Cambridge Audio adds app-based enhancement for Melomania 1+ release
It's only been a few short years since the first true wireless earphones were launched on Kickstarter, and now most of the big names in mobile audio have models for sale. The latest flavor is from the UK's Cambridge Audio, an update to the Melomania 1 earphones from 2019.
The creator of the plugs that got the true wireless party started was inspired by the opening sequence of a romantic comedy called Definitely Maybe, where Ryan Reynolds popped a pair of tiny totally wireless buds in his ears while walking through the streets of New York. Sadly they were just non-functioning props and mobile music lovers had to wait six years for the technology to be developed.
Though there have been a good number of different designs offered up since, they all work in pretty much the same way. Instead of being paired wirelessly to a music source and then cabled to each other, as the name suggests, true wireless earphones are wirelessly connected to a source device and also wirelessly connected to each other.
We've tried a few, including the original Earins, but there's one set that we regularly go to when out and about – the Melomania 1 earphones from the UK's Cambridge Audio, which are named after the live music venue on the ground floor of the company's R&D center in London and not a new type of skin cancer.
Now the Brit audio gear maker has mixed in app control, custom EQ and a high performance mode to launch the Melomania 1+ true wireless earphones.
As before, these new 'phones comes with silicone and foam tips, but you now get two sizes of the latter – which we found essential for getting the best sonic performance from the first generation buds. The company's engineers have made use of graphene for diaphragms in the 5.8-mm drivers, which was chosen to add dynamism and response to the listening experience, and the design is built around a 32-bit dual-core processor application subsystem and Qualcomm QCC3026 single-core Kalimba DSP audio subsystem.
This architecture sees the introduction of a High Performance Audio Mode, which is reported to offer a wider soundstage and lower noise levels than what's come before, as well as "a high level of audio fidelity that is unheard of at this price point."
Each bullet-shaped earpiece tips the scales at 4.6 g (0.16 oz), there's IPX5-rated protection against sweat and inclement weather, and playback control and taking calls is undertaken using the multifunction button on the outer edge. There's a MEMS microphone with "Clear Voice Capture" noise cancellation and support for Siri and Google Assistant, too.
The Bluetooth 5.0 earphones offer up to nine hours per charge, with the included charging case managing four more full charges before it needs a top up over USB-C.
This time around, the earphones have been designed to work with a companion app that allows for personalized EQ tweaking, battery level checks, location of misplaced earpieces on a map and caters for firmware updates to keep the setup bang up to date.
What there isn't here is active noise cancellation, so users will have to make do with passive isolation (which we actually found to be pretty good in the first generation when using the foam tips).
The Melomania 1+ true wireless earphones are available now for US$139.95.
Product page: Melomania 1+