions and they don’t have a companion app with an EQ which would let you modify their sound profile.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
8.0 Commute/Travel

Good for commuting. These truly wireless in-ears enter the ear canal quite deeply, so they block out a very good amount of noise passively. They also barely leak any sound at all, so you can raise your listening volume without having to worry about bothering your fellow commuters. Unfortunately, their earplug-like fit can be uncomfortable to wear for some and isn’t ideal for long periods of use, so they’re best for shorter bus or train rides.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
8.2 Sports/Fitness

Great for sports. The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are very portable and, like most truly wireless headphones, don’t trap heat inside or around your ear so you won’t sweat more than usual if you wear them while working out. If they fit you well, they’re very secure once in your ears, but if you find it hard to put earplugs in, you’ll likely find they fall out easily. That said, they’re rated IPX5 for water resistance, but we don't test this internally.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
7.1 Office

Decent for the office. While their in-ear fit might not be ideal for long listening sessions, they have the best treble isolation performance that we’ve measured so far which makes them great for blocking out common office sounds, like the noises of an A/C unit. They’re also quite effective at blocking out speech. Unfortunately, they don’t support multi-device pairing and their battery only provides 6 hours of continuous playback, but they should last you all day if you take small breaks to charge them quickly in their case now and then.

See our Office recommendations
5.3 Wireless Gaming

Bad for gaming. Their wireless latency is too high, and their microphone performance is inadequate for online multiplayer games. They don’t come with customizable support software and they’re likely to be too uncomfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
5.1 Wired Gaming
6.5 Phone Call
  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Neutral Sound
  • 8.0 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.1 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Call
Pros
  • Very good passive noise isolation.
  • Easy-to-use physical controls.
  • Well-built and durable design.
Cons
  • Earplug-like fit won’t be comfortable for everyone.
  • Battery life lower than advertised.
  • Treble lacking detail.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

Black Melomania 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Stone Melomania 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are truly wireless in-ears with an earplug-like design that protrudes quite a bit out of your ear. They’re still quite stylish, though, especially next to their case, thanks to their polished semi-matte finish and metal accents. Each earbud has a circular LED light which gives their battery status and shows when they’re in pairing mode. They come in either an all-black or stone, which is off-white, design.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Melomania wireless earbuds are okay in terms of comfort. They enter exceptionally deeply into the ear canal, which can be quite uncomfortable for some people, especially those who struggle with wearing earplugs. The earbuds aren’t too bulky, though, so once they’re positioned correctly, they don’t put very much pressure on the inside of the ear. If you have small ears, though, you’re likely to find them fatiguing. On the upside, they come with one pair of foam tips that you can try if the silicone tips don’t feel right, and their controls are easy to press so you don’t need to push them further into your ears when pausing or skipping tracks.

7.4
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
N/A
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons Voice enabled controls

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 have decent controls, especially for truly wireless earbuds. They have a physical button on each earbud that you can press to register standard call/music commands as well as volume controls. The buttons are clicky and provide good tactile feedback, but since they cover the top of each earbud it’s possible to press them accidentally when putting the earbuds in/pulling them out of their case or your ears.

Note: It’s worth noting that we had initial difficulties pairing the earbuds with our test devices. It took 3 factory resets before we could pair them successfully. This issue may not affect all units, however, and could be due to factors unrelated to the earbuds themselves.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

Like most truly wireless in-ears, the Melomania True Wireless are very breathable headphones. They hardly trap any heat inside your ears, which makes them great for use while working out since they’re very unlikely to make you sweat more than usual.

9.6
Design
Portability
L 1.0 "
W 1.0 "
H 0.5 "
Volume 1 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are very portable truly wireless earbuds. Their earplug-like design takes up very little space and their case is also quite compact, so they’re easy to stash inside your pockets when you’re on-the-go. The earbuds are so small that it can be hard to get a good grip on them when pulling them out of their case or putting them in your ears, but this won’t be an issue for everybody.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.2 "
W 2.0 "
H 1.7 "
Volume 8 Cu. Inches

The Melomania True Wireless have a great hard charging case. It’s very compact and resembles the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air’s case. It also has a magnetic lid and LED indicator that shows the battery status. The lid shuts more securely than that of the Liberty Air but is still easy to open. The case feels fairly durable and has an IPX5 rating for water spray resistance like the earbuds. Although we don’t yet test water resistance internally, the case will still help protect the earbuds while in your pockets or bag from scratches and light damage from daily use.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Melomania 1 feel well-built. They’re rated IPX5 for water spray resistance, but we don’t yet test for this internally. They have a fairly premium look thanks to their semi-matte finish, but they still feel a bit plasticky. The plastic used in the earbuds feels quite dense, though, and they feel solid and robust, but the case feels a bit weaker.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 have good stability. Once you achieve a proper fit, their earplug-like design stays firmly in place even during more vigorous movements. However, if you struggle with getting them to fit right, you’ll likely find they fall out quite easily. That said, their wireless design gets rid of a cable, which could have yanked the headphones out of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.35 db
Treble Amount
-1.98 db
9.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.05 dB

As with most in-ears, the frequency response consistency on the Melomania 1 is excellent, provided you can achieve a proper fit. If you can get an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then you should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.35 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.6 dB
Mid-Bass
0.08 dB
High-Bass
3.91 dB

The Melomania 1 have very good bass. Their low-frequency extension (LFE) is down to 10Hz, which is great and indicates that they can produce very deep bass. Their low and mid-bass performance follows our target curve accurately which means they produce an appropriate amount of thump and rumble, but they have a bit of overemphasis in high bass, which makes them also sound slightly boomy and muddy.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.19 dB
Low-Mid
3.29 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.78 dB
High-Mid
0.34 dB

The Melomania 1's mid-range performance is very good, but there is a slight tilt favoring lower frequencies. This will result in slightly thick and cluttered-sounding vocals and lead instruments.

7.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.95 dB
Low-Treble
-2.46 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.25 dB
High-Treble
1.09 dB

The treble response on the Melomania 1 is decent. There’s a nearly 10dB dip just after 5kHz which negatively affects the presence and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. The 7dB peak just before 10kHz could also make sibilants like S and T sounds sharp and piercing, especially on brighter tracks. Not everyone will find them as sibilant, though, and the overall lack of detail is likely to be more noticeable.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.75 db
Dips
1.86 db
9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.09
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.58
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.1
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.03

The stereo imaging on the Melomania 1 is excellent. Their weighted group delay is at 0.09, which is excellent since it’s very low. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below the audibility threshold, ensuring a tight bass and transparent treble. The left and right drivers of our test unit were also very well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.3
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
1.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.1

Like all closed-back in-ear headphones, the Melomania 1 have a poor soundstage. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. If you prefer a more spacious sound, consider open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019, the Google Pixel Buds, or the Bose SoundSport Free.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.302
WHD @ 100
0.143
Isolation
8.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-30.3 dB
Bass
-14.2 dB
Mid
-22.77 dB
Treble
-54.4 dB

The Melomania 1 have very good noise isolation performance. Even though they don’t have active noise cancelling, they passively block a good amount of ambient noise. They isolate noises in the bass range, like the low rumble of bus or plane engines, by about 14 dB, which is quite good, but like most passively isolating in-ears they have a weak spot around the 200Hz mark. They isolate in the mid-range, which includes ambient chatter, by about 23dB, which is very good. Lastly, they isolate sounds produced by A/C systems or sibilants like S and T sounds in the treble range by over 54dB, rendering them nearly inaudible, which is excellent.

10
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
21.28 dB

The Melomania 1 have superb leakage performance. They hardly leak any sound at all, so there's no need to worry about disturbing people around with your music, even if you listen at very loud volumes. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1-foot away averages at 21dB SPL and peaks at 32dB SPL, which is roughly as loud as a very calm room and well under the noise floor of an average office.

Microphone
5.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
364.41 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.74 dB
HFE
2347.53 Hz
Weighted THD
0.761
Gain
18.22 dB

The Melomania 1’s microphone has a sub-par recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 364Hz means speech recorded or transmitted will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.3kHz is poor and results in speech that will sound muffled and lacking in detail but will still be decently understandable in very quiet environments.

6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
11.06 dB

The Melomania 1's integrated microphone has mediocre noise handling, even though it has a noise gate. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB, which is okay, but indicates that it’s best-suited for quiet environments since it will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderate and loud environments.

Active Features
7.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.2 hrs
Additional Charges
4
Total Battery Life
31 hrs
Charge Time
1.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The Melomania 1 measured just over 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is decent, especially for truly wireless in-ears. However, this is quite a bit less than the advertised 9 hours. Since the case is supposed to offer 4 additional charges, they’re more likely to provide around 24 extra hours of battery life instead of the advertised 36 hours, which is quite disappointing. That said, you can use one earbud independently leaving the other to charge, which can be helpful if you don’t mind listening to music in only one ear.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

The Melomania 1 aren’t compatible with a companion app which would provide more customization options.

Connectivity
6.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line of Sight Range
154 ft
Default Latency
344 ms
aptX Latency
319 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

These truly wireless in-ears are Bluetooth compatible. Although they don’t support NFC or multi-device pairing, if your audio source supports Bluetooth 5.0, you may notice improved wireless range or latency results than what we measured here.

Unfortunately, the Melomania 1 have very poor latency. Most Bluetooth headphones measure between 200-220 ms of delay, so 347 ms is quite above average. Even with aptX enabled, 319 ms is still very poor performance. You’re likely to notice a significant amount of audio delay if you watch videos or play mobile games with these earbuds. That said, some devices and apps seem to offer some sort of latency compensation, so it may not be as noticeable to you, especially if your audio source supports Bluetooth 5.0.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
N/A
USB Audio
N/A
Detachable N/A
Length N/A
Connection N/A
Wired Latency
N/A

The Melomania 1 in-ears can’t be used wired.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB

The Melomania 1 come with a hard case that doubles as a charging dock for the earbuds and is advertised to provide 4 full complete recharges, but we haven’t tested to confirm this. The case recharges via micro-USB and doesn’t have any other inputs.

In the box
In the box

  • Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 headphones
  • Hard charging case
  • 3 silicone tip options
  • 1 foam tip option
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Cambridge Audio stickers
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are decent truly wireless headphones with a unique earplug-like design. While they perform fairly well overall, they can be difficult to put in and won’t be comfortable for everyone. On the upside, they have outstanding passive isolation, have a fairly premium look, feel well-made, and are decently easy to use thanks to their physical buttons. See our recommendations for the best true wireless headphones, the best wireless earbuds for working out, and the best earbuds and in-ears.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless and the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Truly Wireless are two very similar performing truly wireless headphones. The Elite 65t have a more bulky design, but they have a graphic EQ in their app and have a better microphone for calls than the Cambridge Audio headphones. They can also connect to two devices simultaneously and have less latency. On the other hand, the Melomania 1 have better wireless range, they offer a longer battery life on a single charge, and their fit isolates more ambient noise, especially in the treble range.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Truly Wireless are more versatile truly wireless headphones than the Apple Airpods 2 2019. Their closed-back design isolates against more ambient noise, making them a suitable option for commuting. It also means that they pack a bit more punch in the bass than the Apple. On the other hand, the Apple are better-built and their one-size-fits-all design is very comfortable if you can find the right fit. While they take less time to charge, the Apple have less battery life than the Melomania, but they also have less latency when watching video content, especially if you can take advantage of the H1 chip. A certain variant of the Apple also supports wireless charging for the case, which the Melomania can’t do.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Cambridge Audio Melomania Truly Wireless if comfort and sound quality are the most important criteria for you. They don’t lack detail in the treble range as the Melomania do, and their small bud design fits nicely into the ear and is very comfortable. They don’t have volume control by default, but you can easily set the commands in their app on the Android app. They also offer a bit more battery life than the Cambridge Audio. On the other hand, the Melomania have better noise isolation performance thanks to their fit and support the aptX codec.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Truly Wireless are two fairly similar performing true wireless headphones. The Melomania have slightly better audio quality since their treble isn’t as recessed as the Momentum True Wireless; it is, however, still on the dark side. The Melomania also have a very good passive noise isolation and are great for blocking out higher-frequency noises. They also have about twice the battery life of the Momentum on a single charge, which is great, and you can also use one earbud while the other is charging. On the other hand, the Sennheisers feel better made and their touch-sensitive control scheme is responsive and easy-to-use. They also support the aptX-LL codec. The Sennheiser also have an app that lets you EQ them, which Cambridge Audio is lacking.

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Truly Wireless Price

Black Melomania 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Stone Melomania 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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