CTW NAMM 2013 Coverage: EV ZLX Powered Speakers

I’m a fan of EV’s LiveX speakers, and many of their small speakers for that matter. They sound pretty good, and are very affordable. We put the LiveX 15’s along with the single 18” subs in our student room and have been very happy with them. This year, EV builds on that lineup with the ZLX series. 

zlx-1.jpg

Whereas the LiveX speakers are wooden boxes, the ZLX’s are composite. Composite boxes are easier and cheaper to make, which brings costs down. They are also light; the ZLX 12 is only 18 pounds, and with the three built-in handles, a Jr. High girl could put these up on a stand. 

Running a 1000W Class D Amp, the speakers have plenty of get up and go. They also included some built-in DSP. While not complete control over every parameter, you can select from a few preset, adjust the bass and treble and tell the system whether or not you’re using a sub. They are very affordable, too. The powered 12” version will list for $399, while the 15” will be $499. 

zlx-2.jpg

Each speaker includes two XLR inputs with separate level controls, plus an 1/8" input jack for aux input. An output XLR is also included for daisy chaining.

EV has the best listening room at NAMM, and we got in for a quick audition. Just like a few years ago when I heard the LiveX speakers, I was impressed. The bass extension is good, even on the 12”, though perhaps not as deep as the LiveX. Still, for a portable system, I wouldn’t feel bad taking these on a gig. The mid-range is quite good, especially for a sub $500 powered speaker. I have always liked how EV voices their speakers; vocals are very clear and natural and seem to be emanating right in front of your face. The high end sounded clean as well, and not at all harsh (and harsh is something I’ve grown to expect from composite box speakers). 

I really can’t wait to get a set of these in to play with. Now that we have some Yamaha DXR-10s, it will be interesting to put these next to those and the LiveX’s and see what happens. The only downside to these boxes is the lack of fly points. Basically, EV isn’t looking at these as inexpensive install speakers, they are strictly portable models. I’m OK with that, but I wish I could fly them. They will be available sometime in April. Their website is a bit sparse on info right now, but there you go.

Today's post is brought to you by Sennheiser. For more than 60 years, the name Sennheiser has been synonymous with top-quality products and tailor-made complete solutions for every aspect of the recording, transmission and reproduction of sound.