The ZLX12BT is a Bluetooth powered loudspeaker by Electro-Voice that features a compact, lightweight design that makes transporting it a cinch. It offers top of the line clean audio with a simple design in a versatile speaker that will add plenty of value to any DJ’s setup.
Electro-Voice has remained a leading manufacturer in the industry for years, mainly because they continue to produce top of the line DJ gear that comes loaded with some great extra features, and all for a price that’s affordable. Read on to learn more about how this loudspeaker works when it’s put to the test and why Bluetooth technology can allow you to change up the speaker’s settings easily and quickly.
Overview and Features
Electro-Voice offers the number one best-selling powered loudspeakers on the market, thanks to their unparalleled combination of user-friendly operation, smart features, performance, and affordable pricing. This is a lightweight, ergonomically designed speaker that comes complete with a three handle design for easier mounting and installation. Offering impressive features including a Quick Smart DSP controller, and the SST waveguide design, this speaker is pro-quality and it’s available at a price that’s affordable for the DJ on a budget.
A powerful twelve-inch speaker, it offers one thousand watts between the one and a half titanium high-frequency driver and the twelve-inch woofer, providing 126 DB SPL. Considering how versatile it is, it can be used for a live performance, any type of public event, and it’ll offer some great depth to your DJ setup.
The speaker comes equipped with some great smart features including placement presets, EQ, and onboard DSP. Additionally, it features auto-limiting, which will provide overload protection for your speakers and amp. The onboard Bluetooth allows you to easily access your music and sound library.
The speaker’s three mode options allow you to use the speaker for any type of live sound application. In order to gain back the low end you’ve lost from elevating the speaker off the ground you can run the speaker up a stand with the help of the pole setting. You can also use the monitor setting and place the speaker on the floor wedge style. The monitor setting will give you total low-end control, preventing the sound from muddying up your set. Another option is to mount the speaker to the wall, using the included bracket. Doing so can prevent any bass buildup from overwhelming your mix.
The built-in application mode presets are designed to take your mix to the next level. You can use a smiley-face club EQ curve to get the crowd back on the dance floor or use a neutral live preset to optimize the speaker for music. For spoken word sets, take advantage of the speech preset.
This speaker is optimized for both powered and passive Electro -Voice subs. If you already have a subwoofer in your set, simply dial in the built-in crossover in order to find the perfect match for your setup.
DJs often struggle to clearly see their gear in a dark club environment. The large front LED lights will allow you to keep a close eye on the speaker settings and can be changed to limit, off, or on. When in the limit mode the LEDs will flash.
The speaker’s Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy and convenient to stream your mix using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Using the latest Bluetooth technology, the speaker is able to deliver the highest-fidelity, lowest noise streaming experience.
The speaker features Quick Smart DSP, single knob LCD display. The Quick Smart DSP processing means you’ll enjoy faster and easier location setup and easy application with the use of four presets, top and sub system match, fiver user programmable presets, two-band EQ, input level control and meters, visual monitoring of limiter status, not to mention master volume control which is designed to optimize gain structure.
The speaker’s incredibly durable composite construction makes for one light speaker. Additionally, the built-in three band design makes the speaker highly portable and a breeze to mount. The sleek, modern speaker design can definitely instantly upgrade the look of your sound system.
Other Important Features
Despite the fact that this speaker comes with a lower price tag, the manufacturer definitely didn’t skimp when it comes to some great extra features. In fact, you’ll find many of the same features on higher priced pro-quality speakers. But what type of sound can this speaker really handle? Does it have the internal components needed to play crystal clear music and deep full bass when pushed to the limit? It does.
This speaker is designed for venue installs, DJing, and touring acts. It can also split one thousand watts between a two-way speaker system. The twelve-inch woofer provides an impressive low end down to just fifty HZ, which is pretty powerful. The built-in Bluetooth will give you fast access to your music for all of your devices.
The two microphone and line combo inputs are also designed for a board feed and instruments.
The three and a half millimeter aux input allows you to play your tracks from your laptop or your smartphone.
The one and a half inch internal titanium driver will keep your instruments sounding lifelike and your mix popping.
Four Mode Application Presets
The speaker offers a total of four application presets:
These presets make this speaker a great option for the beginner.
The EV patented signal synchronized transducers waveguide means the speaker can minimize distortion, and provide consistent coverage, complete with maximized acoustic loading.
This speaker is designed to handle a wide range of genres from dance hits to classic rock. It can also handle hip hop, country, and pretty much any other genre you can think of. Because it comes with a full range XLR output that mixes stereo input, if you have a powered subwoofer with an internal crossover, you won’t even need to use a mixer.
In terms of design quality, the speaker is equipped with a thick plastic housing complete with three handles. It has a solid feel to it and weighs in at just thirty-five pounds. While it looks great, the included screws are self-threading into the plastic, as opposed to being bolted. This lack of reinforcement can be a downside for the full-time DJ in need of gear that can handle a lot of use and abuse. Overall, the speaker has an understated design that will not make it stand out in a negative light amongst your other DJing gear.
You’ll often come across speakers produced by other manufacturers that make big wattage claims that they use just for the sake of selling more speakers. But once you get your speaker home, set it up, and try it out, you’ll quickly realize how limited its performance really is. For most customers, a higher wattage is usually a high selling point. However, with this Electro-Voice speaker, you’ll find that its wattage rating isn’t what really matters. This speaker has been designed for optimal performance, featuring top of the line internal components that work together to achieve the type of sound every DJ is striving for. The innovative design equals a well-rounded superior performance, regardless of genre, instrument type, or vocal quality. The high-quality engineering allows for high SPLs with full bandwidth sound quality. However, the speaker is also energy efficient, which means it uses less wattage compared to competing models, such as the Bose F1 Model 812 Flexible Array Dual System Loudspeaker and Subwoofer. Additionally, while manufacturers boast their higher than average wattage numbers, too often you’ll find that the speakers lose out big in terms of sound quality when they’re pushed to the limit. Fortunately, this speaker by EV is in a class all its own. While it may not offer the type of wattage some DJs are looking for to carry a set, it’s power and sheer sound quality will surprise you.
- Energy efficient
- Utilizes Bluetooth technology
- Lightweight, durable design
- Three built-in handles
- Three mode options
- Customizable presets
- Reasonably priced
- Sound quality falls off slightly with low bass
Is this Speaker a Good Choice for Beginners?
If you’re new to the DJ scene and just starting out building up your sound system, then yes, this speaker is a great choice. The controls are clearly labeled on the back and easy to use. It also offers faster than average, simple Bluetooth pairing, which is perfect if you want to operate the speaker via your tablet or smartphone. It features a total of four presets including live, voice, club, and music, which makes it easier for the beginner to determine the speaker’s setting based on the type of mix they’re dropping.
Can This Speaker Handle Heavy Bass?
Yes and no. As far as sound quality goes, the speaker can handle everything, with the exception of low bass. However, its low bass performance is still respectable. Low bass tends to fall right in the middle. Ultimately, the speaker is able to carry its own when you’re playing hip hop or any type of bass heavy tracks, however, you may notice a slight drop in bass power at times.
Can I use This Speaker with a DJ Controller?
Yes, you can. However, I recommend double checking to ensure that this particular speaker is compatible with your existing controller. Often, when it comes to DJ gear, each of the components tends to work the best with equipment made by the same manufacturer. However, this is a versatile speaker that should have no problem working with your other equipment. If you’d like to learn more about how to set up your new gear, click here to read my article on how to set up DJ controllers to speakers.
Does This Speaker Offer Enough Wattage to Work as a Main Speaker for a Small DJ Setup?
Yes and no. Offering one thousand watts, some experienced DJs may pass this model on by, if they’re looking for a bigger speaker that can power their setup. But what they may not know is that this model is designed with energy efficiency in mind. This mean the speaker doesn’t need to use a higher wattage like most loudspeakers do. In fact, it can offer the same type of big, full sound that a speaker with a two thousand watt rating can. To learn more about power ratings and how they can impact your set up and sound quality, click here to read my DJ speakers buyer’s guide.