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PA’s for Vans

PA Options for Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, GMC – Chevy, Nissan Vans and Ram ProMaster

Listed below are common PA options based on your vehicle’s year and type.

For many years a car stereo was a car stereo, it 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. In these cases, this means we have to rethink PA options a bit and this opens up some great questions.

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 PA headset to your BT in the stereo. Unfortunately neither car stereos nor BT headsets offer a master code, so they cannot pair together. Good idea, but sorry, no go.

3) The same sound delay problem happens when trying to use an app through a phone, except worse, because you are using 2 x DA converters, one in your wireless headset to the phone and then the phone into the BT on the stereo.  Again, great idea but…

Important Information

In a nutshell, we offer are three different types of PA systems.  Numbered below are the explanations and we use the numbers as a quick reference beside each van type and year.

1) A preamp style like our PA 5 Portable that easily connects into the vans AUX input socket. If your vehicle has an AUX input?

2) The new standalone JB 6 Amplified Portable PA speaker system that works in any vehicle, anywhere. As the AUX input sockets are no longer being factory installed in new vans, we see this as the new “Go To” easy PA option, replacing the PA 5 for all vans 2020 and up.

3) The PA 63 and PA 64 are installed systems and will connect to any factory or aftermarket stereo. Since the sound from your stereo flows through the PA on the way to the speakers, just by turning on the mic it will control the stereo sound automatically. The PA 63 will mute the stereo fully, the PA 64 can allow you to continue to hear the music and talk (or sing) at the same time.

Equally as important as your van type is, do you rent, lease or own your van?  Here are a few extra point to help you figure out your best option.

Daily Rental or Short Term Use

Short term rentals means, you need a plug and play short term PA solution.  Since all new vans no longer come with an AUX input… the JB 6 is your friend.

It gets a PA into a van in seconds and after a couple days you unplug it and return your van back to the rental company.

Leased or 6 Month Rental

Because seasonal leases are often between 4 and 6 months, most operators would prefer not to have to pay for installation and obviously drilling holes is frowned upon.  Again, in this case we feel the best option would be the JB 6 Portable PA speakers.  Since you’re using your van for a while we suggest to use the included mounting brackets to mount both the JB6 and the Buddy speaker.  It’s safer!

Owned or Long Term Lease

If you own your van or it’s on a long term lease, you’re best value and easiest to use is our PA 63 amplified PA system.

It’s often installed in the cubby hole under the drink tray and it connects between your stereo output and you factory speakers, just like adding an aftermarket car amp.  The PA 63 offers great sound with simple operation, it comes with a separate mic volume control and automatically mutes the stereo when the mic is turned on.  You can use any of our microphones from hand held to headset and wired to wireless.  It’s a great basic PA system that will last many years.

If you want to be able to play music and talk at the same time or do mini karaoke for brewery/distillery tours, the PA 64 allows that.  Because of the 2 mic inputs, when using a second mic, the PA 64 also can be easily used as a 2 Way intercom so you guests can ask questions back to the driver.

Offering the best sound and control functions makes the PA 64 a popular choice for many tourism companies.

PA Options by Van and Year

Below are your options based on your vehicle type and by model year.  The 1-2-3 refers to the style of PA’s available noted above.  If you are not 100% clear, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to answer ANY questions.

Ford Vans

2011 to 2014 Econoline / 1-2-3

In these years, almost all passenger vans came with the factory stereo and had a dash mounted metal 3.5mm AUX input socket.  Connection of our PA 5 series systems is a breeze, either the PA 5 Portable that plugs into the lighter socket or the PA 5 hardwired version connected to the fuse box for power. To use your PA just push your stereo’s AUX button, adjust your stereo volume and start talking into your microphone. Super simple.  Today, another portable option is the JB 6 Amplified Portable PA speakers as they don’t connect to the stereo at all.  Truly plug and play.

Depending on how long you plan to keep your van, installing a PA 63 or PA 64 offers a more integrated system.

2015 to 2017 Transit / 1-2-3

Most of the stereos came with a small screen display, (no back up camera or Sat Nav) and with a round metal 3.5mm AUX input socket to the right of the USB slot in the center console just ahead of the drink tray, so connection of the PA 5 Portable is a breeze.  Equally as simple is the JB 6 Portable PA speaker system.

If you are planning on keeping your van for a while and want a more integrated PA system, the PA 63 or PA 64 is your best bet.

2018 to 2019 Transit / 2-3

In late 2017 some Transit Vans started coming with large screen radio displays, back up cameras and Sat Nav, in almost all cases Ford removed the AUX input socket, so your main options are the JB 6 portable or for a more integrated system, the installed PA 63 – PA 64.

2020 and up Transit/ 2-3

The 2020 Transit vans have received a major interior update with a stereo and dash control design, including the removal of the AUX input socket.  For 2020 and up, the portable option is the JB 6 and the installed options are the PA 63 and PA 64.  Installation can easily be done by any car stereo installer in about 2 hours and we have installation sheets posted on our “Tech Info” tab.

GMC / Chevy Vans

2012 and up Savana – Express / 1-2-3

Almost all of these vans came with a 3.5mm AUX input socket on the front of the stereo, so connection of our PA 5 series systems is a breeze.  An equally simple option is the JB 6 portable PA speaker system.

If you are planning on keeping your van for a while and want a more integrate PA system, the PA 63 or PA 64 is your best bet.

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Vans

2011 to 2018 Sprinter / 1-2-3

All the factory stereos came with a factory AUX input socket so connection of our PA 5 series was a breeze.  With the earlier vans, the sockets are generally located inside the rear of console pouch, the later years are on the driver’s side of the dash top cubby area.  An equally simple option is the JB 6 portable PA speaker system which is plug and play.

If you are planning on keeping your van for a while and want a more integrated PA system, the PA 63 or PA 64 are the best bets.

If your van was customized, the re-fitter often would often replace the factory stereo with an aftermarket big screen unit possibly with a DVD player. In this case, the PA 64 is the way to go, it offers the most features and whether you are listing to music or watching a video, just turn on the mic and it controls the sound automatically.

2019 and up Sprinter / 2-3

These vans are completely different from all the earlier vans, the stereos no longer has an AUX input and are VERY integrated into the vehicles operations, therefore changing the stereo is not commonly done.  So for 2019 and up, the portable option is the JB 6 and the installed options are the PA 63 and PA 64.  Installation can easily be done by any car stereo in staller in about 2 hours and we have installation sheets posted on our “Tech Info” tab.

Nissan NV Passenger Vans

2012 and up / 2-3

Almost all passenger vans came with the factory stereo including a dash mounted 3.5mm AUX input socket.  However, (although not confirmed) we have received reports that devices connect into the AUX input only play from the front speakers?  As a failsafe, we suggest the JB 6 as a portable option and for an integrated PA with the stereo, the PA 63 or PA 64.

Ram ProMaster Passenger Vans

2017 and up / 1-2-3

Almost all passenger vans came with the factory stereo including a dash mounted 3.5mm AUX input socket.  If your van came with an AUX input socket, connection of our PA 5 series systems is a breeze.  Because the AUX sockets are on the way out, we suggest the JB 6 as a portable option and for an integrated PA with the stereo, the PA 63 or PA 64.

Summing Up

When making your PA choice, please keep in mind the make and year of your van and whether you rent, lease or own.

Unlike any other company, we offer a full line of great sounding and easy to use PA systems that are designed and well tested for any application.

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

We hope this info helped to shorten your quest in finding a PA option to meet your needs.

If you have ANY questions, please give us a call at 1 888 724-5351 Thanks!