Road Test: The New Electro-Voice EVERSE 8 Battery-Powered Loudspeaker

Evaluating a just-released battery-powered compact lightweight loudspeaker for a range of applications that's equipped with Bluetooth audio and control, DSP suite, a four-channel mixer and more.
The new Electro-Voice EVERSE 8 battery-powered loudspeakers is available in both black and white.

My initial reaction while unboxing the new Electro-Voice EVERSE 8 was, frankly, confusion. It’s so light, I thought to myself. They must have sent me an empty loudspeaker enclosure by mistake. But the 1-inch tweeter was clearly visible behind the grille, along with the 8-inch woofer. Okay, maybe there’s no amplifier or power supply in there.

Wrong on both counts. Not only did I receive a fully functioning pair of loudspeakers, but they’re also battery powered. Not that you could tell by holding one – the weight is listed as just over 15 pounds. For reference, I borrowed a friend’s ZLX-12BT (a 12-inch active loudspeaker by the same manufacturer) and it weighed almost 35 pounds with no battery at all!

Before going further, I’d like to note that the previously mentioned 8-inch woofer is mounted to the company’s patented SST (Signal Synchronized Transducers) port design, while the 1-inch titanium tweeter is mounted onto a custom constant-directivity waveguide delivering 100 x 100-degree coverage. The maximum SPL rating is stated as 121 dB.

Eye On Flexibility

For a loudspeaker light on weight, EVERSE 8 isn’t light on output. I connected my phone using the built-in Bluetooth and started to crank it up. With the device’s volume at half, I had to pause briefly to put in my earplugs before I could continue. This little box can kick like a mule if you want it to. I would be perfectly content to use it as a wedge on a medium-sized stage or even as a main for small acts.

While streaming music over the Bluetooth connection to one box, I powered up the second box and joined them as a stereo pair. That’s right – you can wirelessly link two EVERSE 8 cabinets to serve as left and right loudspeakers for Bluetooth playback. The second I engaged the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) function, I was sold.

Besides the Bluetooth capability, there are two TRS/XLR combo jacks on the rear. The first can provide 48-volt phantom power and the second will accept Hi-Z input such as a guitar. Neither port had any trouble with the dynamic microphone I plugged in.

There’s also a stereo 3.5 mm jack for wired playback devices and a 1/4-inch TRS connector for toggling the onboard FX with an external footswitch. EV has also thoughtfully provided a 5-volt USB-C charging port for phones and tablets as well as a 12-volt DC 500 mA power port for things like wireless microphone receivers. An accessory tray is also available to secure a wireless receiver or mobile device to the top of the unit.

The onboard Class-D amplifier and DSP module developed in collaboration with the electronics engineering team at EV’s sibling brand Dynacord is impressive in both quality and quantity. EVERSE 8 has the usual filters for different playback modes: Music is the default setting, and the others (Live, Speech and Club) each have a few dB of shelving filters applied to fit each use case. There are easily accessible Bass, Mid, and Treble filters built in as well.

Further, users can choose from different high-pass filter (HPF) settings for use with subwoofers plus several specific options optimized for EV’s ELX and EKX subs. If that doesn’t sound like enough for you, rest easy knowing that there’s an additional seven bands of EQ onboard, available as either parametric or graphic EQ (PEQ or GEQ). On top of all that, the cabinet also sports a 12-band feedback suppressor for those times when the talent won’t stop walking in front of the mains with a hot lavalier mic.

EVERSE 8 also boasts presets on the inputs for various types of sources or you can “roll your own” using the built-in three-band EQ, compression, effects (FX) and ducking. And speaking of FX, there’s a lot of it – 17 different reverbs are listed along with various delays, choruses, and doublers to bring the total number to 30.

Finishing The Package

With regards to the onboard Li-ion battery pack, no complaints can be raised. The manufacturer estimates 12-plus hours of use (stated as 95 dB SPL) on a full charge, and six hours if being continuously driven at maximum level). I charged my units up once, right after taking them out of the box, and was then able to run a full battery (heh) of tests entirely off the internal power source.

The bottom line is that I wouldn’t hesitate to run these loudspeakers for the duration of a show via battery power alone. Best of all, the battery packs can be removed without the use of any tools thanks to a pair of thumb screws on the bottom of the cabinet.

As expected, there’s a tripod pocket hole in the base for putting EVERSE 8 on a stand as well as a 55-degree backtilt when laid on its side. When the box is standing upright, it can also be kicked back to a 30-degree angle. Users can choose from several DSP settings based on the orientation – when in Monitor of Kickback modes, the lows are shelved down to compensate for the acoustic gain of setting the loudspeaker on flat, reflective surfaces.

Weatherized rear panel covers are included in the package as well. When using the loudspeakers fully wirelessly, the panel covers can be snapped into place to keep rain or other moisture out of the ports. Also available from EV are rain-resistant soft covers, for when AC power is needed or the I/O ports must be accessed.

There’s also a companion QuickSmart Mobile app from EV for controlling aspects of the onboard mixer and FX settings. It isn’t specific to EVERSE 8 in also serving models from the EVOLVE and ELX200 lines. The app provides an intuitive UI for setting levels and changing settings that’s much easier than using the rear panel knobs and display.

Critically, the Location and Mode controls are in the top layer, giving users the ability to easily change from a tripod deployment to a wedge or shift from speech to music playback. While “mixing from an app” isn’t exactly a revolutionary concept, the app should empower DIY musicians to take control of their sound right from their place on stage.

All in all, the new EVERSE 8 really bridges the gap between “portable” and “professional” in the growing battery-powered PA segment – it’s lighter in weight than any similarly sized loudspeaker I’ve ever come across and the DSP has more options than some stand-alone consoles. It looks to be equally at home on a tripod for a corporate breakout room, providing playback for a yard party, helping a busker earn some tips on a city street, or comfortably covering a small venue with clear, clean sound reinforcement.

U.S. MAP: $749. Go here for more specifics on the new EV EVERSE 8.


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