It can definitely be said that music equipment features and power have increased while size has reduced. This has resulted in compact gear that performs at much higher levels than ever before. Guitar and bass amps have been big winners, as have PA speakers and systems. Subs, line arrays and column design speakers have all added power and clarity in smaller setups. EV have long been a major player in the pro audio and sound reinforcement game, so it’s no surprise they are continuing to develop their lines with the EVOLVE 50 portable powered column system.
Rated at 1000 W, the EVOLVE 50 consists of three parts: the sub (which acts as the base of the unit), the pole (or speaker stand), and the column itself. These three items join together in a matter of minutes and only take up the footprint of a relatively small sub (i.e. not very big at all). The rear panel of the sub looks after controls and connectivity with two XLR/TRS combo jack inputs, a 3.5mm mini jack input, stereo RCA input, XLR thru output and XLR mix output. This I/O is rounded out with controls for aux level, line/mic inputs one and two, and master volume. EV have also included a screen which can be accessed via the push feature of the master volume control. This allows control of the on-board DSP processing, volume, EQ, effects, Bluetooth and the like.
The sub is small in stature yet big on performance, and the column follows in a similar fashion. Consisting of eight 3.5” neodymium drivers, the column has a handle on the rear to lift on and off the pole, and its lightly curved front adds some spread. Yes, you’ll need to add your own mixer to expand the inputs, but a single EVOLVE 50 stack is a great go-to for smaller setups. The volume and headroom is huge for such a small system and EV really seem to have taken the sound and feel of the column/stick design PA to another level. You could even run two of these systems as left and right for a truly compact (yet loud) rig.
The volume and clarity of the EVOLVE 50 really is pretty amazing. Aimed at soloists, smaller lineups, DJs and venues, it could be the ideal solution for many. The ability to run two units expands options for bigger bands while still remaining super compact. Plenty of headroom, quick to set up, easy to manoeuvre and ultra-portability means you can easily fit the system in the back of your car or move it away for storage. The I/O is concise, but does allow for some expansion if you want to run additional sources or into further backline. Most importantly, the EVOLVE 50 sounds damn good, with the sub and column combination creating clean volume and a great spread.
Hits and Misses
Size, setup and sound
Sub and column technology really sounds good for its size
Not quite as flexible as a traditional speaker setup in some applications