I’ve already had the opportunity to review several products from the ELX200 series, and each time, I’ve walked away impressed with how much value this series offers. In this review, I take a closer look at the smallest subwoofer in the lineup, the ELX200-12SP.
The EV ELX200-12SP takes all the intuitive control and high build quality of its larger sibling, the 18-inch ELX200-18SP, and condenses it down into a portable 12-inch package, and the results are impressive.
The Electro-Voice ELX200-12SP is a compact and convenient 12-inch subwoofer with many additional features that make it a versatile and easy-to-use unit. But while it is impressive, its size does restrict its potential application. Let’s dive into the details of this impressive PA subwoofer.
One of the hallmarks of the ELX200 series from Electro-Voice is the wonderfully precise and punchy bass response across the entire line. At first, I was a little concerned that a modest 12-inch subwoofer might be a little underwhelming, but in the right situation, it is flawless.
The tonality is clear and rich, with just enough warmth to not make it sound stale and uninteresting. This subwoofer thrives when presented with electronic music genres making it a fantastic choice for DJs.
Robust and rich in detail, there is little to fault, but as mentioned, perspective is needed when assessing the best use application for this subwoofer. One or two of these is an excellent addition for small to medium-sized spaces to bring out depth and fullness to lower frequencies.
The ELX200 series features a comprehensive range of loudspeakers and subwoofers.
Pair this subwoofer with a pair of high-quality 8 or 10-inch tops, and you have a portable and effective setup that can get a smaller party rocking. But if you start creeping into larger spaces, the ELX200-12SP doesn’t have the depth and reach to provide the rumble you’ll desire.
Switching perspective away from DJing, this subwoofer is adequate for live sound applications, but its clinical approach doesn’t reflect as well for bands as it does with prerecorded electronic music. It’s by no means bad, and I would still take it over much of the competition, but there is a distinct improvement with recorded music.
I’ve had the chance to check out a lot of 12-inch subwoofers, and this little monster from Electro-Voice is among my favorites. Rich, deep, and robust sound that packs an impressive punch for a 12-inch subwoofer.
Continuing the theme of hallmarks, the ELX200-12SP maintains the close attention to detail that is present throughout the range.
This tough cabinet can withstand the rigors of frequent transportation and gigging. The thick 15mm plywood cabinet features a durable EVCoat that will not scuff easily. The steel grille is also ultra-tough and will protect the woofer with ease.
Premium quality without a huge price tag.
This level of quality extends to every other component of this subwoofer. The handles are solid and comfortable to use. The rear panel offers excellent connection points and a bright and clear LCD screen for the QuickSmartDSP.
I’ve been in the scene for a long time, and Electro-Voice remains one of the space’s most reliable and consistent manufacturers. If you appreciate longevity from your gear, the ELX200-12SP is a perfect candidate.
The Electro-Voice ELX200-12Sp features a powerful and efficient Class D amplifier with a 1200W power rating. The result of this is an impressive max SPL of 129dB.
This is more than I expected from a 12-inch subwoofer, and I had concerns this unit might struggle as it approached its maximum capacity, but there wasn’t a hint of struggle or distortion.
The ELX200-12SP is loud for a compact PA subwoofer.
The full frequency range is 41Hz-165Hz at -10dB with a response of 49Hz-135Hz at -3dB. This highlights this subwoofer’s reach and depth and isn’t too far removed from its larger 18-inch sibling.
The ELX200-12Sp also features flexible crossover options with a choice between 80Hz, 100Hz, 120Hz, and 150Hz. This ensures you have complete control over which low pass filter will be appropriate for your tops.
In partnership with EV loudspeakers, the ELX200-12SP provides a comprehensive suite of controls to optimize sound performance.
The QuickSmartDSP features a range of easy-to-use presets that make setup a breeze. But there is a wealth of options available within the easy-to-navigate menu that is responsive and clear.
The low pass filters are easy to access, and EV also includes several dedicated presets for its lineup of subwoofers. This combination of controls provides both flexibility and ease of use.
Complementing the QuickSmartDSP is access to remote control via Bluetooth. This opens up the ability to control up to six EV loudspeakers and provides you with critical information regarding system performance.
But where this feature shines is the ability to wander around the venue and assess sound quality. This is invaluable for cutting down on setup time. No more running back and forth to establish the right atmosphere for your gig.
I love a good-looking bit of kit, and the Electro-Voice ELX200-12SP is as attractive as a subwoofer can be. Fundamentally most subwoofers are black boxes without much room for flourish, but EV has managed to inject some character into the ELX200-12SP.
The angular front grille gives some dimensionality to the unit, and the grille pattern is modern with an industrial edge. The EVCoat finish ensures the unit looks professional. It’s also worth noting that the whole series is available in white, a classy choice for wedding DJs.
The ELX200 series is also available in white.
Looking past aesthetics, the ELX200-12SP features a versatile design with a built-in M20 Pole Mount Plate. Quick and simple integration with any top you have on hand.
Electro-Voice also designs and engineers its drivers setting them apart from some other manufacturers that opt for off-the-shelf components. If you want a modern and professional setup, the ELX200 series is worth adding to your shortlist of options.
One of the appealing elements of the ELX200-12SP is the compact form factor over larger subwoofers. If you do not need epic bass, there is no need to break your back with larger and heavier subwoofers.
The ELX200-12SP is easy to transport.
The dimensions are highly manageable and not awkward to move about. The integrated handles also make this task easier. At 42.2 lbs. (19.1 kg), it’s not the lightest subwoofer but not overly heavy to the point of encumbrance. Excellent balance between reliable heft and portability.
Everything is as you would expect from a modern PA subwoofer in the connection department, with one notable tweak.
The basic layout features two input options with XLR/TRS combo jacks. The security of XLR clips is what I tend to lean toward, but it is always handy to have TRS as an option.
High-quality connection points.
Supporting these inputs is a pair of XLR outputs. Between these connections, you’ll have no issue daisy-chaining speakers and subwoofers accordingly.
The main difference from some other subwoofers is the inclusion of Bluetooth control. I’ve already mentioned this in the tuning options section. Still, it’s worth highlighting again how convenient and flexible this is.
The ELX200 series strikes an excellent balance between features and affordability. While it isn’t the cheapest series of loudspeakers and subwoofers on the market, it is arguably one of the best value options available.
The ELX200-12SP is an affordably priced option and, when combined with a pair of high-quality 8 or 10-inch tops, makes for a well-rounded setup that can tackle small to medium-sized gigs. If you want dependable build and sound quality, the ELX200 series is among the best.
I’m not the only one who rates the ELX200-12SP as among the very best 12-inch PA subwoofers on the market. A quick search reveals that this unit consistently receives top marks from people across the globe. And after having a chance to test it myself, I am not surprised.
Bass and Sub-Bass
If you are looking to add a PA subwoofer to your setup, it’s likely you want a richer and deeper bass response. But understanding the difference between Sub-Bass and Bass can help steer you in the right direction regarding which PA subwoofer is right for you.
Sub-Bass refers to frequencies that lie in the range of 20Hz-60Hz. This type of bass features the all too common “felt, not heard” frequencies that give you the feeling of power in a song. If a PA subwoofer reaches the 40Hz range, you’ll experience that power and rumble.
A high-quality subwoofer will add depth, warmth, and rumble to lower frequencies.
Bass, on the other hand, refers to frequencies between 60Hz-250Hz. This is where the majority of kick drums and warmer bass reside. It can be a challenging area to mix and master, but when done correctly, the results can be spectacular. For this reason, you want a high-quality PA subwoofer that can deliver these frequencies with precision and finesse.
The EV ELX200-12SP extends down to 49Hz, enough to provide supreme definition with excellent warmth and just the right amount of sub-bass to satisfy smaller spaces. But if you want to reach even further into sub-bass regions, you might want to explore a larger and more powerful PA subwoofer.
The Electro-Voice ELX200-12Sp is a no-brainer if you are looking for a 12-inch PA subwoofer, but if you are looking for something a little larger, the subwoofers below are worth considering.
Electro-Voice EKX-15SP Review
Sticking within the Electro-Voice ecosystem is the impressive 15-inch EKX-15SP. This powerful PA subwoofer features louder performance that will suit larger spaces.
- Excellent bass response. Ample punch and rumble will satisfy bass lovers.
- Exceptionally build quality and reliability.
- There is a faint rattle on the front grille at higher volume levels.
Mackie DRM18S Review
If you want to go even louder and larger, the DRM series from Mackie is worth exploring. The 18-inch DRM18S is among the punchiest PA subwoofers available today.
- Lively and energetic bass with excellent depth.
- Comprehensive and easy-to-use controls.
- This is a heavy PA subwoofer at 90 lbs. (40.8 kg).
PreSonus AIR15s Review
The final option I want to highlight is the excellent PreSonus AIR15s. This 15-inch loudspeaker offers superb tonality that performs well with prerecorded music and live sound applications.
- Rich detail and warmth that handles different genres with ease.
- Dependable build quality and includes a castor kit.
- At a Max SPL of 126dB, it might not be loud enough for some people.
Should You Buy?
I have no hesitation in recommending the EV ELX200-12SP for smaller gigs. This 12-inch PA subwoofer offers excellent performance and enough punch to make it a noticeable upgrade over running a pair of smaller tops.
The high build quality and attractive appearance cement it as a professional choice. It might not be the cheapest option, but don’t let the slightly higher price fool you. Not much can compete at this price point, and it even outperforms some more expensive 12-inch PA subwoofers. Another excellent product from a company that is among the leaders in the industry.