O’Neal Commander Bluetooth Helmet is so comfortable and it’s built quality is rock solide. Within this price range this Helmet provides some unique value that you can’t refuge.
If a quality helmet is 250 dollars. An equality helmet communication systems a couple hundred bucks. Well, then a helmet with a built-in communication system for well under 300 bones shouldn’t be worth the gas to light it on fire. Ok.
This commander helmets surprisingly good. If you stack it up against helmets with built-in communication systems anywhere near this price point it’s really good. Purchasing a helmet and a communication system separately does have one major advantage over purchasing an integrated set up like this commander and that’s options. It enables you to find the very best fitting helmet for your head and couple it to the communication system that best suits your needs. With a control setup that’s easy for you to operate.
So, let’s get into the O’Neal Commander Bluetooth Helmet Review
Let’s take a look at some of the features. First well, take a closer look at the helmet itself that will go through the functionality of the Bluetooth communicator. The shell of the commander is made of ABS and polycarbonate and carries do t + ECE approvals.
It’s available in sizes extra small. Through double extra-large and the fitments accurate per the size chart, I have a 23 and a half inch head circumference with long oval head shape and this extra-large fits nicely.
This helmet does have a little weight to it. Coming in at almost 4 pounds but that really isn’t that bad considering this helmet is equipped with a communication system and an interior sunshade. Speaking of sun shades the commanders is spring-loaded and deploys easily by pushing this little button. To retract it you just slide this lever the sunshade features one that could use just a little bit of fine-tuning but overall it’s very good I personally bring the sun shade down just a little bit farther when it’s fully deployed.
So that you aren’t looking at the bottom edge of it and I would turn this button around. So you’re using the side with the larger surface area. Aso the static position of this spring-loaded system is the down position which I would also reverse.
If the release button fails not that it would, the shield would be stuck in the down position and if it’s going to be stuck anywhere, I’d prefer a sun be stuck in the up position. Not only for safety reasons but so I can still use the helmet at night if it is broken.
Face shield and the optics
Now while we’re looking at the shield. Let’s take a look at the face shield and the optics are pretty good. But the areas where the shield really shines are in both the quick-release system and in the eye port gasket. And the release system is very easy to operate and reinstalling the shield is as easy as pressing it against the base plate.
Now the eye port gasket on this helmet seals as well as many of the helmets out there with spring tension base plates and this is especially important at helmets with communication systems because of the reduced wind noise.
The final control functions I want to clarify for you our volume control versus track selection to adjust the volume rotate. The MFB briefly forward or backward if you’re using a device for music playback and you hold the volume control too long you’re going to select the next or previous track from your playlist.
The Commanders physical features make it a great platform for this blank Bluetooth communication system. Now, this system features a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. So the first step before you do anything else is a full charge of the battery. The battery is located behind a cover that’s located underneath this rear portion of the neck curtain and I prefer to just remove the neck curtain altogether for charging to keep the charger plug from wearing into the material to access the charging port. You can either rotate this rubber plug out of the way which is kind of tough unless you have nails or just remove the cover altogether. Now once the battery is charged you’re ready to sink your helmet to either another helmet or your cell phone GPS or mp3 player.
Now you can only sync to one other helmet with this system and the secondary user must be within about 10 yards for the system. To communicate press the MFB or multifunction button for three to four seconds on the primary helmet. The blue led should be flashing. Press the MFB on the secondary helmet for six to seven seconds until the blue and red LED’s are flashing. Alternately, turn the MFB clockwise on the primary helmet until the blue and red LED’s are flashing and when you release the button the helmets will be ready to talk to the other rider either helmet can initiate a conversation by pressing MFB once a few seconds.
Later the other headset will ring and the wearer can answer by also pressing their MFB pairing a phone or another device is pretty standard.
First, activate the Bluetooth antenna on your phone. Next with the communicator turned off the press and hold the MFB for seven to nine seconds. The blue and red LED will flash alternately.
Now regardless of what name comes up on your phones Bluetooth menu just pick the one that wasn’t available two seconds ago. You’ll know if pairing was successful because the red light will disappear and the blue light will flash more slowly to answer a call press the MFB briefly. To end a call press the MFB again to reject a call press and hold the MFB for three seconds.
Advantages of integrated communication systems in Bluetooth Helmet
There are definitely numerous advantages to integrated systems though as well the biggest ones cost purchasing a helmet with an integrated unit can save you hundreds of dollars in some cases. Integrated systems also typically come fully assembled. So there’s no installation required or compatibility of the communicator with the helmet to consider.
Most complaints of poorly performing speakers and microphones and add-on type units aren’t the fault of the headset but a result of poor installation and you can avoid all of that with helmets like the commander integrated systems. Also typically have a much lower physical profile since the units recessed into the shell and this makes the unit more stable and therefore easier to operate and also then doesn’t buff it as much at higher speeds.
The communication device is ventilation
Now one of the toughest tasks given to a helmet to be used with a communication device is ventilation. You want the helmet to be cool and comfortable but the helmet also has to be relatively quiet. O’Neil has done a pretty good job of getting this helmet to shush at the adjustable vents on the crown work with the exhaust vent ports that are integrated into the spoil to draw cool air into the helmet and extract hot air out. There’s also a vent on the chin bar to minimize shield fog.
The vent system gets some help keeping the helmet quiet from the removable washable liner see these cheek pads have a unique design. They’re very pronounced near the eye port and extend all the way up to the top of the temple. This creates a seal around the ear that not only helps keep out the wind noise but also creates a speaker box of sorts. That amplifies the sound coming out of the speakers making this one of the loudest communication systems I’ve heard.
If you remove the comfort liner you can see a very sophisticated EPS liner for a helmet at this price point. This liner is multi-piece and multi-density. The polystyrene in the crown is much softer than the material used in the perimeter and is deeply channeled to help with the ventilation and impact absorption.
Now all in all the commander helmet from O’Neal is a fantastic value and one of the best-integrated communicator equipped helmets you can buy.