T3 Awards 2020: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are a better buy than AirPods… and the year's top cheap buds

These true wireless earbuds punch way above their weight and are the top headphones under £100, in association with Deezer

T3 Awards 2020: Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 is our #1 headphones under £100
(Image credit: Cambridge Audio)

We have a new name at the top of the best headphones under £100 category: Cambridge Audio’s Melomania 1 are the cheap buds champ in the T3 Awards 2020. They’re a truly exceptional pair of true wireless earbuds, and you should seriously consider them before even thinking about more expensive options. With long battery life, rock-solid reliability and beautifully detailed sound, they punch way above their price tag.

To give you an idea of the thinking behind these earbuds, melomania means “crazy about music”. Cambridge Audio isn’t so crazy about fancy-looking design; it’s what’s inside that counts. And what’s inside these earbuds is enough battery for nine hours of continuous use (and up to 45 in total, thanks to top-ups in the charging case). 

The audio is and precise and involving enough to make even a trip on public transport feel like an epic adventure. They’re particularly good for higher-res audio sources – at CD quality the Melomanias really shine – but as you'd expect at this great-value price, they aren't too sniffy about playing a basic Spotify or YouTube stream. 

The unusual, bullet-like appearance may make you think these buds are uncomfortable but with a bit of practice you'll find they fit extremely well, giving a good seal to keep out external noise, and keep in the mellifluous sounds that Melomania 1 produces. 

When they first appeared, these were a bargain, at £130. After a price cut to just under £100 Cambridge Audio's buds became a veritable steal; You could pay twice as much and not get better performance. 

With clarity and detail that you just don’t expect to get from wireless earbuds at this price, it's little wonder Melomania 1 have become, by all accounts, Cambridge Audio's most successful product ever.

•  All the winners in the T3 Awards 2020 so far

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).