The Electro-Voice ZLX-15P and the Mackie Thump 15A are two very popular speakers that are in many DJs arsenals, but which one is better?
Today, I’m going to compare the two speakers in detail. I’ve worked with both of these models for a while now so thought I’d do a head-to-head comparison.
Like other comparisons I’ve made, the basics will be covered followed by what I think the best speaker is. With that said, let’s begin!
The is a powered speaker, which as you may remember from an older post of mine means the speaker has its own built-in amp, that weighs in under 40 pounds. So it’s mobile.
But is it loud? Yes, yes it is. Very loud in fact. Even though this speaker has a peak watt of 1,000, and 250 watts RMS, you’ll get 127 dB of chest-thumping power. The crisp sound is thanks to the 1.5″ titanium compression driver.
The ZLX-15P was built with sheer audio quality in mind which makes up for their lack in pure power. The sound is accurate and precise across the entire spectrum. The highs are high, the lows are low, you can tell where the bass is, where the mid is; it’s perfect.
That being said, you certainly are getting your money’s worth. The construction is rugged, and it’s also easy to set up. Well, if you know what you’re doing. For a novice, it’s a little confusing but the instructions are helpful.
And speaking of helpful, there is a nice little screen on the back that can keep you updated on the status of your setup and the speaker itself. Not a touch-screen, but still really useful. And I will say that overall, this speaker is quite user friendly once you get past the initial awkwardness of hooking it up.
The Electro-Voice ZLX-15P (on Amazon) is a beast of a speaker which is loud and accurate. It will be a fine addition to any mobile DJ setup.
Mackie are renowned for their killer bass. The Thump 15A is a quite a bit cheaper, and weighing in roughly the same at 40 pounds so it’s fairly transportable. This speaker has a slightly smaller titanium compression driver at 1.4″, but boy does it thump!
The output is 127 dB, however, the peak power is much different at 1,300 watts (500 watts RMS). This is because of the built-in-2-channel mixers, and because the Thump units have universal connectivity meaning you can hook this one up to a cheaper Thump speaker if you wanted.
The sound is clear, and the Thump 15A will have no problem getting the dancefloor pumping! The 15″ woofer is punchy as anything, yet well-rounded and warm. There’s also a built-in EQ so you can adjust the frequencies on the fly to achieve a more balanced sound if need be.
The casing is solid and rugged, with impact-resistant plastic designed for durability. For the 3 years I’ve owned this speaker, it’s taken a beating and still performs just as good as the day I bought it.
The Mackie Thump 15A (on Amazon) is a cheaper option that is extremely loud, yet doesn’t lack on quality. I still have fun using these speakers at gigs, so I highly recommend this speaker.
Electro-Voice ZLX-15P and Mackie Thump 15A Comparison
So, let’s first look at what they have in common. Class-D amps are present in both, and they’re both 15” speakers.
You have the same 127 dB sound pumping out of them, and overall construction is similar. I don’t recommend kicking them, but they can take a few falls or rattles in the back of your car.
So, where’s the major difference? It’s the titanium compression drivers that each have, and their respected sizes. Titanium is a strong metal, durable to survive being in a speaker that needs to be blaring for hours on end.
Ever seen what happens to aluminum in a speaker? It’s not pretty. Having said this, some argue that the titanium in the compression drivers makes things like tweeters too harsh.
But, I’m not here to argue the pros and cons of titanium in a speaker. I’m focusing on these two, and which one I think is better. And that goes to the Mackie Thump 15A.
Despite being heavier, the end result was the music was much sharper even if I felt it was too heavy on the bass. Another selling point was while it and the ZLX had the same maximum 127 dB, the Thump15 was on the softer side while still being dynamic.
Other selling points, to me, was the built-in mixers and the ability to connect to other Thump systems. Which makes getting your setup functioning much easier.
That isn’t to say that the ZLX-15P is by any means bad. It’s a decent speaker, without a doubt, but the Thump15A just does things better while being cheaper.
And featuring the titanium compression driver and a Class-D amp, which the ZLX also has, you know you’re not sacrificing quality for a lower price point.
If you’re looking for more choices, check out our buyers guide for the best DJ speakers of 2020.