If you’re in search of a clean-looking, full-sounding, and truly portable sound system for your next event, then the right product for you might be Electro-Voice’s EVOLVE 30M powered column system.
This is the smaller and lighter version of E-V’s EVOLVE 50 system, but it still packs the power needed to fill a room and it’s impressive enough that your event’s guests certainly will take notice. While the 50 boasted eight 3.5-inch neodymium drivers, a 12-inch subwoofer and 1,000 watts, the 30M is still rated at 1,000 watts, and has six 2.8-inch neodymium drivers and a 10-inch subwoofer in comparison. The size difference in the subwoofer and the drivers is the reason for the sound pressure levels and bass extension being different between the two products, but I’m almost certain you wouldn’t really notice a dramatic difference through the sound quality of the two E-V products.
I put the EVOLVE 30M through the paces by testing its lows, mids, and highs with songs of my own, just so I’m familiar with the material – I should know how the sounds need to be replicated through the speakers. I also tested it with different genres of music and songs by familiar artists – again, so I know what to expect.
What I learned by doing all of this is that the EVOLVE 30M really pushes its low end through the subwoofer and punches by going all the way down to 45 Hz, which really projects that sound to the point of enveloping the room it’s in. It’s a very full and strong sound that vibrates, depending on the surface that the system is sitting on, but it is quite impressive for the size and weight of the product.
The highs are very clean and clear, and the mids sound good and aren’t too muddy. Another way that I tested it was by connecting a guitar, bass, and two dynamic vocal microphones to see how well the pre-amps would pick these up and how it would sound through the speakers with all four sources going at once. I ended up being quite happy with how full the sound was and how easy everything was to set up.
The crispness and the detail of the instruments/vocals were very clear and full in a way that I did not expect from the size of the sub and arrays – but I was quite pleasantly surprised by how it sounds in a live setting.
So, looking outside of specs, there is one feature that the 30M has that the 50 did not, and that is a fully customizable and integrated mixer built into the back of the subwoofer with multiple inputs in different sizes. To be more specific, there are four XLR/TRS combo mic/line inputs, one XLR/TRS combo line stereo input, a Hi-Z instrument input, one RCA input, and one auxiliary 3.5mm stereo input. With all of this, you have a lot of versatility, so you can use it for whatever situation you may find yourself in need of, and you would be very pleased with the end product once everything is all connected.
Now, for a long time, Electro-Voice has included a processing app its calls QuickSmart DSP, which is a single-knob, user interface with an LCD screen on the back of its speakers with very comprehensive options to tailor the sounds coming out to what you need them to be in that moment – and this 30M system is no stranger to that feature, as well. E-V didn’t just stop there, though; the company decided to add on an app that you can download through the Google Play store or Apple App store, and the app lets you control the mixer on a phone or a tablet from pretty far away, if needed.
The app includes four overall presets that can handle a lot different situations, but it also includes a 3-band system EQ and 7-band main GEQ in the mixer, an onboard compressor, dual FX sends, and independent channel gain controls and input presets, all alongside 30 professional onboard effects that can be assigned to these channels and more. E-V even decided to add a Bluetooth functionality, so you can stream from any Bluetooth device and get crisp, clean audio pushing through the speakers.
I am a big fan of that function because it makes connecting to the 30M such a breeze and, in comparison to hooking up an audio source traditionally, I did not notice any change in the quality of the audio being replicated through the speakers. I also really enjoy the different range of hookups on the back, so when you’re going through a bag of cables to connect something, you do not have to look too far because of all of the available connections on the back.
One worry in carrying around large speakers for an event is always how much they weigh. But this mini-beast only weighs 44 pounds and includes a backpack for the column-array speakers and a rolling case – you can buy this separately – that houses the subwoofer safely and makes transportation of this to your next event just so easy. It’s quite impressive how easily it moves on the wheels and how compact it becomes at that point.
That makes it much easier for storage of the entire system – you do not need to have it out because you can just grab it by the handle, put it where it needs to be, and push the handle right back down. It’s an all-in-one solution for a long-time problem that most DJs have faced with lugging around equipment for years.
Now, when I see most people setting up at an event using the aforementioned EVOLVE 50, the always set them up in pairs. In relation to the 30M, I think just one of these systems is quite loud and can suffice for some situations; but for a larger venue, I would recommend running these in a pair or daisy chaining them with a pair of speakers like I did – I used the E-V ZLX-12Ps. That way you can get a full and balanced sound all the way across the room and the sub bass will be ever present.
So, overall, the Electro-Voice EVOLVE 30M is a portable, professional, and powerful all-in-one array speaker and subwoofer combo that really stands out in comparison to other similar products in the market. It brings the Electro-Voice quality, the robust build quality, and the top-notch sound to you in a rolling package. It offers great versatility for mobile events and would be, for example, perfect for both a wedding ceremony and the reception party. Coming in at $1,299, it is a good price for the amount of features and the quality of sound and build quality you are getting for it.
If you are in need of an easy-to-use, super-portable sound system for your events, then the 30M is the one for you.
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