Hands-On Review: Electro-Voice ETX Powered Loudspeaker Series

Posted on .

By Ara Ajizian
Harmony Central Editorial Director

Powered speakers come in all shapes, sizes and price points these days, often making it difficult to make a decision when it’s time to outfit your band or venue with a set that will deliver the kind of performance working musicians expect and depend on. Professional musicians and sound engineers understand that live sound can make or break your livelihood. With that in mind, and an 85-year legacy in audio engineering to back them up, Electro-Voice brings us the new ETX Powered Loudspeaker series. Designed to satisfy the needs of working professionals, these speakers incorporate copious amounts of power with advanced control and a pro-grade build. It all adds up to an incredibly versatile series that has something for anyone ready to step up his or her sound into the pro arena.

Electro-Voice ETX-12P

A common thread

The ETX Powered Loudspeaker series offers a range of six models: the 2-way ETX-10P (10”), ETX-12P (12”) and ETX-15P (15”); the three-way ETX-35P (15” woofer with an added 6.5” midrange driver); and the ETX-15SP (15”) and ETX-18SP (18”) subs. The full-range models all employ a 1-1/4” titanium compression HF driver. Regardless of application, there’s a configuration for anyone who wants to experience what the ETX Powered Loudspeaker series has to offer. And that is a long list, because Electro-Voice packed a load of advanced features into this line to ensure the kind of sound and performance that’s come to be expected from their speakers.

First, the basics. All ETX Powered Loudspeakers utilize a Class-D power amplifier, with the subwoofers pushing out 1800W and the full-range models 2000W. The wood enclosures are professional grade in every sense, from the 18mm 13-ply Baltic birch, tongue-and-groove-jointed construction finished with rugged EVCoat to the die-cast aluminum handles, dual pole cups and amp chassis. The full-range models are more than suitable for permanent installations, and eight mounting points are provided for such applications. Every component of every ETX Powered Loudspeaker is designed and built by Electro-Voice. That bears repeating: every component of every ETX Powered Loudspeaker is designed and built by Electro-Voice. By maintaining complete control over every aspect and component of the series, Electro-Voice is able to harness and maximize the power and sound quality from the get-go.

Advanced design

2000 watts is a lot of power, and Electro-Voice has built the ETX Powered Loudspeaker series to maximize efficiency and ensure crystal-clear sound at the high SPLs. As most of us know, there’s no sense to that much power if it’s not being used properly. In fact, it will often work against you by delivering a garbled mess of unpleasantness to the audience. The ETX Powered Loudspeakers are equipped with the same proprietary FIR-Drive filter technology as EV’s concert loudspeakers, which ensures that each speaker component performs optimally under maximum SPLs (up to 135db!). Also part of the integrated FIR-Drive system are EV’s PAL and TEMP limiters, which keep the speaker components protected from unwanted peaks and overheating, respectively. And because Electro-Voice builds and designs each component, they can tailor these limiters precisely so they have as much transparency as possible and remain inaudible to listeners.

Illuminate your sound

Electro-Voice ETX-12P Rear Inputs and Outputs

The ETX Powered Loudspeaker series literally shines when it comes to its onboard DSP, thanks to the backlit LCD display on the back panel. Several easy-to-understand options will have you set up and sounding great in no time, including presets for optimizing the speaker depending on its position and use (suspended, wall-mounted, as part of an array, etc.). The 3-band parametric Room EQ lets you fine tune the sound even further on the full-range models, while the subwoofers have a single-band of EQ for getting things just right. The subs can also be configured to perform alone, as part of a line array, and also have a setting for cardioid mode arrays, a unique feature that allows for up to -30dB of low-frequency rejection to the rear. A nice inclusion was the Delay setting, which allows time alignment with other speakers, furthering the series’ pro pedigree.

A cut above

With plenty of less-expensive options out there in the world of powered speakers, and even more in the same price range, the ETX Powered Loudspeaker series stands apart thanks to an attention to detail that reflects the company’s 85 years making music sound better for us all. Not only is there ample power, it’s being used to its maximum potential thanks to the FIR-Drive DSP. Careful design and tuning of each component to the others ensures consistent, clear sound even at high SPLs, and keeps your source material honest. Wrap it up in a modern, heavy-duty design that’s built for years of loyal service and you have one of the most formidable speaker options in its class.

Musician’s Friend carries the full line of Electro-Voice Powered Loudspeakers, so no matter your application, we have you covered. With professional-grade components, design, sound and features along with plenty of power, they fit the bill for pro musicians and DJs as well as permanent installation. Call our Gear Heads at (877) 880-5907 to discuss the right ETX Powered Loudspeakers for your needs, and get the best price possible!


# Jeff Hudson 2016-05-01 14:31
I have 2elx18'' how would it sound and work if I added an etx 18'' powered sub to our band for outside jobs. Can I daisy chain all 3 together.

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