Electro-Voice ZX1-90 Passive Loudspeaker Review

The Electro-Voice ZX1-90 is a 2-way unpowered loudspeaker designed to deliver the premium sound and experience of a larger system in a portable package. While no one familiar with the brand would deny that E.V. knows how to make a great loudspeaker, the fact that the ZX1-90 is priced a little higher than similar sized system might make some feel like they would be better suited looking elsewhere. But after putting the ZX1-90 through its paces, we can say that it's well worth the price of admission.

 

The Features

The ZX1-90 is a passive 8" two-way loudspeaker featuring 300 watts of power and a frequency range of 48 Hz - 20 kHz. The core design philosophy of this loudspeaker is to deliver premium sound reproduction in a solid portable friendly package. And at just shy of 19 lbs., it certainly succeeds on that front. Other core features include a 1.25-inch DH2005 titanium HF compression driver, long-excursion weather-treated EV8L woofer, passive crossover with full-band overload protection, and a rotatable 90º x 50º horn for flexible coverage.

Connections are handled through dual SpeakOn adapters exclusively, meaning no 1/4" jack support. The ZX1-90 also features a whole slew of mounting options, including a built-in pole mount along with removable rubber feet that hide M8 mounting studs. As far as build is concerned, the ZX1-90 is a solid piece of gear. Featuring a black high-impact polypropylene enclosure and full grille front, it's definitely a nice looking loudspeaker thanks to its subtle yet sleek modern look. But more importantly, it features the same quality construction that Electro-Voice loudspeakers are known for.

 

Electro-Voice ZX1-90 8" Unpowered Loudspeaker @ $329.00

You need a speaker that can reproduce every note, every inspirational word and every nuance of your style. Introducing the ZX1. Compact, lightweight, yet high performance, the ZX1 is a reflection of the needs of the high-speed, time-crunched, high-tech lifestyle you lead. Its versatility is matched only by your imagination, and its look is pure beauty. So while your audience may not be fully aware of why you sound incredible, you'll know it's because you chose the very best...

 

The Sound

While the ZX1-90 is a comparatively small loudspeaker at 8", it can easily rival larger 15" speakers in sound clarity and apparent loudness. As a personal monitor on stage or in the studio, it easily gets the job done, able to deliver crisp, clean sound reproduction even with a ton of background noise. As part of a pair, it works great as the main sound system in smaller environments, making the ZX1-90 solid choice for weekend DJs needing a solid set of loudspeakers for parties and club gigs that won't be a pain to transport. And with the adjustable monitor design and ability to rotate the horn, you have a very versatile loudspeaker that can be tweaked to work in various environments.

 

The Verdict

While the ZX1-90 is by no means the least expensive loudspeaker in this size range, the premium feel, solid construction and excellent sound reproduction make it well worth every penny. Sure, you can spend less on a similarly sized loudspeaker but you won't be getting a similar experience. And for a tool so vital to any performer's craft, you're better off nickel and diming somewhere else than on the core part of your sound. Whether you're looking for a pair of speakers for gigs or speaking engagements, a personal monitor for on stage or in the studio, the Electro-Voice ZX1-90 is easily one of the best loudspeakers in its class.