Robert McGinley Myers:

For me it started with a simple search for better headphones. I think I typed “best headphones under $50” into Google, and what came back was a series of lists, like this one or this one, ranking the best headphones at a series of price ranges. I settled on a pair pretty quickly, and when they arrived I loved them, but those lists had planted their hooks in my brain. How much better would my music sound if I were willing to spend just a little bit more?

A fantastic read on the placebo effect on everything from sound gear to wine to alternative medicine. Via, who wrote this week about his own search for better coffee and headphones.