Electro-Voice has an excellent reputation when it comes to loudspeakers. The ETX line is their professional series and is very popular. In this review, we take a closer look at the 12-inch version to see how it stacks up in an already crowded market.
The EV ETX 12P is a fantastic loudspeaker with a range of excellent features. Below are the highlights before we dive into the details.
There is a lot to cover when it comes to this top-of-the-line loudspeaker from Electro-Voice. So let’s dive right into why this speaker is among the best 12-inch loudspeakers available today.
With a high price tag, I have high expectations when it comes to sound quality. And in this area, the Electro-Voice ETX 12P doesn’t disappoint. This is one of the best-sounding 12-inch speakers available.
The low-end offers plenty of body and depth. The rumble from the lower bass is present and kicks are clean and defined. No muddiness even at higher volume levels. Of course, if you need to rock a larger crowd you’ll still want to invest in a separate subwoofer. But on its own, it still packs a hefty punch.
The mids are also impressive at all volume levels. Good tonality that features a fairly neutral and satisfying profile. Great for melodic elements but equally clear for vocals.
The highs also exhibit fantastic clarity. Loudspeakers can sound rather harsh in the top end, especially at higher volumes. That is not present with the ETX 12P. Precision without tinniness.
This is an impressive loudspeaker with a great sound profile. Great for music, whether that is a live band or a DJ set. But it is also equally excellent for other PA applications like speeches. Top marks in the sound quality category.
Another outstanding feature of the EV ETX 12P is the high level of build quality.
Loudspeakers are one of the most common pieces of gear to take a pounding. You don’t want to be buying new speakers sooner than you’d like.
The ETX 12P features exceptional build quality.
This is why I often recommend investing in the best speaker you can afford. And while the ETX 12P is high in price the quality and longevity live up to that price.
The cabinet is super solid. Comprised of a 13-ply Birch plywood with EV Coat. Dependable and durable without adding too much excess weight to the unit. It is not prone to easy damage and capable of handling the odd knock.
The steel grille is also fantastic and does an excellent job of protecting the drivers. Speaking of the drivers the component quality is also high when it comes to these.
The backplate features good connection points and knobs. And the screen is bright and clear. You can tell EV has taken care in both design and manufacture.
Dependability is extremely important in a loudspeaker. And the EV ETX 12P is up to the task.
The Electro-Voice ETX 12P also boasts an impressive list of specifications.
The 12-inch SMX2120 woofer works in tandem with the 1.25″ Titanium compression tweeter. This also features EV’s Signal Synchronized Transducer (SST) waveguide. Excellent control over the output for smooth and pleasant sound.
The ETX 12P is a highly powerful and capable loudspeaker.
Powering these two drivers is a high-quality and ultra-efficient Class D amp. A total of 2000W of power ensures the ETX 12P has plenty of grunt to get the most out of the drivers.
Speaking of grunt this loudspeaker tops out at a max SPL of 135dB. Ample headroom is available. And more importantly, there isn’t a drop in performance quality at higher volume levels. More than enough to comfortably handle small to medium-sized gigs.
With a frequency response of 43Hz-20kHz, the ETX 12P has plenty of depth and reach in both directions. It also offers a wide 90 degrees horizontal coverage and 60 degrees vertical coverage.
A powerful and highly capable loudspeaker that earns its top-of-the-line spot.
One of the best developments over recent years is the flexibility that many modern speakers offer in this area. Tuning the speaker to your needs and various gigs is invaluable. And the ETX 12P gives you access to a fantastic suite of tools to do just that.
The LCD screen is easy to navigate and packed with features.
The LCD screen at the back coupled with the control knob opens up a huge amount of flexibility. Navigating the menu is easy and intuitive. And with a clear screen, it is easy to read. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, and dim time via the menu.
Let’s cover some of the key features. First is the easy-to-use preset based on the input type. You can choose from Music which is the default setting or Live for live sound applications and Speech. These presets work well. An easy way to adjust output depending on your needs.
You’ll also have access to a location menu. This allows for Tripod, Monitor, Array, Wall, and Suspend options. Further flexibility to adjust output based on positioning.
Taking it further the ETX 12P also has several subwoofer options for when you use a connected subwoofer. It even includes presets for EV’s line of subwoofers for an even easier setup flow.
A Room EQ option opens up more granular control. The 3-band EQ is perfect for dialing in performance. Very handy for people that know exactly what they want. A Delay menu also allows you to adjust output based on the distance between connected speakers.
It is a comprehensive selection of tuning options. But more importantly, it is all easy to use and user-friendly.
The EV ETX 12P is an attractive loudspeaker. I’ve come across many loudspeakers in my days. And this has to be one of the sleekest and most appealing ones I’ve ever seen.
The hard lines give it a modern and clean presentation. And I especially like the grille design. The front-facing EV logo is also unobtrusive. If you want a professional-looking loudspeaker the EV ETX 12P fits the bill.
The ETX 12P features pole mounting options.
Other notable inclusions are the rubber feet for when the loudspeaker is in the monitor position. A selection of mounting points is also available. Whether you want to put these on a stand or fly them above you’ll be well covered.
Finally, the carry handle is well integrated and super tough. This makes transporting and setting up easy. A classy and feature-rich loudspeaker that will become a centerpiece of your setup.
The EV ETX 12P is a large speaker. With a 12-inch woofer, you can’t expect a svelte profile. It is comparable to other 12-inch loudspeakers out there.
The ETX 12P is a little heavy.
When it comes to the weight department the EV ETX 12P is a little hefty. At 52 lbs. (23.6 kg) it isn’t the most comfortable loudspeaker to move around. But the level of quality and heft behind the components and cabinet is worth the extra weight.
The Electro-Voice ETX 12P keeps things quite simple in the connection area. You’ll have access to a 2-channel mixer with two XLR/TRS combo jacks for inputs. A third XLR out is also available for linking units. And that’s it.
Combo jacks offer good flexibility.
I would have liked to see some more flexibility here. I don’t expect RCA but an AUX-in would have been a handy inclusion. Great for mobile DJs that want to run a warm-up mix before their performance. Also useful for handling requests. Likewise, Bluetooth connectivity would have been great.
But considering the main target market for these, I’m not surprised that things are simple. It’s a refined loudspeaker for professional setups. And for most people, the included connection points will be more than sufficient.
This is one area where the EV ETX 12P does lose some points. This loudspeaker is not cheap. It is certainly not a good option for budget-conscious buyers.
You can easily pick up a pair of 12-inch speakers for the price of one of these. And while those two speakers may not be as refined as the ETX 12P they will still be highly capable for a range of gigs.
Despite this, it is hard to look past the excellent sound quality. And the impressive build quality. This is a premium speaker with a premium price. But it is worth it if you can afford it. One of the most capable and refined 12-inch loudspeakers available today.
The EV ETX 12P has gathered a large number of positive reviews. Most customers mention the excellent sonic performance. Several also highlight how well these perform at louder levels. Plus the easy-to-use interface has won over many people.
Sometimes One Is Enough
One of the challenges artists face is the huge investment they need to make in gear. And there is a perception that when it comes to loudspeakers you are going to need two. But that is not always the case.
For smaller gigs, one high-quality loudspeaker may often be enough. If anything having two speakers may clutter the space and make it feel more cramped.
Small venues like cocktail bars don’t need multiple speakers.
A high-quality loudspeaker like the ETX 12P offers enough power and volume to easily handle smaller gigs. Plus one good loudspeaker will always sound better than two below-average loudspeakers.
When buying gear it is also prudent to invest in high-quality products. They will last longer and perform better.
You can always add to your setup over time. This is a better option than having to replace gear that you’ve already bought.
So before you discount a single more expensive speaker take some time to consider your needs. If you play small gigs I’d suggest spending more on one high-quality speaker than settling for a cheaper pair.
12-inch loudspeakers are a great middle-ground. Smaller 10-inch options can be underwhelming and bulky 15-inch models can be overkill. Below are some other 12-inch loudspeakers worth considering.
Turbosound iQ12 Review
The Turbosound iQ12 is another excellent 12-inch powered loudspeaker. It offers plenty of punch with a satisfying sound profile.
- The audio quality is warm with plenty of life across the full frequency range.
- Excellent onboard Klark Teknik DSP with a range of useful features.
- Nearly half the price of the ETX 12P but still on the expensive side.
QSC K12.2 Review
Another popular high-end 12-inch speaker is the QSC K12.2. It offers similar features as the ETX 12P but at a lower price point.
- Plenty of headroom with a max SPL of 132dB.
- Clean refined design backed up with high audio quality.
- Dispersion is broad and very even. Good for open spaces.
Read our full QSC K12.2 review for more detailed information.
Yamaha DBR12 Review
If the big price tag of the Electro-Voice ETX 12P is too high the Yamaha DBR12 is a good alternative. You can pick up two of these for less than the price of one ETX 12P.
- Excellent clarity and very neutral response.
- High build quality but still very lightweight.
- The flat response may sound a little lifeless to some people.
Should You Buy?
The Lectro-Voice ETX 12P is a premium speaker. It’s loaded with features that make setup a breeze. Plus the amount of flexibility available is superb. Suitable for DJs, bands, and spoken events.
The exceptional build quality is also another huge plus. Couple it with the superb sound quality and you have a winner on your hands. Despite the big price tag the ETX 12P is among the best 12-inch powered loudspeakers available today.