Electro-Voice is well known in the speaker space. Their range of PA speakers is often among the most highly rated options available. In this review, we check out the Evolve 50. A premium column-array portable PA system that delivers on several fronts.
EV Evolve 50
The EV Evolve 50 boasts a range of excellent features that set it apart from others, making it one of the best column line array PA systems currently available.
There is a lot to love about the Evolve 50. From how it sounds to its smart and professional design. Let’s dive into the details of this column-array PA system.
Among the most impressive features of the EV Evolve 50 is its excellent sound quality.
The full range is superb. High frequencies are clear and precise. No tinniness or grating tones. The mid frequencies are equally impressive with plenty of depth and warmth. The low frequencies also deliver plenty of punch without any boominess or muddy tonality. This compact system delivers.
The angled array delivers excellent coverage.
The quality of the sound is present across a wide dispersion range. 120° of horizontal coverage and 40° of asymmetrical vertical coverage. More than capable of handling a small to medium-sized venue with ease. A pair of these takes it to the next level with powerful sound across a stereo space.
Whether you want to add it to your DJ setup or for a small band the Evolve 50 is an excellent sounding system.
The Evolve 50 is solid and dependable. The tough 15mm plywood enclosure adds just enough heft and security. The grille covering the 12” sub is also great. Thick enough to avoid unsightly dings.
The Evolve 50 is built tough. Perfect for frequent use.
The aluminum pole is also rugged. Often with column-array systems, there is always the fear of a roving punter falling onto the system and breaking the pole. While that is still possible the Evolve is solid enough that it may just survive such an encounter.
Component quality is also high adding to the appeal. What is even more impressive is that the unit maintains a modest weight of just 57.75 lbs. (26.6 kg). Light and easy to assemble while maintaining excellent durability. No complaints here.
The Electro-Voice Evolve 50 packs in 1000W of power. Split evenly between the 12-inch low-frequency driver and the 8 x 3.5-inch high/mid-frequency neodymium drivers. The class D amp is perfectly tuned.
The EV Evolve 50 offers plenty of power with loud output.
The low end is rich and full and can go as low as 37Hz. Plenty of sub-bass here to satisfy. From a DJs perspective, this was one of the most appealing elements of the Evolve 50. The top-end reaches to 20kHz which is plenty to provide a crisp high-end response.
Another impressive spec is the 127dB Max SPL. Very loud while maintaining excellent sonic integrity. No distortion or muddiness even at higher volumes. A powerhouse in small venues and very capable in medium-sized spaces.
The lightweight nature of this system is also very appealing for DJs and solo performers. Easy to transport and set up.
No portable PA system should be without some solid tuning options. No matter what system you buy you’ll inevitably need to make some adjustments. This could be due to personal sound preference or to handle certain types of gigs.
The Evolve 50 gives you plenty of flexibility to adjust the output. The built-in factory presets are capable and refined. Your options are Music, Live, Speech, and Club. Each is self-explanatory and does what you would expect. But, a flat setting would have been a nice inclusion. Beyond these presets you can also program your own with 5 slots available.
The easy-to-use onboard DSP allows you to fine-tune the output.
Access to the DSP is intuitive and easy to use. The one-knob system allows for easy navigating of settings. 3-Band EQ along with a range of extra options give you maximum control. 15V of phantom power is available which is great for most microphones. A bit more here would have been ideal to cover the full range of potential microphone options out there. But, I’m still happy to see it here as many other systems disregard this all together.
The quality also extends to the Bluetooth app. This is often my go-to option for tuning systems in a live setting. I’ve always hated having to make adjustments and then trot out in front of the speaker to see if I’ve dialed it to my liking. With the app, you can adjust the settings from a distance. You’ll also be able to control up to 6 connected units.
With a selection of useful presets and powerful controls the Evolve 50 ticks all the right boxes.
The EV Evolve 50 looks the business. Smart and professional with distinct contours and styling. The angled high/mid-frequency driver pole is a departure from other column array systems. But this adds to the coverage range and also provides an appealing point of difference. No bland pole on a stick appearance that other column-array systems offer.
The white version is UV tested for color stability.
The smooth aesthetic blends perfectly. If you like your sound system to be discreet the Evolve 50 is a good choice. But not everyone wants to blend in, some want to make a statement! This is where the white version might be a better option. Depending on the environment it’s hard to not see this bright alternative to the classic black. But, it may also be a better option for blending into certain venues.
No matter which color you prefer the Evolve 50 oozes style and professionalism.
The Evolve 50 is similar in size to other column-array systems. Setup is easy. Everything clicks into place with ease and disassembles just as quickly. The top column is compact and fits within the included carry bag.
The Evolve 50 dismantles for easy transport to and from gigs.
The refined subwoofer is not overblown and sports a compact footprint. A great achievement considering how much power and depth it still manages to put out. Lightweight and highly portable the Evolve 50 is a joy to take to and from gigs.
Connectivity is a critical factor in selecting a PA system. The Evolve 50 takes a refined approach that is great for DJs and small performing groups. Two combo jacks that support XLR-1/4″ offer access to channels 1 and 2. Both accept mic or line and offer independent gain controls. An RCA AUX option is also available. XLR mix out and thru options round out the options.
The EV Evolve 50 is ideal for DJs and solo/duo performers.
It’s also worth highlighting that Bluetooth audio streaming is available. A great option for backing tracks, requests, or for streaming music between performances.
As a solo unit, the Evolve 50 is not for everyone. Larger bands will need more units or a PA system with more inputs. But for a couple of performers or a DJ, it’s an ideal choice.
The Electro-Voice Evolve 50 is on the pricier side. But, there is no denying the high level of quality here. Excellent sound, solid build in a modern and attractive package.
The EV Evolve 50 also comes with a carry bag for easy transport of the column array.
But if you are on a budget there are other options available out there. Despite the higher price the Evolve 50 is worth every dollar.
What Others Have To Say
It is very hard to come across anyone that doesn’t like the Evolve 50. Lots of satisfied working professionals. The only gripe seems to be the desire for more bass when dealing with crowds of over 100 people.
Portable PA systems are a great option for most performers. If you do gigs where you need to bring speakers they offer a practical and convenient option. Column-array systems take this to the next level.
The ability to dismantle the column makes transport very easy. This also splits the weight between two components which can make a world of difference. It is easy to carry the subwoofer in one hand and the bag with the array in the other. This makes them a perfect choice for DJs and solo performers.
Portable PA systems are perfect for working DJs that already have a lot of gear to bring.
But keep in mind that you don’t want to be sacrificing power. There are many lightweight systems out there but some can be low on power. You want to be able to have enough headroom to handle the types of gigs you play often. Selecting a portable system that still packs a punch is important.
This is once again an area that column-array systems shine. They often have the perfect blend of raw power while still offering excellent portability.
Portable column-array systems are becoming more and more popular. The EV Evolve 50 is a fantastic choice but there are some other compelling alternatives available.
Turbosound INSPIRE IP2000 V2 Review
The Turbosound Inspire Ip2000 V2 is another excellent column-array system. The 16 high-frequency drivers deliver exceptional top-end performance. Excellent sound quality from top to bottom.
- Rich low end that delivers a satisfying thump.
- Klark-Teknik DSP for accurate and precise tuning.
- About 10lbs heavier than the Evolve 50.
Turbosound iNSPIRE iP2000 V2
Bose L1 Pro 8 Review
Bose is a brand that is well-associated with audio gear. The Bose L1 Pro 8 is another quality PA system that offers great sound at an affordable price.
- Detailed and clear mids and highs offer premium clarity.
- 180-degree dispersion makes the L1 Pro 8 a good choice as a solo speaker.
- Connection points for the array are a little flimsy and occasionally unreliable.
Bose L1 Pro 8
Yamaha STAGEPAS 1K MKII Review
The STAGEPAS 1K MKII from Yamaha is another decent alternative to the Evolve 50. It packs plenty of power in a durable and dependable package.
- Excellent delivery across the full frequency range. Clean and clear sound.
- 5 channel mixer makes it a suitable choice for bands that want one system.
- Not as attractive and modern looking as the Evolve 50.
Yamaha STAGEPAS 1K MkII
Should You Buy?
The EV Evolve 50 is an outstanding portable column-array PA system. It ticks all the important boxes. It offers an excellent sound profile that is clear and precise. A loud and rich low end. It’s portable and easy to set up. Detailed tuning options and convenient additions like Bluetooth round out the package.
The price point is high but you get exceptional quality. If you are looking to buy a column-array system the Electro-Voice Evolve 50 is among the best portable PA systems currently available.
Electro-Voice Evolve 50