Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch | Review

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch | Review
After the success of the Melomania 1, Cambridge Audio is trying again with a more complex product in step with the times, the Melomania Touch. They are a pair of True Wireless earphones that are characterized by a refined shape, a touch surface and a competitive list price - at least apparently - of 139.95 euros. However, we must immediately see the lack of ANC, probably justified by the reduced cost, but which in the current panorama of TWS earphones represents a discordant note.

Refined shape, but not perfect

Cambridge Audio has created the shape of the Melomania Touch based on the mold of over 3000 pairs of ears, in fact the design is very particular and follows the shapes of the internal auricle. However, the neck of the headset is quite short, and the main body does not allow you to insert the headset fully into the ear canal. The result is a headset that won't fit all ears. In our case, we have never been able to effectively block the headset in the ear, with poor sound insulation. We have never lost it, thanks also to the flap that uses the folds of the pavilion to lock, but the sensation has always been of a discreet grip. This is the risk of venturing into very particular designs: the yield will be fluctuating and will change radically from person to person.

The outer surface is sensitive to touch, while a sensor on the inside detects when you wear them. The case is well made, with a leather-like texture that makes it pleasant to the touch. The lid locks via a magnet and five white LEDs on the front indicate battery charge. An additional LED on the earphones, invisible when not switched on, indicates the status.



Touch controls to improve

The touch controls allow you to manage music playback, raise and lower the volume, manage telephone calls and activate a sound transparency mode, which uses microphones integrated to amplify the surrounding sounds in such a way as to allow us to interact with a person without removing the earphones.

This clearly indicates Cambridge Audio's desire to offer excellent passive isolation. Unfortunately, this goal was only half achieved. In our case, we never resorted to the transparency mode precisely because of the almost non-existent passive isolation. If you are one of the lucky ones with ears that perfectly fit the Melomania Touch design, then it will come in handy.

Unfortunately, the precision of the Touch controls is only fair. Sometimes you will initiate a command only in order to better place the headset in the ear, and the inputs are also sent when you handle the headset out of the ear, which should not happen given the presence of a special sensor. The presence sensor does not always work correctly.

Application

The application allows you to enable the listening mode, the audio codec, activate / deactivate the touch controls (individually) and update the firmware. It also includes a five-band equalizer with some presets.

The main screen showing the status of the earphones and batteries is done well, as is the equalizer. The settings screen that groups all the items in the form of a list is a little more rough.

Again the app lacks in offering something more and, after having explored it a couple of times, does not you will really feel the need to use it.

Autonomy

Cambridge Audio provides nine hours of autonomy per single charge and 41 hours of additional autonomy offered by the battery inside the case. You can point to these numbers only in "Low Power" mode, which can be selected from the application and which requires a firmware update of the earphones. In this mode the audio output is limited in terms of quality and codec.

We appreciate the company's effort in integrating this function, but we do not find it particularly useful. In "High Performance" mode you will be able to have about 5/6 hours of battery life per single charge, and a total of just under 40 hours overall if we consider charging through the case. It is sufficient autonomy for most uses. Full recharging takes about two hours.

Listening test

Cambridge Audio does not disappoint in terms of audio quality. The 7mm Graphene drivers allow the Melomania Touch to be very precise, you will be able to taste even the small nuances and inaccuracies of the audio tracks (Anne Sofie von Otter - Baby Plays Around). The high speed allows you to manage complex and very rhythmic tracks (Can - Spoon). Perhaps the highs are a bit too pronounced, a situation that can be improved with the equalizer integrated into the app. Also good soundstage (Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant / Bob Marley & The Wailers - Turn Your Lights Down Low) and control (Thundercat - Uh Uh / The Chemical Brothers - Das Spiegel). The bass performance is directly proportional to how well you can wear them. In our case, we had to keep the headphones pushed inside the ear to appreciate their overall performance. Without this "help", the yield was unbalanced upwards due to the lack of passive isolation given by the in-ear design. They support aptX, AAC and SBC codecs.

Phone calls

Good microphones. During our telephone calls we always received positive ratings.

Verdict

Let's be honest, after the success of Melomania 1, our expectations for the Melomania Touch were high. Unfortunately we were only half impressed. On the one hand, we have excellent audio quality, a nice case to handle and the ability to handle tracks (codecs) at high quality. On the other hand, the sophisticated design will not fit all ears, the precision of the touch controls is only discreet and they do not have active noise reduction (which is becoming an industry standard). The autonomy is average, albeit good.

The list price of 139.95 euros certainly plays in favor of the Melomania compared to other models, however the difference compared to models like the Sony WF-1000 XM3 is less than forty euros, a premium that is justified only by the ANC. In short, if the price of the Melomania 1 was a great strength compared to competing models, for the Melomania Touch it is simply in line with the market. As long as they are not sold at a lower price; we have based on the list price communicated and present on the Cambridge Audio website.

In conclusion, these headphones could be an excellent product for all those who will be able to wear them correctly, occluding the ear canal well. Instead, they will be a product that is only discreet for all the others.

Verdict: excellent audio quality and a sophisticated design, which will allow you to obtain excellent acoustic performance if you can wear them well. Average autonomy, touch controls to improve, application well done, but with a lot of room for improvement. The price is in line with the characteristics of the current market.

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