The ETX line from Electro-Voice is one of the best options available at the prosumer level of powered speakers. I’ve already had the chance to check out the 10-inch and 12-inch models, so I was eager to see what the largest choice in the range had to offer. In this review, we take it for a spin.
Electro-Voice ETX 15P
The EV ETX 15P is a powerful full-range loudspeaker with an attractive design and intuitive features. Let’s analyze this loudspeaker in greater detail.
The EV ETX 15P is a premium-grade 15 inch loudspeaker with many useful features. This versatile speaker is a solid choice for DJs, corporate events, or as a part of a complete in-house system.
The ETX line impressed me with its capable and detailed sound profile in the 10 and 12-inch models. I was expecting that same quality but with a richer and more robust low-end. And the ETX 15P did not let me down.
The bass response is noticeably fuller than the smaller models, thanks to the large 15-inch woofer. A substantial amount of kick and warmth will please lovers of bass. You could get away with not bringing along a subwoofer for a smaller gig. When paired with a subwoofer, the package becomes even better and an excellent choice for larger gigs.
The ETX 15P is a powerful loudspeaker with superb sound quality.
The mid-range detail is superb, with a melodic and harmonious output that does justice to a broad selection of genres. Whether rocking the latest EDM banger or Country classic, the ETX 15P delivers. Vocals are equally superb, with a beautiful dose of precision that is remarkably neutral.
Stepping into the top end, you’ll encounter that same level of precision throughout the range. A crisp and detailed output that doesn’t sting the ears with excessive brightness. Cymbals crash with vigor, strings are joyous and sweeping, and vocals that hit the high notes expose the quality and control of this loudspeaker.
The difference in quality you’ll encounter is always remarkable when you step beyond entry-level or Beginner choices. But the ETX line takes it a step further and provides you with professional sound at a respectable prosumer price point.
Another noticeable benefit you’ll experience by moving away from cheaper choices is the substantial increase in quality. The ETX 15P is a refined and robust loudspeaker with careful thought placed into ensuring that this loudspeaker will last you a long time.
The 18mm, 13-ply birch plywood is a good step up from the EKX line and provides a solid and dependable frame. The EV coat isn’t cheap-looking and adds a crisp layer of protection to an already durable loudspeaker.
High-quality materials from throughout the unit.
The ETX 15P also features a steel grille to protect the internal drivers. This 16AWG steel with a powdercoat finish complements the loudspeaker’s appearance while adding additional security.
Swinging around to the back, you’ll find that same level of care. The bright LCD screen is fantastic, and all connection points are secure. The knobs also present well and don’t feel or look cheap. The integrated handle is also secure.
This is a sturdy speaker that can handle the rigors of frequent use. The built-in limiter also does a great job of ensuring you don’t blow your speakers. Thermal management is also present when you are in a hot environment.
The ETX 15P boasts an impressive frequency response of 48Hz–20 kHz (-3dB) and a range of 40Hz-20kHz (-10dB). It also does an admirable job of hugging the baseline throughout the range. Smooth, even, and highly accurate delivery without relying on an overly hyped curve.
Behind the grille is the SMX2150 15-inch woofer and DH3-B 1.25-in titanium compression driver. You’ll also notice the patented Signal Synchronized Transducer (SST) waveguide design. This overlaps slightly with the woofer and helps ensure smooth coverage and transitions across frequencies.
The ETX 15P offers ample headroom.
It’s also worth highlighting that EV develops all its gear in-house, giving them maximum control over the vision and execution of its products.
Powering the drivers is a highly efficient Class D amp with a 2000-watt rating. This yields a total Max SPL of 135dB. This high SPL level should ensure you have enough grunt available to provide even a packed crowd with satisfying volume levels.
Coverage is another highlight, with a generous 90 degrees horizontally and 60 degrees vertically. Output is clean and clear throughout the range without any noticeable drops in quality.
Flexibility is at the heart of a good loudspeaker, and the EV ETX 15P has it in spades. You’ll have an extensive range of options to adjust the output to handle various gig types.
All functionality is via the onboard DSP with an easy-to-navigate interface. The bright LCD screen makes choosing options effortless, and the Master Volume knob that doubles as the navigation knob is precise.
You can adjust output to Music (the default), Live, and Speech. It is an easy and effective way to adapt instantly to different environments. A Positioning menu supports this functionality, and you’ll have access to Tripod, Monitor, Array, Wall, and Suspend. Once again an easy way to tweak the output.
The DSP control is easy to use.
The flexibility doesn’t end there. You can further adjust the Room EQ, Delay, and Subwoofer to select the relevant high-pass filter for when you attach a subwoofer. These include generic settings along with custom settings for EV subwoofers.
Further options round out the package allowing you to control the interface itself. You can adjust Brightness, Contrast, and Dim, add a Menu Lock, and even change from imperial or metric measurements.
This comprehensive selection gives the maximum control over the unit. It gives you the confidence to take on any gig type knowing that your loudspeaker will be up to the task.
The EV ETX 15P doesn’t just provide incredible sound. It also presents exceptionally well. It’s a classy-looking speaker with modern design aesthetics. The hard lines give it a sleek and industrial look, and the grille pattern is fantastic.
It also has functional design features. The pole mount supports both straight and angled configurations. Suspension points are also available, and the unit is compatible with wall brackets.
The waveguide does a great job of delivering even sound.
Rubber strips also feature on one side and protect the cabinet surface when using the loudspeaker in the monitor position.
Function always precedes appearance, but I appreciate that Electro-Voice has paid just as much attention to the exterior as the interior.
Let’s face it 15-inch loudspeakers are huge, and the ETX 15P is no exception. The considerable height and width could prove problematic if you have a small vehicle, so ensure you have adequate space to store and transport this big speaker.
The ETX 15P is a large and heavy loudspeaker.
It’s also rather heavy at 61.1 lbs. (27.7 kg). While you can transport and mount it yourself, you’ll need to be careful not to put a strain on your back. Where possible, I’d suggest having a friend help you out. This makes the ETX 15P not the best option for solo performers that may already have a large amount of other gear they need to lug around.
The EV ETX 15P offers the same connection options as the rest of the line. It’s a little sparse but provides all the essentials for a professional setting.
At the back, you’ll have access to two line-in options. Both offer a combo jack that supports XLR and ¼-inch TRS, and each line provides independent gain control.
Two combo jacks provide should be able to handle most situations.
Beyond that, you’ll only find a solitary XLR Out for daisy chaining. Extra features like RCA, AUX-In, and Bluetooth are not present. It’s not a dealbreaker, but some other speakers offer these additional features.
Bluetooth, in particular, has proven to be an excellent addition to some loudspeakers. Not for streaming music (though that can be handy) but rather for remote DSP control. This can make setup easier in specific scenarios where you would otherwise have to go back and forth between the speaker and parts of the room.
So while the ETX 15P does cover the basics, these extra features would be a nice touch for a future iteration of this series.
The value proposition of the ETX is an intriguing one. On the one hand, it is a professional loudspeaker with rock-solid build quality, superb sound, and flexible controls.
Its prosumer price point provides exceptional value when compared to some other systems. But it is still a high price point that might prove too much for beginners and budget-conscious buyers. The value is there, but the high MSRP is daunting.
It is a fantastic buy if you can pick this loudspeaker up well below the retail price. Professionals that require a flexible unit should not look past this loudspeaker. It’s a sound investment that will pay for itself in time.
The EV ETX 15P is a popular loudspeaker with consistently positive reviews. The exceptional sound quality is the most frequently mentioned feature, but the wide dispersion is also a winner. Critics also praise the ETX 15P and consider it a spectacular choice for live sound applications.
Even the best loudspeakers out there can sound like garbage if placed incorrectly. The inherent limitation of speaker design means you need to ensure your gig space is filled with sound. The EV ETX 15P provides notable options to help you achieve this.
The first is the flexible pole mount connection point. It can be flat if placed at floor level but also allows for a tilt downwards if you happen to be on a stage. This ensures that the sound doesn’t travel over the top of your crowd’s head.
Correct placement is critical for maximum coverage.
Secondly, the coverage spread of 90 degrees horizontally is more extensive than other options. This means you’ll need fewer speakers to fill the dancefloor with sound. The last thing you want is a dead zone with a noticeable drop in audio quality.
For small gigs, you can often get away with one speaker. But a pair (or more) of speakers will always be a better choice for maximum coverage.
When setting up for a gig, take some time to walk around the venue and see if there are any potential trouble spots. Sometimes a slight change in placement can make a huge difference.
Large 15-inch monitors usually ensure you have plenty of coverage for your gigs. But not all 15-inch speakers are the same. Below are some alternatives to the ETX 15P.
Mackie SRM215 Review
This refreshed version of Mackie’s famous loudspeakers is an appealing option, offering a lower price point while still delivering good performance.
- Plenty of power with a max SPL of 136 dB. The sound quality is also impressive.
- Flexible tuning options that are exceptionally granular. SRM Connect app also makes it easy.
- While it is noticeably cheaper than the ETX 15P, it is still pricier than some may want to spend.
PreSonus AIR15 Review
If you are looking for a lower-priced option, the AIR15 from PreSonus is a safe bet. It’s a workhorse speaker that can handle small gigs with ease.
- Balanced sound profile that features crisp highs, warm mids, and decent punch in the low end.
- Attractive appearance and a rugged cabinet. Good value while maintaining professionalism.
- With only 1300 watts up its sleeve, it tops out at 124 dB. Not great for larger venues.
EV ZLX 15BT Review
The ZLX range from Electro-Voice offers a cheap and accessible entry point into the loudspeaker space. With a range of consumer-friendly features, it presents a versatile choice for performers.
- Excellent clarity level at both low and high volume levels.
- The Aux-In adds flexibility, and Bluetooth functionality is also present.
- The low end is not as punchy and full as the ETX 15P.
Should You Buy?
The 15P is the top dog of the ETX lineup. Some of the shortcomings of the smaller loudspeakers are not present in this bigger model.
The sound quality is superb, with excellent balance and presence throughout the range. The tough cabinet and flexible tuning controls ensure that this loudspeaker can easily slot into any potential setup. While a little heavy and a little expensive, it’s a quality unit that will serve you very well.
EV ETX 15P