Whether part of a complete range system or as a solo speaker for intimate gigs, a quality 15-inch loudspeaker can be a versatile addition to your live gear setup. This review looks at the ELX200-15P, a powerful choice from Electro-Voice that has all the hallmarks to fill this role.
The EV ELX200-15P is a step above entry-level options and offers a comprehensive range of features while retaining an attractive price point. Check out the highlights before we break down how it performs across several key categories.
When shopping for the best speakers for DJing, some features are a must-have. The ELX200-15P from Electro-Voice ticks nearly all of the right boxes. Let’s dive into the details.
One of the first things to assess with any loudspeaker is the quality of the output. 15-inch loudspeakers have a reputation for loud and meaty output, but there is always the risk of them featuring an unrefined and boomy sound profile. That is not the case with the ELX200-15P.
The bass response from the ELX200-15P is a standout feature. It is large and in charge with a satisfying amount of kick, warmth, and rumble. If your budget only allows for one speaker and you desire forceful bass, the ELX200-15P is a good choice.
Fantastic bass requires balance with generous mids. This ensures a smooth transition from the low end and prevents the bass from overly dominating the soundscape. The ELX200-15P does offer a detailed and well-sculpted midrange that highlights vocals and instruments with care and finesse.
The top end is a little bright for my ears but still blends well with the rest of the sound profile. If you play a lot of music emphasizing the top end, you should dial it back a bit to attain a cleaner and less sharp response.
Speaking of response, the ELX200-15P features a frequency response of 55Hz-16kHz with a range of 48Hz-19kHz (-10dB). A good spread that comfortably handles both the lows and highs.
I’m very impressed with the ELX200-15P from Electro-Voice, especially at its price point. A capable and powerful loudspeaker that offers a rich and detailed sound profile.
The vast majority of the ELX200-15P features excellent attention to detail and build quality. The front 18 AWG steel grille is super tough and won’t ding easily. I also like the grille pattern, which gives it an industrial feel.
The rear showcases a range of connections; both the connection points and the panel are secure and uncompromising. The built-in LCD screen for DSP controls is also bright and clear. The knobs and switches are equally fantastic.
The three integrated handles are durable and functional.
The molded plastic cabinet is robust and tough but is a little prone to scuffing. If you are pretty rough with your gear, I can see the cabinet looking worse for wear sooner rather than later. I suggest taking extra care during transport and setup. Picking up some bags for transport is also a good idea.
You’ll also have access to three handles. One at the speaker’s top, one on the side, and one on the bottom. All handles are tough and ideally situated for easy transport.
Despite the average plastic cabinet, the ELX200-15P is a dependable loudspeaker and, at this price point, a lot better than several competing options.
The technical details of the Electro-Voice ELX200-15P also highlight the raw power and grunt that this large loudspeaker offers.
This powered loudspeaker features a Class D amp with 1,200 watts of power. Class D amps are a popular choice due to how small and lightweight they are. They also don’t exude as much heat as other amplifiers, making them an excellent choice for power-hungry loudspeakers.
The ELX200-15P features powerful output levels.
This power results in a Max SPL of 132dB. It’s a loud output level that will be more than enough for small and medium-sized gigs, allowing you ample headroom. A pair of these and some added subwoofers makes for a complete package that can deliver some serious sound. Performance is dependable even as you start creeping up to its maximum level.
Electro-Voice also develops its technology in-house, and the ELX200-15P sports a 15-inch EVS-15M woofer along with a DH-1L 1-inch titanium compression driver. Supporting this is a patented Signal Synchronized Transducers (SST) waveguide that keeps everything smooth. The coverage on offer is 90 degrees horizontally and 60 degrees vertically.
Irrespective of how good a loudspeaker sounds out of the box, you’ll inevitably want some tuning flexibility to adjust the output. Whether this is to suit your preferences or to adapt to different gigs, a versatile loudspeaker is a must. It’s often sorely lacking in cheaper loudspeakers, but EV has not cut corners with the ELX200-15P.
The comprehensive QuickSmart DSP opens up a substantial amount of flexibility. The most useful is the range of presets for gig type. You’ll have access to Music, Club, Speech, and Live, and each option makes a noticeable difference to output and is well-calibrated.
A Location menu is also available. Tripod, Monitor, Wall, and Suspend are the options here, and once again, make a noticeable change to the output to accommodate various installation positions.
The QuickSmart DSP is also accessible via Bluetooth connection and a dedicated app.
Individual EQ controls for Treble, Mids, and Lows allow you to refine the output further. I mentioned earlier the slightly bright top end, but after a slight tweak in this menu, I had the speaker performing the way I wanted it to.
The QuickSmart DSP also features limit monitoring, subwoofer configurations, and some aesthetic options for the LCD screen where you can adjust brightness and contrast.
An App is also available for remote control over up to six ELX200 speakers. I love this feature since it allows you to wander around a venue and tailor the output. Much easier than having to keep going back and forth from the dancefloor to the speakers.
The ELX200-15P gives you access to all the tools you’ll need to modify the sound profile and have confidence that you can tackle any gig. And with an easy-to-understand and use interface, it’s a beginner-friendly option while maintaining depth for more advanced users.
The Electro-Voice ELX200-15P is also an attractive loudspeaker that oozes a professional appearance. I’ll be the first to admit that making a black box look good can be challenging, but EV has delivered. The sharp lines and slick grille pattern ensure that the unit features a modern edge. The option to buy the unit in white is also a noticeable point of difference from other options on the market.
The ELX200-15P features a pole mount point and is also available in white.
The ELX200-15P also features a range of functional design inclusions. The integrated handles add to portability and make setup a breeze. I also like how they have gone the extra mile by including a third handle when most other manufacturers stick to just one or two. Thanks to the angular design, the unit is also a capable choice as a stage monitor.
Further installation flexibility is available thanks to the three threaded M10 bolt holes. This opens up the unit for suspension as part of a complete front-of-house setup. A pole mount point is also present for integration with a subwoofer or tripod, but it does lack the capacity for a tilted configuration.
Opting for a 15-inch loudspeaker does come with some drawbacks. The sheer size of these units does make them a little cumbersome just from the sheer size of the units. The ELX200-15P is similar in size to comparable speakers.
The ELX200-15P is lightweight compared to some other 15-inch speakers.
Setting it apart, however, is access to three handles to make transport and installation easier. Another notable difference is how lightweight these are compared to some other 15-inch options. At 41.7 lbs. (18.9 kg), these are more agile than they appear at first glance. A good choice if you are starting to feel the aches and pains from years of lugging around heavy loudspeakers.
The Electro-Voice ELX200-15P loudspeaker is a two-channel unit with a few extra bells and whistles thrown into the mix.
Around the back, you’ll have access to combo jacks for both lines. XLR and ¼-inch TRS is usually enough to handle the vast majority of instruments, microphones, or DJ gear.
Two channels, including an additional AUX RCA option on Input 1.
But to ensure maximum flexibility, EV also includes an RCA AUX In. I will always aim to work with balanced connections, but having access to the unbalanced RCA connection is a nice extra, and something not all loudspeakers offer.
It is worth highlighting that despite the Bluetooth functionality, you’ll be unable to stream music to the speaker. While not a dealbreaker, it is worth highlighting just in case you had ambitions to do just that.
The value offered with the ELX series is superb. These are capable loudspeakers with an extensive list of features while maintaining a very approachable price.
The ELX200-15P is an excellent step up from lackluster beginner gear while preventing the wallet chock you’d experience with buying tour-grade loudspeakers. If you need an affordable and powerful 15-inch unit, the ELX200-15P is an excellent investment.
Perusing customer reviews confirms what I have discovered for myself, that the ELX200-15P is a superb loudspeaker. They are well-loved, with an endless stream of positive reviews. There is also a variety of different use cases presented as well. A testament to how versatile these powerhouse speakers are.
Managing your output levels at a gig is crucial. It doesn’t matter how good a loudspeaker is, if you push it beyond its capacity, you’ll run into issues like distortion and clipping.
Professional loudspeakers like the ELX200-15P offer protection to ensure you don’t damage your speaker. In the case of the ELX200 series, you’ll have access to onboard information on the LCD screen.
Limiters help protect your speaker and deliver smoother sound.
The unit will display CLIP if you are feeding too much into the unit from your mixer. The bright and easy-to-see display will make it easy to notice when this is happening and allow you to adjust accordingly. If the speaker displays LIMIT, the limiter is engaged and will aim to manage output and reduce distortion. But a larger LIMIT display will cause issues, and you’ll have to turn the speaker down.
Keeping an eye on this will ensure the best sound quality from your unit and is a handy feature, especially for beginners. The addition of remote control via the QuickSmart DSP App makes the process even easier.
This additional protection is another reason why it is wise to invest in quality loudspeakers like the ELX200 series.
The ELX200-15P is an easy recommendation, but some interesting alternatives are also worth highlighting. Depending on your needs, one of the below might be a better choice.
EV ELX200-12P Review
If the sheer size of the ELX200-15P model is too much for your liking, the more agile 12-inch model is more appropriate.
- Excellent sound quality and punchy bass output.
- All the excellent tuning flexibility and functions as its bigger sibling.
- Much like the ELX200-15P, the cabinet is prone to scuffing.
PreSonus AIR12 Review
The ELX200-12P is loud and punchy, but loud doesn’t always mean the best. The AIR12 from PreSonus offers outstanding clarity and precision while maintaining a low price point.
- The bi-amped design results in high levels of clarity and smoothness.
- Top-notch build quality supported by a lengthy 6-year warranty.
- At 123dB Max SPL, this speaker is noticeably quieter than the ELX200-15P.
EV ETX 15P Review
If you desire top-shelf quality, then the ETX line from Electro-Voice is worth considering. This premium loudspeaker is near-perfect in sound and execution.
- Fantastic sound that is rich, detailed, and full of punch.
- Sleek and modern design, along with rock-solid build quality.
- The 18mm, 13-ply birch plywood does make the unit rather heavy.
EV ETX 15P
Should You Buy?
I have no hesitation in recommending the EV ELX200-15P. The whole series is exceptional and provides a substantial jump in quality from entry-level loudspeakers.
Each step in the EV loudspeaker lineup makes sense, but the ELX200 series, in particular, hits an ideal sweet spot between performance and price. Fantastic sound, loud output, flexible installation choices, and detailed tuning. One of the best 15-inch options at its price point.