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Headphones Less Than $300: Skullcandy Crusher

In a category that’s about as crowded as it comes, the Skullcandy Crusher headphones tried to stand above the pack with a bass performance that was heavy and natural rather than gimmicky and distracting.

The Crushers were engineered with the reproduction of immersive bass as a forefront goal, Tom Bishop, product and manufacturing VP, and Sam Noertker, headphone creator and engineer, told TWICE. To achieve this, the company developed the Sensation55 driver, also known by the company as a “Vibration Transducer.”

“The Sensation 55 driver actually flips the design of a normal speaker on its head,” Bishop and Noertker said. “Instead of just pushing sound waves, it actually shakes the entire headphone the same way a subwoofer would shake a car. It doesn’t utilize digital signal processing or try to fake bass using some sort of trick. It simply responds to the same bass notes you would hear in real life, but delivers them to your ears in a totally unique way that feels like you are in the front row of the concert or in the back seat of a car with a huge sub in the trunk.”

When asked how the Crusher headphones stand out against the competition (something that’s not an easy task in this category), the Skullcandy pair told TWICE: “Crusher stands out for its realistic feeling of bass that you it delivers rather than a gimmicky buzz. Other vibration headphones vibrate in the ‘upper bass’ region where even vocals can trigger some buzzing in the ear cup. Crusher sticks to the deep bass frequencies that nature intended for you to feel.”

The over-ear headphones feature 40mm drivers; impedance is listed at 32 ohms and sound pressure is 102 dB (1mW/500Hz).

Design details include soft-touch ear pads covered in synthetic leather, dual ear-cup articulation, in-line mic and controls, a detachable cable and a folding construction. Once folded, the Crusher headphones are said to be 40 percent of their original size.

They come in white, black or red for a $99.95 suggested retail. A microfiber travel bag is included.