As school campuses continue to make adjustments to adhere to the new safety guidelines of the pandemic throughout the U.S., educators need to be mobile nowadays. This means that educators may no longer stay in the same classroom all day but will still need to be heard. For many schools, shrinking budgets may not allow for schoolwide system upgrades at the moment and they must rely on a traditional school bell system. For others, the EPIC System is a valuable game-changer during these times. Instead of relying on the capabilities of the audiovisual setup of each classroom, it’s best to be prepared with a portable PA system that guarantees your students hear the lesson.
Epic System vs the School Bell System
Whichever side of the coin you may fall on, it’s important to understand the difference between the EPIC System and the school bell system and how a portable PA system allows you to bypass all of it. A traditional school bell system in recent years has taken on new forms. Not only are many of them wireless, but many use school bell system applications or software to operate and synchronize with the school clock. They are typically connected to various wireless PA speakers that generate alerts and bell tones based on a predetermined schedule established by the school administration. The main controller is wireless and is easily adjustable to the school’s needs. Each PA speaker utilizes an AC outlet and adjustments can be made to magnify sound by adding more speakers or moving to different locations without worrying about wires. This is an economic choice since labor costs for running wires throughout the school are eliminated. A wireless school bell system is easy to install and requires minimal maintenance or structural support. Whether you are replacing an old school bell system or extending a current one, adjustments can be made with ease.
The EPIC System, also known as the Education Paging & Intercom Communications System, is a schoolwide paging system that allows administrators to provide direction campus-wide. It was originally built from the ground up primarily for K-12 education and features flexibility in bell scheduling and zone creation. It is equipped with a two-way intercom system and emergency notifications in every classroom. An interactive campus map provides situational awareness for emergencies. It provides hands-free communication with clear audio no matter where you are located on campus. The EPIC System is completely customizable with standard components including the EPIC System Console, the EPIC System Appliance, the SAFE System, VIEWpath Video, and classroom audio. With the EPIC System, your days of calling a technician to your campus to service your school bell system are over.
5 Must-Have Portable PA Systems for Educators & Administrators
Let’s talk about portable PA systems for education! We know your school may or may not have an EPIC System or school bell system but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the mobility of a portable PA system for maximum amplification. These systems are perfect for small groups of students or a couple hundred students with safe social distancing protocols in place. Here’s is a quick list of our favorite picks for portable PA systems:
1. Line Array Systems – At the top of our list is our featured Line Array Systems brand that we recommend to all of our clients in the educational sector. This brand is excellent for both higher education and K – 12 schools, with easy setup and clear amplification capabilities. For smaller crowds, we recommend the Megavox 2, Go Getter 2, and Liberty 2 sound and PA systems. These free-standing speakers can be placed on a stand for a more traditional setup for crisp and clear amplification. Built-in Bluetooth capabilities allow you to connect up to four wireless microphones and wireless connectivity to multiple speakers using Anchor AIR. The reliable 1.9 GHz wireless microphone frequency gives you maximum mobility when speaking to a small crowd. With built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, you can operate this portable PA system on an eight-hour charge. The easy setup makes it great for both indoor and outdoor use.
Talking or performing for a larger crowd of students, the Bigfoot 2 and the Beacon 2 are also easy to set up and perfect for music performances. Its easy transport makes it ideal for music educators or performers. This system has the same specifications as it’s smaller counterparts and can operate up to eight hours on a single charge.
2. Anchor Audio – Our second recommended portable PA system for educators is the AN – 30, which is the smallest speaker of this product line. This little speaker packs a powerful punch, which great audio quality for classrooms, boardrooms, AV carts, and much more. The smallest Anchor Audio speaker can reach crowds of over 100 students with 100 dB (decibels) of clear sound! You can connect up to two wireless microphones and easily mount it on a wall, the ceiling, or daisy chain multiple units for a more amplified sound effect. If you prefer a traditional stand mount, you have that option as well.
3. EPIC System – The EPIC System has systems enhancement features that allow individual classroom audio systems that allow students and teachers to use microphones. They help to distribute voices evenly throughout the classroom with microphones that include auxiliary ports for additional connectivity. The SAFE system mentioned above has integrated and discrete alert buttons on teacher microphones. When utilized, safety personnel receive the alerts via text or email and use XD technology to decipher the educator’s exact location inside and outside the classroom. All alerts are time-stamped with a location and date of the incident.
4. Fender – For the music lovers, this may be a familiar brand to you! We’ve partnered with Fender to bring the best in voice amplification for educational markets and almost sixty-six years of high-quality sound systems. Best known for their electric guitars, the Fender Passport Conference PA System is a scalable ultra-compact design with easy setup components. It is perfect for small to medium-sized groups and uses a five-channel mixer that allows you to intuitively switch between musical performances and lecture panels. The volume and tone controls allow you to custom tailor your mix on each channel. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity and you can transport it like you would a suitcase with ease.
5. Bose – Another very familiar brand, the Bose S1 Pro All – In – One PA comes with a wall-mount speaker stand and adjustable swing base arm and multi-angle adjustability for maximum coverage. The lightweight design, ultra-portable design makes it a convenient and mobile-friendly addition. Wireless Bluetooth capabilities give you the ability to stream from your mobile device with one-touch pairing. It’s Bluetooth capability and rechargeable battery is ideal for classrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, and collaborative spaces.
Talk With an AV Consultant Today
Still undecided about the right portable PA system for you? Our seasoned and certified educational AV experts are available to answer any questions you may have. We’ve helped over 300,000 businesses integrate and implement audiovisual technology for over 23 years and are passionate about education. As parents and former educators, we understand the importance of maximizing learning environments and want to ensure you have the best audiovisual technology for your classrooms.
Talk with an AV consultant today!