PA’s for Vans

PA Options for Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter Vans

Listed below are common Q&As based on your vehicle’s year and type Transit & Sprinter.

For years a car stereo was a car stereo, they came with a radio, CD player and an AUX input socket to connect your phone to play music. So at Ready2Talk we made our super popular PA 5 Series PA systems that easily connected into the AUX socket and they worked great!

Today, many vehicle manufacturers are supplying stereos that are more integrated into the vehicles with heater controls, safety options, Sat Nav, internet and the new HD FM radios, but most importantly, they removed the AUX input socket. This means we have to rethink PA options a bit.

What about using the USB or Bluetooth?

We are often asked about connecting a PA through USB, also about making a headset that connects into the stereo through Bluetooth? This would make way too much sense, but unfortunately it is not possible, here are the reasons why.

1) USB sockets are used for digital information and the sound coming out of a PA is analogue. Although you can get USB to 3.5mm mic adaptor boxes for computers, the van stereos don’t have the software to support the conversion.

2) Bluetooth suffers from a speed issue causing a slight sound delay from the internal Digital to Analogue (DA) converter. You might have noticed this slight echo when talking on BT through your phone? It might not seem like a big deal, but when you are talking and listening to yourself in the same vehicle, the echo will drive you and your customer’s nuts. The bigger problem is being able to pair a headset PA to your BT in the stereo. Unfortunately your stereo and a headset PA system are both are classified as “Slaves” and cannot pair together. Good idea, but sorry, no go.

Options

Listed below are your options based on your vehicle type Transit & Sprinter and by model year. In some cases there are more than one option available, so hopefully there should be a solution to fit your needs!

 

Ford Transit Vans

2015 to 2017 Transit Vans

Most of the stereos came with a small screen display, (no back up camera or Sat Nav) and with around metal 3.5mm AUX input socket to the right of the USB slot in the center console just ahead of the drink tray.

Connection of our PA 5 series systems is a breeze, either the PA 5 Portable that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket or the PA 5 hardwired version connected to the fuse box for power. When you want to use your PA, just push your stereo’s media button and choose AUX mode, adjust your stereo volume and start talking into your microphone. Super simple.

2018 to 2019 Transit Vans

In late 2017 some Transit Vans started coming with large screen radio displays, back up cameras and Sat Nav, but Ford removed the AUX input socket.

Because of the factory AUX socket removal, we designed our TAK (Transit AUX Kit), a hard wired FM modulator that connects between your antenna and stereo which plays through your FM radio with no interference.

The TAK requires some basic installation and can be done by a local car stereo guy. When wired together with our PA 5 hardwired version, the power switch on the PA box will activate the TAK for simple operation. When you want to use your PA, just tune you’re your FM radio into either 88.7MHz or 89.1MHz, adjust the volume and start talking. This combo also offers a clean look with no wires showing.

For a more portable option, install the TAK with the included dash mounted AUX socket and separate power switch just like factory Ford, then use our PA 5 Portable. This option makes removing the PA 5 Portable box a breeze so it can be swapped from van to van in seconds.

If you need an even more portable option for rental vans, the FM 1012 portable FM modulator with the PA 5 Portable can connect to ANY Transit van in seconds. We recommend this option only for short term temporary needs.

If you prefer the best option, our PA 64 amplified system is the answer. It is connected between your stereo output and you factory speakers just like adding an aftermarket car amp. Like the TAK, it too requires installation but offers additional functions like a separate mic volume. If playing music while on tour, just set the “Audio Muting” knob on the front of the PA 64, now you can have the music continue to play, shut off completely or dim down automatically when the microphone is in use.

Offering the best sound and control makes the PA 64 a popular choice for van conversion companies.

2020 and up Transit Vans

The 2020 Transit vans have received a major interior update, including the stereo and dash control design. After much testing, we have confirmed that the same options used for the 2018 – 2019 Transit vans (see above) can be used for the 2020 and beyond. Install our TAK with either the PA 5 or PA 5 Portable or for the most advanced, the PA 64.

Summing up

We hope this information has made your PA choices easy! Even though in most cases Ford has removed the AUX input socket, we still have a number of great PA options for your needs, based on how you offer your tours.

Don’t forget, we offer all types of microphones, hand mics to headsets, wired to wireless, even a gooseneck mic!

We hope this info helped to shorten your quest in finding a viable PA option. If you have ANY questions, please give us a call at 1 888 724-5351 Thanks!

 

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Vans

2011 to 2018 Sprinter Vans

All the factory stereos in these years came with a factory AUX input socket so connection of our PA 5 series was a breeze. Use either the PA 5 Portable that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket or the PA 5 hardwired version connected to the fuse box for power.

If your van was customized, the manufacturer often would often replace the factory stereo with an aftermarket big screen stereo possibly with a DVD player. In this case the best system would be our PA 64 amplified PA system that connects between the new stereo and the vehicles speakers. This is an easier system to operate, just turn on the mic and whatever the stereo is playing will automatically mute down or out.

The PA 64 offers a number of great features, 2 mic inputs, AUX input on the front and rear, adjustable music muting so you can have the music or DVD partially mute in sound when the mic is in use. We also make the RMK-5 (Remote Mounting Kit) for custom mounting and the RME (Rear Mic Extension) so you can have a second mic socket for a step on guide.

2019 Sprinter

These vans are completely different from all the earlier vans and now have a stereo which is VERY integrated into the vehicles operations. Also, the AUX input socket has been removed so unfortunately, the PA 5 Series systems can no longer be used.

Fear not, you have a couple options, one temporary and one installed.

Option 1 – (temporary solution)

Although this might seem like a step back in time, but the simplest solution is to install our PA 64 connected to a separate pair of box speakers mounted under the rear seats totally isolated from the vehicles stereo (see box speaker info below). This is the only option for adding a PA and not incurring much installation labor, so we recommend this for short term leases and rentals. It can be so temporary that the power for the PA 64 can be connect into the cigarette lighter socket.

Being a completely separate system from the van, it does not impact the vehicles warranty, providing you are mindful of the installation process. (If in doubt, please consult your Sprinter Dealer)

If you are wanting to play music while on tour, you could play music from the factory stereo and talk on the PA 64 at the same time. But, if you want a more control that automatically dims the music when the mic is in use, connect your phone into the AUX input socket on the PA 64. Now you can have the music continue to play, shut off completely or dim down automatically just by where you set the “Audio Muting” knob.

Box Speakers

Because the Sprinter Vans are known for being very quiet, in most cases you would only need 2 box speakers. We recommend that you don’t mount them up high, but place the speakers on the floor, against the drivers side wall under the second and last rear seats to distribute the sound evenly throughout the van.

If you prefer not to have box speakers, you could have flush mounted speakers installed. The speaker cost is similar to box speakers, but you would require a car stereo store to install them for you, so there would be additional labor cost.

Choosing the Speakers

There are many speaker options online, both box and flush style. The DUAL LU43PB have been proven to be good value. If you have ANY questions, please reach out to us and we would be happy to help you with speaker options at1 888 724-5351

Option 2 – (permanent solution)

If you prefer a more integrated system or you are having your Sprinter Van customized, install the PA 64 between the stereo and your factory installed speakers, just like installing an aftermarket amplifier. There are a few ways to configure the installation, so we always recommend that the installation is done by a Mercedes Benz authorized dealer, certified van conversion company or an experienced car stereo installer.

Once installed, the PA 64 becomes fully integrated with the stereo so when the microphone is turned on the music will automatically mute down or off controlled by the knobs on the front of the PA 64.

Summing Up

All these options offer a great sounding, easy to use PA system that is well tested for your specific vehicle. If you plan to hang onto your van for a few years, we suggest Option 2, if you need a PA for a short term solution, then Option 1 is your plan.

Don’t forget, we offer all types of microphones, hand mics to headsets, wired to wireless, even a gooseneck mic!

We hope this info helped to shorten your quest in finding a viable PA option. If you have ANY questions, please give us a call at 1 888 724-5351 Thanks!