I tried new Cambridge Audio headphones with a 5-star feature even Sony can't match

I tested Cambridge Audio's Melomania P100 with 60-hour battery life

Cambridge Audio Melomania P100
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

When it comes to the best headphones there are a lot of great options on the market (indeed, I've just updated T3's best-of guide and there's plenty of elbowing for space). But one well-established audio company has been surprisingly absent from this space – until now.

Cambridge Audio, the British-based audio-maker established back in 1968, has revealed the Melomania P100 wireless headphones, expanding on its Melomania range (as found among the best earbuds) to include over-ears for the first time. I can hardly believe it's taken this long – but as I found out when testing, the P100 have a couple of key selling points.

The first of which even the likes of even Sony's best can't match. The Melomania P100 offer a staggering 60-hour battery life per charge – and that's with the active noise-cancelling (ANC) switched on; it's 100-hours when it's off – effectively doubling what you'll find from the Sony WH-1000XM5. Now that's a big deal. 

But the longer I donned the Melomania P100, the more I contemplated where the headphones market has headed recently. It's become increasingly premium – which is to say 'expensive'. 

Now, the Melomania's £229 ($279) asking price isn't tiny, but it's well considered in a market where the likes of the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones cost approaching double that, yet can't match the battery life standing of the Cambridge Audio product. 

Not that it's entirely about battery life, of course, as the P100 offer plenty of other impressive features for their asking price: I found the active noise-cancelling (ANC) to be decent quality, for example, and the sound quality from the 40mm drivers isn't an afterthought by any means. Indeed, with aptX Lossless these can handle top-quality files (to 24-bit/96kHz, supporting SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive codecs too).

Granted, I didn't find the P100 to be as comfortable as, say, the Sonos Ace headphones – but then I don't think anything can beat the latter in the best ANC headphones market right now. 

That's not me throwing shade at the Cambridge Audio product though: the Melomania P100 have deep earcups with generous memory foam earpads that are finished in vegan leather. The cushioned headband makes wearing these over-ears feel light, too, which is an accomplishment when the battery capacity is considered. 

Oh, and I love Cambridge Audio's tongue-in-cheek humour too: there's audible feedback from Matt Berry, adding a zany twist to the usually very computerised and simplistic feedback. It gives a human touch to a product category that can often be very robotic in its ways. 

All in all, based on this early test experience, I think the Melomania P100 offer tremendous battery life, solid sound quality, and at a price point that'll really throw a cat among the pigeons. The big-name makers are unquestionably producing great kit right now – but Cambridge Audio's Sony- and Bose- and Apple-beating battery life and far lower price point will garner them worthy attention.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.