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HD GEAR : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $219 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 219 In Stock
Release Date: December 31st, 1969

Cambridge Audio Melomania M100 Wireless ANC Headphones

Overview -
OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
December 31st, 1969

Looking for a pair of high-end noise-canceling earbuds so you can fully enjoy your movies in the middle of the night? Cambridge Audio’s Melomania M100 Earbuds Offers Comfort & Incredible Quality - at a price.

Lately, we’ve been hearing from a number of readers out there who use headphones to enjoy their movies. The big reason has been it’s hard to watch a loud film late at night if you’ve got sensitive sleepers or little kids trying to get their rest. While we love our big, expensive home theater sound systems, sometimes you need something that will give you a satisfying personal audio experience that won’t wake up the house. Enter Cambridge Audio’s Melomania M100 Active Noise Canceling Earbuds.

As a father of a sound-sensitive four-year-old, I don’t often get to enjoy the loud or creepy films I want to watch at their full volume anymore. One drawback they don’t tell you about having an Atmos system that can rattle your ceiling is when Maverick zooms overhead in his fighter jet it can blast your kid out of a deep sleep (even through the soundproofing, floorboards, and carpet). Heaven forbid he should hear the terrified screams of any number of horror films I like to enjoy!

In an effort to maintain the childhood innocence of my boy, I’ve recently taken to using headphones at night when I want to enjoy a show or film on my own. After trying a variety of low-end and mid-tier earbuds that were just anemic or failed to deliver an exciting auditory experience, I ended up using my higher-end Sennheiser HD-450BT headphones I use for work. While those deliver a great listening experience, prolonged use for hours at a time becomes uncomfortable; especially around the ears. I needed something that would deliver excellent sound, that was also light and comfortable. 

Cambridge Audio’s Melomania M100 noise-canceling earbuds were exactly what I was looking for.

  

The set arrived in a small, very unsuspecting shipping box, and was honestly smaller than expected, the shipper actually slipped them into my small house mailbox (a welcome surprise since I didn't get a shipping notice they were on their way).

Here's what the main box looks like: 

 

Product details:

Opening revealed a tan/brown inner box:

 

Opening the inside box - you can scan the QR Code to download the Melomania app:

 

Everything that's in this small little package:

 

Also includes multiple ear squishies for your desired comfort with a USB-C charge cord:

The case is magnetic so buds will slip into place and hold there without issue. Heavily jostling and a few (albeit gentle) drop tests, the lid stayed closed, buds held in place without popping open. 

Pairing to phones, laptops, and gaming hardware is very easy. Once paired on your phone, the Melomania app should instantly download onto your phone (iPhone and Android compatible). If it doesn't there's a QR code you can scan in the packaging and manuals. Using the app, you can see the battery life of each earbud but also how much charge is left in the case. 

Most exciting is the Custom Equaliser. 

You can EQ the buds to different music style presets or create your own. It can be a bit time-consuming to find those sweet spots, but it’s worth it. The app also lets you turn off certain functions.

So if you don’t want an errant tap or brush along the ear to pause your music or change the song, you can nix that issue before it even happens. And if you forget what each tap function does, there are helpful user guides within the app. 

What I love about the Melomania M100 Earbuds

Three Listening Modes - The Melomania M100 Earbuds have three key listening modes. Normal, Transparency, and Active Noise Canceling. Normal acts like any average earbud letting some background world noise in, depending on the earbud squishy size you use. Transparency is like using the normal listening function, but the mic kicks in and if you’re listening to something, if someone speaks to you or if you’re walking and a car drives up, you’ll hear it. Transparency is a nice feature, but I rarely use it. Noise Canceling is just that, and boy howdy is it effective. I’d argue the NC works better than even my over-ear Sennheisers! Which for some may be a bad thing for some - more on that later. With that I felt like I didn't have to blast the volume to have a nice loud and clean listening experience. If you have an open-office work situation you won't hear the annoying clickety clack of other keyboards. 

Charge Time / Lifespan - Out of any low-end, mid-tier, and higher-quality headphones or earbuds I’ve picked up, lost, or discarded, the M100’s rank among the best for battery life and charge time. The earbud case is good for two full charges and each charge (depending on the listening mode) can last 16 hours or longer! Again depending on mode, that lifespan between charges may vary, but that’s a LOT of active wear usage. At that rate, you should get 48+ hours of use before needing to plug the case in. But the really cool thing is how fast the buds recharge. Ten minutes of charge should net you almost 90 minutes of listening time.  

Comfort - So I can be a bit of a stickler about earbuds. I generally don’t like the feeling of things entering my ears, so finding buds that will slip in there and rest easily without wanting to rip them out can be tricky. The M100s passed that nicely. I was surprised by how light and comfortable they were given their overall size.

Function - One thing I hate about earbuds is having to learn all of the different tapping and stroke techniques to change song tracks or volume only for them to not work. I thought the M100s were very responsive to the tap techniques, intuitive, and simple. Circling the left bud is all it takes to switch listening modes. And with the app, if I need to look up how to use other functions, I don't have to hold onto the cheatsheet card. Also, the buds can be paired to multiple devices; I've had no trouble actively using them with my laptop and my phone. 

Sound Quality - The most important aspect is saved for last - these earbuds are a beast! To stress-test these out, I used some the loudest demo-material films in my digital and disc archives. I had the best results when I paired them to my PS5 or directly to my AppleTV box. Top Gun: Maverick was my tester title of choice. Streaming via my AppleTV box on both iTunes and Fandango at Home, the Atmos track performed amazingly well. It had a great sense of imaging and immersive impact while delivering an amazing bass response for those jet engines. The PS5 with the 4K disc I felt like it played very well providing an even better response.

As far as using a gaming device, I’ve mostly been using these buds while replaying Alien: Isolation ahead of the upcoming Alien: Romulus film. That game is already a terrifying experience and these earbuds deliver all of the creepy bumps in the darkness. Now watching shows or a film on my Google Pixel (GASP! Watching films on phones, how horrible!), the experience is very good - better than any other earbud or corded set I’ve used. That said, I noticed a notable difference in quality between music, films, and shows on my AppleTV and my Pixel. Streaming content through my phone sounded notably better now, but it was still a step back from other devices. I'm chalking that up to the apps on my phone more than anything.

What I’m not so keen on about the Melomania M100 Earbuds

Size of the Earbuds - While overall light and very comfortable, I do feel like they’re a bit on the large side. Not very discreet. They almost look as if you’ve gauged your inner ear. Walking around my neighborhood after dropping off my son at pre-school, I got a lot of funky looks from other parents and neighbors at my ears. Once I pulled out the bud they were fascinated to see them, but if size and discretion are features you require, these might not make the grade. 

Active Noise Canceling REALLY works - Now some may be wondering how a noise canceling function can be too effective. That’s what they’re there for right? Well, these are the something else at blocking out background sound. In real-world listening, walking around I felt the need to be extra visibly aware. These just don’t let in any ambient sounds so it’s difficult to hear people or vehicles approach. I imagine they’ll be great for long flights or on public transit. While I mentioned previously you wouldn't hear your officemate's loud typing, if your boss is trying to get your attention, that might be an issue worth keeping Normal or Transparency modes engaged.

Price is a bit steep - Now it’s just one of those things, you can’t go cheap and expect high quality, especially with headphones and that's the case with a brand like Cambridge Audio. But at $219, these bad boys might be beyond reach for a number of folks. Of course, they're not the most expensive set on the market, you can sink a lot very quickly. To that end, as pricey as they may be, they're worth every cent. As the most expensive pair of headphones or buds I’ve ever owned, I’m terrified at the prospect of losing a bud or the case itself. Heaven forbid I leave a bud in a pant pocket and it goes through the wash! They’re water resistant, but I doubt they’re that water resistant - and I’m not going to test them to find out. Suffice to say, they are not an entry-level set.

Final Thoughts 

While I do get to do most of my review watching in daylight hours with my full multi-channel Atmos setup, I do relish the time to enjoy watching something for fun. But with a busy work and parenting schedule, that usually means having to watch what I really want to watch late at night when the lights are out and the kiddo is fast asleep. Sadly that means I don’t get to blast my Atmos rig. I’ve gotten into a nice routine using headphones; enough people suggested it that I gave it a try. But if I can’t use my full home theater audio system, I wanted headphones that could at least come close to matching. After a few months of digging up old sets and trying new ones, I believe I’ve settled on the right ones. 

Cambridge Audio’s Melomania M100 active noise-canceling earbuds are beasts delivering a high-quality sonic experience. I’ve been using these steadily for about three weeks now, A-B testing them against other earbuds and headphones, and they come out the winner every time. For comfort, function, and performance, they’re the best set I’ve ever owned. But they are a pricey pair. Maybe not the most expensive out there, but these aren’t an entry-level unit. These are for audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts who need quality equipment to survive. And to that end they deliver. There is a bit of a learning curve. You re going to want to play and fiddle with that equaliser function on the app to hit your sweet spot for movie watching, the presets are decent but I was compelled to make adjustments. I’ve run through everything from big high-octane action films to quieter suspense thrillers to wide expansive westerns and these buds hold up. For the nominal amount of gaming I do, they’re also effective without any latency or performance issues.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy your favorite films without disturbing the rest of the household, the M100s fit the bill nicely. 4.5/5

If you’ve got the bread to buy it - Highly Recommended