Cambridge Melomania Touch long-term review: Great sounding earbuds that are still rough around the edges
The Melomania Touch are Cambridge Audio's most expensive pair of TWS earbuds. The earbuds are no longer the company's latest pair though, as it has since released the Melomania 1+, which builds on the excellent Melomania 1. Cambridge Audio has taken a different approach with the Melomania Touch than it did with the Melomania 1 and 1+, for better or worse.
Cambridge Audio kindly supplied us with two pairs of Melomania Touch earbuds to review. The company sent us the earbuds for free, but this did not influence the views contained in this article. Cambridge Audio did not have the final say on the article, either.
The Melomania Touch has 7 mm dynamic and graphene-enhanced diaphragm drivers, 1.2 mm larger than the ones in the Melomania 1 and 1+. Additionally, the earbuds support Qualcomm aptX and a High Performance Audio mode. According to Cambridge Audio, the latter provides an 'even greater soundstage, lower noise and higher dynamic range' than the regular audio mode. We can attest to this, with the High Performance Audio mode enabling the Melomania Touch to sound better than the Jabra 65T, Jabra 75T, and Jabra 85T in their various forms, along with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 and Surface Earbuds, among others.
The Melomania Touch has class-leading battery life, too. Cambridge Audio promises up to 50 hours of battery life from the charging case and about 20% less with Higher Performance Audio mode enabled. We can easily go over two weeks if not three before needing to recharge the Melomania Touch in our experience.
Additionally, Cambridge Audio has sought to improve the earbuds through firmware updates. To the company's credit, it has released three major firmware updates for the Melomania Touch between January and March 2021. However, these firmware updates have fixed issues that were present at launch. Initially, we chalked our first unit up as a lemon, but firmware v1.3.1 resolved the issues that we had. Likewise, it brought our first pair up to the standard of the replacements that we received.
In our opinion, firmware v1.3.1 has taken the Melomania Touch from unusable, to a pair of earbuds that are excellent for the most part. Unfortunately, we still have some gripes with the Melomania Touch. For example, our units remain eager to connect to devices even when they are in their charging cases. This behaviour often happens hours after we last used either pair, suggesting that at least one earbud remains switched on when it should be charging.
The battery percentages shown in the Melomania app reinforces this. We have noticed huge battery percentage differences multiple times, even after several factory resets. It is unclear if Cambridge Audio could resolve this with a software update or if it is a hardware fault. This is a minor gripe in the scheme of things, but it speaks to the immature software with which Cambridge Audio ships its most expensive earbuds.
More frustratingly, both units occasionally drop connection for a few seconds or, inexplicably, turn themselves off. As one could imagine, this leads to some frantic scrambling when an earbud drops out mid-call. Worse still, both units occasionally got stuck on adjusting the volume. The only solution we have found is to power down the earbuds and restart them. This has occurred on multiple smartphones, so it appears to be something broader than an incompatibility with a certain smartphone brand.
Nonetheless, we would still recommend the Melomania Touch over its competitors, albeit purely from an audio quality standpoint. Simply, the Melomania Touch are more comfortable than the Jabra 75T too, which remain our go-to earbuds. Hopefully, Cambridge Audio continues to improve the Melomania Touch via more updates. You can find out the latest firmware version here, which includes changelogs for all previous updates.
In short, the Melomania Touch are a fantastic sounding pair of earbuds. The app support is good too, and Cambridge Audio deserves more credit for that. We have also found the transparency mode useful, although it is a feature that many other high-end earbuds have. Similarly, the touch controls are easy to trigger, even if we often found ourselves triggering them accidentally at first. However, continual software issues ruin the experience. Whether that be connection problems, failing to power down properly or getting stuck on changing the volume, none of these are acceptable for earbuds at any price, let alone ones that cost as much as the Melomania Touch does.