The New York Times has an interesting story detailing the history of Dr. Dre's Beats headphones — devices that have been met with equal parts adoration and abhorrence since they debuted in 2008. While praise from sound experts has been slim — one audiophile told the NYT that the headphones are "absolutely, extraordinarily bad" — the NYT says that the sales success of Beats audio equipment has inspired others to compete, spawning devices from rappers Ludacris and 50 Cent. With sales approaching $500 million, we don't blame them.