Any Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review would have to conclude that these true wireless earbuds are fantastic value for money, delivering excellent audio quality, a long-lasting battery and an intuitive smartphone app to manage them. They're so good, in fact, that they've won our award for Best Value Headphones at the T3 Awards 2021.
Cambridge Audio is largely known for creating high-quality hi-fi systems, so when the British manufacturer produces any other audio products, it’s safe to say we expect superbly tuned sound. So far, every pair of their headphones we’ve tried out has been a resounding success. In fact, their predecessors, the Cambridge Audio Melomania headphones were one of T3’s top picks for the best true wireless earbuds.
Will the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus live up to the legacy left by the pair that came before them? Let’s find out.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review: price and what's new
You can pick up a pair of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus earbuds direct (opens in new tab) for $139.95 in the US and £119.99 in the UK. At the moment, these aren’t available in Australia. Take a look at the widgets on this page for more retailers and up-to-date pricing.
Building on the success of the Cambridge Audio Melomania earbuds, the 1 Plus buds may look almost identical but they have a few key improvements that make them an even more convincing pair than they were before. Firstly, Cambridge Audio has replaced the Mini USB charging port with the more up-to-date USB-C. The total battery life has been boosted from 45 hours to 50 hours. They’ve also improved the tuning of the earbuds, and you can now manage the equaliser settings using the Melomania smartphone app as well.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review: design and fit
Much like their predecessors, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus true wireless earbuds are small bullets that come in two colours: matte white or matte black. The buds themselves don’t look super impressive, they're quite plain and they stick out a little from the ear. The simplicity of their design will certainly help win some people over though.
The matching charging case looks a little like a miniature satchel with the Cambridge Audio logo integrated into the middle of the lid and four LED lights indicating battery level. On the side of the case is the USB-C charging port. The case is slim and measures just 59 x 50 x 22mm so will easily fit into your pocket. Both the earbuds and charging case are incredibly light as well, with the former weighing 4.6g each and the latter being only 37g - that's a total of 46.2g all in all.
Each earbud has a circular button on the main surface of the earbud. You press it once to pause or play the music, twice to skip forwards or backwards, hold to increase or decrease the volume and you can summon your phone’s voice assistant (the buds are compatible with the Google Assistant and Siri). Using the multifunction button, you can also put them into manual pairing mode and switch them off. The button is responsive, although one problem I found was because this is a physical button as opposed to touch controls, using the MF button meant pushing the earbud further into your ear which could be a little uncomfortable.
In the box alongside the earbuds and charging case are 9 pairs of ear tips made from either silicone or memory foam. So not only can you find the perfect fit by size, but if you find one material more comfortable than the other then you’ll have that option. Although these earbuds don’t have active noise cancelling, the memory foam tips are also meant to isolate background noise more effectively than silicone.
When it comes to comfort, I found them to be relatively comfortable. I did have to take them out every now and then to give my ears a bit of a break. But they did feel very secure and didn’t fall out at all, you’ll definitely be able to trust them for workouts. Plus, they are IPX5 splash and dust resistant so they can handle a small amount of sweat or light rain.
When it comes to battery life, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus are fantastic. Each bud lasts about 9 hours of music while the case provides an extra 41 hours on low power mode - that’s a total of 50 hours! You’ll rarely have to remember to charge them up and if you want to listen to music for the entire day then these will allow you to do that. When you do need to recharge the case, it’ll take about 2 hours using the included USB-A to USB-C charging cable.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review: performance
With support for AAC, apt-X and SBC codes as well as a 5.8mm dynamic graphene driver, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus true wireless earbuds have incredibly well-tuned sound. A punchy low-end paired with a crisp treble and wide soundstage made for energetic, rich audio. You can hear every detail in music with instruments while electronic beats sounded undistorted and dramatic. Across all genres, the music was balanced, coming across as the artist intended. You truly do get hi-fi quality audio from these earbuds, they sound even better than their predecessors, and that’s saying something!
Available for both iOS and Android, the Melomania app gives you manual control over the earbuds through detailed equaliser settings. You can choose from a number of presets like Rock, Electronic, R&B or Balanced, to name a few. Or you can manually adjust the bass, mid-range and treble, then save the settings as one of your own custom presets. You can create three of your own presets too.
Elsewhere in the app, you can see the battery percentage of each earbud individually. Plus, Find My Earphones pinpoints the buds on a map if you were to lose them. You can also use the app to switch between High-Performance and Low Power mode, as well as see the full User Guide. The Melomania app itself looks sleek, it feels smooth and intuitive to use. Having such control over the buds is a massive improvement on what came before.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review: verdict
If you don’t want to spend huge amounts of cash on a pair of wireless earbuds, and you are someone who really cares about audio quality, then you won’t get much better than the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus. These buds are such good value for money, they could have fooled me as being as much pricier pair.
What makes them so good? Incredible audio reproduction, a long-lasting battery and a sleek in-depth app that gives you tonnes of control over the sound. They may not be the best-looking earbuds, but the simple bullet design isn’t exactly offensive either, it's just a little plain. I think these are an outstanding pair of true wireless earbuds!
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus review: also consider
A similarly priced pair of true wireless earbuds worth considering are the Jabra Elite 75T which are extremely compact and fit beautifully. For anyone who is concerned about their tech’s environmental impact, take a look at the House of Marley Champion buds. With a similar price tag to the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus and decent sound quality, these will be a great choice performance-wise, and they are made from sustainable materials.
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