Hands-On Review:Behringer Eurolive Speakers
Get Eurolive if you want it
By Tom Frederick
It's a question of balance. In life, having a sense of balance can make the difference between crashing and burning on the boulevard of broken dreams or cruising down the highway of love and happiness. When it comes to purchasing a pair of loudspeakers for a PA system, one needs to balance price versus performance. If you take pride in how your music sounds, performance is non-negotiable. And unless you've got a trust fund or invested heavily in Microsoft stock or real estate in the '80s, price is likely to be a crucial consideration as well.
Behringer has been designing and manufacturing a full line of pro audio gear for musicians and sound engineers since 1989 under the working principle of "Double the features—Half the price." Whether they always achieve this aim or not, one thing is certain—you can count on Behringer to come through with a thoroughly professional product at such a low price that you may blink your eyes in disbelief. Behringer has just released two new loudspeaker series, brandishing typical Behringer bargain price points, under the Eurolive Professional and Performer banners, respectively. Do they deliver the goods? Let's break it down.
Two new flavors
You could think of the new Eurolive Professional and Performer Series as each consisting of a triple threat of speaker cabinets. The Professional Series, fittingly enough, is a high-octane series of cabs intended for pros—touring acts, large club and theater installations, and churches. The Performer Series covers the balance of other musical situations, including rooms and clubs where higher volume and power levels are not necessarily required.
Some of the features shared by the two series are a versatile angled cab design with both 10° and 35° angles that allows them to be used as either mains or floor monitors; built-in 35mm sockets for pole-mounting; recessed, ergonomic handles for easy hauling; rugged steel grilles over the entire front of the cabs for speaker protection; pro Neutrik Speakon speaker connectors; overall high-quality components and rugged construction.
The Professional Series includes the B1220 Pro and B1520 Pro, plus the B1800X subwoofer. The Performer Series includes the Performer E1220, the Performer E1520, and the Performer E1800X subwoofer. We'll compare and contrast these two tributaries of the Eurolive stream below.
The B1220 Pro is fitted with a 12" high-performance, long-excursion driver that handles with peak power handling way up to 800W (400W program). This kind of capability is unusual for a 12" speaker configuration and practically unheard of at this price. With their very efficient handling of Sound Pressure Levels (SPL), these speakers get plenty LOUD, with deep, satisfying bass response. To handle the high frequencies, Behringer has come up with an advanced 1-3/4" tweeter design that ensures all the upper-end details of your music flow as clear as mountain spring water. As with the whole Professional Series, the horn has a rotating design that allows flexible coverage regardless of how the speaker is positioned.
If all this seems like overkill for your particular needs, the E1220 is likely to be a better fit. I don't want to downplay the capabilities of this workhorse cab—it will handle just about anything that bands will throw at it for small and medium-sized venues, with very respectable 400W peak (200W program) power handling, 60Hz-20kHz frequency range, and a 93dB SPL level.
The modern bass-heavy music styles demand exceptionally heavy bottom-end presence. The B1520 Pro is perfect for such applications, with an extra beefy 15" woofer and 800W peak (400W program) power handling. With a wider 50Hz-18kHz frequency range, it reaches deeper into the lower end of the sound spectrum for bass response that's sure to keep the dance floor jumping. It's like a larger, brawnier older brother of the B1220 Pro that you can send into the fray when you need a bigger body to enforce the law. It shares all the versatility and design advantages of its smaller sibling.
For a similar level of wide-spectrum sound reproduction turned down just a shade, the E1520 is your guy. This solid citizen kicks out 400W of peak power (200W program), with a sound pressure level that's no slacker at 99dB. A pair of E1520s will project your music with depth and brilliance for many years and cover just about venue you play.
Still need more bass? Call on the B1800X PRO. It's a high-performance subwoofer with an 18" long-excursion driver for concrete-crushing bass that you'll feel in your bone marrow. And it doesn't just bludgeon you with massive low end. The B1800X is a refined piece of technology with a switchable crossover for either passive or biamped operation. Don't fret about over-driving this sub. It handles intense high sound pressure levels with no sweat.
For bass-centric performance on a smaller budget, the E1800X has all the right stuff. The peak power rating of 800W provides a block-rocking sound foundation to build the rest of your system on, with bass reproduction that's precise and punchy.
Bet on Behringer
After considering your sound reinforcement needs, zero in on a configuration of Eurolive Professional or Performer series speakers that speaks to your particular situation and budgetary constraints. The sound quality will make you smile when you fire them up and keep the dance floor jammed, all at a price that's easy on your wallet. That's the kind of balance that'll inspire you to keep the music flowing, and isn't that the point?
Features & Specs:
Eurolive Professional Series
Eurolive Performer Series