Going fully Wireless IEMs. Too soon? Or are we there yet?
Jan 4, 2021 at 8:50 PM Post #28,112 of 62,075
Whathifi released their review on Melomania Touch. Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch review | What Hi-Fi?

Not very flattering. Seems to be some issues with pairing. App seems to have some bugs causing app to crash. Latter can be patched. Former I don't think it's actual problem with pairing, but you have to pair them one earbud after the other - more about following directions than some inherent problem with it.

Too many things nitpicked in the review, such as battery life. Cambridge audio refers to 9hrs battery life, but that's while in low power mode; high performance audio mode is about 7hrs. I agree that is false marketing, but still 7hrs is more battery life than like 90% of TWS on the market. They complain about lack of aptx HD, but I have not seen more than a couple TWS with aptx hd. They complain about overly sensitive touch panel - my cx400bt and Sony xm3 are also very sensitive, but they didn't take away a star with the Sony xm3. They complain about it only being ipx4 rather than ipx7. Okay, Sony has no iptx rating at all, yet they didn't mention it even once in their Sony review ( Sony WF-1000XM3 review | What Hi-Fi? ).

I do agree it should be simple to pair so okay a star off. The other stuff is just nitpicking. I just ordered my set of Touch today because I don't see any major issue, otherwise it would be everywhere in these early reviews. Most likely the Sennheiser cx400bt is going back because sound isn't everything - it has the best sound between Sony xm3 and Teckniks AZ70. Comfort certainly is very important and you have to consider what you get (or don't get for the money).
 
Jan 4, 2021 at 11:31 PM Post #28,113 of 62,075
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Jan 5, 2021 at 5:48 AM Post #28,114 of 62,075
Had a chance to give the Melomania Touch a longer listen with aac on the iPhone X.

Went through the London Grammar (Truth is a beautiful thing) and Freya Ridings (Live at Omeara) albums and was impressed, made some slight adjustments in the equaliser to get them how I want them. The slightly wider soundstage on these over the Sonys really help with acoustic and live recorded music. The sub bass is also more present and sublime on the Touch.

The second track on the Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer orchestra album was particularly good with all those instruments (that trumpet just sounded more realistic), very much like you're there, sounds better here with the Melomania Touch than the Sony. Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, an old 80s track sounded better on the Melomania, I liked where Kates voice sat in the track vs the Sony. The wider soundstage was more evident on the Kate Bush track 'Watching you watching me' on the same album. The vocals and instrument details on Spanish Harlem by Rebecca Pidgeon are lovely, the maracas come in at 1:41 and it's like someone shaking them next to you.

C41623D4-CE84-4099-86A2-F2709572C66F.jpeg


Even though I like the Melomania Touch sound on certain tracks, I still think the Sony are still the ones to beat imo, they just sound that tiny bit more refined and better across a wider pool of genres. I prefer how the bass is done on the Sony. The sub bass is better on the Melomania Touch but overall the bass feels a little too overpowering even on balanced. You appreciate all the details and clarity on the track slighter more on the Touch but everything just sounds more musical and toe tapping with the Sony.

The What-Hi-fi review of these Melomania Touch are spot on on one area though- they sound decent but there is some connectivity issues. For example, I was listening to them and it would lose the bluetooth connection suddenly and then when repairing the right earbud would have no sound and I was forced to do a full reset until they worked again. The issue popped up again later on, so I decided to return them for a refund. They aren't the only one to exhibit these issues, but is it too much as a consumer to just expect things to work? I had already updated to a new firmware when out the box. Also, I found that having had them connected to my MacBook Air, they wouldn’t automatically pair with my iPhone when I wasn’t using my laptop so had to manually select them and visa versa - only the Left earbud would be visible and I would have to go open the app to get the right earbud on board or in the case with the laptop, only the left earbud would work forcing me to put both back in the case and remove them to pair both. There seems to be more of a reliance on the app here than the Sony (where both would just connect automatically).

This is very disappointing as everything else about them is superb, great sound on most music genres, fit is superb: it's the best I've tried so far and the app is decent.

Have decided that I will just wait for the Sony WF-1000XM4 as I like the Sony sound a smidgen more and will probably get the new AirPods Pro whenever they come out just for voice calls/running. The Sony and Apple are two sets ive tried that have proven to be the most reliable ones out there without any major issues, the Sony XM3 has the sound I like and is the best sounding pair that I've tried imo, so will suffice until their successor is released.

The Melomania Touch are very decent sounding earbuds and I would personally wait for them to fix those connectivity issues before purchasing a pair. They’re definitely worth a shot at this price if you don’t need ANC. Best sounding pair I’ve tried next to the XM3. I can see how some people would prefer the Touch over the XM3 and at the XM3 current price, you have to ask yourself if you would prefer to pay just £10 more and get the ANC feature or £10 less to get a better fit and no ANC.

EDIT: did a little jog down the road in the Melomania and just to report no issues whatsoever, they stay in place and the passive isolation is great.
 
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Jan 5, 2021 at 11:41 AM Post #28,117 of 62,075
ANC isn’t even on the level of the AirPods Pro apparently. I didn’t think the ANC on the AirPods Pro were that good to begin with so these must be dreadful lol
 
Jan 5, 2021 at 11:55 AM Post #28,118 of 62,075
Had a chance to give the Melomania Touch a longer listen with aac on the iPhone X.

Went through the London Grammar (Truth is a beautiful thing) and Freya Ridings (Live at Omeara) albums and was impressed, made some slight adjustments in the equaliser to get them how I want them. The slightly wider soundstage on these over the Sonys really help with acoustic and live recorded music. The sub bass is also more present and sublime on the Touch.

The second track on the Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer orchestra album was particularly good with all those instruments (that trumpet just sounded more realistic), very much like you're there, sounds better here with the Melomania Touch than the Sony. Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, an old 80s track sounded better on the Melomania, I liked where Kates voice sat in the track vs the Sony. The wider soundstage was more evident on the Kate Bush track 'Watching you watching me' on the same album. The vocals and instrument details on Spanish Harlem by Rebecca Pidgeon are lovely, the maracas come in at 1:41 and it's like someone shaking them next to you.

C41623D4-CE84-4099-86A2-F2709572C66F.jpeg

Even though I like the Melomania Touch sound on certain tracks, I still think the Sony are still the ones to beat imo, they just sound that tiny bit more refined and better across a wider pool of genres. I prefer how the bass is done on the Sony. The sub bass is better on the Melomania Touch but overall the bass feels a little too overpowering even on balanced. You appreciate all the details and clarity on the track slighter more on the Touch but everything just sounds more musical and toe tapping with the Sony.

The What-Hi-fi review of these Melomania Touch are spot on on one area though- they sound decent but there is some connectivity issues. For example, I was listening to them and it would lose the bluetooth connection suddenly and then when repairing the right earbud would have no sound and I was forced to do a full reset until they worked again. The issue popped up again later on, so I decided to return them for a refund. They aren't the only one to exhibit these issues, but is it too much as a consumer to just expect things to work? I had already updated to a new firmware when out the box. Also, I found that having had them connected to my MacBook Air, they wouldn’t automatically pair with my iPhone when I wasn’t using my laptop so had to manually select them and visa versa - only the Left earbud would be visible and I would have to go open the app to get the right earbud on board or in the case with the laptop, only the left earbud would work forcing me to put both back in the case and remove them to pair both. There seems to be more of a reliance on the app here than the Sony (where both would just connect automatically).

This is very disappointing as everything else about them is superb, great sound on most music genres, fit is superb: it's the best I've tried so far and the app is decent.

Have decided that I will just wait for the Sony WF-1000XM4 as I like the Sony sound a smidgen more and will probably get the new AirPods Pro whenever they come out just for voice calls/running. The Sony and Apple are two sets ive tried that have proven to be the most reliable ones out there without any major issues, the Sony XM3 has the sound I like and is the best sounding pair that I've tried imo, so will suffice until their successor is released.

The Melomania Touch are very decent sounding earbuds and I would personally wait for them to fix those connectivity issues before purchasing a pair. They’re definitely worth a shot at this price if you don’t need ANC. Best sounding pair I’ve tried next to the XM3. I can see how some people would prefer the Touch over the XM3 and at the XM3 current price, you have to ask yourself if you would prefer to pay just £10 more and get the ANC feature or £10 less to get a better fit and no ANC.

EDIT: did a little jog down the road in the Melomania and just to report no issues whatsoever, they stay in place and the passive isolation is great.

Good review!

I should be getting my pair tomorrow so will definitely focus on the connection issue. I have until Monday to decide on the Sony to keep or return so plenty of time for a/b testing.
 
Jan 5, 2021 at 12:15 PM Post #28,119 of 62,075
Hi all,

I have decided to treat myself to some better earbuds as the £20 generic ones from Amazon are temperamental at the best of times. Now ideally what I need is to be able to use them on my iPhone 12 Pro (AAC) for short journeys and on my Sony NW-A45 (mixture of MP3 & Hi-Res) for longer journeys once some normality resumes. I have around £160 in Amazon vouchers to use. Other requirements are decent battery & decent microphone quality, things like Siri to control volume etc isn’t essential as I often use the crown dial on my Watch 6 to change volume on my current earbuds.

Could anyone please make any suggestions so that I can make a shortlist ?, as there are so many brands out there, that it does get quite complex when deciding.

Many thanks
 
Jan 5, 2021 at 1:42 PM Post #28,120 of 62,075
My Melonmania Touch has arrived today and after a quick go and can confirm 2 things ....firstly they sound great and secondly I have had some connection issues but nothing that is a deal breaker for me.

The sound ...really nice from bass (really good sub bass) to treble. Nice warm sound with no nasty treble spikes. My first thought was that they sound very mature in the manner of a good £200 IEM.

So I was able to update them via the App fine with no issues but I notices that on a few occasions only one bud was on and I had to tap the other bud to turn it on and I have lost connection once or twice.

But really they sound quality is great and they are keepers for me....
 
Jan 5, 2021 at 1:43 PM Post #28,121 of 62,075
The CA Melomania Touch arrived this morning. A few observations. Having owned the Jabra/Sony/Senn triumvirate of BT royalty (and a few more relatively expensive pair as well), I ended up keeping the Melomania 1 as my on the go BT phones. To me, the simplicity of the controls (click not touch) and the un-EQ'd sound quality just were on par with any of the higher priced phones I owned. In fact, I preferred the M1 sound to any of the others I tried, price to performance/usability.

So trying the Touch was a natural, hoping for even better sound and an app this time. Don't care about transparency or ANC. I use them primarily for walks with the dog, honestly. That's it. For air travel or home listening I favor the Sony WH1000XM3.

Have not given them a lot of time listening-wise, but there are some hiccups. One, I retrieved the app at the Apple store (using iPhone 8 Plus) and no matter what I do, the app does not show up on any of my 4 app screens. It is, however, on the list of apps on my phone. So to use it, I need to go back to the app store, search for it, and hit open. What? Maybe it's user error, but I have never run into this issue in the past grabbing an app, any app.

Also, the connectivity seems stable, but I am going to give it a go later outside. I did have the Amazon HD Music streaming service stop suddenly, no reason, with the Touch still connected via BT. I could not get it started again hitting play. Use the Apple Music app, with onboard tracks, no problems. Weird.

So I am far from declaring the Touch as keepers, If they don't perform as expected, I will send them back and buy a backup pair of the M1s for $79 on Amazon (to me, an amazing deal). I am only using the higher quality sound setting (7 hours is way more than I need per charge) and not interested in transparency as noted. Oh, I did not put on the wings for stability but immediately decided I needed the largest tips for a good seal. I only wish I could use the M1 foamies I have here, but not an option since the sound stem is much slimmer on the Touch. Finally, the app shows the left bud at 30% lower than the right bud, which is weird. I am going to stick them in the case for a couple of hours and see if that changes.

So far, that's it. The sound is impressive to me, which is my #1 keeper factor. But if there are consistent sound dropouts plaguing my usage, back they go. At this point, connectivity should not be an issue. I hope they get stable over time, but that may be wishful thinking. Sound alone, love them.

Update: Did a 30-minute dog walk with the M Touch and if they continue to perform the way they did, they won't be going anywhere. Among the other fantastic sound attributes, the soundstage is impressive. I am still having that issue with the app, but honestly I don't even need the app, I can use the EQ on the Kaiser Audio app I use on my iPhone.

Only EQ I did was tip the base a bit, ran through my HP tryout playlist, heard Lupe Fiasco, Jimmy Buffet, Madeleine Peyroux, Lucinda Williams, Joe Jackson and The Vulgar Boatmen before I got back. I know the songs very well, and impressed as hell with what I heard. And again, soundstage was the most surprising success factor. Was set to the higher-quality (7 hour battery) setting, large OEM tips and no wings (not sure I need them, not a runner). Not a single dropout, so that was great.
 
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Jan 5, 2021 at 5:34 PM Post #28,123 of 62,075
I was trying to be sneaky and check some etailers for new releases ahead of CES. Saw B&H has new release listings for a Cleer Ally Plus II for $129 and a Cleer true wireless called the Roam NC for $59.99. No pics or specs though.
 

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