We all breathed a sigh of relief when Cambridge Audio unveiled a new model in their Melomania line-up, which has won two What Hi-Fi? Awards. The Melomania 1 Plus (or Melomania 1+) promises the same appearance and feel as the original Melomania 1, but with app support, adjustable EQ settings, and the British audio firm’s revolutionary High-Performance Audio Mode.
So, how fantastic do they sound and do they warrant an upgrade?
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus Headphone Performance
We’re treated to a dramatic and broad rendering of Kate Bush’s And Dream Of Sheep when we go back to High-Performance Audio and leave all EQ levels alone (a Tidal Master file).
In our left ear, the keys appear three-dimensional, while Bush’s vocal soars through the frequencies in the centre, accompanied by seagull sounds, pared-back guitar plucking, wind instruments, and spoken word. The Melomania 1 Plus delivers the ominous storm faithfully and with outstanding clarity for this level. In terms of layering and intricacy, this is a slight but noticeable improvement over their older sibling.
At the start of Beck’s Debra, instruments like the slinking bass, Wurlitzer, and saxophone are organised with precision and given a few more yards of space within the mix. The low-level call-to-action vocal that precedes the verse is frequently lost in muddier bass registers of inferior headphones, but not here.
Even as the intensity rises, Beck’s particular voice is expressive and expertly held in check. We can hear a difference in clarity and refinement in the mids and treble compared to the original Melos.
The teeming rain sounds natural at the window during harder tracks like Eminem’s Stan, as Stan’s writing cuts through with clarity, accompanied by an accurate and regulated bassline. In terms of dynamic build, there are minor improvements over the originals. As evidenced by the beginning synth strings in Dr. Dre’s Forget About Dre, the leading edges of notes are marginally clearer in the latest set of in-ears.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus Headphone Design
Our Melomania 1 Plus charging case prototype (also available in black) has a matte white finish that is a significant improvement over its predecessor. Fingerprint smudges no longer collect on the perfectly proportioned case since it feels cool, haptic, and more pebble-like.
Just below the snappy flip-top lid is a five-strong row of LEDs that display battery life. Under the tiny LED light on each earpiece, the letters ‘L’ and ‘R’ are now written in electric blue font. There’s also a USB-C fast charging port now.
Despite the promise of numerous ear tips to provide a tight fit, Cambridge has doubled up on its normal small, medium, and large sizes, giving you two sets of each instead of one.
There are two sets of medium and large’memory foam’ alternatives available, but no small option. The memory foam tips are also only available in black — ordinary tips are white – which detracts from the ice-white look.
The bullet-shaped buds are nearly identical in design to the Melomania 1 – they both weigh 4.6g, are IPX5 water and sweat resistant, have a 5.8mm graphene-enhanced driver, and support Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and AAC codec support.
Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus Headphone Value
The Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus was released on March 9, 2021, and it cost less than $100 at the time. They were, however, given a permanent price reduction, bringing them down to $99.95.
If you can still find a pair, the original Melomania 1 will almost certainly be significantly reduced — though the new model is intended to replace them, so they may not be accessible for long.
The tiny, fuss-free, and budget-friendly design of Cambridge was a hit with us the first time around in 2019. The new Melomania 1 Plus’s nicer paint job, app support for EQ tweaking, and step-up in audio quality and refinement – all without the expected price bump – makes us want to praise it even more.
While the original Melomania 1 is now available at a great discount, we recommend this improved model. Although there is no noise-cancelling technology onboard, individuals who don’t require it should consider adding these new Melomanias to their shortlist.