In recent years, not only many mobile phone manufacturers and various derivative peripheral accessory brands are launching their own TWS true wireless bluetooth headsets, and even many traditional HIFI factories have also launched their own TWS products in order to adapt to the changes in audiophiles’ listening habits.
Cambridge Audio was founded in 1968, much older than me.Currently, Cambridge Audio’s products include streaming music players, Blu-ray players, AV amplifiers, D/A converters, Hi-Fi speakers, and wireless audio systems. However, it was the first time to launch a true wireless bluetooth earphones.
Some time ago, a friend lent generously to this brand new Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 bluetooth earphones, which gave me the opportunity to see what a British fan’s TWS true wireless bluetooth earphones would perform.
In fact, my knowledge of MELOMANIA 1 was only recommended by enthusiasts in the earphones forum, and there is not much information that can be found in China for this earphones. But when I checked the information, I found out that Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 won the Gold Award at VGP2020, so I was particularly interested in knowing why this TWS can be so highly recognized.
When I first saw MELOMANIA 1, I was really surprised. Although many TWS earphones nowadays use a relatively simple bean-shaped structure, Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 is even further than them. It uses a very pure bullet shape directly, and even the whole earphone does not have the upper and lower front, this is the first Once I saw such a designed bluetooth earphones.
The Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 I got is a lime white version with a silver metal ring and a white frosted pointed silicone sleeve. It looks like a bullet to be launched. Even the charging case has a design similar to a bullet clip. Every time you put the two earphones back to charge, it feels like loading a bullet.
In fact, for TWS earphones, after all, in addition to playback sound, call radio is also one of its main tasks. The general microphone layout requires a certain degree of directivity to record our voice during a call, so 99.9% will emphasize the direction of the earphones. But because MELOMANIA 1 is a thorough cylindrical shape, it is difficult to distinguish between directions quickly, both visually and by hand. Therefore, it is obviously unrealistic to expect users to deliberately distinguish and adjust the orientation of the earphones every time they wear it. of.
Therefore, Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 directly arranges a MEMS microphone at the front and back positions to collect sounds at a 180-degree angle. Although I don’t think doing this will have any advantages over a solution similar to AirPods Pro that has a guide handle and allows the microphone to use a narrower beam angle, it at least reflects that the designer is indeed persistent in pursuing this extreme Individual shape.
And not only is the microphone layout to make way for the shape, even the charging contacts necessary for TWS earphones are uniquely designed. General TWS earphones often need separate contacts to charge the earphones, but Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 actually uses the metal filter in the sound tube and the metal decorative ring (I’m not sure about this) for charging. This is probably the most creative design after AirPods.
But this kind of straight-forward style is actually quite provocative. A weird ear canal like mine is not very suitable for this in-line type, or the sound tube is completely vertical earphone type. Although the use of small silicone eartips can ensure a stable wearing and good sealing effect, the tail of the earphone will be against the outer auricle, so it will feel uncomfortable over time.
In addition, the entire backplane of Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 is a push-type physical button, and LED indicators are arranged on the periphery, which has a very good visual effect. However, the physical buttons will inevitably bring some uncomfortable interactive experience when wearing, which is why most of the TWS earphones now use touch control.
In addition to the breakthrough of ideas, the workmanship of MELOMANIA 1 is also at an impeccable level. The charging case uses the same texture and color as the earphones, and the hinge part is also made of metal. The damping feel is very detailed and comfortable, which is not inferior to the workmanship of the current mainstream mobile phone manufacturers.
But it is a pity that the charging case still uses the Micro USB charging interface and does not support wireless charging.
However, the battery life of Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 is not bad! The official claims that the earphones itself has a battery life of 9 hours, and when used with a charging case, the battery life can reach 45 hours. Although this data should be based on the result of SBC encoding, it will actually shrink whether you use AAC or aptX, but even so, there is no pressure to listen to music for 4-5 hours.
And MELOMANIA 1 uses Qualcomm QCC3026 bluetooth 5.0 chip, in addition to providing lower power consumption, more stable signal connection, but also embedded aptX high-definition bluetooth audio coding and CVC digital audio noise reduction. It also adds support for AAC encoding, so iOS users can also enjoy a good sound experience.
Speaking of sound performance, the performance of Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 is also more unexpected. The earphone uses a 5.8mm graphene-coated dynamic driver, which is not small compared to the MELOMANIA 1, but the diaphragm itself is relatively hard, so it takes a lot of time to run the earphone in order to enter the real working state.
After getting the Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 earphones, start the earphone running-in. Since there were a lot of things at the end of the year, the earphones was running for 70 hours unconsciously. Before running in the headphones, the sound of MELOMANIA 1 will be drier, and the tri-band is not stretched. After a long time of running-in, the sound is indeed a surprise!
Overall, the sound of Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 gives me the biggest feeling of relaxation and transparency.
The mid-frequency of MELOMANIA 1 presents a solid and full texture, while the general TWS headphones often sound faint, or just amplify the grainy and fluffy feeling to form a full illusion. In contrast, the mid frequency of MELOMANIA 1 is so natural, without too much deliberate modification, but relying on the details provided by aptX and AAC to complete the filling, so it sounds very comfortable.
Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 is not known for its wide sound field. There is a gap between it and many HiFi wired headphones in both vertical and horizontal directions. But as far as bluetooth earphones, especially TWS true wireless earphones are concerned, MELOMANIA 1 is at least not muffled or muddy, the vocal positioning is comfortable, the background is clean, and the entire sound bottom is crisp and not procrastinating, which is already very rare. Even compared with TWS800, MELOMANIA 1 is actually not weaker than the so-called “independent amp” and “high resistance dynamic”. In terms of transparency, it can be said to be no different, but in terms of flavor, I think MELOMANIA 1 Better than Bose.
MELOMANIA 1 has a moderate low-frequency volume, and the low-frequency extension has a good range and quality, and it has a good sense of harmony with the mid-frequency. Especially when listening to popular tracks, it has a flavor, not greasy, and unstimulating, which makes people very comfortable. As for the high frequency, the same is true, crisp, clean, and smooth.
However, I think the current price of Cambridge Audio MELOMANIA 1 in China is still relatively high, especially since it is a TWS true wireless bluetooth earphones that is purely aimed at HiFi enthusiasts. The price of 1380 RMB is indeed a bit difficult for the market to accept. If the price can be reduced to 799 CNY or even 699 CNY, I guess it will still be competitive.
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