Review: Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Bluetooth Earbuds tested

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Earbuds

Amazing sound quality for the patient tech lover.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch

Pro

  • top Sound
  • beautiful design
  • very comfortable fit
  • good battery life
  • already suitable for TWS+ (Android)
  • very good app

Contra

  • must be put in case when changing devices
  • not completely without noise floor

 

 

Everyone in the world uses AirPods! Not always. With so much choice on the market, it pays to think outside the box. We opted for the Melomania Touch from Camebridge Audio. Reason: Top sound and long battery life, plus extremely comfortable fit in the ear. So only advantages? Hell no.

 

Not the first Bluetooth Earbuds from Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio launched the Touch after the M1+, and you’d think that would make them more mature than if they’d been the company’s first Bluetooth model. But that was not the case and there are extremely many complaints on the net about the first disastrous firmware versions. With the current one (2.1.9 in the test), however, you don’t have any major problems anymore. Pairing should work if you have already connected a Bluetooth device and adhere to the Qualcomm chipset’s peculiarities: You only connect one Bluetooth earbud, the second one is then connected via automatic request (the third Bluetooth connection displayed is for the app). In the smartphone, only one is displayed as connected at a time: The signal goes to the first and is then passed on from there to the second.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Verpackung

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch unboxing

Therefore, the battery indicator of one bud always drops faster than that of the other. However, Camebrige Audio has a clever function built in: If the slightly emptier reaches about 40% the connection switches with a short interruption and the other Earbud is now “master”. Clever – so the maximum runtime can be achieved despite different loads. What also works is to simply keep one in the ear to make calls and put the other in the case. If you put the master back, the smartphone recognizes this and switches to the other within a few seconds – very good.

 

Modern but not one hundred percent stable

By the way, if you use a modern Android smartphone, you can directly use the TWS+ mode (True Wireless Stereo Plus): with this, both earbuds connect directly to the phone – the battery life thus increases by about 10% compared to the solution currently possible with iPhones. Nevertheless, we are on the enduring side with just under seven hours of battery life.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Bluetooth Settings

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch TrueWireless Stereo Plus

Good, there are no more basic Bluetooth problems, aptX on older Macs works great, and connecting to multiple devices works good (not at the same time, so always disconnect them and reconnect, but that is the situation for most bluetooth earbuds). However, the Melomania Touch on the Mac are a bit difficult: both directly after pairing and after use on another device, they first want to return briefly to the charging case. Otherwise, they constantly pair and unpair. So on the Mac: connect > charging case > use. If you are coming from another device: Unpair > Charging case > Connect to other device. Otherwise they don’t seem to automatically reset the connection. So the home base in the charging cradle is a necessary detour. From the Mac directly back to the iPhone it usually works without detour. You can’t reach Apple’s usability with the Melomania Touch. The only device we could not pair with at all was an Apple TV 4K: the first Bud was connected, the request for the second did not happen.

 

Better than the rest: Comfort, design, touch, app

Top on the other hand: the fit in the ear. The Melomania hold themselves not only with the usual rubber plug in the ear, but at the same time with a small silicone wing. Take your time and try everything in a few hours while test listening. In the end, they should sit in the ear without pressure and thus almost can not be felt. You can really have them in your ear for ages and forget that you are wearing them. It’s important to understand that the rubber tips are not stuffed as far into yours as the significantly softer silicone tops of other earbuds. In the case of the Melomania Touch, they also serve to provide an airtight seal, but do not have to bear the entire weight alone. Therefore, when trying them out, make sure that they are tight, but you can only achieve this by twisting them a bit into the ear and without much pressure. The small silicone wing should achieve the rest. If you have a lot of pressure in the ear, keep trying.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch sizes

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch detail

The touch function works very well, but Camebridge Audio has assigned the function for play (tap once) unfavorably. When inserting, it starts right away, when readjusting, you get to it – it’s annoying. Although you can turn off the entire touch control with an easily accessible button in the app, we would simply turn off the touch function for play/pause in the small settings. All other functions with a double tap or a long tap or answering phone calls are assigned very sensibly and do not collide with the short touch of the buds. Play/pause is then simply done via the app. It would be nice if Camebridge Audio would automatically turn off the touch function for ten seconds after connecting, for example, until you have used it. Or for play/pause, set it up so that you have to tap on both at the same time. Currently, however, we would turn off the function as the only one. Also, the volume changes a bit too quickly. However, forward/back and everything else works well and is nice to use.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Case

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch USB C Port

We like the small charging case extremely well. In white, it looks really elegant and feels good too – it’s covered in a plastic leather, which is nice to touch. The lid is held with a hidden magnet, the Earbuds fit well and charge immediately. A small note at this point: If the two Earbuds do not start charging immediately (small red light), and you first have to fiddle around until they take power, then replace everything immediately at Camebridge Audio. In this case, the tolerances have added up, so that not all of the four small charging plugs reach the earbud and maybe one of them doesn’t get a connection. That can’t be corrected, so have it replaced right away. All in all, though, the case is really nice to look at. Not the smallest and flattest (also due to the relatively high Earbuds themselves) but one of the more elegant out there.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch High Performance Mode

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch battery

The app is simply gold! Otherwise, there is often some cobbled together app for three measly functions. Not so with Camebridge Audio: for one thing, it looks great. Simple and uncluttered, yet distinct and with character. In the overview screen, you can immediately see the battery status and turn off the touch function or turn on the transparency mode. Under Settings, you can configure the touch function for individual areas according to your wishes, set the language of the status messages and also make firmware updates. You can also activate a power-saving mode here, more about that later. The Equalizer tab offers a really useful and powerful equalizer: You can define individual settings in five frequency ranges and save them in three separate memory locations. In addition, there are six preconfigured settings. We liked “Neutral” best.

 

Fantastic sound that lets us look past the weaknesses

About the sound: fan-tastic. We do not annoy you here with any audiophile interpretations – we are also not able to. Only this much: The sound is balanced and the bass goes down so far that your head vibrates. For electronic music or movies in which complete planets explode, this is exactly the right thing. The Melomania Touch succeeds amazingly: They reproduce everything. Sounds a bit naive, sure. Examples: When you listen to electronics, the bass goes down, the treble is brilliant and not annoying and the vocals are there without being influenced by anything. Everything takes place at the same time and is nicely resolved. Really nice. Jazz is fantastic and all the instruments form an ensemble and you get the soul of the music. It’s like you’re in the club but standing in the ideal position for each instrument. Classical is warm and balanced.

The bottom line is that this feature is the core of the product: Cambridge Audio has managed to get all their knowledge of sound reproduction into a small Bluetooth headphone. And, in our opinion, to make it completely independent of music style. So you can listen to bass-heavy music on the train and enjoy the fine bowing of a violin on the weekend – with the same earphones. Of course, there will be finer and better ones. But for now $90, you’ll get a presumed 90% of happiness. The character can perhaps be summarized as precise and detailed over a very large frequency spectrum without being petty. The Melomania Touch gives space to everything without being too analytical, preferring to give priority to joy and musical warmth. By the way, if you miss Active Noise Canceling: even in busy environments, the earpieces shield well enough to enjoy music wonderfully.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch Logo

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch inside

However, we also have something to complain about: Firstly, we would not use the offered energy-saving mode. For one, a quick switch is not possible, since the firmware has to be rewritten every time. Secondly, the background noise increases, which is, however, completely lost in the music signal. Unfortunately, this is not completely gone even in High Performance Mode and can certainly be heard in quiet passages. After a minute, the electronics switch off completely and you realize what complete silence would be. So, if you listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts, for example, and music with quiet passages and are annoyed by a quiet background noise that is slightly above your own blood noise in your head, you should look elsewhere. It’s not very distinct and usually gets lost in the actual signal. But it is also not zero when the signal is not present. We had expected a bit more from the advertised AB amplifier technology.

While we’re on the subject of noise floor, the Transparent mode makes it possible to hear ambient noise without having to take the plug out of the ear. Here, too, you get a slightly higher noise floor – but we don’t necessarily find that negative, but rather the usual price for this function, besides the music keeps playing most of the time anyway.

The microphone function for phone calls and video conferences is okay to good. The intelligibility is good, but always underlaid by a slight hiss. We have experienced worse, but it is not perfect either. It is located at the upper midfield, in the area where you still notice restrictions, but is already clearly beyond the range that it would still be annoying.

 

Conclusion: top sound, comfortable fit, some patience is required

So there we have it: top sound, very comfortable fit in the ear, battery life around seven hours, very fair price, great case, microphone function good enough for occasional use. The costs are that you shouldn’t have a usage scenario where you get upset about a very slight background noise (if you do notice it) and the Earbuds should always take the detour via the case when you change devices (even directly after pairing with some devices) so that the new connection isn’t affected. Apart from that, the Bluetooth connection was always stable, even in busy situations. And if Touch is turned off for play/pause, you also manage well in everyday life when you touch the earphones more often.

Last updated on 30. November 2021 at 17:40 - Image source: Amazon Affiliate Program. All statements without guarantee.

In addition, due to the price you can buy yourself out of the connection issue: just buy two (instead of the AirPods 2) or three pairs (instead of the AirPods Pro) of them – and have a pair for every device you use and battery time for the whole day.

Thus, the Melomania Touch are not for the impatient, but for users who appreciate fantastic sound quality and the appealing design and can respect the limitations as a character trait. We find that the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. And what product that you really like comes along completely perfect?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close