The ELX200 series has rapidly become a favorite among DJs looking for a full-range system that packs a punch. And while the tops offer excellent performance, adding a subwoofer takes it to a new level. In this review, we check out the largest option in the ELX200 range of subwoofers—the 18SP.
The EV ELX200-18SP is a perfect addition for any DJ that wants some serious grunt and rumble for their performances: bold and satisfying bass response, robust build quality, and good ergonomics.
The EV ELX200-18SP has everything you need to bring serious power to your gigs. Plus, with the addition of DSP control, it’s a versatile subwoofer that adapts well to different gig types.
I’ll get straight to the point and let you know that the ELX200-18SP from Electro-Voice features phenomenal sound quality guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I’ve used a range of subwoofers in my days, and these are among the best I’ve come across.
The large 18-inch woofer delivers clean and punchy bass with ample rumble. I ran several bass-heavy tunes through the unit to see how it would stack up. In each instance, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of depth and tonality on offer.
While some subwoofers blast you with an uninteresting one-note wall of sound, the ELX200-18SP retained the accuracy and integrity of the initial recordings. Subtle nuances between different songs were elegantly articulated without a hint of muddiness.
Rich and dynamic bass performance.
Combining these with high-quality tops makes for a well-rounded package perfect for mobile DJs or any situation where you are playing pre-recorded music.
I was impressed but also wanted to get a feel for how these would perform in a live sound environment. I’m not a musician, but after years of working in the industry, I have no shortage of contacts to leverage, so I messaged a friend and arranged a test session with his band.
Initially, impressions were not as positive as they were with pre-recorded music. It was apparent that you need some expertise to get the best performance out of these for live sound applications. But after some tweaking, the same high level of quality bass output was on full display, and this subwoofer got the thumbs up from my friend and his bandmates.
If you appreciate high-quality bass, the EV ELX200-18SP is an excellent choice.
Electro-Voice has consistently impressed me with its products from a sound perspective and a build quality point of view. The ELX200-18SP maintains this consistency with super rugged construction.
The 15mm plywood cabinet with EV coat is ultra-durable and up to the rigors of frequent use and transportation. As always, I suggest you pick up some bags for regular transport. Still, on its own, it’s a reliably tough cabinet that inspires confidence.
Tough and dependable build quality.
The 18 AWG steel with a powdercoat finish is also fantastic. It looks great and protects the woofer. Even more impressive is that all this comes within a relatively modest weight range.
The connection points at the back of the unit are great, and the LCD screen and knob are equally impressive. The pole mount point and handle also feature perfect execution. Top marks in this category.
The EV ELX200-18SP features an efficient Class-D power amplifier with up to 1200 Watts of power. This delivers a Max SPL of 132 dB, which is more than enough to provide satisfying and loud output for parties.
The frequency response is 47Hz-105Hz (-3dB). As mentioned in the sound quality section, the response is tight and precise without distortion or muddiness. This is a capable subwoofer with an excellent combination of power and finesse.
Powerful subwoofer with in-house designed components.
It’s also worth highlighting that Electro-Voice develops all of its transducers in-house. Having control over the design and engineering process gives them a unique insight and ability to achieve the results they want as opposed to buying off-the-shelf components.
You’ll also have access to a range of low-frequency crossover points with 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 120 Hz, and 150 Hz. This ensures that this subwoofer can comfortably integrate with a range of loudspeakers.
As part of a complete range system with other EV loudspeakers, the ELX200-18SP transforms into a versatile and perfectly tuned package.
You’ll have access to a range of presets, with the Club mode a particular favorite when combined with the subwoofer. It lives up to its name with excellent execution to deliver a nightclub-like edge.
The included crossovers handle various speakers well, but the system also features presets specifically designed for the extensive range of subwoofers in the Electro-Voice lineup, including the 18SP.
Easy to use DSP controls.
The DSP is simple and easy to use, with the Master Volume button doubling as a navigation knob. The screen is a little small but more than enough to see what you are doing.
You can take this to the next level by using an App on your mobile device to remotely make changes to the DSP. I can’t stress how much of a fantastic feature this is. The sound dynamics on a stage are substantially different than on the dancefloor. Having access to be able to move about the venue and make relevant adjustments without having to go back and forth is awesome.
As much as I hate to admit it, appearances do matter. When you show up to a gig, the appearance and condition of your gear will impact how the promoter, client, or guests will perceive you.
Modern and professional styling.
The EV ELX200-18SP offers a professional design that is ideally suited to a range of gig types. The clean cabinet and industrial-looking grille offer a contemporary appearance that blends well into any setup. The subwoofer is also available in white, which is fantastic for wedding DJs who want to add elegance to their setup.
As for technical design, the ELX200-18SP features an M20 threaded pole mount plate for integration with tops. Combine this subwoofer with an EV top, and you have a smart and cohesive setup that looks and sounds the part. The dual handle design also makes it easy to move this subwoofer about.
The EV ELX200-18SP is a big subwoofer, as you would expect from a subwoofer with a sizeable 18-inch woofer. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes up a fair bit of space, so if you have a small vehicle, you might have some trouble squeezing this in along with the rest of your gear.
Relatively low weight considering the ELX200-18SP is a large 18-inch subwoofer.
But one of the more impressive elements of the ELX200-18SP is its relatively modest weight. For an 18-inch subwoofer with a plywood cabinet, it comes in at a relatively modest 64 lbs. (29 kg). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t featherweight by any stretch, but also not overly cumbersome, and you can move this about yourself—something that I can’t say about some other subwoofers on the market.
The EV ELX200-18SP keeps things simple in the connection department with two available inputs. Each input features a combo XLR/TRS jack, and each output is a male XLR connection.
Secure connection points that supported balanced signals.
This is enough to combine this with appropriate tops while also allowing you to link this up with a mixing board. The connection points are secure with XLR clips to keep everything connected.
The EV ELX200-18SP hits an excellent sweet spot between more expensive subwoofers and budget choices. It’s appropriately priced and offers superb value for money. Compared to more expensive options, I’d prefer the ELX200-18SP over much of the competition.
The superb sound performance, robust cabinet, and modern styling make it one of the most enticing 18-inch subwoofers on the market. An excellent investment if you want to add powerful bass to your gigs.
Electro-Voice has an excellent reputation, and I’ve yet to come across one of its products that don’t consistently receive positive reviews. The ELX200-18SP is no exception, with dozens of 4- and 5-star reviews highlighting the punchy, satisfying sound and impeccable build quality.
The Power of DSP
DSP, or Digital Signal Processing, is an integral part of your life whether you realize it or not. It is a critical component in a broad range of audio devices, from Apple Air Pods to Google Home and beyond.
DSP helps in the process of manipulating and analyzing audio signals using digital techniques. This results in a cleaner sound, noise reduction, and the ability to enable advanced effects.
This conversion of real-time audio signals opens up a world of possibilities for engineers to give the end user a wide range of choices in how the audio device operates. Plus, it gives the engineers the tools to sculpt the output to deliver maximum quality and performance.
I’ve witnessed the evolution of this technology over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the results with each new generation. The results have always been impressive, and I’m excited to see how much further the technology can go.
If you are in the market for an 18-inch subwoofer, there are some other options out there competing for your hard-earned money. Below is a quick snapshot of some other quality 18-inch subwoofers worth considering.
JBL EON718S Review
The JBL EON718S is the latest iteration of the popular EON series. This new generation now offers an LCD screen for settings and improved heat dissipation.
- Excellent clarity and detail that is more neutral than what most other subwoofers offer.
- A fantastic cabinet that is durable and reliable.
- The flatter response is not as warm and engaging as the ELX200-18SP.
Mackie DRM18S Review
The Mackie DRM18S is also worth considering if you want extra functionality. It’s a premium quality subwoofer that packs a mighty punch.
- Super powerful output with a max SPL of 135dB.
- Extensive onboard controls and intelligent signal processing.
- Much larger than the ELX200-18SP, which makes it a little too bulky.
PreSonus AIR18s Review
The PreSonus AIR18s is ideal for smaller gigs where you don’t need as much power. It features attractive styling, reasonable weight, and a compact form factor.
- A refined bass output that is tight and focused.
- The extended 6-year warranty adds peace of mind.
- Not as loud as the ELX200-18SP.
Should You Buy?
The EV ELX200-18SP is a superb subwoofer that I have no hesitation in recommending for DJs. Its fantastic delivery of bass tonality for pre-recorded music is second to none. While it does require some tweaking for live performances, it’s still a viable choice as long as you know what you are doing.
The high build quality and modern styling are also highlights, as is the reasonable weight, something that my aging back is very grateful for. If you want clean and satisfying bass, the ELX200-18SP is an excellent choice.