Electro-Voice offers a remarkably diverse and capable line of loudspeakers. The EKX line is one step down from their top-shelf options. In this review, we look at the EKX 12P to see what it offers and who this loudspeaker is for.
The EV EKX 12P is an accomplished loudspeaker with various excellent features. Multi-faceted, it is a viable option for a range of applications. Below are the highlights, but read on for a more thorough look at this speaker.
Selecting an appropriate speaker for your needs can be challenging. For a performer, flexibility is paramount, and the EV EKX 12P delivers with a range of impressive features.
12-inch loudspeakers occupy an interesting space in the market. They can often be a reliable solo speaker, equally capable as a pair, and amazing with added subs. But irrespective of the potential configuration, it must get the fundamentals right.
The EV EKX 12P does precisely that with a stunning level of sound quality that leaves many competitors by the wayside.
The lows are exceptionally impressive for a 12-inch woofer. They are full and rich with enough rumble to satisfy in smaller spaces. Stepping into larger environments will necessitate the addition of a subwoofer but these pump out fantastic bass on their own.
The mids are equally satisfying with a wonderful helping of clarity and definition. Vocal performers will appreciate the accuracy on hand. Working in combination with the lows, there is a smooth progression through the range to produce a satisfying result.
Moving into the top-end, the EV EKX 12P is a little bright right out of the box. It isn’t tinny, but there is a noticeable sharpness present. Highs can be particularly grating when poorly executed, and while the EV EKX 12P is not that bad, it benefits from a bit of tuning. Of course, this will also heavily depend on what you use them for, and it will be perfectly acceptable in several scenarios.
The coverage is another highlight, with 90 degrees horizontally and 60 degrees vertically. There are no dull spots present, and the coverage is even and smooth throughout.
There is no denying that the EV EKX 12P is a capable loudspeaker with a pleasant sound profile that will bring a smile to your face. Pair them up or add a subwoofer, and you’ll be able to handle a vast array of gig types comfortably.
Carting your speaker from gig to gig takes its toll on even the most robust loudspeaker. That is why owning a dependable loudspeaker is critical to ensuring you don’t end up forking out thousands upon thousands of dollars constantly upgrading your speakers.
The EV EKX 12P is up to the task of frequent gigging. The 15mm plywood cabinet offers a solid frame and heft that inspires confidence. The EV coat over the cabinet is also durable and resists scratches well.
Tough and durable construction.
Supporting the plywood cabinet is a rigid 18 AWG steel grille with a powdercoat finish. This protects against rogue punters, keeps the woofer and tweeter safe and sound, and is also resistant to dings.
The addition of rubber strips for the monitor position is also a welcome sight, and it ensures you’ll prevent scratches and scrapes when using it as a monitor.
As with all loudspeakers, investing in some bags for transportation is worthwhile. But even without bags, this speaker will go the distance.
Diving into the specifications highlights how much raw power the EV EKX 12P has up its sleeve.
The EV EKX 12P features an efficient class D amplifier with a total power rating of 1,500W. This amp supplies power to the 12-inch woofer and 1-inch high-frequency driver. And damn, does it do it well. Maximum Peak SPL is at 132dB, which is fantastic.
This volume level is more than most would require to get a party pumping. The headroom for smaller gigs is impressive, ensuring you never have to push this loudspeaker to its limits. The built-in limiter is generous, and you’ll unlikely face clipping issues unless you’ve made some mistakes in your gain-staging.
The EKX-12P is a powerful and capable loudspeaker.
Frequency Range is at 50Hz-20kHz (-3 dB) with a Frequency Response of 60Hz-18kHz (-10 dB). Plenty of depth on offer while retaining clarity in the top end. It’s also impressively smooth throughout the range despite the slight focus on the highs.
The 12-inch EVS-12M woofer is superb and provides fantastic performance, and it combines brilliantly with the 1-inch titanium compression driver. I also appreciate that the high-sensitivity transducers are designed and engineered in-house, making the EV a unique and compelling offering.
My only complaint is the overall weight of the unit. At 44.1 lbs (18.8 kg), it is not exactly the lightest of loudspeakers. To be fair, it offers a wood cabinet and does stack up favorably to similarly constructed options out there. But for some people, this weight rating may be a little on the high side.
I appreciate the robust nature of the EV EKX 12P and the sound quality, so the extra weight isn’t a dealbreaker for me. You can still transport and lift it solo onto stands, but more agile options are available if you need something lighter.
Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to the tuning options available to you with the EKX 12P.
The rear of the unit provides a wonderful selection of choices within the indented frame via the onboard DSP. The Master Volume knob also doubles as the control knob for all the included functions. Simply press down, and you can begin tweaking settings to your heart’s content.
Navigation is both logical and intuitive on the bright LCD screen. Within the menus, you find a range of valuable and effective options.
The DSP gives you a multitude of options to tweak the output.
Among the most useful is the Mode function, which adjusts the output via preset curves. Music, Live, Speech, and Club are on offer and are self-explanatory. But it is worth highlighting how well EV has crafted these modes. The change in output is noticeable and, more importantly, calibrated to each setting with noticeable impact.
Supporting the Mode function is the Location menu. This opens up positioning settings, including Tripod, Monitor, Wall, and Suspend. Once again easy to understand and exceptionally effective when applied. The Wall option, in particular, can be a game changer for DJs or performers that find themselves in cramped locations.
Between these two functions, you’ll likely be able to handle most gig types you’ll encounter. But for those that prefer to tweak things further, you’ll have access to individual Bass, Treble, and Mid controls to fine-tune the output.
As you would expect, a Sub menu is also present for selecting your desired crossover frequency when using the EKX 12P in tandem with a subwoofer.
All in all, it’s an impressive selection of options that make the EV EKX 12P an appealing choice to both beginners and seasoned veterans.
When running a business, appearances matter; your gear needs to reflect professionalism, which can lead to further bookings.
The EV EKX 12P ticks all the right boxes in this department. The solid cabinet features a great design that reflects sharp lines and an attractive grille pattern that sets it apart from other options.
The EKX-12P looks slick in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
The EV logo doesn’t dominate and blends perfectly with the rest of the black exterior. This loudspeaker can comfortably integrate into any environment. From a house party, prom, church, or speaking event. At no point does it feel out of place, but on closer inspection, it reveals its clean design mentality.
Beyond appearance, it also features helpful design features for practical setup. The threaded pole mount ensures quick and easy mounting. The padded feet on both the bottom and side provide some decoupling while protecting the surface. Fly points are also present for suspension.
However, one design choice separates the EKX 12P from its larger sibling, the EKX 15P. The EKX 12P only features one handle, while the 15P features two. This isn’t a huge issue considering the 12P is a lot lighter, but something worth mentioning if you have been tossing up between the two.
12-inch loudspeakers are often an appealing choice. They don’t present the heft and sheer size of a 15-inch model while at the same time not suffering from the sometimes underwhelming performance of a 10-inch model.
The EKX-12P is a standard-sized 12-inch loudspeaker.
It is still a large speaker, but it is on par with other 12-inch options on the market. It also features compatibility with bracket mounts making it a relatively compact choice for wall mounting.
The EV EKX 12P offers two primary connection points and, for most circumstances, will be enough to handle your needs.
Line 1 features an XLR/TRS combo jack that supports ¼-inch connections. This line also provides access to an RCA connection point which may appeal to some people that want to use an unbalanced connection.
Versatile connection options.
Line 2 follows up with a second XLR/TRS combo jack. Each Input features a dedicated knob for level control, making it a solid choice for a singer/musician combo. Rounding out the connections is an XLR output.
It’s a no-frills approach that provides you with all the necessities, and as expected from a professional loudspeaker, it doesn’t offer any extra bell and whistles like Bluetooth or an AUX-In.
Sitting at the upper end of the Electro-Voice lineup does result in a meaty price tag, but this loudspeaker can often be found well below its MSRP. Despite the higher price point, it doesn’t mean the EKX 12P doesn’t offer excellent value. You could comfortably spend more and not experience performance at this level.
Depending on the gigs you play, it might be a little overkill. But if you are looking for a solid investment, this is a loudspeaker worth every dollar. A bucket load of flexibility future proofs this unit, and you’ll always be able to find a home for it in an expanding setup.
Electro-Voice has a stellar reputation in the audio scene, and it’s not hard to see why many people now place them as one of the go-to options for loudspeakers. Multiple four and five-star reviews highlight the superb sound and flexible tuning options of this 12-inch model.
In-House For The Win
One of the reasons behind the success of American-based Electro-Voice is its product approach. Unlike some companies, EV develops all their technology in-house. Every component is stringently designed and developed to meet high standards. Whether it is the drivers, enclosures, or waveguides, EV does it all in-house.
Electro-Voice designs all its components in-house.
The result is a string of patents and complete control over the direction of their products, and the proof is in the pudding. Sensational products that don’t just work but work very well. They offer an expansive range of products, including loudspeakers, amplifiers, and microphones. And each is a showcase for its product philosophy.
I’m not one to be a brand loyalist, and I’ve seen companies reach heights and then rest on their laurels. For me, the performance of a product will always trump any preconceived notions of how good a brand supposedly is. But in the case of Electro-Voice, they have consistently proven to be at the top of their game.
Selecting the right loudspeaker for your needs can be an agonizing decision. But I’m here to help. Below are some other options worth considering that might be more appropriate for you.
EV EKX-15P Review
Sticking within the EKX line-up is the larger and more powerful 15P. It features all the excellent features of the 12P but with a bigger woofer to deliver louder and fuller sound.
- Superb sound quality with plenty of grunt in the low-end.
- The additional handle makes transport and setup much more manageable.
- It is noticeably heavier at 53.9 lbs. (24.4 kg) than the more petite EKX-12P.
Mackie SRT215 Review
If you want something a little cheaper but with a bigger woofer, the SRT215 from Mackie is worth adding to your shortlist. This feature-rich choice offers excellent value for money.
- Modern design aesthetic backed up by a smooth sound profile.
- Detailed tuning options and compatibility with Bluetooth for remote tweaking.
- Doesn’t offer an RCA connection point like the EKX 12P.
Stepping down within the Electro-Voice ecosystem does present you with an affordable alternative to the EKX 12P. The ZLX-12BT is an ideal choice for people that play smaller gigs.
- Wonderfully defined mids and highs that are well-balanced.
- Bluetooth functionality makes it a versatile option.
- Doesn’t offer the same level of refinement in the low-end as the EKX 12P.
Should You Buy?
Having reviewed several Electro-Voice loudspeakers, I’m glad to say that the EKX 12P sits perfectly within an impressive line-up. It presents a wealth of flexibility that is integral for the modern performer. Equally at home with a band as it is within a DJ setup.
The combination of rich and meaty sound, robust and reliable construction, and detailed tuning functionality make it an excellent workhorse loudspeaker. A professional-looking and capable loudspeaker that is among the best 12-inch options available today.