Event Electronics is highly regarded in the world of studio monitoring. While its flagship Opal speaker is coveted by professional producers and mix engineers alike, the more affordable 20/20 model has helped to redefine expectations of how much a quality monitor should cost for semi-pros and serious hobbyists. Enter the 2030, which aims to sit halfway between these two models by bringing some of the Opal's know-how into a new, updated version of the 2020. It's the first Event monitor to offer an independent, three-way driver system and the first to lie horizontally, with the mid-range and tweeter drivers positioned on the inside of the mix position. This means that purchasing a pair of 2030s requires you buy dedicated left and right speakers, not two of the same single design. The sweet spot lies equidistant between the tweeter and mid-range driver cone and then across towards the centre of the bass cone. As there are three drivers per side, it's particularly important that this point faces the listening position, as the audio quality changes quickly—and unfavourably—from off-axis listening positions.
Following a similar internal structure to the Opal, the three drivers are powered by twin amplifiers—one for highs and mids, and one for bass. The design provides up to 240 Watts of burst power, but harmonic distortion is kept impressively low throughout. Of course, whilst Event has taken this approach before, the main talking point here is the inclusion of the mid-range cone. This is a 3.5-inch affair, to accompany the 7-inch bass cone and the 1-inch tweeter, with crossover frequencies at 400Hz and 3kHz and an overall frequency response from 38Hz to 22kHz.
Any concerns you might have about separation issues stemming from the mids having their own speaker cone are quickly eradicated: the punch and clarity afforded by this separate speaker is pleasing, and it raises fidelity significantly. In particular, vocal levels seem easier to set on these speakers than on many in this price range. Even busy mixes sound much less cluttered than they might on a range of competing monitors. For dance music, the weight this additional speaker provides doesn't artificially flatter mixes but leaves the bass cone to handle the bottom-end and low-midrange, which makes it easier to construct a mix in stages. The top-end sparkles nicely, with enough crispness and clarity but without the naked transparency of a Genelec-type sound. From top to bottom, there's a round, warm tone which doesn't flatter to deceive, but which is a touch forgiving through the early stages of a mix.
There are two schools of thought about what makes for the best critical listening. On one side you'll find an attachment to the crystal clear, almost digital transparency of some speaker manufacturers. This requires you to work your own warmth and colour into the speakers until a mix comes alive. On the flipside are those who favour monitors that sound warm and open right out of the box, and which prompt better work by encouragement: "that sounds great, but work harder and it'll sound even better." Event's speakers have always struck me as adopting the latter philosophy, which is why I'm thrilled to hear a degree of the Opal's ethos at work within the 2030s. Please don't misunderstand: the 2030s are not "Opal-lites" but speakers with their own personality. If warm, honest, detailed mix work is your goal and your budget extends this far, you could fall for them very quickly.