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Hands on: Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch review

Has Cambridge Audio done it again?

What is a hands on review?
cambridge audio melomania touch
(Image: © TechRadar)

Early Verdict

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch seem to represent a marked improvement upon their predecessors, with fantastic sound, a long battery life, an improved design, and touch controls that actually work.

For

  • Great sound and long battery life
  • Improved design
  • Intuitive touch controls

Against

  • No noise cancellation

Cambridge Audio has a lot to live up to when it comes to its latest wireless earbuds, the Melomania Touch.

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch build on the success of the Melomania 1 – which are high up in our list of the best true wireless earbuds – giving them "intuitive touch controls, stunning sound performance, and world-class battery life". 

Over a  year after their release, and we’re still enamored with the original Melomania 1 earbuds – so can the heritage audio brand improve on near-perfection?

Well, we’ll need to spend a little more time with the Melomania Touch to be sure, but based on our initial tests, it looks like Cambridge Audio has done it again.

cambridge audio melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch price and release date

The Cambridge Audio Melomania are available to buy now, having launched on January 1, 2021.

They'll cost you $149.95 / £129.95 (about AU$200), which is a little pricier than their predecessors, which cost $129.99 / £119.95 upon their release in 2019. It’s worth noting that, if you are hoping to save some money, the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 are often quite heavily discounted now that they’re a little older. 

Saying that, the newer earbuds aren’t particularly expensive, sitting smack-bang in the mid-range of the wireless earbuds price scale; cheaper than the Apple AirPods Pro, but not as budget-friendly as super-cheaper models like the JLab Go Air.

melomania 1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch come with a completely different design to their predecessors, eschewing the bullet-style build for housings that fill the outer part of your ear, with ear fins to keep them in place. 

It’s a welcome change, and they certainly felt secure when we tested them. They’re light too, weighing only 6g, and a choice of silicone ear tips and ear fins means you should be able to find a comfortable fit. 

They come with a slick, pebble-shaped charging case, which you can top up via its USB-C port. The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch also come with an IPX4 water-resistance rating, which means they should withstand a little sweat or rain if you use them for working out.

cambridge audio melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Another feature that's handy for working out is a new Transparency mode; it works by feeding in outside ambient noises so you can be aware of your surroundings while still enjoying music at the same time. This worked pretty well in our initial tests, although they don’t seem as adept at conveying the sound of your surroundings as the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro.

If you want to make calls with the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch, the inclusion of two microphones and Qualcomm's Clear Voice Capture noise-cancelling technology means your voice should sound crisp and clear.

Overall, the Melomania Touch look rather attractive, and we like the shiny material used on the outer housings of the buds. As per the name, these housings are touch-sensitive, allowing you to control the earbuds with a series of taps and long-presses.

While touch controls can be hit and miss, using the Cambridge Audio Melomania was a breeze during our brief time testing them. They registered our touch really well, and while there was a very short lag between our touch inputs and resulting action, it wasn’t enough to make us feel frustrated. So far, we’re very impressed with how smoothly they work. 

cambridge audio melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

The original Melomania 1 offered brilliant sound quality for the price, but the Melomania Touch should sound even better, thanks to an innovative High Performance Audio Mode that uses hi-fi grade amplification technology – the same method of amplification found in the company’s award-winning CX range of Hi-Fi amplifiers.

According to Cambridge Audio, this means you can enjoy "an even greater soundstage, lower noise and a higher dynamic range than ever before with Melomania Touch".

Inside the buds are 7mm drivers that have been "enhanced with graphene", a material favored for its rigidity and strength, which the company says results in "deeper controlled bass, realistic voices and clearer highs".

melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

After briefly testing the Melomania Touch, we were impressed by the audio quality on offer, and they seem to represent a step up from their predecessors in this regard.

Listening to Matt Berninger’s Collar Of Your Shirt, the gently picked guitar sounded smooth and rich, while the vocals were very clear and detailed. Pulsing sub bass was handled with a delicate touch, while sweeping cello melodies sounded lush and luxuriant. 

While we’ll need to test them more extensively to make a true assessment of the audio performance, we think there’s plenty here for audiophiles and casual music listeners alike to get excited about.

melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life and connectivity

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch come with a whopping 50-hour battery life, with nine hours contained within the buds themselves and a further 41 hours provided by the charging case. 

That's not quite as long as the Lypertek Tevi's 70 hours, but the Melomania Touch are still far longer lasting than most wireless earbuds on the market today – provided they live up to that claimed longevity when we carry out more extensive testing.

Bluetooth 5 connectivity means these buds should hold a stable connection with your devices, while AAC and aptX codec support means they shouldn't have any issue with streaming high-quality audio over a wireless connection.

We didn’t notice any issues with connectivity in our initial tests, and the initial pairing was very quick and easy.

The Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch also come with a new app, which lets you adjust EQ settings, locate missing earbuds using your phone's location data, check on your battery life, and download firmware upgrades.

While we’ve yet to test the Melomania app out for ourselves, we’re excited to play around with the EQ settings and see how that affects the audio performance of these high-spec earbuds.

cambridge audio melomania touch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Early verdict

So far, we’re pretty impressed with the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch. Our initial tests suggest that they represent a marked improvement in audio quality and battery life, and we like the overhauled design. The touch-sensitive housings also seem to work very well indeed, which is a relief after testing so many wireless earbuds with dodgy touch controls.

It’s a shame there’s no noise cancellation on offer here, though we daresay these earbuds have been crafted with a focus on audio fidelity rather than trying to fit in all the modern specs we’ve come to expect from true wireless earbuds. 

We’ll need to spend more time getting to know the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch before we can say for sure, but everything’s pointing to another win for the heritage audio brand in the world of true wireless earbuds.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.