When Apple dropped $3 billion on Beats this week, it was pretty clear Cupertino was more interested in the software and people than the hardware. That’s no surprise. From the get-go, Beats cans have been almost universally maligned in the tech press as poor performers, both for their low fidelity and their cheap build quality. The styling is suspect, too—the headphones often are cast as garish and gauche. But as it turns out, the buying public cares more about what Weezy wears in the studio or what Kobe wears on the private jet than what some nerd in San Francisco wears at his desk. And while Apple maybe wasn’t that into the hardware, it was the headphones business that enabled Beats to buy MOG—which formed the basis for Beats’ on-demand streaming service that Apple clearly does want, badly. In other words, Beats can now show off 3 billion reasons why critics don’t matter.