Are $300 headphones worth it?

A friend wanted to buy Dr. Dre headphones. They list for about $300.

Any audiophile can tell you that they sound like $39 headphones. Instead, consider these. We can prove they sound better!

But of course, that's not the question. It's not what sounds better, it's what's worth it.

The Dre headphones come with admiring glances at no extra charge. They come with self-esteem built in. You can argue that this is a worthless feature in a device designed to reproduce sound accurately, but you'd be wrong. After all, the whole reason you're listening to music in the first place is to feel good. To be happy. If the Dre's make you happy, and your happiness is worth $300, then they're worth it, no?

For others (put me in that category) I get more happiness knowing that I didn't fall for a clever marketing ploy, and I buy the ones that I believe sound better. Of course, that's a clever marketing ploy too–persuading me that better sound is worth this much. But don't tell anyone. That would make me feel manipulated.