We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the Evolve 50 from Electro-Voice changed the DJ industry. Now, a few years after the original version debuted, we have an updated version with even more features. DJs are always looking for ways to add flexibility and features to their setups. If a product can do that without taking up a ton of space, all the better. The new Electro-Voice Evolve 50M takes a page from its little brother, the Evolve 30M, integrating an 8 channel mixer into the column array powerhouse.
Performance We Know And Love
Let’s start with the aspects of this product that aren’t new but are worth repeating. The Evolve 50M, like its predecessor, is loaded with a 1000W amplifier, 8 high-frequency drivers, and a 12-inch woofer. The high-frequency drivers are arranged in a column array, providing a wide 120 degrees of horizontal coverage. Additionally, this setup reduces the vertical coverage to 40 degrees. The result? Less of your sound energy wasted on the ceiling and floor and more directed to the audience.
The entire system is pretty portable, too. Even with the new mixer (we’ll get to that, don’t worry), it only weighs a touch over 57 pounds. A handle on the top of the base allows you to easily get the system in and out of venues. Electro-voice even throws in a backpack for the column and pole, which I always love to see. The enclosure is built out of a durable wood that gives the music a warm, full sound. As someone who has tried all of the major PA speakers on the market, I always find myself coming back to the warm sound of an EV cabinet.
A New Mixer On Board
The highlight of the new Electro-Voice Evolve 50M, however, is the built-in digital mixer. Electro-voice seems to be aware of the many hats DJs and performers are wearing these days. Gone are the days of simply showing up, plugging in a single input, and playing music in a single location. DJs are now needing to plug in wireless microphones, backup music sources, and even instruments into their setups. The 50M is a solution to having to haul yet another piece of gear to your events – an external PA mixer. Instead, DJs can use the 50M to manage up to 8 channels of audio right from the back of the speaker base.
Taking a look at the back you’ll find 4 combination mic/line inputs. Each of these inputs accepts both XLR and 1/4″ TRS jacks. The 4th channel even has a Hi-Z input for a guitar or other instrument. Lines 5 and 6 again have combo XLR/1/4″ line inputs as well as an RCA and auxiliary jack. Lastly, Bluetooth connectivity offers users an additional pair of stereo audio channels. When it comes to outputs, the 50M has both a MIX out and an AUX out for daisy-chaining multiple speakers together. One of the more unique features is the QuickSmart Link output which allows two 50Ms to be linked via a network cable (more on that in just a bit).
The digital display allows users a wide range of options to customize and shape their sound. If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly choose one of EV’s factory presets (Music, Live, Speech, and Club) to get a more dialed sound without a lot of tweaking. For those that want more control, the 50M has a lot more to offer. Included in the list is an onboard compressor, dual FX sends, independent channel gain controls, and 30 different effects. These effects include delay, reverb, echo, chorus, and flanger. If you want to switch up your effects easily, connect a foot pedal to the input on the back.
The Electro-Voice Evolve 50M Opens Up New Doors
The best part about this new model is that it allows DJs to take streamline their setups. If you’re someone looking for a cocktail music speaker or perhaps a wedding ceremony system, the Electro–Voice Evolve 50M eliminates the need to buy both a speaker and live sound mixer and run additional cables. If you have a small band or performance group that wants an easy-to-use PA system that can be controlled from the stage, the 50M delivers. Even if you have a larger band or need more than 8 inputs, the QuickSmart Link allows users to connect two Evolve 50Ms together and utilize all 16 inputs to mix.
I can’t emphasize enough how great it is to have a nice mixer built-in to the actual speaker. A few years ago, I spent what seemed like an eternity looking for a compact but high-quality mixer to use for my wedding system. I ultimately found something that seemed overpriced, and while it worked, it wasn’t perfect. I had to now pack more gear, set up a small table to put the mixer on, and then run additional wires between my sources and the mixer. It looked a little cluttered and moving gear from one area of a venue to another was a nightmare. Having a quality digital mixer readily available on my speaker would remedy a lot of the headaches I was experiencing.
With more features comes a larger price tag, unfortunately. However, if you don’t have the need to mix large bands, you may not need to purchase two Evolve 50Ms at all. The Evolve 50M packs a punch, and small singer/songwriter acts may only need a single speaker to cover smaller gigs. Background music applications or other low volume events might also only need a single system. Larger groups and DJs who frequently utilize multiple microphones and audio inputs may opt to for a pair of 50Ms.
For the average user, I’d recommend buying one 50M and one regular Evolve 50. You can still utilize the fantastic digital mixer on the 50M and daisy chain the sound over to the regular Evolve 50. This saves some money while still giving you the benefits of the newest model. Many DJs already own a pair of Evolve 50s – to them, I’d recommend adding a single 50M to the arsenal. This 3rd speaker could be linked to the main system for larger events or used alone for more specific applications.
So what do you think of the Electro-Voice Evolve 50M? Are you going to purchase one? How will you integrate it into your speaker inventory? Let us know in the comments! Feel free to contact us directly. Let us know how we can help and check out our buying advice page for more help. MAP $1999