EVOLVE 50 Review by Soundcheck.de

November 27, 2017

“The new, active "Evolve 50" column PA system from Electro-Voice features state-of-the-art technology and supports the remote control and monitoring of up to six systems simultaneously via Bluetooth and iOS/Android app.”

The new, active "evolve 50" column PA system from electro-Voice features state-of-the-art technology and supports the remote control and monitoring of up to six systems simultaneously via Bluetooth and iOs/ Android app. To find out what other benefits the system has to offer and how it performs in practice, read our detailed test report.

The evolve 50 system, from renowned loudspeaker manufacturer electro-Voice, offers the professional user a selfpowered column PA system featuring state-of-the-art technology and all of the features that you could possibly want: 1,000 W amplifier output power, integrated high-quality Bluetooth receiver for wireless audio streaming, a 12-inch subwoofer, in a compact enclosure to maintain its sleek and discrete appearance you would expect from a compact, delivers punchy low-end frequency response. The icing on the cake is the ability to monitor and control up to six systems simultaneously using the app. We put the evolve 50 system through its paces in our detailed practical test and have summarized the test results for you below.

Plug and play

Even as we unpacked the evolve 50 system from electro- Voice we were pleasantly surprised. We were surprised at how light the product components are as well as the well positioned handles make it an easy product to position. It's also good to see that electro-Voice have supplied a padded plastic carry bag for the tops and the sub pole, in which both parts can be stored, separated by a partition. Besides being easy to carry, it will help keep your products looking good for your next event. The carry bag can be worn over the shoulder leaving your hands free for the subwoofer, meaning that you can transport the entire column in one go. The system is also very simple to set up. The supplied power lead is required only for connecting the subwoofer to the power supply, otherwise it can be assembled completely free of any cables. The sub pole has contacts at both ends and slots into the recess at the top of the subwoofer. The tops are then placed on the sub poles from above. Because both ends of the sub pole are the same and profile of the pole prevents rotation, it's impossible to make a mistake when assembling it. The robust fixing point in the sub makes the assembled column extremely stable. Including unpacking time, we assembled both columns of our test system and connected them to the power supply in less than five minutes. It really couldn't be any faster!

Innovative on the inside

The heart of the entire system is the subwoofer unit, whose stable and low-resonance bass reflex enclosure is made from 15 mm multiplex wood panels and which houses a 12" well-dimensioned subwoofer along with all of the electronics. This is driven by a separate 500 W amplifier channel and reproduces all frequencies below the x-over frequency of 200 Hz. The second channel of the Class D amplifier, which also has 500 W, drives the tops, which consist of eight 3.5" neodymium full range loudspeakers. As in large line array systems, some loudspeakers are positioned at a different angle to increase the vertical coverage and to reach audience members sitting close to the loudspeakers. The grilles of the subwoofer and tops are protected against mechanical damage by elegant, robust, black powder-coated steel. electro-Voice hasn't spared any expense here and opted for the higher-quality neodymium loudspeakers over the normal ferrite loudspeakers. Neodymium magnets perform better at a lower weight than the ferrite previously used. electro-Voice has also managed to make significant weight savings by using aluminum profiles instead of steel poles, which you can really notice when transporting the system. Together with the sophisticated amplifier DsP controls, which we will look at in greater detail later, electro-Voice has really pushed the technology to its limits with the evolve 50 system.

The flexible mixer

All connections are located on the rear panel of the subwoofer. Integrated in the IeC socket for connecting the power cord, easily accessible from the outside, is the master fuse of the system, which can be replaced quickly and without any special tools in the event of damage. The entire system can be powered on and off using the adjacent power switch. Further up is the connection panel with illuminated, easyto- read display of the three-channel, flexible mixer, which provides suitable connectors for virtually all external devices. Moving from left to right, you first have the two XLR outputs "Mix" and "Thru". The "Mix" output delivers the mix created via the volume controls of the individual channels 1 through 3 as a balanced signal for sending to another selfpowered loudspeaker or for recording of the mix signal on a recorder. Whereas the "Mix" output carries the signal of all three channels (L+R or just R, depending on the corresponding DsP setting), the "Thru" output only carries the input signal of channel 1 for sending to an additional, active monitor box. To the right of the "Thru" output are the XLR/6.3 mm combo jack inputs of the two classic mono channels 1 and 2, to which, for example, a balanced microphone or line level signal (TRs) can be connected. each of the two mono channels has its own volume control for adjusting the input sensitivity directly via the corresponding input socket. To the right of channel 1 and 2 we have the various input sockets for stereo channel 3, which are available alternatively as a stereo input pair. These are two RCA sockets, a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack socket or the high-quality Bluetooth receiver for wireless music streaming, e.g. from a smartphone, tablet or MP3 player. This stereo channel also has its own volume control, but with only one control for both stereo channels. Finally, in the top-left corner of the connection panel, is the illuminated display – which is also easy to read in the dark – and the master volume control, which can be used to adjust the overall volume of the evolve 50 system and to navigate the extensive DsP menu by pushing the knob. This single-knob control of the DsP control is easy and intuitive to learn and offers many additional adjustment and control options for the system settings.

Single-knob control

In addition to the described volume control for each input and the resulting master mix, the DsP menu offers advanced sound and system settings. A central role is played by the LC display, which in normal mode shows the level of the inputs as a bar chart, the connection status of the Control App and of the Bluetooth receiver as well as the memory status and the preset number of the current preset. The display also warns in the event of signal clipping with the messages "Clip" if the signal sent to the loudspeaker is too loud and "Limit" if the integrated limiter attenuates the signal to protect the loudspeaker. If the message "Limit" is shown small on the screen, the limiter is operating in the normal range, whereby the signal remains without audible distortion and no intervention is required. If the large "Limit" is shown, the volume must be reduced at the corresponding input or the master. The master volume control is used to access the other DsP menu options. Pushing the knob corresponds to selecting and confirming a menu item, while turning the knob takes you through the possible options in sequence.

The system returns to the home screen after selection of the option "exit" or after two minutes of inactivity. even though it is not really necessary as the system is so selfexplanatory, a detailed, well-illustrated and clearly laid out operating manual is supplied. This is also available to download as a PDF file online.

QuickSmart Mobile App

The electro-Voice Quicksmart Mobile App, or Control App for short, is available for iOs as well as Android. With it you can monitor and control up to six evolve 50 systems. Once established, the Bluetooth connection is stable and resulted in no problems during the test. Being able to move freely during setup actually makes the setup procedure much faster and easier.

Test results and summary

During our practical test we tested the system in every conceivable situation. For example, we streamed music from our iPhone via Bluetooth as on hold music or when using the system as a PA system in our party room in the basement. Pairing went without a hitch and the music quality of the program streamed was flawless. In our second test setup as a solo artist, we connected a microphone to input 1, the guitar to input 2 and the keyboard in stereo to input 3 and played back the right channel via a second system. The overall system sound was incredibly powerful and natural. Because of the extensive coverage, there is no noticeable change in sound quality when you move around the room. The speech intelligibility was excellent for both singing and speech. The tricky midrange was handled very well and sounded very open. This open sound can only be achieved with loudspeakers without a horn. Another handy feature are the various modes (Music, Live, speech and Club) that can be selected quickly using the DsP control. These modes correspond to specific eQ presets and can be used to optimize the system sound regardless of the program and application. The evolve 50 system meets all requirements, whether for private or professional use. The 1,000 W of audio performance offer sufficient power reserves when you want to be really loud. With this system, electro-Voice lives up to its name and remains true to its extremely high quality standards.

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